“The predisposition to slowly savor visions of your own defeat, even at the moment of total victory, seems like an essential component of ressentiment. If you feel too much like a victor, it’s sure hard to keep hating those rotten Krauts and Japs enough to demonize them, and then there’s a risk of dismantling the powerful military infrastructure you constructed to wage war against their perfidy. Victory contains the seeds of a more magnanimous future for the victors, even as it infuriates the vanquished. So the Left can only maintain the energy it needs to harness the culture wars as a tool for electoral victory if it constantly denies that it’s winning, by weaving itself a new narrative of encroaching right-wing radicalism that’s eroding the remnants of some Eisenhowerian golden age of nonpartisan unity and cooperation.
Have any of history’s other revolutionaries been so reluctant to celebrate their own revolution”