Dems Told 'Become More Nationalist'

Thursday, March 24, 2022

In better days, the prospect of the Democrats getting very deservedly massacred in November would make me hopeful for at least some improvement in the national political climate.

But today? A Sp!ked column by Joel Kotkin causes such a prospect only to give me pause. You might nod your head as Kotkin describes how the Democrats' kowtowing to such damaging and unpopular positions as climate hysteria, wokeness, and defunding the police primes them for electoral oblivion. But if you're a lover of freedom, just wait till you get a load of the advice he offers, in the vein of the Clinton-era New Democrats.

This is disappointing for anyone wanting an alternative to what we have now and what Americans just threw out of the Oval Office:

Nationalism or socialism? encompasses America's political "choice" like two colors of lollipop are the only choices we have for dinner. (Image by Sharon McCutcheon, via Unsplash, license.)
Two critical barriers stand in the way of reviving the Democrats. One lies in changes that create a more tolerant and less authoritarian populism. The New Democrats, who emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, operated in a very different environment. It was a time before the rise of China, and many were optimistic about the long-term benefits of globalisation. A successful Democratic agenda today would necessarily be a more nationalistic one, far less open to allowing foreign firms to undercut US firms, especially if they use far more destructive environmental methods to attain lower costs.

Perhaps the best way forward may be to follow the traditionalist model, which blends social-democratic policies as a critical part of the national purpose. Americans remain far more patriotic than Europeans and say they would pay at least somewhat higher prices for domestic goods. [bold added]
In other words, become the Trumpist Lite Party: be nationalists, marry protectionism with the green agenda, and take advantage of the fact that Americans continue to love this country.

Kotkin is more correct than he realizes regarding the Democrats operating in a "very different environment" today than Clinton et al.: Back then, capitalism (albeit poorly-understood, rarely named as such, and only begrudgingly acknowledged) was implicitly understood to be the alternative to protectionism, racial quotas, taxation-inflation, and other manifestations of central planning.

Today, our country increasingly seems to regard two versions of collectivism, namely socialism and nationalism, as its "alternatives," with capitalism and freedom -- which built this country and are ultimately why it earned the affection of its citizens -- are increasingly forgotten.

-- CAV

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