American History, Analysis, Charles, Law, Political Discussion & Analysis, Social Behavior, Wars To Come
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On the January 2021 Electoral Justice Protest

On January 6, several thousand men and women made their voices heard—first around, and then some in, the United States Capitol. This event has received vast attention and been assigned many meanings. But only one meaning, one interpretation, of this Electoral Justice Protest matters; the rest are ephemera or lies. It was the first time in the modern era that the great mass of non-elite Americans, suffering actual oppression for decades (as opposed to the fake oppression falsely claimed by the various elements of the Left intersectional coalition), voiceless and endlessly hectored that they should hate themselves and fear their masters, realized they have power and can actually change the course of history. From this flows everything that will determine our future.

Two crucial pieces of tactical knowledge derive from this strategic meaning. First, while it is true that who controls the truth, controls the future, we now see that despite their best efforts, our enemies can no longer control the truth. This reality is why we have seen such a vicious, hysterical reaction to the Protest by the Left, across all their many sources of power. They are afraid, and they should be, and we should give them good reason to be yet more afraid. Second, the Protest points to a method to weaponize the oppressed mass of Americans—by using the truth to highlight the distinction between friend and enemy, which distinction the Left unwisely believed was only for them both spear and shield. And how should we use this tactical knowledge? Much of that remains to be revealed, but we should always remember what Napoleon said when asked how he came to be Emperor: “I came across the crown of France lying in the street, and I picked it up with my sword.”

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Why write this article? Who needs another Right-leaning piece about the Protest? Certainly, we don’t need most of them, filled with preemptive apologies and refusing to forthrightly admit that the Protest was an admirable event, having much in common with other (formerly) celebrated episodes in American history, notably the Boston Tea Party. Even less do we need more complaint by the Right about the hypocrisy and double standards of the Left, in their shrieking, rabid denunciations of the Protest as they celebrate the Floyd Riots and other leftist violence. Such complaints are legitimate, but so what? Talking about the Left’s intellectual incoherence and moral failings is a trap set by our enemies, who care about neither coherence nor morals, and laugh as we make intellectual arguments, and plead for comity and goodwill. In the same way, we don’t need more whiny pieces pleading for recognition of moral equivalency, because there is no moral equivalency between the goals of Right and Left. Theirs are evil and ours are not. The Floyd Riots were bad and the Protest was good. Who is friend and who is enemy, and how we win, permanently, that is what matters. In short, everything the Left thinks, does, or says that is related in any way to the Protest should be ignored, not argued against or about, except to the extent that what they say or do informs our ability to achieve our goals.

It is not clear to me why almost all on the Right offer lame commentary on the Protest. Maybe they really believe that comity can be achieved by convincing the Left that we are not, after all, vermin in need of extermination. Ask the Cambodians how that worked out, if you can talk to their shades. Maybe they believe it is intellectually required. The admirable Charles Kesler, for example, says we must be indignant at the Protest, because it was an offense against the Constitutional order. But that assumes there still is any such order, rather than the phantom of one, wholly controlled by our enemies to their benefit and our detriment. Maybe, like Yuval Levin, they are stuck in a dead paradigm, where the propositional nation can bind our wounds and bring us together. Maybe they feel like they need to offer these sort of weak takes to maintain respectability and keep earning a paycheck, for both are for now determined by their enemies, to the Right’s shame. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. You won’t get any of those takes from me today.

Oh, certainly, there is a very large group of Americans who is neither dedicated friend nor dedicated enemy; this is true in all existential societal conflicts. Among the elites this group is vanishingly small, but among the masses it is large. Thus, a side benefit of my writing this piece, which necessarily has to touch on the facts of the Protest, is to analyze the Protest and its meaning for those who do not know the truth about it, whether they are made ignorant by inertia or by having been blinded. My primary audience, however, is allies on the Right, to make crystal clear what the Protest means and implies. I want to give my readers permission to think forbidden thoughts. The only people at whom this piece, therefore, is not directed at all is anyone on the Left. The time for talking with them about any matters of substance was over long ago. There can be only one.

Here I will offer no preemptive apologies, de rigueur for the Right for reasons I have analyzed elsewhere. Most of all, I will not maunder on about how I abhor violence. I don’t. In fact, I condone violence, although as we’ll discuss the Protest is not an example of Right violence in any meaningful degree. Almost anyone who says he doesn’t condone violence is lying—if he is not a member of the Bruderhof, he accepts violence in many instances, from war to self-defense. If he is a member in good standing of the Left, he openly celebrates widespread violence against the Left’s enemies, made effectively legal by the Left’s capture of many of our “justice” institutions, as well as tyrannical state terrorism against anyone on the Right, which has been institutionalized throughout the federal government. So I most definitely endorse some violence, in each case based on the situation.

What violence don’t I endorse? I reject the premise of the Left that there are no moral absolutes with respect to violence, that utilitarianism is the order of the day. Thus, for example, I don’t condone violence, intended or not, directed against (or likely to harm) the innocent, under any circumstances. Violence against any persons should be strictly avoided except in self-defense, broadly defined. Moreover, propaganda of the deed is for fools. Yet violence by the Right reactive to the violence initiated by the Left is sure to come, either in wildcat or organized versions. True, the Right has yet to engage in any violence greater than that of a grownup version of a schoolyard shoving match, with the minor exception of a few instances of self-defense during the Floyd Riots (savagely punished by the dying anarcho-tyrannical Cthulhu State), but when and if it does, I will not be issuing any form of blanket condemnation, you can be sure of that.

To draw out meaning from any event, one must know the truth. So what then is the truth of the Protest? I don’t mean the ins-and-outs of the electoral justice the protestors were seeking; while it is certainly true that in one manner or another, Donald Trump was unlawfully denied reelection, and that Dementia Joe is a wholly illegitimate President worthy only of our contempt, the substance of the protestors’ focus is of no matter. The Protest was rather a condensed symbol of Right rage at Left oppression, and that is what we will talk about here.

As to truth, I wasn’t really sure myself. Of course I knew the official narrative was a total pack of lies, a psyop to demoralize the American masses and ensure continued dominance of the Left. That was obvious, both by the hysterical nature of the coverage and because everything the Left media complex says today is a psyop, from news to entertainment. But what was the truth? At the time it happened, I paid little attention to the Protest or its subsequent propagandistic treatment by the Left, viewing it as the type of clown show surrounding the end stage of any republic, just more of the same from people who brought us the psyop surrounding election fraud, the ongoing psyop after the Protest about nonexistent threats of more protests by the Right, and many others. But for this piece, I had to know. So I went searching. It wasn’t easy.

That’s because it is very hard to get actual information about the Protest. All easily-accessible non-curated information has been deliberately suppressed by the media and the Lords of Tech, in order that their own false narrative may be elevated to the status of truth. Thus, most notably, Facebook and YouTube ban any videos (and people) that show the Protest, except videos edited explicitly for purposes of creating the new truth. For example, a livestream showing an hour of peaceful assembly before the Protest, filmed by one Ford Fischer, was banned by YouTube for “violating community standards” (though it is still available on Odysee, a front end of the decentralized LBRY platform). Fischer’s edited filming of the more dramatic parts of the Protest, however, is still available on YouTube, because the Lords of Tech believe that footage serves their ends (and Fischer himself is one of the few still allowed on the platform despite having some of his videos banned, for the same reason).

I read innumerable “news” and commentary articles, but they quickly became indistinguishable, cut from the same greasy, filthy Left cloth. I viewed innumerable videos, all of which consisted of selectively edited news clips, intercut with tendentious low-IQ commentary from left-wing journalists. The editing is done to show the few clips that present the protestors in as bad a light as possible, or what the Left thinks is a bad light (of which more later), over and over. They thereby seek to control perceptions, in order to harm the Right through a flood of propaganda.

Thus, you will no doubt be aware of the bearded man, one Kevin Seefried, carrying a Confederate battle flag in the Capitol, because his image has been distributed tens of thousands of times. But you will not be aware that was the only such flag at the Protest, as far as I can tell (it has a distinctive carrying pole). Nor was there any significant number of signs or flags tied to QAnon—I saw two (and for all I know they were carried ironically, given that QAnon is both a religion of the desperate and a form of in-joke protest against the Deep State), so my initial inculcated belief that QAnon was relevant to the Protest appears to have been wrong. (Of course, QAnon is a far less pernicious and far less powerful conspiracy theory than BlueAnon, which posits enormously destructive fantasies like the Russia Hoax and systemic racism.) Despite my boredom, I forced myself to keep watching these videos, if only to remind myself that we must remember that today, any information given wide availability by the Lords of Tech is a psyop in which any truth is purely coincidental and incidental. (And because it’s Orthodox Lent, I couldn’t get drunk while doing it, dammit.)

Yet, as The X-Files teaches us, the truth is out there. Paradoxically, the same modern technology that allows the easy censorship of media also prevents that truth from being fully suppressed. Yes, the Right complains with complete justification and accuracy of the massive censorship of any effective Right opposition. As Jack Dorsey, head of Twitter, was caught on tape ordering the week after the Protest, massive waves of purges of conservatives on Twitter have been ongoing since the Protest; many of the larger accounts I follow (though I am not a big Twitter user) have simply disappeared, not for anything they said, but because Twitter has systematically been trying to reduce Right influence. But I am old enough to remember when the dissident non-corporatist Right was completely fragmented and had no method of communication at all outside of a very few larger platforms, except telephone calls and snail-mailed newsletters. True, back then the Right did have some larger platforms—National Review had not yet become the simpering catamite disgrace it is now—and yes, the Right had much less to be dissident about, given the Left was not yet fully ascendant. But, viewed strictly objectively, any person or any group on the Right now can communicate with great speed and privacy, any of one-way (like a magazine), two-way, or round-robin, and while media such as videos that harm the Left is censored from the masses, it is nonetheless accessible and distributable by the Right in a way that was never possible before. What is more, hostile platforms cannot censor all speech and the truth always leaks out, if only in commentary on psyops. Thus, those who in the past would have thought themselves alone realize the opposite is true, and they are encouraged to communicate the truth to those they know personally, outside of the channels controlled by the Left. So I think we’re still far better off than we were before, and I suspect that the masses are much better informed than we fear—that Trump received so many votes in the teeth of a propaganda campaign unparalleled in human history strongly suggests as much. I don’t think the Left’s psyops are changing many minds; my bet is that on balance they are counterproductive, and on net are changing minds against the Left. (Even Nancy Pelosi is backing off attempts to compare the Protest to the September 11th attacks, which suggests they may be realizing this as well, and pivoting somewhat back to the traditional salami approach.)

