Like you, I’ve found it profoundly amusing to watch the Left completely lose their composure over the last four years. They’ve obviously been having a blast as well, even if their frenzied ideological crescendo does look more like bad trip from the outside. Loudly complaining, frothing at the mouth with threats and profanity, rioting in the streets, attempting to gun down legislators and burn down federal facilities is, after all, their idea of a good time, sick as that might be.
Viva La Resistance…
I’ve learned a lot from this display, and how it compares to our own adventures of the last few years. I was contemplating those lessons this morning as I watched the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s testimony from Wednesday, and I was chuckling to myself about the implications as I did.
Just a few short years ago, I was pretty well convinced that the entire concept of the State was some kind of unnatural superstition which mankind would have to overcome in order to see his full potential unbound. I suppose one could be forgiven for this worldview, given where things were at during that time. I had a pretty poor conception of what it mean to to be “Right Wing” and the Left seemed to be firmly in control of both parties. If the GOP establishment had their way, our answer to Barack Obama would have been Jeb Bush, and if the libertarians were to prevail, we’d have Rand Paul race shaming us about the drug war’s disparate impact on blacks.
Met with either of those choices, or Hillary Clinton, a bloody civil war which I’d surely not survive, sounded like the more appealing option.
The Trump effect was, and remains, profoundly transformational. Even as he proves a staggering failure in terms of execution, his cultural impact is a rather spectacular gift.
In 2015, you had to be a careful observer to realize that the Left was dangerously out of step with reality. Transgenderism was successfully tailgating gay marriage through our cultural turnstyle, without paying the fare. BLM race riots were accepted by most as a legitimate expression of an oppressed group’s frustration with civil rights abuses. Referring to elected Democrats as communists was largely seen as hyperbolic. It mattered if somebody called you a racist.
The Left had a certain way about them, that they would bombard us with propaganda for some sick idea or another, and without even waiting for that concept to be fully accepted, they would pretend it had been so solidified, and move on to the next. Conservatives, still dizzy from the last battle, abandoned their prior defenses, and rushed to build new ones against the next onslaught, in a ceaselessly repeating pattern of defeat.
The effect was to stifle debate and keep Republicans on constant defense, and without any meaningful opposition to Leftist ideas, we can hardly act surprised that their cultural domination went unabated.
When Trump came in and made immigration the central issue, refusing to budge, and masterfully manipulating the media, the whole process was short circuited. Leftists had only one playbook, and suddenly the rules had changed. They kept trying to propose more and more extreme ideas, but the country was fixated on Trump and the border. Their extremism, which one once could not recognize without fine tuning of one’s perceptions, suddenly became obvious to casual observers.
Meanwhile, the Alt Right had emerged and adopted many of the rhetorical tactics the Left had previously mastered. Trump was talking about enforcing existing immigration laws, and we were talking about a full blown ethnostate. The Overton Window, for the first time in my recollections, had begun to move in the other direction. When the Left found themselves outside of it, rather than adapt to the changing circumstances, they started throwing rocks at it. This, shockingly enough, did not endear them to the people inside the building.
Things changed in August of 2017. The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville proved to be a master stroke by the Left. They poured all of their cultural, financial, political, and criminal resources into this attack, and we were overwhelmed.
Trump tried to hold the line, “fine people on both sides” etc… But this quickly dwindled to condemnations of bigotry. Steven Bannon was ousted from the administration. Conservative media dared not question the narrative of the story, for fear of being lumped in with Nazis. We were banned from every major social media platform and payment system. It became impossible to meaningfully respond to the slander. Guys went to jail, and those who remained free, were keen to keep it that way.
Suddenly, masked anarchists who made no secret of their violence, were hailed as “a courageous group of Americans”. Rioting had been functionally legalized.
Our own people turned on one another, and a circular firing squad snuffed out what external pressures could not.
In celebrating their victory, the Left returned to their usual excesses with reckless abandon. They were quickly rewarded with modest victories in the 2018 midterm elections, which included the ushering in of “the Squad” – Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Presley, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. These radicals took center stage in the political discourse, as the Left wing media, now walled off from all criticism thanks to social media censorship, drifted from reality and the pulse of public opinion.
By this same mechanism, they convinced themselves that the Mueller investigation would result not only in Trump’s impeachment, but his imprisonment. They became completely deaf to the blaring sirens that this was not the case, and overplayed their hand. They pounded the Russia conspiracy drum incessantly, and when the Mueller report failed to produce the goods, they were stunned. Rather than reevaluate, they dragged Muller before congress on the hopes that their low IQ constituents would be better convinced of the story if they could “see the movie”.
Instead, they got a doddering old man who didn’t even recognize the name of Fusion GPS. Mueller had noted at the outset that it was unusual for a prosecutor to testify, and it quickly became obvious that he was wholly unprepared to be cross examined.
Some on the Left were ready to reassess their strategy, but they seem to be in the minority now. The currents of radicalism sweeping through the Democrat Party, are now too powerful to tame. One might doubt the reality of this, since those responsible for shaping public perceptions are those most out of touch with the rest of the country. Fortunately for us, Democrat candidates are dependent upon the taste makers for their cues, and it thus appears unlikely that they will be altering course before next year’s elections.
Party-centric electoral politics is a difficult balancing act, particularly in a milieu so polarized as the one in which we find ourselves. One must promise enough to their side to win a party primary, without alienating the less informed, or providing too much energy to the other side. Once they win their primary, they have to pivot and appeal to the center, without alienating those who supported them in the primary, or coming off like a total flip flopping hypocrite.
Trump is terribly unlikely to face a serious primary challenger, and his ideological pivot was facilitated by an uncooperative Republican Party. Simultaneously, he has so enraged the Left that they have completely lost their composure, and gone out of step with the rest of the country.
At first glance, it is difficult to imagine any of the Democrat candidates pulling off that necessary pivot. How does one go from open borders and free everything for everyone who can cross a geopolitical boundary, to anything resembling sanity? They can’t.
But the idea I’m getting at is a lesson for us to learn, rather than to gloat about our prospects for a coming election. Shifting the Overton Window isn’t just about being extreme. It’s about finding the edge of allowable opinion, and bumping against it repeatedly so as to move it in the desired direction. Angrily screaming from outside the house is a futile exercise which alienates one from those inside.
The test of political talent is whether one can maneuver with changing perceptions to maintain one’s position on that edge and effectively shift perceptions as desired. Fail to do that, and you cease to be at the ideological vanguard, and are instead relegated to Mayor of Crazytown.
There’s a lot more to get to, plus your calls at 323-9-AGENDA, that’s 323-924-3632
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