Can the left become as corrupted as Trump’s right?


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The narrative of what, exactly, happened to conservatives in order to inflict a President Trump upon us all is by now well-established.

Post-WWII, two factions emerged on the Right: the angry, highly negative Long Island Republicans who gave us Joe McCarthy and the John Birch Society; and the William F. Buckley wing, represented today by his National Review magazine and its competitor, the Weekly Standard. For decades, the Buckley wing was in command of the GOP, with the rageheads, racists, and conspiracy-theory cranks of what was called at various times the “paleoconservative” or “populist” Right serving as begrudging but more-or-less loyal foot soldiers — because as much as they didn’t care for Goldwater, Rockefeller, or anyone named Bush, these guys sure hated Democrats a lot more, and their votes were guaranteed every fourth November.

Sure, the populists had a few backbenchers in Congress but, especially following Pat Buchanan’s 1992 “culture war” convention speech — which will show up again here — they were kept out of the most visible leadership spots of the party. As they grew increasingly bitter towards the GOP establishment (or “GOPe” in their lingo), an alternative media universe sprang up for them — first as newsletters and primitive pre-internet computer bulletin board systems; then as talk radio and, to some extent, FoxNews (which actually tried to serve both wings of the right, until the past year or so), on to internet forums and reddit, and finally Breitbart and its many imitators. 

It’s easy, and wrong, to dismiss all of these people as white supremacists or alt.right. Some are better described as “alt.light” or white “nationalist” instead. Mike Cernovich instead of Richard Spencer. I wrote more about the distinction here.

Despite the populists’ growing power and confidence, the establishment really did assume they could keep things under control under Jeb Bush, with Marco Rubio as his understudy. Queue the #TrumpTrain and, well, here we are.

This is important, because something analogous is going on with the other side.

antifaThe far Left views mainstream liberals and the Democratic establishment with the same contempt your typical Breitbart editor feels for the “GOPe.” Sure, they’ll attend the same protest marches and will reliably vote Dem, in opposition to the Republican candidate if nothing else. But for DNC leaders to just assume their support may be making the same fatal mistake of the GOPe before them.

As McCay Coppins notes at the Atlantic:

The Trump era has given rise to a vast alternative left-wing media infrastructure that operates largely out of the view of casual news consumers, but commands a massive audience and growing influence in liberal America. There are polemical podcasters and partisan click farms; wild-eyed conspiracists and cynical fabulists. Some traffic heavily in rumor and wage campaigns of misinformation; others are merely aggregators and commentators who have carved out a corner of the web for themselves. But taken together, they form a media universe where partisan hysteria is too easily stoked, and fake news can travel at the speed of light.

Sound familiar?

I remember an amazing sight from Occupy Wall Street’s brief revival in 2012. Two left-of-center protesters, sitting side-by-side, had messages for the police. One was, “I (heart) the NYPD!” The other: “FUCK THE PIGS!” I’m pretty sure only one of these two went on to fervently cheer on Hillary.

The main thing the raging left shares with the Breitbart Right: they are fueled primarily, perhaps only, by hatred of the other side.

This isn’t new. Read any communist screed written in America from the 1960s to today and you will read very little extolling the virtues of a classless society or a dictatorship of the proletariat or any other positive selling points. Rather, it is all nonstop anti-American ranting indistinguishable from the anti-American ranting of Iran’s very much non-communist leaders. A “tankie” on social media will gladly outline 50 ways why I, due to being an American citizen, am worse than Hitler; but ask them to write two sentences describing dialectical materialism, and you’ll get nothing but embarrassed silence while they hurriedly search Google.

Indeed, the quickest way to get thrown out of a communist or anarchist meeting is to say “America is not the worst country in the history of all time” — but most of the rest is negotiable. For instance, note the grouping of “communist” with “anarchist.” Why are these two wildly divergent philosophies basically interchangeable among the far left? It’s because the philosophy is subordinate to the hate, and they sure as shit are united in their hatred of Americans. Same with the various splinter factions of the alt.right uniting in their hatred of Jews and black people.

But, just as the alt.right represents only a small faction of the Breitbart Right, so do the communists and anarchists represent a small faction within the far Left. Bridging the gap are people uncannily duplicating many of their “alt.light” counterparts’ strategies. There are the conspiracy theorists like Louise Mensch, selling any batshit tall tale their fans want as the Lord’s truth — the mirror Alex Joneses. There are the monomaniacal anti-Republican websites and Facebook pages — the reverse Free Republics. There are the just-plain-cranks — Seth Abramson serving as the shadow Mike Cernovich. Then there’s cable-news host Joy Reid happily copying the cynical hucksterism of her counterparts such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.

