Peggy Noonan: America and the Aggressive Left
The constant mischief of the progressive left is hurting the nation’s morale. There are few areas of national life left in which they are not busy, and few in which they’re not making it worse. There are always more regulations, fees and fiats, always more cultural pressure and insistence.
Ah, Noonan! There you are. We’ve missed you so. Many many thanks, and welcome aboard! Please, if you will, bring a few from the Wall Street Journal editorial board with you.
I think a lot of people right now, certainly Republicans and conservatives, feel like a guy in a batting cage taking ball after ball from an automatic pitching machine. He’s hitting the ball and keeping up and suddenly the machine starts going berserk. It’s firing five balls a second, then 10. At first he tries to hit a few. Then he’s just trying to duck, trying not to get hurt.
But the left too is damaged. They look hollowed out and incoherent. Their victories, removed of meaning, are only the triumphs of small aggressions. They win the day but not the era. The result is not progress but more national division, more of a grinding sense of dislike. At first it will be aimed at the progressive left, but in time it will likely be aimed at America itself, or rather America as It Is Now. When the progressive left wins, they will win, year by year, less of a country.
Ms. Noonan, please let us emphasize: This is not a bug, this is a feature; indeed, the entire point!
“But the left, too, is damaged.” Yes, very much so. They’ve come about their damage honestly, through self-infliction, merely by reverting to type. Bullies, tyrants and fools will out.
We noted during the Democratic primary that the contest was coming down to a choice for Democrats between a classical progressive on the one hand, and on the other an “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking” radical surrounded by individuals who fancied themselves revolutionaries. We may never know whether the Party felt it was running out of time and needed revolution Now! or if Hillary fumbled it and the Won took it by default. Either way, the result was that radicals coagulated into the administration and the bureaucracy at all levels.
Here we are.
We hope that the loyal opposition is offered a true choice of candidates this go ’round, and a true choice of philosophical and ideological options. We can count on the RINOcracy to serve-up the “moderate” who will vow to more intelligently (yeah, we know) run the administrative behemoth. We had better see, too, a real alternative; a candidate with a small-government reverse-course agenda. That… would be truly radical.