That doesn’t mean we should forget or forgive that in America today there is no freedom of the press, if the press is defined, as it always has been and should be, as the ability to use whatever the technology of the day is as effectively as those with whom one disagrees. The network effects and economies of scale of modern platforms, combined with their capture by the Left, have created a new thing that is centrally controlled by the Left. Quasi-governmental actors, acting in coordination with and in pursuit of the same ideological goals as the permanent government of the administrative state and its allies in the Deep State, thereby make sure there is no freedom of the press for the Right. But the ability to communicate outside this central control still remains—yes, they want to end it, but they won’t be able to, not only in the nature of technology, but also because this is the Brawndo Tyranny.

And, to be fair, I’d suppress the Left in the same way they suppress the Right if I had power. Not in an ideal society, where significant freedom of the press is desirable for comity. But in our society as it is presently constituted, where the differences have become too great for the society to continue, someone must rule, and that means hampering the ability of one’s enemies to communicate. I in fact intend that we rule, and Jack Dorsey end his days stripped of his fortune and forbidden to have any influence over any media, along with all those of his ilk. Probably this will mean all of them being made to live in a separate country, perhaps a successor state to the United States, perhaps abroad, but we’ll worry about the details later.

Let’s take a specific example of the psyop, a video that got an extreme amount of attention, millions of views, prepared by the Washington Post, tendentiously titled “Inside the U.S. Capitol at the Height of the Siege,” and of course readily available on all platforms. We should keep in mind that this video is prepared by our enemies in order to harm us. That doesn’t mean this video is fake. It does mean that we can safely assume that it is edited, at great effort and expense, to include the very maximum possible to make the Protest appear bad, to exclude anything that might erode that perception, and to lie when they think they can get away with it. ( The Post links to zero uncut videos to allow the reader to make up his own mind, even though they claim “we examined hundreds of videos.”) So, for example, at one point in the video, a man shouts “Drag ‘em out!” Another man repeats, “Drag ‘em out!” But the subtitle in the second case is “Hang ‘em out!” It’s quite clear the second man did not say that, if you listen—but also because “Hang ‘em out” is not an idiom used in English. “Hang ‘em out to dry!” is, but that’s not relevant here. No. The Post put in a false subtitle to make the protestors appear more violent than they were (which violence shown was purely verbal, of course). What the Post was obviously trying to do was echo the brief chant of a few members of the crowd outside the Capitol, “Hang Mike Pence!”

I can hear the pearl clutching through my screen. Such violence, talking of “dragging” and “hanging.” Bah. So what? The Post’s video is merely one example of a core and endlessly repeated tactic of the Left, with which we are all familiar—out of tens or hundreds of thousands of interactions, such as comments on a web site, find one or a few objectionable to most people, and them amplify it endlessly until people are propagandized into thinking that all good people must conclude that is the whole and the norm. (The same trick is played in reverse with respect to any Left activity objectionable to normal people, such as the disgusting practices on continuous display at parades of homosexuals, or of course the Floyd and Burn-Loot-Murder Riots.) The protestors in the Capitol didn’t assault a single person once past the doors, much less drag anyone anywhere.

The one thing I found most shocking in the Post’s video, actually, was the abject sniveling cowardice of the members of Congress, which the Post emphasizes, because they erroneously think it reflects poorly on the protestors. It’s amazing how so much of Congress appears to have degenerated into gerontocratic Grima Wormtongues. I suppose we knew this, but it’s still jarring to see it on such full display. Would Alexander Hamilton or George Washington have rushed to strip himself of any identifying mark? I think not. A sad, pathetic illustration of how the Republic is dead and gone. The members of Congress were never in any danger, of course—not only were the protestors not interested in attacking them, a lie made up by the Left, as shown by that they ignored men and women in suits passing near them, just as they ignored the police, but they were protected by many men with guns. To be sure, they couldn’t have completely known there was zero danger; it’s the total refusal to show any courage in the face of possible danger that’s so revolting. If they were so afraid, they should have been picking up makeshift weapons, rather than cowering under desks. Appalling.

Anyway, aside from the innumerable such curated propaganda videos easy to find, I used LBRY and some other services that showed non-curated video. In addition, a few videos are widely available on YouTube that would normally not have been, solely because Tucker Carlson, who has not yet been cancelled, had them on his show. This included the now-classic scenes of the “shaman” entering the Senate chamber, cordially interacting with the police and respectfully gazing around the chamber—although, strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, I can no longer locate that Carlson video at all. The shaman episode is available, however, as part of an edited video offered by the New Yorker, which again offers a curated video that proves the opposite of what it is supposed to prove.

Ultimately, I was able to view enough video and still pictures of the Protest to get what I believe to be a complete picture. I was not surprised, having fully informed myself, to discover that every single element of the official narrative is a lie. The official narrative is, in short: “A violent group of armed insurrectionists, many of whom were white supremacists and believers in QAnon, incited by Donald Trump, violently assaulted the Capitol in order to change the results of the free election by the American people of Joseph Biden.” Not a single element of that is true, as anyone can determine easily enough for himself.

What’s most striking from the videos is how calm, cool, and unthreatening the protestors inside the Capitol were. This is even more striking when the few hundred who went inside spread out inside the enormous building. Before that, there was some pushing and shoving inside the Capitol—by the protestors of each other, almost never touching or even physically threatening the police or anyone else in any way, even when there are scores of protestors addressing a single police officer. For example, the protestors carefully filed between velvet ropes in Statuary Hall, ignored by police officers who pass casually by. Elsewhere the police expressed no fear and freely let people come and go (not all that surprising, given previous protests conducted by the Left inside the Capitol). None of the protestors were armed, nor did they pick up improvised “weapons” they could have found inside the building. Other than breaking a few barriers, the crowd was orderly, and in fact essentially aimless. There was no vandalism to speak of, something even the New York Times was forced to admit.

What modest violence there was (far less than occurred in D.C. during Trump’s inauguration four years before) occurred at the flashpoint at the west entrance where protestors wanted to enter the Capitol but were funneled into a blocked bottleneck. It appears that in other places they were simply admitted, but at that entrance (the one that is endlessly shown) they broke in. It’s not clear if this was planned; my guess is no, since there is no evidence it was. Some throwing of barrier fence sections and the like took place at these flashpoints, along with an exchange of nonlethal weapons (pepper spray from both sides; concussion grenades from the police). None of this is surprising; it is, as Gustave Le Bon analyzed in The Crowd (a book I intend to re-read soon), the typical distorted rationality of crowds, where the decisions of individuals cease to matter, and change in content. Aside from pushing and shoving, and some punching and kicking of one police officer by a few in the crowd (quickly stopped by others in the crowd), none of the violence reached the level of any significance, and what did happen was barely significant (even if three or four protestors died of heart attacks). We are of course constantly lectured to the opposite, in the same way we are lectured that all claims of electoral fraud in Biden’s “election” are both wrong and immoral, and will be punished, simply in order to suck the oxygen out of the room and prevent wrongthink. Don’t give in to the psyop.

The only actual incident of material violence was the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by a federal agent. Now, I don’t necessarily fault the officer who shot her. She knew or should have known the risk, and maybe she did, although she probably made the error of thinking that the police would treat her like a BLM arsonist, and kneel before her. And to be sure (though as I say pointing out the hypocrisy isn’t useful) if the roles were reversed, much of America would be burning, Saint Ashli Babbitt would have statues erected to her, and the man who shot her would be immediately publicly identified, condemned by all those in authority, and charged with murder. Nonetheless, that act of violence was not initiated by the protestors, and cannot be laid at their feet—not that if it could be, it would change the reality that the Protest was an excellent act.

To return to the commentariat of the Right, you can argue entering the Capitol without permission is rude. You can argue it was a tactical mistake (though you would be wrong). But to state, without evidence or argument, as Rod Dreher did, that the protestors “have brought everlasting shame on themselves and their cause” is just silly. Right commentators complain all the time that conservatives are silenced. Yet when they take the only actions available to them that get attention, and are very well-behaved doing it, the Right’s “leaders” attack them as tools of Satan. They not only confuse, but invert, who is friend and who is enemy. This is not a winning strategy.

My carefully considered conclusion is that the Protest was pretty awesome in every way. Its most precise analog in American history, as I say, is the Boston Tea Party. But it echoes other episodes of resistance to tyranny, such as refusing to obey the Fugitive Slave Act, and even other episodes of actual violence later sanctified, such as John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, and the skirmish at Lexington Green. Sadly, there was no leader present who could use the inchoate stirrings of the protestors, channeling them to demand justice. Trump cut and ran (though he was no doubt incapable of doing otherwise), and without a leader, either during or afterwards, to weave the chaotic strands into a strategic tapestry, nothing results from such impromptu events. The Boston Tea Party was merely the most visible manifestation of a highly organized movement; the Right has nothing like that. Yet. Still, it was a great day, and with any luck, those who participated will someday be highly honored by our new ruling system.

Our Left rulers can see the danger to them in this, too, even though they are stupid. The Protest has caused our rulers to redouble and accelerate their oppression, in the typical flailing desperation of cornered rats. Though, of course, that it’s dumb and predictable doesn’t make it any less unpleasant for those oppressed. The most visible manifestation of the oppression is the full-court press by the federal government to use the criminal justice system to punish anyone connected in any way with the Protest, a process no doubt extremely painful for the targets, though it benefits the Right at the same time, creating martyrs and more generally eroding the legitimacy of the state to less than zero.

Thus, the head of the Washington, D.C. office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is one Steven D’Antuono, an accountant by trade but an FBI clock-puncher for decades, who last October was made head of the Bureau’s D.C. office. He is in charge, it appears, of hunting down anyone who can be connected in any way to the Protest, working with the Department of Justice (for which I once briefly worked, and which has been wholly weaponized since Obama by the Left) to bring rafts of criminal charges (a standard terror tactic of the modern American government, as I recently discussed), using ludicrously broad and vague laws never applied against the Left. Tens or hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on this effort, including nationwide advertising campaigns seeking informants. Naturally, the FBI continuously drenches Twitter and other media with updates on their witch hunt.

