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The liberal misery complex is on its last legs

By Matthew Delaney

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.

As fun as it is to watch the Covid-19 pyramid scheme collapse, we need to extend a bit of grace to the liberal true believers who are experiencing more than just cold and flu-like symptoms right now.

Let’s admit it, that’s hard to do. It has been the politicians and bureaucrats who are calling the shots and limiting the freedoms that make us vibrantly human. I mean, they have orchestrated the Plandemic™ so they can pull off the Great Reset™ and install their New World Order™, after all.  

But politicians are abstractions to us. We absorb them through video clips in the news and robotic Twitter accounts. There was no interaction with them like we’ve had with their loyal foot soldiers – the upper-middle class liberals who live in and around our major cities. Our minor-league elites. 

From the woman who stares daggers at you for not wearing a mask in the elevator to the bartender who hollowly asks to see your vaccine card, these are the people who’ve made the pandemic real in a way that we couldn’t escape. That sense of being trapped made you feel miserable, both because of their individual actions, but also for them expressing a perverse devotion to this authority you’re being coerced into recognizing. 

So, okay, let’s admit it – it is fun to watch them be miserable during this most recent surge. Not because they’re getting seriously sick and dying. It’s actually the exact opposite: they’re mildly ill, if even under the weather at all, and they’re acting like they caught the plague. They’re bum-rushing emergency rooms over runny noses and stocking up on tests like it’s toilet paper in March 2020. 

That’s because they’ve never left March 2020. For the past two years, these people have dutifully gone along with every new left-wing ritual. In the Before Times, all it took to be a good liberal was wanting to pay higher taxes, reposting the latest hashtag, and ignoring homeless people when going out to eat. Now they don’t even go out to eat. Or see friends. Or go to concerts. Or let themselves or their kids breathe unmasked air outside. 

They’ve made themselves miserable. So, lucky us, they decided to share that with everyone else. 

I’ve read some smart takes on why this mutual despair has become a fascination for liberals. Some say the misery is because they’re largely secular, unmarried, and childless. They are already suffering – is it shocking that they created an ideology glorifying that emotional state? 

Others, like left-winger Freddie DeBoer, are even more incisive. He saw it as a competition between these fellow (minor-league) elites, who grew stale after living lives full of status-chasing and goal-hunting. The pandemic gave them something grand, righteous, and most importantly, new for them to pursue. And so, as he explains, they did just that: 

“When it became clear that the public health response to Covid involved denying ourselves things we wanted and enjoyed, including non-negotiably important things like in-person schooling and face-to-face human contact, they (subconsciously) saw an opening: if denial of human pleasures is virtuous, I can be more virtuous than my peers. If caution is noble, overcaution must be even nobler.” 

DeBoer is onto something. These minor-league elites are bright and talented. They know how to achieve, in part because they know how the system works. And our system that reveres suffering coincided with a pandemic that demanded suffering for the “greater good.” Liberals tapped into their instinct and have been one-upping us (in their minds) ever since. 

But this is bigger than social circle warfare. This is their identity, and one grounded in a left-wing ideology where their big, bold ideas could work if they were just given a chance. 

Covid-19 brought that liberal political fantasy to life. More so than 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests or the ongoing “urgency” of climate change, the pandemic was the real (enough) crisis for us to justify ceding authority over our lives to these elites. 

So, they picked winners and losers with code words like “essential” and “non-essential.” They got our support for that when we elected them into control of all three branches of government. And they did this all while defeating their arch-nemesis Donald Trump. 

You could hear toes curling across blue America by the time of Joe Biden’s inauguration. Lefties finally had the influence they craved. They were going to show everyone how smart their ideology was.  

But then the administration didn’t get schools reopened fast enough. Then illegal immigrants rushed over the southern border. Then Afghanistan happened. And then inflation, supply shortages and high gas prices showed up. Crime didn’t go down either, which Jussie Smollett was found to be contributing to, but Kyle Rittenhouse wasn’t.  

This fantasy turned into a nightmare for the left’s most ardent believers, especially as they watched their voodoo doll Biden succumb to his geri-antics.  

Despite it all, they had their golden ticket in Covid. Old Joe ran on shutting down the virus, and dammit, they were going to stick every pin in him to make that happen.  

You just have to keep wearing your mask after getting vaccinated – kidding! You can take it off once you get your shots. But seriously, you either get vaccinated or you’re fired…also wear a mask again. Wow look at those numbers, great job everyone! Masks off! Oh wait, they got bad right after so put them back on. Also, probably best you skip the holidays for a second consecutive year and get ready for more virtual school, you know, for everyone’s safety.  

To their credit (I guess?), the minor-league elites never flinched through this. They took every step to avoid getting sick. They sacrificed so much. But Biden waffled with the Omicron variant by saying there’s no federal solution – something their latest arch-nemesis, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, said months earlier. Then, these liberals caught Covid themselves. 

The virus won’t be remotely deadly for these triple vaccinated souls, but it is its own kind of death. It’s the death of their big, bold ideas of deference to central authority, blind trust in expertise, and worship of suffering – and we all witnessed it. The media can move goalposts by suddenly saying high case rates don’t matter, and they can interview doctors who try to reframe people’s concept of “winning” this pandemic all they want, but liberals don’t care.  

They feel betrayed by their intuition and their leaders. They’re questioning what exactly the point of the sacrifices they made over and over was. They’re genuinely miserable. 

Making it worse is how much fun they’re watching the rest of us have. 

Some of you guys seized control of the stock market with a Reddit forum. Others raised hell at school board meetings and elected governors in deep blue states. And everyone has enjoyed eluding the PC police state with a euphemism like “Let’s go Brandon” to make some left-wing heads explode.  

I wouldn’t say everyone is conservative or even right-wing in our little conglomerate. The one thing binding us is that we’ve all put Covid behind us. We’re living our lives. Basically, we’re not even close to being miserable. 

The dirty secret buried in these past two years is that liberals always envied us. They’ve been leaving New York and California for greener pastures in Texas and Florida by the thousands. Even they can only take so much flagellation. 

I bring all this up because the pandemic busybodies whose attitudes defined the pandemic response may become your neighbor soon here. There is a temptation to be as cold and unforgiving to them as they would have to you elsewhere in the country. I’m here to remind you that that’s short-sighted.  

Our liberal friends have had their entire world rocked. They’re searching for answers in a confusing time. I’m not saying you need to persuade them into our “side,” but you can at least show them how to live without their fond misery. That might be the one thing they actually need to change their minds.

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Matthew Delaney


Matthew Delaney is a local journalist based in Washington, D.C. When he’s not questioning why he joined the media, he’s doing his part to restore some of its credibility with quality work

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