The Nihilism of the Left

The Nihilism of the Left. By Victor Davis Hanson.

The last 14 months have offered one of the rare occasions in recent American history when the hard Left has operated all the levers of federal government. The presidency, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the permanent bureaucratic state are all in progressive hands. And the result is a disaster that is uniting Americans in their revulsion of elitists whose crazy ideas are tearing apart the fabric of the country.

For understandable reasons, socialists and leftists are usually kept out of the inner circles of the Democratic Party, and especially kept away from control of the country. A now resuscitated Bernie Sanders for most of his political career was an inert outlier. The brief flirtations with old-style hardcore liberals such as George McGovern in 1972 and Mike Dukakis in 1988 imploded the Democratic Party. Their crash-and-burn campaigns were followed by corrective nominees who actually won the presidency: Southern governors Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. …

How did the extreme Left get control?

State governors such as Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, and Andrew Cuomo did not let the pandemic crisis go to waste. It was a rare occasion to leverage agendas that otherwise had no public support in ordinary times.

In the chaos of 2020, both laws and customs were altered or scrapped — changing the very way we vote. Over 102 million ballots were either mailed in or cast during so-called “early voting” — strangely resulting in far lower rejection rates in most states than in past “normal” years of predominantly in-person voting on Election Day. …

 

 

The hatred of Donald Trump prompted an influx of hundreds of millions of dark dollars from Silicon Valley to supplant the responsibilities of registrars in key precincts with armies of paid activists. A non compos mentis, basement-bound Joe Biden was cynically given an “Ol’ Joe from Scranton” moderate veneer to pursue a calibrated hard-Left agenda.

So Americans ended up with a neo-socialist government. It is proving as disastrous as it is bitterly instructive — reminding this generation of Americans what the Left does when it grasps power. As all restraints came off, the hard and now unbridled Left went to work to turn America into something like a looney, one-party California.

A wide-open border followed. We may see 3 million illegal aliens cross at the southern border during the first 18 months of the Biden Administration. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been allotted to reward those illegally entering America, who can expect free legal support from the U.S. government to ensure they are not subject to the laws of the United States.

In a sane world, Biden would have been impeached for deliberately destroying the very federal laws he swore to uphold. On the prompt of his hard Left controllers, he was eager to alter the electoral demography of the nation rather than ensure immigrants came in reasonable numbers, legally, with audit and background checks, and safely in a time of a pandemic. The former illegal arrivals were seen as needed constituents, the latter legal immigrants too politically unpredictable.

The Left in about a year has negated American gas and oil independence. Biden, who promised to end America’s use of fossil fuels on his watch, cast adrift millions of his fellow citizens to choose between driving and eating. Much of what the Left had traditionally demonized and wanted gone from American life — from gasoline to beefsteak to new pickup trucks — became so inflated in price as to be nearly unattainable. …

14 months so far, still 9 months to go before losing Congress after the midterm voting:

The Biden Administration’s profligate multitrillion-dollar budget, inflation of the currency, de facto zero interest rates, destructive subsidies that undermined labor participation, and incompetence at addressing the supply-chain and clogged port crises will all by midyear likely achieve a 10 percent annualized inflation rate. Carter-era stagflation is on the near horizon.

When an American president predicts a food shortage in what used to be the breadbasket of the world, then we see the wages of socialism in all their unapologetic cruelty. When the Left can scarcely hide its glee that diesel fuel hit $7 a gallon in California, the public is finally seeing that the Bidens, Newsoms, and AOCs of the world care nothing for the real-life consequences of their elite utopian green fantasies. …

A disastrous foreign policy of appeasement has ended U.S. deterrence. After the worst military humiliation in 50 years in Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea all seek to capitalize on a rare American Phaethon moment. The world’s superpower has turned over the reins of its deterrence chariot to a ninny and his gurus. …

The bureaucrats:

The public has also witnessed an unapologetically leftwing federal bureaucracy now completely unbound. Our top echelon of the administrative state is defiant in its weaponized assumption of legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

We are learning that the likes of Anthony Fauci have all but destroyed the reputation of once time-honored federal health agencies. In their contradictions, about-faces, and deceit, they focused mostly on controlling their multibillion-dollar public fiefdoms, hounding critics, rewarding sycophants, politicizing “science,” hiding culpability about routing money to lunatic gain-of-function research in China, and marginalizing outspoken voices of audit.

The military apparat after Afghanistan — defined as woke Pentagon functionaries, revolving door and politically weaponized corporate generals, and outspoken politicos — managed the impossible: a once revered military now cannot even win a 50 percent vote of confidence from the American public.

The intelligence agencies are worse. Former kingpins such as John Brennan and James Clapper, both pundits for hire on leftwing cable networks, lied under oath before Congress without consequences. When 50 retired intelligence officials during the Biden 2020 campaign claimed publicly that Hunter’s laptop was likely a Russian plot, what then is left of any semblance of nonpartisan professionalism and integrity?

James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Christopher Wray have all eroded the reputation of the FBI by fueling the Russian collusion hoax, the Alfa Bank hoax, and the Hunter laptop disinformation hoax. …

When the evidence becomes overwhelming that the collusionary media lied about the laptop or the origins of COVID-19, there is never a retraction, only a Soviet-style silence about past untruth. And then it is on to the next false narrative. …

The left controls too much. Will it swing back, or is this the end of the West as we knew it?

The Left got what it wanted and now controls academia, the media, the internet, K-12 education, corporate boardrooms, the Pentagon, Wall Street, and Hollywood. And they more or less have turned each of these into versions of Pravda. The sermons, arrogance, and narcissism of these woke cultural imperialists now explain why they are disliked as much abroad as they are at home.

In sum, we are watching a rare laboratory experiment in which the traditional American fringe is now in control of the government. In pursuit of its utopian omelet, the Left cares little about the millions of middle-class Americans it must break to make it. The result is an unmitigated disaster that not only has tarred the Democratic Party, corrupted once-revered agencies, and alienated half the country from our cultural institutions, but now endangers the very health and security of the United States.

Western Civilization hangs in the balance.