The political left wins because it follows the tactic of total and continual war. It does not walk away from any election with the idea that combat can wait until the next election cycle. More importantly, they often make their biggest gains when out of power, precisely because they position themselves as “aggrieved” and “offended” and do not need to compromise to try to pass legislation.
“Fake News” is just another one of their tactics. We are all talking about it now because the Left is very capable in defining the topics of the time, as a result of their near total control of academia, journalism and the media. Trump is also a master of defining the topics about which we discuss, but the question remains to what extent he will do so in a way that benefits conservatism generally. Hopefully, with the addition of Breitbart’s media genius Stephen Bannon in his administration, he will be able to fight fire with fire.
For better or worse, neither political party has much of a moderate faction anymore (though one could argue that the GOP still has remnants of the old Rockefeller faction in the likes of Senators Ayotte, Graham, McCain, etc.), but not within the House of Representatives, so really there is no realistic mechanism for compromise. The “Gang of 8” immigration reform legislation was the one real effort at a compromise on controversial issue but died in the House due to lack of Congressmen on either side who are interested in the kind of policy compromise that might upset their constituents. The vast majority of Congressional districts are safely Republican or Democrat as a result of both gerrymandering and of the voters self segregating to like minded cities and states. With little moderating influence within Capitol Hill, the extremes on both sides whip up support by scaring their folks about the ill intentions of the other side – and in the end the politicians carry the water for the groups best able to raise money and to drum up voters.
The Left fights total and continual warfare, not only on Capitol Hill but with private advocacy groups. Take for example the issue of same sex marriage. The proponents faced a series of legal and electoral setbacks on that issue since first promoting the concept in the early 1990s. Every state that ever considered an initiative or a state constitutional amendment on the issue voted for traditional marriage. The courts were a bit more lenient than the voters, but the Defense of Marriage Act signed by Clinton seemed to put an end to the issue in regard to federal acknowledgment of such marriages. In spite of their defeats, the left continued to push for same sex marriage in colleges, in corporate boardrooms, and on mainstream media. They framed the culture and then found federal judges who would advance their cause.
On the other hand, when the Supreme Court in Obergefell v Hodges pulled out of thin air a constitutional right to such marriages, the National Organization for Marriage and most traditional marriage politicians dropped the issue like a hot potato. Would the left throw in the towel so quickly if Obergefell had been ruled a different way?
The one social issue where the right has kept up the fight in spite of the Supreme Court “settling the law” is abortion. Those pro-lifers have never acknowledged as “settled” the majority opinion in Roe v Wade. Precisely for that reason the pro-life side continues to be powerful even among post-Christian millennials. Indeed, though the millennials are dyed in the wool left wing on most cultural issues, they are no more likely to be pro-choice than older demographic groups. This is because pro-lifers have done a great job with college aged women, who are more likely to be pro-life than college aged men, and because they have never accepted Roe v Wade as legitimate. They are waging war on behalf of the unborn the way the left does, but on most other major issues the right surrenders to the left much faster than the reverse and so loses the larger cultural war.