It appears that not all the protestors have yet been located (which surprises me given the enormous resources devoted to it), because with great fanfare a few days ago D’Antuono issued a series of ten videos in an attempt to identify ten specific individuals. As is the norm for the FBI today when attacking the Right, he used highly emotional, hate-driven language, demanding people deliver their “family and friends” to his nasty clutches. We were told on each video (distributed on Twitter and other platforms) that the behavior depicted was “appalling” and “egregious” violence, and each video was preceded by a banner, “Content May Be Disturbing. Viewer Discretion Is Advised.” Juicy! What did the videos show? Nothing at all of import—more of the same grownup schoolyard pushing and shoving, and not much of that, certainly nothing like the scenes of actual, if minor, violence already shown over and over on curated videos. The behavior shown was of the sort that was committed hundreds of thousands of times this summer by the Left during the Floyd Riots, where not only was nobody arrested for such actions, no thought was ever given to arresting anyone. (And when arrests were made for actual assaults with intent to hurt or kill police, or arson, naturally almost all charges have been dropped already, and all will be dropped ultimately, just as all charges were dropped against those arrested during the massive violence in D.C. during Trump’s inauguration.)

I went back and looked at tweets from D’Antuono’s office from May 25 through July 31, during the months after George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose. Instead of the hundreds of foaming-at-the mouth tweets the office has issued on the Protest, they issued five connected in any way to the riots, even though several square blocks of Washington, D.C. were burned by rioters during this period. (We did get many other tweets in the time frame, including several emphasizing how important homosexuality is to the FBI.) Only two asked for information on crimes, namely “vandalism,” showing several still pictures of suspects. (Needless to say, the FBI paid for no billboards or television ads seeking informants.) Each of the five tweets took great pains to emphasize some variation on “We respect the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights.” No emotional language was used. No tweets were issued about subsequent arrests, unlike now, when every arrest (always conducted with military-grade force to show who is master) is trumpeted. And, finally, the FBI’s D.C. office issued a sixth tweet tied to the Floyd Riots, a retweet of the national FBI’s tweet of their odious director, Christopher Wray, saying “Our entire country is looking for a way forward. That’s because this isn’t just about George Floyd. This is about all of those, over the years, who have been unjustifiably killed or had their rights violated by people entrusted with their protection.” In other words, the FBI endorsed the Floyd Riots, and expended essentially zero resources to enforce the law, even though the crimes committed were heinous and deliberate, not minor byproducts of pushing and shoving.

My point isn’t the hypocrisy—that’s irrelevant, as I keep saying. It’s that the FBI, and the Department of Justice, is now the clear and present enemy of the American people. This has been obvious for some time, given the FBI’s active role in BlueAnon and a wide range of illegal actions against Trump and his supporters, and now their ongoing efforts to use the Protest to suppress dissent. Many on the Right bridle at this obvious truth, stuck with fond memories of Kevin Costner as Elliott Ness in The Untouchables. Those events were nearly a hundred years ago, and their memories are of the movie anyway. To be sure, there are some (maybe many, but who knows?) in the FBI and the DOJ who are not guilty of crimes against the American people, and who are allies of good. The same dichotomy pervades the military; as shown by the Department of Defense’s recent attacks on Tucker Carlson for pointing out their insane views on sex roles, the rot is very deep, though unlike the FBI the military has not yet been directly weaponized against the enemies of the Left (it is only a matter of time, however). When the future arrives, it’ll be necessary to wholly remove all higher echelons of both the DOJ and the military, and have the rest of their organizations undergo the equivalent of a denazification process—though, as in Kurt Schlichter’s Split novels, maybe self-sorting will be the order of the day. From that process perhaps a core of good can be extracted.

So this is the truth, open for all to see, despite the Left’s efforts. Some who support the ideas behind the Protest nonetheless label it a tactical mistake, pointing to the frenzied state terrorism against the Right that has resulted. This is a logical error, because the newly empowered Left was looking for an excuse to execute a pre-existing plan to terrorize the Right, and if not this, it would have been something else, so the Protest cannot have been a tactical mistake for that reason. (It’s the usual Reichstag Fire approach of modern tyrants, though as someone said on Twitter, “In Weimar America, even our Reichstag Fire is fake and gay,” meaning that the Protest wasn’t even a dramatic crime, but rather treated as one for convenience.) Was the Protest a tactical mistake because it was premature, unpremeditated, and leaderless? Well, it’s too early to tell, as Zhou Enlai apocryphally said when asked whether the French Revolution was a good idea. It doesn’t really matter, does it? We go to war with the hand we are dealt, not the hand we wish we had dealt ourselves. Wherever you go, there you are.

Back to friend and enemy. I think the Protest has made very clear who the enemy is. Who is friend is harder to tell, but figuring that out is part of the process. We can begin by unreservedly praising the Protest, explaining why, and see who is willing to embrace the truth (and waste no time arguing with our enemies about the Protest). Certainly, we’re not going to get anywhere until we learn to celebrate and support events that benefit us, as our enemies celebrated and supported the Floyd Riots. And, more philosophically, as the first of the seven quotes at the bottom of each page of The Worthy House says, quoting Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “Live not by lies.” The future will reveal itself, to our benefit if we are ready. Let’s start today.


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51 Comments

  1. Too many “comments” pop up in my brain on reading this – too many good points to harp on. Let me just limit myself to a modest THANK YOU.

  2. steve says

    Thank you for this, though I can’t help but wonder why you seem unable to cease ‘pulling punches’ when it comes to blacks. John Brown was a murderer who was justly hanged. The USA is done. What comes next?

    • Charles Haywood says

      You’re welcome! I am not sure what punches I am pulling, although I do have some upcoming pieces that discuss racial matters in the US. It can be, and is, both true that John Brown was a hero and justly hanged. And I am optimistic about what comes next!

      • steve says

        My thoughts on blacks: they should not have been brought here in 1619; once that error was made, due to incredibly short-sighted thinking, the dye was cast. There is now no way for us to get away from them, other than ‘white flight’, which worked, for some, for a good while. I do appreciate your writing; I’ve even recommended this site to friends, something I don’t often do.

        • Charles Haywood says

          Always glad to be recommended! Well, to be fair, they didn’t want to come here either! And as you say, we’re not going to some monocultural society. So the question is how we can make a flourishing society from what we have.

      • Altitude Zero says

        Fantastic essay,Charles, but I have to agree with Steve, John Brown was no hero. He was trying to start a slave insurrection in the South, which would have led either to a Haiti-like massacre of whites, a mass murder of black slaves, or quite possibly both. He was a dangerous lunatic, dangerous to white and black alike, more akin to Leon Trotsky than George Washington. Regardless of how one feels about the Civil War or race relations, he should not be celebrated by anyone.

        • Prism says

          Charles used him as an example of an instigating event that helped crystalise the friend vs enemy distinction.

          Alternate reality You: The Tea Partiers were no heroes, they were trying to start a colonial insurrection that would have led either to an Algeria-style massacre of the colonists or mass murder of the insurrectionists ala India or Ireland.

          It is irrelevant what the British would have done to the ‘Patriots’ had they won, only that the event at Boston helped to crystalise divisions just like Harper’s Ferry.

          The losing record of racists/racialists is unending precisely because of this inability to quit being a frog at the bottom of a well.

          • Altitude Zero says

            One could most certainly oppose slavery without supporting a lunatic attempting to start slave insurrection that could only have ended in horror, in fact, that is the position most abolitionists at the time took, regardless of the propaganda use they made of Brown after he was dead. And if your definition of a hero is that “it requires taking great personal risks to benefit some goal greater than oneself”, then Joachim Piper and Pavel Mozorov were heroes as well. And an event can be “an instigating event that helped crystalise the friend vs enemy distinction” without the person responsible being a hero. Sorry, not buying it. And I’m not a racist, and Brown was still no hero.

            Always really enjoy your columns Charles, but I gotta disagree with you on this.

          • Charles Haywood says

            I am in favor of reasoned disagreements! Although I usually abhor relativism, no surprise, I still think there is an element of relativism about heroic action. Achilles was the prototypical hero, for example, in Western literature, yet his moral sensibility was completely alien to a Christian. To say someone is a hero is, I think, not (necessarily) to give moral approval. That concept has crept in as the word “hero” has become debased to mean “someone who did something I like.” Who is a hero has little to do with whether I like what someone did; it is measured internally. (I reserve the right to switch my opinion on this, since I just thought this up right now, and I may yet think more deeply on it.)

            But, as far as John Brown, a slave insurrection would have been entirely appropriate. I couldn’t morally condone the horrors that would result, true in all wars and even more true in slave rebellions (for multiple reasons, some not mentionable today), but when you engage in gross, sustained injustice, you have to expect violence to be your ultimate payment. (That was my response to Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. It’s unrealistic, because farming humans for organ donation would inevitably end in blood. As it should.)

        • Charles Haywood says

          John Brown was definitely a lunatic, in the sense of being mentally unbalanced. And the Trotsky analogy has some truth to it. No doubt Brown was an ideologue–religion most definitely meets James Burnham’s classic definition of an ideology. All ideologies are dangerous; but not all are necessarily bad.

          But being a hero does not require being sane or sensible; it requires taking great personal risks to benefit some goal greater than oneself. Brown counts as that. If a similar lunatic did similar things to end abortion (a considerably greater evil in its impact than slavery ever was), he would likewise be a hero, even if he met the same fate as Brown. True, as I noted in this review, ultimate success is what breeds sanctification. That’s not part of an objective analysis, however.

        • Carlos Danger says

          John Brown was certainly thought a hero by the North during the Civil War. Maybe the most famous American during that time. The song “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave” became a marching song for Union soldiers, and many black people spoke his name with reverence for years afterward. His reputation today is mixed. Few people seem to know much about him. Or care.

          Hero or not, John Brown probably was justly hanged–the first person executed for treason in the country’s history. For political reasons, the treason alleged was against the state of Virginia, not the federal government. The trial Virginia v. John Brown in November 1859 was the first to be reported nationally by telegraph. Immediate reports of the trial by telegraph, later supplemented by drawings and details, were printed in papers across the country.

          John Brown had been wounded during the raid and could not stand or sit during his trial just days later–he lay instead on a cot in the courtroom. The trial was more political than judicial, and the verdict preordained. The jury deliberated 45 minutes before pronouncing him guilty on all charges. But John Brown said later that he thought his trial fair, and he never did complain of the verdict or the death sentence.

          By his sentencing John Brown was able to stand, and his speech to the court was widely reported and revered (in the North, reviled in the South). Ralph Emerson later compared the speech favorably to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Many of John Brown’s more than 100 letters written in the month between his sentencing and hanging were also published.

