Like many of you, I stayed up pretty late last night. I watched the map start blue from the early votes, turn red as the polling results came in, then turn blue-ish as surprising things happened, like Wisconsin “finding” 144,000 votes that all happened to be for Mr. Biden. (Hey, it put Al Franken in the Senate, and nobody complained!) With 60% of the vote counted, Trump led Virginia by 300,000. The media called it for Biden, who then managed to obtain something like eighty percent of the remaining ballots and turn it into a win by 400,000. On the other side, the early optimism that Biden would win Ohio turned into a Trump rout.
It looks like this election will be decided in the courts, or perhaps in the streets. As of right now (the afternoon of the fourth) I’d be foolish to call it either way. It seems obvious, however, that no matter what happens, there is one group of people who have scored a major victory — and very few of my readers, to say nothing of Americans in general, will like it.
Trigger warning: politics to be openly discussed after the jump, don’t click it if a discussion like this would upset you.
Some of of you will blanch at this assertion, but hear me out: America has no effective political right wing. If you doubt me on this, then let me ask you a Katt Williams question. In his first comedy special, Katt asked his listeners, “What does the Iraqi army uniform look like?” His point was that there had been virtually no effective resistance in the second Gulf War. “We’re not killing their army — we’re killing them!”
So here’s my question: What does the right-wing street army uniform look like? We all know what Antifa’s uniform looks like; it’s a hypertrophied version of the “black bloc” uniform seen in Adbusters for years. You can open a browser window at any time day or night and see video of Antifa, ahem, peacefully protesting all over the country. You can see cops hit with bricks, entire blocks destroyed, statues pulled down with impunity, flames raging behind CNN reporters.
So what’s the right wing street army look like? There was a “Unite The Right” rally in Virginia a while back; it turned out to be about 50% LARPers, 10% Feds, 35% randos, and about a high school football team’s worth of people holding tiki torches. That was the last time there was anything like an organized right wing. The feds stomped on it hard, both in the moment and in the courtrooms.
“Wait a minute, there’s the Proud Boys!” Okay, how many of them are there? Antifa and BLM can protest in fifty cities at the same time. The Proud Boys can’t fill a Greyhound. There was supposedly a militia plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer. If you wonder why you haven’t heard about it lately, you might want to search “Whitmer kidnap BLM” or “Whitemer kidnap anarchist”. Apparently some of these racist Trump supporters are on record calling Trump a “tyrant” and expressing their deep concern about the death of George Floyd. Not a good look, am I right?
You get the idea. There’s no right wing in this country. We have anti-fascists as far as the eye can see, but no fascists. Since the very existence of anti-fascism requires the existence of fascists, we’ve had to define “Nazi” down until it fits your crazy Uncle Bobby who listens to Joe Rogan. Do you know a single person who identifies as a Nazi? Of course not. Do you know a hundred people who continually talk about their desire to punch Nazis? There’s a good chance you do. Louisville, Kentucky has an armed black socialist army (the No Fucking Around Coalition) that exceeds the size of the “white power movement” all by itself. And they’ve already shot three people. (Admittedly, all three of those people were also members of the No Fucking Around Coalition, and all three shootings were accidental.)
The people who compare the Current Year United States to Weimar Germany are missing an important fact: there were actually two sides to that battle. You had literal Communists in the streets, and literal Nazis. The Nazi “brownshirts” won that battle, which was the first step for them on the road to power. Can you imagine a group of American Nazis showing up and beating an antifa group in a straight fight? Of course you can’t. It will never, ever, ever happen. At this point, the idea of Nazis exists for the same reason the Party in 1984 still needed Emmanuel Goldstein: there has to be an enemy, or the whole thing falls apart.
Listen, I know I have a lot of hard left readers, and I have some hard left tendencies myself — I was reading the literature and advocating anti-consumerist beliefs a full thirty years ago. I know it would be nice to have some real Nazi opponents you could run out there and punch. That would be very satisfying. It just isn’t reality.
Instead of a true right wing, America has conservatives, whose sole purpose is to eagerly espouse the Democrat Party platform of fifteen years ago, plus a smattering of cheap-labor and low-tax malarkey. They’ve been infamously called “The Washington Generals Of Politics”. (The Washington Generals are the “team” that plays in exhibition games against the Harlem Globetrotters; they are professional patsies or heels.)
How have the last two decades worked out for you, personally? If you’re a member or fellow-traveler of the Davos class, chances are: pretty well. If you’re among the subspecies conservative intellectual or politician, you’ve accepted—perhaps not consciously, but unmistakably—your status on the roster of the Washington Generals of American politics. Your job is to show up and lose, but you are a necessary part of the show and you do get paid. To the extent that you are ever on the winning side of anything, it’s as sophists who help the Davoisie oligarchy rationalize open borders, lower wages, outsourcing, de-industrialization, trade giveaways, and endless, pointless, winless war.
American conservatives were staunchly against Social Security, welfare, gun control, and gay marriage — until they were rabidly for all of it. They stood firm against integrated schools — right up until the minute they became tremendous advocates of busing. Right now they are putting up some meek resistance against the idea of transgender students in women’s sports; that’s scheduled to expire any day now, at which point we will hear that it’s the finest American tradition possible. My point here isn’t to argue the merits of any position above, merely to point out that conservatives always lose. It’s what they do. Their job is to put a mild brake on the progressive agenda, earning billions of dollars in the process.
