This is pro-abortion NYC this morning — blocking the doors of a church screaming about how God loves abortion. One dances with dolls she tells us are her aborted babies. “God killed his kid, why can’t I kill mine?” pic.twitter.com/qA85kluRS5— Kathryn Jean Lopez (@kathrynlopez) May 7, 2022
The energy is markedly more negative outside Kavanaugh’s house. The anger has become much more palpable than outside any other justices’ house. pic.twitter.com/zY2OY34hcA— Douglas Blair (@DouglasKBlair) May 8, 2022
The scene in front of Chief Justice John Roberts’ house pic.twitter.com/vJVxxFoMNO— Douglas Blair (@DouglasKBlair) May 7, 2022
Yes, I know.
That’s one reason why I am so strongly for it.
In the long view of American history, the demise of Roe and returning the abortion issue to the states is a key milestone in the erosion of progressive liberal hegemony.
“WASHINGTON — For years, the United States has been drifting further apart, less a single country than an uncomfortable marriage of vastly disparate cultural and political entities, a Red America and a Blue America with starkly different realities on masks and vaccines, gun rights and voting rights, Donald J. Trump and the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
Now the chasm may open even wider. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as it appears poised to do, all 50 states will suddenly be free to set their own rules, leading to one America where access to an abortion is guaranteed and another where it is outlawed — and, in some cases, helping someone cross state lines to obtain one could become a crime.
Society has only been torn further apart in the last 18 years, both by cultural shifts as well as by the political and financial incentives for exploiting divisions, he said. “The reversal of Roe would accelerate these divisions and widen that chasm in ways that seemed unthinkable in 2004,” Mr. Axelrod said. …
In 1960, 4 percent of Democrats and Republicans said they would be unhappy if their children married someone from the other party. Today, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, that number has grown to 35 percent among Republicans and to 45 percent among Democrats. Over the course of just four years, the Institute for Family Studies found, marriages in America between Republicans and Democrats fell by half. As it was, in 2016 only 9 percent of marriages involved couples from opposite parties; by 2020, that figure had slid to just 4 percent. …”
Where to start?
I’ve written at length about political realignments, the history of liberalism and how modernism infected liberalism in the early 20th century. Liberalism evolved from being a creed that was suspicious of the state into one that was eager to expand state power and empower “experts” and technocrats. It also shifted from an ideology that was about securing a few basic rights and crusading for free-market economics into one which was primarily focused on cultural liberation and cultural egalitarianism. The individual had to be liberated from his or her backward culture and tradition and transformed into a modern, autonomous, progressive, secular, deracinated, sovereign consumer. All cultural distinctions had to be leveled too. This bohemian version of liberalism picked up steam through the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and was swept into power by the Great Depression and World War II and was institutionalized there in the wake of that crisis. In the postwar era, liberals began to shift their focus from economics to social issues.
Democrats dominated the United States in the mid-20th century when New Deal liberalism was the governing ideology of the party. Conservatives were largely shut out of power.
More importantly, Democrats also dominated the Supreme Court during the long period of progressive liberal hegemony which lasted from FDR through the Reagan years. In between FDR’s four terms, Truman’s two terms, JFK, LBJ and Jimmy Carter, Democrats also were likely to control the presidency.
Unquestionably, progressive liberals were politically and ideologically dominant in this era of American history, but what was even worse is that they were culturally dominant too. This was the highwater mark of film and network television and national news magazines. Turnout in elections was low in this era because there was such a strong consensus between the two major parties. Politics had long since become professionalized and boring and the masses had been silenced and shoved off the national stage during the Great Hushing around the turn of the 20th century. On top of this edifice of consolidated power and a centralized and homogenized national culture beamed out to flyover country from liberal elites in New York City, Los Angeles and DC, a vast bureaucracy was created in Washington.
Now, this all stands out to me because it is such a remarkable contrast to what came before it, particularly the tone of 19th century America. Liberals can’t even imagine an America in which progressive liberalism has waned and lost its hegemony. In their worldview, history itself is on their side.
“Imagine that every state were free to choose whether to allow Black people and white people to marry. Some states would permit such marriages; others probably wouldn’t. The laws would be a mishmash, and interracial couples would suffer, legally consigned to second-class status depending on where they lived. …
The problem with this reasoning is that, as in Loving, leaving the matter to individual states and the political process means that millions of Americans will be denied their fundamental rights — in this case, the right of women to decide what happens inside their own bodies. …
In short, constitutional rights are meaningless unless they apply across the entire country. That is why the Supreme Court decided Loving v. Virginia and Roe v. Wade as it did. These rights are inherent in the Constitution, even if they are not explicit in it. …”
Wow, just wow.
Imagine a federal republic.
Imagine a system of government in which the states and local communities largely decide matters like abortion, interracial marriage and gay marriage themselves
This is not how progressive liberals see the world. Freedom isn’t self government by sovereign communities which is the republican idea of freedom. Freedom is rule by the “experts” and technocrats. Freedom is things like judges and bureaucrats in Washington protecting the fundamental constitutional rights of people such as the right of “trans” children to have sex change operations discovered through peering into the Constitution from the decisions of mobs and populist demagogues in the states. Freedom is liberals getting between the people and self government, husbands and their wives, mothers and their children, the individual and God, man and nature (biology), ethnic groups, racial groups but particularly White people due to antiracism and cosmopolitanism and driving a thousand wedges in the social fabric with the overall goal being to weaken every joint and brick in the foundation of civilization. The various -isms and -phobias which liberals conjured into existence through the mass media are all designed to pathologize and weaken the “authoritarian personality” and replace traditional morality.
The upshot of this is that progressive liberals used all the power they had in that long stretch of American history in which they were the dominant faction to leave their stamp on the country. There were also a lot of changes that they pushed through the federal courts which they couldn’t deliver through Congress. Among the most important of these rulings, there was Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Loving v. Virginia (1967), Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and Roe v. Wade (1973) which restricted the power of the states to legislate on segregation, interracial marriage, contraception and abortion. Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) which legalized gay marriage over the will of the entire South can be seen as last gasp of progressive liberals using the Supreme Court as their battering ram for social revolution. They ran out of political gas.
As I have repeatedly pointed out, this was a breathtaking cultural transformation. In the span of 25 to 30 years, we got desegregation, interracial marriage, the loosening of divorce laws, contraception, abortion, gay rights, widespread drug abuse, forced busing, affirmative action, feminism, the onset of deracination, Third World immigration, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and “identity politics.” I’m sure there are some that I am forgetting. These social movements were also absolutely and unquestionably related and based on an underlying cultural shift. It was progressive liberals in Congress and the federal courts and at the state level who flexed their political power pushed them through. These people pushed for gay marriage. As soon as that was done by the Supreme Court, they shifted immediately to “trans.”
The fall of Roe us like watching a gigantic rift crack through an Antarctic ice sheet. We’ve been living under the weight of the ice sheet for so long that we have come to take the pressure of the thing for granted. It weighs down our culture. Progressive liberalism isn’t what it used to be though. The New Deal coalition collapsed decades ago. Joe Biden’s poll numbers are in the toilet. The media landscape has changed. The “mainstream” has retreated back toward the coasts where “1/6” was a major historical event. Democrats are losing the federal courts and ceasing to be competitive in the Senate. The negative consequences of all those destabilizing social revolutions pushed through the federal courts in an age of Democratic dominance has created a tremendous wave of discontent.
Hopefully, things are beginning to thaw now that progressive liberals have shed so much of their political power and legitimacy. They hold sway over bankrupt institutions. This is only conceivable because their weight and pressure isn’t what it used to be. It is a happy thought on a nice spring day.