Because America is run by a religious cult that rewrites history to suit the current fads, it is easy to get history wrong. A good example is the Temperance Movement. Today children are taught that unhinged Christian fanatics banned alcohol. It was the good and liberal FDR, who beat back the lunatics and rescinded prohibition. The truth is the lunatics banning alcohol were on the Left. Crusades against vice are the stock and trade of the American Left, but history is written by the winners and Northern Liberals won the Civil War so we get an altered history.
Another example I like to use is the Great Awakening. It is thought of as a Christian phenomenon and it was in the first iterations, but it was a northern phenomenon in America. It had a major impact in reshaping the Congregational church, which was the seedbed for Progressivism in America. One of the many things the American Left inherited from their spiritual ancestors is the frequent spasms of spiritual revival that result in fevered attempts to cure some societal ill. Even though they have dropped the language of their ancestors, Progressives are still moralists.
If you look at Progressive history in the context of the Great Awakening, you produce a more complete narrative than when you look at the Left as a European import. Progressives go through periods of moral revival during which they make war on one bogeyman or another. These periods of revival are followed by a dormant phase in which the rest of society cleans up the mess and tries to get back to normal. The 1920’s, for example, were called the Return to Normalcy after Wilson’s excesses.
This current period of Progressive fanaticism got going in the 90’s, when the GOP won the ’94 election and Clinton tried to throw the Liberals overboard. The Green Party gained traction and the rumblings of discontent on the Left for the direction of the Democrat Party grew louder. The election of George W. Bush was the match that set the Left on fire. They saw Bush as a traitor to their kind. After all, his family is the bluest of true blue Yankees, but W rejected that and made himself into a Texan and an Evangelical Christian. “Witch!”
For Progressives, the Bush years were a provocation. Bush was not only a traitor to his people, but he also committed the cardinal sin of appropriating the ideas of the Left and then running with them. Bush spent extravagantly on education and the environment. He never stopped yapping about the wonderfulness of the “religion of peace” and the moral imperative of bringing democracy to the Mohammedan. This sent the Left into a purple-faced rage, in the same way that giving into a social justice warrior only makes them angrier.
To the Left, Bush was Fort Sumter all over again and it had to be answered. It was what they rallied around after the 2000 election. It is also how we ended up with Obama. The bad whites, who put the apostate in the White House, had to be taught a lesson and what could be more horrifying to the bad whites than a black guy from a mixed marriage with a Muslim name? It is why the Left never quotes Obama or pays any attention to his opinions. His utility is as a symbol, the Chi-Ro of the Progressive legions.
The last year strongly suggests that this Progressive Awakening is running out of steam. Participation in Democrat primaries was way down compared to 2008. The party was only able to muster two geezers to run for their nomination. Liberal support for Clinton is tepid, as they see her as a criminal loser. She was, after all, the person who tried to prevent them from spiting the bad whites in 2008. As far as the Left is concerned, Clinton is as a bad as those who sympathized with the South or sided with King George.
There is also the fact that the Left has stopped mentioning George Bush. It is not that they have forgiven him, or the Bush clan, for the 2000’s. It is just that even the fiery passions of Progressive hate burn themselves out eventually. They inflicted homosexual marriage on the country. They allowed deranged men in sundresses to stalk little girls in public toilets. They toppled over the Confederate statues and angried up the blacks, to the point where they are killing cops. Like children throwing a tantrum, they have reached the point where they no longer remember why they are angry.
This is terrible news for Hillary Clinton, who imagines herself riding a wave of enthusiasm for old crones, into the White House. There may be some residual passion for finishing off the country, but the return to normalcy appears to be underway. The global revolt against globalism seems to be superseding old movements like American Progressivism. It turns out that puritanism is just as tied to national identity as everything else. In the post-national paradise, Progressivism becomes just another thing for the custodial state to regulate.
That may be the hidden strength of Donald Trump in the fall election. The New Right that is emerging is nationalist, but the old American Left was always nationalist. His appeals to national renewal resonate just as much with Progressives as they do for the alt-right. Hillary could very well be leading a party of sterile technocrats, who thought Mike Dukakis was sexy. A future run by colorless bureaucrats sounds wonderful to the managerial class, but it does nothing for voters, on the Left or the Right. People always vote for something over nothing.