You don’t exactly have to pay close attention to the news these days to know that liberals have been predicting the downfall of Western democracy since the day Trump was elected, if not before. Never minding the fact that Donald Trump won the 2016 election through the same mechanisms of democracy that have existed in America since her founding, liberal pundits and academics have assured us that his ascent to power – along with (supposedly) right-wing figures in Russia, Hungary, Italy, Brazil, and elsewhere – will usher us into a new dark age of fascism from which we may never recover.
Yes, when the left doesn’t get their way, they get extremely apocalyptic about it.
The latest doomsayer is UC Irvine Professor Shawn Rosenberg, who was featured in a Politico Magazine piece this weekend. In the article, Rosenberg’s thesis is described as this: Because humans are evolutionarily incompetent, we as a society rely on an elite class of judges, smart politicians, journalists, and academics to kinda herd us around like the feeble sheep that we are. But what happens when the elitist class loses its power over the public?
Well, Trump happens of course! And, from there, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to everlasting hell on earth.
When people are left to make political decisions on their own they drift toward the simple solutions right-wing populists worldwide offer: a deadly mix of xenophobia, racism and authoritarianism.
The elites, as Rosenberg defines them, are the people holding power at the top of the economic, political and intellectual pyramid who have “the motivation to support democratic culture and institutions and the power to do so effectively.” In their roles as senators, journalists, professors, judges and government administrators, to name a few, the elites have traditionally held sway over public discourse and U.S. institutions—and have in that role helped the populace understand the importance democratic values. But today that is changing. Thanks to social media and new technologies, anyone with access to the Internet can publish a blog and garner attention for their cause—even if it’s rooted in conspiracy and is based on a false claim, like the lie that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring from the basement of a Washington D.C. pizza parlor, which ended in a shooting.
While the elites formerly might have successfully squashed conspiracy theories and called out populists for their inconsistencies, today fewer and fewer citizens take the elites seriously.
In other words: When we take away the power of corrupt senators, biased journalists, bubbled academics, and the Deep State, we risk suicidal annihilation. All this brought to you by…Twitter and the right-wing blogosphere, we assume? We knew our democracy was fragile, but damn.
Interesting that Rosenberg would cite PizzaGate and not, say, the media hoax that was the Trump/Russia conspiracy saga. Of course, that radical onslaught of fake news was perpetrated by the very elitists he’s enshrining as the guardians of our democracy, so it wouldn’t quite fit his thesis to bring it up.
These people really lost their minds when Trump won, didn’t they?