Thursday, July 11, 2013

Searching for Hope

First of all, a majority of the people get fed up with the government.  So they form an opposition coalition to throw the rascals out, and eventually, they do.  But the new government can't satisfy all the hopes that it ignited as it campaigned against the corruptions and injustices of the old regime.  So people start to peel away from the government party and form a head of rebellion.  They form an opposition coalition to throw the rascals out, and eventually, they do.

And so on, according to one theory of politics.

If you are a conservative, this is the winter of our discontent.  At this point, we can only hope that it will be followed by a glorious sun of conservative reform.

We see the recovery from the Crash of 2008 horribly mishandled.  We see a destructive Obamacare that will turn health care into the DMV of health.  We see the post-partisan president sending Department of Justice operatives down to Florida to gin up a race war.  We see an immigration bill that will increase the number of visas for low-skilled immigrants at a time when low-skilled Americans are being hammered by the slow Obama recovery.  We see a regulatory attack on conventional energy that kills jobs.  We see an underhanded campaign to impose gay marriage on an unwilling population.

How bad can things get?

Politics is division.  Even as we sit here in deepest gloom the successful Obama division that got him elected in 2008 and 2012 is breaking up.  It's said that the Obama coalition depended on sharply higher black turnout and enthusiasm from young people in 2008.  In 2012 a major factor was that low-income whites stayed home rather than vote for corporate whirlwind Mitt Romney: the Joe Soptic factor.  Look up at the previous paragraph but one.  You couldn't devise a record better designed to break up the Obama coalition.

Politics is division.  The question is who will come forwards to define the post-Obama division.  Can he or she bring underemployed young people together with aging low-skilled workers together with entrepreneurs and women frightened by the failures of Obamacare?  And unite them against liberal privilege and pride and the race hustlers and the union thugs?  In other words, can Republicans come up with a candidate that excites populist rage but bases it on solid growth economics?

Nobody knows.  But those of us that hope remember the fall of the Soviet Union.  There it was, this powerful monolith, armed with its propagandists and its KGB thugs, not to mention its western lefty apologists.  And then one day it was no more.

The key to the fall of the Soviet Union was that its ruling class no longer believed in the Communist idea.  They saw the failure and the corruption and they simply did not know what to do.

The optimists in the conservative camp thought that the Clinton era was the time of perestroika, when liberals lost their faith in the competence of big government, when the god of big government died.  Hey, didn't Clinton actually declare that the era of big government was over?

Alas, it was not to be.  After Clinton left office the Democratic Party moved left, and doubled down on class and race politics.  And the party doubled down on the administrative state, pushing huge new regulation of business and the huge new entitlement of Obamacare.  They even created their own little echo of junk-science Lysenkoism with the chimera of global warming.

The American people are oddly quiet right now, despite their disappointment and their troubles.

You'd have to believe that, some time before 2016, their disappointment will kindle into a furnace of rage.  The question is, who will provide the spark?

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