Exalted Righteousness, Tawdry Methods Lead to Walk Away
Victor Davis Hanson, writing in American Greatness, surveys how history’s bad ideas inspire the “progressives.” He focuses on the plans for court packing, the resegregation of students in universities, the growing movements to censor speech, restaurants’ decision to refuse service to those whose views they disagree with and local governments’ nullification of laws (sanctuary cities).
The common themes in all these schemes are innate to progressivism. To survive and spread, exalted righteousness always excuses tawdry methods, given the supposed ignorance and gullibility of the unenlightened.
Short-term expediency is well worth the goal of regaining power. Any smell from low tactics later can be perfumed away -- once power is back in the correct hands.
Unfortunately for them, it seems not to be working so well this time. The growing #WalkAway movement, in which lifelong Democrats publicly announce they are walking away from the party, shows they supposed wrong about “the ignorance and gullibility of the unenlightened.”
Sure, lots of people remain fooled but as the economy soars and unemployment drops to its lowest level since 1973, millennials, blacks (especially black women, the bedrock of the Democratic base today) and Hispanics seem to have caught on that the party that eschews capitalism in order to make them dependent on government largesse may not be the party to stick to. Millennials are peeling away from the party.
Brandon Straka is credited with the Facebook movement, although, of course, people like the actor James Woods preceded him as did the writers Roger L. Simon and David Mamet who explained some time ago why the Democrats no longer speak for them. And Kanye West, the black musician and fashion designer, did as well.
In any event Straka wrote: “If you are a person of color, an LGBT person, a woman or an American immigrant, the Democratic Party wants you to know you are a victim,” Straka says in the video. “This is perhaps the Democratic Party’s greatest, and most insidious, lie.”
“I am walking away. And I encourage all of you to do the same. Walk away.”
And the ranks of those walking away continue to grow:
Those who are walking away are not Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables,” but rather, in many cases, lifelong Democrats who simply could not take it any longer and have longed for this very moment, when somebody like them would make it safe for them to come out of the closet and speak their minds.
From urban gay men to staunch liberal grandmothers, from a punk drag queen with black lips to a tattooed lesbian with a mohawk, those posting testimonials all had a breaking point, a moment when they decided to “walk away.”
Different people are walking away for different reasons, but as for Blacks and Hispanics, the party guessed wrong on its hysterical, fake news based anti-ICE pro-immigration policies. Turns out a majority of blacks and Hispanics are in accord with the president’s policies on immigration. And yet, the party doubles down on this losing position:
As of this writing (Tuesday morning, July 3), no less than two Democrat senators and eight members of the House caucus are calling for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, all because a fake news story eventually metastasized into outrage among the left over how illegal immigrant families were being separated.
This, by the way, doesn’t count the most vocal opponent of ICE and the media’s newest darling: Former bartender and avowed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…
The Washington Post, on July 2 whistled past the graveyard, dismissing the movement:
#WalkAway went viral because anticipating a mass conversion of Democrats to its side is an idea that the pro-Trump Internet loves to share. Those who represent the possibility of this conversion become conservative celebrities.
When Kanye West tweeted praise of Candace Owens -- a conservative commentator who believes that black people have been brainwashed by the media to vote for Democrats -- the right-wing Internet saw an opportunity for a mainstream prophet, whose huge platform would bring around the End Times for liberalism.
When PewDiePie, a YouTuber with more than 50 million subscribers, followed Alex Jones’s Twitter account, the Infowars personality aggressively courted him for an interview on his show. If Jones could reach PewDiePie’s young audience, the movement could grow.
The pro-Trump Internet is really good at convincing its audience that going viral signals popular opinion, that its movement is and always will be #winning. In this case, #WalkAway is the answer to the possibility of a Blue Wave in the 2018 midterms. It doesn’t need to be true to be effective. After all, the hashtag has now become an article in The Washington Post.
Four days later, Democratic congressman Dov Hikind, Senator Chuck Schumer’s own
congressman New York State Assemblyman from Brooklyn, announced he was walking away from the party and pledged to vote Republican.
Hikind castigated Schumer for promising to fight "for Democratic values" while providing little in means of substance.
"Senator Schumer, in your letter you promise to fight for Democratic values and go on at great length to fully villainize the current administration, but you left out certain facts that my fellow Democrats, to say nothing of all Americans, should also be aware of," Hikind wrote.
The assemblyman lambasted Schumer and national Democrats for downplaying the impact the Trump administration has had in fostering economic growth
"You forgot to tell us about the economy. As good as it’s been, economists expect even more growth through the end of the year. That’s very good news," Hikind wrote. "You forgot to tell us about unemployment, which is lower than it has been in decades, while economic confidence is at a 17-year high."
Hikind also expressed support for the tax cuts proposed by the president and enacted by congressional Republicans.
