The regressive far-left is hijacking the Democratic Party. This wing, which often conveniently labels itself as ‘progressive,’ dominates the party’s discourse as the leadership continues to pander to it. The New York Times (NYT) recently published an intriguing article about this rift that is forming on the left. I encourage searching ‘The Democratic Electorate on Twitter Is Not the Actual Democratic Electorate’ on NYT as their graphics and statistics will help make this perspective understood. The Democratic leadership is pandering to an artificially boosted group of regressives because they base their impressions of the constituency off of social media activity, rather than the real world. I propose that if the leadership doesn’t revert course promptly, the party will fall as more and more of the moderate middle of the country will give up on them.
As controversial events continue to unfold in our public sphere, it seems that our national discourse continues to spiral into discord, rather than fruitful conversations about solutions. Our political climate of smear-campaigning seems to have been intensified by the divisive and hateful tribalism of social media circles. These internet communities serve as sites of discourse domination by the radical fringe of the left-wing, rather than a public square where we can all come together and solve disputes.
Despite this overrepresented vocal fringe, the majority of the Democratic constituency isn’t vocal and their values don’t align with the far-left politics that the group pushes for. Individuals, who both consider themselves Democrats and aren’t posting political content on social media sites, are much more likely to consider themselves moderate/conservative and are much more likely to consider political correctness to be a problem. The majority of the country supports free speech, even if it is difficult and bumpy. Despite the worldviews which give rise to these issues in politics, the world is much more than a college campus.
It is becoming commonplace for the party to embrace extreme positions that the majority of the country doesn’t support, such as nationalized healthcare and on-demand/restriction-free abortions. The more that this far-left faction of the party elevates into a central focal point of the party, the more that it becomes likely for the party to disintegrate. The more that the party embraces nonsensical fetishes for socialism and other irrational positions, the more that people are going to simply exit the party.
The Democratic Party claims to be the party of liberalism and of treating people like individuals. However, it continues to embrace identity politics as a central strategy towards accomplishing its agenda. This is causing a reactionary embracement of identity politics on the right. Why should authority come from our merits if instead we could just map authority to identity? Aren’t we supposed to treat each other based on the contents of our character, rather than the color of our skin? For the far-left, ideas can’t be criticized on their own ground. For them, only particular individuals who check the correct boxes of identity are allowed to speak. The only way to stop this reverting to tribalism, is to revert to individualism. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
This isn’t an intangible political hypothesis. Examples of this dynamic take place in front of our eyes, if we could only cultivate the skills to see it. It exists with members like Ilhan Omar, where her political guardians fling accusations of racism, sexism and claims of incitement of violence, as a shield against reasonable criticism. She continues to show her character as an anti-Semite, yet the party can’t condemn her comments as anyone who criticizes her must be a bigot. Any decent American should be able to stand up against hateful claims such as ‘Israel has hypnotized the world.’ This ‘criticism of Israeli policy’ sounds a lot more like Nazi Germany than it does a rational political disagreement. If the leadership of the party doesn’t muster the courage to stand up to these irrational members of their party, then liberalism will die within it as it will find a new home. The vast majority of the country is not behind this behavior of the left. Therefore, they will continue to trickle out into a place rationality, tolerance, and political inclusion.
Because the regressive left continues to pull the Overton window into realms of ‘if you disagree with us on policy, then that is an attack on my existence,’ it is no surprise that the majority of the country isn’t supportive of political correctness. Politically incorrect conversations are the interesting ones to have, as they solve the difficult problems that need addressing. Speaking freely is the process of thinking and thinking is how we solve problems. This is exactly why our constitution guarantees this right. These activists who police speech, and therefore thinking, don’t stand for the principles of this country.
It has taken thousands of years for our ancestors to produce something like what we have today – where we strive to treat each other as individuals – but it can be destroyed in the blink of an eye. If we don’t stop the intolerant left from taking over the politics of our country, then only destruction and violence will ensue. Some of our outraged peers-of-youth have little appreciation for the struggles of our ancestors. Let us not forget the sacrifices of those before us who created what we often take for granted. Whether or not we agree with the politics of the Reagan-types, we can appreciate what he articulated in that ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.’ It is time for us to make a choice about this fractionation. We can either stand up and stop it, or let it take hold and wait for the destruction of democracy to ensue.