I’ve railed against conservatives on this blog. When authors of a study dared suggest that political affiliation was dependent on “predispositions” rather than choice, I fumed:
That kind of milquetoast thinking is just finding excuses for social cowardice. We know that social change has demanded great sacrifice, because those who have power, whether they are the few at the top or a large class of people, don’t want to share it with other genders, races, or people from other countries. Women, blacks, immigrants, minorities, the poor, gays, and all marginalized peoples have had to fight conservatism in order to survive. They’ve had to put their lives on the line. Politics don’t just reflect some “orientation”, but are a fight for survival for the majority of the human species… This isn’t about Cheddar or Swiss. Are you really comfortable with the idea that the most important decisions that will be made, and that will have the greatest effect on people, are merely going to be the result of the same forces that snap a crawling maggot’s head to the left or to the right?Me, December 2013.
Did I ever tell you about the time I met baseball Hall of Famer, Reggie Jackson? I was working for a computer memory company, and the CEO liked to use sports stars for promotion. We hired Jackson to sign baseballs to give to our salespeople for promotional purposes, and we used him in ads. One day he showed up to sign baseballs in an office in the marketing department where I worked.
I was kinda’ nervous about meeting Reggie because I didn’t know what to say, and I’d recently shaved my head, which might make me look at bit like a skin-head. This was during my kickboxing phase, and one tended to want to look a bit more imposing. I just said, “Hi” or “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” or some such mindless formality. For some odd reason he took an instant shine to me. “I want you on my team!” is what he said. “I don’t know what it is about you, but I want you on my team!” He made a bit of a fuss, out of nowhere, and said he liked my look. It was embarrassing because he wasn’t saying that to anyone else in the department, and there was nothing to base it on other than his first impression. My response was, “Uh, OK.”
As I reread my writing of 2013, I can see why someone might want me on their team, because I wouldn’t want to have to argue with that level of scrappiness. I particularly like the image of the maggot’s head snapping back and forth.
So-called “conservative” politics in America are designed to insure and increase the power of the status quo, and today it is to the point of the ridiculous, where the richest few don’t want to share the tiniest of crumbs with the rest of the population. Whether one is for or against a war, and whether or not one approves of other people being blown apart by bombs or riddled with bullets, is not a matter of genetic predilection, but an on-the-spot decision based on selfishness or selflessness.Me, December 2013.
You don’t know you’re in a confrimation bias echo chamber until you get out of it.
I am now embarrassed by my hard line opinions of 7-8 years ago. Truth be told, I’d never been exposed to a conservative viewpoint — other than through the rhetorical sites of a gun — in my adult life and education. From the time I’d graduated high school through my graduate degree, it’s safe to say I never heard a positive word said about America, or capitalism, or white people, and certainly not Christianity. Au contraire, and in spades.
Years ago I saw a video by Camille Paglia in which she stated that the only way to really find out what’s going on is to look at both the liberal and the conservative news sources. Well, forget that. I couldn’t stomach the conservatives, and would hardly give them a chance. Watching or reading the news from your ideological adversaries is like listening to nails on a chalkboard, amplified, while wearing headphones. Why would I need to listen to the bad guys?! Their views would just poison my mind?! I can easily recall feeling that sentiment.
Now, I’ve come to discover that she was right, that the study was right, and I was wrong. I’ve made the effort over that last several years to listen to anything other than my favorite liberals: people like Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Abby Martin, Cornel West, and Ralph Nadar. I’ve dabbled in the intellectual dark web which includes a lot of very sophisticated analysis from a different perspective: Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Bret and Eric Weinstein, Heather Heying, Jonathan Haidt, and Douglas Murray… Some of those cats are real liberals — as opposed to radicalized “woke” liberals — and some shade into conservatism. There’s the disaffected liberals who left the liberal media including Matt Taibbi, or Tim Pool. I still keep up with libs like Jimmy Dore, who is a bit of a nutter, as well as whoever Democracy Now has on, but I am already well versed in the liberal viewpoint, so just need to brush up here and there. Real Conservatives like Matt Walsh, Micheal Knowles, Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, or Joshua Phillip are good for getting the straight conservative angle. I don’t agree with everything any of these people say — from the liberals to the intellectual dark web to the conservatives — and some of them piss me off regularly (ex., Dore, and Carlson]. But Camille was right, and if I don’t look at divergent sources, there’s no possibility I’ll have my own opinion, because I’ll just get one pre-packaged worldview, or another.
