Note: For those who Allah has blessed with a soul, there is a review of the near classic Western, Dance with Wolves up behind the green door. Those without a sub, condemned to a life of darkness, may Allah have pity on you.
For generations, one of the ironies of American politics is that the rank and file of the two main factions never get what they want but they stick with their side. The recent election is a good example of this as the “winning team” was immediately finked on by their party. They thought the message they sent to their leaders and the rulers is they are done with the craziness. The Republican leaders promptly supported the Democrats in generating more crazy.
It has been noted before that for the people who call themselves conservative and support the Republican Party, their best president was Bill Clinton. His was the most conservative administration since Eisenhower, according to the modern definition of conservative. The worst president was George W. Bush, the guy the Republican Party claimed was the epitome of conservatism. Conservative voters still hate Bill Clinton and mostly ignore Bush.
The Democrat side is not much better. The typical Democrat thought was Bush was Hitler reimagined, but he gave them almost everything they wanted. They opposed his crusades against Islam, but only because he was leading it. They forgot all about their antiwar rhetoric when their guy was installed to lead the crusade. Their most recent hero, Barak Obama, delivered on none of his promises to them. Instead, he catered to the party’s ideological and financial interests
There have been many attempts to explain this. The ideological march to the Left has been described as the ratchet effect. The political dynamic is the Left proposes, the Right opposes, and the synthesis is 80% of what the Left demanded. The cycle repeats with each election to one degree or another. The result is that America has become increasingly ideological in its politics and increasingly left-wing. The subsequent policy changes reflect the ideological march to the Left.
This may have been true in the Cold War with regards to domestic policy and perhaps the muscle memory remains but there is something else. Since the end of the Cold War, the American Left embraces cultural Marxism. The old liberalism, which was very lightly decorated with Marxist rhetoric, has given way to a politics of critical theory and Gramscian cultural politics. The Left is now purely about agitation and menticide in order to undermine and collapse the dominant culture.
This has led to a change in what conservatism sells to its side of the fight. The subplot of Republican politics is now stability, safety, and normalcy. The constant crisis of corruption that marked the Clinton years was replaced by the patriotic normalcy of the Bush years. The Republicans are now selling this as an antidote to the uncertainty and instability of the Trump – Biden years. The Virginia election was all about a return to normalcy so conservative voters could go back to grilling.
The new dynamic, new as in the last thirty years, is a clash of visions divorced from actual policy disputes. The one side promises to subvert, disrupt, and confront the prevailing order. The other side promises to supply stability, safety, and a sense of normalcy to society. One side wants to shake the snow globe until is it destroyed and the other side wants to place it back on the shelf so it can settle. Both sides agree on the shared premise of their position.
That shared premise is supplied by the Left. The core assumption of the modern Left is the Marxist assumption. Man is naturally communistic. The old Marxists thought it was the economic arrangements of capitalism that locked man into a competitive struggle with himself, rather than settling into his natural communism. The new Marxists think the villain is culture. They have seized control of the means of cultural production so they can liberate man from bourgeois society.
The so-called conservatives, perhaps unwittingly, accept this premise. They seek to prevent the Left from shaking society apart with their endless disruptions. Their defense of the status quo is not so much a defense of the natural order, something they now fear uttering even in private. Instead, their defense of the present order is simply to provide them with a role in the process. The Left proposes and the Right opposes is now the Left disrupts and the Right cleans up the mess.
This was why both sides feared and hated Trump and his supporters. It is not a policy issue or even a presentation issue. It is the clash of visions. The people most enthusiastically on the side of Trump think that man’s natural state is not communistic but orderly and hierarchical. They think if the prevailing orthodoxy collapses, what rises from the ashes is not communism but a new traditionalism. More important, the Left will no longer have barricades behind which they can hide.
This is why the critiques of Trump by people claiming to be outside the political dynamic are narrow and childish. He was not the Pinochet they imagined, so they slammed their rattle on the highchair and threw a tantrum. Just as the Trump phenomena exposed the hollowness of conservatism, it revealed the shallowness of what is often fobbed off as a dissident critique of it. They failed to understand that Trump was just a wrecker who wanted to tear it down and let nature take its course.
In fairness, Trump may not even get this deeper meaning of his politics, as he is not inclined to intellectual introspection. Most of his red-cap wearing loyalists are blissfully unaware of this sort of analysis. That is not the point. The point is they start from the assumption that if they could burn it all down, what would naturally rise up in its place is the sort of orderly hierarchy the genuine Right thinks is man’s nature. It is a rejection of the core belief of the ruling orthodoxy.
The lesson here is that a genuine opposition should look at the calls for stability and normalcy the same way they view the calls for subversion and disruption. They are two sides of the same coin, two dancing partners heading to the same end. The antidote to left-wing disruption is not stability, but right-wing disruption that helps break the white middle-class of its addiction to stability and compromise. A genuine alternative seeks to radicalize rather than anesthetize the middle-class.
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