Why leftists have no sense of humor

When asked by ABC reporter Sam Donaldson if he bore any responsibility for the fledgling economy, without missing a beat, President Ronald Regan quipped: "Yes, because for many years I was a Democrat."  The room — full of skeptical, probably left-leaning journalists — erupted in laughter.

Reagan's wit was disarming and undoubtedly swayed many moderate voters to vote for him in 1980, and most definitely in 1984.

Similarly, President Trump has displayed a quick wit and penchant for viral one-liners.  Trump's brash, East Coast demeanor comes off a bit coarser than President Reagan's Midwestern cheer, but the strategy is similar.

Contrarily, the modern Left has apparently lost its collective sense of humor.  Sure, most comedians skew heavily left, but the humor is often made at the expense of conservative figures.  Rather than laughs, late-night hosts today frequently seek adoration from the audience — a phenomenon Ben Shapiro has dubbed "clap-ter."

After all, what is there to laugh about in a world as racially, economically, and sexually polarized as modern-day America?  Even though the planet will be uninhabitable in 12 years, according to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, there is far too much wrong with our broken society.

While watching the first round of Democratic debates, I was struck not by candidates' brilliance or relatability, but rather by the downright unlikability of most of them — Sen. Gillibrand, Mayor de Blasio, and Rep. Swalwell chief among them.

Instead of cheery optimism for America's future, viewers were bombarded with a string of lines decrying the intolerance, misogyny, and downright terribleness of American society.  It was as if Howard Zinn had served as chief debate prep both nights.

Now, I'm not naïve.  This country has its share of issues to confront, but the reality is that we have never had it better than we do today.  Global poverty is dropping dramatically, people are living longer and healthier lives, and violence is decreasing around the world.  Why, then, is the Democratic Party — and, more generally, the American Left — so angry?

Presidential candidate and former HUD secretary Julián Castro hypothesized that this is because men who call themselves women don't have access to abortion.  I will let biology provide the obvious rebuttal to Mr. Castro's argument.

This deficiency will prove the Left's biggest vulnerability in 2020.  There was a stark contrast between the energy and excitement of Pres. Trump's 2020 announcement and the streak of perpetual indignation on display as Democrats continue to campaign for the presidency.

This is why ostensibly juvenile nicknames are effectively deployed by Pres. Trump to label his political opponents.  Voters gravitate to this humor, and the ability to crack a joke while running for president makes people feel better than Democrats' scorched Earth campaign decrying the injustices of the world.

The late Christopher Hitchens — hardly a stalwart conservative — summed up politics: "Whoever appears to be having the most fun is winning."  I think it's abundantly clear which side is currently having more fun right now.

Benjamin Horvath is a second-year law student at Notre Dame Law School.  Follow him on Twitter at @BenjaminHorva13.

When asked by ABC reporter Sam Donaldson if he bore any responsibility for the fledgling economy, without missing a beat, President Ronald Regan quipped: "Yes, because for many years I was a Democrat."  The room — full of skeptical, probably left-leaning journalists — erupted in laughter.

Reagan's wit was disarming and undoubtedly swayed many moderate voters to vote for him in 1980, and most definitely in 1984.

Similarly, President Trump has displayed a quick wit and penchant for viral one-liners.  Trump's brash, East Coast demeanor comes off a bit coarser than President Reagan's Midwestern cheer, but the strategy is similar.

Contrarily, the modern Left has apparently lost its collective sense of humor.  Sure, most comedians skew heavily left, but the humor is often made at the expense of conservative figures.  Rather than laughs, late-night hosts today frequently seek adoration from the audience — a phenomenon Ben Shapiro has dubbed "clap-ter."

After all, what is there to laugh about in a world as racially, economically, and sexually polarized as modern-day America?  Even though the planet will be uninhabitable in 12 years, according to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, there is far too much wrong with our broken society.

While watching the first round of Democratic debates, I was struck not by candidates' brilliance or relatability, but rather by the downright unlikability of most of them — Sen. Gillibrand, Mayor de Blasio, and Rep. Swalwell chief among them.

Instead of cheery optimism for America's future, viewers were bombarded with a string of lines decrying the intolerance, misogyny, and downright terribleness of American society.  It was as if Howard Zinn had served as chief debate prep both nights.

Now, I'm not naïve.  This country has its share of issues to confront, but the reality is that we have never had it better than we do today.  Global poverty is dropping dramatically, people are living longer and healthier lives, and violence is decreasing around the world.  Why, then, is the Democratic Party — and, more generally, the American Left — so angry?

Presidential candidate and former HUD secretary Julián Castro hypothesized that this is because men who call themselves women don't have access to abortion.  I will let biology provide the obvious rebuttal to Mr. Castro's argument.

This deficiency will prove the Left's biggest vulnerability in 2020.  There was a stark contrast between the energy and excitement of Pres. Trump's 2020 announcement and the streak of perpetual indignation on display as Democrats continue to campaign for the presidency.

This is why ostensibly juvenile nicknames are effectively deployed by Pres. Trump to label his political opponents.  Voters gravitate to this humor, and the ability to crack a joke while running for president makes people feel better than Democrats' scorched Earth campaign decrying the injustices of the world.

The late Christopher Hitchens — hardly a stalwart conservative — summed up politics: "Whoever appears to be having the most fun is winning."  I think it's abundantly clear which side is currently having more fun right now.

Benjamin Horvath is a second-year law student at Notre Dame Law School.  Follow him on Twitter at @BenjaminHorva13.