No Going Back
The End of Liberalism?

Democracy is doing just fine at this populist moment. Liberalism, however, is being destroyed by its most fervent supporters.

Published on: November 1, 2017
Damir Marusic is Executive Editor at The American Interest.
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  • rheddles


  • rheddles

    p.s. The progressives Damir hangs with are not liberals in any legitimate sense of the word. It is time to stop allowing them to bastardize it. They are anything but liberal. Sort of like the Bolsheviks were anything but the majority. Let’s drop the word.

    • I mean, not really true. Unless you happen to know me, have for some reason been commenting under this pseudonym for years, and are now going to call me a liar. Which would be weird of you.

      In any case, more to what I assume is your underlying point: I was pretty careful to not use the L-word in the American colloquial context in this piece. So I in fact do mean liberals, and not progressives.

      • Psalms13626

        People who say things “Trump is attacking our shared values” while not vocally and loudly condemning the ad that suggests people who support Gillespie want to run over kids with a truck should take their hypocrisy and shove it. And what are our shared values anyway? Is allowing people from Uzbekistan to come here, bring 23 relatives and then kill us a “shared value”? You tell me.

      • D4x

        Damir: Glad you survived the purge. Next time you have one of those ‘debates’, or ‘conversation about…’, consider how many voices are self-silencing. The shunning, intimidation, and physical threats, being cast out of ALL tribal affiliation: political party, alma mater, religious affiliation, every magazine, ‘friends’ – was very real, since 2004-2008, unbearable 2012-2016. ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ lost their definitions when that 30% became the Obstructive Resistance almost one year ago.

        If America were polarized, that chart would show the divergence in the center, not off to the left. The source is well worth reading: ” Oct. 31 2017 The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America Attitudes about Free Speech, Campus Speech, Religious Liberty, and Tolerance of Political Expression By Emily Ekins

        Americans Say Political Correctness Has Silenced Discussions Society Needs to Have; Most Have Views They’re Afraid to Share Nearly three-fourths (71%) of Americans believe that political correctness has done more to silence important
        discussions our society needs to have. A little more than a quarter (28%) instead believe that political correctness has done more to help people avoid offending others.”

        • CrazyHungarian

          The one and only purpose of political correctness is “to silence important discussions our society needs to have”.

      • rheddles

        Not at all sure why you think I am calling you a liar, but I am not.

        I will read the article again when I get home but I recall from last night that you seemed to be using the L word in both senses. That gets very confusing. I will reread it substituting classical liberal through out.

        • It’s confusing, I agree. It makes it even harder to parse out what we mean when we talk about these complicated trends.

          In any case, was exhausted last night after writing all day. Meant it as more of a joke, but it came off sounding rougher. Apologies.

          • rheddles

            None required.

            That’s the danger of posting in the evening after a rough day.

      • texasjimbo

        You have a choice. Vote for the leftist/democratic candidate and see the culture and the country continue to decline. Or vote for the republican and have a *chance* that the country can be saved.

  • Psalms13626

    “The shrill screeching of the high priests of the liberal clerisy are not helping things at all.” I would disagree with that. Shrill screeching of Left-wingers of various shapes and sizes is really helping to remove the mask they had on. The true colors are coming out. I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power. Use this knowledge to empower yourself, not to victimize yourself.

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      Could not agree more! The best single thing about Trump is that now we see so many people – the noxious Max Boot and Bill Kristol – for who they are. Globalists who hate the nation state and want to use mass migration as a tool to destroy the United States, Europe and Christendom, to reverse every trend that made the world better and gave us freedom, liberty and economic opportunity. It turns out the real third rail of world politics are borders and limited immigration.

  • Anthony

    Modern liberalism/American liberalism (since 1930s) is a broad category (but assumption is liberalism of West in last 350 years is thrust intended). Though a principal in Western political philosophy, can we fairly say democracy thrives but liberalism wanes (for its excesses) as some argue liberalism gave birth to democracy? Key ideas behind liberalism: democracy, equal rights, human rights, separation between church and state, religious freedom, unalienable individual rights (and a few others). Importantly, we also have subsumed under liberalism both the economic and political, so do we actually see an end in this populist moment.Perhaps, liberalism needs elucidation for those eager to give post mortems.

  • AnonymoussSoldier

    Damir, buddy, if your friends really say things like that in the opening then you need some new friends. I do believe my cat is smarter than they are. Here’s what you can tell them, Damir, “so it was not an existential threat when Barack Obama continued to rip apart the fourth amendment? Not a problem when Barack Obama signed the NDAA that effectively nullifies habeas corpus whenever they want? Not a problem that Barack Obama expanded the wars from a couple to six or seven countries we’re now bombing, who even knows now how many on a given day?”….”did you/you guys even know about this?” Chances are they didn’t, Damir, so at that point let them reflect on their lives and how little they actually know.

    in other words, you’re talking about the corporatist, inside the beltway, and the super detached. They are not the progressives who are genuinely concerned and have always been concerned about constitutional rights and the expansion of the wars Obama did. Of course they’re also not genuine conservatives (neither are many legislators, so no biggie I suppose) no they’re not even JFK Dems because they are unaffected by the outsourcing and apparently love third world immigration, like the bizarre “diversity visa” lottery that brought us the latest terrorist…from Uzbekistan…in 2010. So much for assimilation.

    • Tom

      I think that the opening paragraph is meant to be Mr. Marusic’s sentiments regarding the antics of the progressives.

      • CheckYourself

        The progressives have been railing against basically every president since they took their modern shape decades ago. They love FDRs new deal socialism, not so much his bigoted words on some minorities. Hey, it was the 30s. Anywho, the progressives are anti trump, but they’ve been screaming from the rooftops about obama and bush before him. They are anti democrat usually, since corporatists like Clinton run the DNC via their chosen boy, Perez, wasserman Schultz and Brazile before him. All cheaters and liars and corporate lapdogs. Only the corporate Dems and corporate Republicans scream about trump since 2016. The progressives, who’ve always been there, aren’t accepting them and their fake rage.

        • To some extent this is true but the Progs declare they will wage war on… something as of Saturday. Let us see how that goes before allowing their clean hands and good intentions.

    • Orwellian_Dilemma

      “They are not the progressives who are genuinely concerned and have always been concerned about constitutional rights”

      Hmmm. Since the very purpose of “progressivism” is the limiting of human liberty and deprivation of human rights, progressives by definition oppose constitutional rights.

      • AnonymoussSoldier

        Corporate Dems and Republicans passing the baton to start wars and shred the fourth amendment is what progressives have taken issue with since 2001. They were the ones punchin HRC in the face by reminding us all that she voted to invade Iraq. They’re the ones now organizing the primary a lot of corporate Dems.

        • Unmutual One

          As the “progressive” response to corporatism seems to be leftist totalitarianism, I’ll pass, thanks.

          • And if they will not let you pass?

          • AnonymoussSoldier

            Exactly. That’s why they’re in a quandary. It’s not that the Republican Party has become much better, but rather it’s that the Democratic Party has become so much worse. The really rather short lived Clinton “triangulation” era doesn’t cut it anymore. Clinton Democrats are not progressives, so progressive don’t like them, but they’re also not conservatives. But the Clintonians still control the party.

          • The_Big_W

            But if Hillary had looked us in the eye and said “she feels our pain”, she’d be President of the United States today.

            She looked us in the eye and said “you damned deplorable irredeemables”.

            Bill was a great politician. Hillary is a freakin witch.

            Hill took Bernie and Obamas lead and went all in for socialisism. Even including the bit about punishing those who do not sufficiently believe.

          • Johnathan Swift Jr.

            I don’t think the Clintons were ever “Clinton Democrats.” I think they have always been grifters first, last and always and that his sort of centrism was simply what he had to do to be elected in Arkansas, which was not a leftist state. He went left upon election and then was defeated in the mid-terms, thus tacked right against Hillary’s judgement. I think the true Clintonism was on display while she ran the State Department as a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation, where foreign policy was on sale to the highest donor. The whole foundation has always been a sick sham, especially in Haiti, which they all should have been drawn and quartered for. The global initiative was a simply another influence pedaling scheme. Clintonism = Graft.

