The Corner

Elections

The Disruptors to Come

Jay Cost has a good piece today on how it’s possible we could get a socialist president. He writes:

I am worried that voters are willing to elect a would-be socialist over a president they have never actually liked. More important: I am worried that they won’t even recognize that this is what they are doing. That is how little confidence I have in the discernment of American voters — they won’t connect the dots and realize that the Democrats are calling for a government takeover of pretty much everything. I am worried that the people have ceded to the ideological fringes of both parties the power to select the two-party nominees, and then choose between them based on their view of the incumbent administration — whether that means electing a celebrity television star like Trump or a socialist like Bernie.

I tried to make a similar point at the end of Friday’s G-File; you may have missed it if you got sidetracked by the cow farts.

The larger point is that when you ask for and get a “disruptor” in the Oval Office, you don’t necessarily get to choose the form of the disruptions you get. Conjure a Stay Puft Man or Godzilla all you like, there’s no guarantee that the behemoth will only smash the things you want smashed. Retaining walls that serve valuable purposes will likely get smashed, too.

The Democrats have become radicalized in no small part because of their hatred of Donald Trump. And because that is the defining mindset of the Left these days, it creates breathing room for other forms of radicalism . . .

More broadly, the Trump years may mark some significant policy and political victories, but culturally it has been a boon for the Left. Just in the last week or so, we’ve seen the Democrats come closer than ever to literally — not figuratively — endorsing infanticide and socialism. Again, that’s arguably good news for partisans looking at the next election, but it’s a nightmare in the larger context, in part because the Democrats could still win despite that baggage. And while the Unicorn Caucus will never get everything that it wants, you can come well short of the slaughter of the farting cows and still do profound damage to the country.

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Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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