Michael Thomsky’s answer also helps (accidentally) explain why they’re so often wrong:
Every little flare-up is elevated to roiling controversy, and every minor setback a potential death blow to the progressive cause, every departure from the sacred codex of Keynes not a mere delay or strategic feint or hindrance but an act of treachery. (…)
After 30 years of mostly defeats, liberals are quick to catastrophize.
But our political culture affects the way we think about the past as well. Too often, when progressives think of American history, we think only of the snapshots: those glorious moments when a historic bill is signed into law, or when the great progressive leader thunderingly confronts the forces of reaction. It’s good to remember those; they are our lodestars. But they are moments. Actual history is slower, more tedious, and certainly less uplifting…
Looking around at our culture, it’s pretty amusing to think of “30 years of liberal defeats,” but anyhow…
He blames “the media” for some of “edge of despair” stuff, which is funny for obvious reasons. (Hint: they’re on your side, dude.)
But as I’ve been saying for years now, the “LIFE magazine/Hollywood/’We Didn’t Start the Fire’/Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ video” view of history has caused lots of as-yet unanalyzed problems, left and right.
The ordinary, mostly apolitical person tends to think in those terms, too.
The mania for taping and photographing even what’s on one’s restaurant dinner plate (and worse) indicates that for millions of people, if it wasn’t photographed, it didn’t happen.