        • Contrarian62

          To replace them with corporate communists. No thanks.

        • MAGA Knight Leo

          “Since 2001”
          That might be a worthwhile argument if Progressivism didn’t have a history dating back to at least the 1890s.

  • WigWag

    Truly a brilliant essay, Damir. Thank you. I genuinely hope that after reading it your friends will still be your friends. The irony is that tolerance is supposed to be a hallmark of liberalism but today, far too often, liberals eschew tolerance. That’s what happened when liberalism morphed from a philosophy into a religion.

  • Orwellian_Dilemma

    I read the opening lines to this column with great interest and much agreement. In fact, I shared it excitedly with my wife and kids. Then I read how somehow, without any explanation or evidence, how Trump and Trumpism somehow against classic liberalism. . . .

    The entire point of Trump and his fans has been to oppose those who would destroy our liberty.

    “Faced with a broad revolt against the common-sense liberal worldview”

    What is so “common sense” about allowing “refugees” from terrorist countries come pouring over our borders, with absolutely no vetting, no background checks, not even knowing if they are who they say they are?

    What is “common sense” about the Democrats saying that “CIS” gendered white males need not apply for IT jobs in the party?

    What is “common sense” about rioting in the streets demanding that cops be assassinated?

    What is “common sense” about rioting in the streets to stop speech one dislikes?

    Et cetera ad nauseum.

    • odys

      Well, I think the author’s point was that the globalists’ view of liberalism, including getting rid of nation states has been endangered by Trump. I agree with you that the globalists’ view is not that of even a large plurality and that is why they hide it.

      • Yes, the author is not using ‘common sense’ conventionally, rather to mean liberal consensus. But what is that exactly? As always, one is left guessing.

    • mmercier0921

      Opinion pieces never excite me anymore.

      Perhaps if the leftists nutcakes call me a xenophobic, racist, rapist, homophobic, gun toting Christian pig a few more times… I will come around and vote for their communist Democrat party people’s.

    • RubyLaffoon

      Thank you for calling out “that” Orwellian idea in this article. Although I agreed with many of the ideas in the article, I was stumped over the writer’s use of the term “common-sense liberal worldview”, as it pertains to modern day liberals. It happens so often where a liberal/leftist writer will take reality and figuratively flip it, but they will include some accurate information too, causing confusion that makes one continue to read on hoping for clarity that never comes because what they’ve said is downright the opposite of the truth. How can anyone believe that common sense has anything to do with the liberal worldview anymore? Your examples of the liberals’ lack of common sense pulls the rug out from under this writer’s insinuation about liberals and conversely that conservatives, specifically Trump supporters, lack a common sense liberal worldview. You’ve displayed how the actual liberals are not liberal at all, more like totalitarians, and have no common sense. If they had common sense, they wouldn’t have been so shocked when Trump won the presidency.

  • SportsMedicine

    Smart people aren’t just academically smart, they recognize the environment around them, and then take that opportunity.
    What this essay leaves out,is the Barack Obama presidency, and how it affected the US populace. That’s what brought the US voter to cast that vote for a guy like Trump.
    Had Trump run after any President before Obama, he probabaly would not have won.
    And that begs the question – why?
    The answer is, because the American voter gave ultra liberalism a chance, and it failed miserably. Trump recognized this environment, and cashed in. Just like Obama, an empty suit with zero accomplishments or experience running anything, did when he announced he was running for President.
    A candidate like Jeb Bush may not have won, because he didn’t recognize how bad Obama was. He also, as a member of the establishment, didn’t recognize the American electorate.
    Trump, a builder with street smarts, did.
    Trump awoke a sleepy electorate with his rhetoric. He’s a lot smarter than anyone on the left, including Democrats and their cohorts in the media give him credit for.
    Expect him to breeze into a second term. And with that, liberals should take a long hard retrospect at their ideology.
    While it liberal issues may sound morally right, liberal governance just doesn’t work.
    Liberals, being as thick headed as they are, will never accept that, and that’s why they keep losing elections. They won’t wake up. And that’s fine with me.

    • odys

      Yes, quite right. There were a couple of things that the “liberals” and their enablers, the fake news peddlers continue to ignore, and that amuses and befuddles me:

      1) We have known Donald Trump longer than anyone in the national spotlight. We knew Trump while Hill and Bill were still picking hayseed out of their teeth in Arkansas. No way could the press redefine Trump in anyone’s eyes.
      2) Venezuela, and more importantly, Obamacare showed everyone that liberal governance is a callous disaster. Remember how the liberals could care less that 13 million people lost their insurance when they launched Obamacare in 2013, but they certainly bring that up when people talk of repairing their mess.

    • Lance Sjogren

      I think you put more significance on Obama than warranted. The Establishment Left in the US (as in Europe) has become increasingly extremist and fanatical. Obama was simply a reflection of that. It would have been the same with any Democrat as president.

    • CitizenJack

      The constant meme that we hear is that Obama was loved by a plurality. But what the polls also showed was that 70% of population thought the country was heading in the wrong direction. Aside from the fact that Hillary was a disastrous candidate, Trump was begat by Obama (not to mention the 1,000 various gov’t seats lost during his admin). Yes, Obama was charming and cool and with it (enough so, that I voted for him twice), but his policies are proving to be disastrous. Just one small example; Cuba. A brutal, communist country, where the people have not gained any new freedoms after our policy change. Not to mention that 20+ US diplomats have had their hearing damaged by this brutal dictatorship. The list goes on, including what I perceive as the increased racial hatred that began & contributed by Obama’s administration.

      • Miek D.

        Obama was loved in the polls because everyone was afraid of being called a racist for not loving him. If he were white, he would have never been elected in the first place and certainly would have lost his second election. Now with Obama gone, people feel free to voice their displeasure on the way the government was run over the last eight years.

        • There we have it. Barack was the Affirmative Action President. Nothing more. Nothing else.

        • Johnathan Swift Jr.

          Could not agree more! He was never really popular once he started to govern as he took a hard left turn. People hate to tell pollsters that they hate him because of the successful framing of Against Obama = Racist.

      • Icepilot

        “Obama was charming and cool and with it (enough so, that I voted for him twice), but his policies are proving to be disastrous.”

        Small suggestion – vote policies vice charm.

        • Bandit

          Obama was charming and cool and with it

          With WHAT???? A doctrinaire liberal who unthinkingly regurgitated every proggie piety and who’s one goal was to turn the US into a 1 state Blutopia. Hence Trump. Nice work Obammy!!!

        • Marc

          How about vote first principles (liberty [not libertarianism]) over policy, since no one ever knows how policies are going to turn out anyway. How about all you idiots who constantly fall for cult of personality opting out of suffrage, since you end up voting for people who see themselves as above everyone anyway, and who prefer to have power without needing votes ultimately.

          • RTO Dude

            Recognize that Icepilot wasn’t the originator of “…and with it”, he was quoting CJ. But yeah, principles before policy, generally. And one of the problems I have with this nonsense article is the author’s usage of “liberal”, specifically his unquestioning acceptance of an Orwellian redefinition to “whatever progressives believe in today”.

            The people didn’t lose faith in liberal principles, Damir. People like you changed ’em. (Judging from this article only, which is all I’ve access to.) pro-tip: swizzling basis vectors to move an object isn’t a complex concept, and you’re insulting our intelligence.

            God I’d love to get into a realtime back and forth with some of these “intellectuals”.

      • Johnathan Swift Jr.

        Nice post Jack. I really feel that the whole Obama candidacy was inauthentic and manufactured. David Axlerod had one brilliant idea and that was in order to prove that America had put its racial past behind it, many people would love to vote for a black man, as long as he did not appear to be a race baiter like Jesse Jackson or a fraudulent con man like the “Reverend” Al Sharpton. Thus Axlerod looked for a well spoken, appealing black Democrat who would fit in with the ruling class. The signal thing about Obama was that the generally low volume and moderate delivery of his speeches made so many see him as reasonable and centrist, when nothing he wanted to do was centrist or moderate and even then, had he had solid majorities after 2010, he almost certainly would have been much more radical still.

