In The Guardian, a fresh op-ed “raises questions” about the Israel lobby-funded campaigns against Rep. Ilhan Omar, the most controversial of the new generation of politicians in the Democratic Party, and another argued that anti-Semitism is being weaponized by the right. The Washington Post argues the social contract in Minnesota is being frayed because of Somali migrants voting en masse for Omar, causing concerns within the Jewish community.
And in a baffling statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that Omar doesn’t understand the “full weight of her words” and the cultural context of her tweets. Omar is almost 40 and has lived in the United States since she was a teenager. The left in the United States, just like in the United Kingdom (UK), is imploding under the weight of its contradictions, and the manifestations are ugly.
Just like in the UK, there are certain common themes. There’s extreme anti-Semitism both in the UK and in the United States. The moderates are trying to appease the extremists in both sides, and are finding out that they are the Mensheviks of this coming revolution. And the choice in front of all the centrists will be, sooner or later, to choose a side.
What Led to the Differences Within the Left?
There was an old joke in communist-ruled Kolkata. You put ten Marxists in a room, and within an hour, there will be 11 denominations and blocs, and one would be standing outside calling the police because of a murder that just took place in the room.
Sectarianism and factionalism is an old, ever-present leftist curse. The reason is in the worldview, and it is fairly simple. Unlike conservatism, for example, which is more based on laws of nature, social hierarchy, prudence, personal responsibility, and restraint, progressivism is by definition an ideology that doesn’t favor any status quo.
Like any other universalist idea (including liberalism), leftism has been, forever, a battle against nature. There’s always an arc of history, and an inexorably movement towards a bright, egaltarian future. It is not cyclical, there’s no grey area, and everything is either good, and necessary, or evil, to be fought and vanquished.
Naturally, within that undemocratic ideological spectrum, coexistence eventually becomes impossible. After all, anyone who opposes any leftist viewpoint is by definition anti-progress, and therefore an enemy to the cause who deserves to be eliminated. In short, splits are inevitable on the left, and that’s by nature, not a flaw.
The left is currently far more divided than the right, and the division is inherent to the worldviews. The recent split in the UK Labour Party and the increasing illiberalism, anti-Semitism, and Corbynisation of the Democratic Party in the United States are not isolated events. In fact, those who didn’t see it coming need to have their analytical capabilities checked.
Since the rise of Jeremy Corbyn as a leader, the UK Labour Party has doubled down on 1970s-style Marxist command economic plans, extreme authoritarian centralized plans, and anti-Western foreign policy, mixed with unadulterated Stalinist, systemic anti-Semitism. While there is indeed sporadic anti-Semitism on the right, it is no match for the anti-Semitism on the left, regardless of how much anyone tries to justify, because the left-wing version is far more entrenched and structural.
Put simply, while racists might hate someone for his ethnicity, the far-left intersectionality would hate an entire group for their perceived social status, and that leads to conspiratorial thinking.
Likewise, in the United States, the Corbynisation of the Democratic Party has led to an upcoming rift. Just like on the other side of the pond, the fringe Marxist movements, which were thought to be dead post-Soviet collapse, quietly changed jerseys and rampaged through left-liberal institutions like media, academia, political groups, and nongovernmental organizations in the last two decades.
The post-Soviet left was predicated on a tacit understanding between the liberal internationalists on one hand, and the social democrats and closet Marxists on the other. The liberals realized that Western values and norms should be spread all across the globe, even by means of military force if necessary, which was an idealistic and utopian effort.
The social democrats, on the other hand, were focused on destroying all forms of hierarchy and western ethos within society for their utopian forced egalitarianism. While the naïve liberals were busy equivocating about the oppression of a Saudi woman and of one in Silicon Valley, the social democrats were the force behind opposition to Western literature in universities in favor of post-structural critical race theory, promotion of neo-Marxist dogma, and demanding a borderless, sexless, structureless society.
That peace is increasingly fractured across the West. In the UK, the liberals have been kicked off the Labour Party, forming an independent group with no electoral prospects, as the erstwhile patriotic British Labour Party has been taken over by sympathizers of Bakunin and Boko Haram. In the United States even Howard Schultz, the man who forces his employees to have diversity trainings, isn’t progressive enough for the contemporary Democratic Party.
Right’s Differences Don’t Compare to the Left’s Differences
While there are ideological differences on both sides, the character of the difference is what matters the most. Consider the conservative opposition to Donald Trump in 2016. The entire opposition was predicated on the fact that Trump would radically alter the character of conservatism in the United States and usher in, for lack of better word, something the cultural left uses all the time: fascism.
However, after Trump came to power, he cut down the bloated bureaucracy and administrative state that metastasized during the Obama years. One of the reasons he faced too many leaks and opposition from within was due to the bureaucracy self-preserving.
Any expansive system of governance will, with time, have an interest in preserving the system that provides them both livelihood and power. The same is true for the Obama-era holdovers, whether in the intelligence community or the judiciary. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out, most of Trump’s executive actions were opposed by the progressive judiciary.
But more importantly, the claims of fascism ring hollow for a president whose first instinct is to cut down the government. Never in history has there been an authoritarian who voluntarily gives away control. It’s always the other way around, and if there is ever in any way authoritarianism in the United States, it would be from the party that wants to expand federal authority, not the one that gives it back to the states.
Most conservatives who were instinctively opposed to Trump eventually observed that, other than his mercurial tweeting temper, he carried on a fairly conservative point of view. His foreign policy, including strategy in the Middle East and arming Ukraine, is pretty run of the mill Republican. There are questions about the futile trade war with China, but a geopolitical competition with China was inevitable—if not today, tomorrow. That and Trump’s judicial nominees have led to conservatives’ rally around the president, even while agreeing that he needs to stop juvenile and petulant tweeting.
The Crazier the Left Gets, the Better Trump Looks
This will increasingly be a deciding factor in the coming elections. It is no secret that Trump doesn’t fall in a classical conservative mold. His speech patterns and temperament aren’t presidential. But that would hardly be the issue in the next election. As a certain section of conservatives found out to their chagrin, one doesn’t need a saint with impeccable personal character to defend religious and civil rights.
An evangelical might not personally like Trump, but she would choose Trump if he is willing to defend her religious rights from the ever-totalitarian left forcing him to bake cakes against his wishes. A free speech liberal might find Trump’s dictum repulsive, but will vote for him because he would attempt to ensure free speech and due process on federally funded campuses.
Personality might matter to urban liberal bubbles and Muh-Principles neoconservatives, but it doesn’t matter that much to the normal people. The choice in front of a moderate Brit now, for example, is a choice between having a declared Stalinist in London, or an incompetent Conservative Party led by a socially awkward prime minister.
Likewise, it is increasingly looking like the choice in front of the moderate, swing-liberal working-class Americans tomorrow will be a vote for a personally flawed billionaire who is determined to get the government off their back, cut middle-class taxes, ensure free speech and due process, and keep the country from going to war, compared to a growing Red-Green alliance of Marxists and Islamist sympathisers who support racially based wealth redistribution and near-totalitarian government, and kill thousands of city jobs in the name of socialist protests. Principles only matter so much when the stakes are so high because losing honorably and with one’s rights intact is no longer an option.