Friday, December 17, 2021

"all who gain power fear to lose it" (Sith maxim)

Great article by Victor Davis Hanson, only part of which I'll quote here:

What is behind recent pessimistic appraisals of democracy’s future, from Hillary Clinton, Adam Schiff, Brian Williams and other elite intellectuals, media personalities, and politicians on the Left? Some are warning about its possible erosion in 2024. Others predict democracy’s downturn as early 2022, with scary scenarios of “autocracy” and Trump “coups.”

To answer that question, understand first what is not behind these shrill forecasts.

They are not worried about 2 million foreign nationals crashing the border in a single year, without vaccinations during a pandemic. Yet it seems insurrectionary for a government simply to nullify its own immigration laws.

They are not worried that some 800,000 foreign nationals, some residing illegally, will now vote in New York City elections.

They are not worried that there are formal efforts underway to dismantle the U.S. Constitution by junking the 233-year-old Electoral College or the preeminence of the states in establishing ballot laws in national elections.


What then is behind this new left-wing hysteria about the supposed looming end of democracy?

It is quite simple. The Left expects to lose power over the next two years—both because of the way it gained and used it, and because of its radical, top-down agendas that never had any public support.

After gaining control of both houses of Congress and the presidency—with an obsequious media and the support of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, higher education, popular culture, entertainment, and professional sports—the Left has managed in just 11 months to alienate a majority of voters.

The nation has been wracked by unprecedented crime and nonenforcement of the borders. Leftist district attorneys either won’t indict criminals; they let them out of jails or both.

Illegal immigration and inflation are soaring. Deliberate cuts in gas and oil production helped spike fuel prices.

All this bad news is on top of the Afghanistan disaster, worsening racial relations, and an enfeebled president.

Democrats are running 10 points behind the Republicans in generic polls, with the midterms less than a year away.

Joe Biden’s negatives run between 50 and 57 percent—in Donald Trump’s own former underwater territory.

Less than a third of the country wants Biden to run for reelection. In many head-to-head polls, Trump now defeats Biden.

In other words, leftist elites are terrified that democracy will work too robustly.

After the Russian collusion hoax, two impeachments, the Hunter Biden laptop stories, the staged melodramas of the Kavanaugh hearings, the Jussie Smollett con, the Covington kids smear, and the Rittenhouse trial race frenzy, the people are not just worn out by leftist hysterias, but they also weary of how the Left gains power and administers it.

Excellent piece. Read the whole thing if you can.

I do have to respond, though, to the idea that the Republicans, upon gaining power, will do any better. With the current crop of dinosaurs in the GOP, most of whom are swamp creatures, GOPe, RINOs, and the like, there's little hope that, upon regaining power, they will realize any agenda that isn't comfortable to them. Part of what made fellow Republicans hate Trump was his richness: he was generally immune to the usual temptations that regular politicians succumb to because he was already a billionaire tycoon when he took office. Plus, as I have argued many times on this blog, Trump's values—pro-working man, America First, strong borders, nationalism—are actually more in line with those of 1990s-era Democrats, which is yet another reason why the traditional GOP lizards hate him.

If you look at how the GOP is evolving over time, there's a lot admirable to see. Young conservatives don't even give a shit, these days, about issues like gay marriage, and many are unclinching their sphincters about abortion (although I personally consider that topic something worth pondering because I have a lot of unresolved issues in my head) and any number of other social issues. Trump's reorientation of conservative thinking toward the working man, toward prioritizing America, has done wonders, especially when it comes to highlighting the evils of liberal-darling companies like Apple, which outsources its work and relies on slave labor in China to pump out its products. Even before Trump, GOPers like Rudy Giuliani, back in the day, were tackling homelessness and education and race problems that had long been the domain of the left. All of this is welcome. The left, meanwhile, has also evolved in parallel but in the opposite direction, going from this 60s-era anti-governmentalism and anti-authoritarianism—"Trust no one over 30," "Stick it to the Man," "free speech"—to the current leprous, toxic, fascistic cancel culture it now is, all while nervily accusing the right of fascism. Trust the science! The science is settled! Watch your pronouns! No badthink! Women are empowered! But women are weak and need safe spaces! Everyone needs safe spaces! Sixties comedian Lenny Bruce, no rightie by any stretch, would see today's left as the enemy to be destroyed, and I wouldn't blame him one bit.

The GOP is evolving, and often admirably, although not fast enough for my taste. That's why voters need to get rid of the swamp/GOPe/RINO dross and vote in new blood, to try to find people who are bulletproof when it comes to bribery, the usual blandishments, and other temptations. Maybe that's too idealistic of a wish, but with the advent of a table-flipper like Trump, it all suddenly seems possible. I'd love to live long enough to hear the popping sound of the nation's collective head being pulled out of its own ass. With an army of anti-swampers in many arms of government, such a thing might happen, at least for a while (because, as we know, the struggle never truly ends). Trump alone couldn't and can't do it. He needed and needs help from solid people of integrity who won't betray him. For Trump specifically, the problem is that he's a great judge of general human character, but he keeps picking Judases as his staff. Until he stops listening to the ass-kissers and bootlickers who surround him, the swamp will remain. So yes, even with a hypothetical Trump 2024, there's still a swamp problem if/when the GOP retakes power. And Trump brings part of that problem with him.

My inner totalitarian is whispering about death squads...

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