        Axelrod was grooming Deval Patrick to be his candidate and in his first Governor’s race all the messaging that would later appear as “Obama’s” was tested, in fact they plagiarized some of Patrick’s speeches. Obama was never the cypher he appeared to be. Anyone who sat in the noxious Reverend Wright’s (the black Richard Spencer, except on steroids) and listened to his spew, his hatred of capitalism, his hatred of Americanism, his hatred of whites and Jews, had to agree with him. No one would endure that bilious upchucking if they didn’t.

        No, Obama has a chip on his shoulder the size of Gibraltar and once in office set about exploiting every racial incident no matter how tribal, nationalizing what should have been local incidents. He has single handedly set race relations back many decades, to the point that for the black activists it is always Selma and the year is always 1963. They are ignorant that most blacks have joined the American mainstream and that 40% of them live safely, securely and without incident in the suburbs with the rest of us. The problems that remain in black America are virtually all in the ghettos which Obama’s party has run on party line votes in almost all cases for a half century or more, there is not a GOP’r in sight to blame the lack of jobs, the lousy housing, the unsafe streets, the horrible but expensive schools and the 90% illegitimacy on, none of which were anywhere close to as bad in 1965.

        Obama was never particularly good at anything. He did a few goos speeches, but was never impressive off the cuff. He was narcissistic to a degree Trump could never hope to get to, a head in the air posture with an arched neck, a petulant attitude that said that no criticism was ever warranted and each foreign leader’s passing was celebrated with…a picture of Obama. He burnt the whole party down without a second thought. He should have been impeached for the Iran “deal” alone. Who ever heard of sending hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. dollars to a brutal dictatorship who he knew full well was going to use the cash to pay for terrorism as they are the #1 terrorist nation? Who would normalize relations with Cuba without anything in return, no concessions, let alone not freeing his political prisoners? He handed both of these noxious regimes a life line when due to the oil crash we had the maximum leverage. Cuba was dependent on a cratering Venezuela and Iran was dependent on declining oil prices.

        I don’t think almost anyone really “loved” Obama. In the beginning black Americans did not embrace him, realizing that he had nothing, nothing, nothing in common with them, being an exotic man who grew up in the unique environment of Hawaii with a leftist family, a communist mentor and years spent living as a Muslim in Indonesia, whether he converted or not. He did not share the Southern heritage with most black Americans, nor the inner city background that many of them lived through. The only reason that so many blacks defended him was that the left was successful in depicting his opponents as racists and the only reason that many whites embraced this feckless, friendless back-bencher was to signal their virtue. As for opposition to his policies being racist, people on the right have firmly rejected every one of his signal polices no matter who advanced them.

        • CitizenJack

          Johnathan, very insightful comments. As for me, I got duped, as Axelrod said, that we were in a post-racial moment. Boy, have I learned! But the MSM, shilled for him (as they did for Hillary) and never reported his troubling associations and upbringing. It was not common knowledge.

          • Johnathan Swift Jr.

            Thanks. Yes, it was not common knowledge because the major media did not have the slightest curiosity about the man who was elected President. And, all of the various conspiracy theories have their roots in the fact that his background was so poorly researched and vetted and all of his work at Oxy and Columbia was embargoed. Wayne Allan Root was a classmate of Obama’s at Columbia in the same major and also pre-law and never met him, nor did the department head remember him.

            And of course the infamous Kenyan birth sxtory originated in his own biography for his book where he himself had to have made that claim, perhaps to seem more exotic than he was. Then it was Mrs. Clinton who peddled it during the primaries.

            The whole aim of identity politics is not to find common ground, but to divide us by race, by ethnic origin, by class, to atomize society.

            And the nation state is the enemy of the global elite who somehow see world governance combined with multiculturalism as the answer to conflict, as if geographical boundaries as well as religious, philosophical and ethnic divisions as natural and helpful. A homogenized and pasteurized world would be an awful place.

        • honestynow

          Great summary!

    • SeaAyeA

      Well I’m not a socialist, but I certainly know a few. They say that Obama was too corporatist. He was onboard for bailing out the banks and bankers who tanked the economy. He was definitely in favor of wars and drone strikes. He didn’t do anything to get money out of politics. He didn’t even do something that would be rather easy, like push for marijuana legalization nationwide. Even chose Romney care to make his own.

      I hear them when they tell me these things. He was no Sandinista. But we part ways when they try to blame only those things – when they tell me that he simply was not socialist enough. I mean, it’s beyond question that Obama presided over eight years of defeat for his party. They lost like 1100 seats. But they didn’t lose those seats to socialist candidates. Of course, they lost those seats to the Conservative party. The party may not be as conservative as some would want it to be, and it is certainly full of corporate tools like the Democrats, but nonetheless it was not the Socialist party of USA or something, it was the GOP.

      • TheBigGuy

        Obama did the exact opposite of what he said he was going to do. His public speeches painted him as the best thing ever, but his policies were outright destructive. His 8 year term was filled with multiple scandals. He abused his “first black president” status to do whatever he wanted. Just look how he passed Obamacare and the worst part is Democrats held him to no standard, but now that Trump is president they all of a sudden care about the deficit. They forced their propaganda down our throat. Obama silenced free speech and telling the truth became racist. Everything noble was deemed wrong. What made the difference this time is the transparency of the internet. We got a closer look than we ever did on his actions. Liberal media was having a hard time suppressing the truth. And when they tried, everyone saw them for what they are. When you tell the truth, you would get bombarded with attacks from the liberal base. Comments with zero logic and all bullying.

        Things like Operation fast and furious where they tried to create the problem, so that they could ban guns. Behind the scenes Obama was creating all the chaos he said he was going to change. Over $10 trillion in debt tells us he only cared about getting rich from the taxpayer and giving his friends millions of dollars in government subsidies.

    • Miek D.

      They will keep losing elections until enough new voters come of age who have no memory of the last liberal administration. I came of age after Carter and watched the collapse of communism and socialism in Europe. I thought we learned our lesson and then Obama showed up and many who couldn’t remember Carter, communism and socialism believed that what Obama preached was a good idea.

      • Contrarian62

        Uh – in 20-25 years? How, exactly, do you explain Bernie and his cult following? Guy’s a Marxist and he’d have won the entire election if not for the DNC rigging. If you are a democrat and you aren’t a socialist, you need to take your party back – like now.

      • Bandit

        By then Bernie will be over 100

      • Except we have an entire generation of millenials who want to live under a socialist or communist government because that’s what they’ve been told is the perfect for form of government.

    • Gary Hemminger

      You are way too myopic SportsMedicine. The issue predates Obama by decades. I am not saying Obama was a success, but he is not the sole cause of the issue. It predates him. He wouldn’t have been elected if Bush was elected.

    • MisterEd13

      Fine with me, too.

    • JeffreyL

      I disagree. Trump won because the democrats ran Hillary. Go back and look at some of the vote totals, especially go back and look at them adjusted for population growth between 2012 and 2016. In a number of the midwestern states, Trump did worse than Mitt, but won. He won not because Obama ran before him, but because of just how glaringly bad a person Hillary was. Obama’s vote totals from 2012 with no population adjustments even would have devastated Trump in the electoral college.

      • solstice

        The Democratic Party had been gutted at the state and local levels during the Obama presidency and before Hillary announced her candidacy. This demonstrates that the Democrats’ problems in 2016 ran far deeper that Hillary being a less-than-ideal candidate.

      • solstice

        Your analysis also ignores how Trump’s message (which went against Republican/conservative orthodoxy) persuaded many voters who had voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 to vote for Trump in 2016.

      • Bedarb

        Trump had less votes because of turnout, not because he did “worse.” The reason there was lower turnout in 2016 was due to the politics of personal destruction waged by both campaigns. It was deliberate strategy on both sides. The 2016 election was the ugliest in American history.

        The shrinking Bush-wing of the GOP as well as hardline ideological conservatives would like to believe they would have prevailed in the general election yet which other Republican candidate could have penetrated the Blue Wall? Trump oddly won in 2016 on a Buchananite agenda in spite of tons of personal baggage, vulgarity, & a handful of truly pointless gaffes. The author of this piece intimates that Republican candidates are going to look more like Tom Cotton or Jeff Sessions rather than Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, or Mike Lee. He’s probably right. The fear that the mini-Trump’s, the Roy Moore’s and Kid Rock’s of the world, will become the GOP norm and doom the party are unfounded.

