The inability of the right to make inroads against an incompetent left is merely part of a broader picture: their failure to reckon with the consequences of the mass demographic changes they have helped unleash.
If you are like me, you may have occasionally pondered one of the more confounding paradoxes still prevalent in Western politics. As the theory goes, in a democracy, any government that exhibits enough sustained failure and ineptitude will be voted out at the next election, installing even the flimsiest of oppositions into power under the hope of the merest improvements in delivery and competence: with any signs to the contrary surely evidence of a system not worth retaining. Yet, as we have now seen in various locales across the West, this paradox is still very much alive and well.
To begin with perhaps the most emblematic example of them all, California – the state that not so long ago gave the US the Republican presidents Nixon and Reagan – is, and has been for most of the last two decades, essentially a one-party Democratic state, despite the litany of failures its leaders continue to amass. Whether this is the mass exodus we are currently witnessing, the rampant homelessness and illegal immigration, or the fact that they are ranked near the bottom are many key measures of American statal health: none of this seems to matter in a state that continually votes a deep shade of Democratic blue.
It is also much the same story here in Australia. In the country’s second-most populous state of Victoria, the leftist Australian Labor Party (ALP) have dominated local politics for over two decades, holding power for 17 of the last 21 years. A situation that doesn’t look like changing as the party continues to enjoy broad public support and remains on track to win another four years in power at next year’s state election despite presiding over a political rap-sheet – which includes one of the world’s most draconian and lengthy lockdowns: largely caused by the priority given to notions of ‘diversity’ and ‘identity’ over actual rigour and competence – that is now beginning to approach Californian proportions.
Indeed, to continue with Australia, there is no serious discussion about whether the right really has much of a future remaining here at all. This is, of course, only a minor part of the much broader story that is currently unfolding across the West: a circumstance that the election of Biden, Harris and the US Democrats seems to confirm further, and which highlights yet again the failure of the American right to win the popular vote: a situation – 2004 excepted – that now stretches back more than 3 decades.
Yet these victories have obviously not come on the backs of stable and competent government; in fact, they have largely occurred despite the egregious and often catastrophic presiding administrations and not because of them. Thus, to return to our initial paradox: how is this so? How do such blatantly inept and incompetent leftist governments retain their hold on power?
The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is demographic: as the West has continued its insistence on mass-immigration and become more demographically diverse, this newly imported cohort have tended to favour parties of the left, thus rendering the right largely useless and further hastening the latter’s impending doom.
In fact, to return to Australia’s situation, this is exactly what has happened; and is itself illustrative of these broader trends. Indeed, a recent redrawing of Victorian state electoral boundaries has made this state of affairs even clearer. In Melbourne’s state capital, the traditional, eastern suburbs’ electoral stronghold of the right-of-centre Australian Liberal party [‘liberal’ in the classical, free-enterprise sense] has been steadily eclipsed by persistent, immigration-led population growth – and its associated leftist vote – in other parts of town.
Thus conservative Victorians now find themselves in a dispiriting situation where the left is comfortably ahead in the high-growth regions of Melbourne’s north and west, holding all but three of the 13 seats that have populations of 10 per cent more than the state average. A situation further compounded given that the ALP also holds all of the 15 fastest growing suburban areas and almost 40 of the 45 electorates with the greatest number of [soon to be left-leaning and ALP-voting] children.
And so it goes for most of the rest of the West too. California, for example, has roughly doubled in size, from 20 to 40 million residents, over the last five decades, completely changing its demographic profile and voting patterns. Whilst Canada is also on track to have around a third of its population from visible minorities within a decade: no doubt ensuring many more years of Trudeau the younger and his liberal successors to come. Similar trends have also been apparent in New Zealand, the UK, and in large parts of continental Europe.