Their enemies have noticed. As the extremism arms-race ratchets up, the Trumpist right is only too willing to crank up the heat. As per Dana Loesch’s infamous NRA tirade,

“There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself. And in that struggle for the soul of America, they are on the other side, and Donald Trump is on our side. … The mob was heading in, to ransack and loot the apartments of the terrified old men and women. When the troopers arrived, M-16s at the ready, the mob threatened and cursed, but the mob retreated. It had met the one thing that could stop it: force, rooted in justice, backed by courage.”

Oh wait, that’s actually from Pat Buchanan’s 1992 convention rant, other than an obvious edit. (Told you it was going to show up again.) Don’t forget: He had the same objective as Dana Loesch and Joy Reid, as Louise Mensch and Alex Jones, as the Antifa and the Proud Boys street brawlers: to keep Americans bitterly divided against other Americans, at least partly for his own personal power and profit.

I don’t know if a liberal Donald Trump will emerge. But with a pathetically weak and confused Democratic Establishment having no real bench from which to draw for 2020, and from the precedent that has now been set, it is hardly outside the realm of possibility that Mark Cuban, say, will turn and embrace the worst aspects of liberalism to secure the nomination — and the party.

There is a reason why the hucksters and the conspiracy theorists and even the communists might start sounding attractive these days to regular liberals. Their rage and their fantasies sound sweet when Trump’s latest barely-coherent tweetstorm is in the news again. But they do not want what’s better for regular Americans of any political stripe, including your own, no more than Hannity does. Do not buy their snake oil, or the Democratic Party will surely be left as utterly corrupted as the GOP, and with it, the remainder of the nation.

Because that’s the end game here. The dissolution of the United States of America via Article V Convention. You will be hearing more and more about this in the coming years, if the extremism just keeps going. Is that what what we really want?



What is a scandal?


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Conservative pundit S.E. Cupp touches on one of this week’s bits of skulduggery from the Trump administration — the leaks of Israeli intel to the Russians in this case, although any week’s scandal would do — to briefly discuss the usual response we all know and are sick of by now. The conflicting denials and rationalizations that are quickly detonated by a Trump tweet. The confused media. The Twitter outrage. The ducking-for-cover of Republican congressmen. The lack of resolution by the time the next scandal hits. After all, it took just 24 hours for the Russia-leak story to get buried by the news that James Comey may have notes from a meeting where Trump committed obstruction of justice.

But then she tries to compare the above to the various misdeeds and mistakes of the Obama era, calling them “scandals,” which begs the question.

Even if you accept that the Obama administration was gravely at fault in cases like the bungled Fast and Furious gun op, Benghazi, or Solyandra: Are these “scandals” where Obama stood to personally profit? Or can they be explained as cases of negligence or incompetence?

This is an important distinction. For the average member of the public, the word “scandal” means a politician tried to abuse his position for personal benefit. Whether financial, sexual, legal, or for the benefit of a friend or family member, or to simply look cool and “in the know” to the Russian ambassador — scandals require ulterior motives in order to be scandals. S.E. Cupp and other conservatives may not like this definition of “scandal,” but that’s what the people back home go by.


See, now this is an example of “personal profit” that the viewers back home understand.

And I have yet to see anyone make a case that Obama attempted to personally profit off of Benghazi, or his cowboy approach to drone strikes, or the bureaucratic nightmare that is the VA system. I mean, how does that even make any sense? Prove to me that he was sleeping with an incompetent VA manager or General Atomics was sending him a kickback every time he ordered a drone strike, and I’ll shut up. Otherwise, I suggest we stop calling every case of presidential bungling and screwing up a “scandal” lest that term lose all meaning and we’re comparing Reagan to Nixon over the Lebanon attacks of 1983.

The incident that most closely resembles the s-word was probably the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups for unfair audits. This, unlike most of the Obama-era problems Cupp lists, quite plainly was done in malign intent. But nobody ever proved that culpability extended beyond Lois Lerner and one IRS office in Cleveland, despite the Republicans’ best efforts. This is in contrast to Trump’s various depredations where his personal involvement, and personal profit motive, are not even in question.

Or there was former CIA head David Petraus getting into a good, old-fashioned Washington sex scandal with Paula Broadwell. Now there was a no-brainer case to deploy the s-word. We all understand how he “profited,” same as Fitz and Olivia up there. But on the other hand, that had nothing to do with Obama.