        • CptNerd

          “Ugliest in American history”? You think this was worse than Adams-Jefferson?

          • Bedarb

            Yes, but that’s merely a detail. The point was that the cucks, the self-declared “principled conservatives” in the room, wanna pretend that Ted Cruz didn’t actually lose or that Mitt Romney did better than Trump. They wanna pretend that any Republican could’ve defeated Hillary Clinton even though the Clintons’ and their political Machine wrote the damn playbook on how to destroy conventional conservative Republicans, post-Reagan.

          • CitizenJack

            Probably equal

    • ggm281

      In my opinion the single biggest turning point was the post 2012 election period when both parties ran back to DC intent on doing everything they could to help illegal immigrants. 2009-2011 saw banks bailed out. Car manufactures who had made a colossal mistake tinkering in the consumer credit markets bailed out. Home owners who were behind on their mortgages were bailed out (only to default on their second chance). The recovery was disrupted to ensure that a (D) priority was passed which just happened to impact the single biggest factor in compensation decisions – the cost of employee health care. And after all of that, the public took a chance on Obama, only to be slapped in the face. Not a single concern about working Americans who hadn’t seen a raise in 5-6 years, but deep concern about ensuring illegal immigrants got citizenship (with a whole lot of money added in to ensure they were rewarded for their illegal entry).
      So I’d guess that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And that genie isn’t going back in the bottle as easily as it came out.

    • martynW

      Dig deeply enough into any “ultra liberal,” and you’ll find someone whose most cherished belief is that somehow, in some way, they can make a totally state-controlled society work. That the “real” forms of socialism or communism have never been tried, and if you just give the government and its leaders enough power over everything, we will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

      I’m sorry, but this makes their political movement much more dangerous than “populism.”

      The term “fascism” has been carefully re-defined in our political culture to mean “people who don’t like minorities.” This isn’t true. This was just one particular atrocity of a particular fascist regime.

      Mussolini, the man who invented fascism, described the ideology as “all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” There is only one political movement in American that believes centralized state control is the answer to every important issue or problem.

  • Paladin13

    With Trump’s election a year ago, I was reminded of the ending scene in The Patriot with General Cornwallis stating “Things will change. Things have already changed.” Things are changing because the masses in America and Europe understand that they are being sold out by elites no matter what their party affiliation. Why did Jeb Bush, who raised over $100 million in the primaries, get only a handful of primary votes and was roundly rejected? Because he is a member of the Bush crime family syndicate which is in league with the Clinton-DNC crime family syndicate. For example, both syndicates want open borders, almost unlimited immigration, and for what? Lower wage scales and cheap labor for their corporate cronies and financiers with an uneducated and under-educated population which is easier to control.

    The problem with liberalism is that it has lost its mooring to common sense, our Judeo-Christian heritage, and actual liberal ideas, such as freedom, liberty, real tolerance, and minimal government. Now, liberalism, and more accurately progressivism, is anti-freedom, anti-liberty, anti-tolerance, and pro – big and totalist government. The closet totalitarians are members of the progressive movement. Progressives were always anti-freedom and anti-liberty. If progressives ever get total control of government, they will extinguish private universities and colleges. Bernie Sanders pushed the idea of free PUBLIC college and university education. Nice way to push out or destroy private or religious colleges and universities. Did anyone call Sanders’ idea out as evil? No. Not even Trump.

    And stop extolling “democracy.” The Founders understood that democracy leads to destruction of freedom and liberty and hated the system. That’s why we have a democratic REPUBLIC. Democracies destroy themselves and usually lead to dictatorships. We did away with the states selecting their senators. If we do away with the Electoral College, watch America spiral into anarchy and chaos.

    • Miek D.

      But part of the problem we face right now is caused by our democratic republic. There is a very large information asymmetry between Washington elites and the American electorate. Most voters do their job just before elections. They listen to the candidate, read the newspapers, make their decision and vote accordingly. Then they drift off for two years. The lobbyists pay big money for the laws that elected officials pass and they live in Washington and talk to politicians every day and monitor their every single vote and add/subtract donations accordingly.

      The key to getting elected is to tell the voters what they want to hear and do what the lobbyists tell you to do. Better yet, convince the voters that what they want done in Washington is what the lobbyists want done.

      • jckluge

        The key to getting elected is to tell the voters what they want to hear and do what the lobbyists tell you to do.

        And that is why Hillary Clinton is President today. If Donald Trump’s election showed anything, it showed how untrue that statement actually is.

        • Tom

          Well, it might disprove the second part, but it certainly doesn’t disprove the first.

      • Paladin13

        I agree with you. The current tax change proposals are an example. Many in the middle class are going to get screwed.

    • mmercier0921

      Progressives are not totalitarians… and if you try to give a speech in one of their controlled universities, they will smash your face in and prove it.

      • Paladin13

        LOL! Thanks for the correction!

      • CptNerd

        “Imagine a boot, stomping on a human face, forever, for their own good, of course.”

        • mmercier0921

          It is a free country. Some have the right to be totalitarian communists, others have the right to buy guns, and blow off the foot wearing the boot.

          Freedom is actually quite terrifying, to both.

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      Could not agree more, see above posts. Best thing about Trump is how so many people have revealed the jack booted thug underneath the corporate clothing. The mask has slipped, thanks to Trump.

      • Paladin13

        I agree 110%. I always knew many billionaires are lefties and that 99% of Dems are Marxist-Leninist types. What is refreshing is the full unmasking of RINO’s such as McConnell, Paul Ryan, Senator Flake (what a named), Senator Corker (he should put a cork in it) and the other cretins (McCain, Graham, Pat Toomey, etc.). We always suspected that these usual suspects were not conservatives and were liars, immoral, etc.), but now even the brain-impaired types still in the GOP can see it.

  • wheretonow

    Unchecked rage is no prescription for winning. Trump is encouraging this response on the left. Whatever else he may be, he’s nowhere near as dumb as the hardcore “resistance” tries to make him out to be. Of course, anyone presenting thoughts like these is attacked with unchecked rage. The left may not be doomed, but it may be setting itself up for a period of time out of power that is longer and weaker than anyone is expecting.

    • Miek D.

      Once lobbyists and many donors decide that the Democrats can’t win, they won’t give any money, which will make it less likely that any Democrat wins.

  • Lance Sjogren

    Where is this supposed liberalism in the west? The dominant political religion, “progressivism” is identity politics, an encouragement for people to engage in racial and ethnic conflict based on resentment toward those of other races and ethnicities.

    There is no political movement more hostile to liberal values than progressivism.

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      In the end identity politics is simply about the destruction of Western Civilization and Western Christendom. They value every identity except our own.

  • QET

    That liberalism does not require democracy and that they are in most cases even antithetical has been observed by many political thinkers over the years, such as Elie Halevy, Carl Schmitt and Judith Shklar, to name 3 that come to mind. These days it is Shklar’s “Liberalism of Fear” that seems most relevant, as the entire basis of today’s “progressive” politics is fear–of all things white, male and heterosexual. Shklar’s thought derived from her experiences in WW2 Latvia and her idea that the mission of liberalism is to guarantee a life free from fear makes perfect sense against such a background. But the ginned-up “fear” professed today by the coalition of progressive identity kernels is implausible and unpersuasive in the extreme. It is so obviously a pretext for their illiberal politics that it is discouraging that pretty much every TAI writer and editor except Marusic simply accepts the proposition that Trump and his supporters are “dangerous” and enemies of both democracy and liberalism (as these are merely throw-away lines for progressives, it matters to them not at all that the two concepts are distinct). It is the progressives and their media allies who are the danger, as the DNC “no white men need apply” and the media ignoring of the Clinton Russia collusion/corruption (Uranium One, Fusion GPS) demonstrate.

    As for the liberal “consensus,” the entire politics of today’s progressive identity group Popular Front is based on the proposition that they never gave their assent to liberalism, that they were not part of any such consensus and that therefore there was/is no true consensus.

