American Elephants


If You Were Wondering Why the Left Seems So Insane… by The Elephant's Child

John Marini is  professor of political science at the University of Nevada. He writes. in the latest edition of Imprimis, about political scandal.

Nearly every political administration has potential scandal lying just below the surface. There are always those in government who seek to profit privately from public service, and there are always those who will abuse their power. All governments provide the occasion for scoundrels of both kinds. But the scandals they precipitate rarely erupt into full-blown crises of the political order. What differentiates the scandals that do?

Scandal can provide a way for defenders of the status quo to undermine the legitimacy of those who have been elected on a platform of challenging the status quo.

To understand a political scandal fully, one must take into account all of the interests of those involved. The problem is that these interests are rarely revealed—which is why it is so tempting for partisans, particularly if they are at a political disadvantage, to resort to scandal to attack their opponents. Many great scandals arise as a means of attacking political foes while obscuring the political differences that are at issue. This is especially likely to occur in the aftermath of elections that threaten the authority of an established order. In such circumstances, scandal provides a way for defenders of the status quo to undermine the legitimacy of those who have been elected on a platform of challenging the status quo—diluting, as a consequence, the authority of the electorate.

And here’s Andy Puzder on Fox News:

To the great shock and disappointment of liberals who have been desperately hoping for a downturn, the U.S. economy once again blew away expectations, recording 3.2 percent GDP growth rate in the first quarter of this year.

Liberals have been predicting an impending recession for months. Frustrated with the obvious success of President Trump’s sweeping middle-class tax cuts – which they had claimed would result in “Armageddon” – Democrats next argued that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) would only produce a “sugar high” for the economy. With each successive quarter that their predictions have failed to materialize, they’ve only become more frustrated with the economy’s long-term prospects. …

This isn’t a one-time anomaly, either. GDP growth has been increasing steadily throughout Trump’s presidency, and the most recent data bring us to three consecutive quarters in which year-over-year growth has been 3 percent or higher. In fact, GDP growth has averaged 3.3 percent over the past four quarters.

Camille Paglia wrote, back in 2014:

The basic leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring Utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind.

William Voegeli at a Heritage panel on the future of the left, also in 2014

The fundamental assumption of the Left is the innate goodness of each person. This assumption means that they are seeking to undermine the Constitution which is based on a very different version of human nature. The Constitution puts the three branches of government against each other so that each will keep the others in check. The Constitution expects selfish ambition and by expecting ambition it legitimizes it — which is precisely what the left does not want to do. The left wants to supply not the “defect of better motives” but just better motives. Liberals want to set up a system that allows our latent goodness to “flourish” and the checks of our constitutional system can be discarded in favor of technocratic centralized disinterestedness that allows each individual to live an authentic life of his choosing.

Kevin Williamson, same panel:

In order to achieve this goal of a soft liberated citizenry the Left will have to dominate and control more of society—a tendency that is already in evidence.

And here’s Tom Sowell:

The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also  vision of themselves – a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice”and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalted vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice. Which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact free arguments on the left, whether it is gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues – and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.




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