WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2022
With rumblings from Cleveland and Oakland: In this morning's Washington Post, Megan McArdle dares to ask a certain question:
What if the GOP actually wins the 2024 White House election? What if they win fair and square?
That question anchors an important column. In print editions, McArdle's headline says this:
What if the GOP becomes a majority party?
In some ways, the question may seem silly. Starting in 1992, the Democratic candidate has won the popular vote in seven of the last eight White House campaigns.
That said, the winning margins haven't always been huge. In dystopian fashion, McArdle sets the stage for possible disaster as her column starts:
MCARDLE (1/12/22): What happens if Democrats lose in 2024?
I don’t mean “What if Republican-controlled legislatures override the results of the presidential election?” or even a less noxious “What if a Republican wins the electoral college but loses the popular vote?” I mean, what if Democrats just … lose?
The question is admittedly speculative, but it’s not as far-fetched as my left-leaning readers might imagine. They ought to start imagining it, however, because the more the left assumes it can’t happen, the more likely it becomes.
"The more the left assumes it can’t happen, the more likely it becomes?" We'd say there's a germ of truth to that statement. We'd say it could happen here.
(We have no idea if it will.)
How could such a crazy thing happen? In her column, McArdle cites some indications which may suggest that all may not be going well out in the provinces.
MCARDLE: [T]he belief in an “emerging Democratic majority” predates any Trumpian alarm bells. It goes back to a 2002 book by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira that outlined how demographic change could give Democrats a durable advantage. Over time, the left elevated the authors’ modest hypothesis into a prophecy; in 2016, one heard repeated suggestions that Republicans might never win another presidential election.
That belief helped shift left-wing politics further leftward—less need to worry about wooing moderates when you can instead just turn out your growing base. Yet that leftward shift alienated a chunk of White working-class voters whom Judis and Teixeira had counted on keeping in the Democratic camp. Now, Teixeira is warning that Democrats risk losing many Hispanic and Asian voters, too.
Are members of various demographic groups sliding away from the Democrats? Only time will tell how such things will shake out.
That said, we've recently read a pair of essays by center-left parents of public school kids who report that our noxious tribal behavior is driving them away from the fold. If you think our self-impressed tribe's relentlessly noxious and stupid behavior can't accomplish this task on a wider scale, we think you may be in La-La Land at this particular juncture.
One of those essays appeared in The Atlantic. It was written by the lefty parent of a white kid in the Cleveland public schools—and there are very few parents like that out there!
The other essay appeared at Politico; it was written by the Hispanic parent of a public school kid in Oakland. Each of these left-leaning women describe the way their faith in the tribe has been reduced, perhaps even broken, by the noxious behavior they've encountered as they've tried to discuss the best ways to run the public schools during the pandemic.
Racialized insults were hurled around; the mothers were of course referred to as Karens. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but we liberals aren't nearly as fine as we may say when we start to emote about our own moral grandeur.
Our tribe is frequently stupid, small, petty, dumb—and our tribe is highly performative. These are traits we often can't see in ourselves—but everyone else can see them.
How small, stupid and dumb can we be? We'll recommend that you read the comments to McArdle's column.
McArdle herself joins in the discussion as Post readers wail and complain. McArdle's comments make perfect sense. By way of contrast, our tribe is relentlessly insulting, small-minded and just plain dumb as we lodge our scripted attempts at rebuttal.
From time immemorial, our liberal tribe has told itself that we are the smart, decent, good ones. As for The Others, they were "all made of ticky-tacky, and they all looked just the same!"
In recent years, our unending streams of dumbness have perhaps begun to put our reign in peril. How many people will quit our tribe? We don't have the slightest idea, but we here in our self-impressed tribe are persistently delusional, phony, fake, faux.
Unfortunately, McArdle's column is well worth considering. So are the comments which pour in from the Post's liberal readers. Those comments may help us grasp a key fact:
We may not be as brilliant and great and morally pure as we constantly claim to be.