Obama’s mistakes are not called “scandals” by your average voter, and it’s not because of a liberal media pushing fake news. It’s because, absent any damning evidence that has yet to surface, they weren’t scandals. They were mistakes. Let’s stop using overheated terminology. Things are overheated enough these days.

Even the hard left is turning against Venezuelan dictator Maduro


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Every week, new stories emerge about Venezuela’s humanitarian and human-rights catastrophe as that once-proud nation slides into a nightmare of starvation, thuggery and death. Food and medicine go from scarce to unobtainable, and strongman Nicolas Maduro responds to civilian protests with further consolidation of once-democratic powers into his own hands.

Up until now, he has been aided and abetted by the usual characters of the hard left, who never need much encouragement to believe anything bad in the world is the fault of American imperialists and evil capitalists. The Maduro regime’s propaganda that Venezuela’s crisis is the fault of its right-wing opposition and American meddling found an easy home with the sort of people who put the hammer-and-sickle into their Facebook and Twitter profiles.

anti-maduroSo it is quite remarkable to stumble upon this piece in Jacobin, a magazine that makes Mother Jones look like National Review, decrying the Maduro’s regime’s slide into authoritarianism, and its gross incompetence at governance. The piece is naturally sprinkled with insults leveled at the hated anti-socialist opposition and other to-be-sures, but it is still amazing that Jacobin would ever state: “Yet while previous claims of Venezuela’s authoritarianism had little merit, this is no longer the case,” before enumerating some of the many anti-democratic moves of Venezuela’s dictator, for that is what he is by this point. And towards the end of the piece:

“Yet the Left cannot turn a blind eye to the government’s slide into authoritarianism, nor its inept policies. This is not out of an unwarranted blind faith in liberal, representative democracy, but because authoritarian rule is incompatible with the beautiful-albeit-contradictory-and-flawed project of building “participatory and protagonistic democracy,” which Chavismo helped advance.”

Any Jacobin writer putting out such a thought even a year ago would have been summarily fired and asked to surrender their A.N.S.W.E.R. membership cards.

Meanwhile, Bolshevist website, which up to now has been fanatically and predictably pro-Maduro, last month dared to even ask, however tentatively and after however much obligatory America-bashing: “Does Maduro violate those [Chavismo] principles or uphold them?” The writer meanders back and forth without even coming to a conclusion. Anything less than full-throated support for Maduro in this online Pravda is an ominous sign indeed.

And it only makes logical sense for the hard left to turn its back on Maduro. For one thing, he is an embarrassment for them and has been for years, as the right may now hold up Venezuela as a socialist horror story. Wouldn’t it be smarter for the left to just declare Maduro a failure who has let his predecessor down? That it was the man who failed socialism, and not that socialism failed Venezuela?

For another, throwing the Maduro regime off the bus makes the old tankie party line of “true communism has never been tried” easier to defend. Why not just say Maduro was a fake socialist only out to rob the Venezuelan people? Perhaps Jacobin will start pushing “Maduro: Capitalist Running Dog” pieces before this is all over.

But more than anything else, the desperate straits of the Venezuelan people should be the main story here. Responding to stories of starving babies with “oh this is just colonial imperialist nonsense designed to hurt dear leader Maduro, the well-fed guy sitting in the fancy palace” exposes the cruelty of the far left. They should at least pretend to care about the plight of the proletariat, if only for propaganda purposes. Even Stalin and Mao knew that.

Naturally, there will be some dead-enders who will never blame Maduro — there are some leftists who still openly wish they lived in North Korea, after all. But the smarter among them are realizing it may not be best to hitch their wagons to a man who should be hauled before The Hague for his crimes against humanity.

Not that that’s exactly stopped them before…

Immigration needs better arguments in its favor than “you’re all racist.”


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Here’s a short piece from last month on how a small-town mayor lost his job over trying to import Muslim refugees, over the objections of his constituents. The previously popular five-term mayor lost his reelection campaign by a whopping 17 points over this one issue.

Lest you think that local election might’ve been over something other than Muslim immigration, here is the defeated mayor himself: “As much as I said during the campaign that this was not a referendum on refugee resettlement … hindsight, looking back at it, absolutely a referendum on refugee resettlement.” Obvious parallels may be made with November 8, 2016.

The Slate piece sticks with the conventional wisdom that such sentiments are held by irredeemably racist whites. Except for the part where this small town is in Vermont, home of a presidential candidate not exactly known for his right-wing views. It never occurred to the Slate writer nor (until it was too late) the former mayor that people are sick and tired of connected elites forcing Islamic immigration on them over their objections with few arguments in their favor other than “diversity is an absolute good, because reasons” and more importantly, “all immigration opponents are racist dead-enders.”

