In Our Time

What Do Liberals Want?

The agenda of the Democratic Party, of liberal politicians generally, including socialist-liberals like Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison, and of liberal academics and “intellectuals” is pretty clear from the record of Barack Obama’s two administrations and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which ran on that record.  Not nearly so clear is what the demonstrators who have been protesting en masse in the streets against President Trump since his inauguration want.  Some of the reporters who covered the demonstrations in Washington on January 20 and interviewed random participants noted that many of them seemed themselves not to know, beyond abortion-on-demand and free contraception for the women.  One young man, asked by a reporter why he was protesting that afternoon, replied with the wild-eyed look of a panicked actor who has forgot his next lines, something to the effect of “ uh . . . my life is in danger!”  As the weeks passed, the protestors’ message gradually crystallized into one single-word exhortation: “Resist!”  But resist what, exactly?

Unsure as anyone, apparently, the New York Times dispatched a reporter to make inquiries, mainly among young or youngish people.  When asked to say what “resist” means, one young black woman replied, “creating a society where we divest from things that punish and invest...

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