The Left Should Learn From The UK Election

By Daily Editorials

December 24, 2019 5 min read

Working-class jobs don't matter. We can easily replace them. West Virginians won't mind installing solar panels instead of mining coal.

Such was the callous sentiment behind the statement of former Vice President Joe Biden when asked last about the left's green revolution. Would he move forward with green policies that directly killed hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs?

"The answer is yes," Biden said, assuring viewers the workers would find better, higher-paying jobs.

With that statement, Biden highlighted the left's detachment from people on the ground in the great American flyover country — composed of the Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Midwestern and Southern states that elected President Donald Trump.

The left's problem with rural America is one part economic, ten parts cultural. Just look to Great Britain.

With his dismissive view of working-class Americans, Biden gave his imprimatur to the urban elite's belief that coastal progressives should course the future for those they consider red-state rubes. He did so as the clear leader in the Democratic field of contestants in the presidential primary, a cast of characters mostly to his left.

Biden's pandering to the environmental left, and the movement's socialist vision for control of energy, compare to British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn's agenda to nationalize railroads and energy providers.

Biden single-handedly removed doubt the American political landscape mirrors the rift in the United Kingdom that culminated in Brexit in 2016 and a landslide Dec. 12 victory for conservatives over left-wing Labour Party candidates. The final count gave Tories an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons and the unexpected election of conservative populist Boris Johnson — often characterized as the U.K.'s Donald Trump — as British prime minister.

Since Dec. 12, pundits have questioned whether Britain's election foretells bad news for American liberals in 2016. It most certainly does.

No one articulates the urban-rural, worker-professional class rift that devastated Labour better than British firefighter, trade union activist, and pro-Brexit activist Paul Embery.

"Working-class voters across post-industrial and small-town Britain were becoming increasingly alienated from the party," Embery wrote in the publication UnHerd. "... the woke liberals and Torytown revolutionaries who now dominate the party didn't listen to us ... They believed that constantly yammering on about economic inequality would be enough to get Labour over the line."

The alienation grew wider as left-wing Labour candidates stressed what Embery calls the "nebulous constructs" of "diversity, equality, and inclusivity." They immersed themselves in "the destructive creed of identity politics" while championing open borders.

All this, Embery wrote, at the expense and effective dismissal of "real-world concepts such as work, family and community."

Sounds familiar. At every debate and campaign speech, the collection of Democratic candidates for legislative seats and the White House incessantly pits one group against another. The rich are hurting the poor. Whites owe blacks reparations for slavery, despite the fact nearly 600,000 mostly white men lost their lives fighting in the Civil War to help end slavery.

Biden assures those less enlightened that "poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids." In his mind, no white kids are poor.

More people are working than at any point in American history, across all demographics. In that setting, the left wants us to fret about economic "inequality." Most of us are living at a higher level than the world has known, but the working class should wage a war of envy against those more economically successful.

To the working class, this mostly sounds insane. They like their lives and don't wallow in bitterness about people with mansions and yachts. As Embery puts it, working people want "something for something," not a universal entitlement. Coal miners like extracting coal. Firefighters like saving babies. They like their homes, schools and neighbors.

"They want cultural security," Embery writes. "They want politicians to respect their way of life, and their sense of place and belonging."

Amen. Workers have no time for the cultural and grievance revolutions pitched by peddlers of identity politics. Biden and his far-left co-contenders think the jobs and communities of hard-hat workers are fungible. Those workers heartily disagree.

Americans and Britons aren't so different. The Tory revolution of 2019 should scare the bejesus out of the American left. It probably won't. They don't hear people on the ground while looking down on them, plotting to kill good jobs in flyover country.


Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay

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