If you are on twitter, you no doubt have seen the twitter meme #cuckservative popping up on or against right-wing (allegedly right-wing) twitter feeds. Or is it twitterers? If you put the term into a Google machine you get a decent array of stories discussing it. This summary from VDare does a good job describing its origins. Here’s a bite-sized story on the origins of the “social media fire storm” otherwise known as a tempest in a tea kettle.
A year or so ago I was made aware of the cuckold fetish by the usual way we stumble onto strange things these days. I put the word into Google, which I often use for spell check or to research the etymology of a word. I had no idea there was such a “thing” as a cuckold fetish, so I was more than a little surprised at what came back from my search. I admit to being a bit of prude so maybe all the cool kids are into this and I’m the weirdo.
It’s that prudishness that causes me to turn my nose up at this trend and the phrase itself. The word itself, cuckservative, just sounds disgusting. Some words are naturally pleasing to the ear, even when they describe disgusting things, while other words sound harsh and crude. The term for this effect is synesthesia. In this case, cuckservative sounds crude because it is crude.
That said, big-foot journalists are noticing it and feel the need to comment upon it. The people rallying to the cause tend to make for colorful stories in the liberal media about the need to crack down on racism so my guess is this turns into a fiasco for the people championing it. The media will find a couple of colorful nutters ranting about the “Negroes” and make them representative of the racist bogeymen the left swears are lurking around every corner.
That’s the media circus. The real story, I think, is that ultra-fringy types have been able to get the attention of the for-hire conservatives that have come to dominate Conservative Inc. The reaction seen on twitter suggests to me that these people have been caught entirely unaware of the deep resentment toward them amongst many on the Right. Erick Erickson, for example, has been going around thinking he is a man of the people only to learn that the people are laughing at him.
I’m picking on Erick Erickson here only because I saw his twitter spat the other night. For all I know he could be a rock-ribbed conservative with impeccable credentials. I don’t read his site very often. I just look at foaming at the mouth rants like this one he posted and I suspect he’s a guy who likes speaking down to people like me. If I’m wrong I will be grateful for the correction.
What’s striking about this to me is we saw something similar in Europe where utra-fringy groups, branded as off-limits to decent people, gained support mocking the ruling elite over issues like immigration. They had their share of cranks and wack-jobs dressing up as Hitler, but they also had snarky amused types who made sport of the very serious people warning about the comedic threats on social media. Before long a lot of normal people started joining in on the fun.
The best example of this phenomenon is Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement. It’s best weapon has been mockery. It’s very hard to demonize someone who is laughing and having a good time. This was something the American Right said they learned from Reagan. They were running around calling each other happy warriors throughout the 90’s, but that was mostly to hide the surrendering. Now, the Right is nothing but dry technocrats.
Donald Trump is where he is right now because he is good at mocking the very serious people in the GOP and in the media. Ted Cruz is probably even more critical of his party and the media establishment, but he is about as funny as cancer.I saw him on television the other day and I was reminded of Mr. Burns from the Simpsons, except Cruz is not as self-deprecating.
The ground is shifting under the feet of the ruling classes. They can sense it, which explains the hysterics over Trump and to a lesser degree Sanders. Kevin Williamson, the very serious person at National Review, has written dress-over-the-head rants about both Trump and Sanders this month. In fact, he has written two rants about Sanders and two about Trump, all of them implying they are Nazis and their supporters insane.
Not being a seer, I have no idea what will come of this #cuckservative thing. My inclination is to say it will flame out and go away. Similarly, the people in charge will figure out how to deal with the growing tide of popular discontent. No matter how revolting the leaders, the people will not revolt. It’s no longer in the fiber of the people. But, maybe I’m wrong.