Thus, to further answer our initial paradox: the ineptitude and incompetence of the Left are almost irrelevant, as ‘the people’ – quite literally – are overwhelmingly on their side. The traditional right is thus facing political oblivion: they are, as the article puts it: losing both sides of the coin (i.e. losing both middle-income, local ‘progressives’ as well as lower-income migrants) and pushing against demography, [in a] world [that] has [irrevocably] changed.
This is why Trudeau et al. can largely be as oleaginous and incompetent as they like: as nothing the right says or does, really matters all that much. And why any switch by the right – in matters cosmetic, tactical or personal – will do little to affect the attitudes and voting habits of this newly-imported electorate: that is, an electorate who largely view the traditional Western right – and much of their customs, heroes and conventions – as an unwanted and somewhat shameful anachronism, and who vote accordingly.
Which is a realisation that has hopefully dawned upon some of the (dwindling amount of) wise heads remaining down at the various Western conservative HQs. A glance around the world at the broader movements and correlations between immigration, demographic change and left-of-centre political dominance should have been long evident.
In fact, this explicit connection between immigration and a leftward shift in politics has been recently effectively illuminated by Helen Andrews in her excellent piece concerning the 20th Century US experience, or my fellow Americans Ann Coulter and Michael Anton, who, in his 2020 book ‘The Stakes’, describes how his – once paradisiacal – home state of California came to be coloured its deeply toned, and equally dysfunctional, Democratic blue.
The right thence finds itself at an impasse. For one, they are now finally having to confront the (largely predictable) consequences of the vast contradictions inherent in their own ideologies. Their decades-long reliance on immigration (an economic necessity now that social and economic liberalism has destroyed the marriage and birth rates) has achieved somewhat buoyant economies (Australia went almost 3 decades without a recession, for example). Yet, their failure to contend with the bigger changes that such a demographic shift has wrought has left them a rather deluded and pathetic entity: their position now akin to that of the jilted ex-lover, ranting impotently from outside the walls of actual power.
Many ‘conservatives’ are now also being forced to wake up from the facile, four-decade-long dream that was their belief that they could simultaneously have both their liberal economic cake whilst indulging in their (ostensibly) conservative social policy too. There was no way that this nominal social conservatism – supposedly holding up the walls of this hastily constructed ‘broad church’ – was even going to withstand the erosion that an uber-liberal economic and immigration policy wreaks on family formation, social capital, cultural cohesion, and the other necessary preconditions of healthy political life. A contradiction that is easily apparent to the man in the street, yet one that we collectively forgot – save Christopher Lasch, Mary Eberstadt and a few others – in our 40-year, Thatcher and Reagan-induced, laissez-faire stupor.
Incidentally, this also does little to negate the current presence of nominal right-of-centre governments in Western societies. Whilst the US has just concluded four years of Trump and the Republicans, and the British Tories and the rightist Australian Liberals remain at the helm of their respective countries; the latter two have largely done this by eschewing any traditional or Burkean political precepts all together – these latter two parties oversaw the introduction of gay marriage, and have barely changed immigration levels, to take just two relevant examples. In matters of actual governance, these ostensibly ‘conservative’ parties remain conservative truly in name only.
This is not even to entertain the implementation of any stronger bulwark or counter-movement against further social liberalism (such as the abolition of legalized marijuana, for example) nor to mention any of the types of pro-natal policies developed and deployed in places like Hungary. Nor, God-forbid, any mention of the tight immigration policies of prosperous and peaceful nations like Japan or South Korea.
Thus, to conclude, our initial paradox really isn’t much of a paradox at all: the left is now in almost total control due to the complete and utter incoherence and failure of rightist thought. With the larger political effects of the demographic part of such ill-conceived formulations now so intractable and deeply baked into the electoral cake, the traditional Western right may now be consigned to effective political oblivion. Yet, given the right’s venality and their own role in bringing about their demise by prioritising short-sighted expediency over any broader, longer-term notions of the national good, it’s hard to feel much sympathy: as they sit back and watch the latest leftist leaders lurch from one crisis to another.
By R J Anderson