Summary: The 2020 election might be a moment of truth for the Democratic Party as its liberal establishment confronts the powerful Left they have nurtured for so long. Whether the Democrats win or lose, American politics will not be the same.
The Democratic Party in 2020?
The Left sees the election and gets excited!
Matthew Yglesias, a Leftist “intellectual”, exults about this “news.” By “news”, I mean a poll by the Leftists at Data for Progress, a think-tank created by the Leftists at Tides Advocacy. There is a lot of money backing the Left in America today.
“Data for Progress used the Lucid survey sampling platform to test three different versions of a Sanders and Trump polling matchup question. The survey was in the field from January 9 to January 19 of 2020 and ran these three polls:
- No information: “If the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump?”
- Partisan cues: “If the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump?”
- Socialists and billionaires: “If the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Democrat Bernie Sanders, who wants to tax the billionaire class to help the working class and Republican Donald Trump, who says Sanders is a socialist who supports a government takeover of healthcare and open borders?”
“In all three versions, Bernie beats Trump, albeit by slightly different margins. Sanders does best in the version of the question that provides no information at all.”
Not a surprise to me that Bernie Sanders, running as everybody’s grandfather, does best in a matchup that gives no information at all. Ditto that he does so in one that gives no information about Trump and misleading information about Sanders. It is misleading because although Trump is a serial liar, he is correct in this. Sanders describes himself as a socialist and plans to open America’s borders (with big welfare for migrants, to make sure there are lots of them).
Sanders has run for office under many banners, including the socialist Liberty Union and Vermont Progressive Parties. He described himself as a socialist when Mayor of Burlington (1981-1989). And he does so today (e.g., here, here). If elected, one of his first acts will be a government takeover of health care sector – a big first bite taking 18% of the US economy. He also plans a massive expansion of the government’s share in the electricity generation industry (5% of GDP).
They carefully constructed the poll question because none of these are popular with the US public: open borders (with big benefits for migrants), fully-run government health care, and government ownership of industry (which has a horrific history around the world). Best for the Left to keep these things out of the news as long as possible.
The revolution grows more radical
I have shown in previous posts that revolutions tend to grow more radical over time. That is true even for the Left’s slow-motion revolution in the US. It is a smart strategy. Unlike frogs, people will allow themselves to be boiled by radicals if done slowly.
Bernie Sanders shows us one mechanism by which this occurs. Liberals nurtured and supported the growth of radical leftists, using them as shock troops against conservatives. How they laughed! But with the support and protection of mainstream liberals, the Left has again grown strong enough to challenge them for control of the Democratic Party. With their powerful (and lavishly funded) pressure groups, plus their dominance in academia and the news media, the Left is far stronger than when they staged their coup in 1972.
Should he win, Sanders will be 79 on inauguration day. He will be a genial figurehead while his team of radical leftists (a large fraction of whom are radical fourth-wave feminists) pushes hard to restructure America. His shiny VP will be a doctrinaire radical, unelectable in her own right – but will eagerly step into Sanders’ shoes when he resigns due to ill health (or dies).
But this is unlikely, for the Left’s beliefs thrive politically only when kept in the shadows. Journalists will do their best to maintain the masquerade, but Trump will glory in telling the public about Sander’s plans for America. Unless we fall into a recession in the next nine months (possible but unlikely; the GDPnow model predicts Q1 GDP growth of
2.7% 2.9% as of Feb 3), the Democratic Party could suffer a historic setback .
But if the Liberal establishment successfully suppresses the Left, there will internecine civil war in the Democratic Party. No matter what happens, it seems likely that the Democratic Party will again have difficulty defeating what should be a very weak opponent. This is pitiful, since they have a dozen governors and senators who could be strong challengers to Trump.
Update: about the 1972 election
The Left staged a successful coup in the 1972 presidential election, nominating George McGovern as the Democratic Candidate. He got only 38% of the popular vote, giving Nixon the fourth-largest winning margin in US history. There was only a small impact on other elections. The Democrats lost two seats in the Senate and gained 13 in the House.
