The Worst Idea of the Decade
#47: It's Awards Season ...
Here, in handy clip-and-save form, are the 14 reasons why the “Coalition of the Ascendant” (a “left-leaning coalition centered on millennials, minorities, and socially liberal whites (especially college-educated and single women,” all “growing within the electorate, boosting Democrats”) is the worst idea of the decade:
It’s wrong. The ascendant failed to ascend.
It’s obnoxious. Those non-ascendant conservative rural losers are headed for history’s dustbin!
It’s wrong in part because it’s obnoxious. The non-ascendant could smell the contempt. They voted for Trump
It encouraged Dems to play identity politics. How else to get ascendant blocs to vote as blocs? Always Be Playing the Race Card.
In particular, it discouraged Dems from reaching out to outsiders or opponents. Who needs ‘em? No cause for rethinking. Certainly no need to listen to culturally backwards Republicans, who could be safely demonized as bigots etc. (which helps hold the mighty CofA together). …
It encouraged epic misjudgment. (I.e., RBG can wait to let Hilary replace her.)
It encouraged Dems to move left. The only question became who would win within the invincible coalition. Progressives easily convinced themselves that a majority of the new majority was within reach. Why not load up with as full an agenda as possible? UBI, transgender rights, CRT, defund the police. Ration health care by race? Doesn’t matter if doomed GOPs object. No border? No problem.
It treats the political evolution of society as basically set, which seems like a false, reified view: There’s an arc of history. It leads to "transformation.” What could go different? Or wrong?
It encourages an unearned moralism. The arc bends toward justice! Are you against justice? Turning every political issue into a remake of the Civil Rights Movement exacerbates problem #3.
Because of #2 and #10, it encourages social inequality (in the form of increasingly open liberal sneering at the un-college-educated white laboring class).
Because of #11 and #5 (identity politics) it in itself helps divide the nation — along racial lines, most obviously, and educated vs. uneducated, but also urban vs rural, sophisticated vs. deplorable,
Unlike Brit Michael Young, who coined the term “meritocracy” while presciently outlining the dark consequences, it encourages politicians to embrace the policies that help further all these divisions (free trade, free movement of immigrants into non-brainwork jobs, etc.) Why wouldn’t Democratic leaders want to accelerate the trends that were bringing them into permanent power?
It encourages an unhealthy obsession with process. After all "any accessible, fair and honest system will give the majority of votes to Democrats" by definition-right? Eventually: if they lose it must be rigged — Russia, Facebook, insufficient drop-boxes. Instead of talking about onshoring industrial jobs and expanding Medicare, speculate about Alfa Bank and expanding the definition of “misinformation.”
Know any other reasons? Send them in …