    • Anthony

      Somehow, you’ve tied Fusion GPS and white, male, heterosexual quasi victimization into Damir’s fine essay on 350 years of liberalism as viewed in West and whether distinction exists between democracy and liberalism – if one did not know better after reading response, Damir’s argument appears reduced to mockery and sarcasm (a little Reductio ad Ridiculum perhaps).

      • QET

        My comment was not intended as a summary or analysis of Marusic’s piece, so I am not reducing anything. But if the claim is that liberalism as traditionally understood is in jeopardy, then describing the direction from which the threat comes is germane, and it is abundantly clear that the direction is from the Left. Concretizing the issue by remarking on the most recent injuries to such liberalism, which I did, is therefore, if anything, in the very spirit of Marusic’s piece.

        And you can’t dream away reality by redefining overt hatred and hostility as “victimization” which you find implausible. I make no victimization claim; I simply reference the facts. If you disagree that the DNC said what it said, then that’s one thing. But if you don’t disagree, then you have to explain to me how such a statement/position/attitude is irrelevant to the question whether liberalism is or is not “slitting it’s own throat.” My claim is that such a position is paradigmatic anti-liberalism. It is the very knife at the throat.

        The truth is that liberalism is anti-politics. Politics requires an enemy, as Schmitt knew. All politics, therefore, tends to undermine/destroy a “liberal consensus.” The “liberal consensus” was a temporary, ephemeral equilibrium, a sort of political Lagrange point in a universe where the gravitational masses change their ideological rotations frequently. The US version of this consensus required both a GOP that actually opposed the Democrats and a media that opposed both. The media fell (jumped) into the gravity well of the Left/Democrats and pulled the GOP so close to it that the GOP went from planetary status to now being merely a moon orbiting Planet Democrat. The resulting shift in political-gravitational forces leaves no spot for a pragmatic-technocratic-managerial “liberal consensus” to float in.

        • Anthony

          Point taken though excessively wordy if not arguing something that is true, or valuable on grounds that it may be traditionally believed. Still in this regard, I’m with John Schwartz (response doesn’t address theme but resorts to mockery) sans the personal remonstrances..

          • QET

            I believe I was addressing the issue at hand. As for my tone, if it appears sarcastic, that is unintentional. In my head, it is a tone of firm resolve not to permit any discussion of this very important matter to assume the problem is fundamentally one caused by Trump or his supporters, or of the so-called “populists” or “nationalists” in Europe. That does not therefore excuse Trump or his supporters (or the others) for any wrongdoing they may have committed, but it sources the destruction of the modern liberal tradition where it properly belongs–in the Left.

            It is true that when classical liberalism first emerged, it was the Right–specifically the royalist/aristocratic/High Church elements of Britain and France–who opposed it. But for the past 150 years liberalism has been the declared Enemy of the Left. It may be that one day the Right will regain sufficient socio-cultural power to threaten once more whatever liberalism then remains. But in today’s context, it is essential not to permit the Left to obscure its nihilistic, anti-liberal, Orwellian program by using Trump as a bogeyman. I don’t think Marusic was doing that, but I just wanted to emphasize the point, as in my view it cannot be emphasized enough.

          • Anthony

            OK, but what was that Shakespeare line: maybe thou protest to strongly or something thereto. But rhetorical waxing and waning via commitment (in logical sense) will always catch eye of the attendant audience. t
            Thanks, get.

          • Charles Cipolla

            Jezuz Christ you two, get a room…

  • TJ

    only way to really get america back is by voting for true conservatives up and down the ballot. the rinos and the libs need to be purged…Trump has given us a great start.

  • carloseg

    As long as there are people who feel they are entitled to the fruits of another’s labor, there will be liberalism.

  • GlennPMorris

    The Mass Hysteria Bubble your leftist pals are surrounded by is imperceptible to them – they are living it.

    Scott Adams has deconstructed this phenom. Have a look if you desire some warm amusement.

    PS – educated does not necessarily qualify as smart or wise: “Trust the man who seeks the truth, not those who claim it.”

  • Gary Hemminger

    This is a very good article because it is spot on. I have been a democrat for 30 years and the party has lost its mind. Unless you believe in global warming, identity politics, pick whatever gender you want, and socialism, you are not welcome in this party anymore. And anyone that doesn’t fully believe in all of their ideology is a racist, xenophobic rube. Trump derangement syndrome is completely out of control. And these were the same people that were extremely offended when Republicans said they wanted Obama to be a one term president.

    building walls and deporting all illegals is not the answer to our immigration issues. But open borders and sanctuary cities aren’t either.

    The Republicans are incompetent whacko’s, but at least they can disagree with one another. Democrats are turning into whacko lefty progressives that aren’t about winning elections but are about destroying our own culture for their enjoyment. And the more they lose national elections, the weirder they get.

    • jckluge

      building walls and deporting all illegals is not the answer to our immigration issues.

      Okay, then what other than letting anyone who wants to come here, come and stay is? How exactly does the country control immigration into it without stopping people from crossing its border and deporting those who do so illegally?

      If there is anything that has the doomed the “common sense liberal consensus” so beloved by the author it is the fact that people can make statements like yours and honestly think it passes for intelligent and honest thinking about an issue.

      • A biometric Social Security card in place of the one we now have would be a step in the right direction. Cardboard doesn’t cut it anymore.

    • Monkish ن

      Global warming isn’t a “belief”, it’s a hypothesis with a colossal amount of empirical data to support it. I’m a right-wing guy and strong supporter of the nation-state but I’ll never understand why my conservatives brethren in the US insist on disregarding or wilfully misunderstanding what is firmly established in science. Elsewhere the right is more rational and respectful of the scientific method.

      • RGonz

        A belief with data to back it up is still a belief.

      • Deadrody

        There isn’t nearly as much “data” as you think. The planet has not warmed – statistically speaking – for 2 decades. A rather key piece of “data” that is virtually ignored. Even the UNIPCC recognizes the “pause” in global warming. The global warming “models” have not accurately predicted a thing, nor can they accurately recreate the past. More “data” that is rather key in debating the existence of “global warming”

        Which is to say nothing of the notion of crippling the US economy in the name of combating global warming, despite the un-challenged premise that the proposed restrictions would ultimately have a negligible effect while letting much of the rest of the world do whatever they like, especially China.

        The notion that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and rising concentrations of said gas could cause warming of the earth is a solid theory. Extrapolating beyond that, while pretending the climate system of the earth is incredibly simplistic to the point it could be effectively destroyed by a single trace gas in the atmosphere AND that the single biggest factor in the planet’s temperature – the sun – is not an important factor is laughably naive. In other words, the very definition of a “belief”

  • As a conservative I am quite thankful that those who most need to absorb this message in the Democrat Party are incapable of doing so.

    • CptNerd

      Especially individuals’ wills, those who refuse to be part of any “collective”, they must be brought or forced into some box or other, so that they can be controlled.

  • John F. Bramfeld

    I’m literally not sure whether the expression you used, “common sense liberalism,” was meant seriously or not.

  • moderate Guy

    Liberalism is a disease on a republican body politic and liberals do not belong in a civilized society.

    • McNasty

      Liberals are a bunch of pedophiles.

  • You begin and end (and repeat and refrain in the middle) your hatred for our great president Donald Trump. When it comes to your weak sauce virtue signalling to the other in-crowd morons that got us here in the first place, GFY.

    You are reading the tea leaves. You are seeing things properly. You get the macro. And yet you can’t figure out that Trumpism is the solution to what plagues us. You are no better than the ostriches you malign.

    Fully support our great president or GFY sir.

  • The “Centrists” may exist still in office but many will be defenestrated in the midterms by the twinned powers of Sandersism and Trumpism, eating their heads and feet simultaneously. On the electoral bench; the State Govs and Capitols, that has already happened. Hillary is The Center as postulated here and her dedication to the ‘liberal values’ of bribery, lethal politics both foreign and domestic, personal elevation as partisan salvation etc is unquestionable. But even in the last election she had NO popular support. She couldn’t fill a half-court on the hustings even in the latter months. The Extreme Left; Antifa, campus crybabies, media fuckwits et al is alive and well every way but electorally. One never is told what these ‘shared values’ actually are. With whom are they shared? Not with me, I bet. But they will never say. I suspect the ‘shared values’ are whatever policies deliver buckets of loot to ones’ own demographic at the expense of the chumps who are actually working or, even more, stupid enough to be born with the hot potato of national debt thrown into their crib.