Tell people they’re racist enough times, even if they live in one of the most reliably liberal states in the union, and they’ll finally give up, agree with you, and vote for the racist. Why not? They’re racist either way in the view of Brooklyn-based journos, right? Wasn’t Trump’s campaign just one long excuse for flyover-country white people to stick it to elites who dismiss them as racist hicks?

Here’s the hard fact: Everyone is tribal. Everyone. Including, of course, the cosmopolitans themselves. White Americans and Europeans are not more or less racist or tribal than Chinese people, or Kenyans, or Arabs. Import large numbers of South Asians to serve as workers in the UAE and guess what you get? That’s right, a huge heaping dose of good ol’ racism without a single white person in sight to blame.

Hell, the Japanese mistreat their tiny Korean minority even though they are of the same race. How do you think they’d feel about Syrian refugees? Here’s a hint: according to this WaPo piece, by Oct. 2016, Japan has accepted a grand total of six. Not six thousand. Not six hundred. Six.

syrian refugee japan

16.67% of Japan’s total Syrian refugee population is in this photo. Also, they apparently have Denny’s in Japan.

The Japanese get away with it, even though they are a developed First World nation, because they are somehow exempt from the nagging tut-tutting of the diversity/inclusivity-obsessed elites who love to lecture America and Europe. But if prime minister Shinzō Abe had forced refugees upon his hostile population in order to address Japan’s very real demographic problems and curry favor with the Davos set, he’d have been out of power just as sure as that Vermont mayor.

Tribalism is baked into our DNA. You need a lot more than “they’ll do the jobs we won’t do” and “you’re all racist” to overcome that at the polls. And we need better options on immigration than Germany’s policy vs. Japan’s. Sensible immigration plans with sensible restrictions help both parties, but you won’t have power long to implement them if your only argument for your tribalist voters is telling them, in the words of the Slate guy, they “face a choice: stay white and wither, or get diverse and grow.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda, the base breaker


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Role-playing computer games are judged on two independent things: narrative, and gameplay. An RPG has to tell a good story, while also serving the basic functions of a video game — and the gaming studio often delegates the two realms to completely different teams. It needs good dialogue just as much as it needs good combat, and this is true whether you’re talking about Fallout, Final Fantasy, The Witcher, or any BioWare game. And the latest entry into the latter’s catalogue looks like it will serve as an absolute base breaker: unlike any Mass Effect game, unlike any BioWare game in a long time, Mass Effect: Andromeda enjoys deeply-layered, well-thought gameplay, including exploration, combat, and multiplayer — at the expense of truly unfortunate cut-scenes and story.

ME:A is not a game that will see universal acclaim once press embargoes are lifted and full reviews go online Mar. 21. It falls gravely short of the exquisite quality demanded of BioWare writing, characterization, and animation. I was honestly surprised to see its PC-version Metacritic score just barely break 75%. But on the other hand, its bread-and-butter gameplay — the shooting, the leveling, the crafting, the exploration, and notably, the multiplayer — stands taller than any other Mass Effect entry, or arguably even any BioWare product since the original Knights of the Old Republic. This game is going to divide Nerdworld more decisively than The Dark Knight Rises. Great gameplay with a forgettable story is the way of Mass Effect’s brother-from-another-mother and one of its greatest influences: the Gears of War series. And geeks are having a bit of a crisis over seeing BioWare, of all studios, putting out a game with better wham-bam action but worse storytelling than Gears of War 4. What follows is an overly long post about the game’s glaring negatives — followed by its impressive positives. Either way, most players should wait for full reviews before making any decisions.

This dissertation comes from the 10-hour PC preview.

Continue reading

Confirmation bias and social media algorithms


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wkly47_15Slate takes an interesting deep dive into Twitter’s ranking algorithm, one that works to ensure that users see more tweets of the sort they “want” to see at the top at the expense of the kind they would not interact with. And it begs a question: why, exactly, are such sorted timelines more favored by users than a traditional non-sorted, chronological social media feed?

Twitter’s system is in the same vein as Facebook’s algorithm that has infamously turned that site into a honeycomb, where people never see or hear anything outside of their own little confirmation-biased lacunae. For instance, post your support of Trump on Zuckerberg’s site, and his machines will see to it that you will never be challenged by news that makes Trump look bad again. Trump-Putin scandal heating up again? The Trumpified Facebook user will only know about it by what sources like Breitbart tell them.

ingraham breitbart

Well, that settles that!

