After several weeks of hype, the impeachment of President Trump has turned out to be another ephemeral sideshow in the never-ending psychodrama of elite “resistance.” Americans are tuning out the noise, and there is little that the gatekeepers in the corporate leftist media can do about it, except to fret that the public is too jaded by years of palace intrigue against President Trump to follow this latest convoluted scandal.
The impact of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearings was essentially zero. The Democrats failed to shift public opinion in either direction. How did this happen? How could an event made out to be so profound and consequential be reduced to something so tacky and staged, so unreal that it failed to captivate even the president’s detractors?
The fading impeachment push has its mirror image in the glossy, astroturfed and utterly substanceless Democratic primary, with its idiotic “debates” and even more unimpressive candidates. Both are spectacles staged, run, and intended for America’s elites, and both have become distinctly unwatchable by any but the boutique audience they’ve cultivated. That they are so boring betokens their origins in the rarified orbit of a detached elite more interested in perpetuating its own power than in responding to the concerns of the electorate.
For the elites in the foreign policy blob and elsewhere, Donald Trump is a problem. He mocks them constantly. He has the audacity to say that the media lies. He tells Americans who are angry or troubled that the country is slipping away from them that they are not crazy or “racist” just for feeling that way. For a corrupt ruling class, nothing could be more dangerous than a demagogue who responds to popular discontent.
But that’s their concern. For the rest of us plebes down here in the trenches, there are much bigger problems—problems that people in power can’t solve, let alone bring themselves to acknowledge. It was exactly these failures that led Donald Trump to the White House in the first place. Over the last three years, the establishment has waged a ruthless counterinsurgency to discredit the 2016 election, secure their hold on power, and evade any accountability for America’s decline.
Who Do Democrats Think They’re Kidding?
Trump’s impeachment is all about reassuring the elites that their nightmare will be over soon: the Orange Man will go down and it will all be as if the 2016 election never happened. But this reassuring story is just that, a coaxing myth. As impeachment falters, even Democratic voters are getting cold feet about 2020. How can this be? How could a party with so many impressive experts in its ranks fail to cough up even one candidate impressive enough to defeat an incumbent widely considered by that party to be a racist and broadly reviled imbecile?
It’s almost by design. Few authors have articulated it as well as Tucker Carlson has done, but the story of the last three years is one of elite backlash: the corrupt ruling class, whose failures led Americans to elect a reality TV star and who at least listened to them, absolutely refuses to own any responsibility for America’s malaise. Rather than recalibrate and meet the American people where they are, they’re digging in on insular woke ideology while lashing out at all threats to their power.
The credentialed foreign policy elite may balk at president Trump’s momentary lapse in military support for a distant eastern European nation, but Trump’s “crime” is arcane to most people. The distinct feeling of unreality the whole spectacle emits—the esoteric jargon, the distant “hearings” involving distant, aloof bureaucrats—is a feature, not a bug, of the elite Democratic politicians and media.
The trivial nonsense that populates the mainstream media on most days has little relevance to the life of the average person. The elite media is a sounding board for the anxiety, narcissism, and jealousy of rulers afraid of losing their prestige, as if all Americans shared or should share their fears. Pro-establishment propaganda is repackaged in shrill, misplaced, childish rhetoric about the Constitution (a document for which they have previously had little regard) and what the Founding Fathers (men they are otherwise pleased to call racists beyond contempt) would have done about the Orange Menace. Behind all the 10-dollar words is a squeak of desperate rage, that the American people would dare to reject their betters.
A lazy, decadent party that only cares about protecting its own power can hardly be expected to inspire confidence and enthusiasm in the people. With the exception of one or two candidates, none of these people are running to be president of the United States: they’re auditioning to protect the powerful.
The Democratic presidential primary is a Potemkin mock-up of democracy controlled by gate-keepers in the corporate leftist media and party establishment. It’s a reality show put on by the ruling class, with the purpose of anointing a champion of the status quo to defeat Trump and keep America on a track of inexorable failure. The candidates agree on ninety percent of the issues, and they ignore real problems which their ideology does not allow them to acknowledge.
