America’s populist revolution is both similar and dissimilar to those in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Canada. Similar because, whether in the small countries of Europe or in a vast continental nation like America, localism runs deep in the hearts of those who want to be free and un-tethered to distant rule.
They are dissimilar in that in the countries named above, secession is the issue. Scotland wishes to disunite from the U.K. Catalonia prefers to separate from Spain. Venice still rejects Italy as her fatherland, and Quebec, Canada’s French-speaking province, is perennially chanting independence.
In America, the issue is not secession, or not yet. Here the issue is the rise of work-based, faith-driven ordinary Americans who seek — let’s say it together one more time — limited government, secure borders, a free market economy, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms and, yes, an end to murderous abortion. Americans who favor this agenda are called nationalists, racists, bigots and worse. These firefighters, masons, plumbers, carpenters, teachers, cops, bakers, tailors, electricians, small business owners, farmers and such are fed up with Al Gore pomposity, Bernie Sanders socialism, CNN smugness, academia’s shift from free speech to controlled speech, the Go to College mantra and Republican hesitancy.
Those who view these fed-up “commoners” as ignoramuses, namely the old networks, MSNBC and CNN, know little to nothing about what the “commoners” know, or what they cherish or struggle with. How many television commentators or national (or local) columnists know anything at all about Bill Gaither, NASCAR, Vidalia onions, crop rotation, job layoffs, a monkey wrench, evangelicals, depleted checking accounts, cows, pickup trucks, small-town life, the Grand Ole Opry, or even Rotary? What they do know about is Democrat schmoozing, flights from biological reality (choose your gender), and flights from D.C. or New York to L.A. and back. Never have they heard “America singing,” as poet Walt Whitman put it. They don’t even know what America sings.
Incidentally, do we ever see “commoners”/ordinary folks protesting in the streets? Not much, if at all. They’re at work. It’s college kids who protest, as well as Hollywood’s big names who have time and money on their hands, and college professors who probably egged the students on. Now we can add a handful of high schoolers who of course know everything and who have been propelled to fame because they were interviewed after a high school shooting. Everything changes, we’re told, so it’s time to let the pot command the potter. How stunningly amiss can the country get?
And what does all of this have to do with November? November, I believe, will show the increased power of the deplorables. Unlike England’s Peasant Revolt of 1381 which didn’t end well for the peasants, America’s deplorables are stationed to fare better. Tea party organizations may have shut down, but their spirit is alive and well. The deplorables’ leader, President Trump, isn’t one to tinker with government (stitch this, tweak that, pour money here, start another bureaucracy there). He likes the Hippocratic Oath: “Do no harm,” and honors Calvin Coolidge’s adage, “The business of America is business.” Nothing that has been thrown at the president so far has stuck and the left is still livid and embarrassed. They sense they’ve become tiring.
As for those evangelicals, little did the national media or many local columnists know that there has always been a small evangelical left and Christianity Today magazine began tilting toward it over a decade ago. What’s an evangelical Christian to do if one candidate opposes the murder of innocent, defenseless, unborn babies and the other candidate doesn’t? Or if one candidate defends your cultural beliefs and economic interests and the other doesn’t?
The leftist media is telling evangelicals how hypocritical they are even though the media certainly knew about but disregarded the sexual behavior of Jefferson, Harding, FDR, JFK, LBJ and Clinton, particularly JFK, their darling still.
And, oh yes, Republican economic orthodoxy. It too is what the middle class is rejecting. Republican elites have subscribed to globalism as much as Democrats. They got nervous hearing Trump’s “America First” slogan, but working folks said, “It’s about time!” That’s why they hired a bull to enter the china shop.
As with the nations listed above, many American middle class voters feel ignored and disdained by their political leadership and left behind economically by globalization. Ironically, Democrats are helping reelect Trump. As Peggy Noonan wrote, “Crazy won’t beat Trump.”
November will come quickly. Working class voters will vote for nationalism and against socialism. Old Adam Smith, Coolidge and Reagan will be applauding from their graves.