Watching the election in Virginia, and to a lesser extent in New Jersey, was fascinating. In 2020, the Establishment pulled every stop, every dirty trick, perhaps even outright fraud but certainly, at a bare minimum, a relentlessly biased media campaign. And, naturally, it worked. Yet the same kind of bombardment failed in Virginia. Trotting out fake Neo Nazis was caught and exposed. Open taunting about controlling schools and the education of children failed to sway parents. Fraud – at least in Virginia – either failed to materialize or was just insufficient to stop the tide.
If this had been Florida, or another very borderline state, we could write off the result as a slight swing in favor of one party or the other, but Virginia has been Blue since the Bush II days. Make no mistake, something big happened there.
Looking back, Donald Trump failed to significantly reverse Progressive gains during his presidency, but he did do one thing very well: he antagonized his opponents to such a degree that they expended enormous amounts of energy to defeat him. Money and political capital flowed freely. Journalists brazenly exposed their bias. Chants of Hitler and Nazi reached a fever pitch that dwarfed Bush Derangement Syndrome by orders of magnitude. Never forget a young woman… or man… who could tell… screaming the moment Donald Trump took office. It was the symbol for the following four years. American Leftists went mad. Establishment figures spared no expense ridding themselves of the man. Money, fraud, collusion, outright lies, ridiculous stories like the Steele Dossier, and foolish stooges like the Lincoln Project threw everything at him.
Yeah, they beat him. Who could stand against that kind of energy? The whole presidency took on the character of Horatius at the bridge. Give Trump credit for one thing: he stood there and took it. No Bush could ever manage that. I can’t think of anyone Right of Center who could have.
A very intelligent friend of mine (Morlock – follow him on Twitter here if you like) likened all of this, at a very meta level, to the lifecycle of a very massive star. First, such a star burns hydrogen, and lasts for many years in this steady state. In such a manner, liberalization held sway in the West for a long time. Even the American Revolution was a kind of liberalization against monarchism (a later attempt in France went… less well). Freedom of speech, of movement, of association were great advances – progress, we might say – against the way things had been. We can extend this to the emancipation of slaves, to old rules around race and sex withering away. This form of liberalism lasted long, and though contained missteps, was largely a force for good. Many modern Rightists call themselves ‘Classical Liberals’ in this sense. This is where they wished to stay. Alas, it was not to be.
The star exhausts its supply of hydrogen. The simple, easy fuel is gone. Pressure increases, heat rises, and the star begins to burn helium. Yet the helium does not last as long. Progressives burned through all these easy things. They had to find new oppressions to defeat, new freedoms to offer. Where a Classical Liberal might support a war in the sense of Just War theory, the 60s New Leftist supported nothing. All war was evil oppression. Pacifism became principle. Sexual liberation was on offer, something which might have been related to the later explosion of STDs like HIV. Where the hydrogen of Classical Liberalism had lasted more than a century, the New Left of the 60s was dead by the 80s.
Helium had all been fused. Now on to heavier elements. Each successive ‘liberation’ and ‘freedom’ discovered is more minute – denser, in its own way – than its predecessor. Some are freed entirely from any grounding in reality. The agender demi-sexual femme-identifying xir claims you must acknowledge… its… pronouns, or you have oppressed… it. Ever more nebulous forms of oppression are discovered. It is time, they say, to consider fat liberation. More political capital is burned in the fires of this insanity. Public deviation from the Establishment is no longer possible without severe consequences, the pressures are too great. This cycle goes on and on with ever-heavier elements, ever-mounting pressures, and more ridiculous liberations, and freedoms, and imagined oppressions.
Until the star attempts to fuse iron.
Dear readers, I don’t know when we we’ll hit iron. I only know that someday we will, and given the ever-shorter lifespans of Tumblr-inspired nonsense, that day is probably not particularly far off.
Once iron comes into play, things get very bad for the star very quickly. The equilibrium is gone. Fusing it doesn’t provide enough energy to maintain stability. It explodes, and for all intents and purposes, that is the end of the star. Perhaps its remnants form a neutron star or a black hole, but whatever the case, the cycle has ended.
Someday soon, the Progressives will reach iron. Maybe they already have, and Virginia is demonstrating that for them. Perhaps telling parents – even liberalized suburban Karens – that they have no right to a place in their child’s schooling is that iron. Or maybe the old Neo Nazi poser trick has finally expended the last of its viable political energy. Maybe COVID insanity is the last straw. Once upon a time, I thought coming for the guns might do it. Perhaps the political Left has within it another round or two of fusion, despite the hiccups here. Only in retrospect can we know when the moment came, and what drove it.
Yet iron cannot be that far off. The massive burning of political capital, money, economic resources – all of it – to defeat Trump shows the enormous pressure required to push America further Leftward. It doesn’t want to go anymore. Even with Leftists themselves, how much is about principle anymore? How much is really about defeating the Capitalism they have quasi-embraced with Starbucks, Apple, Google, and every HR department in the country? Principle is gone, now. All that remains is naked tribalism. They hate the Right, and the Right hates them, and what else is left to us? Does being called a racist or sexist have any power outside the Left’s own tribe?
Trump was no Horatius, in the end. He fell on the bridge. Whether through media pressure, money, or just plain fraud, he was brought down. Yet the enormity of the push to do that shows how hard the Left has it, now. And those same mechanisms failed to deliver Virginia from the Right, and only barely held on to ground in New Jersey. How will those mechanisms perform for truly purple states, or red ones?
I don’t know. Maybe they recover and push harder and expend more capital – dial up the pressure, fuse another element, and push a victory in 2022 or 2024. Maybe they never fully lose control of the government due to its massive unelected and largely Leftist bureaucracy.
But soon, they will try to fuse iron, and that’s the end of it all. Whether our country survives it, or in what form, I can’t say. I don’t know what all that looks like or how it plays out.