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Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and classicist. He also contributes columns to PJ Media and National Review online. Although he started off in the NeverTrump camp in the now infamous Never Trump issue of National Review, I decided to give him another look today.
His column today (“A Party of Teeth-Gnashers”) is about the fallout from the election and what has become of the Democratic party and the Progressive agenda. Here are a few paragraphs:
After the Democratic equality-of-opportunity agenda was largely realized (Social Security, Medicare, overtime, a 40-hour work week, disability insurance, civil rights, etc.), the next-generation equality-of-result effort has largely failed. What is left of Democratic ideology is identity politics and assorted dead-end green movements as conservation has become radical environmentalism and fairness under the law is now unapologetic redistributionism. The 2016 campaign and the frenzied reaction to the result are reminders that the Left is no longer serious about formulating and advancing a practical agenda. In sum, for now it is reduced to a party of teeth-gnashers.
. . .
Progressive outrage should not be taken too seriously because it is not intended to be serious. When Barack Obama invites rapper Kendrick Lamar into the White House and announces that his “To Pimp a Butterfly” is the president’s favorite song of the year — whose album cover shows the corpse of a murdered white judge, with Xs in place of eyes, on the White House lawn, as African-American youth toast his demise with drinks and cash — do we really assume that progressives like Obama believe in stopping hate speech and imagery, or perhaps even believe in anything at all?
Donald Trump, to progressives, supposedly harmed the Constitution and threatened our democracy because he would not say, after the WikiLeaks revelations, that he would accept the outcome of the election if he thought it was rigged. Yet after Clinton’s defeat, suddenly irate progressives have lodged conspiratorial charges that voting machines (miraculously only in swing states Hillary lost) were supposedly rigged, that the Electoral College should be dropped, and that electors should be bullied to ignore their pledges. Did anyone ever believe their original outrage at Trump’s suggestion that election results might be rigged? Are we now to have recounts in Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, and all the close states Trump lost, and then on into spring more recounts of recounts, until the last count achieves the desired result?
The Democratic party leadership is no longer an alternative to corporate wealthy America, but is corporate wealthy America, albeit in a new garb of jeans and flip-flops, Silicon Valley–style. The small-business person, assembly-line worker, and non-government wage earner mostly now vote Republican.
Progressivism is a pyramidal capstone of wealthy elites who have the influence and money to embrace boutique positions and the cunning to profess egalitarianism, all while they lead private lives that would otherwise be condemned as illiberal and apartheid-like. So affirmative action ends up providing high-cheekboned Elizabeth Warren entry into Harvard Law School, the same way that progressive investigative journalism is reduced to Politico’s “hack” Glenn Thrush (who asked the Clinton campaign to fact-check and approve his article), and in the manner that philanthropy is reduced to the Clintons’ piling up of millions by selling influence. We are a long way from Harry Truman’s working classes.
. . .
The Democratic party for now is reduced to a loud racist/sexist/homophobe broken record that fewer and fewer are listening to — including many of the Democratic elites who continue to play it.
Hanson is not completely sold on Trump, though, as you will gather if you read the rest here.
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