George Bush — both George Bushes — were conservative Presidents. Their beliefs would have struck FDR as being just a little lefty. They obligingly provided big wars and big social programs and all the progressive legislation you could want, all the while also serving as the necessary enemy for the progressive movement. “God damn that BUSHITLER to hell, he only signed off on eighty percent of our desired agenda!” Mitt Romney, had the country been apathetic enough to elect him, would have been a great conservative president. He would have stood up there with his rock-solid jawline and his Mormon sacred garments, and he would have signed off on anything they gave him.
The conservative party exists to create the illusion of opposition to a single global agenda. Look at this photo:
You have two people animated by an authentic political ideology — Hillary Clinton on the right, Donald Trump on the left — and they aren’t smiling. In the middle you have “BUSHITLER” himself, the Obamas, and Slick Willie Clinton, none of whom ever possessed a measurable conviction about anything. Old GHWB could have been in there too, had this not been his actual funeral. The policies and legislation pursued by these people could be the subject of an extremely difficult matching game. Who put the kids in cages? (Obama.) Who signed the most far-reaching and long-term effective piece of gun legislation since 1968? (George HW Bush, with the infamous “import ban”). Who instituted “welfare reform”? (Bill Clinton). Who ensured China had most favored nation trade status and made it almost an economic necessity for corporations to relocate their manufacturing base to China? (Trick question! They all did that.)
The American Uniparty is corporate funded, sexually liberal, fiscally conservative, eager to print money, hungry for cheap labor, allergic to unions and manufacturing, happy to prostrate itself before Silicon Valley. Most of all, it’s always — and I mean always — interested in starting a war. Note that Mr. Trump has not started any wars. This infuriates his opponents, who reveled in Mr. Obama using his Nobel Peace Prize as a shield behind which to continue and expand the longest military action in American history.
The shocking election of Donald Trump four years didn’t destroy the Uniparty; in fact, they got much of their agenda accomplished during his Presidency. But the very notion that everyday Americans might have a representative, however imperfect, in the person of this NYC real estate con man/reality TV star has been intolerable to the usual conservative “thought leaders”, who are sickened by the idea of possibly being called upon to implement any part of a right-wing or populist agenda.
And that’s how you got NeverTrump, the group of overpaid conservative talking heads and party functionaries who have devoted the last four years to, in the words of CNN, “making sure that Donald Trump is a one-term President.” Like the snake of Genesis, they are forever whispering in the ears of Americans, trying to convince them of a fascinating, if highly illogical, proposition: that true Christians/evangelicals/conservatives must engage in “principled opposition” of Trump and his policies, all the better to ensure that Trump’s opponents triumph. They argue, for example, that Trump is not genuinely anti-abortion, and that therefore he must be replaced with a Democrat who would be… wholeheartedly pro-abortion. They suggest that Trump is not really a Christian, and that therefore he must be replaced with a committed atheist. You get the idea.
This appears absurd on its face until you realize that the whole conservative grift is reliant on there being a Democrat in office. Rush Limbaugh’s biggest years, income-wise, happened when Clinton and Obama were running the show. Ben Shapiro and all the Republican “talking heads” can’t make any money on a lecture tour when a Republican, however nominal, sits in the White House. In the same way that Antifa needs Nazis, the conservatives need a powerful Democrat administration in place so they have something against which to rail.
The worst of these people is David French, who literally makes a living griping about Democrats. His preferred election outcome is — no surprise! — the one that will earn him the highest speaking fees:
So, you are cheering for Joe Biden? I do not want Donald Trump to win reelection. Absolutely not. I want Trump to lose to Biden and the Republican Party to retain the Senate. That would prevent a triumphalist sweeping away of institutions like the filibuster. It would check any temptation to pack the courts, for example. It would remove from the field the worst-case scenarios at the same time that you remove from the field a president who has done more than any single human being in my lifetime to divide this country—and governed incompetently while he did it.
Note the telling phrase: “a president who has done more than any single human being in my lifetime to divide this country”. Yet we know that this country is deeply divided, and has been for the better part of thirty years. Trump’s sin isn’t dividing the country — it’s in giving a voice to the approximate half of the country which until 2016 had been expected to pay the salaries of the Washington Generals even as the team took a thousand losses in a row. The country was plenty divided in 2015, but there was no division in American public life because everyone was basically playing for the same Uniparty team. You might as well say that the average elementary school has no difference of opinion on whether there should be homework. There are two very different points of view in that school, but only one side has the advantage of making the law.
Should Joe Biden win this election, it will be by numbers well below that claimed by the NeverTrumpers. It will also be the first time in modern history that a major political party has knowingly thrown an election. This should concern you regardless of your political affiliation. A uniparty state doesn’t need to listen to the voters, whether those voters are populists or leftists or small-government “wingnuts”. It just listens to the donors, because the vote is a formality. We end up with a country governed by “consensus”. Consensus is deadly to democracy. It doesn’t allow for discussion or opposition. It’s built by, and for, a very specific group of people.
What’s the man say? “They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, ’cause they own this fucking place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.”