Hell Hath No Fury like a Progressive Scorned
Since the presidential election of 2016, nary has a day passed without loudly professed "outrage": Madonna daydreams of blowing up the White House; an undulating pink sea of pussy hats marches for ill defined goals; a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. is reportedly removed from the White House; Berkeley Antifa manlets smash windows and start fires; House majority whip Steve Scalise is nearly murdered and others wounded by James Hodgkinson; high-ranking "Russiagate" FBI investigators are revealed as deeply partisan. White House officials are menaced in public, egged on by Democratic lawmakers and activists. Trump-supporters – or those thought to be – are physically attacked. Meanwhile, movie stars and comedians engage in escalating one-upmanship of Donald Trump-hatred – and hatred of Trump voters.
Before the election, progressives seemed merely condescending snobs, as when Bill Maher and his audience laughed when Ann Coulter predicted that Trump would earn the Republican nomination. After Trump's nomination, progressive snobbery was inflected with scorn, as when Hillary wondered, "Why aren't I fifty points ahead?" One answer – among many – is that she can't mask her loathing of that "basket of deplorables." The WikiLeaks release of emails confirm her loathing, as when her campaign manager wrote: "[S]he is beginning to hate everyday Americans." The rejection of Hillary Clinton, the anointed one, shocked not only her – it shocked the entire Democratic political class and its media collaborators in New York and Hollywood.
Now, in the summer of 2018, progressive snobbery has mutated into misanthropy. Many progressive causes – full employment, withdrawal from international trade deals, a fresh response to North Korea – have been tackled by Trump. The fear of displacement by a despised president is at the heart of progressive rage. Hell hath no fury like progressives scorned.
Bill Maher, high priest of the Smart Set, despises the working class for its rejection of Hillary Clinton. On his June 8, 2018 broadcast, he hoped that the economy "crashes" so Trump will lose in 2020. Maher's misanthropy is instructive. As Americans find their footing in a much improved labor market, Maher roots for disaster: lost jobs, lost health insurance, lost homes, aborted college educations, divorces, more opioid deaths. Maher's scorn was predictably applauded by his audience of trained seals. If Maher's wish comes true, many who applauded Maher will be unemployed and worse, though Maher will demand that they shut up and keep applauding.
Maher's misanthropy is simply hatred disguised – poorly disguised – as moral superiority. We see that hatred in him, in Hillary Clinton, and in the partnership of legacy media and Hollywood's figures of conscience: Steven Colbert, Kathy Griffin, Michael Moore, Peter Fonda, Rob Reiner, etc.
The government's response to illegal immigration has especially inflamed progressive rage. We are bombarded with alarming images of children separated from their parents and shabby propaganda from Time magazine, with its cover of Trump gazing down at a little girl who was separated from her mother – except that the little girl was not. We hear demands that ICE be abolished.
More than any other issue, immigration reveals the chasm between the progressives and the working class. For decades, most Americans of all ethnicities have wanted lower immigration numbers only to be told they're racists. As Rob Reiner tweeted on January 21 of this year: "GOP frightened to death of the browning of America. They will lose this last big battle of the Civil War. Diversity is our strength." Reiner's hypocrisy is remarkable. He praises diversity while fleeing it: he resides in Malibu, California, the population of which – according to the 2010 census – is 87.4% non-Hispanic white.
Beyond making claims of bigotry, progressives trot out the old "immigrants do jobs that Americans won't do." Having suffered during the Great Recession, that treacle gained little working-class traction. The working class must also endure finger-pointing lectures about their stupidity, as when they're told mass immigration doesn't dampen wages. Even during hard times, so goes the argument, high levels of immigration defy the laws of supply and demand. By a virtuous miracle, millions of unskilled, illiterate aliens flood the labor market, and working class wages don't suffer. This suspension of supply and demand must confound the cheap labor lobby, which agitates for more H1-B and H2-B visas and defends the absurd diversity visa lottery.
Even in the current economy, much recovered from two years ago, unemployment in June went up even as more people entered the job market. Why? Because the population simply grows faster than the job market, and most of the population is driven by immigration, legal and illegal.
At least on that issue – cheap labor – the Business Roundtable and can join hands with Michael Moore, "critic" of capitalism.
In due time, the federal government will reunite illegal alien parents with their children, but immigration will still demand attention. As summer gives way to fall, progressives engage in radical chic by loud demands for open borders, though their position is hardly new. On July 3, 1984, the Wall Street Journal declared: "If Washington still wants to 'do something' about immigration, we propose a five-word constitutional amendment: There shall be open borders." Another cheap labor argument that progressives can cheer. How a welfare state survives open borders is a trifling detail to be worked out later.
What's next in the immigration wars? In the short term: more failed bills in Congress, more finger-pointing, and more moral exhibitionism. Interparty tensions will intensify. As the 2018 midterm campaigns heat up, progressives will grow more emboldened and confrontational. There are signs of this now: the Democratic establishment is anxious about the surprise primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young Democratic Socialist. America's most famous socialist, Bernie Sanders, remains a national figure, and his supporters still seethe at the alliance of CNN and the Democratic establishment. Out on the West Coast, Kevin de León, competing for Dianne Feinstein's Senate seat, defeated Feinstein in a vote in the California Democratic Party's endorsement. De León is a major architect of California's sanctuary state movement. And speaking of California, Senator Kamala Harris has emerged as a progressive powerhouse, claiming that California is the future of the nation. This is chilling, as California is the most impoverished of our fifty states. California looks increasingly third-world: the ultra-wealthy moral superiors smirking down upon the growing masses of poor. How this vision plays in the Rust Belt remains to be seen.
As the midterm election season peaks, Trump-hatred will not be sufficient to unite the Democrats. The establishment and progressives will battle for the party's future, and emotions will run high, especially if the economy remains strong. Prestige, power, money, careers – all are at stake. The establishment and progressives might very well turn on one another, fangs bared, and eat one another alive: Democraticide.