The Left Keeps Losing Everywhere
By Bruce Walker
September 13, 2010
Many conservatives look at their first chance to defeat the left in six years when nervous Democrats try to explain before November how the Messiah Obama may not be so magical after all. The left is looking at a big defeat in America in two months, but the left has been getting slobber-knocked all over the modern industrialized world.
Five months ago, in the British General Election, the Labour Party, which had been in power since the early 1990s, suffered a devastating defeat, losing 91 seats in the House of Commons. Although David Cameron’s Conservative Party had to form a coalition with the yuppyish Liberal Party, Conservatives are still the senior party in this government and Cameron resonates well with British voters.
Last September, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Party soundly trounced the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrat’s traditional coalition ally, the Free Democrats, gained enough support so that Merkel could end the “grand coalition” of her center-right party with the socialist SDP and form a more natural governing alliance with the Free Democrats.
In October 2008, shortly before Obama would win the White House, the Conservative Party in Canada substantially increased its strength in the Canadian Parliament. Stephen Harper almost gained enough votes to govern outright with no support from any of the other major parties. The “Grits,” or Liberal Party, his principal ideological opponents, suffered massive losses (that party went from almost equality with the Conservative Party to having barely half as many seats as the Conservatives.)
The Italian general elections in May 2008 produced a smashing defeat for the left. The coalition of parties on the right, led by Silvio Berlusconi, won a strong majority in the Chamber of Deputies and also a majority in the Senate. What was striking about this election was that Walter Veltroni, the atheist leader of the Democratic Party in Italy , was being openly touted as Europe’s Barack Obama.
In May of 2007, Nicholas Sarkozy defeated the Socialist Royale handily, putting the most pro-American and least leftist president that France has had, maybe in the history of the Fourth Republic. National legislative elections (less important in France than in other nations) also produced a solid defeat of the left in France .
General elections over the last four years – except for in America – have been a long ragged retreat for parties of the left in Germany, France, Italy, and Canada. Now it seems like Australia may join that company of nations. Political party names in other democracies sometimes do not convey what the parties would represent in America . The Liberal Party in Australia , for example, would be our Republican Party.
Julia Gillard, the current Prime Minister of Australia, led her left of center Labor Party in the August 21, 2010 general election. Gillard led it, to be more exact, into one of the lowest points in its 119-year history. Gillard was able to cobble together a handful of independent members of the House of Representatives, but her minority government will be one of the weakest in Australian political history. The three independents are fairly conservative, and used to belong to the major conservative party. Gillard’s Labor Party not only did worse than in prior elections but worse than polls had predicted.
The left, it seems, is everywhere finding itself very unpopular. The leaders of the left seem tired and uninspiring. If Walter Veltroni, Gordon Browne and Julia Gillard are the best that the left has to offer voters in major democracies, then the left is in big trouble. But that does not mean that conservatives are winning. It is also vital to remember that “right” and “left” in other countries should all be shifted a little portside in our frame of reference: a strong conservative in Australia or Italy would be a RINO in America .
But the de-legitimization of the left and its separation from governance are one half of a vital victory for freedom, and that half of the war is being won. What conservatives need now is a resonate message that inspires confidence and brings hope to a global electorate increasingly frustrated with politics as usual. The other half of victory – conservative leaders like Reagan and Thatcher and armies of conservative foot soldiers who will follow those leaders – is still unfinished business.
The collapse of the left makes November 2010 doubly important for conservatives. If Marc Rubio wins in Florida, can he lead us to complete victory in two years? How about Michelle Bachmann, who wins elections in the same state which elected Al Franken? Eric Cantor, an articulate and conservative Orthodox Jew, might carry our banner in two years. Or perhaps Senator Fiorina, if she can beat Ms. Boxer in big left California can carry our ideals to the White House.
No one, much, believes in the tall tales of the left anymore. We do not need to convince them that monstrosities like Obamacare are bad ideas. We need to enter the political battles with something worth fighting for and worth winning for America . That is our challenge, and we had better not fail.
Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.