As of this writing, Joe Biden is likely to win the presidency of the United States. So why isn’t the far left in full gloat? Why isn’t Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proclaiming a new dawn for the socialist paradise that’s about to arrive?
The answer is, it’s hard to celebrate when you lose. And the radical left knows they’ve lost. Their candidates lost, their ideas lost, and their chances of enacting an agenda designed to sweep away the old America died on election night.
What happened? For once, Democrats outraised and outspent Republicans by a 3-1 margin. They embraced so-called “dark money” after calling it the biggest threat to democracy in American history.
They not only embraced it, they perfected it. But still, with all the money in the world, they had to run on the same issues. And they got clobbered. The Democrats believed public opinion polls telling them that government-run health care, free college tuition, a Green New Deal, and Black Lives Matter were all wildly popular and that embracing an agenda with those elements would finish off the Republican Party and consign it to the dustbin of history.
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But something happened on the way to the victory parade. When voters found themselves in the privacy of the voting booth, they voted their true feelings and beliefs. Reject socialism. Reject government-run healthcare. And reject the Black Lives Matter agenda that including “defund the police.”
In the end, it was an easy choice. The great divide in America between small-town rural America and big-city urban America has never been so stark, so raw and revealing. It’s like looking at inhabitants of two different planets. And for the moment, those of us on Planet Earth will maintain dominance.
If Democrats fail to pull off an improbable triumph in the Peach State, then the Biden presidency will be doomed to failure before it starts. With Mitch McConnell in control of the Senate, Biden will not be allowed to appoint a Supreme Court justice, or appoint liberals to major cabinet positions, or sign his name to a major piece of progressive legislation; and that may very well mean that the U.S. government will not pass any significant climate legislation, or expansion of public health insurance, or immigration reform, or gun safety law this decade.
As a clear sign that this divide is wider than ever, most people where I come from would read that and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s a bad thing that the government won’t pass climate change legislation, expansion of public health insurance, or gun safety laws? The author of this thumbsucker, Eric Levitz, appears to be completely oblivious to the freight train that just ran over the left. The left lost because they promoted that agenda. And while it was embraced in some urban districts, ordinary Americans decisively rejected it.
It’s not the Electoral College, or the fundamental unfairness of the existence of the Senate, or any “structural” disadvantage for the left. It’s the agenda, stupid.
Finally, although liberals can take heart at a major victory in Florida’s $15 minimum wage referendum, and various drug decriminalization or legalization ballot measures across the country, some of the most basic premises of progressive politics were rejected by voters in the bluest of U.S. states. In California, voters rolled back the labor rights of rideshare drivers and rejected a proposal for affirmative action, while in Illinois, a majority of voters refused to free their state from a constitutional obstacle to raising taxes on those who earn over $250,000 a year in the middle of a fiscal crisis. There is little reason to think that the latter outcome reflects the unpopularity of raising taxes on the affluent; heaps of polling indicate that there is broad, bipartisan support for soaking the rich. But the outcome does testify to the fact that moneyed interests are capable of poisoning even the most broadly appealing of progressive ideas in the minds of the public through well-funded propaganda campaigns.
So, the rubes were taken in by the advertising by “monied interests” and did the bidding of the capitalist elites because they can’t think for themselves and need to be told what’s in their best interests. What’s the Matter With Kansas on steroids. Maybe the rubes see through the scam of higher taxes on the rich because they know that it’s only a matter of time before they will become the left’s target for tax increases. And maybe they like the idea of being their own boss, picking and choosing when to work and when not to, as Uber and Lyft drivers get to do. Being unable to see the other side of an argument — or dismissing it as ignorant or inconsequential — is an indication of the supreme arrogance of the left and another reason their agenda was rejected.
The radicals are in no danger of losing their power. Their base will, if anything, become more fervent in their support and they will continue to raise a ton of money from the likes of George Soros and Tom Steyer. They will continue to get plenty of free air time from a media that has embraced their agenda and is all in to make it a reality.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the radicals over time, it’s that they never give up. They will be back and perhaps someday, the young snowflakes attracted by that Utopian vision will give them what they want.
Some day. But not this day.