Twitter’s leadership, to its credit, is very conscious of what happened to their larger competitor and is trying to avoid the same pitfalls. But as Slate writer Will Oremus himself makes clear, any algorithm that favors content that users like, reply to, or repost/retweet, must therefore reinforce the echo chamber. It’s axiomatic. There is simply no way around it:

“On the other hand, the commentary it shows me about Trump’s tweets—and about politics in general—almost always comes from the left. No doubt that’s largely a function of the people I’ve chosen to follow: Most of them are liberal. Yet I’ve also taken care over the years to follow a number of pundits whose politics I disagree with… I rarely favorite or rebroadcast their tweets, or even click their links. But I do read them, and on the whole I find them indispensable.

Interestingly, Twitter’s timeline algorithm seems not to have picked up on this. For whatever reason, conservatives’ tweets virtually never seem to crack my ranked timeline or my ICYMI box.”


Even though unlike most people, Oremus goes out of his way to follow people he disagrees with, the algorithm still disfavors their tweets. Why? Because Oremus rarely likes, retweets, or replies to conservatives on Twitter, as opposed to the liberals who share his views. Because he mainly interacts with liberal tweets, Twitter will then show him more liberal tweets, and the echo chamber is born. Same thing happens with conservatives, who engage far more with fellow conservatives than they do the other side; their timelines inevitably become just as one-dimensional. It doesn’t matter how much Jack Dorsey tries to avoid turning his platform into Facebook — any such “more of the same” algorithm is playing by Facebook’s rules. Any such algorithm must wind up preaching to the choir, only playing the tunes they’re already humming.

And that’s exactly what people want.

People want the stories that appear to confirm what they already believe. They want to actively avoid the stories that challenge these beliefs. And not just in politics, either. How many Red Sox fans actively follow Yankees fansites?

It’s all tribal horseshit. Being liberal is more than just believing in diversity and labor rights. It’s about identifying with the liberal team. Most Trumpkins don’t go Trumpkin because they like the wall or the immigration ban. They go Trumpkin because they hate the liberal tribe. And he’s the biggest tribal warlord around who’s the avowed enemy of liberals. Who cares what his actual policy positions are? He could perform abortions in the White House, as Ann Coulter once suggested — it’s all good, as long as he skewers a few brown people or “libtards” in the process.

And because we are tribal animals, all news is propaganda. All of it. If it favors our clan, it’s gospel we’ll wolf up; if it challenges our side, we’ll run away yelling “FAKE NEWS!” because actual truth is less important measure of truth than whether it benefits our cause. We all become lawyers, pounding the table with any evidence, no matter how thin, in support of our case, and discrediting anything from the opposition. Even weather news gets filtered — reports about the unnaturally warm February this year becomes fodder to be retweeted and reposted to social media to prove your green creds, or else shouted down as enemy propaganda.

Facebook and Twitter (eagerly for the former, grudgingly for the latter) have accepted this reality of human nature, and are playing to it to grab more eyeballs and generate more clicks. This might be more dangerous for the latter’s pretensions of being a news source, but what can Jack Dorsey do about our tribal, orangutan diencephalons? Even if there were no sorting algorithms whatsoever, people’s Twitter feeds would still get slanted based just on who they follow. Oremus might go out of his way to follow conservatives that challenge his entrenched worldviews, but very few of his fellow progressives can claim likewise.

And hey, these ranking systems only get put in because they work. It’s what the consumer wants. And eventually, Dorsey has to listen more to his investors complaining about their flatlined stock than to idealists who still cling to outdated, ’90s fantasies of an “information superhighway” unpolluted by bias, propaganda or disinformation. Tweet about the Trumpkins’ echo chamber all you want — nobody outside your own will see it.

TVTropes to explain the new administration

No common theme, setting, or characterization in fiction escapes the attention of the venerable TVTropes site. Whether you are looking for an explanation of component parts of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Bride of Chucky, the Wiki-like army of geek editors has every last part nailed down.

tv-logoAnd since nobody from either side can quite figure out what the hell is going on with our new administration, why not turn to TVTropes? Starting with…

THE WHITE HOUSE: The Deadly Decadent Court. The senior, paid officials of the regime.



Enjoy the next four years!

Bannon’s not exactly a Nazi. But…


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A recent Cracked post here summarizes the arguments on why punching Nazis like Richard Spencer is counter-productive. Basically, it’s like rubbing your itchy eyes when your have allergies: no matter how good it feels, it’s just making matters worse.

One big reason is that punching Spencer lets him play the victim card. Now, you may point out this seems ridiculous when the guy who’s whining about getting punched in the face also celebrated a fellow white supremacist literally murdering multiple Muslims in Quebec with this tweet:


Which is still up on Twitter as of this writing.

