Timing, in politics, is what you might call the tertium quid. It’s the evanescent, transitory third “thing” that lies beyond every candidate’s reach, much less her grasp. Doubtless, the curious arrival and departure of timing has a mysterious, if not wholly divine essence. In clouds of obscurity, it lays beyond our view. Mortal marionettes such as us—strung by our limbs for decades by the hands of life’s clock—can’t hope to understand it in the least. To us, a species molded by the modern-day media and unaccustomed to thinking our own thoughts, timing seems as though manipulated by the gods above. How intrusive those deities of wrath and of whimsy can be! They fill themselves with caprice or malice, good or ill will depending on the day, and impart their felicity or fury on us. As such, they can change in a moment’s breath the tides of history and the fate of man.
Timing, then, is the third thing—the one around which the two other things revolve. Of course, these other two factors need naming. I’ll call them, in conjunction with timing, charisma and volatility. The three combine reliably to bring about startling political ends in every case and in every age. A politician with sufficient charisma can always expect to garner acolytes to his side. He is, after all, favored by the gods, if we’re to understand charisma in its original Greek. It’s his smile, though not always his substance, that’ll do the trick. Volatility—economic, cultural, or otherwise—forever gives the politician the mirage of a gale through which only he can steer the ship (or so he claims). In the volatile, precariously uncertain world, he’s the ballast, the sail, the rudder, and only by way of his navigation can a nation find its shore.
Combining charisma and volatility, timing must also come into play. But timing is a different beast. Though always powerful, it’s often slippery and it subjects those who attempt its capture and its harness to the utmost frustration. It isn’t something upon which one can rely to be helpful when it’s help that’s needed most. Thus, I don’t think President Trump will be much availed by the recent unravelling of the Democratic Party. The Party’s recent implosion was, for lack of a better word, too politically premature. The timing wasn’t right. It happened too far in advance of the ever-impending 2020 Presidential election. The timing, in fact, might ultimately work against him, even if charisma and volatility prove themselves to be on his side.
If said election were to be held tomorrow, the timing couldn’t have been more auspicious for him. That’s because the potential Democratic candidates for president are making veritable fools of themselves. They’re doing this in both voluntary and involuntary ways, and they’re doing it on a nearly daily basis. They’ve chosen tortuously and, it appears, self-injuriously to embark on endless and winding paths of pandering and virtue-signaling to their base. They’ve done so in hopes of reaching the disaffected pockets of America (minorities, millennials, misanthropes, and the like) deemed most useful and advantageous for their political dreams. It’s by activating these people they’ll move closer to the office they seek—the Oval Office to which they aspire.
To animate these potential voters sufficiently, each one of the candidates, of whom we presently count five, has been attempting to outflank the other on the left. In so doing, each has adopted positions that aren’t merely radically progressive, but contrary to what the larger portion of Americans want. Yet in seeking the approbation and support of the disaffected and clamorous few, they’ve forgotten the larger audience of America—the average woman and man.
They’ve taken to radical agenda items, among which we first count socialism and its whole-scale embrace. Socialism, of course, has been for decades a somewhat reticent aim held by the left. Based on my perhaps incomplete understanding, it’s always been rather covertly desired than openly declared, as taking the second position might imperil a well-functioning political career. Quiet but unshakeable, hidden but metastatic, the idea is just now revealing itself as always it might’ve hoped (namely, its proud adumbration has come thanks in part to the “Green New Deal”). It’s gaining the vociferous and clear traction that it’s lacked since the end of the Cold War, when its adoption in the West was most eagerly sought. Devoted to its current promotion is a cadre of young, comely, and above all callow faces whom we dub the “new” progressive left. We hear from their clamoring the proletariat’s anthem, and we fear the capitalist’s coming dirge.
Outright socialism is but one of the radical left’s radical agenda items. We number next on this portentous list the advocacy of completely open borders. These borders, through which any person—regardless of merit or intent—could cross into the country, would impede no man. America would be less a country, more an amorphously-defined, all-encompassing and therefore none-too meaningful state. They’re to do so, if the far left has its “democratic” druthers, wholly unmolested and without so much as an impeding, inquisitive look. More than a few presidential candidates of the Democratic Party have acknowledged their estimation as inherently otiose, if not entirely morally indefensible, the department of I.C.E. (the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency). The department, it should be said, is absolutely vital to national security as we take it for granted each day. To do away with it full-stop would be heedless in the extreme and might even open this country to brazen and unanticipated assault. Others, most notably Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, have declared they’d reduce to rubble the already-standing walls if given a pick-ax, the spotlight, and a chance. They’d rather see I.C.E. dissolved, our walls destroyed, and our nation imperiled by the influx of the unknown. The Party’s candidates are calling for these things and more, if only so daring a program will enhance their bewildering political appeal.
And the “more” to which I made a passing reference above is this: the Democratic Party has added to its increasingly radical agenda the notion that late-term abortions are not only okay, not only free of moral dubiousness, but almost encouraged. For those counting at home, this would permit, up until the very threshold of birth—up until the very moment of the realization of a new, independent, and distinctly human life—the execution of a child. At the very last anguish of dilation, just as the uterus acquiesces after nine months to the relinquishment of its gift, the breaching bundle of joy can be killed. Seconds before the child might inhale for the first time not amniotic fluid but enlivening air, she can be shorn of life. At the very precipice of her descent from the womb, she’ll descend not only to the realm of the forgotten, but to that of those never to be known.
Less innocuous, I should think, is the natural extension of this reproductive “right”. Beyond late-term abortions, in terms of both temporality and morality, the Democratic Party has moved in the direction of the defense of post-partum infanticide. Announced perhaps accidentally by Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, the stated position is that children—if deemed sufficiently undesirable by their mothers—can be killed on a whim. As if they were pagans, binding to hillsides the feet of their unwanted youth in an effort to expose them, they’ve made clear that a baby born but not desired can and indeed should be killed.
Any of these radical proposals, taken in isolation, would be politically useful for Trump if he were to be fighting the Democrats in the waning days of a 2020 race. It would be a near embarrass de riches into which he and his 2020 campaign organizers would have stumbled. Add to this the fact that the Democratic Party has of late become a bastion of blackface wearers, an industry-leader of bald-faced lies, an academy of open anti-Semites, a leading school of the practice and denial of sexual assault, and an unapologetic troupe of hoaxers (or defenders of a single hoaxer), and you have at your disposal almost too many things of which to keep track.
The problem, though, isn’t the quantity of material available to the President with which he can inveigh against the left. Rather, the problem is the quantity of time he has to do it. Indeed, there are too many days between now and that fateful Tuesday in November when the ballots are to be cast. By the time that day comes along, over a year hence, the novelty of the Democratic Party’s insanity probably will have worn off. Its radicalism will be something to which our fleeting attention will have become immune. More likely though, the president—prone to be hoist by his own petard—will embrace some new controversy himself. Ever fond of shooting himself in the foot, it’s likely that he’ll obfuscate the left’s ludicrous agenda by shining light on his own and many sins.
Thus, though seemingly useful for the hour at hand, the timing of the Democratic Party’s implosion is exceedingly premature. So too was it during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation cause célèbre. Back then, just before the midterm elections you’ll recall, the Democrats displayed their craziness, but left enough time for Trump to one-up them by demonstrating his. The same, should timing have anything to say about it, might very well happen again.