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.

Whatever you want to say about Paglia, she’s an independent thinker that fits in no pigeonhole.

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.

and

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.

The corporate message is 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!

When you look in the mirror and don’t recognize yourself.

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.

When comic relief is supposed to be the terror we all feared.

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.

~ Ends

26 replies on “Runaway Rant: Is it Time to Crush the Conservatives?

  1. Excellent article and kudos for bringing up the Graduate. “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”. With all due respect, I would have omitted the last six words.

    Stacey Abrams lit a match. Isabel Wilkerson’s recent book Caste: The Origins of our Discontents has some relevance. Elon Musk’s tweet supports the hypothesis. Zuckerberg’s original spoof website rated attractiveness of women on campus based on their looks. He attempts to distance those antics from FACE book while testifying to Congress.
    Can America still be this dumb?

    Without any hard evidence, I believe Mr. Mark Zuckerberg is the king who bears no crown. I have no definitive evidence that suggests people of every color, in whatever hat or horn, are pawns, because there can only be one golden boy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Eric,
    Once the first doubt about the left enters your mind you can never go back. You will start to do some investigation for yourself and what you find will not bring you back. They are a car with no brakes going downhill with a giant cliff at the end. If anyone on the left steps out of line they are destroyed and replaced with more radical people. Today’s conservatives are actually mostly saying what the radicals of the 60s we’re saying and, are considered terrible people. That’s how far to the left things have gone. If you look at all of the places on earth right now that have concentration camps I think they are all countries with leftist dictators. I could be wrong about that but can’t think of any fascist countries right now. Also I’ll will state fascism is terrible totalitarianism as well so not make you think I’m for that. So when conservatives like myself are laying in bed at night feeling bad for all of the people one of Castros or Kim’s or some other concentration camp the leftist can feel morally superior to me while they sleep soundly.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Right. The pendulum can swing too far in either direction. And it is today’s conservatives who quote Dr. King the most, at least the line about judging people by their character, not the color of their skin.

      I have very serious issues with America when it comes to war, and things like Abu Ghraib. Fortunately, Orange Man Bad didn’t have the bloodlust for war. Not sure about Biden, or his minders.

      If I could live anywhere, it wouldn’t be America. I might go Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, or New Zealand, even Canada. So, I may be inclined to more of a democratic system with a social net. America is a little cut-throat. A working class kid like me has a hard time lifting himself up by the bootstraps. I’m still working on it.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. My brother is working on getting citizenship, because my mom was born in Canada. He’s not planning on moving there, though. Me, I’d use that citizenship to make a B line to a new country. I think he got me some of the paperwork. Might be possible in the future for me to relocate to Canada, and be a Canadian. I don’t see it happening in the near future, but it’s actually possible.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. Unfortunately, the TV series “House of Cards” was, even according to politicians themselves, pitch perfect. Corruption and greed are the name of the game. Tulsi Gabbart has expressed why she left politics, and that’s the reason.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Most generally, aren’t conservatives folks who want things to stay as they are and progressives are they who want things to change? And isn’t usually the case that this is because conservatives have got the most and progressives the least? But aren’t they both really after the same things?
    So when progressives get what they want, do they become conservatives? Seems so. Look at tech zillionaires, established artists and scholars, and successful politicians. They were all progressive until they got something to be conservative about.
    Progressives are by definition underdogs so not much hope for big changes that we do need. But conservatism—Biden is conservative by world standards—is better than narcissism, so maybe the next 4 years will be better than the last.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Most generally, aren’t conservatives folks who want things to stay as they are and progressives are they who want things to change?”

      Well, let’s go with that. Some things are definitely worth keeping, and some changes are suicidal. Pol Pol wanted change, and so did Chairman Mao. 8 of the 12 totalitarian regimes of the last century represented leftist change. That’s why we need people on the full spectrum, so society keeps its healthy parts, learns from history, and incorporates new ideas and makes smart changes. “Progressives” have a tendency to want to burn everything to the ground, start over from the year zero, and be in control.

      That’s why I talk about what tactics are being used, not who uses them. If you use censorship, that doesn’t make you conservative, that makes you an abuser of power.

      Biden isn’t a conservative. It’s not the right word. Conservative doesn’t mean war mongering or racist or patriarchal or republican or asshole. Look up Roger Scruton. He’s a perfect example of a good conservative in the art world who we need as part of the dialogue and community. My taste differ wildly from his, and he probably wouldn’t like much or any of my art, but his voice is still a positive contribution.

      In the art world, Robert Hughes is considered an arch conservative, and is hated. Jerry Saliz is the Hillary liberal. You decide.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. wow…lots of food for thought here..and i also love the way you began the post. It drew me in, lashed me a bit, then after throwing some of my ( perhaps misguided) perceptions to the wolves, turned around and perfectly balanced everything out. I rarely read through long posts such as this one, particularly when involving politics- mainly because of everything you have stated here( i loathe being led by the nose). Hmmm.. not even sure what to do with all that. Kind of like stumbling upon an orchid in the wild and wondering if it’s simply beautiful or a tad poisonous.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve been noticing more and more hypocrisy and intolerance on the “left” recently. It’s a little disorienting because although I’ve never considered myself a member of any particular party, many of the issues I care deeply about are traditionally leftist concerns.
    I appreciate your argument that we should be defined by our conscious minds and behavior and not by the labels others would affix to us. It’s an idea I grew up with but not something I hear stated much anymore.
    Just discovered your blog the other day and enjoying it very much so far!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think there’s a lot of confusion about left and right, and I decided that a better way to think about it, for me, is control. It seems we have the most freedom and independence when the pendulum is in the middle. On either side, whoever is in power starts trying to exert more control over the population. Since I’m an artist, I tend to notice things like censoring art.

