The Battle Cry of the Ruling Class

For a couple of decades now, Jonah Goldberg has fashioned a lucrative career for himself as the man with two hats. One hat lets him be a man of the managerial class, writing books and a long winded articles on the wonderfulness of the status quo, as well as the people in charge of it.

The other hat lets him be the proletarian every-man who likes bad movies and throwing food at the screen when a ruling class type comes in the scene. This act has got him a spot in elite conservative media, a perch at a conservative think tank and a big house in one of the richest counties on earth.

Way back when Jonah Goldberg was still working on the act, he used to do mixers where he would show up at a bar and mix it up with the readers of National Review Online. This was late 90’s early 2000’s or thereabouts. At the time, Goldberg was still approachable so I approached him and we chatted a bit. I mentioned in passing something about VDare, I don’t recall what any more, but the reaction from Goldberg is what I do remember clearly.

He went from being a jocular dufus to being a serious scold. His exact words were “You should not talk about that or any of them. Trust me. Don’t even read it.” The serious look of panic on his face has always stuck with me. I’ve never been a VDare reader, then or now, I just knew it from John Derbyshire and that was the context in which I mentioned it. If Jonah’s fear had mass, a black hole would have opened up and sucked everyone into it.

I bring up this incident as a bit of a follow up to my post the other day on the weaponization of race by the left side of the ruling coalition. Peter Brimelow and the people that appear on his site have been declared un-persons due to their lack of faith. Even associating with them is cause for expulsion. Bob Weisberg was ceremoniously fired for having been in proximity to these un-persons. You’ll note the extra effort to signal to the left side that the official position of the right side is no different from that of the left side.

It’s also a good lead-in to another topic, the Trumpaphobia that is breaking out like hives on the flesh of the conservative media. Jonah Goldberg has this column up today, which is a column length version of “This Is Not Who We Are”, the new anthem of Conservative Inc. All week one version or another of “this is not who we are” has been trumpeted by those brave heroes in conservative media., who when wearing the proletarian hat, claim to be fighting the good fight on our behalf.

At first blush, it appears Goldberg is just repeating the same chant we have been hearing for a year now. “Donald Trump is no Conservative!” The use of abracadabra words is not just a peculiar tick of Progressives. The Professional Right does it too. Anyone who threatens their comfortable lifestyles like Bob Weisberg mentioned above, gets excommunicated from the Church of Modern Conservatism. Trump exposes the conservative media racket for what it is so they hate him for it.

That’s what is often missed. The way it is supposed to work is the GOP works with National Review, Fox News, “grass roots” organizations that have K Street offices and so on. That way, these folks can make some money, get relatives jobs in the bureaucracy and look like players in the “arena of ideas.” In return, these groups go to the megaphones and rally the voters by declaring the GOP candidate the next Ronald Reagan.

Trump, obviously, is having none of that and he is winning. That’s a big problem if you make your living selling GOP product in conservative media. The folks at Fox News used to think they were the gatekeepers, the king makers on the Right. Now they look like chumps because the guy most likely to win the GOP nomination treats them like human footstools. The ditsy blonde they sent out to whack Trump in the first debate came back in a shoe box and they have never recovered from it.

The other thing Goldberg is up to here is signaling to the other side of the managerial class that he remains a good thinker. He closes with this:

And I would argue that his “very conservative” followers aren’t supporting Trump because he’s a conservative but because he’s a walking, talking thumb in the eyes of “elites” in the media and both parties. The claim that Trump is a committed conservative is not very believable. Until recently, he was for higher taxes on the wealthy, taking in Syrian refugees, and single-payer health care. He almost never talks about the Constitution, faith, or liberty unless forced to. In 2012, Trump condemned Mitt Romney for being too harsh on illegal immigration. In May of this year, he attacked “publicity seekers” who needlessly provoked Muslims.