Conservatism isn’t everything wrong with the world: it’s mostly just a more traditional viewpoint or orientation (and if you are thinking traditional means patriarchal, bigoted, and all that, welcome to my mindset of a decade ago]. A healthy society and especially a democracy needs vocal members of the full spectrum of conservatives, moderates, liberals, and even some radical voices on the fringes. One of the things the right does is keep the left in check, and vice-versa.
Why the hell would you need to keep the left in check, my former incarnation would have asked? I can thank the much-maligned Jordan Peterson for pointing out something that had never occurred to me, which is that the left could also go too far. I’d thought going left was only good, and the further the better, because it always led to more freedom, peace, and equality. I hadn’t put together that a lot of totalitarian regimes were leftist. That didn’t register, even if I knew that Pol Pot and Chairman Mao were communists. I associated all authoritarianism, dictatorship, and totalitarianism with the far right. If you look up a list of totalitarian regimes in Wikipedia, however, 8 of the 12 are some sort of communist, socialist, or Marxist-Leninist government.
Imagine for a moment if that study I objected to was indeed right, and that some people are just naturally going to be more liberal or conservative. If a society drifts too far to either extreme, one side or the other will be alienated, or suppressed, or oppressed.
Fast forward to the present
In the last several days I’ve seen an astounding implementation of censorship, as well as the announcement of an egregious policy of race-based discrimination. And it’s all from the left, and in the name of the ostensible good. But how can it be the good, even if it issues from the left, when censorship blatantly curtails freedom, and the race-based policy represents patently unequal treatment?
We all know that Donald Trump has been permanently banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. He is erased from social media. Once he was said to be the most powerful man in the world, but Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are more powerful when it comes to the internet, and beyond. When the big tech companies and the oligarchs that run them work in tandem, we get an un-elected power block that has the ability to control the narrative and mold belief.
We are to understand that the excommunication of Trump as a social pariah unfit for polite society is a good because he was inciting violence, insurrection, sedition, domestic terrorism, excessive tanning, and trying to overturn the election.
People are uttering the words “insurrection” and “sedition” like they are an ultimate evil.
Resisting lawful authority is sedition? Revolting against the government is insurrection? In another context, such as revolting against the Trump administration, or the police, this might be seen as a good thing. Surely, taking over several downtown city blocks in Seattle, including a police station (which is a government building), and declaring it an autonomous zone — The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ! — that is no longer a part of America, would constitute both insurrection and sedition. The words either are not used in that context, or roll off the tongue with pride. It’s all a matter of who is doing the insurrection, against who, and for what reason.
I will see headlines from the left media, such as, “‘This is America,’ where white insurrection is tolerated and Black protest suppressed”. So, if you take over a police station, vandalize it, and attempt to burn it down, that’s protest. If you break into the Capitol Building for the wrong cause, that’s insurrection. Got it!
It’s also WHITE SUPREMACY!!!
The internet is awash with headlines asserting white supremacy in connection with the break-in at the Capitol, so I had to look into what the connection is, and I need to do this little side-tour. Here are some choice headlines.
- The Capitol attack was White supremacy, plain and simple.
- Insurrection Day: when white supremacist terror came to the US Capitol.
- White Supremacy Created the Capitol Assault.
- The Trump mob’s siege on the Capitol was white supremacy in full.
- Storming The U.S. Capitol Was About Maintaining White Power In America.
- Trump’s mob at the Capitol was following an old white supremacist playbook.
- White supremacy was on full display’ at Capitol invasion.
- Partners in Crime: The Siege on the Capitol, Police, and White Supremacy.
And a couple more from Democracy Now, which I have watched for more than 15 years, and continue to view in order to stay in touch with the far left perspective.
