When Barack Obama’s own pastor, Reverend Wright, called America endemically racist, Obama rejected his argument in his 2008 speech A More Perfect Union: “He spoke as if no progress has been made; as if this country … is still irrevocably bound to its past.” The former president believed that way of thinking “elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America”.
Today, the left would see even “Obama as an enabler of white supremacy”, says Andrew Sullivan in The Weekly Dish. America was born bad, built on slavery. White supremacy is baked in. In a popular new theory, “the successor ideology”, there is no escape, no refuge, from the ongoing nightmare of oppression and violence – and you are either fighting this and “on the right side of history”, or you are “against it and abetting evil”. Companies pump millions into staying uncancelled. It is the “greatest radicalisation of the elites since the 1960s”, and wholly illiberal. Liberalism will let you do your job and let you keep your politics private. Liberalism leaves you alone. The successor ideology will never let go of you. It compels you to confess, repent or be ostracised. People ask what’s made me “so far right”? I’m still an Obamacon. What I want to know is: what happened to you?
Why it matters The danger is that the radical left in America is driving people to support “an increasingly nihilistic cult” on the right. We should fight the successor ideology, says Sullivan, to save liberalism.
And Britain beware… “In America, I can’t even put Democrats and Republicans in the same focus group,” says the US pollster Frank Luntz. That’s not true of the Tories and Labour yet. But my polling suggests the same “bitterness and division” is coming to Britain.
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