Here we are, soon entering the first of December 2016. Thanksgiving is behind us and the Christmas season, with all of its delights and anxieties, opens up before us. The presidential election is over…or is it? Donald Trump is the unexpected President-Elect…or is he? I venture to say “yes” to both, but there are those still fussing over the results and talking about recounts, etc. What I wonder is whether we’ve learned anything?

The last 18 to 24 months of the Obama administration has been full of progressive excess. As if they sensed an end to left-wing opportunities, many of the liberal-minded heaved on a weighty effort to make a frantic last grab for initiatives on issues from softening relations with Cuba to allowing transvestites to use the public bathroom of their choice. For many of us, it culminated in the rise of the “Ferguson Effect,” the Black Lives Matter movement and the blatant slaughter of law enforcement officers across the nation. And along the way, we periodically warned of the likely backlash that was bound to occur…and appears to have commenced, at least in part, with Mr. Trump’s electoral victory.

Of course, the main public driver behind these events has been the news media and the entertainment industry that has brewed and served up a steady dose of progressive popular culture. Joined hand and hand, one could make a good argument that they no longer represent separate entities. The mask of supposed objectivity was stripped away and blatant leftist bias has been accepted as the norm. The conservative attempt to balance the equation with FOX News met with initial ratings success, but has been buffeted with criticisms of journalistic transgressions and corporate scandal. I predict that the first news network that is able to reacquire sincere objectivity as their goal will turn a substantial profit.

Predominately progressive popular culture made inroads into every avenue of American life, even those that were considered bastions of traditional, relatively conservative, ethos. Miley Cyrus going semi-porn on award shows was one thing, but even longtime country western fans have been wondering what has happened to their preferred genre. The marriage between “general public opinion” and the liberal agenda seemed blissful, until…

What the talking heads on all the networks and the left-leaning politicians failed to realize was that the average moderate, middle-class “Joe and Sally” weren’t as sold on their worldview as were the Obamaites. The progressive paradigm became incestuous. Democrats were lathering each other up, and adding mortar to the President’s self-fashioned legacy, without taking a moment to catch a breath and test the direction of the communal breeze. They mistook Obama’s personal popularity ratings for approval of all his policies and his designated successor. The fact was that those moderates and “swing voters” got to the point where they felt their easygoing “live and let live” attitudes had been taken for granted. There seemed to be a lot more “take” than “give.” They resented those who took advantage of them and failed to appreciate their daily challenges just to make ends meet. They disliked being forced to tolerate and accept the left-wing social agenda as much as the typical liberal atheist would resent mandatory attendance at Sunday church services. They became sick of political corruption, ongoing threats from abroad, domestic conflict, economic uncertainty with a runaway deficit, partisan politics and weak governmental response to things they felt mattered. Backlash…

My question remains…have we learned anything? People pushed back at conservatives in government with the election of Barack Hussein Obama…twice. The people have now shoved back the other way with the election of Donald John Trump, of all people. Are conservatives, or whatever you call the orientation of the next administration, capable of avoiding the seesaw excesses of their predecessors?

And, what of those who embrace radical politics? Are they capable of toning down their rhetoric or will they insist on doubling down on a failed modus operandi? The public appears to have been unmoved by riots, demonstrations and violence against law enforcement…or were they? It seems all that had unintended consequences, did it not? Perhaps some good old Christian temperance is in order.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
-Matthew 11:30

Photo Mike Segar / Reuters

Latest posts by Michael Kelly (see all)