I'm kind of cool with it. The victory of Trump over the Democratic establishment made me feel oddly self-satisfied, as if some of the problems I see were seen by others and they responded. Much as I loathe democracy, there's a pleasure to that, as for the first time in a while I didn't feel like a man without a country.
This lasted one night.
Since then, of course, protests and riots and assorted childish stupidity. THIS does not surprise me. Laziness and arrogance lost the election for the left. No other candidate could have failed to win this thing except Hillary Clinton, arguably the least trustworthy career politician on this earth. Bernie would have won. Shit, Al Sharpton might have won. This was a freakish fluke.
But it's still an educational experience. Here are some things I learned, a couple things that are pleasant to see, and a couple that are definitely not.
First lesson: Donald Trump is not an idiot.
Of course lots of people have problems with political correctness, with the hollowing out of the industrial base through globalist trade, with the nakedly hypocritical leftist philosophy on race, and with general leftist intellectual arrogance. But what I expected was that the moral conditioning given to us by two thousand years of Judeo-Christian thought would simply not allow a majority of people to elect a man who looks like the stereotype of every big business bad guy from film and TV, electoral college be damned.
But evidently, Trump operates at a visceral level for a lot of people. I just happen to not be one of them. Others read between the lines of his rhetoric and concluded that he was on their side, regardless of his long-standing 1%er public persona. Looking back, it's not so surprising. But at the time, it was absurd to the point of laughable.
And I did laugh when he was elected. I damn near needed oxygen from a medical supply company, I was laughing so hard.
Eventually, I should probably admit that there are still a lot of people in this country who know that having rights and quality of life and security require exclusion, boundaries, and strategic concern for their culture. We still retain a touch of structuralism around these parts. I was worried the average person was too stupid to get this. And it was close; Hillary won the popular vote, despite being arguably the most passionless and untrustworthy candidate the left could have possibly brought forward.
But still, she lost. The conditioning is soft in the boondocks. Trump figured that out. And I, for one, welcome our newfound meme-tastic orange overlord who has risen from the ashes of their voting rage.
Second Lesson: The left's power is still limited
You know the saying: you can fool some people all the time, you can fool all people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time. Accusations of bigotry and small-mindedness come with limits, and right now, the left is scrambling internally to figure out how to deal with their own epic, insane failure, and the temper tantrum of last couple of days is not the way.
Jonathan Haidt knows this. He's one of the smarter ones, throwing out some very sophisticated ideas to explain away what just happened, trying to sound even-handed. He's still a partisan, mind you, and he knows that this reaction can go a long way in justifying a similar reaction from the right the next time they lose an election. Meanwhile, Slate is saying there's no such thing as a good Trump voter. Such sentiments are everywhere. That should bring them over to the side of good, post-haste!
Then there are the multitude of examples of blatant media partisanship from sources that, until this election, would tell you with a straight face that they were reporting the news and not creating it. This really won't hurt them in the long run, but the clear lack of trust in the MSM from Trump's constituency has set off alarms and the overbearingly superior attitude is currently in disarray.
If you were on Trump's side, then here, have some schadenfraude. Then top it off with some even richer, creamier hardcore schadenfraude.
Also, please note that, when it comes to Sanders, there's a tremendous appropriateness to this entire situation. Yes, Bernie would have won the general election. Free shit combined with his earnest idealism certainly would have done the job better, and it only needed to be a little bit better.
But the DNC fucked him, and this is beautiful. Why? Because Bernie is a socialist, meaning that he stands for the abandonment of individual agency in favor of a large, bureaucratic organization making decisions for people based on a politically pragmatic vision of what its leaders think is right.
And Bernie got fucked over by a large, bureaucratic organization making decisions for people based on a politically pragmatic vision of what its leaders thought was right.
And, as it turns out, it wasn't right, it didn't work, it didn't do the job, and the hubris was matched only by the complete disinterest in what their people really needed.
Third Lesson: The alt-right sucks now
This came from a brief period before the election, after the "deplorables" comment from Clinton, when I renewed my interest in things political and checked out some alt-right message boards. What I found was... interesting. Basically, I heard this:
Yes, the Jews. Covetous Jews.
Why, you ask, did it come down to this? Well, to gain voter support, leftists use ideas like "free shit, paid for by taxes on the rich" to bring in stupid people. This is compatible with, but quite different from, their more sophisticated ideas on class, morality, and the role of government. The alt-right, when they want to bring in voters, also has to simplify its message. And so while it might be able to trace some of its ideas back to neoreactionaries like Moldbug - sorry, (((Moldbug))) - it will go for the simplest, stupidest explanation possible. And that explanation is basically that the fuckin' Jews did it.
