Still, if you’re looking for things to be pessimistic about, how about the future of American liberalism? It seems unlikely to survive this election, at least in its current form. The political movement that seems to offer nothing except identity politics is set to blow apart. Ironically, over identity politics.
Obama and Hillary Clinton have run a divisive race that looks as if it’ll go all the way to their party’s summer convention in Colorado. Party honchos are urging Clinton to drop out, but there’s no reason she should. She scored solid wins recently in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. Obama’s last primary victory feels like ancient history.
“If this party is perceived by people as having gone into a back room somewhere and brokered a nominee, that would not be good for our party,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina said recently. “If this continues on its current course, [the damage] is going to be irreparable.” But what’s the alternative?
The meeting in Denver is certain to be rowdy. The party insists it won’t recognize representatives from Florida or Michigan, two big states that violated party rules and held their primaries early. That’s already triggered protests. A group from Florida recently rallied at DNC headquarters in Washington. “If the Florida delegation is not seated, we will march on Denver,” one man shouted, before he was drowned out by cheering. “We will shut down the convention,” another speaker warned. And they probably should.
This, after all, is the party that insisted in 2000 it wanted to “count every vote” in Florida. In 2008, it’s attempting to block every vote from that same state. Quite an about-face.
It’s understandably difficult to make predictions about what life will be like in 20 years. Or even five. But it’s safe to say that the candidate who survives the mayhem in Denver will go into the fall as a weakened candidate. Somehow our republic will survive, and even thrive -- just as it always has.