Conservatives say this all the time, but it’s liberals who keep opening new fronts in the cultural war. There is something perpetually dissatisfied in the progressive mind; it’s right there in the word, isn’t it? At no point will our friends on the Left ever rest. They won’t say, “Well, we got what we wanted. I guess we’ll stop demanding changes for a while.” Whenever they win, they simply start a new fight.
Kevin Drum’s credentials as a member of the progressive Left do not seem to me to be in doubt; he wrote for Mother Jones for 12 years before going independent again. The quotation in the title of this post is the title of his new piece.
I’ve made this point many times before, and I want to make it again more loudly and more plainly today. It is not conservatives who have turned American politics into a culture war battle. It is liberals. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise: Almost by definition, liberals are the ones pushing for change while conservatives are merely responding to whatever liberals do. More specifically, progressives have been bragging publicly about pushing the Democratic Party leftward since at least 2004—and they’ve succeeded.
Now, I’m personally happy about most of this. But that doesn’t blind me to the fact that “personally happy” means nothing in politics. What matters is what the median voter feels, and Democrats have been moving further and further away from the median voter for years:
The charts that accompany his piece are pretty striking. Republicans have moved a little bit to the right on some things, and way to the left on same-sex marriage. Progressives keep taking huge leaps to the left on everything:
Drum notes with alarm, “Our election victory in 2020 was razor thin even though (a) the economy sucked, (b) we were in the middle of a pandemic, (c) voters had had four years to see just what Donald Trump was really like, and (d) our candidate was bland, amiable, white, male Joe Biden. This should scare the hell out of liberals.”