"You forgot to tell us about tax cuts. I’m part of the middle class and now I’m getting a little extra in my paycheck," he wrote. "I’m happy about that and so are tens of millions of Americans, Senator."[snip] You forgot to tell us about the most remarkable relationship between the United States and our ally Israel ever. Or about moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which you yourself applauded," Hikind wrote. "You forgot to tell us about the successful dismantling of the Iran Deal… [that] threatened the rest of the world by making it easier for Iran, the leading supporter of world terrorism, to develop nuclear weapons."
The assemblyman bemoaned the Democratic Party's leftward lurch, which Hikind argues Schumer has helped advance by supporting individuals like Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) for leadership positions in the party.
(Seems like just yesterday I was batting away Democratic lies that Trump hated Jews and was another Hitler.)
In the meantime, as the Democrats double down on stupid, voter satisfaction keeps rising.
The satisfaction rate, which Gallup has measured at least monthly since 2001, has now topped 35% three times this year -- a level reached only three times in the previous 12 years (once each in 2006, 2009 and 2016).
Satisfaction with the nation is now back to the historical average of 37% for this trend, which was first measured in 1979, but is far below the majority levels reached in the economic boom times of the mid-1980s and late 1990s.
In its first four years (1979 and 1981-1983), satisfaction failed to reach 37% in any poll, but then routinely reached or exceeded that level in 1984 through 2005 polling, with the exception of 1992-1995 (excluding one 36% reading in 1994). After a January 2006 reading of 36%, satisfaction failed to surpass 35% the rest of that year, and with the economic calamities that followed over the next few years, it descended into single digits in two 2008 polls and has subsequently stayed mostly below 30%.
The center left is dying and Matthew Continetti explains why:
This is a trend that has been building for some time but over the last two years acquired galvanic force. Why? Is it because the nature of the threat that Donald Trump represents to the left? Is it because, as Victor Davis Hanson has argued, Trump denied the left the power it considers its due? Or is it because Barack Obama, despite all of his purple rhetoric and fantastic publicity, was unable even to approach his goal of "fundamentally transforming" America -- because he left the Democratic Party a smoking ruin, and bequeathed a regulatory and policy legacy as fragile as a paper crane?
All of these explanations for the resurgent left have some merit. I am especially partial, naturally, to the one that pins responsibility on Obama, who raised the hopes of a generation that the waters would cease to rise only to hand over command of the ship eight years later to Donald Trump and become a Netflix producer. Still, it is important to recognize that the collapse of the center-left is not limited to America. It is a global phenomenon. Obama and Clinton may have broken the Democratic Party, but don't hold them responsible for the destruction of the French Socialists, the fall of the Italian Democratic Party, the takeover of Labor by Jeremy Corbyn, the worst result by the German Social Democratic Party since World War II, and the triumph of López-Obrador in Mexico.
If there is a common denominator to these electoral shakeups, it is the politics of migration. The overthrown establishments all benefited from the economics of illegal immigration and used migrants as chits in a humanitarian sweepstakes in which the leader who signals the most virtue wins. Migration became a symbol for the "flat world" of globalization where not just people but also cultures, goods, and investments flowed freely, borders had little meaning, and sovereignty was pooled upwards to transnational bureaucracy as identity was reduced to racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual characteristics. The fantastic wealth produced by the global marketplace enriched the center-left to such a degree that its adherents became walled off from the material, social, and cultural concerns of the working people they professed to represent. And so middle-class workers who believe a country's leadership ought to be accountable to a country's citizens went elsewhere -- devastating the ranks of the center left and creating a vacuum for the neo-socialists of the twenty-first century.
I think he’s right -- it’s immigration and that seems to reflect a trend throughout the western world. People have come to the conclusion that open borders policy is not such a really super idea. It destroys traditions and national culture as it overwhelms social welfare programs and law enforcement by flooding their countries with people unsuited to the available work opportunities, who don’t assimilate and who hold views inimical to theirs.
Tongue in cheek, Andrew Klaven offers a countermovement to #WalkAway --“the #DescendIntoEmotionalInfantilism and become a Democrat movement with Five Reasons to Shift to the left.”
In sum, like Bill Clinton and Harvey Weinstein you can treat women very badly while posing as their champion by supporting abortion. You can become the darling of late night comedians. You can be as uncivil as you want to be while virtue signaling. ”You can pretend to like black people while setting up the systems of dependence, family disintegration, and resentment and envy that make it unlikely any black child will ever compete with your child for a good job.” And last, but not least in his reasons to stick to the party: You never have to learn the facts, but can just turn on the TV and hear your ill-formed opinions echoed back at you to justify your marching and screaming.
I don’t think I’ll follow his suggestion. I’m planning on making lots of popcorn in November because I think the party platform of raising taxes, open borders, identity politics, massive redistribution, calls to violence and censorship, increasing regulatory hamstrings on the economy, and supporting corruptocrats in the UN, Iran, and Palestine are the ticket to ride – to defeat.