Yes, Leftists Are More Insane Than They Used to Be
It’s not just you, or your neighbor, or Elon Musk feeling this way about polarization in America.
Elon Musk did it again. He set the Twittersphere ablaze with a single tweet, this time about the political spectrum created by a self-described center-left liberal. He didn’t even say anything; he just posted the image above. It accurately sums up the experience of tens-of-millions of Americans over the last couple of decades, though it’s little surprise to see the lefties of Twitter come out of the woodwork to yell, “It’s exactly the opposite!” That’s what polarization does.
Many of the responses to Musk pointed to a Pew Research Center study. “Both parties have moved further away from the ideological center since the early 1970s,” Pew said back in March. “Democrats on average have become somewhat more liberal, while Republicans on average have become much more conservative.”
Somewhat more liberal?
There’s some truth to Pew’s conclusion, but there’s a big caveat: It focuses entirely on members of Congress. There are no longer any congressional Democrats who are more conservative than any Republicans, and there are no congressional Republicans who are more liberal than any Democrats. But does that actually prove that Republicans are the ones who got more conservative?
In some ways, sure, elected Republicans have become more ideologically conservative in many respects. There are relatively few “pro-choice” Republicans today. Most at least espouse fiscal conservatism (even if few practice it once in office) and favor lower taxes, less regulation, originalist judges, and so on. Gone are the days of a Republican president establishing the EPA, as Richard Nixon did, and there probably won’t be another Republican president who raises taxes like George H.W. Bush.
But if you’ll recall the 1990s especially, all the same things were true (Bush notwithstanding). The GOP is, by and large, still a party largely shaped by the ideological north star of Ronald Reagan.
By contrast, are Democrats still the party of Tip O'Neill? Is Joe Biden the same guy he was in the 1980s?
There are virtually no pro-life Democrats. They now talk regularly of universal healthcare and canceling student loan debt — policies that were practically unheard of 30 years ago. And the Democrat Party is now run by the Rainbow Mafia, those who not only want to destigmatize the “LGBTQ” crowd but grow it by grooming children to join the club. Once the party of free speech and patriotic dissent, Democrats now aim only to silence the “misinformation” and “bigotry” of having a conservative opinion. Wrongthink on social media will be banned or suppressed into irrelevance.
Just about the only thing that’s the same for Democrats is the racism, though even that has been overtaken by Marxist critical race theory.
As for the average Americans who make up the parties’ bases, the story is very different. If conservatives can in any way be said to be more conservative, it’s because we’re reacting to the Left’s aggression in the culture wars.
It wasn’t conservatives who suddenly changed position on same-sex marriage, for example. First of all, such a thing wasn’t even an idea until roughly 30 years ago, and conservatives have always opposed it. The Defense of Marriage Act was bipartisan. Then liberals became rabidly leftist about it, declaring opponents bigots for holding the position they themselves held until five minutes ago.
The same can be said for virtually the entire Rainbow Mafia agenda — especially the “transgender” radicalization of the last few years. No one but no one thought gender dysphoria was anything but mental illness before leftists decided that it’s worth “affirming,” celebrating, recruiting, adding to entertainment and sports, and then using as a censorship cudgel against conservatives. Again, conservative opposition is reaction to this aggression.
The “insurrection” at the Capitol was another example thrown back in Musk’s face, as if that proves conservatives have become more radical. The rioting fools that day aren’t representative of conservatives. As for the vast majority of folks at the Capitol that day, again, they were reacting. Democrats changed the rules of elections all over the country — rules that both parties had generally agreed upon for ages, until COVID gave Democrats an excuse to change procedures. When the results were, ahem, less than reliable, conservatives reacted with alarm and anger.
It takes some special chutzpah for Democrats to complain about that now.
So the real question is this: What effect will all of the Left’s radicalism have on Democrat election prospects? Are all those parents showing up at school board meetings to protest “woke” indoctrination in education and winning Virginia for Republicans a sign of things to come? Will there be a bigger backlash against the culture assault being waged by the likes of Disney?
Maybe the difference is indeed the children. Now that leftists have become more open and brazen in their efforts to indoctrinate kids all over the nation, perhaps they’ll find that they’ve awakened a sleeping giant. Maybe more Americans will realize there are things worth conserving, which is what being a conservative is all about.
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