The new openness and honesty in the Democratic Party deserves more attention. For years Democrats have been accused by the deeply suspicious of being (a) for citizen disarmament and (b) actual socialists. Now, increasingly, Democrats are copping to both.

Beto O’Rourke did something new for a major Democratic presidential candidate at Thursday night’s debate when he said, very clearly and without any prevarication, that he’d take “weapons of war” and certain guns away from law-abiding Americans.

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore,” said O’Rourke, a former congressman from El Paso, Texas, who has re-created his presidential campaign around the issue of gun control after a mass shooting last month in his hometown.

Zachary B. Wolf, “Democrats have spent years denying they’ll take people’s guns. Not anymore” CNN, September 12, 2019.

And it is not just Blithering Beto:

O’Rourke is one of three Democrats, along with Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey to support mandatory buybacks for certain guns. Other Democrats would make them illegal but not require them to be bought back by the government. That was O’Rourke’s position, too, until the shooting in El Paso.

At the debate, O’Rourke had been asked whether he was ready to take guns away from people. He said yes, “if it’s a weapon designed to kill people on a battlefield, if the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers.”

This is something of a turning point for Democrats.

But it is not the only turning point. The popularity of Senator Bernie Sanders, who openly supports the Socialist label, and the “democratic socialists” of the Squad, points to something bigger: a willingness to go all the way to total government, despite America’s long tradition of opposition to socialism:

From being willing to murder babies fresh from the womb to the recent publication of something called the “Green New Deal,” Democrats can now be said to be totally out of the closet, allowing the American people, for the first time in a very long time, to see them for exactly who, and what, they are.  Before President Trump, Democrats had always been much less forthcoming when it came to revealing what it was that they were really up to.  But it would seem that these days, for whatever reason, they see no reason to operate in the shadows.  It’s almost as if they want us to see just how crazy they have become.  And the president should do nothing to discourage them from talking, in fact he should encourage them to talk more.

And it’s this “Green New Deal” that is the latest utopian idea to be presented by the Democrats, and is also arguably one of the most insane idea they’ve ever come up despite being championed by the genius, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  It reveals much about just how out in the open the Democrat Party is now willing to operate.  And regardless of how insane it is, this cockamamie plan was promptly endorsed by at least five candidates for the Democrat nomination for president in 2020, including the current frontrunner, Kamala Harris.  And it’s upon closer inspection that this highly touted “Green New Deal” has got to be seen as being one of the craziest, if not THE craziest, bits of legislation ever conceived in all of modern day politics.  

And I can’t help but wonder why this entire idea isn’t being ridiculed to the point where its supporters have been forced to go into hiding out of fear of becoming a laughing stock for daring to support it.  After all, the plan calls for the entire U.S. economy to switch to solar and wind power in ten years, an end to air travel, and guaranteed jobs for all, including those “unwilling” to work.  It will be paid for by printing more and more money. And if you dare to disagree, the planet will die.  While this “Green New Deal” is not the first crazy idea ever to be proposed in Congress, it is the first crazy idea to be taken so seriously and to be co-sponsored by as many as ten U.S. Senators and a third of House Democrats, so far.  

A close second would be “Medicare for All,” which Kamala Harris endorsed last month, adding that she would “eliminate” private health insurance — though she later said she was open to other paths to socialized medicine.  “Medicare for All” is not even popular in Harris’s deep-blue home state of California, where a plurality of voters opposes the plan, according to a Quinnipiac poll released this week. Yet the same poll revealed that the policy is very popular among Democrats, with 61% in favor and 24% opposed. When Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Democrat, blocked a similar idea in 2017, saying there was no way to pay for it, he received death threats.  Many Democrats have long believed in having the government run everything.

Front Porch News, “The Democrats Come Out of Their Socialist Closet,” A Backwoods Conservative, February 8, 2019.

Arguably, if you believe “in having the government run everything,” you are a socialist. But what does it make you if you say your balk at total government, but only support increases in the size and scope of government, never decreases? The late-19th century individualists had a name for that. I remember how the late Bill Bradford was fond of the term, a specific suffix. And here Paul Jacob uses it:

There is nothing more tragic than full-blown socialism: mind-control and the snitch society; purges and mass starvation, with millions upon millions dead. But give them credit: the trendy new Democrats say they’re only for the Nordic Model of . . . well, the European term for it is social democracy. The fact that they now insist on calling social democracy “socialism” might be comic. It’s sort of witless. . . .

But they sure seem to push for evermore government — more regulation, especially. And since Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are all very close to the United States on Cato Institute’s economic freedoms tallies in the institute’s annual Human Freedom Index, demanding more regulation isn’t likely to make America more like Scandinavia.

But it would be more socialistic. Emphasis on the “ic.”

Paul Jacob, “Socialist-ic,” Townhall, March 3, 2019.

But this is not just a nomenclature issue:

Warren’s no socialist — she wants to “save capitalism,” after all.

Yet by only adding to government kludge, she might as well be one.

And that’s both the comedy and the tragedy of the Democratic Party: even when Democrats forswear the s-word, they keep touting more and more government, ignoring the mistakes of their past.

Which is why the new embracing of the label “socialism” is at least a sign of transparency.

But in politics, does such transparency pay?

As even a few fuddy duddies in the Democratic presidential line-up insist, this open embracing of socialism as a label, and Ever-Growing Government as a platform, may very well ensure The Donald’s reëlection.

But if one of these gun-grabbing socialists does win office — or if Democrat pols merely persist in continuing this latest ideological dedication — the consequences could extend much further. The United States could indeed go through something very much like death paroxysms, leading (best-case scenario) to disunion, either

  • in the form of a renewed federalism or
  • with secession leaving us two or more separate unions.

Brexit is peanuts compared to what is brewing here.

Yet my Democrat friends never seem to acknowledge what they have put into the roiling water.

As for me, I am mostly fascinated. You see, I am an anti-nationalist. Have been since a teenager. This gives me a rather jaded perspective. I think of Alexander Hamilton as a traitorous liar, and the union he molded as a treason against the states and the liquidation of the Founding’s promise. And so I look upon the Republicans as at best pathetic fools, but mostly as enemies of liberty — willing to compromise anything (even gun control and socialism) to maintain national power, which is their core insanity. And Democrats? — as at best ridiculous tools of the plutocracy, even while lashing out at “the top one percent,” never realizing that centralized power must always play into the hands of an elite. It is always worth a chuckle, really, populism being the Grand Delusion at the heart of the left.

When people want impossible things, they push incoherent dreams.

The Democrats’ new-found daring regarding their dreams and their putative reality is, at the very least, refreshing.

But, looming over all politics is the specter that haunts us all: The Thomas Theorem. Imagined causes have real effects. Those effects cannot be what is imagined, though. Not exactly. And that gap between fantasy and consequences is the most interesting divide there is, for both the left and the right tend to deny their respective divides.

Ideologues think in a fantasy realm, but we must all live in those realms’ shadows. American Democrats might work up at least some caution regarding the shadow of their dreams.

A sketch of the most basic form of ideological map.