A common misconception among the more cynical on this side of the great divide is that the people running grifts like TP-USA are all in on the grift. That the front men are just as aware of the con being worked as the people who finance them. While that can be true, it is not always true. In fact, in most cases the front man is a true believer, who really believes the stuff he is preaching. That’s why the backers picked him. They did not have to worry about him having a crisis of conscience.
That appears to be the case with Charlie Kirk, the deformed looking fellow that is the front man for TP-USA, the synthetic grassroots college group. After hooligans disrupted his college tour with difficult questions, he has reportedly been threatening to quit the show, as he was so distraught over what is happening. He was unprepared for anything but an adoring audience of fellow believers. He expected his college road show to be him evangelizing to fellow zealots. Instead he is being mocked.
When you stop and think about it, it is easy to see that he is not a cold, calculating schemer running a complex grift. For starters, he is not that bright. That’s clear by how badly he has handled the questions from the hooligans. Even a young con-man is quick on his feet when in a jam. That’s what leads them into the grifter lifestyle. Kirk, on the other hand, is completely unprepared for the push-back he is getting, because he just assumed everyone in the crowd believed the same nonsense he believes.
In fairness to Kirk, he is not alone in believing nonsense. The Bush years are a great example of how you can fool most of the people for just a little while, if you give them a reason to feel they are sacrificing for a larger goal. The flag waving and talk of spreading democracy to the barbarians was powerful magic. For people in a fading empire, with an uncertain demographic future, a moral war to make the world right again was a beautiful reprieve from their daily reality.
Now, there are cynical grifters in these scams. Dan Crenshaw, the congressman from Texas, is a great example. Like John McCain, he as figured out how to wrap himself in the flag, while peddling the nonsense paid for by the usual suspects. He’s running around trying to convince young white men to throw their life away on pointless wars in the Middle East, while telling them the future is going to be brown. If one wanted to conjure a modern example of pure evil, Pirate Dan is a good start.
In many ways, these Potemkin movements ginned up by the usual suspects mirror what is done in the pop music business. The sharps who have run that business since the inception, are always fishing for a new act. When they find one, they flood the market with copies until the public losses interest. Then it is onto the next act. Meanwhile, the boys and girls trying to become pop starts are sure they are getting noticed because they have talent. The carny folk prey on those wishing to be stars.
The difference between what is happening with the political hucksters and the entertainment rackets is there is no feedback loop. Music producers have to move product. Movie makers have to sell tickets. The political theater generally lacks such immediate returns. Both sides of the ruling class can rig the venues and seed the audience with fellow grifters, thus having the effect of being popular. Eventually, the people running these scams start to fall for their own con.
That may be what we are seeing with TP-USA. The same sorts backing this racket successfully made that ridiculous hobbit Ben Shapiro a star. They even made the odious Dinesh D’Souza a star in the last election cycle. Of course, they were able to quickly turn the Tea party into a racket. Running these scams has been so easy for so long, they got sloppy. They made the mistake of getting high off their own supply and started making mistakes. The result is the ongoing debacle of TP-USA.
The lesson though is that humans are built to believe. It is a part of our nature that is probably the oldest part of our nature. Belief probably co-evolved with language as a way to allow us to share complex thought and abstract concepts. While modern Americans may have stopped participating on traditional religion, that desire to be a part of a shared belief is still there. People will believe in something. The question is what will they believe and to what purpose will those beliefs point them.
The alternative to the cynical nonsense from the usual suspects is not just a rebuttal of their assertions. It is also an alternative set of beliefs, which in the simplest sense is an alternative vision of the future. “This is who we are and this what we do, because this is the future we want for our posterity” is what holds a people together. Politics is not an argument about the present, but the future. Offer a more promising vision of the future and people will come to believe they can achieve it.
That’s really what these scams are about, when you examine them. They keep conjuring one fake youth movement after another so the young don’t start thinking about a better future than what is on offer. If young whites suddenly stop believing in consumerism, they will believe in and fight for something else. If they stop thinking brown is beautiful, not only is Pirate Dan out of a job, demographic replacement becomes a rallying point around which to oppose the ruling class.
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