Note: This week’s Taki post is related to today’s post, but it is a more high brow look at the subject of ideological fanaticism. There is a podcast up behind the green door which delves into the same topics.
Arguably, the first casualty of the antiestablishment uprising that began toward the end of the Obama administration was David French. Unlike most of Conservative Inc., French was too dumb to avoid mixing it up on-line with the smart kids who create clever memes and troll establishment media figures. He became the poster boy for what came to be known as the cuckservatives. As Tucker Carlson noted, French is the sort of person who can only exist in the world of non-profit Conservatism.
What makes a dullard like David French stand out in the bland nothingness that is the conservative intelligentsia is his unbridled narcissism. Most of Conservative Inc. knows they are just overly paid time-servers lucky to have comfortable lives. That is why they make sure to never say a discouraging word. David French, on the other hand, imagines himself to be a world historical figure. He does not believe in much, but he firmly believes in the importance of David French.
That may seem like a bit much, given that he is a dumpy old bald man with the voice of Mickey Mouse and the IQ of Goofy. Remember, this is a man who serious thought about running for president in 2016. That’s right. He spent a month doing a Hamlet routine at NRO over whether he should run an independent campaign to block Trump in the general election. Only a narcissistic fanatic could imagine himself going from C-list pundit to national political figure.
This is what brought French to the attention of most people. Prior to his embrace of smarmy anti-Trump crankery, he was just the guy you skipped over when scanning a conservative website. He was the nobody’s nobody. Then he piled into the clown car known as the NeverTrump movement. His obnoxious blend of narcissistic fanaticism and comical mediocrity made him the face of conservatism. For many, David French became the prime example, of what went wrong with the Right.
This over-the-top zeal was not a new thing. Back in 2010 when he was promoting himself as the most Bible-believing Christian on earth, he and his wife flew to Africa and brought back an African child. You see, his version of Christianity told him he had to go and save the world. Sure, it meant stepping over any number of orphaned kids in his own backyard, but all the cool people were adopting Africans, so America’s greatest Christian could not settle for a local orphan.
Ever since he has been waving the kid around to remind us of his goodness. Here we have a piece in the far-left site The Atlantic, where America’s greatest Christian, a Chris-like figure himself when you consider it, tells us we are letting him down. Here he is on NPR, repeating the same slanders. You see, owning an African was not the boon to his career that he imagined, so it must mean America is full of bigots. America is just not good enough for a benevolent figure like David French.
Now, the CRT debate offers him a chance to wave around his trophy kid and lecture the rest of us about his goodness. Here he is arguing in The New York Times that the people who oppose Critical Race Theory are bigots. To prove he is America’s messiah, he partnered with a black guy who hates white people, a Jewish guy who claims Trump is actually Hitler and a mulatto who hates himself. You see, America’s leading Christian is uniting the races in the war against the bigots.
In that Times essay, they claim that banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory and its variants is wrong because we are supposed to have an open society. This demands an open debate of ideas. French writes, “These laws threaten the basic purpose of a historical education in a liberal democracy. But censorship is the wrong approach even to the concepts that are the intended targets of these laws.” Just a few days later he was cheering the removal of Nicholas Fuentes from Twitter.
David French regularly reminds us that in addition to being America’s leading Christian, he is also the William F. Buckley of this age. He is the voice of conservatism fighting against the dark forces of intolerance and populism. Say what you will about Bill Buckley though, he would have noticed if his biggest fans were on the Left, but the praise and applause is all that matters to French. To the narcissist, attention and praise are the narcotic of their existence. The source is unimportant.
It is tempting to dismiss David French as just another a public buffoon, but there is something darker at work here. French not only waves the African kid around like a bloody shirt, but he clearly worries more about her future than the future of his natural born white children. He has never been moved to write a long essay about his concerns for their future as minorities in nonwhite America. His position on CRT suggests he does not think about them at all. They don’t serve the cause.
It is difficult for normal people to understand the mind of someone who uses their children as props in their narcissistic fantasies. Similarly, it is hard for normal people to understand the mind of the those who enthusiastically commit atrocities in the name of their cause. These are people who thoroughly confuse their own identity with that of the cause they serve. Their narcissism tells them that everything they do is justified, because they are a world historical figures.
Critical Race Theory is by definition cultural genocide. This is the appeal to the sorts of people who think starting over from a clean slate is the best course. The people who look at every human tragedy as a chance to advance their cause and thus advance their own heroic story are the sorts of people who think the death of a million people is nothing more than a statistic. They are not just consumed by ideology, but driven by a narcissistic fanaticism that excuses all excesses.
C. S. Lewis famously wrote that “a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” The sorts of people who torment us for our own good do so with the approval of their own conscience. That is what we see with the antiwhite fanatics pushing things like CRT. Guys like French have no trouble slamming the oven door shut because he never stops believing in his righteousness. History’s greatest monsters were all driven by this same certainty.
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