I’m always struck, if one chances to be with a GOP insider when a new poll rolls off the wire, that their first reaction is to query whether it’s of “likely” voters or merely “registered” voters. As the consultant class knows, registered voters skew more Democrat than likely voters, and polls of “all adults” skew more Democrat still. Hence the preoccupation with turnout models. In other words, if America had compulsory voting as Australia does, the Republicans would lose every time. In Oz, there’s no turnout model, because everyone turns out. The turnout-model obsession is an implicit acknowledgment of an awkward truth — that, outside the voting booth, the default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist.Which is more evidence of why the permanent sunset of the Republican party has begun.
Republican strategists and their allies keep telling us that America is a center-right nation. I even thought so myself - until last Tuesday. But Steyn is right: Americans are predominantly, if not overwhelmingly, "liberal and statist."
This county-by-county electoral map of Nov. 6's results illustrates it perfectly. Rather than coloring a county pure red or pure blue, based on which candidate got the majority, it blends red and blue together based on the number of 100-set votes per candidate per county. Very revealing:
This map also shows the relative population densities across the country; white areas have very low densities. On a usual election map, the white spaces are solid red, but it actually means little to the electoral result. I don't think any Republican can consider this map seriously and still maintain that America is really center-right. Even if the Republicans recapture the White House in 2016 (doubtful), their candidate will be farther to the left than any previous Republican, including even G.W. Bush, who was probably the most liberal Republican to sit in the Oval Office.
The problem is not that Republicans and Democrats are not different. They are. The problem is that they are different in ways that mean that neither party enhances personal freedom of individual Americans, and instead concentrates power and wealth in their own hands.
This is what a century or so of progressivism has wrought - almost everyone in the country, at every income level, is dependent on the government to a significant (or more) degree, run by the Political Class, who ensures enough patronage is spread over a wide enough swath of the electorate to retain its power and position. Charles Murray wrote in American Exceptionalism,
The common understanding of the limited role of government that united the Founders, including Hamilton, [is] now held only by a small minority of Americans, who are considered to be on the fringe of American politics. The Founders retain their historic stature, with both liberals and conservatives quoting snippets of their writings and arguing that the Founders would be on their side if they were alive today. But as a matter of historical accuracy, it cannot be argued that the Founders’ views of the proper scope of government bear any resemblance to the platforms of either the Democratic or the Republican parties.This is the status quo and it is not going to be reversed because the only people who still truly understand the Founders' principles of limited government, personal liberty, delegated powers and true checks and balances among the three branches of government are the Greatest Generation. They are all in their late 80s or older and are dying at an ever-increasing rate. It's an open question whether their children, the Boomers, have all four of the historical knowledge, understanding, intellectual tools and collective will to reverse the strengthening Leftism of the country. And it's a guarantee that anyone younger than the Boomers do not have even two of the four. Don't believe me? Then go here and see how readily ordinary supporters of this administration agree that the Bill of Rights should be repealed.
Understand that reversing this trend is only theoretically possible - that is, it can be imagined. But reversal is not practically possible - the concept cannot be made reality. Here is a graphic depiction of why.
The United States is substantially near the outer, red ring. This means that the difference between where the USA is now and the USSR was in 1988-1989 is, in economic operation, merely the difference between Soviet Communism and Italian Fascism. Of course, the old USSR was a full police state in fact while, as I have already explained above, we are not at that point yet.
Francis W. Porretto explains the diagram,
At each stage, the State's coercive powers are amplified by the importance and scope of the resources it appropriated in the previous stage, such that individuals and voluntary organizations steadily lose all power to resist its further expansion. The Blob wouldn't have had a chance against the State.
I can add only a single observation to this depiction: As the State swells, it ceases to perform any of its functions even marginally well. Indeed, the first functions it will slough are the ones for which we originally agreed to tolerate a pre-indemnified coercive authority: national defense, police protection, and the administration of impartial justice. In the terminal stage of its expansion, when it lays claim to all things and no one outside its corridors may do anything without first asking its permission and paying its price, the State's sole concern becomes the maintenance of its power and the perquisites of its nomenklatura.