How did the party of “Happy Days Are Here Again” become the party of Eeyore?

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At the Democratic National Convention in August 2020, Joe Biden promised to brighten a “season of darkness” in America, a phrase that resonated with his party’s voters. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

When I was younger, I was sure that those of us whose politics lay to the left of center were the advocates of hope, the purveyors of optimism, the defenders of idealism.

We believed in help for those who needed it, in a more robust and inclusive democracy and in a healthier planet. We opposed senseless wars, favoring dialogue with our adversaries. We didn’t cling, as the right seemed to, to bitter prejudices or aggressive policies but championed the upbeat politics of a better and fairer world.

So why do I now wake up feeling I’m preaching the politics of pessimism? How did the Democratic Party and its liberal-to-left followers become the voice of desolation and woe?

The voice of catastrophic climate change.

The voice of masks and mandates and staying…

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