In an unreasonable age, when crazy people seem to be a feature of the dominant culture, who better to lead the Empire than a man suffering from mental illness? As a practical matter, it is a bad idea to put crazy people in charge, but given what’s happening it would be poetic to put a madman in charge. We often hold up guys like Caligula and Commodus as examples of what happens when the ruling class falls into chaos. America is now run by ululating fanatics so putting Al Gore on the throne makes sense.
Democrats need a debate about where their party goes next. Obamacare’s passage marked the rough completion of the social safety net that liberals began constructing during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency. The end of the Iraq War drained Democrats of their foreign policy fervor. The rapid acceptance of gay marriage has robbed them of the next civil rights fight. There is work left to be done in all these arenas, but over time, the party will need to discover new dreams, much as Republicans have found the Ryan budget.
I’m a bit torn on Ezra Klein. Serious people on the Left don’t seem to think much of him, but, but they don’t publicly trash him. I think of him a flaky millennial airhead, but I’m not his target audience. Even so, he does hit on something once in a while and this is a good example. Progressivism has been seriously short of practical ideas for a long time and now that they have exhausted health care, they are running on fumes.
They also need bogeymen. When this Progressive cycle started, they had Bush and the Iraq War to motivate them. Then it was the Tea Party and now it is white men. Hating the pale penis people is not without its merits, unless your a white man. Of course, Jewish males are finding out that they cannot play the victim card as they have been declared white. So, the Tribe needs to wind down the war on whitey and find a new villain.
The closest thing Democrats have to an organizing concern is income inequality. But their solutions are neither sufficient to the scale of the problem nor quickening to the pulse. Raising the marginal tax rate on dividend income is not the clay from which political movements are crafted.
To many Democrats, the fight the party needs is clear: Hillary Clinton vs. Elizabeth Warren. But the differences between Warren and Clinton are less profound than they appear. Warren goes a bit further than Clinton does, both in rhetoric and policy, but her agenda is smaller and more traditional than she makes it sound: tightening financial regulation, redistributing a little more, tying up some loose ends in the social safety net. Given the near-certainty of a Republican House, there is little reason to believe there would be much difference between a Warren presidency and a Clinton one.
The most ambitious vision for the Democratic Party right now rests with a politician most have forgotten, and whom no one is mentioning for 2016: Al Gore.
Gore offers a genuinely different view of what the Democratic Party — and, by extension, American politics — should be about.
Climate change is a real and growing threat to the world’s future. In 2009, nearly every country in the world agreed that global warming must be held to less than 2 degrees Celsius. We’re on pace to blow through that — warming the planet four degrees or more is horrifyingly plausible. No one really knows what that kind of temperature change — a swing that approaches the difference between most of human history and the Ice Age — would mean for humankind. The World Bank says there is “no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible.”
Income inequality is a serious problem. But climate change is an existential threat.
The key to picking a bogeyman is making sure you can control him. That means making sure the bad guys does not look too much like you. that’s even easier if the bogeyman is supernatural or imaginary. Villains are not much use if you can actually beat them. Imagine if in Barman #1 the police rounded up all the goofy villains in one shot. What’s the point of having Batman around? A good bad guy is alien and impossible to ever defeat.
Climate change has the advantage of being as fickle and elusive as the weather, because it is the weather. No matter what happens, the Gaia worshipers can point to the heavens and swear Gaia is angry with us. If it is unusually cold, man is causing global cooling. if it is too hot, it is global warming. If it is normal, it is a temporary respite, because climate change is always lurking around the corner. There’s a crisis for all seasons.
The thing with Gore, peace be upon him, is that he has purged himself of all the deviationism he picked up in the Clinton years. He has submitted himself to the self-criticism sessions and has emerged like a butterfly, a pure man of the one true faith. The big thing here is Gore could shift the focus from the corrosive war on whites, which is dangerous to guys like Ezra, and refocus attention on something less like Ezra.
As ridiculous as it sounds, Gore has won a lot of elections and he grew up in politics. If not for his nervous breakdown, Gore probably would have won in 2000. But, Gore is a white guy and it is hard to imagine the SJW’s standing aside while Hymie the Robot attacks Hillary Clinton in the primary. Vagina trumps Gaia on the piety pyramid. That’s just another reason to hope it happens. Moonbat on moonbat violence is the best.