An Evitable Disaster
"The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War", according to Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira in Medium is "there’s no bipartisan way forward at this juncture in our history — one side must win. ... The solution for the people of California was to reconfigure the political landscape and shift a supermajority of citizens — and by extension their elected officials — under the Democratic Party’s big tent."
This conquer or die view, unlike Kevin Williamson's, is not beyond the pale. In fact Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey described the Medium article as a "great read". The idea that only one side of the political aisle leaves the room while the other is clapped in irons plainly expresses many may have secretly thought except heretofore it was necessary to conceal it. Now the decks are cleared and some are itching to raise the Jolly Roger.
The major problem with this strategy is China, whose relentless competition will penalize all irrational political correctness and all serious division. America can become as dysfunctional as California but China will own it. As David Goldman noted in a speech delivered at Hillsdale College "China is a phenomenon unlike anything in economic history."
The average Chinese consumes 17 times more today than in 1987. This is like the difference between driving a car and riding a bicycle or between indoor plumbing and an outhouse. In an incredibly short period of time, this formerly backward country has lifted itself into the very first rank of world economies.
Over the same period, China has moved approximately 600 million people from the countryside to the cities—the equivalent of moving the entire population of Europe from the Ural Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. To accommodate those people, it built the equivalent of a new London, plus a new Berlin, Rome, Glasgow, Helsinki, Naples, and Lyons. And of course, moving people whose ancestors spent millennia in the monotony of traditional village life and bringing them into the industrial world led to an explosion of productivity.
Where does America stand in respect to China? By a measure economists call purchasing power parity, you can buy a lot more with $100 in China than you can in the United States. Adjusted for that measure, the Chinese economy is already bigger than ours. In terms of dollars, our economy is still bigger. But the Chinese are gaining on us, and in the next eight to ten years their economy—unlike the economies of our previous competitors—will catch up.
The American elite is no longer as it is accustomed to thinking of itself, "the only adult in the room" whose patience with the childish Red states is now at an end, but a fragile civilization hanging on to its advantage by a thread against China. Before the left raises the Jolly Roger they should note the giant war junk bearing down on them fast. America's sole remaining advantage Goldman notes, is that it is ruled consensually, which is precisely the advantage Leiden and Teixeira intend to surrender. The dilemma for the Left is they can't indulge their fantasies in the face of a peer competitor any more than an army can divide its forces in the face of the foe. They will need the Deplorables to survive. But they haven't realized that yet.