When I was growing up, I learned from an early age that the Democratic party was looking out for us, the little guy. We were ‘working class’, meaning part of the lower-middle class. We also knew that the Republicans represented the wealthy. Our family, when they did vote, always supported the Democrats by default. But the reasons were strictly economic. At least in my household, there was no notion of ‘political correctness, identity politics or white guilt’. During the 80s and 90s, the Democrats were still viewed as the labor party. They were the party preoccupied with supporting unions, trade protections and the ‘regular’ people. To some extent, that was true. Although corrupt, they weren’t those stingy Republicans. It was the nefarious conservatives that pushed for open trade, neoliberalism, wage cuts, deregulation, endless wars and used every dirty trick in the book to dismantle organized labor.
Fast forward to 2020, and the American political landscape has been thrust out of orbit. The Democratic Party, at least the party of my parents and grandparents, doesn’t really exist anymore. This is not to say that the former Democratic party was something to be admired either. But the party which refers to itself as the Democratic party today doesn’t represent the little guy. In fact, it is safe to say that the American political left is behaving ever more hostile towards regular Americans. The American political Left, including the Democratic Party, has morphed into a collection of social and political elites, which could be referred to as the ‘politically correct liberals’. Then you have the hard left, better known as the ‘progressive left’. The progressives are in reality authoritarian Marxist. They might not publicly acknowledge it, but they despise the US Constitution, classical liberal economics and Western civilization. They are the ardent critics of capitalism and enthusiastically embrace socialism. Although it could be argued that many so-called progressives lack an adequate understanding of what socialism actually entails. Ironically, it is the free market that provides them with their smartphones and shiny MacBooks, which they then use to espouse their myopic ideas through social media. They robotically preach about compassion, but in reality they possess zero tolerance for anyone that disagrees with the ‘woke narrative’. If you dare to dissent, you quickly become an enemy.
The social and political liberal elites aren’t much better than the Progressives, but they at least have enough common sense to acknowledge that constitutional government is highly preferable to socialism. They may admire the Democratic socialism of Europe, but they abide to the idea, although often reluctantly, that authoritarian socialism is a terrible one. However, this portion of the population, most of whom are quite affluent, have also become so circumvented by self-imposed political correctness, that they now are forced to often defend Progressives. The vast majority of the media, academia and Hollywood are composed of these types of liberal elites. They are also the technocrats that dominate Silicon Valley and the Democratic party circles of large, urban areas. Although there remain distinctions between liberal elites and woke progressives, that line is gradually becoming a bit blurry. In 2020, there are plenty of woke progressives that are also wealthy and fit well within elitist enclaves of professional life. Simliar to their progressive counterparts, the liberal elites routinely snark at the ‘little guy’. This is most noticeable in the mainstream media. They are convinced they know what is best for society and only they can know what is best. If you are a commoner, you are merely a serf that must obey their authority.
So if the Democratic party or the political Left as a whole no longer supports the little guy, have the Republicans taken on that role? That remains to be seen. The GOP has also undergone a radical transformation of its own. It started years before Trump, but Trump has been the bull in the ivory tower that has not only rampaged through Washington for the past four years, but reshaped the Republican party along the way. The big business, Reagan- types are a dying breed. A large plurality of the Republican party in 2020 is occupied by middle-class moderates and working-class folks that formerly voted Democrat. The media earnestly tries to depict the GOP under the direction of Trumpism as as a movement of white nationalism. But the reality is that Trump and the GOP as a whole have gained a significant number of non-white voters, including Latinos, during the past four years. It is conceivable that the Republican party actually becomes less white and more diverse in the coming decade. Does this mean that the GOP is working in the best interest of the common man? Probably not, but unlike the current state of the political Left, the GOP at a minimum denounces socialism, ardently supports free speech and at least attempts to limit the encroachment of government in our lives. For the ‘little guy’, that is certainly better than what the current state of the American political Left has to offer.
Who exactly is the ‘little guy’?
