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More “Seen on the Internets”

Any time I have the urge to use Facebook, I’m just going to post it on here. Might be a lot of drive by, but I used to do that a lot:

One unintended consequence of crushing speech on the right is that sane righties lose the ability to talk lunatics out of crazy. Back in the old days, I had many conversations talking sense into conspiracists from Rothschild to contrails. They listened to me because I’m credible in a way CNN is not. Now, instead, I shut up. I fear we’re about to embark on an unfortunate experiment to rediscover why, precisely, free speech has for 300 years been considered a bedrock necessity for a civilized society.

This is absolutely true. I do not see the value in driving people deeper and deeper into the fever swamps.

Also, I see this as fundamentally true:

November’s election revealed that the class realignment of our two parties is solidifying. Democrats have increasingly emerged as the party of upscale suburbs, of Silicon Valley and Hollywood and Wall Street, of the owners of capital and the professionals who service them. The GOP, meanwhile, is trending toward a multiracial working-class party, preferred by those who generally make their living by toil. . . .

The big donors are abandoning the GOP, so they won’t have much choice. I have to level with you all, I never thought Trump was any savior. He made a lot of unforced errors. The big thing Trump saw and exploited was that the coalition had shifted. I think he’s a talented self-promoter, which is how he managed to win the White House with no prior political experience. But I don’t think he was going to build a movement that wasn’t centered around himself.

He attracted the loyalty he did because he positioned himself to be seen as fighting for the deplorables, when no one else would. If change is going to come, it will probably come from someone who understands the DC machine, and knows how to dismantle it.

12 Responses to “More “Seen on the Internets””

  1. Andy B. says:

    “One unintended consequence of crushing speech on the right is that sane righties lose the ability to talk lunatics out of crazy. . . I never thought Trump was any savior.”

    You may not have thought Trump was any savior, but, forgive me if I’m wrong, I don’t remember many commenters around here c. 2017 – 2017 going so far as suggesting that hitching our wagon to his star might be counterproductive. That was — and to a great extent still is — treated as apostasy in the gun rights universe. Suggesting that it was a mistake brought accusations of “trolling”, “suffering from ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome'”, and of course, of being a leftie-infiltrator-saboteur.

    In the 2016 – 2017 period anonymity was necessary, in terms of personal security, if you came too close to suggesting Trump-as-liability, and I only began to come close to using my own identity when I realized my propensity for using Old Stories to illustrate my points would eventually enable identification of who I was by anyone who put a little work into it. (Though like most old guys, I’m astounded how short people’s memories are.)

    I guess my point is, which was the chicken and which was the egg — the inability to question crazy, or the crushing of speech on the right? Who were the crushers, and who were the crushees?

    • ad-lib says:

      “You may not have thought Trump was any savior, but, forgive me if I’m wrong, I don’t remember many commenters around here c. 2017 – 2017 going so far as suggesting that hitching our wagon to his star might be counterproductive.”

      Some of us have always said as much.

  2. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    I think that NY Post op-ed is pretty spot-on regarding the realignment. Trump carried the most non-white vote for a Republican since 1960, and Democrats have now firmly planted themselves as the party of Wall Street and Big Tech.

    We need to stop pretending that Trump was an anomaly who was only elected because the stars aligned, and realize that he is the symptom of some very long-term socioeconomic trends that our ruling class dutifully ignored. And those trends have not changed course much at all over the last 4 years, whether you want to argue it was Trump’s personality, constant litigation and injunctions, his own party who are just as bought-off as Democrats, or all three.

    Anybody who thinks Biden (who will essentially be a third Obama term, with a bit more social justice and cognitive decline mixed in) is going bring us back to the good ol’ days is living in fantasyland. Teaming up with industry to starve-out dissenting viewpoints is not “uniting” or “healing” the nation, it just creates more animosity.

  3. Andy B. says:

    “…Trump…is the symptom of some very long-term socioeconomic trends that our ruling class dutifully ignored.”

    I would rephrase that to “Trump is the symptom of some very long-term socioeconomic trends that our ruling class dutifully created and then exploited.”

  4. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    I have to level with you all, I never thought Trump was any savior. He made a lot of unforced errors. The big thing Trump saw and exploited was that the coalition had shifted. I think he’s a talented self-promoter, which is how he managed to win the White House with no prior political experience. But I don’t think he was going to build a movement that wasn’t centered around himself.

    I wholy agree with this.

    I’m hopeful the next person (DeSantis?) can take the best parts of Trump but leave behind the worst parts.

    • Alpheus says:

      The best part of President Trump was his willingness to fight. It wasn’t always perfect, but he didn’t wilt and back down nearly as often as other Republicans tend to do.

      I’m not nearly as convinced that we have a “Uniparty” as other people are, but if one side always defers to the other, it’s ultimately going to look like a Uniparty, regardless.

  5. Bruce says:

    I work for a big bank, most everyone and especially the company is still pretty firmly in the red zone. PPP didn’t hurt, but banks are by definition some of the most conservitive group of people out there. If the Republicans could just remember what fiscal responsibility looked like, they could get all the money they could ever want AND have a huge base filled with people that don’t push paper for a living.

  6. Richard says:

    As Robert Kennedy was the Tribune of the Underclass (the title of the last chapter of his bio, Trump is the Tribune of the Deplorables. This is powerful stuff but dangerous to the tribunes. Goes back to the Gracchi, at least.

    • Joe_in_Pitt says:

      Kudos for the Gracchi analogy. I tell my friends all the time, and I think last week’s events help put it into perspective, that every Republic throughout history has gone through periods of unrest, rebellions, civil war, and even collapse. This notion that the US is some kind of magical place where a class of citizens who feel slighted would never march on their government’s symbol of authority is asinine. Tactics employed may change, but factors leading to it are rarely differ.

      Not that I necessarily condone what happened, but enough of the pearl-clutching over this “unprecedented assault on democracy”. Unprecedented? Sure, as long as you don’t count literally thousands of years of human history as precedent.

    • Andy B. says:

      “Goes back to the Gracchi, at least.”

      Your analogy somewhat confuses me, as I have seen the Gracchi referred to as the “forerunners of the communists.” They sought to return land that was formerly collectively owned by the peasants, but had been “privatized”.

      That seemed analogous to the “Levelers” in England, who sought to resist the “Enclosure” laws that allowed the nobility to “enclose” and take for their own private use and profit, the “commons” that were formerly farmed by the peasants. As “public policy” the Enclosure Laws expanded well into the early 19th century, and the resistance to them certainly provided part of the intellectual foundation for communism as it developed in that time frame.

      Perhaps the analogy holds better if we avoid contemporary ideological labels, other than to call the Gracchi “populists.” It may contain lessons about runaway populism.

  7. CarlosT says:

    Trump’s appeal was simple: he explicitly displayed respect for people the mainstream culture has designated for disdain. That’s really as complicated as it needs to get.

    • Andy B. says:

      “…he explicitly displayed respect for people the mainstream culture has designated for disdain.”

      Gun owners have been suckers for that for decades. Every pol knows that memorizing a handful of words and phrases is all you need do to have them follow you Anywhere. And that capital-A is deliberate.

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