          It’s hard to read that speech and those letters and call John Brown a dangerous lunatic. Before the failed raid on the Harper’s Ferry armory he had been a leader of sorts among antislavery forces in the “Bloody Kansas” battles. He stirred and inspired people, and acted where others only offered words. He was willing to (and did) give his life to a cause he deeply believed in, as did two of his sons during the raid. John Brown’s plan for a slave revolt came to naught, but ultimately his side triumphed, helped greatly by his death as a martyr.

          Few people in this country today seem to feel as John Brown did, that there can be a cause more important than one’s self, or perhaps family. That it’s important to fight for our political beliefs, for our country, even though we may suffer for it. That’s the spirit I think Charles is evoking with his mention of John Brown. And the spirit that we saw, perhaps, a glimpse of at the Capitol protests on January 6.

          Instead, many (like me) take the easier path. We don’t do deeds, we write words. We seek safety, not conflict. Comfort, not risk. Yet we pretend it’s the same thing.

          A good example of this is in the Battle Hymn of the Republic, a religious, buffed-up version of the John Brown’s Body marching song. The original words of that hymn, written by abolitionist Julia Ward Howe in 1861, say in a lovely passage:
          In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
          with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
          as He died to make men holy,
          let us die to make men free.

          The vogue now, a la the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is to sing instead “let us live to make men free”. Not quite the same thing, is it.

          • Charles Haywood says

            Yes, I agree with this. That’s pretty bad about changing the words of the Battle Hymn (which, by coincidence, I have been playing lately for my children, the Lee Greenwood version).

  3. Todd says

    Thank you for this article; I agree completely. I watched the events of that day from the other side of the country, and felt shame that I did not participate. My ancestors fought in the war to free this country from the yoke of the British (whose exactions and usurpations, I might add, were far less than what we are facing from this criminal regime), and it was no credit to them that I merely watched while others acted.

    I’m glad you didn’t mince words; too many “conservatives,” as usual, qualify their statements about the Protest with the usual leftist tripe about how shocking and terrible it all was. No, it was admirable, and it was exhilarating to see that there are still a few Americans with some spirit left. At least they know where their real enemy is—in Washington, D.C., sullying the halls of the Capitol and cowering beneath the statues of greater men.

    Again, thank you for this. I’m tired of hearing every goddamned hack newsreader on the radio or TV refer to it as a “violent insurrection at the Capitol,” which they recite like a mantra. They should only ever refer to it in hushed tones as The Protest, and place their hands over their hearts when they say it. If they think that was a violent insurrection—they ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant! I liked the article. Oh, and I predict that someday the “Q Shaman” will be remembered as a great American hero.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Thank you. As others have pointed out, the complaints in the Declaration of Independence are small beans compared to how we are oppressed now. I specialize in not mincing words!

  4. Prism says

    Charles, I will skip the usual.

    But I wonder, when you wrote of how the likes of Washington would have acted differently, did you, perhaps, have in mind his famous quelling of a mutiny by pointing out how he had gone old and blind in service of his country.

    Perhaps that is the biggest difference between then and ‘now’, the total absence of anyone in power with the ability to embody a shared sacrifice.

    I found the complaint about ‘ludicrously broad and vague laws’ incredibly hilarious. If only there was a party…one devoted to, I dunno, shrinking government. If only that party ever held power. They might fix that.

    • Charles Haywood says

      I didn’t actually have that episode in mind. It’s a good one, but you can pick several from Washington’s life. Very true about shared sacrifice.

  5. Bartolo says

    Even Shaun King (!!!) admitted the murder of the white female protester was an very evil action. Yet you say she should have known the risk and refuse to blame the policeman. Wow.

  6. Dean Ericson says

    Mr. Haywood,
    I have a full list of chores to do this morning and you are interfering in their execution by way of the distractions on offer here. If you would kindly write more rubbish I could get more done. But not only do you not write rubbish, worse, I find little with which to disagree, and where’s the fun in that? So, in an effort to be simultaneously disagreeable and clever, which is the purpose of commenters, I looked, this morning, for something to criticize, and found it: you, sir, are entirely too liberal in your use of the exclamation point — ! . Other than that, carry on.

  7. Old and sad, older and sadder – is the invariable mood I find myself in after the daily dose of masochism I subject myself to by reading articles such as Charles’ on the essential issues of our time. (NB: no comma) But: !!!Sir!!Your!Commentary!Painted! A!Big!Grin!On!My!Face!!!

  8. Guest says

    Do you think that those on the Right who are a large segment of the the TOC, don’t act because of a deterministic belief that nothing can be done? They believe what is happening is part of “God’s plan” for the presently-occurring “end times”. Given the current state of culture and powerlessness, “resistance is futile”–we are hurtling toward an all-controlling anti-christ that will crush us, and no one will survive unless or until Christ returns. I am no historian, but wasn’t there a similar descent into societal degeneration and belief in 18th c. England, such that the TOC also felt they were in the time of “the end”? Yet, instead of despair people like John Wesley (and others) changed the world by remaking the church model and being fearless. (This is such simplistic treatment of what he did, and he had his personal foibles.) For example, there is a story that no one threw dung or bricks at him for 3 days, so he got off his horse, repented and asked God how he had sinned since no one was opposing him. He expected intense opposition for his actions, but acted anyway. The TOC Victorians did likewise–organized and attacked degeneracy. There is a fatalism in the TOC today based on religious belief that has to be reversed. I believe it can be reversed if there is communication to the “great unwashed” part of the TOC that not all aspects of the “end times” have been determined for America by the bible. Also the erudite analysis on this site is food for my soul, but needs to be brought down to the level of the masses (not necessarily by you, but someone has to do it). Wesley was educated, but reached the masses. And people need to understand what is the goal–2 countries??. Are we still trying to figure out the goal? There are many ready to act who would not be able to understand what is said on this site, although it surely inspires me. We have been told what is wrong for 30 years (Rush did a great job of this for the masses). Now we need to be told what to do. Thank you for writing this more-than-a-blog.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Hmmm . . . maybe. I think the focus on end times is a minority (and strictly Evangelical) strain of thought, but perhaps as a result of seeing no path forward, it underpins a broader set of thought.

      I can’t speak about Wesley; it’s something I know almost nothing about. But, as with Gandhi, such opposition only works in Christian-based societies. Wesley would simply have been executed by the Bolsheviks, as Gandhi would simply have been executed by the Mughals, and nobody would ever have heard of either. The only approach that works against those like the modern Left, evil to its core, is the Chen Sheng approach.

      A fair point about reaching the masses. But of course I am explicit that I write mostly for myself. That’s less true than it used to be. What is needed is the Man of Destiny, who will popularize and weaponize Foundationalism. If you happen to run across him, let me know!

      Yeah, it’s going to be two countries, or our enemies are all forced to leave this country. Either is acceptable; the former is probably better, especially since they will quickly die out due to lack of children.

      And thank you!

  9. Dave says

    I know you say that this piece was not intended for those of us on “the Left.” Acknowledging I am not the intended audience, a dissenting voice may be of some use.

    Before we talk about the events of January 6th, it’s worth a few words about the broader context in which these events happened. Your account paints a picture of an America in which “the Left” controls all political power and all means of mass communication – a stifling police state in which conservatives have no power and no means of expressing their views, and therefore are left no alternative to the kind of chaotic outburst which we saw on in January. Let’s take a look.

    Certainly, America has undergone massive social, political, economic, and cultural change in the last few decades – and it has left the right increasingly at a disadvantage. Over the last 50 years, the number of Americans who are people of color has more than tripled (from 12% to 38%), as have the proportion born outside the US (from 5% to 15%). The proportion who are white and lack a college degree has plummeted from 75% to 39%. Only half are married, compared to 75% fifty years ago. 57% of women are in the workforce, up from 41%. The proportion who consider religion “very important” to them has dropped from 68% to 53%. And on key issues, what movement has taken place has generally been to the left. Fully 70% support same-sex marriage (including 50% of Republicans) up from just 11% in 1988; over that same time span, support for marijuana legalization has grown from 24% to 68%.

    All of this means, of course, that if you are an ideological movement that appeals narrowly to religious believers, white identity politics, traditional economic roles for women, and resists acknowledging and embracing our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, you are in for a rough ride. What was an effective explicit political strategy in the late 60s could scrape still scrape by in the 80s when fronted by a sunny lightweight like Ronald Reagan, or even in the 2000s with an aggressively-branded “compassionate conservative” like George W. Bush. But in 2021, it’s a hard sell. An increasingly diverse, pluralistic, and open-minded American society is voting – not just with its ballots, but with its voices and its consumer dollars – for a very different kind of culture and politics.

    I make no moral judgement about whether that is good or bad (oh who am I kidding, of course it is unambiguously good). But it is a fact – a hard, cold reality against which the right’s policy agenda and political style bumps more and more frequently. And as the Republican Party gerrymanders itself further and further to the extreme right, it becomes more and more of a problem – the Reagans and Bushes have left the building, and we are left with craven hacks like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley – Ivy League elites desperately LARPing as the kind of cartoon conservative they think will appeal to the dwindling base of angry octogenarians who maintain an iron grip on their party’s primary process.

    It is these long-term changes in society, not any sinister left-wing conspiracy, which has made our country what it is. It’s the reason the GOP has won the popular vote for President just once in its last eight tries. It’s why states have generally been shifting from red to blue (Colorado, Virginia, now Arizona and Georgia, soon Texas and Florida) and not the reverse. And it’s also why our popular culture has been changing: to use a prosaic example, we aren’t seeing more superhero movies featuring women and people of color because movie studios are “woke;” we’re seeing them because “Black Panther” and “Wonder Woman” made nearly a billion dollars each and “Man of Steel” didn’t. That formerly beloved conservative principle, the free market, wins again.

    So that’s reality – welcome, it’s really a lot of fun! The right, of course, now needs to decide what to do next. One option would be to broaden its appeal – to recognize that what appeals to religious rural white Americans is not now, and will never be again, the path to a durable political majority in this country – and to compromise and build a broader coalition that retains a base in the right’s enduring values. Many Republicans have suggested this; the few who remain will be retiring from the Senate next year.

    A second path would be to recognize the reality, but to hold true to principles and go down with the ship. We’re right, they’re wrong, we will continue to fight for what we believe and if we lose we will lose with dignity. Of course, any option for doing anything with dignity disappeared when the right submitted to leadership by a vapid, thrice-married reality show star and real estate grifter whose favorite Bible verses are the timeless words of “Two Corinthians.”