The little guy may still vote for the Democratic party while also detesting any notion of identity politics, radical feminism or ‘wokeness’. He continues to vote Blue simply out of the myopic belief that the Democrats provide him with the best chance financially. Although the GOP has lured millions of former working class Democrats under its umbrella of voters, the image remains of the Republican party only representing the wealthy. Progressives and Democrats alike cleverly cling to the perception that they speak for the economic interests of the working class. In reality, the opposite is true. It is now the Democratic party and its larger Progressive wing, which represent the wealthy. From the middle and upper-middle class, white collar professionals in corporate America, Silicon technocrats, academia, the media ,healthcare personel, public school unions, government bureaucrats and political elites alike, the culture of ‘woke progressivism’ permeates. Of these, the most severe offenders are the elected officials who coast into office by making grandiose promises they know could never be met. They pay lip service to progressive ideas and marginalized groups, but they are merely consumed by a thirst for political power. It has nothing to do with helping Americans, but everything to do with more regulation, infringement and control.
Essentially, the little guy wants to be left alone. The little guy can be a man or woman and of any race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The little guy may be well-off but grew up poor or working class. He recognizes that a few government programs can be vital for society. He may even be ok with some form of socialized medicine. But he understands that government cannot solve all of our problems and ultimately we can only prosper and improve through ‘personal agency’. The little guy embraces personal responsibility and reason because he is conscientious enough to realize that we create our own destiny. We do it through hard-work, perserverance, innovation, creativity and humor. Most importantly, the regular American cherishes the idea that individuals can make rational decisions on their own without government interference. He or she possesses a mindset that is really the foundation of American culture. It is a disposition that brings out the best in each individual, which ultimately benefits the whole of society. It is a philosophy that traces back to the American revolution. Just as the commoner then rebelled against the Crown of England, it is the little guy in 2020 that feels under siege by liberal and progressive elitism. If not bombarded with high taxes and unnecessary regulations on small business, then he must see his children indoctrinated by Marxist ideas that have been infused into the curriculums of public school systems. The little guy has grown resentful. It’s no wonder that Trump won in 2016 and just narrowly lost in 2020.
The Progressive naively believes that government can solve all of our problems. Thus, the only solution for everything is to drastically expand the size of the federal government. Instead of deregulating in instances when regulations causes harm, the Progressive technocrat insist on more regulation. He puts his faith in government and idolizes his chosen political figures as if it were a religion. She insist that she knows what is best for society without understanding the overly complex dynamics of varying socio-economic classes. She only understands these dynamics from a distant ivory tower based on a predetermined notion of intersectionalism. Consequently, the progressive drifts further into the abyss of ‘intellectual laziness and dishonesty’. Woke progressivism is really nothing more than the inevitable side effect of comfort. The progressive, more often than not, grew up under the security of an affluent, suburban life. He increasingly shields himself from criticism, repeats the mantra of the narrative, associates only with those that agree and rarely lives in reality. However, it is not fair to demonize or paint a caricature of all progressives. There remain a small minority of open-minded Leftist with reasonable intentions, but these types are a rare breed in 2020. Some of them will eventually leave the Left when the contradictions become too much to bear.
It is also the progressive or liberal elite that has shown his true colors during this pandemic as she is the one cheering the loudest for more lockdowns, censorship and government control. She can afford to and is willing to live in a society with less freedoms so long as her progressive ideas are implemented. It is a platform that is completely out of touch with the little guy, but she could care less because Progressivism is not about helping the little guy, the poor or the most marginalized. It is merely about power. Is the Republican party the great savior against the encroaching crusade of Progressivism? Probably not, but it is the best and only alternative in a two-party system. For that reason, the GOP is becoming the party of the ‘little guy’. Contrary to the narrative of the mainstream media, the backlash against Progressivism is not a movement of White nationalism. The little guy represents individuals of all of all races and backgrounds and these same types are fleeing the Left and voting Republican. This was clearly demonstrated in the 2020 election in which the GOP increased its numbers across the board among Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other non-White voters. Let’s not kid ourselves. The GOP isn’t much better than the Democratic Party, but it at least still offers an avenue to save the union and counter the incoming tide of censorship and illiberalism.