“When the tide goes out you find out who’s naked” is an old gag in the Wall Street world, often attributed to Warren Buffett. He likes to include it in his annual letters to investors. What he means by it is the risk positions of a company are only known when they face adverse conditions, like a downturn in the economy. Others have used a version of the aphorism to mean that you find out who is a smart investor when the market takes a downturn. Similar idea, broader application.
The same sort of thinking applies to politics. Like most Wall Street traders, the political class is the last notice the tide going out on them. Most came into the game during a rising tide and came to assume good times are perpetual. If you live in the Imperial Capital, this sense is reinforced by the fact it is always a boom time, in terms of the economy, around Washington. Every year trillions of dollars flow into the city and those dollars don’t spend themselves. It’s always Christmas in the DC.
The tide does go out in politics. The moderate Democrats learned that lesson in the early 1990’s as the party began to radicalize. For the longest time they got to play the old game of talking like a normal person at home, but going along with the radicals when it came time to vote. Then Newt Gingrich figured out how to exploit this contradiction and the moderate wing of the Democrat party was eliminated in the 1994 midterm elections. The tide went out and the moderates were naked.
Something similar happened with the neoconservative cabal that had controlled the Republican Party for decades. Their appeals to normal white guy patriotism had been so effective at directing support for their endless wars in the Middle East, they just assumed it would work forever. They did not see the growing backlash on their Right until Trump captured the Republican nomination. Their reaction to the tide going out on their enterprise revealed things about them best left concealed.
One of those things revealed in 2016 was just how much these people despises their target audience. That in turn has raised an age-old question about the sorts of people in the neoconservative movement. A warmonger like Jonah Goldberg never met a war you should not fight on his behalf, but he is always ready to lecture you on your moral failings while you wage that war on his behalf. What low tide for the neocons meant was the stench of an age-old hatred for the victims of their perfidy.
Today the tide is going out again and this time it is the remaining figures of Conservative Inc. showing their nature to the world. Nick Fuentes, the young YouTube personality, has become a bug-light of sorts, for grifters to immolate themselves on in a fit of moral outrage over the groypers. It is as if there is a secret contest to see which one can put on the best smug face as they shriek about Fuentes. One after another, the dull and the witless have stepped forward to bleat their unhappiness.
Here we have bugman Dan McLaughlin claiming he sees the army of the invisible Hitlers all around Fuentes. Here we have bourgeois hausfrau Claire Lehmann warning about tricksters between trips to the liquor cabinet. John Cardillo, who everyone assumed was dead, turned up to remind everyone why that would be his best career move. The only thing that guy needs is a pic of himself on his Harley that he never takes out of the driveway. He’s the B-roll of a documentary on boomer conservatism.
Another guy who should collect his paycheck wearing a ski mask and carry a gun is Jim Geraghty from National Review. He penned a tantrum that reads like an interview with a teenage girl after an accident. Not to be left out, David French chimed-in to remind everyone that he is the king of cucks.. French is a guy who stepped over the poor and suffering in his own backyard so he could kidnap an Africa baby to tote around as a trophy to his perverted sense of righteousness.
Of course, the guys with a color in their name have got in on the game. Here we have someone calling himself Dominic Green at the Spectator telling us the groypers are the real fascists. Here’s someone calling himself Matt Purple, at the ironically titled American Conservative, telling us Fuentes is the omen. Keep in mind that AmCon has defended and employed a guy regularly arrested for soliciting sex from children. Yet, they are outraged over talk about demographic reality. When the tide goes out, guys with colors in their name reveal their perfidy.
That is what is so revealing about these guys swarming to attack Fuentes and his young acolytes. They are so craven and hollow; they are incapable of seeing any humanity in these young men. They are antibodies of the establishment, attacking what they are told is a pathogen. Nowhere in their attacks do they mention that these are young men, motivated by a real concern for their future. For the automatons of Conservative Inc., none of that matters. They do what they are told.
In dissident circles, there is a debate about whether conservatism, as an institution, is worth saving. James Kirkpatrick has a book on the subject and has talked about this topic at various events. In the end, it may be a self-answering question. As the tide goes out and more and more of these people are revealed to be hollow, soulless men without chests, the conservative enterprise looks shabbier and uglier. At this point, the question is whether they can withstand the rising tide of the dissident right.
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