During the first year of President Trump’s presidency, it seemed there was an unrelenting series of articles about how the elites in “journalism,” academia, and Hollywood had not properly “learned the lesson” of 2016.
The specific details of what that lesson entailed could be debated, but generally, the idea was that the institutional Left had overplayed its hand. After all, as they had made it plain during the campaign, it was “Hillary’s turn”—a fact dramatized by her slow-motion coronation throughout the primaries. Further, Trump and his supporters were beneath contempt. Not only were his positions and his supporters’ concerns unworthy of serious consideration, they deserved incessant mockery by late-night talk show hosts, daytime talking heads, movie stars, the president, and the blue-check Gestapo.
That enormous hubris (and the unwitting ignorance it enabled) were the reasons that Trump’s victory came as such a surprise to the typical Hillary voter. In the aftermath, some of the more circumspect among them thought that the Left would come to its senses and recognize that their electoral reliance on America’s changing demographics did not constitute a carte blanche to advance an uncompromising, radical agenda—one they sold to the public as a bundle of moderate “common sense solutions” that any reasonable person would be eager to implement.
But the Left didn’t come to their senses. The blatant hypocrisy and distortion of facts by the media didn’t wane after the election—it intensified. The derision heaped upon Trump supporters didn’t let up—it increased. The corruption that defined the Obama Administration didn’t cease—no, even more egregious abuses of power were undertaken by the permanent administrative state to cover the earlier activity of the Obama Administration and to undermine the ability of the new president to implement his agenda.
Activist judges claimed new authorities, at a rate historically unprecedented in this country. The culture industry, rather than backing away from the hedonistic cynicism and profanity, rolled out new product reaching new heights of depravity and continued taking political potshots at the president, even to the point of engaging in assassination porn. Those developing school curricula did not reverse the trend that abandoned civic education in favor of historical fabulation. Instead, many educators have since given up any pretense that they were educating rather than indoctrinating.
In short, although the American people rejected the secular progressive Left’s vision of the nation, when the shock of their loss wore off, our elites were not chastened—they were emboldened. Given that the Left’s electoral defeat only brought forward more hubris when it should have inspired humility, imagine their psychological response to a victory.
Ask yourself the following questions as you contemplate a world in which Joe Biden is the president:
- Will there be more intervention of retail corporate entities in political matters, or less intervention?
- Will school curricula grow more hostile to American history and tradition, or less hostile?
- Will censorship of private citizens in public discourse increase or decrease?
- Will media “fact checkers” become more partisan, or less partisan?
- Will “journalism” in the legacy media offer more blatant endorsement of the Left, or less?
- Will unelected bureaucrats in the federal government feel more emboldened to undermine the democratic will of the American people, or less emboldened?
- Will intelligence agencies be more willing to interfere in the process of democratic elections, or less willing?
- Will federal judges feel more bound to observe constitutionally-defined limits on judicial power, or less bound?
- Will the new administration be more likely to back new pandemic lockdowns, or less likely?
- Would a Biden administration make foreign policy deals that were more advantageous to American interests than those Trump negotiated, or less advantageous?
- Will the government’s hostility to the free exercise of religion increase or decrease?
- Will American manufacturing companies be more likely to return operations to the US, or less likely?
- Will radical factions organizing violent riots in our streets be emboldened or discouraged?
- Will there likely be more policing in urban areas, or less policing?
- Will higher education grow more friendly to the exercise of free speech, or less friendly?
- Will racial segregation in the name of equality and reconciliation increase or decrease on campus?
- Will more radicals arrested for politically motivated violence be prosecuted, or fewer?
- Will the dictates of political correctness for public speech grow more, or less oppressive?
- Will the Left’s increasing hostility to the nuclear family and traditional sexual ethics continue to grow, or will it wane?
- Will the public funding of local police departments increase or decrease?
- Will the number of safeguards implemented to ensure fair elections in the United States grow or decrease?
- Will major social media companies abandon covert attempts to advance leftist ideology and manipulate public opinion, or will they expand them?
- Are traditional parliamentary means for the Congressional minority to encourage compromise (such as the filibuster) more likely to be upheld or attacked?
- Will a Biden administration be more complicit in expanding the number of Supreme Court Justices, or less complicit?
- Will news outlets feel more justified in dictating and manufacturing public opinion, or less justified?
- Will American schoolchildren be taught to respect our national heritage more or less?
- Will domestic policies be more likely to address the needs of the American lower and middle classes, or the needs of the wealthy global elite?
- Will areas of daily life that have traditionally operated outside the reach of politics be more infiltrated by political concerns, or less infiltrated by politics?
- Will private companies be more likely to implement internal policies that impose a progressive Left vision of professional life on employees, or less?
- Will the potential personal and professional consequences for not conforming to progressive opinion become more severe, or less severe?
- Will news reporting become more objective, or less objective?
- Will the cultural and professional benefits accorded to those who claim victimhood via historical injustices increase or decrease?
- Will violent crime rates likely go up or down?
- Will your taxes likely go up in a Biden administration, or down?
- Will the number of government-dictated regulations increase or decrease?
- Will the size of the government grow or shrink in a Biden administration?
- Will foreign nations be more willing to respond to American interests, negotiations, treaties, and sanctions, or less willing?
- Will there be more ideas that can be openly debated in public, or fewer?
- Will incentives for those seeking to enter the country illegally increase or decrease?
- Will existing immigration law be more faithfully honored, or less?
- Will there be more prosecution of criminal behavior by government agents, or less?
There is no doubt as to how those questions would be answered. Even a Trump win will likely increase, to some degree, the leftist assault on the norms of American governance and culture. But at least during a second Trump term, the Left would conduct that assault in the knowledge that much of America rejected their vision for the country and we would have a fighting chance.
But if Trump were to lose, the most radical elements of the activist Left would take that outcome as an indication that the American people at large had endorsed and approved their dismantling of the nation.
Look over those questions again. You might be on the fence about how some of them could be answered. The last four years have made it crystal clear: we cannot afford to find out.