Thursday, August 7, 2014

Watch Democrats Break Apart

Every political party is a coalition of interests, and some of those interests conflict.

That's why political analysts tell us that a political coalition usually forms from interests out of power. They are united by their separated grievances. But once the coalition gets into power then the conflicts start to surface.

For ten years now, we have all agreed with Judis and Teixeira in The Emerging Democratic Majority that Democrats owned the future with the whammo coalition of minorities, women, educated and youth.

That was then; this is now.

Let's take immigration.  There is a gaping hole of interest between African American and recent-immigrant Hispanics.  It is encapsulated by this pithy remark from Instapundit Glenn Reynolds on a complaint that comprehensive immigration reform would be "disastrous" for blacks, particularly low-skilled African American men.  Says Reynolds:
When we had a (very modest) crackdown on businesses hiring illegals here in Knoxville, businesses quickly replaced Mexican workers with black workers.
 There's a double problem here for Democrats.  In the first place Hispanics are souring rapidly on Obama because of the economy; no doubt that's why Obama is dangling immigration before them.  But African Americans are also feeling betrayed, even if they can't or won't admit it.  They thought that America's First Black President would change everything.

Don't forget that the "yoof" is buried in student debt and in Colorodo Democrats seem to need to terrify women that Republicans want to take away their birth control pills. Well, you never know with those Wascally Wepublicans!

There may be a lesson here.  When you break America up into activist-led silos, each of them curdling with some activist-stirred grievance, then you shouldn't be surprised that you end up breaking America up into warring activist-led factions.

Let's get back to first principles. The whole point of the single-language nation state is that it scrambles the warring tribes together into a single nation of people.  People come out of their collective tribes and live as responsible individuals; they leave their tribal grievances behind and live under the faith that if they get a skill and offer it to the market and work hard then they will find some kind of decent prosperity and their children will reap the reward of their efforts.

I get the point of left-wing activism.  There are some people left behind; there are many people just trying to catch up.  There is injustice in the world.  It may be OK to take people that are not yet ready to become responsible individuals and fold them into collective organizations like labor unions, where they submerge their individual self in a collective. But that's a temporary fix; the modern world works on responsible individualism, and will keep doing so until we come up with something better.  If you lower your sights and join a collective then you are giving up your birthright in freedom.  You have taken the by-road into neo-serfdom, and the people that led you into that have led you into a diminished life.

I give our liberal friends the benefit of the doubt; it's a noble thing to fight for the oppressed.  But when you give the government extraordinary powers to fight injustice you'd better understand what you are doing.  You are saying that voluntary cooperation between social animals has failed and now the only resort is force. It's hard to understand this, because the corpus of left-wing thought is so huge and so tangled that few people really get what it all adds up to.

In my view, one of the few lefties that has really worked to face the truth is the grand old man of German thinking, J├╝rgen Habermas.  He recognizes that the great modern systems, from science to business to government, are inherently dominatory.  He wants to balance the power of the systems with the countervailing power of a peer-to-peer "discourse ethics." In other words, you can't just roll over your political opponent with name-calling and street power; you have to engage your opponents as peers with a legitimate opposing view.

Brave words!  But note the gorilla in the room.  Discourse ethics cannot work until the Alinsky-believing left-wing activist gets to be named and shamed every time he unleashes the all-purpose pejoratives like racist, sexist, homophobe.

Meanwhile, watch the Democrats try to keep their coalition together as its members start to wake up to their irreconcilable differences.

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