The current conflict in the Democrats is much deeper than in 1972. The Left has far more institutional support and funding. It is far more radical vs. the national “center” than in 1972. And the Left has changed. McGovern’s platform would be in the mildly liberal in today’s politics (see one of his campaign brochures).
This is the New Left stepping onto the national stage, much as the New Right did in 1964.
The bigger picture: this is a new Left
Whatever happens in 2020, America now has a powerful European-style Left-wing political organization. Well funded, with deep organizational roots and a well-developed ideology. During the next economic downturn, they will make another bid for power. They are resolute in their hatred for American culture and their burning desire to burn it to the ground and rebuild a Leftist society on its ruins.
For More Information
Ideas! For some shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.
If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about ways to reform America, about the Left-wing, about the Right-wing, and especially these…
- The Left goes full open borders, changing America forever.
- Visions of America if the Left wins.
- The key insight: the Left hates America and will destroy it.
- The Left can win in 2020 and dominate US politics.
- The middle in American politics has died. Now extremists rule.
- Glimpses of the political revolution just starting.
- About the slow-mo revolution by the Left.
- Rep. Castor tells Google to fix ‘free speech.’
One of the big textbooks for radicals
Rules for Radicals:
A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals.
By Saul D. Alinsky (1971).
From the publisher …
“Rules for Radicals is Saul Alinsky’s impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know “the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.” Written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best.
“Like Thomas Paine before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the American democratic tradition.”
17 thoughts on “Triumph of the Left over the liberals who nurtured them”
If I am not mistaken. The liberals were also purged in Soviet Russia. The non-Authoritarian Left got lined up against the wall so to speak.
“The liberals were also purged in Soviet Russia.”
That’s an important historical pattern. It’s ecology. Liberals and the Left are in the same biome, competing for the same resources. As they grow, there is an inevitable clash. In Russia the Left (Bolsheviks, Lenin et al.) were cats, the “liberals” (Mensheviks) were mice.
Yes, in both the French and the Russian revolutions, as they progressed, the leadership became more and more extreme, culminating in the French case in the Terror and in the Russian case with the seizure of power and the purges by the Bolsheviks.
In both cases there was a national crisis under way. In France there were repeated bad harvests, a civil war in the Vendee, and foreign invasion. In Russia there was the catastrophic military defeat accompanied by huge casualties and the civil war. In the Russian case there was a lurch away from strict socialism with the New Economic Policy, followed by the orgy of killing under Stalin in the 1930s. In France, after the wilder excesses of the Terror Robespierre fell, and the focus moved from ideologically based gestures to practical government.
Its not clear that these cases have much to tell us about the progress of events in political parties in a modern Western country which is not in such an extreme situation.
Also, its not entirely clear that these cases are best described by a move to the extreme. It may be that a more illuminating categorization would be a move to a leadership which is oriented to mass murder. This seems to have characterized other similar episodes, Pol Pot and China for instance. Perhaps a better way to look at it is that they have more in common with Ruanda and Nazi Germany than describing it as a move to the extreme suggests.
Its true that in both the UK and the US at the moment we are seeing a move to the left by the leadership of the main left political party. The omens are not good for the electoral success of this in either case. Larry points to McGovern in the US. A similar pair of cases in the UK have been Foot and now Corbyn. Corbyn’s leadership, anti semitic, doctrinaire socialist, was decisively rejected in December last year. In the absence of a real crisis, the split between leadership and electorate may make these cases including in the US self correcting.
The English Revolution is significant and unusual for not having entered a terror phase, and the reasons why it did not are worth reflection.
Given your current writing, I was going to suggest that it was a good time to discuss “Rules for Radicals.”
As with Mao and many of the strategies used by AQ, we still do not understand.
Points #4 and #13 are being used rather effectively internally.
1.”Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”
2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
3. “Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
8. “Keep the pressure on.”
9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.”
