The more ambitious liberalism has become in its efforts to transform the United States, the more it has run up against one intransigent circumstance after another. For eight years, the idol worship of Barack Obama gave liberals confidence that they could remediate society and reeducate the citizens. But reality isn’t political. It doesn’t obey the principles of progressives. Some facts aren’t pliable.
1. The economy is roaring under the Trump tenure. It’s no surprise that this fact lands on the list. GDP and the stock market are up and unemployment and food stamp claims are down. If those trends happened under Hillary Clinton, journalists would gush and bow, but instead we get quibbles and warnings of what the future may hold. Ezra Klein even argued that with such a low unemployment rate (3.8%), Trump’s economy should be performing much better than it is. In other words, even good news is bad news in the liberal mind.
2. People like walls. Progressives want open borders and limitless migration, and that may please the renowned professor who grew up in one city, went to school 1,000 miles away, took a job in yet another state, and lectures and does research in Europe each year. But most people want a home and they want security. They believe that good fences make good neighbors, that a country without walls isn’t a country. Walls reinforce the pride of ownership, too. When liberals decry walls, they belittle the sense of place that people find comforting and meaningful.
3. Men and women are different. You wouldn’t think this obvious fact would be controversial, especially one backed by vast biological and social science findings. (See here and here.) But liberals are now committed to the elimination of sexual difference. That’s why they have lionized the trans- individual. Difference leads to unequal outcomes, they believe, and so it must be attributed to patriarchy, not to nature. They can’t accept scientific evidence that women tend to prefer working with people, men with things. They must, instead, insist that the population of engineers must be 50 percent female.
4. The LGBT population is tiny. This is an inconvenient fact in that liberals wish to remove any implication of abnormality from non-heterosexual individuals. But the Centers for Disease Control count the LGBT group less than four percent. If we subtract bisexuals from the cohort (liberals rarely highlight them), the rate falls under three percent. When 24 out of 25 people act in one way, we can’t help judging them normal and the other one abnormal.
5. Different groups have different abilities, on average. This proposition makes liberals very nervous, as shown in their response to IQ discussions. We don’t have to enter the nature vs. nurture debate, however, to find evidence of average differences between racial groups. Whether they are biological or social/cultural, those differences are in some areas significant and steady, and the liberal demand that they disappear has been repeatedly frustrated. On the crucial yardstick of academic achievement, for instance, gap between blacks and whites hasn’t closed for many years (see scores for 12th graders here), and the standard answer given by progressives (“systemic racism”) has no solid science to support it. The more liberals refuse to consider other causes of achievement gaps such as single-parentage and cultural differences between races, the more obtuse and ideological they sound.
6. The traditional family is best. Just this week a study came out showing that being a child of divorce cuts in half the likelihood of that child earning a college degree. That’s just one of hundreds of studies demonstrating worse outcomes for children from broken homes. The infamous “Life of Julia” ad for the Obama 2012 campaign peddled a feminist myth contrary to this mountain of evidence, showing that a woman needn’t worry about finding a man to help raise her child. She can do it just fine all by herself. See here, though, for a list of ills suffered by children in fatherless households.
7. Women are outdoing men. The “War-on-Women” motif worked well for Democrats for a time, but it collapses as soon as we look at educational trends. In 2015, women earned 55 percent of all bachelor’s degrees. In 2016, more women went to law school than men, and one year later women surpassed men going to medical school. In nursing school, too, they still outnumber men nearly ten to one. Furthermore, at the doctoral level, women have earned more PhDs than men for many years now, and there are 135 of them for every 100 men in graduate programs.
8. The “deplorables” have good reason to mistrust their betters. It’s not just that politicians, economists and financiers, artists and entertainers, academics and intellectuals have failed so often in the 21st century to act as good stewards of their respective domains. It’s also that the men and women of the street now know exactly what the elite think of them. You can’t trust people who despise you.
9. Religious people lead better lives. It’s been a long time since Hollywood presented faith in God and regular churchgoing as the basis of happiness. But in measures of well-being, believers keep coming up stronger than non-believers. They are also more charitable. The findings run against the left’s determination to chase staunch believers out of the public square because, supposedly, they are nasty and biased.
10. Donald Trump is not racist. The charge won’t go away because it has intimidated conservatives and Republicans for so long. But more Hispanics voted for Mr. Trump than for Mitt Romney, and a recent poll put the president’s approval rating among African Americans at an astounding 36 percent. Trump has been in the public eye, too, for 30 years, and he’s worked with thousands of people of all different kinds in different ventures. Racists can’t hide under that kind of exposure. If Jim Brown doesn’t think Donald Trump is a racist, nobody else should, either.