… but this misses the point. You see, hypocrisy is not a bug of white supremacy and white nationalism, nor even a feature, but an absolutely critical component.

One central tenet of the Big Lie school of propaganda, beloved by both fascists and the far left, is to always accuse your enemies of that which you yourself are guilty of. For instance, fascists love to accuse others of censoring their viewpoints and trampling their First Amendment rights, despite the fact that fascists themselves instantly eliminate freedom of speech once in power. And as a corollary, they will cry to the heavens about any slight, real or imagined, suffered by themselves — but laugh and taunt when worse things happen to their enemies.

This hypocrisy exists because they feel like they deserve it. That white people deserve to get held to a better standard or, more accurately, that others deserve to be held to a worse standard. That a Nazi getting punched is worse than a Muslim getting shot because, for Spencer and other white supremacists, an innocent Muslim getting shot is on its own a moral good.

On this last part, white supremacists differ from their white nationalist cousins, and I hate that we are even having to devote energy to this ridiculous distinction, but it’s 2017 and here we are. And the two factions diverge from the same alt.right that held together until just after they helped get Trump elected.

White supremacists are today’s successors to the Klan and the Third Reich, and they are the racist boogeymen you learn of starting in grade school. There is no limit to their hate; more importantly, there is no strategy to their evil. What these guys never understood is that their nakedly evil rhetoric is precisely what keeps them on the fringes of society. Hardly anyone — not even hard-bitten Long Island Republicans or Milo-style trolls — wants to go that far.

And then we have the white nationalists, who are of course the real story of what’s going on these days. They apparently found their WS cousins useful during the campaign as shock troopers, but after Trump pulled off his win, they not-so-subtly parted ways, as evidenced by the split between Spencer and his WN counterpart, Mike Cernovich:

“There’s the alt-right [Cernovich said] which wants to do white identity politics, and then there’s people like me and Jeff [Giesea] who, we want to do nationalism without white identity politics… The alt-right’s dead.'” 

This from the guy who gladly described himself as alt-right up until he no longer needed to. Notorious Trump fanatic Bill Mitchell followed his lead, disavowing the alt-right and protesting to anyone who listens that he’s not a Nazi.

Nevertheless, the white nationalists share so many things in common with the white supremacists, that it doesn’t make sense to call them anything besides white nationalists, and not the term “economic nationalist” that’s preferred by the most powerful among their number, Steve Bannon.


He hates this picture. Please don’t share it repeatedly on social media.

To be sure, they are smarter than the WS’s. They understand that the scary rhetoric from Spencer, Daily Stormer head Andrew Anglin, and low-level Nazis at the local bar or online forum deeply offend the average voter and are never going to make it in the mainstream. They know they have to work with existing institutions such as elections, rather than pinning their hopes on fantasies of a violent race war. And while they may be working to make America whiter, they happily utilize black allies such as Sheriff David Clarke or gay Jews such as Milo. After all, unlike WS’s, they don’t want people of different races, sexualities, or religions wiped out in a genocide. They’re quite alright with them, as long as they all live elsewhere and/or accept second-class status.

On this, our American WNs were taught well by their European peers. When Cernovich slams a WS for trying to bring up the “Jewish Question,” it’s not because he gives a damn about the Jews. It’s because he knows perfectly well that European WN parties with decades of experience such as the National Front, Sweden Democrats and UKIP only gained success by also (at least publicly) shunning such speech. They do quite well compared to Britain’s openly WS party, the BNP, which has faded to irrelevancy. Old racist hobbyhorses like the “Jewish Question” or reminiscing about lynchings are sure losers and have no place in the new politics. Nobody understands the new order better than the former (?) head of Breitbart, and Bannon knows we aren’t restarting old battles from the 1930s.

Bannon knows that now, it isn’t about oppressing minorities. It’s instead about privileging members of the majority. It isn’t coming down hard on opponents of the regime. It’s about unfairly enriching friends of the regime. It isn’t about actively hating women. It’s about only looking after the interests of men. By at least papering over the virulent hate that defines the WS movement, the WN’s message becomes acceptable to a large percentage of regular mainstream people and their quite valid concerns about open-borders immigration and the selfishness of our current ruling class, concerns which Bannon correctly observes are only addressed by political movements resembling his own.