    A third path, of course is the construction of an alternate reality in which the right is not out of step with the public, but deeply beloved – and only kept from power by sinister plotting and manipulation on the left which has kept our conservative heroes from claiming their well-deserved mandate. And this fantasy, at last, brings us to January 6th. The events of that day flowed from a belief in a demonstrably false version of reality – that Donald Trump was not overwhelmingly defeated – and any attempt to reinterpret those events builds on that same flimsy foundation.

    So let’s dive in to your essay. Conservatives are “suffering actual oppression,” “voiceless” but also “admirable.” The left, in contrast, is “vicious,” “stupid,” “hysterical,” “shrieking,” “rabid,” and “openly celebrates widespread violence.” Nine pages or so in, you were really starting to hurt my feelings. I had to take a break and prepare a cup of soothing herbal tea from my organic garden, which has restored my chi enough to suggest a few adjectives of my own later!

    As you attempt to sort through what actually happened, there’s a lot of fulminating about the “psyops” of the left, based mainly on the fact that the videos that remain to be searched online focus only on egregious examples of violence. Let us stipulate that most of the event, over its nine or ten hours, consisted of dreary people milling around listlessly outside the Capitol; we all watched it on live TV, and saw plenty of that. It happened. That there is little interest in retaining hours of video footage of those non-activities, and that many people did NOT engage in acts of violence is, of course utterly irrelevant to our evaluation of those who did – which were what made the event more significant than the repetitive parade of Trump rallies that preceded it.

    But you see something more sinister, as exemplified by your account of a Jan. 6 video on the Washington Post website. “The Post’s video is merely one example of a core and endlessly repeated tactic of the Left, with which we are all familiar—out of tens or hundreds of thousands of interactions, such as comments on a web site, find one or a few objectionable to most people, and them amplify it endlessly until people are propagandized into thinking that all good people must conclude that is the whole and the norm.”

    That you write these words with no awareness of their irony suggests you have never watched a minute of right-wing cable TV – which I believe to be the case, as you are an intelligent man. That is most assuredly not the case, however, for the mob assembled on January 6th – which every night is subjected to hours of highly edited footage looped on Fox and sister networks, hinting that hordes of Mexican gangsters are swarming the border or that Anitfa militias are preparing to march into formation into their small Idaho town. The coverage of the summer’s protest on those networks was an endless loop of the same handful of looters and isolated acts of violence – with very little of the massive, nightly, non-violent protests in hundreds of other cities. You can certainly object to the way left-wing commentators package video news, but to pretend it is not the stock-in-trade of the right is mind-bogglingly silly.

    But the “psyops” claim is of course essential to the creation of the alternate reality – and the central tenet of that alternate reality is that above all, people on the right must see themselves as victims. Which brings us to the whining…good heavens, the constant, tedious, unrelenting whining from the right’s culture of victimhood and grievance. The narrow constituency the right still serves in the main consists, of course, of the very people that American society has been designed – over generations – to promote, elevate and advantage well beyond their accomplishments and abilities. And yet all they can do is whine and complain about how they are being oppressed and victimized.

    Since our theme is trying to restore a connection to reality, let’s review: the right controls the Supreme Court; half the US Senate (and usually more); most state legislatures and Governorships, and as often as not the presidency – outcomes structurally guaranteed, and in many cases purposefully engineered, to result despite their manifest inability to win support from most of the American people at the ballot box. They use all of these tools with ruthless efficiency (I’m getting into your groove now) to protect their interests and suppress the voices of those on the left who would stand in their way. Generally speaking, the party that believes it has better ideas, rooted in fact and truth, is eager for more people to vote. The party that realizes its ideas are bankrupt, contradictory, and at variance with reality, passes laws to make it harder to vote.

    Then, the media – where conservatives are, we are told, “voiceless.” The top-rated cable news network in the country is thoroughly right-wing; so are the top-rated radio shows (Limbaugh – formerly – and Hannity); all the most popular linked Facebook accounts are conservative pundits. And as you note, the right has many more avenues of communication “accessible and distributable by the Right in ways that were never possible before.”

    The reality is that right controls most levers of governmental power in the country (if not those that get the most attention) and has ample means of communicating its views. And yet every time Twitter deigns to purge a few thousand clearly fake right-wing bot accounts, conservatives’ perceived oppression makes them look feverishly for their fainting couch.

    Part of the right’s victimhood complex, of course, requires the fabrication of sinister enemy conspiracies on the left – so here you mention “BueAnon.” I’ll confess I hadn’t heard of “BlueAnon” before, so I Googled it – and not surprisingly, rather than a real (if risible) online movement like that led by Q (whose adherents, stupefyingly, include someone who was actually briefly allowed to be Director of National of Intelligence), BlueAnon is instead a catch-all term fabricated by right-wing pundits. They are, I suppose, desperate to imagine into existence an equally inane conspiracy theory with some kind of foothold on the left; essentially, they are frantically trying to make “fetch” a thing.

    But all of this is background noise to the main point of your article, which is what to make of January 6th. Your description of what actually happened, of course, is artfully designed to obscure the reality. Speaking of the protestors, you say “they take the only actions available to them that get attention, and are very well-behaved doing it.” The first clause is true, I suppose, but reflects the strategic thinking of a petulant 12-year-old; the second is an out-and-out falsehood. The only way you come up with the “well-behaved” construction is through meaningless distinctions like “the protestors in the Capitol didn’t assault a single person once past the doors.” Since the 140 plus police officers who were hurt, and the one who was murdered, were outside the doors, I guess we are to disregard them? (There was, of course, one police officer whose head was crushed by the mob IN one of the doors – curious which side you tallied him on.)

    You note that there was only one Confederate flag carried through the Capitol, and handful of QAnon signs that you could count. Video and photographic evidence has, of course, captured numerous colors, logos, and slogans representing Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Proud Boys, WWG1WGA, Pepe and all the other iconography characteristic of bitter men pounding away at their keyboards in 8Chan chat rooms till the early hours of the morning – all minor variations of the same ideology.

    The other tactic in distracting from the realities of Jan. 6 , of course, is to resort to whataboutism – speaking of violence at the Capitol, you assert “The behavior shown was of the sort that was committed hundreds of thousands of times this summer by the Left during the Floyd Riots, where not only was nobody arrested for such actions, no thought was ever given to arresting anyone.” A well-played three-clause sentence that manages to nail the coveted triple-falsehood score! The Trump Justice Department reported that 700 police officers were injured nationwide over many weeks, a much lower injury rate than at the Capitol; more than ten thousand people were arrested at those protests; and yes, thought was given to arresting each and every one of them.

    But setting these realities aside, we are still left wondering what the point was: what were the Jan. 6 protestors trying to accomplish, and did they accomplish it? You draw a heroic parallel between the events of January 6 and the Boston Tea Party. The latter, of course, had a crystal-clear motivation and goal: colonists passionately objected to the Tea Act, the latest in a series of taxes imposed without representation, and dumped tons of British East India Company tea into Boston Harbor in protest. They wanted the taxes repealed, and the British out. The January 6 mob, in contrast was trying to…force Mike Pence to illegally not certify the electoral votes? Frankly, I’m not confident that if you pulled an Oath Keeper out of the mob at random, that he could offer any articulation for why he was there or what he hoped to accomplish other than directionless rage. You lament the lack of a leader to add meaning to the mob’s “inchoate stirrings.” Being motivated by nothing more than “inchoate stirrings” is, of course, what made them a mob – and creates central problem in trying to read more significance into the event.

    But that is in keeping with the motivations of the right as a whole these days. It used to be that there were a clear set of principles that animated the right: limited government spending; resistance to foreign bullies; free-market economic policies; etc. That coherence has vanished. The right showed head-spinning willingness to abandon nearly every long-held conservative policy principle after Donald Trump failed to show interest in them (and also embraced Trump even after he proved the most transparently ignorant, venal, amoral, lazy and dishonest man ever to hold the office – violating every standard of character the right long claimed as the minimum required in a leader). So beyond throwing a fit, one is left to wonder after reading your essay, what was the point of January 6th?

    Of course, the truth is there wasn’t one. When my colleagues on the left solemnly refer to January 6th as an insurrection, I largely dismiss that assessment. An insurrection, after all, requires some clear and coherent objective – a quality that appears (so far, at least) to have been totally absent among those assembled on January 6. Instead, it amounted to a few thousand middle-aged cosplay SWAT-teamers, stoked up on Red Bull and a steady drip of risible lies, who roused themselves to mount the stairs out of their mothers’ basements, and cheer one another on to beat up some cops and then…stroll listlessly around the Capitol taking selfies. You name it the “Electoral Justice Protest” (and one hears the bugles sounding in the background); I will call it the “Post-Defeat Temper Tantrum.”

    But again, why were they there? If this is to be, as you frame it, the opening battle in a glorious revolution, its meaning must be clear to all.

    The proximate cause, of course, was the false belief that Donald Trump was unfairly denied an electoral victory. He was not. He lost massively in the popular vote, and by what he himself termed a “landslide” margin in the electoral college, in a relentlessly scrutinized and utterly fair election. A naïve fool could convince themselves otherwise, but it would require believing that Democrats, Republicans, and tens of thousands of election officials in both Blue and Red states all conspired to falsify results in thousands of locations – with none of them letting slip the details of the conspiracy. It also required that a right-wing judiciary – including many judges appointed by Trump himself – had to be in on the fix. And of course, it also requires us to believe that these masterful plotters also chose to throw away a dozen seats in the House and hand themselves a 50/50 Senate in which they have to go on bended knee to Joe Manchin to accomplish anything. You wisely do not wade into attempting to craft a detailed justification for this false belief, simply asserting “in one manner or another, Donald Trump was unlawfully denied re-election.” Still wrong, but not as laughable as it would be if you actually tried to argue the point.

    So the protestors gathered on the basis of self-delusion about the election outcome – and other than various screwy legal theories some advanced for installing Trump as President, I’m not aware of any other specific policy or political objective that any of them argued for.

    As a result, the events of January 6th were, on balance, far more pathetic than they were terrifying. There were clear acts of unjustified violence that deserve to be taken seriously. But if, as you suggest, most people who were there instead spent most of their time wandering around in directionless confusion, I don’t doubt it. That speaks volumes about the right today.

    You highlight the video of Jacob Chansley – the “Q Shaman” – in the Senate chambers. By your accounting, video showing that Chansley managed not to assault anyone as he strode up to the Senate podium offers a triumphant exoneration. On the other hand, I see the video as the culmination of January 6th and its deepest meaning: a bare-chested, grown-ass man with a painted chest, fur hat, and horns – one who earnestly believes that Hollywood stars and leading politicians are part of a Satanist pedophile cult that eats children – standing in the well of the Senate. I look at that, the apex of the event, and I think – that’s the best you’ve got?

