Democrats In Despair

Over the course of the past 50 years, Democrats throughout America have built their voter base around four increasingly dogmatic core ideas:

  • Abortions are wonderful.
  • Free Speech is suspect.
  • Government money is endless.
  • All Americans (except for Democrats) are bigots.

Needless to say, 2022 is shaping up to be a lousy, awful, abysmal year for Democrats that might turn out to be a debacle by the time that Christmas—also known as “the holiday season” to the wildly inclusive yet weirdly exclusionary left—finally comes rolling around.

Obviously, the Supreme Court decision on June 24th in the Dobbs case, which overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade precedent and returned questions concerning the legality of abortion procedures to state legislatures, was a gut punch that Democrats somehow ignored until it was far too late.

Although many Democrats believe they can leverage liberal anger into the votes and campaign contributions that they must have to avoid disaster in the 2022 midterm elections in November, few of their base of voters will soon forget that no efforts have been made during the deeply unpopular Biden administration—and even further back during the less unpopular Obama years—to pass any federal law that guaranteed abortion access in all 50 states.  Now it is likely that roughly half of the states will either greatly restrict abortion or ban it outright, and many loyal Democratic voters are wondering whether their Party intends to fight—instead of simply fundraising off defeat.  So far, it seems the later is the more likely of the two, and this may play badly for Democrats when Election Day rolls around in about four and a half months.

It could, of course, be argued that the razor thin majorities that Democrats now hold in both the House and Senate, where they rely on Vice President Harris for a tie breaker, makes passing any federal legislation impossible for the moment, but the contrast between Democratic inaction regarding abortion access and the energy and financial resources expended for protracted investigations and hearings regarding the January 6th unrest that surrounded the certification of the 2020 Presidential election is both telling and illustrative.  In terms of addressing the fervent concerns of their base constituency, Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C. have seemed determined to fail miserably concerning an issue they claimed was sacrosanct.

In addition, diligent Democratic efforts to limit the scope of acceptable opinions regarding the issues and problems now facing America are suddenly failing spectacularly, and this has grave implications for the success of the Party in the years ahead.  Free speech is a problem if it calls into question the other core beliefs that have animated the Democrat Party over the past half century, and successful censorship—both through overt bans and strategic shaming—is critical to the success of the liberal agenda for America.

First it was Speech Codes on college campuses, which typically imposed both bans and sanctions on the expression of any belief that might contradict the prevailing leftist orthodoxy, and these academic dictum have turned any hope for an open exchange of ideas—which is supposedly the primary mission of higher education—into a cruel and punitive joke at many of our elite universities.  

This being done, the next step was to walk censorship from the campus to the town square by codifying the same ideas into state and federal laws that prohibit so-called Hate Speech, which magically transforms any legitimate policy debate about matters such as illegal immigration, gender identity, government spending, law enforcement, religious freedom, sex, and race into criminal matters that stigmatize Conservative voices and create an atmosphere where self-censorship is the unfortunate norm.  

The icing on the Cancel Culture cake was, of course, the weaponizing of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook in order to use public shaming and outright bans on posting to bully and isolate those who dared to express any un-Woke thoughts.  By turning the cyberspace town square into a heckler’s and hater’s paradise, Big Tech was able to work hand in glove with those Leftists who were determined to silence dissent—and common sense—in their quest to put a drag queen into every school and a Commissar on every corner.

However, years of litigation against campus attempts to limit student and faculty speech are now resulting in more—and more expensive—verdicts against colleges, and the dramatic national collapse in enrollments that is today decimating the higher education landscape is a warning sign that many potential students are now actively avoiding the Marxist echo chambers on college campuses.  Moreover, questions about the inevitable collisions between laws regulating the expression of our ideas or opinions and our Constitutional guarantees of free speech are animating court cases regarding the purpose and practice of laws that turn honest differences of opinion into criminalized Hate Speech.  

Both the nation’s court systems—and the much more important court of public opinion—have grown more and more wary of rubber stamping policies that limit both our national and personal discussions, and this bodes ill for both the formal and informal forms of censorship that have been so very important to Democrats for many years now.

The abject terror that has greeted the news that Elon Musk might loosen the censorship on Twitter when he finalizes his purchase of this unabashedly liberal social media platform is the clearest possible signal that Democrats see free and open debate as an existential threat.  Believing that democracy—their version of it, at least—and free speech are incompatible, many leading Democrats and Democrat-aligned commentators have been unsparing in their criticism of Twitter’s impending sale.  Having been “shadow banned” on Twitter for a number of years, my own support for freedom of speech is perhaps tainted by self-interest, but I know I am not alone in the disdain that I feel toward the arrogant and partisan censorship that has become synonymous with many of our country’s leading social media platforms.  The growth of alternative social media sites that welcome and encourage free speech over the past several years is yet another clear signal that Democrats are facing a difficult future.

And then there is the problem of government funds—or the lack thereof.