    • jckluge

      I find it quite interesting that “Trumpism” is apparenlty a form of radicalism equivilent to Sanders’ avowed socialism except when those on the right find it convient to claim that Trump is really a secret Democrat and no true conservative. There is nothing radical about Trump. To say there is, is to either buy into a definition of radical so broad that the term is rendered meaningless or to judge him entirley based on his lack of adherence to the current Washington courtly manners in the complete disregard of any substance.

  • jckluge

    Since when is citizens’ expecting their government to act in their interests and not the “world’s interest” and ending national borders “classical liberalism”? That is sure as hell isn’t classical liberalism as I know it. Those are policy choices either side of which fit just fine into the tradition of classical liberalism. Classical liberalism is alive and well. Mr. Musuric only thinks otherwise because he has turned classical liberalism into a rationalization for whatever he prefers or is in his self interest. Trump is not a populist in any sense of the word. And Trump’s election is nothing more than the public taking classical liberalism back from the people like Musuric who have hijacked it.

    By all means, lets go back to having substantive policy debates. Doing so will just mean that people like Mursuric will have to actually defend their preferred positions instead of claiming that they are the exclusive domain of classical liberalism thus avoiding any real debate by slanding their opponents as fascists and populists. I am all for that. I don’t think Musuric and his ilk are going to like that very much. And that as much as anything is why they hate Trump.

  • Contrarian62

    Democrats who truly see this author’s point are no longer welcome in the party.

    Progressivism is not liberalism. Let’s stop allowing them to bastardize the word.

    • jckluge

      The author is one of those people who is incapable of seeing any serious fault in the left that isn’t mirrored or even worse in the right. He totally ignores the very disturbing trend among Democrats to voice outright hate for whites in general and the middle class whites in particular. Sadly, pointing that fact out get’s you branded a white nationalists in the sorts of circles the author runs. But, the facts are what they are. The threat to classical liberalism is not Trump. It is the tribalism of the current Democratic Party. The concept of intersectionalism, which now serves as the primary animator of the Left and by extension those who now run the Democratic Party is completely anthetical to classical liberalism. Somehow the author of this piece has failed to notice this because those people are his friends and part of his social class and not some icky, low rent, deplorable Trump supporter.


    DM: “….liberals seem keen to double down on what worked in the past.”

    “what worked in the past” was to increase the Dem Plantation-dwelling African Americans to over 90%, Hispanics to over 70%, and pretty much any one not a straight-on-male/female. That worked well and good while the number of whites driven OUT of the Dem Party were more than made up by the increase % of plantation dwellers.

    But, “double down” or quadruple down, or whatever down, isn’t going to work anymore! Case in point: the `Racist’ Trump received a higher % of AA votes than the gentlemanly Mitt Romney!

    It’s a good thing that `liberalism’ is facing a dead end every direction they turn…..their `blocs’ are going to be increasingly at each others’ throat….for my money, I am most looking forward to the AFSCME unions vs. Dem politicians WAR unfolding soon in your nearest Blue City/State! A rash of bankruptcies to wipe out decades of sweetheart deals would be….delicious!!!

  • carl Jung

    Tell all your friends they are incompetent imbeciles and that the best thing they can do for the country is stop voting. Same for you of course.

  • m a

    “Democrats, who could conceivably field a slate of broadly “centrist” candidates ..”
    Uh, no. Trump, IMHO, was a message to both parties that a lot of folks are done with blind loyalty to the parties. The dems in a rather insightful strategy got the ‘blue dog democrat’ centrists elected. Once in office, their constituents were almost immediately betrayed as the Blue Dogs lined up and supported a leftist leadership. Very similar to the Tea Party republicans who worked within the system to politely and in good order get folks representing their views elected. They were betrayed by the republican party leadership, who turned out to be all promise and no action. Tea Party realized they were used by the republican party.
    If democrats do field centrist candidates, anyone paying attention will realize regardless of how they ran, they’re votes will be controlled by the party. They’ll be seen as sacrificial pawns by the ‘safe seat’ dems in leadership.
    And right/left/center man on the street voters have noted that everyone connected inside the beltway are funded by the some folks, and push the same interests. All the same folks getting rich, regardless of which brand is in charge. They’re Pepsi and Coke brands pushing the same thing, all that changes is whose careers get pushed with better committee assignments.
    The rubes have caught on. They don’t trust the leadership of either party to actually put the interests of the country over their cronies.
    Trump could just as easily, and was probably a better fit based on his past views, run as a democrat except the fix was in for Hillary.
    The dems would have to be perceived as populists, putting Americans (not sub-divided/categorized/factionalized by identity) first and the folks voting have to believe they’ll actually vote that way.

  • MisterEd13

    Nothing deeply flawed about DJT. He is JUST WHAT WE NEED!!!!

    • Darren M.

      The two are not mutually exclusive.

  • Pava Renat

    This essay suffers from lack of definitions. Liberalism is not a static concept, based on a set of unvarying policy propositions or even basic values. If in America liberalism means today’s Democratic Party, we are now seeing it morphed into anti-white racism, combined with anti-capitalism and anti-free speech. I don’t see any traditional liberalism in that at all; in fact, historically speaking, it’s a profoundly unAmerican, illiberal political platform. And I don’t understand what the authors mean by “populism.” It seems to be defined by its opposite, which appears to be “elitism.” Funny, I thought that democracy — understood as a voting system designed to represent the values of all voters — was a fundamentally populist enterprise. What is striking about both Europe and the US today is that the “elites” (what a silly misnomer that is!) are out of contact with the voters. If that is the case, the voters have both a right and an obligation to educate the “elite,” not to blithely follow them into a world they don’t want. I’d say we need more populism to reeducate current politicians in who is their boss — yes, that dreaded polity who keeps on voting in ways they are not supposed to. Terrible, that, don’t you think?

    • “Funny, I thought that democracy — understood as a voting system designed to represent the values of all voters — was a fundamentally populist enterprise.” Nice.

  • John1838

    Everything liberals’ most vocal proponents have done and are doing since the election of 2016 is laying a strong foundation for the argument that Trump should and will win a second term in 2020.

  • PubliusII

    The howls from the Left faithful that greeted Mark Lilla’s recent book, which tried to wean the party from its identity-politics jag, showed that the Left is still steering that dead-end course with pedal to the metal.

    Actually, I’m glad they are doing exactly that. Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake, or so Napoleon is said to have said. Real quote or not, that’s exactly how we normals should respond to the Left’s insanity.

  • Done With It

    People are rejecting the EU bureaucracy that is so much like the centralized planning of the U.S.S.R. that failed for obvious reasons.

    In the U.S., we see our unelected, uncontrolled federal bureaucracy in the same way.

    It isn’t classical liberalism these people are selling, they’re selling socialism run by self-described and annointed “elite”.

  • JeffreyL

    I think you have mistaken liberal for progressive.

    • David Warner

      Seems to me that Trump is the Liberal. And that is a good thing.

  • ChristopherChantrill

    What is missing for me is calling out the top-to-bottom hypocrisy of the “liberal” elites. They are all in favor of liberal values, but fight elections by appealing to gender and race differences. They extol education while beggaring students with loans. They enact consumer protection laws while beggaring the savings-account holder with low interest rates to right the credit system that they screwed up. They extol creativity while reserving it for the right kind of people.

    Charles Murray is the guy that explains it. Life is good for the top 20 percent; not so good for the middle 50 percent, and miserable for the bottom 30 percent where the men don’t work much and the women don’t marry much.

    Yet, our liberal friends say that their only concern is for the poor and the marginalized.

  • BerthaLovesRick

    Your a rasist bigget llamaphobe! In 2020 Trump will LOOSE and Clinton will win by a lanslide! PERSIST & RESIST!

