September 14, 2015

Pay Attention America, Corbyn's a Problem

Britain's Labour Party has selected his champion and he's a hard core leftist.
The Corbynistas want to renationalize the railways; increase public spending and tax the rich to pay for it; pull the U.K. out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and maybe the European Union as well; and command the Bank of England (which is independent, for now) to print money to pay for public investment. Anti-Americanism is a prominent part of the mix. Corbyn once called the killing of Osama bin Laden a "tragedy" and has called Hamas and Hezbollah "friends."

In short, it's prehistoric leftism. As you'd expect, the ruling Tories are struggling to contain their joy. They now face an opposition in the mold of Labour before Tony Blair -- an outfit so out of touch with the broader electorate, it kept the Conservatives in power for the better part of two decades.
Alright but in America, conservatives thought that about Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and are licking their chops similarly at the prospect of facing Bernie Sanders, another socialist.  But in the first two cases, conservatives lost - twice to each.

But maybe there's good news for conservatives in this. Bernie Sanders in the U.S., he is a straightforward man who tends to say what he means. People like that, and his seeming lack of guile will appeal to voters beyond his political base. The problem is, his policies won't.

Corbyn is a winning personality with a losing program. But if he softens his line to reach out to wavering Tories -- as he surely must, to win a general election -- he'll be committing the very offense his supporters most despise. Perhaps, like them, he'll prefer to lose honorably than win through compromise (or betrayal, as many activists would see it).
That's a great thing to wish for, but it's been proven that it's not something you can count on.  Socialism is on the wrong side of history, but that doesn't mean it can't win victories from time to time, and perhaps even often.

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