Having been running annual budget deficits since 1970–except for a few halcyon years during the Clinton administration—America now finds itself saddled with over $30 trillion of federal debt that neatly avoids any budgetary reckoning with expensive future fiscal promises we are wholly unprepared to meet.  The relentless Democratic push for free everything, which animates their left-wing policy proposals predicated on envy and distrust, is crashing headlong into the startling tyranny of 4th grade arithmetic.  The mind boggling debt overhang crushing both the federal and state levels of our government is restricting many options for new spending programs beyond borrowing—or simply printing—even more money, which further debases our currency and causes yet more painful and debilitating price inflation that erodes everyone’s quality of life.

Unfortunately for Democrats, their Party’s very existence is built around pledges to spend more, more, more on every program save those devoted to our nation’s military.  Setting aside any discussion of the wisdom or efficacy of much of this spending for the moment, the crux of the problem is that the base of Democratic voters has been trained to expect government money to continually rain down upon all manner of programs—debts and deficits be damned.  

No money means having awkward political conversations about limitations and reductions, which is not nearly as effective as sprinkling cash around like fairy dust when it is time to start running for re-election.  The real world constraints of America’s functional bankruptcy leave Democrats with little to offer voters other than a lot of whining and complaining about the cruel world that we now must inhabit.

And the foundation of much of this cruelty is, according to Democrats, built on the many bigotries baked into the fabric of American life and history.

The crucial differences that exist between differing ideas, opinions, or values and actually bigotries are neatly erased by the tribalism that is essential to the divide and conquer electoral strategy of Democrats.  The parsing and labeling necessary to support the narrative of the peculiar vision that Democrats insist we all share sometimes is absurd.  For example, criticisms of the job performance of Vice President Harris are obviously rooted in racism and sexism; however, criticisms of President Biden are bigotry-free because he is White and male.  It’s the same policies and the same Executive branch, but the messenger is, according to Democrats, inevitably the message—and this must always be held up as the truth.  

Were judgements or criticisms of others to be assessed based on the relative merits of an individual’s ideas and actions instead of characteristics involving a group identification, a pillar of the Democratic Party’s temple of virtue signaling would topple over, which means the hunt for discrimination must never, ever end.

Unfortunately, this obsession with bigotry leads to many blind spots that are damaging.  One example is the long-term problem of male students underperforming female students on every level of education, which goes unexamined and unresolved; were the situation reversed, it would be deemed a national crisis of sexism that is harming and hobbling women.  Likewise, the daily carnage of black-on-black crime in our major cities cannot be examined for causes that might extend beyond the core Democratic belief in institutional racism because this would be a racist action—so the killings are allowed to continue unabated and unsolved.

Observing the active discrimination now mandated by the admissions standards at many highly selective schools and universities in the name of equity, it is hard to see the logic inherent in engaging in the supposedly virtuous bigotry of rejecting excellent Asian students in order to admit less academically-proficient Black students.  Does the fact that so many scientists, doctors, and engineers are Asian or South Asian, in numbers not proportional to their overall population in America, demonstrate an insidious bigotry against Black students, or are we simply seeing the natural outcomes of cultural values that encourage achievement—ones which Americans of every race would do well to emulate?  

As for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is Black, publicly proclaiming “Fuck Clarence Thomas” when speaking of this distinguished Black Supreme Court Justice during a Gay Pride event, the levels of potential bigotry here become a Gordian Knot of oppressive oppression wrapped in a lovely wrapper of over-caffeinated rudeness that must torture the mind of even the most dedicated anti-racist Wokester.

Given the plain fact that applying a presumption of pervasive bigotry to every educational, workplace, law enforcement, and governmental issue tends to obscure rather than illuminate, it is perhaps unsurprising that many Americans of all races are rejecting this dynamic, which is an enormous problem for Democrats accustomed to presenting themselves as the protectors of everyone’s civil rights.  The continued erosion of support for Democrats among Black and Hispanic voters is a maddening problem that not only undercuts a core idea but also puts them in grave electoral peril—all while robbing Democrats of an immensely self-comforting belief in their own superiority.  If those whom you claim to protect are rejecting you, what do you have left to do other than post lacerating Tweets?

A recent study that shows a net gain of one million registered Republicans, particularly in the prized suburban demographic, over the past year of Biden blunders and economic malaise might not be a wind of change, but it could be a stiff breeze of dire warning.  

Democrats at both the highest and lowest levels of the Party understand all too well that the 2022 and 2024 elections could conceivably usher in an extinction-level event, which likely explains their plodding and determined pursuit of former President Trump.  Perhaps, the thinking goes, if we can indict him for something, we can win back the voters who are abandoning us in droves.  

Whether this strategy, one born of a desperation bordering on mania, will successfully forestall electoral doom is still an open question, but now that fifty years of core issues are no longer resonating with the base, a suntanned hide in the Democratic trophy room might be the very best they can still hope to achieve.