Carlson summarizes the state of the Democratic Party with characteristic pith and irreverence: “You’re poorer and sadder than your parents were, but at least the abortion is free.” Woke ideology is a welcome substitute for policy proposals that would actually help American families thrive.
Democrats Aren’t Debating Anything
Most of the candidates agree that illegal immigration is not a serious issue—in fact, mass immigration is always a net positive, something that enriches American culture and enlivens our economy. Illegal immigrants may in fact just be better people than American citizens, who owe it to other countries to accept an endless flow of foreign scab labor.
Ending wars is an afterthought, and a dangerous one at that—do we really want to cede influence to Vladimir Putin in the Levant? Better to let the experts handle these complex problems. Sure, more Americans are killing themselves from drugs each year than died in the Vietnam War, but we shouldn’t let that distract from real problems, such as the rights of transgender prisoners to be housed with members of the opposite sex.
As Americans stumble toward a precarious future, the Democratic candidates vying to lead the nation into that future seem distinctly unprepared, even uninterested. The middle class is in steep decline, suicide and mental illness are at record highs, and young Americans are facing down the prospect of being poorer than their parents.
But why should we bother with such retrograde concerns as helping Americans stay alive, get married and be prosperous? Marriage is just a social construct after all, a vestigial remnant of patriarchal civilization. Elizabeth Warren said it best: trans- and non-gender conforming women of color are the “backbone of our democracy.”
In a time as chaotic as this one, when social ties are fraying, opportunity is vanishing and the sexes are at each other’s throats, the country could probably use a little less “experimentation” and a little more emphasis on tradition. But the Democratic Party’s solution to the chaos is just to accelerate it. It’s much simpler to ignore the yawning gulf of meaning and cohesion and social stability by repeating the mantras of the same hyper-individualism that got the country into this mess. Why care about something so prosaic as job security for Americans when there are Third World populations that need uplifting?
The inauthenticity of the spectacle is so obvious that it can provide little clarity or interest to the viewer outside of an opportunity to see his own leaders as his inferiors or to laugh at their hollowness and pandering.
It’s telling that the best the ossified establishment has to offer is Joe Biden, a man who, like the ruling class that produced him, appears not only to be losing touch with reality but is so lacking in convictions that his unwieldy attempts to appear downhome can only inspire mockery. “Malarkey?” That’s insulting. At least Donald Trump has the sense not to patronize his audience. He wears a business suit. He doesn’t pretend to be anything he isn’t, and his supporters respect him for it.
The same can’t be said of Warren, an unapologetic “capitalist to her bones” and an academic through and through. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a walking TED Talk, a slick collation of empty neoliberal clichés that have taken on human form. Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders at least seems to believe what he’s saying, but even he isn’t serious about protecting American jobs from mass immigration. These are the leading lights of the so-called party of the working class.
It’s hard to win in a democracy when you don’t even care what the people think. This puts the Democratic party in a tough spot. The election of 2016, to them, never happened. It wasn’t legitimate. The concerns and grievances that propelled Trump to the White House were irrational. Trump is a mere aberration.
But in a democracy, ignoring the people is political suicide. So instead of actually listening to them, the elites focus on instilling a false consciousness into the public. Quid pro quo! Look at what all these well-respected experts have to say about Trump! Americans are supposed to be very mad about this, and if they aren’t, they’re either enabling Drumpf or too jaded to support their country. Strangely, the media never pauses to reflect on its role in fogging up the public discourse so badly that people have stopped caring.
The solution can never be to acknowledge the failures of the past decades and do better. The ruling class is so out of touch that it’s hard to take anything its members say seriously. Whatever Trump might have said on some phone call, it pales in comparison to the past decades of corrupt and thoughtless leadership in Washington that have laid this country so low.
These elites obviously still wield immense power, and it’s debatable whether Trump has really challenged their hold on it or whether his mark on the Republican party will last. But there comes a point when a social order becomes so unfair, so corrupted, so indefensible that it can’t be justified, and any attempt to defend the status quo can only fail to move an incredulous public. We have reached that stage.