    • Psalms13626

      Not a bad parody account you got there.

      • BerthaLovesRick

        I am the ‘as’ in ‘sarcasm’.

  • seattleoutcast

    We voted for Hillary Clinton by an overwhelming 90.9 percent.

    That quote speaks volumes. DC is one echo chamber.

  • I wish the author would define his terms. What is “commonsense liberalism?’

    • rheddles

      An oxymoron?

  • Tom Scharf

    Democracy “working” is by definition the ability of the voters to give the ruling class their walking papers. The ruling class believes Democracy is a system in which they are entitled to power based on their alleged moral virtue and grand capabilities. It is a battle of CV’s from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, and Stanford. No other schools even exist in their view, nor are their students worthy of leading a democracy. The word bubble is overused lately, but they are truly in a bubble.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Meh. It’ll just be a decade or two of present-day conservatives re-discovering why they needed all that leftie stuff in the first place——as it departs them and leaves them hanging over a river on a cracking limb. A closet full of guns does not pay for your aging wife’s cancer treatment.

  • Tony

    American liberalism is racist to the core. It judges everyone on their genetics, and every policy is keyed to the effect it has on genetic-based groups. Of course the one group liberalism cares nothing about is the group with European genes – the whites, still over 60% of the population. We just got sick of it.

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      Thanks for that! You don’t end discrimination with endless rounds of new discrimination. And anyone who has lesser expectations for one group than others is a racist.

  • Red 2

    American politics is a pendulum. It swings left and everyone starts writing articles about how the right is dead. Then it swings right and everyone writes articles about how the left is dead. and on and on and on. Is the left dead? No, just wait a few years, and when the right is on a losing streak and everyone starts writing about how the conservative ideology is extinct….wait a few more years…

  • Bob

    In Chicago, where I grew up, we called them “Lakefront Liberals”, since the rich people tended to live near Lake Michigan. In DC, they are called “Limousine Liberals”. They claim to love black people, but G-d forbid their kids go to school with them. They love high taxes for the “rich”. but have the best accountants working hard so they don’t pay taxes. They rally against climate change, but have the biggest houses and condos. Hillary Clinton is the poster child for this thinking. So was Obama. Hillary took big $$ from Wall St and wailed against them. This week she made some comment about sexual harassment while in the next bedroom is a real sexual predator. Trump is the love child of this generation of Democratic candidates.

    • Bureau of Censorship

      I love seeing Cadillac Escalades or Land Rovers with Clinton or Obama bumper stickers here in Washington, D.C.

  • Andrew Allison

    Excellent analysis. But “Our values, to which Trump personally and Trumpism more broadly is such an affront, will no longer be up for debate.” suggests that your values are not “ours” but those of the screeching high priests of the liberal clerisy..

  • doug johnson

    Yeah, you keep using that word “liberal”…
    Liberals used to say things like, “I disagree with what you’re saying, but I’ll die for your right to say it”. Remember that? They used to fight for “the underprivileged”, which included poor whites, now they just push nonstop identity politics, and happily demonize whole demographics by race and gender. They once rejected the same government compulsion which is now their go-to answer for every situation. We don’t have liberals now, we have leftists.

  • Bureau of Censorship

    I wonder if in the U.S. this is less about Trump and more about Obama and Hillary Clinton. Trump won the GOP nomination because it’s a first-past-the-post primary and caucus system (by-and-large) and there were 20 Republican candidates fracturing the vast anti-Trump vote. So I don’t chalk up Trump’s Republican nomination to anything fundamental in the Republican electorate.

    Obama moved the Democratic party hard to the left, and the result was overwhelming Republican victories at the state and local level and Republicans re-capturing the House and Senate. Then you add in the fact that the Democrats nominated literally the only person in America who could have lost to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton. The confluence of factors was the perfect storm allowing Trump to win. I don’t think Trump will breeze to re-election, but the Democrats–to the author’s point–do not seem keen on nominating someone who can win in 2020.

  • HomoAmerikanus

    not the death of liberal consensus, but generational forgetting that is bringing this moment about. A moment of fascist revival disguised as “populism”. It is a testimonial to what has become of America, that the journal of “American Conservatives” gives credence to this movement as an “exercise of democracy”.
    We arrived here, back in 1930-ies with nukes ,not because of liberal clerisy, but because of fanatical conservative clerisy that endlessly touted the virtues of liberty while taking every opportunity to attack labor. The results are in. So get off this high horse dear Editor, as the proper answer here is: “up yours”.
    Shrill is you, as is the screeching.

    • Bedarb

      How is today’s postmodern intersectional Left remotely “pro-Labor”? Bernie Sanders barely paid lip service to trade or infrastructure or solidarity in 2016 amidst the Democratic climate of Obama’s Rainbow Coalition of upper-class+under-class. Your style of paranoid Chomskyite rhetoric is reminiscent of the fringe anti-American Left of the ’90s. Exit at the nearest rest area and catch your breath.
      The virtue of the left is labor, the virtue of the right is the nation; the vice of the left is “equality,” the vice of the right is “meritocracy.”

      • HomoAmerikanus

        the left is not pro labor enough, because the left has been pulled to the right. There is no real Left. What is left of the Left however, is the only force in American politics that is trying to do anything at all for the labor.
        The Right has spent 30 years attacking and dismantling Labor. Now, that the consequences of this dismantling are asserting themselves, the Right has slid into propaganda of scapegoating as its primary political method, which is the the operational definition of fascism. The right in the US has become a christian fascist movement. The claim that the right “represents a nation” fits right in there, claiming to be a greater patriot.
        Call it Chomskyite if you like. Fits right in there with the libtard, Globalist Elite and the Jewich Cabal.

        • Bedarb

          That’s the Marxist-Leninist analysis. In truth, the Managerial Revolution was neither right-wing nor left-wing. It’s the evolution of capital in latter-day industrial economy. And, yes, it sucks. But let’s be Real. You don’t give a damn about labor. You only care about dismantling the culture. That’s your pathway.
          The rejection of sovereignty and of national identity & culture is a radical idea that has been rejected by the vast majority of humanity at every stage in human history. It’s a radical idea that served as a foundation for the most horrific regimes of the 20th century. It’s a proxy for demoralized losers, nihilists, cynics, & prophets of chaos. And overeducated totalitarian wingnuts.

          • ARMSTROB

            I think so much of our troubles have been brought on by a Congress which refuses to do it’s job of defining the powers dividing the Executive from the Legislative Branches. This allowed Obama to completely corrupt the Executive bureaucracy, including the Intel. Agencies. The Clinton State Dept. lied about the Benghazi attack to help Obama’s reelection as did Lois Lehner and the IRS when they kept millions of dollars to be used against Obama’s reelection. Back during Watergate when Nixon tried to use the IRS to go after his enemies they refused because they knew that was wrong. Those days are over and have to be brought back.

          • Everett Brunson

            I feel the wins in Virginia will only strengthen the Democrat’s resolve to portray any Republican as a fascist. Though quickly pulled, the pick-up truck ad solidified both their position and future electoral strategy. I expect we will see more of the same as the 2018 mid-terms gear up.

      • Everett Brunson

        The virtue of the left is labor, the virtue of the right is the nation; the vice of the left is “equality,” the vice of the right is “meritocracy.”

        I upvoted you on this line alone, as it delineates the “greatest” strength/”greatest” weakness argument. I, for one, fall on the meritocracy part of the spectrum. To me, classic liberalism is a philosophy that celebrates and defends individuality and one’s individual rights to be as productive or non-productive as one wants. Having read Fukuyama’s three part series on the Reformation I can say that I am even more a member of the meritocracy camp.

        It seems to me that current thinking on the far left belies the value of labor in favor of an “everyone is entitled to benefits” mentality. Who pays? Who labors?

        • Bedarb

          All I’ll say is that classical liberalism takes the nation for granted. For instance, the Left is uncomfortable with American history before civil rights and unfairly casts an evil eye upon it. And yet it is totally dependent upon that history implicitly for its moral and metaphysical assumptions about equality, social justice, human rights, & democracy. Likewise, the American
          “conservative” and libertarian Right ignores or denigrates pre-Enlightenment thought. At its own peril. Why? An independent & sovereign nation, a common people with a common history, with a social compact lasting across generations– these are the absolute non-negotiable preconditions for individual liberty. Radical liberation of market forces in the global economy requires the abolition of the nation-state, of citizenship, & of any meaningful notion of freedom, period.

