Just think how crushed the Left is going to be when they lose seats in the onrushing congressional elections this November. They have been so certain they would win big.
They have been blowing hot air.
Now, I remember when NRO editor Kathryn Lopez did not believe my prediction that Cardinal Ratzinger would be elected the new pope — and much earlier and more decisively than anyone was writing at the time. (I also remember that she still hasn’t bought me the lunch she promised then, in case I was, improbably, right.)
I remember, too, the hundreds of angry notes I received in August of 2004 when I wrote on NRO that, despite Democratic expectations of a great win, they would end up losing again to George Bush, this time by 3-4 percent. I also wrote that their anger would overwhelm them when that happened. Boy, it sure did.
My belief is that the Left has not yet learned the lessons of 1989. They have not learned that big government cannot make an economy inventive, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. The Left is still a party of, well, not quite socialists, but certainly a party of anti-capitalists. They haven’t learned a thing from Reagan, Thatcher, George W., and massive evidence all around the world. They still don’t understand why cutting tax rates ends up bringing in huge growths of tax revenues from the rich. They believe in punishing the rich. Republicans believe in letting the rich invent and risk and gain more income, from which the country gains twofold — first, by the jobs, inventions, and new national wealth that follow from that creativity and “animal spirits”; second, by the gusher of new tax revenues that come from soaking the rich the right way.
Today’s Democrats are wrong on the “people v. profits” populism they keep championing. They are wrong on “the people vs. the powerful” narrative that the resentment-filled Bob Shrum types keep foisting on them.
The Left no longer believes we should “pay any price, bear any burden” in the cause of liberty all around the world. The Left no longer believes in winning every war we get into. They no longer identify with the police or the grunts in the military — they identify with Butch Cassidy and Sundance. The Left has chosen to align itself with the chatterati and the glitterati and the rich, who make their money by selling illusions. The Left is filled up to here with illusions.
They call themselves the “reality-based community,” when in truth they are still living on scraps of the old illusions, from which they have never wakened.
The Left is going to lose — big — because they have nothing noble, nothing beautiful, nothing real, nothing true, with which to lead. They are the merchants of illusion. And a significant majority of Americans, although not all, see through them.
In a democratic election, however, it only takes a small majority to win. And the upcoming election of 2006 is not likely to be all that close.
The Democrats piqued too soon.
— Michael Novak is the winner of the 1994 Templeton Prize for progress in religion and the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute. Novak’s own website is www.michaelnovak.net.