Most Americans represent right-of-center thinking. Since 2010, the nation’s voters have let the left know what they think of that philosophy and those policies by voting the Republican Party to its greatest national empowerment since the fledgling party crushed the slave-loving Democrats after the Civil War. In fact, the Democrats are just a few Senate seats away from losing all relevancy as a national party – potentially being relegated to a regional urban bi-coastal party.
Should the GOP gain a super majority in the Senate, Democrats lose the only national tool in their tool box – the filibuster. Even more frightening for the progressives, who currently control the Democratic Party, is the fact that a gain of just couple more governorships and legislatures would give the Republicans the ability to call for the first constitutional convention since 1789. With control of the convention, America could be guided by a Constitution even more conservative than the original. While the prospect is already creating a lot of pants and panty wetting by the alt. left, it is not a likely prospect under any circumstances.
The 2018 election could be a setback for Republicans, but it is a matter of life and death for the Democrats. Tradition suggests that the first off year election the party in the White House usually loses seats. Good news for the Democrats. However, of the 33 Senators up for reelection, the Democrats need to defend 23 seats – and ten of those are in states won by President Trump. Good news for the Republicans.
Then there is the Trump factor. He shocked the Republican Party who saw him as a short term phenomenon (including this writer) by winning the presidential nomination against all odds. He stunned the Democrats, the radical left, the media, the pundits and the pollsters – and because of them, the public — by winning the General Election.
Progressive Democrats are giddy over the prospect of reversing their decline in 2018. They express a baseless confidence that the Donald has finally lost his support among the majority of the general public. However, for the Democrats 2018 could be, as Yogi Berra once famously said, déjà vu all over again.
Democrats are again betting on trumping Trump based on personality issues because his more conservative appointments and policies remain more popular than those of the left. Incredibly, as if totally tone deaf, the Democrats are actually moving further to the left. If one wonders why they would tack to the left in view of their unprecedented losses over the past eight years, just look at who controls and gives voice to the party.
The current agenda setters are Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, San Francisco Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New York Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Vice Chairman Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, California Governor Jerry Brown, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and former President Barack Obama. Oh, to be sure there are voices of moderation, but they are weak and lack the gravitas to effect any meaningful changes.
Note the geography of the aforementioned. Each of those individuals comes from pockets of population that represent the farthest of the far left edge of the American political spectrum. The emphasis on New York and California, with their concentration of the national news, entertainment and publishing industries, explains why so much national media panders to the left. They are inside the same social, cultural and political bubble. The bubble is more a one-way mirror into which the American public can peer, but those inside the bubble can only see their own reflection – assuming that is the real world.
So, with all this political and propaganda power why does the left keep losing? Given that the left’s policies, personalities and antics are such an anathema to the majority of Americans perhaps the better question is why do they win at all?
In a general sense, the left is on the wrong side of the historic American culture on several major points. The left is a party of a strong central government to be controlled by an elite establishment with an arrogant and self-serving sense of noblesse oblige. They form an aristocracy that must rule over those of us they deem to be less enlightened, less intelligent, less honorable and less tolerant. In their eyes, we are the people who ignorantly “cling to guns and religion” (so sayeth President Obama), are inherently racist (so sayeth Al Sharpton) or just a bunch of “deplorables” (so sayeth Hillary Clinton).
Like all authoritarian political philosophies, the left prefers to empower an ever expanding central government over the Founder’s concept of states’ rights and limited government. States’ rights and limited government are central to our cherished personal freedom and our ability as citizens to influence our government. Unfortunately, the terms “states’ rights” has been defiled by the Democratic Party’s misuse of the term to deny blacks their constitutional civil rights. Legitimate states’ rights function within the framework of the Constitution, not in opposition to it.
The second great flaw – nay, danger – in authoritarian progressive philosophy is that it operates in defiance of personal freedom. Its core function is to use government to excessively control and regulate the conduct of people. In so doing, it defies the national motto of e pluribus unum in order to create an array of politically designated internal interest groups that are managed by policies of competition and redistribution of wealth based on political advantage.
We see this in immigration. We should all agree that our immigration policy should be based on legal entry. That is common sense. So, why does the left ignore that principle to allow open borders? It is not based on humanitarian interests, but perceived political advantage.
At this time, it is believed that most illegals will support the left wing Democrat agenda as workers and voters – yes illegal voters. That is why the left defends sanctuary cities despite the fact that they are sanctuaries for drug cartellians and gang bangers. It is the same reasoning behind the left’s push to allow ex-cons to vote and why they are so reluctant to eliminate vote fraud – preposterously alleging it does not exist.
It is also why the left undermines America’s long standing sacrosanct policy of free speech. As a philosophy of power over principle, free speech is a danger to left wing control. That is why the left wing dictatorships crush free expression. The most notable examples in the world today of left wing authoritarianism can be found in such places as North Korea and Iran. While the United States cannot be compared to these nations at this point in time, it can be said that we have less freedom of speech today than in past generations, and the left is fighting to crank that down even further by restrictive legislation, where they can, and violence on campuses and in the streets, if they must.
Perhaps the Democrats greatest failure is due to their seemingly sincere belief that the American masses are stupid. If you favor a Republican, you are gullible or worse. If you are conservative, you are every negative “ism” on earth. The misnamed concept of “political correctness” is political but far from correct. It is nothing less than a political plague that attacks the very core of personal freedom. It is a form of tyranny.
The left seems to be incapable of understanding why people refuse to accept the self-servicing convoluted distortions of reality and common sense. Pushing black kids through school without an education is defined as “social promotion,” alleging that holding them back is destructive to their self-esteem. What could be more destructive to self-esteem than going out into the world ill equipped to succeed?
After years of promoting withdrawal as “leading from behind,” our foreign policy is dangerously weakened. There is no such thing as leading from behind. It is reminiscent of the old joke that the army did not retreat, but advanced to the rear.
Our Founders built a powerful and noble nation on a belief in the collective wisdom and the goodness of a free people – and at a time when very few of the citizens were formally educated. My mother used to say a person only knew what they read in books – and it was not meant as a compliment.
While there is much banter about the Republican Party being the captive of the extreme right, it is actually the Democratic Party that has fallen under the control of the radical left. Fortunately, the American people, as seen in recent election results, are smart enough to recognize snake oil salesmanship when they see it.
Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in public policy and political issues. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, and he has served as a consultant to the White House under Presidents Nixon and Reagan. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress and lectured at Harvard University, Northwestern University, Florida Atlantic University, Knox College and Hope College. An award winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.