In truth, we are not witnessing a dramatic systemic change driven by conniving external forces, but a meltdown of political authority in the West caused by the relatively straightforward indolence of its political class. Our troubles are less about liberalism’s decline or the ascendancy of left or right politics. Simply put, the citizenry in the West has been frustrated for decades with its elites’ inability to deliver workable solutions to the problems of slow growth, deindustrialization, immigration, and the overall decline of self-confidence across the West.That presupposes there is something called governing, but one point at a time.
The legitimacy, and hence stability, of the international system rests to a degree on the ability of the leading powers to deliver at home—or, simply put, to govern.
The increasingly self-selecting, self-contained nature of the political class has been at the center of the systemic dysfunction bedeviling Western democracies. It has led voters in 2016 to view with suspicion anyone connected to politics. Trump’s election is a case in point, as is Brexit, the rise of the AfD in Germany, and the progressive re-nationalization of European politics overall. At the same time, domestic institutions are increasingly characterized by sclerosis throughout the West. It has manifested itself in tandem with the growing crisis of political leadership at home. If unchecked, it will further undermine faith in state institutions, and could even delegitimize democracy itself.That's the reasoned case. Then there's Kurt Schlichter. Voters are quicker to fire underachieving leaders than used to be the case.
Because Western elites continue to fail to deliver real solutions to problems like immigration and deindustrialization, an irreversible loss of public support for fundamentals like free trade, liberalism, and multilateralism is no longer just a theoretical possibility.
The ritual sacrifice of Eric Cantor was not a fluke. The election of Donald Trump was not a fluke. None of this is a fluke. We really mean it. We want change. And if you won’t give it to us, we’ll fire you and elect someone who will."Change," dear reader, does not mean putting your trust in Democrats.
We face an enemy that hates us, that wants us suppressed and silenced, that will do everything it can to take our First, Second, and every other Amendment’s rights from us and condemn us to a future of baking liberals’ cakes and fearing that we might be jailed for using the wrong pronoun.He exaggerates, but only slightly.
Perhaps the place to start is by placing less faith in Governance as Solving Problems in the first place.