When it comes to partisan politics in the United States, there are two prevailing yet contradicting narratives often expressed in what passes for discourse in this country. The first is that the majority of Americans are somewhere left of center and would love to see more progressive legislation come out of Washington. The second is that the majority of Americans are somewhere right of center and want to see more conservative policies enacted. In both cases, this majority is being somehow stifled so that their voices are being ignored and if only those voters were better represented we would truly see the political makeup of the country.
Of course, both of these assertions cannot be true. As someone who identifies as a liberal (although registered as unaffiliated, not Democrat) I have always liked to think the majority of people had similar politics as me or, at least, were as outraged and disgusted by Republican policies as was I. Perhaps most people fell somewhere in-between a fairly middling liberal like Joe Biden and a comparative revolutionary like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but the assumption has always been most people were definitely not on the George W. Bush to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spectrum. Even now, with the country’s recent brush with single party autocracy and the growing rift between Trumpist die-hards and reality, we are told by most mainstream media outlets and Democrats in office that the majority of the nation does not subscribe to this reactionary agenda.
Maybe this is true. If it is, however, that silent majority had better make itself heard and quickly. It almost feels that the political left in this country, the energy that brought powered so many of the major social changes of the mid to mid-late 20th century, has grown lazy and has retreated to the safety of Twitter and MSNBC, content to engage in hashtag activism and ceding the seats of power to aspiring Trumps like Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Madison Cawthorn. While Democrats talk of bold plans but then shy away from bold action in the name of ‘bipartisanship’, Republicans openly and enthusiastically reject any pretext of compromise and use whatever power they can bring to bear in their efforts to turn the U.S. into a deregulated police state that teaches nationalistic myths as Truth and governed by an evangelical Christian theocracy.