Over the course of this past November, three countries were expected to see a wave of right wing success in their upcoming elections. Denmark, Brazil, and the United States, were embroiled in elections of great importance – not so much due to the next four years of government, but for the long term cultural trends they represent.
All three countries saw significant right wing success around 2016, followed by what is now a surprisingly successful pushback from their left wing status quo.
In America, this has been in the form of the disastrous last two years of the Biden administration as well as mediocre results for the right in the Midterms. Mediocre enough that Donald Trump’s future as the GOP’s main presidential candidate has been openly questioned.
In Brazil, a hostile state apparatus sought to quell the flames of support for Bolsonaro and the left has now successfully ousted him during this past election.
And in my home country of Denmark, our left-wing government had successfully taken on the mantle of populism to win the elections back in 2019, only to impose lockdowns and egregious breaches of the Constitution under the pandemic.
During the elections of this past November they not only managed to maintain an almost unchanged number of votes compared to 2019, the social liberal party that forced them to call an election over their continued breaches of the constitution and peoples trust have seen their voter base cut in half.
As a morbidly ironic cherry on top, several of the small villages of northern Jutland that relied heavily on mink farming voted overwhelmingly for the political party that destroyed their way of life.
Despite the large differences in the cultures of these three countries as well as how the reassertions have played out, the right-wingers in all three countries had developed very similar, but equally dangerous narratives on what should have happened;
These narratives all revolve around some form of revolution, wherein the capital P People have realized the tyrannical nature of the left and rise up, and through the Democratic Process push the country back towards Truth, Justice, and Liberty, and render us from corruption and progressive tyranny. It just so happens that it didn’t pan out that way.
The cause of this dissonance between right wing mythology and left wing reality however, is not to be found in some unknown source of leftist competence, or a successful propagandizing of the voters, but in the Right itself.
Specifically the populist savior mythos that the right has capitalized on since the campaign of Donald Trump in 2016.
Here, it is important to make a distinction between populist policies and populist savior mythos. Populist policies are merely whatever form of policies are written with the intent of appealing to the working man. Things like lowering immigration, or removing CRT propaganda from schools are contemporary forms of populist policies from the Right, while raising the minimum wage or giving more power to worker unions are examples of Leftist populist policies.
It should be noted that these policies do not need to actually be beneficial to the working classes, nor that being populist inherently means they’re harmful either. It is simply a label for any policy, good or bad that aims to appeal to the lower classes. The issue here, however is the mythos.
As it has resulted in the cult-like mentality that as long as the correct person is voted into power (Donald Trump being the best known example of this) victory is assured, as well as a distorted view of democracy.
The populist mythology was effective at the time, but was also simplistic and overly black and white. This is nothing new, it is in fact a historical norm for any successful narrative; the problem is that this time around there were no checks and balances within the Right that could mitigate the negative effects of the current party narrative.
This is usually done by having a well established elite that understands the shortcomings of the narrative, and knows which of the newer recruits to select for or filter out of the upper parts of the party hierarchy.
The checks and balances were not present this time around, however, and now the Right has a lot of people believing their own propaganda way too far up in the party.
The results of believing too much in the populist narrative in question have been overly naïve views on not just democracy but a genuine belief that there is a right side of history, that there will be a permanent victory over the forces of evil (the left), and that democracy unhindered and without interference will always move towards the side of the party that is on to the right side of history. At its core this is a surprisingly leftist and revolutionary way of thinking. Combined with a characteristically Protestant Christian form of moral prudence.
Since all actions are filtered through the lens of right vs wrong side of history, even the most benign attempt to persuade public opinion towards the right must be stomped out, with much more extreme prejudice than they’d display to even the most sadistically violent Antifa member, as long as it in any way is perceived as ”rude” or ”indecent” or a ”danger to Our Democracy”
What’s more, the criteria for what is ”immoral” is barely even dictated by anyone on their own side, but more often whatever far left propaganda manages to bubble up through the legacy media. In practice this means the Left can declare any rules of engagement they feel like, and no matter how ludicrous they are, no matter how obvious it is they themselves don’t take said rules seriously, the Right will enforce them upon their own and solely their own with unparalleled religious zeal.
It doesn’t matter that the Right themselves are aware that said propagandists are merely trying to manipulate them, nor does it matter what consequences following said propaganda will bring. As long as it touches their ideological blind spot of recoiling from anything and everything that is not pristine and principled, they will instinctively jump on the opportunity to throw as many spanners in the works of what any sane man would call their party fellows, until they have returned the Right to its state of ”principled conservatism on the side of democracy”. Which almost always is identical to a state of stagnant ineptitude.
Much of the Right’s current miserable situation is as a direct result of this segment. And as much as I hope dearly that at least some of these people will realize how wrong they were in following the ”will of the people”, now that the populace is kissing the hand of what they perceive as totalitarians on the wrong side of history, I honestly fear they’re too emotionally invested in their ideological framing for anything to convince them.
While it is impossible to have a political party without these people – just as it is impossible to be without any other form of narrative in an organization, too many of them have moved far too near the core of the organized right in far too many western countries. If the Right wants to regain its footing, it is to push it’s populist tendencies back out into the peripheries and ensure it’s core is more in tune with reality.
If the right instead chooses to preserve its delusional aspirations of sainthood it will experience the same filtering out and discarding at the hands of cruel nature as any other entities that proved unfit for their environment throughout life’s evolution on this earth.