    You recently wrote a separate piece drawing an artful (if selectively partisan) comparison between the modern administrative state and the government-mandated use of sports-drink Brawndo to water crops in a brain-addled future America in the 2006 move “Idiocracy.” The events of January 6th put me in mind of later events in that same movie.

    When our hero, a time-displaced Secretary of the Interior, musters the courage to confront the President with the truth – that water would be a better agricultural choice – he is condemned to a unique punishment: participating in “Monday Night Rehabilitation,” a televised spectacle in which he must drive in a demolition derby against a series of showy and stupid weaponized muscle cars – in a packed stadium with a soundtrack of jingoistic nonsense. The event culminates in the muscle cars destroying each other, the air going out of the stadium, and our hero being shown to be right.

    January 6th could perhaps be thought of as “Wednesday Afternoon Rehabilitation” – an aggressively dumb, loud, directionless spectacle that ultimately failed in its attempt to shout down and bully away stubborn facts, and that dissipated into an orgy of self-destruction.

    We should be grateful that reality, inevitably, persists.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Now this is a truly fascinating response, and I sincerely appreciate the time you put into it. It is fascinating most of all because it shows the utter and complete divorce from reality that characterizes today’s ascendant Left, even those who are highly intelligent and have some degree of self-reference. It is also fascinating because it soundly demonstrates the premise behind my comment that my piece was not directed at the Left, that there is no possible common ground remaining.

      1) Your first several paragraphs describe the Left’s view of supposedly desirable demographic/statistical changes that are have occurred in America, and then claims that the Right has suffered as a result of those changes. Or rather, it claims that a caricature of the Right, an “ideological movement that appeals narrowly,” has suffered electorally as a result of these changes, because the Right’s unappealing offerings are not selling.

      2) In this imagining, there has been a free marketplace of ideas; the Right has lost ground, which the Left has taken. But this is a total misapprehension of reality. The Left began a Gramscian program decades ago (see my review of Amity Shlaes’s Great Society) to seize the levers of cultural and other power, and to thereby destroy, or remake (pick your word) America, entirely deliberately. This program has been hugely successful, for a variety of reasons I have explored elsewhere. The weapon of the Left in this program, now as ever since 1789, has been dishonesty coupled with coercion, not some fictional competition of ideas.

      3) The Republican Party is not getting more Right; it is getting more irrelevant, because it does not represent, in the main, its supposed constituents. This is one major lesson of the Trump years, and again explored in various pieces of mine.

      4) Thus, for example, that the Republican candidate for President has usually lost the popular vote, leaving aside the terrible candidates not representative of anything but inside-the-Beltway hackery, such as Romney, is due primarily to the giant propaganda machine of the Left, represented by its total control of the narrative-setting media and all other institutions of cultural power. If we had an unbiased media, not one wholly devoted to the Left (which we have not had for sixty years), or a pre-World War I-style two-sided partisan media, the story would be very different.

      5) The idea that we see woke movies because the people demand them is completely insane. Movies are a perfect example of a long-range propaganda game played by the Left; it is no doubt true that people go to see Wonder Woman from some combination of nothing better to do and that they feel it’s fun, but they certainly don’t demand the wokeness. Oh, sure, a few Pajama Boys probably do, but when there is no alternative to Soviet-style culture, why, people take what they can get. A non-woke film simply could not be made today; it, and everyone associated with it, would be cancelled (as many examples show, most recently that Mandalorian thing).

      6) The idea that moderate Republicans have any future at all, or any appeal at all, strikes me as so completely laughable that it’s not worth discussing. Nobody wants what those people are selling. Ben Sasse? Please.

      7) I am sorry about the herbal tea, but you do not show why my adjectives are wrong, and I have demonstrated, across numerous writings, they are correct. (Sorry to keep referring to other writings, but as I have noted before, my writings are meant as a non-repetitive whole, with me as the major audience, as I prepare to take and exercise power.)

      8) If so much of the video “consisted of dreary people milling around listlessly outside the Capitol,” why do the Lords of Tech censor that video and every single one like it? You conveniently ignore this major point. The videos that “remain to be searched” are the only ones that remain because the others have been censored, as I proved, and YouTube and the like openly celebrate. Doesn’t that strike you as odd?

      9) I don’t watch any TV news, as you suggest. Fox may be “hinting that hordes of Mexican gangsters are swarming the border or that Anitfa militias are preparing to march into formation into their small Idaho town.” Shouldn’t they be more than hinting, given that the former is undoubtedly true and the latter occurred more than once? You seem to have the odd view that what Fox says is inherently false. In any case, you do not deny the truth of my claim of selective amplification, and given that the Left totally controls what is considered news, even were Fox to do that, it would not be equivalent.

      10) The Right complains about victimhood because it is victimized. I, for example, could not say 5% of what I say without getting fired, if I still worked at a law firm, or a corporation. But anyone on the Left can say anything he wants. This principle applies all across society. You are fooling yourself if you think people don’t notice this, and that they are not enraged as a result. As they should be. And they should do something about it.

      11) It seems odd that the Right only “serves a narrow constituency,” if, as I say, in the face of the greatest propaganda campaign the world has ever known, and one of the most dishonest, nearly half of voters voted for Trump. And if you think that the constituency the Right serves is elite—well, I don’t really know what I can say. That’s like believing the Moon is made of green cheese. It might be. Neither of us has been there. But it’s not very likely.

      12) The Right does not control the Supreme Court, on any issue that matters to the Right (as opposed to the Chamber of Commerce). Even on guns, the Supreme Court has refused to stop the gutting of its earlier holdings by lower courts, most recently by the Ninth Circuit last week. I could adduce endless examples, but let’s just say, Bostock. If the Right controlled the Supreme Court, they would find a right not be killed in the womb. And even if the Right did control the Court, that’s irrelevant if it won’t rollback the Left’s “victories” won through the Court, and use the Court to its own ends in the same way, but the other direction.

      13) The Right does not control half the Senate. The Republicans, who do not represent the Right but rather are, and eternally have been, the handmaiden of the Left, do. These are not the same. And nothing at all the Republicans do is done “with ruthless efficiency.” They did nothing with their power between 2016 and 2018, for example, except pass tax cuts for the rich. They certainly did nothing to advance the agenda on which Trump was explicitly elected, as for example with respect to immigration and guns.

      I think this confusion on the institutional/respectable Left—that the Republican Party is somehow, against all evidence, the counterpart of the Left—is responsible for much of your denial of reality. If you drop that paradigm, things become clearer.

      14) Your comment about Twitter demonstrates both bad faith and supreme ignorance. Sorry; no offense, but that’s true, and it’s emblematic. You are extremely closed-minded, because you regard yourself as virtuous and righteous. Don’t worry—you’re in good, and multitudinous, company! You probably believe there is such a thing as a movement for “white supremacy,” that the 1619 Project is actual history, that gun control works, that Ibrahim X. Kendi is not an evil grifting racist, and that whiteness is problematic. Like Saul on the road to Damascus, though, there is a way out. Join us!

      15) You mention BlueAnon. Do you believe that the Russia Hoax was not a hoax, and that systemic racism exists? If so, please explain why the former was not a hoax, and please offer specific examples of the latter.

      16) As you say, this is background. No police officers were murdered at the Protest; that is a lie, and one deliberately put out by the Left, as one of many disgusting psyops. (I assume you refer to Sicknick.) Every word of my description was entirely accurate—but more importantly, entirely complete, the contrary of which you do not even attempt to demonstrate.

      17) I separated in-doors and out-of-doors, as I made very clear, not as part of some hamhanded obfuscation, but because there was ZERO violence inside the doors, but was some outside, so thus the areas should be treated differently.

      18) None of those groups, such as the Proud Boys, are notably objectionable. They’re far less objectionable than, for example, having a disgusting “Black Lives Matter” sign in one’s yard. I note you do not dispute the propagandistic treatment of the Confederate flag and the QAnon sign. (Isn’t 8Chan offline?)

      19) Although I mostly stayed away from whataboutism, for the reasons stated at the beginning, whataboutism is not illegitimate when double standards are the norm; quite the contrary. Objections to it must assume a fair analytical playing field, the very antithesis of American media today. How many people from the Floyd Riots this summer who were arrested were charged, and how many have had charges dropped? Hint: all of them have been or will be (I note you ignore the violence at Trump’s inauguration).

      20) As I noted in the piece, the organization of the Electoral Justice Protest was not up the Boston Tea Party par, sadly. I discussed this at some length. Are you volunteering to lead the Right? Welcome!

      21) You seem to think that a changed Right is therefore a false Right. This makes no sense. Past policies, such as “free market economic policies,” turned out to be disasters that benefited only nasty men like the Kochs. New policies for new times; that seems obvious. The early Republicans in the 1850s were no model of coherency either; it takes time to form a coherent new program. The point of January 6th was to demonstrate the need and desire for this program.

      22) I agree with the non-characterization of “insurrection”; I deliberately ignored it (and all such matters) as both irrelevant and silly, and playing on terms set by the Left.

      23) No doubt more than a few of those at the Boston Tea Party were drunk hangers-on, just come out of the pub. It is the energy that matters. Why would the meaning be clear to all, at the time of the event? That is almost never true of historical happenings.

      24) As to the specifics of the election, your claims are interesting, but it would be far more interesting if they were responsive to, rather than ignoring, the many facts and arguments laid out in the article I linked. I said “in one manner or another” with that link in order not to make my own piece longer, not because I have any lack of confidence in my claim.

      25) You might want to respond to my claims of state terrorism in this (and in the recent Brawndo Tyranny piece, which I am glad you liked, or at least found artful). My point about the shaman was that the suppressed video of him in the chambers demonstrates the psyop.

      26) No doubt, there is a heavy element of clown in the shaman and many other elements. There as a heavy element of clown in Caligula’s appointment of his horse as consul. But both are indicative of a failing system.

      27) Yes, that scene in Idiocracy, with Beef Supreme (did you know he is the third Wilson brother?) is great.

