by the I&I Editorial Board
The only thing more uplifting than watching several prominent liberals drift rightward is the cluelessness of those on the left as to why it’s happening.
This drift is obvious enough, since it includes journalists once heralded by the left such as Matt Taibbi (who won a Young America’s Foundation award) and Glenn Greenwald, and Democratic politicians, including Tulsi Gabbard, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (whose speech at a Daily Caller award ceremony drew many loud cheers from the conservative audience), and Sen. John Fetterman (who recently declared that “I am not a progressive”).
Celebrities such as Russell Brand, David Chappelle, and Bill Maher (who “has been riding an asphalt roller over the far left,” according to Townhall) are part of the shift, as are a handful of prominent business leaders, Elon Musk for instance.
That’s to say nothing of the fact that surveys show once tried-and-true liberal constituencies – Hispanics, Asians, blacks, working class, and the young – are abandoning the Democratic party.
It’s not as though these people are suddenly small-government conservatives. They just are waking up to the fact that the left is a cesspool of hatred and intolerance and are looking for the exits.
All of which has caused a lot of confusion on the left. Case in point is a commentary by the New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg, who manages to come up with some theories to explain the realignment.
One is that “celebrity defectors … lurched right after a cancellation or public humiliation.” (In other words, for petty reasons.)
Another is that “the culture of the left is simply less welcoming,” and “people go where people accept them, or are nice to them, and away from people who are mean to them.” (An incredibly odd admission given that the left is supposedly all about “diversity” and “inclusion.”)
But then Goldberg settles on the notion that “Liberals and leftists have lots of excellent policy ideas, but rarely articulate a plausible vision of the future.”
Translation: Even though the left controls every major institution in the country, most notably the news media, it just needs better public relations.
Goldberg’s column was inspired by a 5,700-word behemoth by Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet in the far-left In These Times about the same topic.
These two start by saying that “It’s easy to dismiss many of these high-profile defectors as crackpots or spotlight-seekers, as never truly serious in their political principles or as plain grifters.”
But, after much mental exertion they decide that “Maybe there’s a kind of gravity to the slide, the black hole of fascism sucking toward it all the loose particles of those whose commitments were never complex or whose convictions were snapped by despair.
“That’s what makes fascism so scary when it genuinely flares. It consumes. It grows.”
When in doubt, the left always invokes fascism, ignorant of the fact that national socialism is a leftist dream, not a conservative one.
In any case, the reason the left is puzzled is because it’s so completely blind to the poisonous fruit of its own ideology, something that is finally dawning on common-sense Americans.
For some, it was the totalitarianism of the COVID apparatchiks, who, among countless other wrongs, forced a solidly liberal top executive, Jennifer Sey, out of Levi Strauss because she dared to say that schools shouldn’t remain closed. Sey later noted Levi’s is “trapped trying to please the mob — and silencing any dissent within the organization. In this, it is like so many other American companies: held hostage by intolerant ideologues who do not believe in genuine inclusion or diversity.”
For others, it was the coordinated silencing of dissent by big government and Big Tech (which, by the way, is the very definition of fascism), and the fact that so many on the left, including “democracy dies in darkness” journalists, were cheering it on.
For many in liberal cities such as San Francisco or New York or Chicago, it’s skyrocketing crime, abandoned storefronts, sidewalks full of homeless tents and human waste, and legions of illegal immigrants housed in bus stations, hotels, and abandoned schools. All of it the result of leftist policies.
For still others, it is the many forms of brutal intolerance the left shows toward anyone who doesn’t fall in line with whatever that day’s dogma happens to be, whether it’s school shutdowns, “transgender rights,” the climate “crisis,” or critical race theory. The left is constantly burning former friends at the stake for being heretics.