It’s easy to throw out an ad-hominem attack to simply dismiss someone along with what they have to say. Most, if not all of us are guilty of ridiculing someone while ignoring their argument at some point, but we try not to make it a habit. Alas, certain right-wing “news” sources and individuals have literally made careers by passionately dismissing liberals as “special snowflakes” who live in “liberal bubbles,” require “safe spaces,” and have no emotions except for faux outrage and being “butthurt.” Unfortunately for many Trump supporters ranging from well spoken blondes full of hot air and fallacious arguments to the “Alt-Right,” – or as we called them before their rebranding, racists and Nazis – it is in fact they who are actually guilty of all the things they accuse liberals of.
Firstly, there’s a common misunderstanding among many conservatives and liberals alike about “safe spaces,” and “trigger warnings.” Granted, their are a number of probably well meaning, but ultimately extreme, or ridiculous instances “safe spaces.” But they’re mostly places for LGBTQ individuals, or members of a minority group, or anyone not considered “normal”, to go without fear of being judged. And it must be admitted that people belonging to these groups are often the targets of discrimination and hate far more often than straight, white men. “Safe spaces” when done right are really no different from the many forms they’ve taken before like man-caves, or men’s only clubs, or democracy in America before the 19th Amendment. “Trigger warnings” aren’t meant for people to avoid offense, but rather to avoid panic attacks and flash backs of traumatic events. You wouldn’t light off fireworks next to a veteran with PTSD without at least maybe giving a heads up. “Trigger warnings” are intended to be that heads up for survivors of sexual assault, or some other traumatic event. There’s bound to people who take these ideas to an extreme, or apply them to situations of minor and insignificant offense. These people then become conflated as the majority because the craziest are usually the loudest on any side.
Now with a few clarifications out of the way, we can address the blatant hypocrisies embedded within some of their favorite diminutive labels for liberals. Conservatives do seem to have a lot more names to call liberals than liberals have to call them, perhaps it simply shows what issues they spend their creative thinking on. Of the most popular are accusations of being “special snowflakes” who are fragile little creatures requiring special treatment because stupid things offend them. Tomi Lahren for instance believes the anti-Trump protestors are just mad because they didn’t get their way – which would be a petty reason to protest. But the protestors have legitimate reasons to be more than concerned about a Trump administration as each day continues to prove. Yet, Lahren and her ilk seem to be outrageously offended by the mere fact that so many people have a different point of view and used their freedom of speech and assembly to express it.
Among the list of conservative grievances there are actually a good number of incidents where real “butthurt” is presented: Starbucks cup controversies, Mike Pence’s Hamilton visit, a football player exercising his First Amendment rights, Saturday Night Live skits, Nordstrom’s purely business decision to pull Ivanka’s clothing line, and those are just some of the recent ones. But there is one form of protest that’s exceptionally likely to “trigger” a conservative: flag burning. When many conservatives see it happen they’ll lash out with threats, or actual violence while suggesting the act be criminalized despite two Supreme Court rulings protecting it under the First Amendment. Burning the American flag is disrespectful, but flying Confederate and Nazi flags – traitors and enemies of the United States that are responsible for the deaths of millions – for some of these same people is an entirely different story.
Lastly there’s the myth of the “liberal bubble,” and the “real America.” Liberals statistically can be found mostly on the coasts and clustered in and around cities. Meanwhile their conservative counterparts tend to cluster in isolated rural regions and the landlocked middle states. Some individuals claim they live in the “real America” versus some perverse alternative America. But there’s no “real” America; there’s no standard model, or something we’re supposed to go back to. If there can be any notion of the “real” America it must include the country as a whole. As for the “bubble” it’s not real either: cities may seem like isolated “bubbles,” but in reality cities are where the majority of the world’s population lives. Though small in area, cities have large and diverse populations; high population density; they, and the people living in them, have various personal and business connections around the world; they are centers of international trade, travel, and commerce; they’re literally the opposite of a proverbial, or literal, “bubble.”
However, that’s not to say there aren’t other regions that more closely resemble a “bubble.” Ironically, it’s where most conservatives live: isolated rural areas with small homogenous populations that are insulated from the rest of the world.