My wife and I were driving out to meet friends for dinner yesterday, when it suddenly occurred to me that this is a great day to be a conservative. The Republican Party is not perfect, and Trump has done as much to make the party worse as to make it better, but one thing Donald Trump has definitely done is to enflame the left so badly that the lunatics, like Maxine Waters and Bernie Sanders, are now running the roost. Moderate democrats continue to lose primaries, such as in the case of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ defeat of incumbent Joe Crawley, and rather than recoiling from the startling change in the power structure on the left, the left is jumping for joy. The Democratic Party can’t seem to get further left fast enough. The adults have lost control.
I’ll admit that calling the more moderate Democrats ‘adults,’ inferring that the more extreme ones are children, is inflammatory, but hear me out. The label fits.
Moderate Democrats have always talked about a ‘mixed economy,’ where we run a free market, capitalist system, but we allow government the power and authority to restrain free markets from excess. That’s not really that far off from my personal position, which is that we should allow the free markets to run largely unchecked, but with a government that has the authority to step in where markets do not naturally move to efficiency (such as in providing truth in advertising laws), or where legitimate societal needs exist that run counter to market efficiencies (such as in the case of protecting our air quality, and in other cases where externalities cannot be addressed by market forces). Many Democrats consider me to be someone on the extreme end of conservativism, and truly, when I use the moniker, ‘The Daily Libertarian,’ I am claiming to be pretty darned conservative, by American standards, and yet I can find common ground with moderates on the left.
Dr. Jordan Peterson often says that both parties are prone to extremism, but that whereas when the right goes too far, we can see it, when the left goes too far, society has as of yet found no safety switch to tell the left to back off. On the right, Jordan Peterson is talking about what happens when calls for nationalism start to become ethnic. On the left, things go too far when identity politics starts to rear its ugly head, and the demands on the left go from left-of-center, to extreme.
I disagree with exactly how Jordan Peterson defines the ‘left’ and the ‘right’, as outlined here, but for the most part, Dr. Peterson’s observation that we know it when the right goes too far, but not when the left does, is correct. The left has no concept of what ‘too far’ on their end looks like, and they are heading in that direction so fast, it looks like a stampede.
The call to eliminate ICE is a clear-cut example of identity politics forcing an extreme position. The left has decided that illegal aliens are an oppressed minority, and as such, the left believes that the rights of illegal-aliens have to be protected, even at the expense of the rights of citizens, if necessary. Trying to stop people from crossing the border is now considered oppressive, and thus, the left demands that we stop all border enforcement entirely. Having no border security is extreme, even to the moderate left.
I was just in a debate on Facebook where some liberals were talking about how, once healthcare is understood as a universal right, and all healthcare is free, it will be necessary to make taking care of oneself mandatory. I guess if someone wants a cheeseburger, and they have slightly high blood pressure, they can go to the gulag. I get the point that in a socialized healthcare system, all of society pays for the risks incurred through unhealthy lifestyle choices, but is that fact a better argument for a totalitarian government, that tells us what to eat, when to sleep, and how to exercise (punishing those who disobey), or for a private medical care system, in which each person is responsible for the risks their lifestyles create? The notion that we need to control people’s lifestyles is extreme, even to the moderate left.
As a conservative that many on the left consider somewhat extreme, I want all Americans to have access to affordable medical care, but I believe in very different ways of delivering it. More importantly, I want to deal with the few who truly cannot afford medical insurance as the exception, rather than the norm. I want solutions that help the needy, but that do so without making everyone needy.
Once upon a time, the left and the right could agree that we would like all Americans to have access to affordable medical care. Today, cost is a non-starter for discussion. The left is all-in on socialism, and is using the cost problems inherent in a socialist medical system as an excuse to control lifestyles, even though controlling lifestyles would be far more tyrannical than that which we declared independence from in 1776.
Clearly, the adults are no longer calling the shots in the Democratic Party. The extremists are.
And that’s great news for conservatives!! In order to unify it’s base, the Democratic Party is moving further than the American middle is willing to go, and while perhaps as much as 40% of the public might be willing to follow the left into it’s rabbit hole of collectivist lunacy, 60% of the public are left scratching their heads, wondering whether or not it is possible that the left really is as whacked-out as they seem.
Someone says something bad. The left calls to eliminate the first amendment.
Bad people march. The left brings clubs and pipe bombs to shut them down (and increasingly the definition of ‘bad people’ is becoming anyone not on the extreme left).
Yes! The left really has become as extreme as they look!
All the right needs to do to win in the midterms (and beyond) is to show the American middle that the left really is as far out there as they seem. The rhetoric you hear from Maxine Waters, telling people to harass political opponents wherever they can find them, really does represent the mainstream of the Democratic Party. The left is over the top, completely unhinged, and the American people are not going to follow them into the polls, and particularly not when the right is already making full use of the left’s growing lunacy to sway the middle.
The midterm election is going to be a bloodbath. The one way the left can still pull out an election victory is if conservatives become complacent, and with all of the crazy-talk from the left, I don’t see that happening.
It’s a great time to be a conservative!
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