- Historian: White Terrorist Groups Attacked Democracy During Reconstruction, They Are Doing It Again
- White Supremacy in Action: Police Stand Down as Trump Mob Storms Capitol to Disrupt Election Vote
Why is it white supremacist? Why not just racist? Is “white supremacy” what people use when they realize “Nazi” sounds sophomoric, but they need the worst thing they can come up with? When I look at the articles it’s all association, extrapolation, and supposition. Here’s from an opinion piece published by CNN:
Two words: White supremacy. It’s undeniable now, unmistakable. What happened on Wednesday was simple: Donald Trump told White people that America had been stolen from them, and he summoned them to Washington to take it back.Daniel Black, CNN.
Did Donald Trump specifically address white people? Did he say that America was stolen from white people? Apparently, 26% of non-white voters voted for Trump. But he was only addressing the whites? Can we at least find one thing he said in his speech before the break-in happened that claimed the white race is superior, or has a claim to power? Did he talk about blood and soil? Did he at least say something racist? Did he say anything at all about race? Well, no, nothing at all, but…
The searing indictment of his white supremacy that Democracy Now quoted is as follows:
We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering on some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.Donald Trump inciting insurrection!!!
I listened to his speech, and it was mostly an exhaustive account of election anomalies. I interpreted this comment to mean taking back the country for the republican party, from the democrats, or more specifically taking it back to his presidency. I didn’t read it as white people taking the country back to the Antebellum South. When he talked about being strong, he was talking about republican politicians he hoped would have the guts — from his perspective — to support his attempt to stop the certification until cases of fraud were fully investigated. He wasn’t talking about being strong while deploying physical violence.
And here’s the part the media purposefully leaves out:
We have come to demand that congress do the right thing, and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated. Lawfully slated! I know that everyone one here will soon be marching over to the Capitol Building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country.Donald Trump explicitly inciting violence and mayhem.
By “peacefully” he clearly meant “violently”. By “republicans stand strong for integrity” what he was really saying it that his thugs should use strong muscle to clobber congressmen in a bloodbath. The evidence is indisputable. All the authoritative media says so. You just have to know how to read between the lines, or trust someone who does. I’ll wait to see what Trevor Noah has to say.
Most the arguments about white supremacy revolve around the police not treating the insurrectionists nearly as harshly or lethally as they presumably would BLM protesters. Never mind that an unarmed white woman was shot and killed by an officer (which is not an instance of police brutality worthy of say her name]. Also never mind that virtually every newspaper and news broadcast insisted the pro-Trump squad were “insurrectionists” and BLM were “peaceful protesters”. When the news, and the politicians, unanimously portray those who stormed the Capitol as insurrectionists, domestic terrorists, and every epithet they can squeeze in, that’s when you can be dead certain that America is died in the wool racist!? When all the big corporations are making virtue signalling ads to show that they subscribe to wokeness, that let’s us know that America is commited to white supremacy.
Joe Biden mouthed this argument himself:
“No one can tell me that if had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, it wouldn’t have been, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all, we all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable, totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain view, and I hope it sensitize them what we have to do.”Joe Biden. OK, I transcribed precisely what he said, and didn’t edit it to be more grammatically correct.
There are a couple problems here that a cynic might point out. One is that Biden is excoriating the police, and the presumed fabric of white supremacist America, for something that never happened. BLM didn’t storm the Capitol days ago, and they weren’t subjected to worse treatment than their mostly colorless counterparts. He supposed that this would have been the case, at this time, but we might keep in mind that he doesn’t have a crystal ball. The second and more outstanding issue a cynic or skeptic might draw attention to is that if Biden is so deeply upset that the Capitol police didn’t treat the right wing protesters as violently as he insists they would have if they were black, then the only alternative is that he would prefer more violence and perhaps additional fatal shootings. A lot of people wanted more bloodshed, I guess, in the name of racial justice. It’s unacceptable that there wasn’t more carnage! Totally unacceptable!! “White supremacy” has become, in some instances, merely a racial slur against innocent white people.
