The Smug Radicalization of the Left

The Democratic Party is in crisis, although few of its members seem to recognize it. If a Democrat did not occupy the White House, political media would be consumed with worry over the fact that members of this formerly dominant political faction now occupy fewer elected offices than at any point in almost a century. Relegated as it is now to coastal enclaves and urban centers, this is a rump bloc. The contraction the Democratic Party has experienced over the course of Barack Obama’s presidency has coincided with the purging of its moderates. Only the most far-left districts and liberal states elevate like-minded politicians to high office and the elements that would restrain the party’s most partisan impulses are gone. For all the criticism of Republican disorganization, theirs is a good problem to have. Unruliness is a feature of an ideologically diverse coalition of competing interests. The conversation inside the left’s closed circle is a self-reinforcing one; dissent is hard to come by and is punished by the movement’s most dogmatic enforcers when discovered. There is no better example of this phenomenon than the humiliating display in which Democrats engaged amid – not following – the attack on civilians that occurred on Wednesday in San Bernardino, California.

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The Smug Radicalization of the Left

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