The left in power: ‘haughty, unsympathetic and fearful’


There was a fascinating article in the New Statesman last month about the fraught US presidential election in November, written by the editor of a magazine called The Compact.

Sohrab Ahmari says that the Democrats have become too haughty – so much so that he believes it is damaging Biden’s chances of holding off Trump – who recent threatened a ‘bloodbath’ unless he gets to be president again.

They’re haughty, unsympathetic, fearful of the ruddy-faced yokels with whom they are tragically fated to share a country. It doesn’t bode well for the party’s electoral prospects, never mind national cohesion,” writes Ahrami.

He explains that the 14 per cent of Americans who live in small towns rarely see themselves portrayed in popular entertainment, let alone portrayed positively.

“The concerns and values of the agricultural sector remain largely invisible to the mainstream. From this, rural Americans might reasonably conclude that their fellow citizens don’t understand them. 

The irony is that Joe Biden has invested a great deal in rural development via his industrial policies and other measures. If he fails to do well with these regions come November, not a little of the blame will lie with the progressive pundits and dubious experts who relentlessly demonise rural America, even as they claim the mantle of the original party of rural rage.

The sentiments, which seem to me to be completely accurate could have been culled from the articles of John Harris of the Guardian, who points out the same issues in the Labour party now.

And also, I might add, among my own party, the Lib Dems, whose membership is now – compared with before Brexit – overwhelmingly London-orientated, complete with dangly ear-rings. Like their Labour counterparts, they also fear those rural voters who voted for Brexit.

Interestingly – though worryingly – it is agricultural voters in this country and also in other parts of Europe who have driven the slow drift to the right: in the Netherlands, it has been driven by complaints about small farmers, who have objected – hardly surprisingly – of being put out of business by government fears that small farms are unwilling to adapt to climate change.

My fear in the USA is that the only person who can now stop Trump winning a disastrous second term is now Robert Kennedy, the much-maligned independent candidate, and his running mate, Nicole Shanahan.

The trouble is the attitude towards him of the governing classes. The New York Times carried another op-ed this weekend condemning him, and the White House has even refused him a secret service security detail – which is pretty amazing given what happened to his father and his uncle. They have even supplied Nikki Haley with one, for goodness sake.

Worse, they are forcing him to take them consistently to court, state by state, to force his name onto the ballot papers.

Meanwhile, he and Shanahan have been asking why American children are now so sick – which is such an important question.

While the Biden administration continues with its bitter struggle against anyone asking questions like that, left over from the days of lockdowns and vaccines – during which they tried to have Kennedy removed from social media.

As a Liberal in the UK sense – and a radical centrist – it seems to me that he is the real deal and, from 4,000 miles away, I hope he wins.

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Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.

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