Put another way, Goldberg is telling his coevals in the media that “real” conservative just talk about stuff and never offer any resistance to the status quo or the dominance of the American Left. Anything that smacks of real resistance or an alternative to the moral superstructure of the status quo is off-limits. These columns emanating from conservative media are no about Trump, immigration or popular Right. They are loyalty oaths.

If it comes down to it, if the choice is between the bad thinkers and their racist, fascist Islamophobia, Jonah and all “good conservatives” will lock shields with their Progressive brothers and defend the status quo to the death if necessary. Egalitarianism, Multiculturalism and Antiracism are the raison d’etre and cri de guerre of the ruling class.

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21 Comments on "The Battle Cry of the Ruling Class"

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You’re a intelligent man Z, you know that the same Tribe that runs the Left also runs the Professional Right in this country.


Trump is probably not a “true conservative”, and might govern as lawlessly as Obama has done. But the old school conservatives offer no alternative to the status quo, none. Continuing a failed policy is foolish, so Trump, Cruz, and Carson offer alternatives.


A problem with running things for a long time, the two parties forget there are ideas other than theirs. Leaders of the ruling parties, then, are unable to recognize as valid any belief not springing from party headquarters. The response: “This cannot be true! This … OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!”

I’m not much of a Trump supporter but I’m sick of “This is not who we are”. Right media tries as hard as left media to control the debate and even what the hell we’re allowed to think. I resent it. Tell me what you think or know, state your case, then allow me to make up my own mind. I’m 65+ and have worked full time since I was a kid, had two employers fold up but never collected an unemployment check, carried a rifle for 18 months in the mountains of VN, paid off loans and mortgages, helped… Read more »

“….defend the status quo to the death…”

Highly unlikely.

Buckaroo Banzai

Is it unreasonable to think that media outlets like NRO are literally bought-and-paid-for by the Progressive Left? I don’t know what kind of person Jonah Goldberg is–maybe he is simply prone to overdramatization– but your anecdote implies that he regarded VDare as an actual existential threat to his livelihood, instead of merely a fringe blog espousing views he didn’t agree with. Seriously, in the early 2000s, NRO’s traffic must have outnumbered VDare’s by a factor of at least a hundred to one. How is that a threat, unless your very livelihood is at stake?


For the Tribe any dissident opinion is a existential threat, thats why they try so hard to control the debate between the “Left” and “Right”.

james wilson

It took me a very long time to understand that all Progs who pull the levers of opinion detest democracy for the odious beast that it is. Their vision not being obscured by false sentiment, they seek to train the beast like they would any domestic animal, and they have succeeded. That they have paid so little attention to the true condition of their own minds fits right into the democratic gimcrack.

johnny wendigo

Remember when Jonah’s Mummy Lucianne Goldberg was calling ZZ Tops “Terrorists” because of the beards? Still, unlike her son, Lucianne seem to have smarten up and sound like to be on the Trump bandwagon, from her postings…

Andy Texan

Excellent analysis of the progressive morality triptych which has co-opted “our side.” Trump has survived the goring of many oxen. Do you think he could survive the use of the ‘nigger’ epithet or would the earth open up and swallow him whole (like the end of Don Giovanni)?

Fuel Filter

Well, well, how’z ’bout these two apples…the first from yesterday…

And today, ¡Yeb! has echoed Trump’s call for a temporary halt.

What a pathetic tool he is. He’ll be outta here after he takes a political dirt nap in NH.

Joseph Moroco

“Jonah and all “good conservatives” will lock shields with their Progressive brothers”

But the Progressive brothers will not lock shields with Jonah and the good conservatives.


More like a battle snivel or battle whine…


If you are a serious enemy of VDare, you would read it and never allow it to be distinctive in any way except where it dipped into socially unacceptable opinion. That is what the Democrats and Republicans did to the Dixiecrats. Forget whether Johnah’s on the side of the angels or the side of the devils, his advice to not even read VDare is just politically dumb. If the incident is true (I’ve got no way to know) it causes me to lose respect for him.