In Britain, the people have spoken. Again. Boris Johnson and his Conservatives absolutely crushed Jeremy Corbyn’s labour party in what many see as a second referendum on Brexit.
This is for sure the “Hillary moment” for many labour voters in Britain. They are in shock, despairing, believing it a devolving of descent to the end of democracy. What it really means is that democracy is alive and well, though there may be years of Boris Derangement Syndrome to come.
Threats to democracy are coming from leftist antifa, who are protesting free and fair election results.
This is what being unhinged looks like—being so sure of your correctness that you demand affirmation. The use of violence to revolt against lawful elections is only done by people who don’t care about free and fair elections. Britain is not a rogue state where sham elections are held. It’s a cornerstone democratic nation.
In a New York Times op-ed, Michelle Goldberg explores her “democracy grief.” She cites the House vote for impeachment, which will certainly not pass the Senate, and the changing staff members at the civil service level. She has reached out to therapists, and women who maintained enough optimism in 2017 to usher democratic House reps into office.
They all give her the same message, that democracy is dying and their grief is hard to bear: “Lately, I think I’m experiencing democracy grief. For anyone who was, like me, born after the civil rights movement finally made democracy in America real, liberal democracy has always been part of the climate, as easy to take for granted as clean air or the changing of the seasons. When I contemplate the sort of illiberal oligarchy that would await my children should Donald Trump win another term, the scale of the loss feels so vast that I can barely process it,” Goldberg wailed.
The thing is, we didn’t take clean air for granted. Air quality was a disaster. Constituents and lawmakers worked hard to get the air breathable. Things are better in the U.S. now because people worked for it, and people are still working for it. There are issues, there will always be issues, but people will work to fix them, and they are doing that.
Uberfeminist Amanda Marcotte praised Goldberg’s dirge for democracy, tweeting: “The people who mock liberals for being distressed at the possible end of our democracy are the ones who should be ashamed. We should be proud of our tears. It shows we aren’t sociopathic Trump monsters.”
The trend of delirious democracy despondency always goes hand in hand with the discrediting and dehumanization of political opponents. Conservatives and Trump voters are not people. They’re monsters. It makes it easier to swallow defeat.
A similar trend is at play in England. Observe how a simple tweet by celebrity Rachel Riley in celebration of Johnson’s historic victory over the anti-Semitic Corbyn elicits the response: “i hope your baby is stillborn” by a Labour supporter who no doubt is suffering a fatal case of “democracy grief.”
Another great tactic when things don’t go the way you hoped is to blame social media. Facebook and Twitter have different ideas about how to deal with political discourse and political advertising. Much has been made about the impact of third party ads on Facebook and the initial Brexit vote. It’s easy to say that when people don’t vote they way you wanted them to, or the way you think was the right way to vote, they have been somehow coerced or manipulated, but that doesn’t make it true.
The woke left will blame social media, TERFS, disinformation, racism, Islamophobia, fascism, and Facebook for their political defeats. Never do they look inward and contemplate how their constant alarmism and dehumanization of others may actually have something to do with it. No matter how many times it’s recommended that they ought to.
In fact, gender critical feminists are happy to take some of the credit. In part, these results have nothing to do with Brexit, and everything to do with the controversial self-ID, which has been pushed through without debate. Women have been silenced, investigated, berated and beaten for staking their claim to the reality of biological sex. Like those who oppose anti-Semitism, gender-critical feminists made their voices heard: they would not accept Labour’s creeping authoritarianism.
Whenever a legitimate democratic result occurs that the elite media establishment don’t like, they claim that democracy is in peril, or it dies in darkness, or it’s already deceased. It’s getting a little tedious. And it’s just not true. Democracy and disagreement are not anathema to each other.
Goldberg’s democracy grief is nothing compared to the people’s media grief. Seriously. This nonsense has to stop. That Donald Trump won doesn’t mean democracy didn’t happen. That Boris Johnson won doesn’t mean we need to change the way democracy works. The truth is that the authoritarian hacks and pundits who whine and whimper about how democracy is broken are the very ones who are trying to break it. If democracy depended on eliciting a specific outcome to be tenable, that wouldn’t be democracy. The fact that it doesn’t turn out the way you voted doesn’t null the result.
The world is seeing populations rise up and fight for their rights to democratic leadership, for a voice in their own governance. When we disparage the freedoms we have, claiming that they are not liberties but lies, we do a disservice to our fellow citizens. Democracy works. It doesn’t always work out for the way you’d like, but that’s kind of the point.