      28) One of us is right. You are better, in the nature of your profession, at retail politics. I flatter myself that I am better at history. I have explicitly predicted the contours of the new future in various recent reviews. The future will likely vindicate one of us. It doesn’t have to—maybe we will all be instead revealed to be living in a simulation. But we will find out. I suggest a bet. I am willing to bet that by March 2026, (a) widespread political violence resulting in, say, more than 50,000 deaths will have occurred on American soil and (b) the currently existing constitutional structures will be substantially altered. I’ll bet $5,000. Although if I am right, it may be harder for me to collect!

      • Eugene says

        Great rebuttal, Charles. Dave’s comment is indeed quite fascinating. It illumines the deeply distorted worldview of many leftists, even those who are intelligent and erudite. What glorious casuistry! I won’t comment on the events of January 6th; I am more interested in the “macro” element of Dave’s response – namely, his worldview, not least because it concerns not only the US, but the West in general.

        According to this worldview, the current political and social landscape merely reflects the demographic changes in the US and other Western countries. The “host” populations are shrinking in size, and room needs to be made for other groups who were previously at a disadvantage and who are now in the ascendant. That is false. Rather, the current political landscape is underwritten by an ideology that considers Western civilization to be inherently evil and therefore something that must be annihilated at all costs. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: the woke movement, which can be seen as the pinnacle of this ideology, is almost chiliastic in its pretensions. It wants to build paradise on earth; it just needs to take care of the “bad guys” first. Once the bad guys are assigned their places in hell, we can enjoy the Garden of Eden, without ever leaving planet earth! The bad guys, of course, are white heterosexual men, who epitomize the Western civilization that must be destroyed. To deny that this is the core belief of the prevailing ideology is tantamount to denying reality itself. Claiming that, say, the toppling of statues of Winston Churchill is somehow an expression of protest against Churchill’s historical record or some other historical grievances is risible; it is a rejection of Churchill qua *European* political statesman, one of the Europeans who ran the world in those evil pre-woke days.

        It has been reported that Oxford University is considering putting an end to sheet music because it is somehow complicit in white supremacy (https://nypost.com/2021/03/30/oxford-wants-to-ban-sheet-music-over-complicity-in-white-supremacy/). Frankly, the examples of this sort of nonsense are so numerous it is hardly worth the bother looking for others; in its dogmatic absurdity, this one is quite perfect. To argue that sheet music offends the sensibilities of victims of white supremacy cannot be taken seriously by anyone endowed with a brain. But then white supremacy has nothing to do with it. This is just hatred of European (and, by extension, Western civilization). Nor will things end there. You should view these instances as part of a rehearsal. First they go for sheet music, then they go for people. For if classical music is complicit in white supremacy, what can be said of people who choose to listen to it?

        Given everything that’s been happening, the sense of self-victimization on the right is frankly pathetic. In fact, I am amazed by the stoicism of those who are in the crosshairs of the prevailing ideology. “A few thousand clearly fake right-wing bot accounts”? If it were only so! Reputations and careers get blown up for the slightest transgressions. Here in Canada, a former politician lost his corporate sinecures because he had dared to suggest that there was no systemic racism in Canada. That innocuous opinion (which is also a justified one, for while racism exists in Canada, as it does elsewhere, the country’s institutions are free of it) was all it took for the man to end up on the wrong side of the orthodoxy. This is but an example, and legion is their name.

        The prevailing ideology has indeed dominated mainstream culture, mainstream media, and the curriculum for years – and not just in the US. The domination of the curriculum is especially pernicious, but totally logical: give me a child until he is seven, and I’ll give you the man. An article appeared in The Washington Post the other day (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/03/18/social-justice-antiracist-books-toddlers-kids/), advising parents on how to make their tots more woke. It is very appropriate that the author of this article – an article that would be quite amusing if it were parodic – is a Dalla Lana Global Journalism Fellow at the University of Toronto. Well, where else? Generations are being steeped in this totalitarian ideology that recognizes no competition or dissent, with no memory of how things once were, no sense of nuance, and no knowledge of history beyond the Evil White Men narrative.

        A knowledge of history, however, is crucial, certainly when it comes to risk assessment. It could be argued that we are in the throes of a silent revolution, and history teaches that revolutions tend to devour their own children. Something to keep in mind for many folks on the left.

        • Charles Haywood says

          Thank you! I agree 100% with all that; only two follow-up comments.

          First, I did not address Dave’s demographic fallacy other than to point out that propaganda is more of the reason for supposedly changed public opinion. I considered doing so, because it is indeed a more complex topic, as you identify. I’d have to sit down and pick out threads—for example, while it is true that massive Latino illegal immigration is encouraged by the Left in the hope of gaining power and diluting the existing culture, in cooperation with evil cretins like the Kochs and Mitt Romney, it is not clear this is a safe bet. We may get Based Hispanics deciding they don’t like white liberals, nor do they like their other client demographics and their behavior. So—a complex issue, but certainly to say that the Right doesn’t get what it wants because the People Have Spoken is ludicrous.

          Second, it amazes me that elite white liberals see the country as basically sound and, in fact, on an arc to ever greater progress and achievement. I mean, really? Yet they think everything is great, if only, as you say, those retrogrades can be gotten out of the way. What would Dave say about the Floyd/BLM riots, or cancel culture, or statue destruction, or the deplatforming of Parler and a huge number of others not meeting the approval of the elites? I assume he would deny that any of these are a problem, and deny that many exist in the form they undeniably do (thus, he would say, I’d guess, that Parler was deplatformed because our honest and neutral tech overlords actually thought they were involved in objectively bad and unique behavior). Anyway, I can point to innumerable historical examples in the modern era of this attitude. Let’s just say not a single one has gone the way the elites imagined or wanted. And, as you say, it is true (as I noted in my Antifa review), the Girondists will get it in the neck.

          But, as I keep noting, I’m optimistic that America will be different. We’re going to win, and win big. Then we can get back to societal achievement.

          • Eugene says

            “I’m optimistic that America will be different. We’re going to win, and win big. Then we can get back to societal achievement.”

            I hope you’re right, Charles.

            It will be interesting to see if Dave agrees to take the other side of the proposed bet!

          • Dave says

            I’ll write a more thorough reply to Charles’s rebuttal above in a few moments, but let me cut to the chase first: yes, I will take your bet. I see much of the same deterioration in the social fabric that you do, and I think we have some dark years ahead. But killing 50,000 people is a lot of work, and frankly I don’t think either the current American right or left has it in them on the specified timetable.

            While that’s a tongue-in-cheek response, I do think the decay will not be as fast as you predict. But five years is still a long time – long enough for my colleagues on the left to invent a social cause even more odious to the tenets of Foundationalism than anything we have dreamed up so far. Whatever that glorious vision may be, I look forward to advancing it with a contribution of $5,000 of your money!

            A few other thoughts:

            1) Charles, I would welcome you taking some more time to “sit down and pick out threads” about the implications of demographic changes in America. Asserting that it is a “fallacy” based on “propaganda” is all well and good, but it’s something short of an argument. To follow up your chosen example, Latinos have voted for Democrats at a rate of between 60% and 70% since the 1980s. Of course, the Latino vote is not monolithic – older, conservative and Catholic Latinos tend to vote Republican, as do Cuban- and Venezuelan-Americans – while younger, secular, and second-generation Latinos vote more Democratic. But the Latino proportion of electorate has grown, while its preference for Democrats has remained relatively stable (the marginal gains Trump had in this election were largely due to higher relative turnout among Latinos who already tend to favor Republicans). Show me data that presents a different trend.

            2) You assert that I don’t see “statue destruction” as a problem. Guilty as charged. America faces numerous real problems – homelessness, health care costs, climate change, loss of middle-class jobs – but statute destruction ranks nowhere meaningful among them.

            3) And as for “cancel culture,” I’m always struck by how the case for this looming threat is always, always based on a handful of anecdotes from college campuses, and lacks any kind of systemic data about broader social trends. Perhaps, that’s because, as I noted and no one has refuted, that the most popular television and radio programs in America are conservative propaganda outlets with only the most tenuous connection to underlying reality. If conservative voices are being systematically silenced, that’s a pretty big failure. I’m going to have to lodge a sternly-worded complaint at the next meeting of the Global Leftist Supremacy Council!

            Now, when it comes to college campuses, I actually have some sympathy for the right’s position. I believe that arguments are tested, revised, and made stronger by being forced to confront intelligent dissenting views. It’s why I spend occasional evenings writing screeds like this on a blog where my viewpoint is well outside the mainstream. Were I a college president, I would welcome voices from left and right to speak – and encourage students to come, ask challenging questions, and offer their own commentary and jeers. Nothing undermines the Milo Yiannopouloses of the world more thoroughly than letting them speak – that brand of vacuous right-wing trolling quickly collapses on exposure to fresh air, and gets undeserved dignity when it is pre-emptively stifled.

            But in this big, beautiful, noisy country, I simply can’t get too upset about what happens on college campuses – especially when so much of the outrage on the right is so transparently manufactured. Take the New York Post article referenced above on “Oxford University’s attempt to ban sheet music.” You will be shocked, I know, to discover that the Post may have have over-hyped or distorted a story to stoke the gleeful rage of its conservative readership. But if one looks back through the sourcing for the article, it turns out that far from “Oxford University” taking action, the perspectives cited come from a single professor who submitted his views to a committee report that is not yet finalized.

            So how about I offer my own bet to those of you exercised about the dire threat cancel culture poses: I have $5,000 which says that in March 2026, sheet music will still exist – even at Oxford University. Any takers?

          • Charles Haywood says

            I’ll try to be briefer here!

            1) Bet set.

            2) I also accept your endorsement of the reality of the “Great Replacement”—which I see Tucker Carlson is also talking about.

            Me, I don’t think any immigration should be allowed, except very limited immigration based on skills and cultural compatibility. (That is, if you’re European, you have to think like Viktor Orbán, and if you’re Latino, you have to think like Jair Bolsanaro.)

            3) The idea that conservatives are violently oppressed only on college campuses is completely clueless (and I agree with the other commenter response to you on this). I can’t see how anyone can believe that. Do you deny that I would be fired from any job in white-collar America today if my bosses knew 5% of the stuff I say on this blog? That Fox News is intermittently conservative (and increasingly less so) is not at all to the contrary.

            4) Sadly, those like you who at least try to keep an open mind are extremely rare on the Left. (They’re probably rare across America, but as I’ve note repeatedly before, though you disagree, someone on the Left can live his whole life in a Left bubble, but that’s impossible on the Right.) But I think you’re wrong that “vacuous right-wing trolling quickly collapses on exposure to fresh air.” The popularity of such, or actual conspiracy theories such as QAnon, is indicative of the massive (and completely justified) distrust of our ruling oligarchical elites. Widespread acceptance of such is a sign of impending collapse (see, e.g., the Great Fear of 1789). The Left was not tactically wrong to suppress Yiannopoulos.

