It was said (by Bernard DeVoto?) of America before World War II that it was as if the United States had been tipped to the left and downward, so that, across the rest of the country, whatever was unattached or unsecured slid southwest into California. Today we might say that the Democratic Party is sliding into California—not coincidentally at once the most Democratic and least democratic of all the 50 states.
The modern Democracy is commonly described as the identity party, the political home of the ethnics, the minorities, and the immigrants—and the organized progressive left. A broader, but also more accurate, characterization is that the Democratic Party is simply the Misfit Party, comprising the neurotic, the insecure and confused, the unhappy, the antisocial, the unmarried, the sexually perverted and the emotionally ill, the childless, the dissatisfied and discontented, the godless or the unchurched, the unrooted and displaced, the freaks, and the otherwise lost souls who apparently account for roughly 50 percent of the American nation early in the 21st century. No statistics exist, of course, to show that this percentage is unprecedented in the history of our country (or any other). Still, it seems likely that the inhuman, and inhumane, qualities of life in advanced secular-liberal-democratic-capitalist-industrialist-technocratic society, far from ensuring security and happiness for all its citizens, have profoundly warping and unhappy effects to which the liberal personality is especially susceptible.
Whoever has lived in a liberal community, or in the proximity of one, has probably noticed that such a thing as the Liberal Face exists. Unlike the Smiley Face—that commonly observed sticky spoor proclaiming that “a liberal went here”—the Liberal Face hardly smiles at all. It is the face of the modern-day Puritan: joyless, grim, and sour, unrelenting in its superior disdain, scornfully unappreciative, unsatisfiable, and unappeasable; above all, as liberals themselves so often say of others, judgmental. If the Liberal Face has adhered to a female, it will be innocent of powder, rouge, lipstick, and eyeliner, and exhibit a peculiar strained quality reflecting the eternal tension of life lived in defiance of the tyrannical expectations of Men and the Patriarchy. The Liberal Face is the face of a most unhappy person, for whom everything in life and the universe itself is at best unsatisfactory, at worst an outrage. (Not to be dissatisfied, not to be outraged is the special mark of the Reactionary.) Because nothing in the world is as it should be, no pleasure of any kind should be taken from it. Worse still, despite everything being wrenched out of joint with itself (a “social construct”), nothing really has a self to be rejointed to conform with some ideal platonic Self. It follows logically that everything that exists is a misfit, and that a human being is the greatest Misfit of them all. Whom to blame for this nasty state of affairs? Not God, since He does not exist. Not liberals, because they are working to overthrow all social constructs. Who, then? The answer is the ignorant unenlightened Other or Others—Hell, as Sartre thought them.
So what for liberals is the way out? No God. No proletariat either, since the proles now vote for Donald Trump. Ideology doesn’t seem to be faring so well these days, and, besides, Marx is no less susceptible to deconstruction than Shakespeare. And being a Misfit is fun to a point, beyond which it is no fun at all, even in a pink pussyhat or a papier mâché Trump head. That leaves Resistance—the Revolt of the Misfit who has nowhere to go, and is beginning to understand that. “No exit,” as Sartre himself said.
Pity the poor liberal, the victim of history—and of himself. He really is suffering the pains of Hell. One does wonder, though, how long a political party with a constituency such as the Democrats own can survive.