Behold the panic setting in with Louisiana’s leftist chattering class that it actually roots for a conservative Republican to get into the governor’s race that to this point looks to be GOP Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry’s to lose.
Landry scares the mainstream media and its derivatives, because of all elected officials in the state to date he most effectively has articulated and acted upon a full-spectrum conservatism. He is the closest thing in Louisiana to the left’s biggest bogeymen in state government, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
These politicians worry the Left to no end, because they take the fight to it. They challenge and expose for what these are the Left’s core beliefs, which highlights the disconnect not only between those beliefs and reality but also that these beliefs majorities in society repudiate, which in turn activates electorates and other elected officials to thwart the Left’s ambitions for power and privilege, if not to reverse leftist policy gains.
Louisiana’s Left fears that Landry can do the same. It can tolerate candidates who talk mainly about shrinking government and/or cutting taxes, because it figures it can fight a rearguard action to minimize, if not blunt and even stall, these kinds of measures, leaving its ability to use government to redistribute power to its constituents mostly unaffected.
But it can’t abide with one who attacks the roots of liberalism, because then that eliminates the back channels to resisting attempts to circumscribe its redistributive mission. The most trenchant contemporary phenomenon used as a back channel is wokeism, or the fictive belief that American society and its institutions are irredeemably racist so that only individual reeducation led by extremely strong government drastically redistributing power and remaking society can overcome this.
Note how this can bleed over into government command and control of the economy. For example, relatively unfettered markets allegedly carry seeds of racism in causing disparate outcomes by wealth, employment, and mobility. Thus, to rectify government must intervene in the conduct of commerce in ways even more extreme than promulgated under the New Deal or Great Society.
For those conservatives who consider social issues a distraction to policy-making concentrating on their ability to make money, this serves as a warning on what happens when ignoring or downplaying issues outside of economics. The greatest protean maneuver that the Left has achieved over the past sixty years is its transmogrification of a market-based Marxism that forms its core values to a cultural-based variety, correctly understanding that policy is downstream of culture that eventually will surface to transform economic relations into its warped image. Those who ignore social issues, as time has revealed, who just want to be left alone to conduct business eventually won’t be, with leftist policy stemming from its victories in the social arena coming at their earnings, their practices or even, as those in the fossil fuel sector and firearms sectors have come to discover, their entire means of making a living.
To date, all the Republican candidates declaring for governor have an understanding of this, but Landry has shown to be the most pugnacious in recognizing it, calling it out plainly, and fighting it. Thus, although the Left dreams of a Democrat winner, it wants to hedge its bets by having a Republican who puts social issues on the back burner that allows the Left to keep attempting its long march.
So, there is some delicious schadenfreude in viewing leftist scribes aspire towards someone like business interest group leader Stephen Waguespack throwing his hat into the gubernatorial ring. Even at the year’s beginning, he likely had no idea he would want to run for this office, but as GOP potential candidates who might acquiesce in at most minimal efforts to reduce government and to make social policy changes around the margins understood objective conditions made it more optimal for them to stay put, the tycoons among the get-along-go-along rent-seeking wing of Republicans appear to have made him an offer he can’t refuse.
For reasons well stated here, not only are Waguespack’s chances not that great even if he receives a couple of million dollars in seed donations, but the Left probably won’t like that much what they would get with him at the state’s helm. Still, he would be less likely an existential threat to the Louisiana Left’s agenda than Landry, who almost certainly would be.
The irony, of course, is that if one is interested in pulling the state out of its several-decades-old economic hole, social policy on education, crime, culture, and other issues must change from the noxious bromides the Left has infiltrated because these channels, left impure, impede economic progress for all. Whether the next governor is Landry, Waguespack, or another Republican, that must be addressed. The Left hopes you don’t understand that.