Too late? 10

In an article at Front Page, Bruce Thornton celebrates the overwhelming vote in Britain to elect a government that will restore “national sovereignty and citizen political autonomy”.

He sees it as the fulfillment of a movement begun in 2016, when “the Britons voted to take England out of the EU” and Donald Trump became president, causing “a stunning upset” that reflected a similar desire among American voters. Both events were “political earthquakes” that upheaved “the establishment consensus”. And “both events were met with concentrated and passionate resistance by each country’s ruling elite”.

He sees this conflict between the popular will and what he calls “illiberal technocracy” as “the latest iteration of the fundamental question of political philosophy for the last 2600 years: should the masses be allowed political power?”

He goes on:

In both countries, elites refused to honor the results of legal elections [to be accurate, a referendum and an election], then turned to media, academic, and celebrity calumny of voters, along with judicial and political skullduggery, to undo the outcome and hamstring their political enemies, the Brexiteers and Trump.

Last Thursday [December 12, 2019] came the voter backlash in the UK.  PM Boris Johnson and the conservative Tory party won a majority of seats in Parliament, their biggest majority since Margaret Thatcher, while Labour suffered its worst defeat since 1935. This means that finally Britain will be leaving the EU on January 31. In the U.S., however, we still have eight months before the voters can make their displeasure known. That election will be as critical as the Brits’, but the stakes will be even higher for the most powerful and consequential nation in the world: pushing back on the progressive ideology that for a hundred years has sought to undo the Constitutional order that protects the freedom and autonomy of the states, civil society, families, and individuals––the very bulwarks against the tyranny that the Founders feared.

We may, however, be on the cusp of a paradigm shift away from illiberal technocracy. The Tory victory means that the UK will indeed leave the EU, weakening it considerably and perhaps encouraging other disgruntled members to depart as well. But the more important event will be the reelection of Donald Trump, and the continuation of policies that lessen government interference in the economy and that push back against the tyranny of political correctness and its subversion of our freedoms …

Right now, it seems that absent a significant economic down-turn, Trump will prevail. The Brexit vote should concentrate the minds of the Democrats, since it was fear of the hard, nasty socialism of Jeremy Corbyn that helped turn many Labour voters to the Tories. The current dominance of socialist policies, illiberal identity politics, and extravagantly costly policies being promoted by the Dems’ primary candidates suggests that they will suffer the same fate as the Labour Party in the UK. The preposterous articles of impeachment, which include nothing close to “high crimes or misdemeanors”, is likely to backfire …

Also, voters have not forgotten the Dems’ hysterical, hyperbolic, fabricated Mueller investigation, the corruption of the FBI and DOJ, and the unjust, Salemite treatment of Justice Kavanagh during his confirmation hearing, a performance they have repeated with impeachment hearings. These have violated Constitutional norms and displayed, as law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out during Rep. Nadler’s hearing, a very real “abuse of power”. And don’t forget that Trump has brutally and relentlessly in word and tweet fought back against the entitled, smug, self-righteous, hypocritical celebrities, Democrats, and academic “experts” who lecture us about “social justice”, “racism”, “Islamophobia”, and “open borders” from the opulent safety of their walled mansions, armed guards, and not very diverse tony neighborhoods. …

He lists some of President Trump’s achievements, impressive in themselves and all the more remarkable for being accomplished against unremitting harassment and obstruction. Above all, a spectacularly thriving economy:

Record stock-market highs, low unemployment rates, high workforce participation, fewer people on food stamps, more cash in people’s pockets, fewer growth-killing regulations, and record oil and natural gas production: all point to an electorate eager to keep the good times rolling. Things will get even better now that a revised trade agreement with Canada and Mexico will finally become law, and China is close to signing a trade agreement that will end for now the tariff war and stop China’s blatant violations of World Trade Organization rules.

And the appointment of judges who will uphold the Constitution:

There is Trump’s transformation of the federal judiciary by appointing a record 174 federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices, with the likelihood that if he wins a second term, he will appoint at least one more. And just in his first term, now more than one-quarter of appellate court justice are originalists. His pick of relatively young jurists faithful to the Constitution as written means that for decades the progressive agenda will be slowed, and in some cases reversed.

But, the writer asks, despite all that, is it too late to save personal freedom and national sovereignty?  

Even if Trump is reelected, will the country return to the Constitutional order of unalienable rights and limited government power? Or are we too far gone? The latter may be a more defensible conclusion. Progressivism’s Leviathan federal government, and the redistributionist policies it has created, are pretty much accepted by most Republicans––as they are by today’s Tories, who campaigned on more social welfare spending rather than less. On that front the progressives have won. Then there is demography. The Greatest Generation is nearly gone, and the Boomers are right behind them. The Millennials who will follow have been marinated in political correctness and progressive ideas their whole lives, as indicated by the pluralities and sometimes majorities of Millennials who approve of socialism and despise capitalism. Perhaps, like many Boomers, they will outgrow their juvenile utopianism. Perhaps not.

And there is this:

Most important is the looming debt, deficit, and entitlement spending crisis. Few people, politician or citizen, have the inclination or political nerve to address a problem that in a few decades will eat up every dollar of the budget. When that reckoning comes, we may see social disorder that will make the antics of Antifa look like an unruly Cub Scout pack.

In his view, reason favors pessimism. The socialist “progressive” agenda (which has caught up the terrifying ideology of Islam) will continue, Brexit and the astonishing achievements of Donald Trump notwithstanding. These are interruptions, temporary barriers to a tide of history that cannot be permanently held back. Not only will it break over us in full force, but it will be worse than we have experienced or can even imagine.

We are not convinced that it has to be so. We think that the era of Socialism is over. As a dominant political creed it lasted a hundred years, from 1917 (the Russian Communist revolution) to 2017 (the inauguration of President Trump). Over now, the socialist century that included Nazism and the fascism of Italy and Portugal as well as the Communist regimes. Some of those will continue, and will die hard. But they will die. And no new regimes like those of China and North Korea and Cuba are likely to be established. Welfare, which could be called “socialism light”, will not be affordable by any state.

Of course, no prediction can be depended on. The unforeseen occurs.