But though they quite loudly split from their WS cousins soon after the election, they are still cut from the same stuff. After all, just a few months ago, the two flavors of fascism were working together, hand in glove. They agree on most of the big issues, after all: that America and Europe should be mostly white; that all of Islam, and not just the radicals like ISIS, constitute a grave enemy; that women should again become chattel, concerned only with Kinder, Küche, Kirche; and that they hate the liberal globalists so badly that any strategy, no matter how ethically wrong, is fair game — and that includes the Big Lie.

Thus, we have a Trump White House that most definitely does not believe in the Golden Rule or turning the cheek, but that your enemies should be hurting far worse than you are, or else you’re doing it wrong. Or as Trump himself said, “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it.”

Steve Bannon is not going to throw people in ovens or otherwise revive the Third Reich, as much as the WS wants it and as much as some alarmists fear it. But not because of any moral reason. It’s because the Third Reich lost, and if there’s one thing that Trump and Bannon believe in, it’s winning.

And he knows pointless oppression against blacks or Jews is counterproductive and would soon get his protegé impeached. But Muslims? Only the Left seems to care about them these days, and keeping Left and Right at each other’s throat is just an added bonus to oppressing a people that Bannon truly despises. Keeping Left and Right fighting each other while the ruling class does what it wants was a favored trick of Bush 43 and Obama, and Bannon wasted no time appropriating it.

Read Breitbart articles, especially pre-Trump archives (but post- Bannon taking over after the founder’s death), to get a good appreciation of what’s in store for the country. Breitbart is not the Daily Stormer and Bannon is not a Nazi. But he’s coming from the same zip code, at least, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Sick Sad World: the alt.right didn’t just make up the concept of “cuck”

sick-sad-worldNobody except Trump himself got more outsized coverage than the alt.right and its rogues’ gallery this past election. Hardly a news cycle went by without Milo, Mike Cernovich, Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, or the anon troll army getting coverage due to one outrage or another. And, we all got to hear endlessly about their favorite insult: “cuck,” a term synonymous with the old white-supremacist term of “race-traitor,” meaning someone insufficiently racist or unwilling to oppress minorities.

The term “cuck” sprang from the fevered, paranoid mind of the racist white man and his ultimate fear: getting cheated on, or cuckolded, by a black man. Read enough of their online ramblings and you’ll note how much they obsess with the imagery of this in their insults of liberals, “normies,” and even each other. The fear of being cuckolded is near-universal among men, of course; male-dominated forums and social media channels, especially those of the alt.right, took this fear and amplified it by an order of magnitude. It was only natural that their insult “cuck” (and the related “cuckservative”) would bubble to the surface once the alt.right’s media coverage really took off in the fall of 2015. What I never saw explored by the media, though, was just how this weird cuckold fear took off to begin with, or what it represents about this men.

Except, no, they never invented it to begin with. Which, apparently, everyone but poor old sheltered me already knew. From this article posted in 2010:

This isn’t like swinging, and it’s not a threesome. Cuckolded men (aka “cucks”) only observe their wives’ infidelities, they don’t participate. And that’s why they find it a turn-on: They’re left out, looking on as the woman they love climaxes with a better man than them. It’s a form of psychological sadomasochism.

Dig down further and, paydirt:

But there’s also a somewhat uncomfortable racial angle to cuckolding. Cruise the galleries at cuckolding Web sites and you’ll see the same dynamic again and again: white husband, white wife, African-American other man. In cuck slang, these black men are dubbed “mandingos” or “bulls.”

So that explains that. All the word means is that Richard Spencer just reads more of Dan Savage’s column than I do.

It’s so hard to wrap my mind around how prevalent fetish culture and Rule 36 really are. It’s sort of like the difference between knowing what “one trillion dollars” means, and truly comprehending one trillion. It’s not a realm that I’ve ever entered, and I’ve never had a serious relationship with any girl who expressed any sort of interest, either. If you’ve only rarely been exposed to any sort of fetish IRL, it’s just not something that comes instinctively.

It says something about the porn-ified culture of ours that such concepts as cucking have become as natural topics of conversation as the weather — and it’s apparently not something we can pin on the alt.right, either. This all points to some deeper change in our culture, and not one I find all that welcome.