  • GOD


  • mark abrams

    The author is deluded if he thinks the virulent opposition to Trump comes from classical enlightenment liberals who care about free enterprise, private property and the rule of law. Both the EU and the US uni-part (democrats and squish republicans) care about power and money and nothing else. They are statists who will do most anything to remain in control of the state. Through state regulation and taxation they enslave and steal from the people. Regulation is the tool of fascism, easier to enact that out-right nationalization and more capable of being implemented gradually. Thus what the author terms liberals are actually, economically at least, fascists. And since fascism was a retooling of communism (by Mussolini) they are happy to take on Marxists as allies and spout the Marxist goals and slogan that have always been common to both fascists and commies. They take on the common strategies too, such as silencing their opponents, personal destruction and unrelenting blatantly lying propaganda. But at least the author seems to have a clue that the group-base identity politics of fascism/communism, after more than a century of abject failure, no longer sits triumphant atop the mountain of the hundreds of millions it has murdered, but is itself now a rotting corpse too.

  • TMcGee33

    This is an excellent essay, but it seems to assiduously overlook the most important common factor between populism in Europe and the U.S. – that of uncontrolled migration from the Third World, particularly the Muslim world. The EU project was meant to erase national identity, but that project has crashed on the rocks of a realization, especially acute in central and eastern Europe, that the member states are being asked to surrender control of their borders. This begs the question of a fundamental tenet of national sovereignty – the right to decide who comes in, and who stays.

  • The_Big_W

    Effectively posts an intriguing thesis, then completely and totally muffs the analysis.

    I am sick of the ratchet of the application of government going only and always “to the left”. They were inches away from Queen Hillary and our final subjugation. The “values” the article claims desire to be returned to were a sham. Democrats in the US have willingly surrendered to communism.

    That middle ground was a sham used to get power, having failed the mask is off. They desire, this time, to get communism right….

    Pity that’s not possible.

  • Severn

    The author seems to be oblivious to the fact that his “common-sense liberalism” never rested on a foundation of common sense. The pieties of liberalism, from multiculturalism to diversity to globalism to open borders, have never commanded majority support in any Western nation. Perhaps this is because those beliefs signal the death of the nation-state and the death of the West.

    Much of what is being passed off here as “the liberal tradition” is just warmed over communism and socialism with a new label stuck on it. The actual classical liberals were no fans of any of the beliefs espoused by the “liberals” of The American Interest.

  • Diggsc

    You have no idea how much this conservative longs for the Democratic Party lurching further Left. Their primaries have become purity contests where the Lenninite beats the Trotskyite every time (as, for example, the fact that Hillary had rigged the entire Democratic Party primary, and she still only narrowly beat an avowed, life-long socialist promising free everything who wasn’t even a Democrat).

  • Chance Boudreaux

    Barack Obama and the GOPe spent 8 years trying to destroy Heritage America. Trump was the only one that pointed this out and promised to do something about the most urgent problem we face, immigration.

  • Marc

    This article is a good example of what Nassim Taleb has identified as IYI (intellectual yet idiot). This person isn’t close to getting anything. A couple thousand words to say “I don’t understand anything, especially the nature of Liberty”. Lord help us.

  • Severn

    We will still have disagreements about important issues, my friends
    might say to me—issues like abortion, taxes, trade, and immigration will
    of course remain divisive.

    You have to be astonishingly gullible to believe that the leadership class of the GOP disagrees even slightly with their comrades in the Democratic party on any of theses issues. Their statements to the contrary are simply to dupe their voters. In practice they invariably behave as if they are in complete agreement with the left on all these matters. If Trump get’s to nominate another Supreme Court Justice we’ll see several Senate Republicans object to his changing the ideological disposition of the court.

  • ChristopherChantrill

    Like others here, I have a problem with the meaning of “liberal consensus.” I suppose it means whatever the globalist administrative culturally liberal ruling class wants it to mean.

    But I think our ruling class has betrayed the “liberal” position, because it has led ordinary people into the box canyon of identity politics, class, race, gender, you name it, which is what you might call “neo-tribalism.”

    The great fact of the present era is the global migration from the country to the city. So the big challenge is to help country people learn how to become city people, i.e., bourgeois.

    But time and again the so-called liberal ruling class has encouraged the migrants to keep their tribal, pre-city culture rather than do the hard work of scrambling into the middle class. Why? My guess is “reasons of state.”

    And this is a crime against humanity.

  • question?

    Common sense liberalism? Since most liberal policies require you to ignore reality (the welfare state’s destruction of the black family, crime, problems with refugees, problems with immigration and immigration’s effect on wages) why are the words common sense used in conjunction with liberalism.

  • Joey Junger

    This is a well-written and well-thought out article. That said, the author still believes in some kind of Easter Bunny regarding what is driving the elites and those who take their cue from them, and those populist/Trumpists (sic). The left does not have to change message, philosophy, or tactics; they just have to continue undermining the rule of law and the will of the people by bringing in as many people from Mexico and the southern hemisphere to the North in order to win elections and hold power. They’ll wreck the vast majority of the countries they rule, but the powerful (and even the servants of the powerful) live pretty well in Third World countries. The right (and sane centrists and old-school liberals) need to preserve the model of the nation-state, sovereignty, and the idea of borders without letting this natural compulsion toward nationhood dis-aggregate until their coalition breaks into various secessionist elements (Catalonian autonomy is more plausible than Neo-Confederacy, but anything can happen).

    Lastly, I disagree that Trumpism/Populism is winning in America, at all. The usual grifters (call them what you will) are getting their tax breaks (i.e. permanent cuts on storage for private jets is part of this “middle-class” round of tax cuts currently being debated) and we’re still waging undeclared wars without congressional authorization (or even their knowledge, in the case of Mali or Yemen), and the damn wall has not been built. In Trump’s defense, a populist president has less power than a 9th-circuit court justice in America who is executing the will of the elite, and the entire intelligence community, educational institutions, military brass, and media is raining constant fire down on Trump’s head 24-7. The fact that Big Orange is still breathing is some kind of victory. Also (as this author points out) his presidency makes all of my left-wing enemies apoplectic, which is its own little reward.

  • TheBigGuy

    Obama did the exact opposite of what he said he was going to do. His public speeches painted him as the best thing ever, but his policies were outright destructive. His 8 year term was filled with multiple scandals. He abused his “first black president” status to do whatever he wanted. If anyone was outed for saying anything remotely negative about minorities, they lost their job and were smeared beyond recognition. Just look how he passed Obamacare and the worst part is Democrats held him to no standard, but now that Trump is president they all of a sudden care about all the things they let slide under Barack. They push the most ridiculous stories worried about what Trump eats, or that he hired strippers to pee on a bed. They were calling for his impeachment before he was even inaugurated. They forced their propaganda down our throats. Obama silenced free speech and telling the truth became racist. He made a big deal of black criminals that were killed while committing a crime and their families were paid millions despite not guilty verdicts of the police. He incited violence and was directly responsible for the 6 Dallas cops killed, but liberals just shrugged their shoulders and said, “Nothing to see here.” That’s just downright SCARY! He blamed Benghazi on a YouTube video.

    What made the difference this time is the transparency of the internet. We got a closer look than we ever did on his actions. Liberal media was having a hard time suppressing the truth. And when they tried, everyone saw them for what they are. When you tell the truth, you would get bombarded with attacks from the liberal base. Comments with zero logic and all bullying.

    Things like Operation fast and furious where they tried to create the problem, so that they could ban guns. That ended with a border agent getting killed. Then he appointed Eric Holder to investigate himself. How screwed up was that?!? Behind the scenes Obama was creating all the chaos he said he was going to change. Over $10 trillion in debt tells us he only cared about getting rich from the taxpayer and giving his friends millions of dollars in government subsidies.

    Lastly, again his base ignored all this.

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