Hearing this rhetoric from Biden is like hearing you shouldn’t eat fast food from Ronald McDonald.
I did see a guy among the insurrectionists with a giant confederate flag, and someone else who had an antisemitic slogan on his shirt. Those guys were likely white supremacist, cuckoo-bird scum, to be sure! But do we impugn that everyone else was there not because they sincerely believed the election was stolen, but because they wanted to start a 500 year Reich with the Orange Fuhrer as a permanent fixture? Do we brand all 75,000,000 Trump voters with white supremacy because of the actions of a small platoon of internet trolls who ventured out into daylight?
Alright, alright, I suppose in order to not be called a white supremacist myself, I need to denounce it. Virtue signalling kinda’ makes me queasy. There’s a way I can do it without compromising my integrity. I don’t define people by race, but by what they do, their decisions, and who they are. In other words, I don’t define the player by the hand he’s dealt, but by how he plays it. You are a conscious intelligence first and foremost, and your mind is a non-material, colorless, bodiless phenomenon. Insects have sexes, and while we don’t assign race to them, they are divided into sub-classes and divisions. Should we define each other on the same level as we would flies? Or do our conscious minds define us? Defining and judging people by their biology at birth is not only backwards, it’s mind-numbingly stupid, an affront to the individual, an insult to our species, and misses the point of existence. You are a doer, not a carcass. And the only thing that really matters, by a long shot, is what you do with your DNA after you are born. To say an individual is inferior or superior because of her race is asinine and utterly repugnant, whoever says it, and no matter who they say it about.
Before I brand someone with white supremacy — which is an absolutely heinous thing, and the worst thing you can be in America — I’m going to need to hear them say something that indicates that is their true belief. I’m not going to project it onto them and then lash them for it. Richard Spencer clearly did himself in, and I wrote an article denouncing him: The Sad Racist Specter of Richard Spencer. Trump didn’t utter a word that could be directly tied to white supremacy in the speech he made before the break-in, nor did he make any command to break in or use violence. I assume he genuinely believes, as does Giuliani, and a host of other people, OK tens of millions, that suspect votes in the swing states cost him the election. Even if it isn’t true, he absolutely believes it is. That’s what he rattled on about.
If one only watched the partisan left news, which is most outlets, than there isn’t a shred of evidence of fraud, and the courts threw out the cases. But if you step over the fence and hear what the the more conservative news reports, there are indeed outstanding instances of fraud, and the courts threw out the cases on (convenient) technicalities, not because there wasn’t evidence. They refused to look at it. Both sides see each other as trying to steal the election, and the “insurrectionists” who stormed the capital in order to orchestrate a coup, did so, in their minds, in order to prevent a coup. There are two completely opposite stories, and most people are only exposed to one or the other, which explains why they disagree completely, and are at each other’s throats.
But the official narrative is that Trump orchestrated a violent, insurrectionist, seditionist, white supremacist, domestic terror invasion of the sacred chambers of the heart of democracy (where corruption flowers in perpetual bloom, and after a half-year we got a $600 stimulus, but could get our own lousy T-shirt of choice!].
And so Donald Trump — the sitting elected President of the United States — was erased from having a social media platform. Tens of thousands of Trump supporters — supposedly QAnon-linked accounts — were banned along with him, for good measure. But it didn’t stop there. On the back of the Trump excommunication, Parler, which is a self-proclaimed “non-partisan” alternative to twitter — where conservatives flooded en-mass — was also wiped off the internet. Apple and Google removed it from their app stores, and then Amazon booted them off their web hosting. Three companies worked in unison to eliminate a venue with a couple million subscribers. Ostensibly, this is to help dampen any potential far right violence, especially during the inauguration, but it also shuts down a business, a business competitor, cancels a platform that allows conservative speech, and conveniently silences hundreds of thousands of conservatives, and sends shivers down the spines of the rest.
There is the distinct possibility that the “inciting violence” scare may merely be a convenient excuse to delete political and ideological adversaries, even if they are doing nothing wrong. Some of us old enough to remember several months ago may wonder why only the right is capable of inciting violence, and no matter what violence occurred in months of mostly peaceful protests, nobody who encouraged it was guilty of inciting it.
