Democrats’ Lie of Omission: The Seed of Millennial Rage

What does ‘liberal’ mean to you?

In my recent post on the horrendous housing in Hong Kong, I couldn’t help but remark on the irony of the living conditions of millions in the so-called “Freest Economy in the World.”

Four women gather around as one ices a cake

All this quarantine baking suddenly seems pretty nice!

Free for whom, exactly? To do what? Certainly not free from pain and anxiety for the average citizen, crammed into living spaces smaller than an American parking space. They are not even free to sleep in peace, to meditate, to masturbate, to avoid petty conflict and pest infestations. They are not free to raise their children in a healthy environment.

It made me look out the window at my little scrap of suburban greenery with a new awe and appreciation.

Because Hong Kong is not so distant, despite being halfway around the world. It was American institutions The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal who awarded this interesting honor. WSJ, at least, has an international reputation speaking for one of the largest stock exchanges in the world. Economics is kinda their thing. So, that they are talking about economic “freedom” shouldn’t be a surprise.

But the honorific doesn’t clarify that. They didn’t call it The Most Economically Free Country in the World.

Words matter. This might seem like a minor distinction, but blurring economic freedom and personal freedom is costing us dearly.

Democrat Betrayal

The 90s are not often remembered as the orgy of 60s nostalgia that they were. Those of us born in the 80s first woke up to the fairy tale of Woodstock, love-ins and collective individualism. Do Your Thing, Follow Your Bliss, Lend A Brother A Hand. Hippie ideals were presented as distilled forgotten wisdom, uncurdled by the intervening decades. It was a Liberal Golden Age, stomped on and killed by Evil Conservatives while the Hippies were sleeping it off.

So when Liberal Boomers talked about social programs, we listened. The Counterculture took a lot of (unearned) credit for the Civil Rights Movement, so we trusted Liberals on race and other minority concerns.

Affirmative Action is a thing, right? They kept Social Security off the chopping block! They nominated a Black Man! Such a Liberal victory! Smooth sailing to a beautiful, tolerant future.

Imaginary Friend

It’s hard to let go of childhood dreams!


Democrats had total control over the Federal Government for two years after 2008. They didn’t use it to give us the healthcare we needed so badly. They didn’t use it to address any of the issues Obama had run on, that are so dear to so many on the Left. Consequently, in 2010 we didn’t show up for them and they lost Congress. Republicans spent the next six years blocking everything (Mitch McConnell is on tape admitting as much) Obama tried to do, “liberal” or otherwise.

Many of us found ourselves vaguely searching for someone who would actually stand their ground in Left Field. Bernie Sanders may not have been the hero we wanted, but he was the hero we got. And integrity he’s got, having actually marched in the Civil Rights movement. He was like Lefty Millennial Santa Claus.

So, naturally, the Democratic establishment dogpiled him at the last minute and ran him out on a rail.

Remember Super Tuesday? Sure you do! Remember February? That long-ago time when you could still go to the park or the grocery store without a mask? When the biggest daily complaint leaving the house was the weather? Think back with me, to when Plague2020 was still a rumble in the distance, and Donald Trump had just finished being acquitted for crimes he totally did.

Bernie Sanders surprised a lot of people (not everyone, thank you, MSNBC) by doing very well in several primaries. It looked like he probably won Iowa, even tho Pete Buttigieg dithered around and blurred the picture for everyone.

But after arguably tying in Iowa and winning California, any other candidate would have been considered the obvious front-runner.

In previous years, “front-runner” has been effective shorthand for “assumed nominee.” Everyone else has been expected to step aside for the Anointed One.

Not so in 2020. Joe Biden was still doing well and, instead of smaller candidates’ endorsements being divvied up over the course of a few days as they dropped out one by one, they all dropped out at once and endorsed Biden.

As if we haven’t been paying attention.

This looked like a move made in bad faith, it was just damn insulting.

Millennial Rage

But was their closing ranks against Sanders done in bad faith? Scratch a Democrat and you’ll find they bleed Free-Market Capitalism.

I’m still recovering from the shock of learning exactly what NeoLiberal means.

Flower Girl and Goat

I hear you, but I’m not sure I buy it anymore!

NeoLiberalism is Classical Liberalism madeover for the 20th century. Adam Smith gave the Enlightenment Age the idea of the Invisible Hand that would tell us all what has Value. This was “liberal” compared to an economy controlled by the will of kings.

But this is not what we were taught “liberal” means. What about the Hippies? What about the Free Love and the communal housing? What about the mysteries of Nature? Or the Brotherhood of Man?

Oh, that’s right – They sold them somewhere between 1978 and 1992 (memories are fuzzy) for cheap real estate and giant TVs.

They were ripe for the NeoLiberal story because they came from comfort. Boomers are creatures of comfort, at the end of the day. So long as the story has a happy ending for them, they figure all is right with the world.

And NeoLiberalism tells them they’re right to want what they want. They can continue to be righteous citizens as they twist their philosophy to rationalize having done a total 180.

And “liberal” is a portal from one universe to the other.

We watch them use the same words to describe totally different actions. They tell us we are at least as free as they ever were, meanwhile we are not free from debt, not free from dread, not free from despair.

But we are free to take advantage of the many ways to invest our pennies in the Stock Market. Just like the big boys!

A Gaslit Generation

Our parents allowed the worst of their generation to take the legacy of the Modern Era and turn it upside down. The language of progress has been stolen and eroded, until the very terms “liberal” and “social program” have a yucky aftertaste.

Millennials are waking up again, this time to the fact that we are now adults (despite what the internet would have you believe) and we are noticing that some of our friends in other countries are not struggling quite like we are.

Img 4470

Dad, you’re not helping!

Reasons for this don’t take much digging to find. Our country is run differently than many others in the West. We have clung to 18th century “liberalism” like we have kept the Imperial measurement system, and our estimation of life is out of sync accordingly. Those who have attempted to bring us up to date have been vilified, marginalized, and posthumously undermined.

Boomers, and the Xers who know nothing but their shadow, are horrified by how liberally we under 40 throw around the word “socialism.” They proclaim it to be “terrifying” and even “evil.” Chris Matthews infamously embodied this mindset on live broadcast, sputtering about people lining up to be shot. His abrupt resignation shortly thereafter tells me someone, somewhere understood this was not a good look.

It is crazy-making to watch the very same people who have abused the word “liberal” so badly completely miss how the same thing was done to “socialist.”

The guerillas executing people in Cuba were not socialists. They were authoritarians using a nice word to promote awful things, as authoritarians tend to do. The Nazis, the Bolsheviks and the Chinese all did it, too. Just because you declare yourself something doesn’t mean it’s true.

(….Oops, I could be popping in on another pet subject, but I’ll save them for another day….)

Socialism has a definition. Words mean things. In this Post-Postmodern age, when Black Men can be President and men can be women, we hunger for certainty. Choice paralysis is real, and choosing is impossible if the meaning of the very words used to describe those choices is always changing.

But we have seen through the game. We grew up, peeked behind the curtain and discovered The Wizard was just Dad – Stubborn, bigoted, comfort-creature Dad. Who never had any real solutions to the problems he won’t admit he helped create.

We are not listening to their definitions anymore. We reject their rejection of nuance. We are tired of being shut down.

We aren’t interested in hearing about how revolutionary the 60s were. Y’all had a good time, congratulations. Way to not save any cake for anyone else.



    No comments found.

Leave a Comment