Why Democrats Embrace Suicide Missions
Democrats appear to be on a suicide mission, determined to spend billions on new spending and taking a series of far-left positions on social issues despite warnings that this could cost them control of Congress. One might expect Democrats to be more careful considering the beating they suffered in response to the equally aggressive pursuits of left-wing legislation in the midterm elections after the elections of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
In 1994After Clinton pushed for a ban on assault weapons, admitted gays into the military, and vigorously advocated for universal health care, Republicans won eight Senate and 54 House seats. In 2010After Obama pushed through the Affordable Care Act despite widespread voter opposition, Republicans won seven Senate and 63 House seats, the biggest change in seats since 1948. Statewide, the Republican Party made a net gain of six governorships while changing control of 20 state legislative chambers.
Given those consequential defeats, why would Democrats risk their narrow majorities with a much stronger cornucopia of left-wing politics than even Clinton and Obama had advanced?
Because Democrats play long-term. Where Republican victories are always temporary – your tax cuts and deregulation efforts are easily undone when power changes – Democratic great gains are forever. Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and Obamacare are irrevocable. In his calculations, losing the House and Senate is a small price to pay for establishing new rights that will never go away.
Through incremental victories over the decades, they have inexorably transformed the United States into a great governmental welfare state. Because its achievements cannot be undone, the country has finally adapted to the imposed realities. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal did not end the Great Depression. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society did not end poverty. While those liberal milestones were failed promises that are the primary drivers of our national debt, they have become sacred programs that no politician dares question, or even reform, because so many Americans now depend on them.
To be fair, FDR and LBJ enjoyed wide public support for their dubious experiments. Democrats since then haven’t, in part because people recognize the dangers of such overreach. The fact that they continue to push for unpopular policies illuminates an overlooked but central aspect of the party’s character: Democrats have never been truly democratic. From 19th In the century when it was controlled by wealthy white supremacists in the south and machinist politicians in the north, the party has always been a top-down institution in which cultural and political elites decided what was best for everyone else. .
That is why progressivism, which is based on the idea that a small group of learned experts should organize and run society, was installed in the Democratic Party in the early 1920s.th century. Woodrow Wilson, FDR, John F. Kennedy, and LBJ prided themselves on attracting “the best and the brightest” to lead an ever-expanding government. The tax and spending policies they adopted were not evidence of their deep compassion, but tools they used to buy votes and expand their power.
If they truly respected the “people” they claim to defend, they would not have imposed policies that led to repudiation at the polls in 1994, 2010, and perhaps 2022. But party leaders are convinced they know better. They are ready to martyr themselves at the polls to bring the ignorant masses to the Promised Land.
Democrats like to say they put their racist history aside and completely reinvented themselves during the 1960s. They endlessly repeat LBJ’s false claim that the party had “lost the South for a generation” by passing the Rights Act. Civilians of 1964 (with a higher percentage of Republicans supporting him in the Senate than the Democrats). In fact, most of the southern states remained under party control: Republicans did not gain control of the state legislature in Georgia until 2005, in North Carolina until 2011 and on Mississippi in 2012, according to Ballotpedia.
More profoundly, the defining characteristic of the party as a top-down organization, now dominated by wealthy white coastal elites and African-American activists, never changed. Neither is his tendency to smear his opponents. Back in 19th and early 20sth centuries, their target was the “black menace.” Party organs They used to depict African Americans as foolish, irrational, and violent creatures who posed a grave moral threat to public order.
Today, Democrats use these tropes to describe Republicans, continuing their racialization of public life by beating the drum on white supremacists. There is a straight line between Jim Crow and Joe Biden, although Biden likes to use that phrase to criticize Republicans. If the past is prologue, Democrats will push through their ambitious spending plans, to hell with the voters. They may take another beating at the polls, but so what? They’re used to it. All your losses are temporary but your victories are permanent.
J. Peder Zane is an editor for RealClearInvestigations and a columnist for RealClearPolitics.