I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, either time [I would have voted for Bernie in 2016, if I got a chance, if the corporate dems hadn’t sabotaged him first]. I’ve never voted republican. I’m not a member of Parler, and have never visited their site. I certainly don’t support the break-in at the Capitol. White supremacy is anathema. But I can’t help but notice that at this point in history, it is the left that is censoring the right. It is the left that is curtailing freedom in the form of squelching free speech, and doing it with a broad, sweeping brush.
Meanwhile, we live in not only a “post-truth” world, but a “post-hypocrisy” world. No problem shutting down Parler in America, but Uganda better not block Twitter!
At the same time, Biden announced a policy that is patently racial discrimination.
In offering relief to business that have suffered due to covid lock-downs, Biden has announced a policy to prioritize help based on the biology of the business owners. I’m not that good at math, but it looks like he could have made his statement shorter and punchier by just saying that white males will be at the end of the bread line. I interpret “equal access to resources” under the circumstances to mean that by penalizing white males he is equalizing access. It’s a curious argument because he’s also included Asians ahead of whites, and Asians are more successful on average in America in terms of education and income than are whites. I gather the idea might be that financially penalizing white men compensates for the ethereal social benefits of white male privilege.
I don’t really need to say this because it’s so agonizingly obvious, but, if any other group were isolated to be de-prioritized for emergency relief due to their biology at birth, it would be considered abominable. It may be a progressive measure, and done in the name of equity, but it is undeniable that following a pandemic, one group has been specifically sidelined as less deserving, in which case their businesses will have less chances of help or survival. That is discriminating based on race, by an institution, hence a genuine policy of institutional racism. Way to go. This kind of policy will make an extremist right threat into a self-fulfilling prophecy, which it largely already is.
Keep screaming about white supremacy while simultaneously enacting policy that disadvantages white males, and some people are going to become desperate and be driven to white nationalism, and the like, because it doesn’t automatically demonize, reject, and punish them. This is the same thing where people assert that Trump mobilized and emboldened ass-backwards American whites — deplorables and troglodytes — but a persuasive argument could be made that identity politics, social justice, and political correctness drove ordinary people to Trump because he, at least, wouldn’t wag his finger at them and tell them they are responsible for everything wrong with the world. Not everyone has the education, experience, and wisdom to not fall into the trap of hunkering down into tribalism, and also becoming a champion of their own race (especially if everyone else is encouraged to do so). I mean, you can’t expect deplorables to be the bigger person.
I no longer believe that everything the left does is good, and anything the right does is bad. I have to look at what tactics they use irrespective of which side of the spectrum they are on. Far right wingnuts, their heads filled with loopy conspiracy scenarios, infiltrated the Capitol Building, rifled papers, damaged office furniture, and an unwitting larper posed at the podium with a fur hat and horns. Incidentally, the viking’s YouTube channel was deleted.
Yes, I heard at least one person had a gun, another had plastic ties for binding people, so there were people there who could have caused real physical harm. It wasn’t all just a face-plant to be scorned. The physical threat was comparatively minimal, and the intellectual threat in the negatives. The hype, however, is terrifying, or rhetorically terrifying, or at least can be worded in such a way that adjectives associated with terror can be strung together. There is outrage over the word insurrection and the word sedition, certainly. The vocabulary is intimidating, and the way they enunciate it could make the word ice-cream seethe with evil. But does the goon squad who got away with rushing the Capitol Building once — and never will again — pose more of an existential threat than the multi-billionaires exercising the power to permanently silence whomever they deem objectionable; or a patently racist policy that is designed to cripple one section of the population in order to appear equitable?
There is never a time to crush the conservatives, as they are an essential part of the equation. Rather, it might be a good time to reel in the left, which is now busy trying to purge its political and ideological rivals, curtail freedom of speech, and institute unequal emergency relief based on biology: all dastardly tactics employed in the name of the good. I think everyone already agrees the right needs to get a handle on its lunatic fringe.