2016 Final Thoughts


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  • We’ve all seen all the “worst year ever” tweets and Facebook posts, and have maybe written more than a few ourselves. Know who really had one of the worst 2016’s? Huma Abedin. Just think. She started off the year as the next president’s right-hand woman, soon to have more influence than even Valerie Jarrett, and ended the year out of office, with no influence, no job other than with the withering, obsolescent Clinton Foundation; a laughingstock of an estranged husband that many believe gave Comey the ammunition to throw the election to Trump; a host of Dem insiders eager to blame her for the loss, rather than the idiotic campaign chairman John Podesta who allowed his email account to be phished, thus proving the maxim of men getting the credit and women getting the blame; the taint of being the female Sid Blumenthal only without Blumenthal’s vast resources to fall back on. I used to think of her as one of David Icke’s lizard people, but now it’s clear she may have been the only non-lizard-person in Hillary’s inner circle.
  • Trump gets a headstart to forming his expected autocratic kleptocracy via a compliant GOP Congress who will accede to his every whim. Sure, there are a few upstarts like Justin Amash who will protest, but they will soon find themselves outcasts in their own party. Other former #NeverTrumpers such as Ben Sasse quickly and quietly fell back into formation. And these fine Senators will rubber-stamp whichever obedient lapdog Trump will pick for the Supreme Court. And finally, the 2018 election map looks even more grim for the Democrats — and that’s even before the expected Putin- and Chavez-esque coopting of the election process that will be in place by then. America has finally established one of the necessary conditions for its destruction: one-party rule.
  • putin-strategyI expect the final dissolution of the United States to come via an Article V Convention. Basically, once convened, this national convention, backed by mirror state conventions in all 50 states, can alter the Constitution any way it pleases — or tear it up entirely. Putin, whose ultimate goal is revenge on the country he saw triumph over his beloved Soviet Union in 1991, is currently betting on a series of state secessions. He is funding both #CalExit and #Texit, but he’ll soon find these sputtering out with nowhere to go. The Article V Convention, however, has long been the goal of the far right to remake (i.e., destroy) the United States and purging it of dissident voices. Trump, of course, will need little urging to sign on to this. Conventional conservatives will help boost the process in Congress and state legislators, thinking they can control and guide the populist Trumpists who will really be in change. The Left, which has been pro-Russia and anti-America since the 1960s, will gladly sign on regardless; they mirror the strategy of German Communists circa 1932. It’s easy to see why Putin is currently thinking in terms of breakaway states: that is precisely what happened to the USSR in 1991. But once someone briefs him on the American Constitution and the Article V convention, he’ll shift strategies. Trumpists, of course, actually boast of taking orders from Moscow these days and will gladly accept the help. I talk more about that sort of convention here.
  • We’re seeing a similar thing happen to the EU, only with them, the secessionist strategy will be their undoing, beginning with Britain. Far-right, populist parties that now openly side with Trump surge in most countries. They are also fueled by the massive Islamic immigration crisis — and they are correct when they accuse the Establishment of encouraging ever-more Islamic immigration at the expense of secular-Western civilization. People like Le Pen are not lying about their enemies. The Establishment really is degenerate and failing, which is why our politics are so revolutionary all over these days. I’ve said it before: it’s best to think of political revolutions less as the radicals overpowering the Establishment and more of the Establishment being too weak, incompetent, selfish, and/or short-sighted to survive. Suicide, not homicide. After all, there are always people ready to light the torches and march on the palace. They can only succeed when the palace is too weak to fight back. The Russian Revolution, the French, the Iranian, the Chinese, the National Socialist — all took over from decrepit, incompetent Establishments that really did deserve to go, even if what came immediately after was worse. The same may be said of the West.
  • And the alt.right is not entirely wrong when they accuse our doomed Establishment of actively wanting to phase out white populations. I do see it all the time with coastal liberals, such as with the tweets of Buzzfeed writers. I don’t want to say much more about this because I don’t want to actually throw in with the Nazis, and to be honest, I personally have serious problems with white people because they have problems with me. I’ve never really been accepted by any white person, ever — starting with my own father. Black, Hispanic, and Persian people, however, never really had a problem with me or my eccentric mannerisms. One Dominican girl described me as “crazy enough that nobody will mess with you” on the streets of the Bronx, which was a hell of a compliment. White people, meanwhile, place enormous stock on the power and the joys of social exclusion. My white program director in residency was obsessed with destroying my career because I acted different. I never had white friends in grade school, only people of color. So much of white society is about expelling those who are different, mocking them, making them feel different, which is simply an alien concept for, say, black culture. (Would a complete weirdo like Kanye West have had even an ounce of his success if he were white?) But anyway. Rossalyn Warren, a more pure Establishment avatar than the combined boardrooms of Goldman Sachs and the New York Times Company, would love to see a brown America — just as long as they don’t live in her neighborhood. The alt.right is correct in this. As for me, unlike your typical Buzzfeed writer, I most definitely want people of color in my neighborhood. Have I mentioned that I live in Washington Heights?
  • Whatever the mess, we will survive. There will be the war, yes, but there will also be the post-war period. Never forget this, no matter how bad it gets.