2016 and the Collapse of the Cultural Left
It's been happening gradually over the past 35 years but suddenly, it seems, cultural leftism is on the verge of imminent collapse. The phenomenon surrounding the candidacy of Donald J Trump is not a sideshow but an opening act. He may not win the nomination, but through insult comedy, Trump isn't spurring a movement as much as he's fanning what is at once a revolt and a celebration -- a celebration of the rapid demise of the 60s-era New Left and its cultural and economic implications. The fact that the leader of the celebration is a famous former liberal New York billionaire/amateur comedian is quite apropos.
One need only look at the Democratic Party frontrunners to see the last hurrah of the bra-burners and the bead-wearers. In one of history's greatest paradoxes, Second Wave feminism found its ultimate champion in Hillary Rodham Clinton as she stood by her philandering man and trashed his concubines. She is now the frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination for president and the ambassador of feminist revenge. The smug cynicism of her campaign so far has made this clear. Bernie Sanders, the Ben and Jerry Socialist, represents a pathetic attempt to avenge the great hippie shutout of the 1970s. He's the return of George McGovern from beyond the grave. Hillary Clinton began her political career by publicly insulting a United States Senator to his face and authoring a paper in which she advocated for complete autonomy for children and compared the family unit to slavery. Bernie Sanders began his political career as a professional activist while on unemployment. One of his first proposals was to expand highway entrance ramps for easier hitchhiking. Behold! America's future!
The political events of the past few weeks should render solemn pause to liberal elites. Election Day 2015 was a major repudiation of unravelling 60s Leftism. Kentucky (one of the last bastions of Southern Democratic Party strength,) elected its second Republican governor in 48 years. I'm not versed enough in Kentucky politics to know all the reasons for this, but I'd imagine reaction to the Kim Davis saga may have been circling the minds of the state's conservatives. Ohio voted down marijuana legalization; Virginia voted down more "gun control" -- an embarrassment to the state's governor, Clinton lapdog Terry McAuliffe. It seems that Hillary's recent announcement of a draconian "gun control" plan ended up being rather inconvenient.
A major rebuke of the 2015 elections was the repudiationof the post-gay marriage slippery slope. Houston's lesbian activist mayor, Annise Parker, pushed forward a gay rights bill that included the right for men who say they identify as women to use our wives' bathrooms and shower with our daughters. It proposed that any business that failed to abide be slapped with a $5,000 fine. That's not all -- during the initial lawsuit the city of Houston subpoenaed the sermons and papers of pastors of churches who believe God isn't necessarily keen on this whole thing. The law went down in flames.
One of the pitfalls of progressivism is that the "progress" never ceases until it eventually collapses on itself. The sky is the limit, and in that, any manner of ridiculousness is eventually permissible. That is, until the electorate decides "alrighty, that's quite enough now!" The elections of 1968, 1980, and 2004 exemplify this happening in increments. As of 2016, "progress" has arguably gone beyond the sky -- hence the widespread interest in the current GOP presidential race.
Donald Trump's immigration baiting at the beginning of his campaign was offensive, but it played to the frustration and anger regarding the multifaceted mess that is the border crisis. A Latino immigrant activist group, in typical radical activist group fashion, recently proved itself hell bent on guaranteeing that its self-serving propaganda ultimately has the opposite effect. The Deport Racism PAC put up a now-viral video featuring young children telling Donald Trump and his supporters -- and others who are concerned about the immigration crisis -- to go f*** themselves. To all those Americans concerned about the security, economic, and cultural impact the immigration crisis has wrought, these youngsters have a message, and it's "f*** you, you f****** d***!" complete with a bird flip (from a 10-year-old!) It's heartwarming to know that the parents of these kids, who have not come to the U.S. using the legal channels required and are demanding citizenship, are doing their part to raise such moral and upstanding Americans. This ad should increase Donald Trump's lead by at least 10 points.
The SCOTUS decision this past June which declared that the federal government is now in the state marriage license business (and potentially rendered null and void the religious protection and free expression part of the First Amendment) has rapidly proven true the "slippery slope" theory. Within a few weeks of the decision, Salon ran an article written by an admitted pedophile who claims to have not acted upon his urges and seeks "acceptance". We must certainly have some empathy for pedophiles, since tragic circumstances of past abuse typically cause such a disorder. But under the author's presupposition that his pedophilia is not a disorder but just another "sexual orientation," however morbid, society may make the leap from "empathy" to "toleration" to "acceptance." After all, it's just another "orientation." Cue the quack studies which proclaim that pedophiles are "born this way." I just got deja vu.
What should be worrisome to the gay community is the ultimate backlash post-SCOTUS decision they may face. As cultural leftism crumbles, the gay community may become caught up in the revolt surrounding not concern about sexual mores, per se, but of issues surrounding speech and expression (including but not limited to religious faith) and government regulation of business (which includes the right of government to regulate the decisions made by autonomous businesses and organizations). Further, as liberal economic policy increases pressure on middle class families, the sense among families that government does not care about them may extend to resentment of liberal social policies that seek to extend rights to a small minority of potential sex offenders at the expense of their children. The culture of narcissism in America is nothing new, but as we slide down the slope ever so rapidly our sins become ever more apparent. The Planned Parenthood videos are yet another stunning example of our rapid decline. As children tend to quell the narcissism of youthful singleness for parents, the extension of this to the broader voting bloc of the middle class is certainly possible giving the extremism the left has lately embraced.
Hillary Clinton's coronation to feminist queenhood may prove disastrous. While working class and single women may appreciate an American Evita, middle class and educated women will not, as has been indicated in polls. The younger generation of feminists seem not to have any connection with the Steinem wing of the Second Wave. It is no longer 1972. If anything, millennial feminists (judging by jezebel.com, Lena Dunham, etc.) have more in common with the Camille Paglia, sexual libertarian wing if anything -- not necessarily a wing that takes kindly to Queen Hillary and her ilk. That said, these young feminists are leftist celebrity obsessives who will undoubtedly come out in force for Hillary anyway. Nonetheless, to the wider culture, Hillary's brand of feminism is not only insufferably autocratic, but is as dated as a polyester pantsuit. The coveted Kim Kardashian endorsement is simply not enough to veil the withering rose of 60s New Left feminism. Like most of the Democratic Party which the New Left spent decades taking over, 60s left-wing radicals are now past retirement age, and their ideology is well past its expiration date. Perhaps the New Left's demise will pave fertile ground for a conservative revolt to build upon.