November 10, 2004

Expectations Games

Robert Samuelson writes another "the two parties aren't that far apart" column. From a substantive point of view, this is true: Kerry's position on gay rights wasn't significantly better (or different) than Bush's. But that was okay with me, because I thought, like most Democrats thought, that gay rights would eventually prevail if given enough time and a little breathing room—that demographics, thanks to the pro-gay views young people hold, would be on the right side. Kerry and Bush were both butterflies fluttering their wings a bit, but Kerry was at least fluttering them in the right direction.

On this point, I've noticed that liberals have a deeply-rooted assumption that demographics are on their side and that liberal views will prevail, if given enough time. And that's true historically—liberal views have advanced, even during the Reagan years—but that doesn't mean victory is inevitable. I don't want to consider the pros and cons of the debate over nominating real lefties to positions of power, but I do want to suggest that there will come a time when putting our hopes in fluttering butterflies may not be enough. And assuming that a set of positions will prevail, come what may, may not be enough.
-- Brad Plumer 1:04 PM || ||