“Stop Making Sense” is a classic 1984 concert film featuring the alt-rock group Talking Heads. The title has a certain punkish frisson, but is also a joke. Not so the modern Democratic party which might as well adopt “Stop Making Sense” as its platform.
Nothing about the competing positions of Democratic candidates makes much sense, and that’s not just from a Republican or conservative perspective. That’s from a position of logic, consistency, and anything resembling sound judgment.
Internally, the positions being advocated by the leading Democratic candidates and the party activists that support them are an incoherent contradictory mishmash of ideas that might sound like the stuff you’d hear at a college campus pot party, with a lot of pot.
It appears the Democrats do not care whether the emerging positions of its candidates and activists make are incoherent, contradictory, thoroughly impractical, and/or unconstitutional as a matter of law.
Three contradictory and irreconcilable planks dominate Democrat politics today and nobody is trying to rationalize them — socialism, identity politics, and climate change.
The major Democratic candidates promote socialism (or at least a greater degree of American socialism) to one extent or another. They generally favor single-payer national healthcare (now dubbed Medicare for All), national child care, increased progressive taxation on income, confiscatory taxes on wealth, and a broadened regulatory state.
To objections that these policies are inconsistent with national prosperity and democracy, Democrats point to the Scandinavian social democracies of northern Europe as examples that such policies can work. Accepting for the sake of argument that this is true (it’s not) the ethos of Scandinavian polities are entirely inconsistent with the second Democratic plank, identity politics.
Northern European social democracies work (such as they do) because they not only embody a partly socialist economic template, but a cultural one too. That is, these societies are overwhelmingly homogeneous with respect to race, religion, and ethnicity. To the extent in recent years this homogeneity has broken down just a little, with increasing numbers of Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, these societies have already begun to struggle.
American is anything but homogeneous. That in itself is problematic to the socialist program. Perhaps this would not be an insurmountable problem with the right policies, leadership, and educational system. An old socialist like Bernie Sanders certainly believes that’s true.
However, it is not true if the government also privileges certain races, sexes, or ethnicities while demonizing others. A well-to-do Danish businessman may not mind paying more than his fair share of taxes, understanding that the government society he is underwriting values him equally as a person, and doesn’t see him as fundamentally tarred by the accidents of his birth.
That cannot be true in a Democratic-run American government, where non-Hispanic white males, who make up 30% of the population and would be expected to pay the greatest proportional share of socialist taxation, are not only not valued, but actively demonized and officially discriminated against by way of government policies ranging from diversity hiring and enrollments, to proposed reparations for slavery.
Identity based favoritism and set-asides are not socialist, but rather much closer to fascism. And of course, if you combine fascism with socialism you get…
Finally, there is climate change. Assume again, for the sake of argument, that the science is settled with regard to human-caused climate change. Efforts to arrest it, like the Green New Deal endorsed by most Democrat candidates and much of the Democrat congressional caucuses, are inconsistent with either the social reforms Democrats say they desire or the promotion of underprivileged races, sexes, and ethnicities, which identity politics embodies.
Climate change is the obsession of Democratic elites and their children, not the broader constituencies they claim to represent. It has becomes something of a secular religion among these elites, which presumably allows acolytes to assuage some of their own “privilege” guilt by advocating economically ruinous and ultimately pointless alterations to national energy policies and laws.
If imposed, the Green New Deal would disproportionately impact the very people that Democratic socialist policies supposedly are intended to help. Likewise, favored races and ethnicities have little interest in addressing climate change. They do not want national wealth which might otherwise go to them lost in chimeric efforts to change the course of planetary climate.
What has emboldened the Democrats to stop making sense altogether?
First is just plain ignorance, as embodied almost perfectly by the Democrats preferred but constitutionally barred (by her youth) candidate, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She as much as anyone is the author of current Democrat positioning, and she appears to be as dumb as a doorstop.
And critically, the mainstream media, which has not only lionized Ocasio-Cortez, but continues to obfuscate her silliness and inherent inconsistency, and by extension the Democrats in general.
Stop Making Sense is now effectively Democratic policy.