Liberals and leftists have lots of excellent policy ideas, but rarely articulate a plausible vision of the future. I sometimes hear leftists talk about “our collective liberation,” but outside a few specific contexts — the ongoing subjugation of the Palestinians comes to mind — I mostly have no idea what they’re talking about.
Both Sharlet and Joyce are longtime chroniclers of the right, its ambitions but also its divisions and contradictions. “But in this age of Trump, his presence and his shadow, we’ve witnessed more right-wing factions converging than splitting, putting aside differences and adopting new and ugly dreams,” they write. “They, of course, do not see the dreams as ugly, but beautiful.” To compete with them, the left needs beautiful dreams of its own.