People are stubborn. We like what’s familiar. Coronavirus in China? People eating bat soup?
In a chaotic and dangerous world, it’s comforting to know—or at least to think—that we have some control. Whether someone identifies as conservative or liberal tends to boil down to their response to this question: should people generally be left alone, or should they be forced to adapt to new social arrangements, even ones they may find strange and potentially threatening?
America increasingly reflects the dominance of the latter view.
Most people are not “global citizens,” but they’re being forced to live like them, without much to show for it. For the lucky few, globalism means having the opportunity to travel the world, for work or for pleasure, and then to return to a place that’s familiar and where they have control. For the majority, globalism is experienced as the world being invited into one’s backyard. It’s one of the worst-kept secrets of our time that the most passionate advocates of refugee resettlement live in lily-white upper-class neighborhoods.
In a democratic republic, people who are wary of change get to have their say, just like people who want to revolutionize everything about society. Three years ago, people who didn’t like the trajectory the country was on did something about it: they voted for a president whose campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” acknowledged that America was in decline.
In response, the nation’s elites declared war, and three years later they are still trying to nullify that election.
No honest observer can separate the impeachment trial of Donald Trump from the nonstop obstruction that began even before he was inaugurated. In plain English, it is the culmination of an effort to remove from power a president who the ruling class finds personally threatening, and more importantly, to dismiss those Americans who disliked the direction the country was heading in 2016, and would have taken under Hillary Clinton. Instead of listening to people who feel that their lives have gotten worse, the ruling class is telling them to shut up and accept whatever future people in power have in store for them.
There’s nothing “democratic” about that at all. To hear Democrats tell it, though, you might think that America will transform into some kind of fascist regime if Trump is not removed from power ten months before an election. If the president is not convicted, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) warned, then America will no longer be a democracy; it will become a dictatorship.
There’s a dark irony to these cartoonish omens. Trump or no Trump, America’s future looks much bleaker than Nadler or House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) will ever acknowledge. For millions of Americans, life in this country has become volatile, unpredictable, and alienating. Over the past half-century, the nation has changed in profound ways and without the explicit consent of the people through elections.
Political correctness has spread from college campuses to every corner of the public sphere. Some 22 million illegal immigrants now live within the nation’s borders while millions of good-paying jobs have left the country. It’s no longer possible for most to raise a family on a single income. Young people have either given up on buying homes and having children or have decided to delay starting families until their early 30s or even later. Birth rates are at record lows, but suicide rates are at record highs. Chronic drug abuse has eviscerated whole communities, and divorce is rampant, especially among the poor. Wages have been stagnant, while the costs of housing, education, and healthcare have increased far beyond the means of a fading middle class.
These are all flashing red signals that something has gone deeply wrong in America. For all but the most wealthy and secure Americans, the future appears uncertain. If there’s anything the country could use less of, it’s social instability.
Despite all of their gloomy prophecies about a post-Trump America—to say nothing of their constant climate change doom-saying—Democrats don’t seem particularly concerned about Americans killing themselves with opioids or young people who want to start families, but can’t afford to do so. Far, far more important is ensuring that a distant country bordering Russia receives its timely shipments of lethal weaponry.
Adam Schiff said it best: military aid must flow to Ukraine unceasingly to “fight Russia over there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” Isn’t that what the Founders had in mind, after all?
But Democrats are not just careless about America’s future. They’re actively underwriting its destruction. It’s bad enough that life in America has become so precarious, but the Left compounds the chaos by pushing a rapid, alienating cultural revolution, revolution that most people don’t want.
“Let’s be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights,” Joe Biden said recently. But how many Americans would agree with this claim? There’s no way Biden believes it.
Most people want to have decent, happy, and orderly lives. They don’t spend their days wondering what’s happening in Ukraine or whether transgender felons are being housed in prisons that respect their “identity.” They’re worried about their families and what’s happening in their own country, in their own neighborhoods. Elites who don’t share their concern for such prosaic problems look down on this mentality and see intolerance, bigotry, backwardness and parochialism at work. Their solution is to forcefully revolutionize every aspect of people’s lives, from marriage to parenting to neighborhood zoning rules. There can be no stability, no haven, nothing familiar.
Radical social change might be beneficial and appealing to elites, but for the masses of Americans, it makes life more chaotic, lonely, unhappy, and unpredictable. Most people understandably don’t want open borders, late-term abortion, or transgenderism to be official policy. There is no benefit for them: mass migration cheapens their labor, puts a drain on social services and changes the character of their neighborhoods, while gender radicalism attacks what is now a husk—the patriarchal family—undermining America’s already frayed social fabric. Of course, the most zealous advocates of this agenda of disruption tend to be insulated from its consequences. They live in neighborhoods where everyone knows each other and speaks the same language. When they get married, they tend to stay married.
Every single Democrat running for president supports open borders. None will admit it, though, and for good reason. It’s hard to win elections with unpopular ideas. If Democrats were running with the idea of actually representing the people, there would be no need to try to remove Trump from power by fiat. They would not feel that Trump’s evil crimes “cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won,” in the words of America’s great poet-orator, Adam Schiff.
The Left has no more reverence for America’s past than it has a plan for its future. What is an “historic” impeachment to a party that rejects America’s very history? What could the wisdom of the Founders mean to radicals who regard them as racist white men? The melodramatic rhetoric is cheap and obviously insincere.
This impeachment is boring because it has no substance, and it has no substance because it’s really about suppressing democracy, not protecting it. Come what may, Trump cannot be allowed to go down as a legitimate president, or else the worries of those who voted for him might be considered legitimate too.
As contemptible as Nadler and Schiff may be, their ravings are revealing. While America supports democracy on paper, its leaders today have little interest in the prosaic concerns of the citizenry. American politicians should be able to affirm these basic truths: America is a place, not a shopping mall. It has a history and a people. It’s not just an idea. Like anything worth keeping, it needs to be cherished and protected.