Thordaddy asks a liberal:
Could anyone here articulate your first principle? State your metaphysical truth? Define your core religious belief? Identify your race with certainty?
No, no, no and no are my answers.
Those questions strip the contemporary White liberal to his core. Is it solid or hollow? To begin answering that question, it’s instructive to follow the progress of his speech over the recent decades:
1980s: [cue Mr. Van Driessen’s voice] “Reagan is a dangerous warmonger. It’s cruel to deport California’s illegal immigrants. The environment should be protected from greedy developers. Homeless people need shelters. Be more open to life’s experiences.”
1990s: “Gay people have the right to serve in the military. Her body, her choice. I never signed your mean-spirited Contract with America. Immigrants enrich us with wonderful restaurants, you ignorant loser. We’d make progress on racism if not for Jesse fucking Helms!”
2000s: “Fuck Bush Fuck Bush Fuck Bush no war no profiling Fuck Bush Fuck Bush Fuck Bush Fuck Bush Fuck Bush open borders you bigot Fuck Bush Fuck Bush Fuck Bush islamophobe Fuck Bush Fuck Bush 911 was an inside job Fuck Bush Fuck Bush Fuck Bush!”
Today: “I’m gonna get your ass fired, you fucking transphobic asshole. Drone the Bundys. Trump hates women. Racist bitches oughtta be raped. Go back to whatever rock Mike Pence crawled out from under.”
In my adult lifetime the White liberal has devolved from someone who is following a more or less coherent set of conservationist, compassionate, and risk-averse beliefs into somebody consumed with a hate that strikes whatever lightning rod draws its attention.
For his sake I hope that the liberal does have a positive identity and a coherent vision because otherwise, the amplitude of his emotion (and the fury with which he is hurling himself toward a very lonely place) is best explained by the fact that he’s become nothing more than a thrashing, wounded animal. Such a creature longs for death to bring relief from a pain whose source is beyond his ken. John Keats expressed that feeling two centuries ago:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath
As someone on Twitter put it — and which in my opinion is a brutal but accurate interpretation of the speaker’s angst in “An Ode To A Nightingale” — maybe what White liberals pine for is to be shot, just like their hero Fidel Castro used to execute them: