Trump Gores a Sacred Cow, and Liberals Lament
The great Broom of Time recently swept away another failed ideology and political movement.
On the 20th of January, the dustbin of history will slam shut on the Utopian American Progressive Left. Followers, leaders, and philosophers of this dangerous and failed global movement will not go quietly, however; ideas die hard, and ideologies, movements, and political theories do not simply disappear overnight.
Inauguration Day 2017 will mark perhaps the greatest political and cultural shift in American history as the Utopians of the Progressive Left kick and scream, wail and whine as they shuffle off into forced retirement and irrelevance. Perhaps not since Lincoln's trip to Washington in early 1861 to begin his first term has so much vitriol, so many official and unofficial attempts to derail and delegitimize the president-elect, been seen.
Many have commented on the astounding and disturbing reaction of those now out of political power in the United States. The gross irony of Mrs. Clinton's admonishments during the election that Mr. Trump must promise to accept the election results (her victory was assured, remember?) in light of her supporters' post-election unwillingness to do the same is lost on the majority of them.
That the reaction of the Utopian Progressive Left is based upon anger, resentment, hatred, intolerance, and pique rather than logic is not important to them; it is a point that remains always unaddressed. Every political "dirty trick" that seems obviously a sham is accepted at face value, and bitter attacks built upon these false accusations immediately begin. The dizzying speed of the reactions, the overwhelmingly standardized nature of the talking points and commonly invoked yet faulty arguments, suggests a uniformity of thought more typical of an ideological movement or cult than of reasoned, cogent advocacy for a political candidate within a democratic open society.
This appears to be the essential complaint of the Utopian Progressive Left in the aftermath of the defeat of their champion, the shoe-in "first female president": If the Russians hadn't hacked the chairman of the campaign's email account and exposed what appears to be massive legal, ethical, and moral breaches, then our candidate would have won!
Whichever five-year-old boy in Russia, Italy, Sweden, the United States, Canada, or North Korea may have sent that phishing email to Mr. Podesta by which he himself then exposed his account to public scrutiny via WikiLeaks – which then blew the election discussion wide open to matters of great import not previously known – should not be so viciously berated, but rather applauded for his service to the country. For those on the left, the "hack" is critically important, but the revelations exposed are not worthy of discussion. Consider: how difficult can it really be to "hack" an email account that has "password" for a password?
We Americans once were obsessed with the truth, honesty, etc. We say these things to our children – tell the truth! Be honest! Do the right thing! Then, in this case, when we get the truth, one large segment of the voting public attacks the messenger and ignores the truth revealed. This is upside-down thinking. That the "hack" was unethical and criminal is agreed upon by all, but its importance in comparison to the information consequently made public is entirely overblown.
The reaction of the Utopian Progressive Left is so extreme, excessive, intolerant, and often cruel because this election is not about the fall of the Democratic candidate for president. Rather, it is about the collapse of an ideology at least 50 years in the making.
Imagine coming of age in a world in which the prevailing institutions of culture and government speak a similar political and ideological language ("the narrative") that is singular, slanted, biased, rigid, self-deceiving, and pervasive. If the Utopian Progressive Left narrative is trumpeted in the media by fellow traveler "journalists" and in the halls of early education and the universities by teachers and professors; trotted out in film, music, and the general popular entertainment culture by most "artists"; and supported and espoused in the rhetoric of political leaders at the highest levels and in the policies of the government (until now) itself, the imprint of this pervasive worldview becomes impossible to avoid. It became for many the default viewpoint and one not to be challenged. For decades, this has been extraordinarily effective with millions and millions of converts and true believers.
How could the response from the followers of this self-congratulatory and insular viewpoint to the destroyer of it be anything other than the disturbing reaction that we now see? For those who live in the world of Progressive Utopian globalism, a world of self-delusion, false narratives, and fantasies, these are the darkest of times, rife with existential angst.
One of the first seemingly introspective responses from the leadership of the Democratic Party after the election was that Democrats had failed to "own the narrative" and were unsuccessful in communicating their "vision." This suggests a failure of marketing rather than a flawed message. But the key point is missed: if the narrative is a message of a failed political ideology, the narrative and the ideology must fall. This is how our system is supposed to self-correct.
Ours is not a direct democracy. The president is not elected by a direct vote of the people. The Electoral College stands between the people and the president because most of the Founders feared the masses and wanted an institution in place as a balance against their numbers. Our "checks and balances" system includes this check against the people themselves. Essentially, it is the first and final check to protect us – from ourselves.
Daniel L. Mallock is a historian, an analyst, and an author. His book Agony and Eloquence: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and a World of Revolution was published in February 2016.