Bret Easton Ellis: 'Liberalism used to be about freedom, now it’s about warped moral authority'

The American Psycho author critcised what he sees as the Left's 'childish meltdowns' in response to Trump's win.

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The Independent Culture

Along with film dissection (though the two certainly aren’t mutually exclusive), the Bret Easton Ellis Podcast has been keenly interested in the changing face of the Left and increasing mono-ideology of the collective discourse on social media.

It was odd then, when, after returning from a hiatus, it did not really look at the election of Donald Trump, which seemed in many ways to be a symptom of the alienation that this ‘delete your account’ style of communication caused.

That changed this week, with the author delivering a 35-minute monologue about the recent election and the responses to it in Hollywood and among his liberal friends.

“Some of my friends and acquaintances, as well as my millennial boyfriend I’ve been living with for the past seven years, are now undergoing the last spasms, the death throes, hopefully, of a kind of new liberal psychosis that was is/afflicting many members of the Left,” he told listeners. “The building that inhabited the old school, identity-politics obsessed, neoliberal elitists was/is being deconstructed by - actually - both sides."

Discussing the disruptive nature of Trump, who Ellis does not support, and his campaign, he noted that it had: “levelled the press and made them look like some kind of old school anachronism unable to understand the new playbook that the disrupters had devised, and that the press was now trying to deal with, flailing about and hectoring and, yes, wasting everybody’s time by taking everything so damned literally, while the anarchists in the shadows smiled to themselves, awaiting their turn."

“Liberalism used to be about freedom, but now it’s about a kind of warped moral authority that is actually part of the moral superiority movement,” he continued.

“This faction of the Left is touchingly now known as The Resistance. Oh yes, ‘The Resistance’ - what is this resistance? There are posters all around my neighbourhood in West Hollywood urging me to ‘Resist. Resist. Resist.’

“Some of us, who did not vote for Trump and located exactly who he was decades ago - I wrote about this in American Psycho [in which Trump is serial killer Patrick Bateman’s hero] - some of us had been wondering, 'resist what exactly? And who’s telling us to resist whatever? The people who voted for the candidate who lost? I’m supposed to listen to them? What am I supposed to be resisting?'

“Well I’m certainly resisting the childish meltdowns I’ve been witnessing at dinners and on social media and on late night TV and too many times in my own home in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory last November […] In fact, many of these people I knew who were disappointed in the Trump victory and moved on, were also appalled by the childlike liberal disbelief of their own party that was manifesting itself in embarrassing ways, with so many morning-after posts titled hysterically ‘What am I going to tell my daughter?!’

You can listen to the podcast in full here.