In Nov. 2014 Republicans, esp. conservative Republicans, stormed to victory on election night. Increasing House majorities to levels unseen in most of our lifetimes, they racked up greater numbers of state legislatures and governorships while even recapturing the U.S. Senate, which had thought to be a longshot. The Democrats were depressed as U.S. county-by-county and Congressional district maps displayed a sea of red (Republican) lightly pockmarked by a handful of coastal fringe and borderland blue redoubts.
So how on earth did we end up with what just happened this week (culminating a bad few months actually)? Everywhere one looks, the left is on the warpath, getting its angry way opposition like Genghis Khan’s Mongol hordes.
Bill Kristol does a good job responding to Kevin Williamson’s great “Peak Leftism” article.
Using the election of Barack Obama in 2008 as a starting point, is this just a final desperate offensive similar to the German offensive that led to the Battle of the Bulge or Japanese kamikazes? Is it a movement entering its final, aggressive, vicious Jacobin phase like the French Revolution? Or is it an actual resurgence of the longer running leftist outbreaks like the 1930s and 1960s?
I honestly don’t know. It strikes me as odd that these seemingly resounding victories require the complete dismissal of 1/3 to 1/2 of the population — conservatives/conservative-leaning moderates. But then the Baby Boomers easily cast aside whole generations that were older than them, including hardcore Rooseveltian commies, to jump ahead in line to install themselves as the arbiters of everything that is good.
It is strange, as someone noted, that what was perfectly fine and acceptable on Monday became beyond the Pale and unacceptable in polite company on Tuesday. That falling in line with human behavior over millennia or even noting simple historical facts more than 100 years old had suddenly become prima facie evidence of bigotry and historical events must be expunged from memory and conversation. But here we are.
Much of this activity does involve, in reality, only a handful of high-profile actors demanding complete obeisance from everyone. The sudden demand that Confederate flags be banished from public site could easily have been fended off had Gov. Nikki Haley and others not so eagerly succumbed to the puny pressure from professional activists who will never be placated by anything. I won’t call her and her fellow “confederates” Quislings, though they imitate Vidkun Quisling in their aid to an enemy that seeks our subjugation. They thought they were doing something right, and maybe it was time for the flag to be removed from most state locations (though not Confederate memorials). They, in good faith, gave an inch and reached out in friendship. That a mile was taken and the hand bitten is now a given (and should have been anticipated). Whether the governor, and those like her who thought the Confederate flag was the problem, now understand this and won’t make that mistake again is yet to be determined. I suspect it’s Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football.
Swift submission by merchants such as Walmart, Sears and Amazon, along with groups such as NASCAR, when the activists said “boo!” compounds matters. I don’t think that “Confederate merchandise” was a big seller, especially outside certain locales, but their eagerness to curry favor was disturbing. Especially currying favor with activists that are often antibusiness to begin with and certainly anti-Walmart. They would have been wiser to have kept their mouths shut.
Kent Brockman’s pusillanimous welcoming, “And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords,” comes to mind.
But, honestly, many businesses are now filled with highly educated elite school-degreed executives (MBAs!) in their corporate suites. These people are liberals to the bone. They give huge amounts of money to Democrats, despite the party’s hostility to business in both increased taxation and regulation. They support liberal cause and have often co-opted their companies to do the same, even though the vast number of shareholders might disagree. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network is a perfect example of large corporations keeping alive a hostile and corrupt organization.There are hundreds of other similar examples ranging from environmental groups to racial groups — all hostile to business and often America itself — flourishing because select businesses think they can buy favor or, at the very least, be consumed last by these tax-exempt alligators.
These people read the New York Times, The Nation and Huffington Post, watch CNN, CBS and PBS, listen to NPR for their cues on “what people think” or more subversively “what people are to think.” The ability to create a stampede in those precincts has an amplifying factor. It’s just Pauline Kael’s famous confessional plea, “I don’t know anyone who voted for Nixon,” writ large. That the statement, and similar iterations, was a demonstration of gross ignorance of the greater world she lived in is ignored.
This topic is far too large to be consumed in one sitting so I will be returning to it.