      I remember when it was the religious right who were trying to shut down shows, and de-fund the NEA. But now the left has definitely taken over censorship of art, labeling art immoral, taking down art, and even destroying art.

      For a host of reasons, I’ve become more afraid of the left than the right. The ball is in their court, and they are proving that abuse of power comes as no surprise, proving it fast, and proving it hard.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Focusing on the Biden statement about prioritizing support with race-first policy toward small businesses, I think the best word would be ‘Progressivism” as opposed to any left socialist stance. The historical Progs gave a heroic glow to wide-spread moral reform of the masses as a revolution from above. This has little to do with any emancipatory movement of the working stiffs as the socialist tradition defines it.

        Since I’d prefer not to pimp out my racial-bonafides to gain state favor, I’ll likely fall into the white camp in the new racial breakdowns.

        That doesn’t mean I’m gonna buy into this fucking prison export of race-first categories. I tried talking to a member of the Imaginative Conservative and he had a lot to say about standing up for white identity against such policy.

        Well, until I’m actually locked up, don’t push those politics on me.

        How bout we all take a look at Emerson’s hoary concept of “self-reliance”. This doesn’t have to mean a return to an imagined past, just that we moderns face the problem of putting the “human law” on a critical basis as opposed to the “law for thing” , which thinkers like Peterson and Paglia see as the total understanding of what’s possible in human life (psychology and biology). I appreciate Paglia’s insights but I’m always left wanting something deeper from both author’s visions.

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        1. I’m not sure what you are referring to with “law for thing,” but you general comments make sense, and as it happens, on the face of it, I basically agree with all of them.

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  6. Excellently thought out and written, Eric. You’ve put very concrete words (and better ones than I could ever manage) to this vague uneasiness I’ve been feeling about what I not-long-ago perceived as the obvious Good & Evil of Liberal vs Conservative. It was so obvious, I didn’t even need to fact-check it.

    That whole illusion for me began to crumble pretty hard as the first Trump election was going on. The rock got kicked over, the racists scurried out, the chat thread knives got drawn, friend-on-friend, and then there were the spells… https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39090334

    All, of course, was perfectly fine in the world until Trump came along. He caused everything to become bad in America and everywhere. Yep. Now that he’s the Walking Redacted, whichever guy was the other alternative to him is clearly going to be the right choice, because democracy always gives us one villain and one not-villain to pick from, every four years or so. Who needs more options than not-Trump, in 2021 anyway?

    *Not* a Trump supporter here either, I should hasten to add – lest I have magical curses cast down upon me, or lose all of my social media friends and privileges – but I agree that this mainstream echo chamber has gotten rather big and a bit lop-sided. Technology, being a tool, is either a help or a harm, depending on how it’s used; how is having social media a help exactly, when social media itself can decide who gets to participate in it? We just got shown that any one of us is only allowed on the Internet because a handful of people haven’t gotten pissed at us yet.

    We’ve entered the era of deep fakes as well, of course, so I’m not quite sure how we’ll manage to stay balanced in our opinion-forming from here on out, in the midst of all of this media.

    I think we should start by giving ourselves Internet rationing? Open to ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right about internet rationing. Part of the problem now is that people’s problems now include global problems, a lot of which are just turmoil caused by politicians jockeying for power. People are so worried about solving the world’s problems that they neglect to take care of their own lives.

      Good points about the perception that now that Trump’s gone, all problems with miraculously vanish … … … it might just be a bit slow to get going, and imperceptible to someone not paying close attention. I hear the war machine has been dusted off and kick-started. Maybe there’s hope of taking it out for a spin. Refreshing!

      There’s an idea that we all must be involved in politics as responsible adults. It’s our duty. But it’s also a disease that in the digital age could affect everyone. If I don’t want everyone to be adversely affected by it, that why would I subject myself to it?

      And so, as you say, the internet is the culprit here. Before the internet, there were years where I didn’t have a TV or a phone. I did a hell of a lot of reading, and it really helped me do well in college. Nowadays it seems we need the internet – I feel it’s necessary for my fledgling art career – but we have to manage it wisely.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do think in the future we might collectively start unplugging a bit as a movement. These latest generations are the first ones to never have aa break from 24/7 access to all opinions everywhere, and all news, and all the information. I used to get up Saturday mornings as a kid and wait for television to “start”. Remember those days? Never mind the interactive Internet – even screens slept, once.

        We didn’t evolve to have to process and carry a planet’s worth of news and problems, you’re right. It can’t possibly be healthy. I think it’s very healthy to have access to information, uncensored, easily searchable / verifiable (to limit the time wasting, so we can return to the real world of our immediate family, friends, and community), but after a point, we get stuck in spirals and rabbit holes and all sorts of Candy Crushes.

        Maybe the younger folk will realize we need to evolve beyond wanting to be online, or maybe global energy shortages will force us to consider it prudent or necessary to scale back. We’re certainly not done evolving yet…

        Liked by 1 person

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