12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Rules for radicals is always in play with politics.
What’s your viewpoint on Daniel larison?
I agree with some of his work, disagree with others. I read them as individual articles, and so don’t know his views as a whole. My guess is that he’s a guy who will work to slow down the Left, carping about details while they win.
These recent posts are, imo, spot-on.
This one is silly, as the far-Left foreign policy views of Warren and Sanders are well-hidden (he doesn’t mention them, either): https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/they-issue-an-ultimatum-and-call-it-peace/
I kind of read him like Caitlin Johnstone
Really insightful, but often really, really scary intense.
What if the bureaucratic centralism of the former Soviet Union and the liberal technocracy of the West are variations of the same basic model–a model, that by defining political conflict purely in economic terms, has consequently obscured another emerging structure of power( the tendency toward greater and greater centralization) featuring one set of administrators (at this moment the more permanent unelected leaders from military, intelligence,finance, business and much of academia) who may be about to potentially take on or form lose alliances with a new wannabe set of administrators, those who legitimate themselves through the pretense as well as the genuine belief that they are simply defending various types of underdogs, victims and the decimated working class?
Is there a type of decentralized populism consistent with our constitutional origins that might be a path out of this cul de sac?
“What if the bureaucratic centralism of the former Soviet Union and the liberal technocracy of the West are variations of the same basic model–”
They’re not remotely similar in foundation and execution. You might as well say they both use memos.
“Is there a type of decentralized populism consistent with our constitutional origins that might be a path out of this cul de sac?”
Our Constitution is only a sketch of principles, so a wide range of federalist structures are compatible with it. But our problems result from a citizenry derelict in their responsibilities, apathetic and passive. Fiddling with the org chart will not change that.
“…our problems result from a citizenry derelict in their responsibilites, apathetic and passive.”
So what in you opinion are the origins of such citizen apathy and passivity?
Are there contemporary structural factors that contribute to the mental states of apathy and passivity?
Does ressentiment flourish in a cultural climate of apathy and passivity?
Do both Trump of Sanders provide enough imaginary revenge (ressentiment) to keep the average citizen passive?
“So what in you opinion are the origins of such citizen apathy and passivity?”
“Why” is often the most difficult question to answer. Something similar happened in the Roman Republic. Two millennia later, do we know why?
More importantly, does the cause matter? Do the firemen ask “why” when arriving at a housefire? Sometimes study about the deep questions is a substitute for not just action, but taking responsibility. Today, time is not our friend.
“Does ressentiment flourish in a cultural climate of apathy and passivity?”
Why should I care about that answer?
“Do both Trump of Sanders provide enough imaginary revenge (ressentiment) to keep the average citizen passive?”
My guess is that our first step to a cure will be to stop blaming others for our own actions. Nothing Sanders and Trump do keeps you passive.
Yes! Obviously dissimilar on both counts.
It occurs to me, looking at the recent UK experience, which is a repetition of the earlier experience with Michael Foot’s Labour Party failure, that its relatively easy for the far left to seize control of a party in either country. This may be the lesson of McGovern also.
But translating this into power through the electorate, and even if getting the power, getting the program through, is much, much harder. As all three of these cases show. The electorate is, absent a prolonged national crisis, a damping factor. The thing that is needed to get into power is some kind of national emergency, and the thing needed to get the programs through is an emergency which in some way permits the abolition of the normal democratic procedures. You have to get to rule by decree, and absent a real Grade A crisis, this doesn’t happen.
You often talk of the pursuit phase of the battle.
This is a perfect example
Thanks for sending it. What a great gig – making the rich pay for their virtue-signaling. I admire the entrepreneur who set this up!
The Left is surely in the Globalist camp, ready to subjugate the masses with its Central Banks and open borders (the better to prevent labor from organizing…).
The MIC, I am guessing, is pressuring Trump into some foolish foreign policy actions. He will need to deliver on his domestic agenda and start acting more Presidential to win the Independents, who tend to be well-educated and peace-loving.
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