I had a thought last night about the upcoming US midterm election, but one which could apply elsewhere.
It was that the US Democrats seem to have become a radical socialist party of a kind they never used to have been under JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter, or even Bill Clinton. None of those people were particularly radical. They didn’t want open borders and unrestricted immigration. And they loved the USA and the Stars and Stripes. And so I was wondering last night whether some Democrats – old style Democrats – are finding themselves voting for a party that they no longer recognise, and which has turned into a completely different political party. And I wondered whether they might either a) not vote for Democrat candidates on Tuesday, or b) even vote Republican instead.
I had the same experience 10 years ago. I used to vote Lib Dem because I thought they were liberal and democratic. But when 95% of Lib Dem MPs voted for the smoking ban, I realised that they weren’t in the least bit liberal, and not particularly democratic either. And I never voted for them again.
And how many US Democrats really see do Donald Trump as the personification of the Antichrist? How many are more interested in policies than personalities? But the Democrats have made this midterm election into a vote about Donald Trump, and nothing else. If they win, they’re going to impeach him. That seems to be the only policy they have.
How many Dems are walking away? Such people might make all the right politically correct noises in public, but privately they’ll do something completely different. For in a politically correct society, where everyone is supposed to think in lockstep with everyone else, people will tend to keep their true thoughts to themselves. This is probably what happened in the Soviet Union: people would attend the rallies and wave the flags and shout the slogans, but privately and secretly many of them didn’t believe a word of it, and such people gradually became more and more numerous, until at some point more or less nobody believed the official politically-correct dogmas, and also everyone came to gradually realise that nobody else believed them, and this was the point when it all fell apart. And the same thing looks like it’s happening now in the USA: many of them are shouting the approved anti-Trump slogans, but privately more and more of them don’t believe a word of it. If so, many of them are likely to desert the Democrats on Tuesday, sick of the whole thing.
Perhaps this sort of party political metamorphosis is always happening, and political parties are always changing. After all, the Labour party of Tony Blair was not the Labour Party of Clement Attlee, and the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn is not the Labour Party of Tony Blair. And it’s the same with the Conservatives. The Conservative Party of Margaret Thatcher was not the Conservative Party of Harold Macmillan, and the Conservative Party of David Cameron was not the Conservative Party of Margaret Thatcher. And so on, with every single other political party as well.
The same also is true of Donald Trump’s Republican Party. It’s not the Republican Party of either George Bush or Richard Nixon (and that’s why there are never-Trumpers in it). And the current collective nervous breakdown of the Democrat Left parallels the collective nervous breakdown of the British Labour Party in the face of Margaret Thatcher, and its sharp turn towards radicalism (and political oblivion) in the 1980s. For Trump is in many ways an American Thatcher.
Anyway, the gist of my thought was that the more politically correct any party becomes, in any way whatsoever, the more people in that party will be secretly thinking something else, and doing something else. And on Tuesday, while Trump’s base will turn out to vote for him, a lot of Democrats – old-style Democrats – will not be turning out to vote Democrat, and may even in some cases vote Republican.
So I’m predicting a Red Wave of Republicans on Tuesday. But it’ll be a Red Wave that’s the result of the implosion of the Democratic vote, as many people walk away from a a party that simply no longer represents them (just like 10 years ago I walked away from a Lib Dem party that simply no longer represented me).
But it could all just be wishful thinking on my part.
The wider idea was that whenever thinking of any kind becomes rigid and doctrinaire – e.g. Smoking Causes Lung Cancer or Carbon Dioxide Causes Global Warming -, and it becomes impossible to say otherwise, people will keep their heads down and keep their thoughts to themselves. But in private they’ll start thinking differently. And there will gradually come to be more and more such people. And at some point they’ll become the “silent majority.” And this will be just before everyone starts to realise that nobody believes the old dogmas any more, and they can speak freely once again.