They mixed this with a general slagging of blacks, Muslims, and Mexicans, some shitposting and legitimate ideas, some very obviously genuine supremacist garbage that's contradictory and brazenly stupid. Some have called this a breakdown of a racial detante. It's a bold strategy, Cotton. It's simple. It gets attention. It's a conspiracy that directs no blame onto the dirt-poor country bumpkins these people think they're defending. Fucking perfect. There are even NRx guys who have given this lowest common denominator solution their full blessing. And I'm sure that after decades of PC culture, taunting the heebs and their hidden Jew gold is way too much fun.
The alt-right had to go low because voting! God, I hate democracy.
To these people, Trump is incredible. And I agree: he's incredible. As in not credible. Whatever wondrous magic they think he will accomplish in their name, disappointment is around the corner.
Lesson Four: this doesn't change anything
Once again, fucking democracy. Trump has four years. Since a fairly conventional Republican congress is waiting, he's already moderating his positions, largely because he's not an idiot. He will be burning a lot of his political capital to get healthcare reform passed - again - and any new infrastructure spending funded.
His economic policies are mostly meh. I'm the most hierarchical, pro-capitalist asshole I know, and I still don't think that radical reductions of the tax rate for the rich will be slamming growth into overdrive, certainly not enough to be revenue neutral. There's just as good of a chance that it will raise inflation for nothing, because we aren't going to see a mass influx of industry coming back to America and productivity changes from this kind of policy take forever. He's probably not going to be able to get those tax breaks passed regardless, and either way, we're going to continue with deficit spending for the next four years.
On social policy, Trump seems ready to do... nothing. There's certainly not going to be a rollback of gay rights or any such thing under his administration, no matter what Slate.com says. Right wingers of all stripes are certainly hoping for a few years of peace and quiet when it comes to social issues, even though the press is far more responsible for the promotion of SJW causes than the government. This peace and quiet is not going to happen.
And that's what we have to look forward to: the combination of the MSM losing and Trump's inevitable moderation of what he's promised means that the backlash over the next four years will probably hurt right-wing thinking more than help it over the long run.
It's starting already. Twitter just banned alt-right posters from using their service, because on top of them being repugnant to their way of thinking, they're also now considered dangerous, largely due to Steve Bannon getting an advising post in the White House. And while Bannon probably won't get anything done besides being a spin doctor, he's thrown fuel on the fire. Same goes for Richard Spencer, who is rapidly becoming a common political pincushion for writers at every MSM outlet.
In four years, having the memory of a vicious election behind them, you can expect an equally vicious "hate doesn't work" campaign from MSM pundits that will galvanize the left against Trump even more. Having lost the popular vote in the last election, the media and the reformed Democrats will pay attention this time and probably win.
So I'm not thrilled with this, after having some time to reflect. I was hoping the alt-right would be an intellectually respectable subculture that could help to undermine liberalism and Judeo-Christian morality into the next few generations, as the globalist/individualist scheme fell apart at the seams. But it's not happening; the alt-right, instead, has decided to try and become a voting block, which has already started crumbling into a emotionally volatile mess of idiots. In going full retard for democracy, it's handcuffed itself to its new hero, Trump, assuming he can do something positive and legitimize them.
That won't be easy: we're handing over an economy that's a mixed but good-looking situation: low unemployment, fairly high discretionary spending, cheap gas, mediocre but respectable growth. This is all cyclical, and not really a sign of Obama's policies working, but it's hard to tell for laymen. The underlying sicknesses, like low labor force participation and unsustainable Fed interest rates, are policy wonk crap the average urban voter won't care about. If Trump's economy doesn't boom, the right, especially the alt-right, loses.
Sorry to burst the bubble. I enjoyed it for a little while, too, and hopefully I'm wrong. The best possible thing that could come from this is an escalating, virulent conflict that eventually splits the country apart. I'm hoping for this.
Jon Stewart - sorry, (((Jon Stewart))) - has had some things to say. This simple quote sums up leftism, on at least somewhat honest terms.
America is not natural, natural is tribal. We're fighting against that, and that's what makes America great.
So Stewart has read Jonathan Haidt, and knows leftism is unnatural. And this is good. It's actual progress, because there are a lot of leftists who think of tribalism as unnatural, who think of cultural identity as something imposed on the individual, who think of conflict between peoples as a residue of hierarchy and class and power that could be eliminated with few issues. They might continue to push the PC line, but at least in the back of their minds, some of them know they are manipulating people for their own purposes and what they're preaching is ultimately as coercive as any other ideal.
Some of us would rather risk conflict than give up and shut our mouths and go along with this narrative. For some people, like the mouth-breathing portion of the alt-right, this willingness stems from a need to be above other people by cultural fiat. For a tiny handful of us who have been in the more intellectual nether regions of the alt right for years, it's because there are flaws in this narrative which make it deeply hypocritical, and once thought through, illuminate it as an extremely arrogant meta version of the same idealistic crap Western society has been chewing on for centuries.
The struggle continues.