      • Dave says

        Thank you for the detailed and thoughtful response, and particularly for the delightful fact that Beef Supreme was played by a Wilson brother. Everything about that scene was already perfect, but learning that is a nice addition.

        You make an important point with which I agree. Much of our disagreement (though certainly not all) stems from the way we characterize “the right.” When I use that term, I mean its central current expression in modern American society: the Republican Party. It sounds like we both consider the organizing principles of that party (which could more precisely described as the whims of Donald Trump) – in all their inconsistency, mendacity, pettiness, and short-sightedness – to be, to coin a phrase, deplorable.

        When you invoke “the Right” (I’ll capitalize it as you do to preserve the distinction), I understand you to mean something entirely different – a consistent, principled conservative movement in exile, perhaps one that adheres to what you have described as Foundationalism.

        These are two different things, to be sure, as you point out. But while the former has a meaningful impact on American society – controlling (until very recently) most levers of government and substantial portions of the media – the latter is largely irrelevant to our public life.

        You invoke the 74 million votes that Trump received in this election (and by the way, never have I heard so much triumphant crowing about a distant second-place finish as I have from conservatives in this election) as an expression of the desires of the “Right” – but in fact, most of those voters were endorsing the values of the “right” established by the Republican candidates actually on the ballot: tax cuts for corporations paired with massive government spending, crony capitalism, weak-kneed coddling of foreign dictators, and white identity politics – and of course, a substantial number of those voters are also perfectly comfortable with same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

        The subset of those voters who represent the values of the “Right” are much, much smaller subgroup. And that’s why they are almost entirely ignored by conservatives in power.

        For example, you quite rightly note that Republican-dominated Congresses and Supreme Courts have declined to legislate or adjudicate an end to abortion rights; the reason, of course, is that they know the deep unpopularity of such an action among the American people would result in an immediate re-shaping of Congress, and likely the courts. Whether we view it as right or wrong (and I know we have sincere differences on this issue) the data are consistent and clear – only a small minority of Americans support a complete and unconditional prohibition on abortion.

        Thus, Republicans offer what Ross Douthat this weekend described as “notional” support for pro-life policies – doing just enough to signal to their voters that they care about the issue, without ever fully acting on their avowed convictions and inviting the political catastrophe that would befall them afterwards. This gap between stated principle and action, which quite understandably infuriates you, demonstrates the yawning chasm between the constituencies of “the right” and “the Right” – with the former much larger than the latter.

        As a I understand your view, the bankruptcy of the current “right” will inevitably pair with the well-established depravity and moral bankruptcy of the left to lead to a total collapse of our societal and governmental structures in the near future, from which “the Right” will emerge to shape a new future for the country. Maybe. But as a liberal, I believe you have to fight the right you see before you – not the Right that some might want or wish to have at a later time. So it’s the contest with the right that I see as meaningful – and I realize that means we may be talking past one another.

        Of course, there are other areas of your rebuttal that beg a response – I will touch on just a few of them quickly:

        1) You refer me to your writing on Shales’ “Great Society” to validate your assertion that “the Left totally controls what is considered news.” I see some notes about government funding for social programs and related PR and organizing in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but nothing that clearly establishes a your sweeping statements about leftist domination of the media — much less explains the elections shortly thereafter in which Democrats managed to only win single states in ’72 and ’84. A lot of broad assertions, very little evidence.

        2) On the “Russia Hoax,” of course the Mueller investigation led to 34 indictments of individuals (and three of Russian businesses), seven guilty pleas and five jail sentences. A pretty remarkable collection of criminality. But hey, whatever you need to pretend in order to keep the victimhood acute!

        3) And on a small final note, you miss my point on the movies – it’s not just that Wonder Woman ($822 million) or Black Panther ($1.3 billion) made a lot of money. It’s that they made much MORE money than their “non-woke” contemporaries that all benefited from the same marketing machines and had much more established cultural capital (Man of Steel $668 million). Money doesn’t just talk, it sings a sweet, sweet love song to our wonderful multicultural country!

        • Eugene says

          “So how about I offer my own bet to those of you exercised about the dire threat cancel culture poses: I have $5,000 which says that in March 2026, sheet music will still exist – even at Oxford University. Any takers?”

          Amusing! You’re obviously turning this into a caricature. I’d do the same thing if I were you! I referenced the NY Post article as one of the sources, but there are other sources (and no, I am not referring to Fox News). There was an article about it in The Telegraph; unfortunately, it is protected by a paywall. However, this is from The Daily Mail: “University staff have argued that the current curriculum focuses on ‘white European music from the slave period’, according to The Telegraph.” No one is saying that sheet music won’t exist in five years, at Oxford or elsewhere. The point is that a professor (professors?) at one of the most prestigious universities in the world floated the idea, and that the idea appears to have been under consideration. Caricaturizing this point is a very effective way of sidestepping a reality whose implications and ramifications are bound to make one very uncomfortable. As they should.

          In your analysis, these issues are limited to the current Kulturkampf on university campuses. This is simply not true, a fact to which anyone who has had experience working in a corporate setting in North America will attest. There is a sprawling cemetery littered with reputations unjustly destroyed, all casualties of the ongoing witch-hunts – and that cemetery sprawls far beyond the academe. I have personally witnessed phenomenal indoctrination (which starts with mandatory “diversity training”, which are of course nothing less than programs designed to cleanse whites of their atavistic racist instincts), censorship, and intolerance of any opinion that strayed from the doctrine of the bien-pensants; often this is done subtly but no less doggedly for it. In fact, some of the apostles and emissaries of this doctrine want to make sure that you follow the rituals in the privacy of your own home. As Charles has mentioned in another post, Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s justice secretary no less (the irony!), has called for the criminalization of hate speech in private residences (here’s your source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/hate-crime-bill-hate-talk-in-homes-must-be-prosecuted-6bcthrjdc) – an extraordinary assault on freedom of speech, not least because “hate speech” is, as we know too well, a fluid and evolving concept. As mentioned, a former politician here in Canada was ejected from his corporate posts for having said there was no systemic racism in the country.

          Again, to deny that all this is happening is to deny reality itself. But you’re astute enough not to deny it, which is why you’re resorting to caricatures. I don’t mean to sound condescending, but I do encourage you to consider that the beneficiaries of the causes you defend so fervently might not show much gratitude to you in the end! The history of revolutions is very clear on that point.

        • Charles Haywood says

          This question of the “Right” is an important one. A few thoughts:

          1) When you mention “a consistent, principled conservative movement in exile,” you probably don’t mean, but I hear, something like Ben Sasse or Mitt Romney. There is zero market for what those people are selling—basically social liberalism combined with corporate toadyism. Before we get to the Republican Party, I note that tendency is not in any way the Right.

          2) The Right today is not conservative in the sense that term was often used in the past. There is nothing remaining to conserve, and nostalgia is a mistake. The Right is therefore, of necessity, a radical project of something new, if informed by the wisdom of the past. (This was Burke’s position, in fact—that sometimes things go so bad that incremental change is neither desirable nor possible, but rather radical change.)

          3) I don’t really think that the Republican Party is the Right’s “central current expression in modern American society.” The Republicans are rather a dying contradiction in terms, like the Whigs of the 1850s; they contain within themselves too many incompatible tendencies, but haven’t fractured, because that both requires an alternative, and the costs are very high to many with power. This isn’t a few problem (it was what Meyer’s fusionism was designed to cover up), but the Republicans are certainly over. A party might continue to exist with that name, but it will be necessarily very different.

          This is exemplified by something like 80% of Republicans still say they support Donald Trump, and I expect an honest survey of Republican Party “leaders” would offer support for Trump less than 10%.

          4) Thus what you identify as among the Republicans is largely true (although I suspect much of what you would see as examples I disagree with), but that’s a function of internal contradictions as much as the recent “leadership” of Donald Trump.

          5) You think, I’m pretty sure, that anyone who supports Trump necessarily exemplifies “inconsistency, mendacity, pettiness, and short-sightedness.” This is false; they would be happy with Better Trump. (However, I freely admit that most Americans lack virtue and that those adjectives apply to most Americans; one reason democracy is both stupid and over in America, but I’ll cover that in my response to your other comment in this thread.) That is to say, what the Right wants is none of the above. What they want, probably, is not Foundationalism (though they will), but the program and honesty of Tucker Carlson with the drive of Jair Bolsonaro. There’s a reason Tucker is so popular, and it’s not what you probably think, that dumb rubes are being propagandized by Evil Fox News.

          6) You are entirely correct that the Right “is largely irrelevant to our public life.” This is why Trump was successful—he was the first politician to pay any attention to these people, rather than to the corporate interests that control the Republican party. (It is true that he only paid attention in his campaign, and betrayed those people when in office.) Thus, it is not true that Trump voters were “endorsing . . . tax cuts for corporations paired with massive government spending, crony capitalism, weak-kneed coddling of foreign dictators, and white identity politics.” (The last is true to a certain point; white people are tired of being demonized, and they should be.) Rather, it is true that they got tax cuts and crony capitalism; they did not get what Trump promised, which is ending illegal immigration, expansions of gun rights, help for the working class, and so forth.

          But they certainly voted Right in massive quantities, in both 2016 and 2020. Fremont didn’t win in 1856, after all.

          That they were “almost entirely ignored by conservatives in power” is false, because there were no conservatives in power between 2016 and 2020; the Uniparty, consisting of the Deep State’s permanent bureaucracy, the national security apparatus, the Left’s dominance of all levers of elite power, and some catamite Republicans, was in power. Trump voters didn’t want any of that; they were ignored, but not by “conservatives,” but by their oligarchic masters, whom they wanted to throw down from their seats of power. Trump wasn’t the right guy for that, obviously; he lacks the discipline and will to make any progress against the Uniparty (which will almost certainly require violence, anyway).

          That “Republican-dominated Congresses and Supreme Courts have declined to legislate or adjudicate an end to abortion rights” is not because “they know the deep unpopularity of such an action among the American people would result in an immediate re-shaping of Congress, and likely the courts.” This can be seen by that they didn’t legislate any restrictions at all, even though restrictions are wildly popular (not surprising given that America has, courtesy of our lawless Supreme Court, the most radically pro-abortion regime in the entire Western world). No, they declined to do anything because they answer to the oligarchy, which is entirely hard-Left on social issues. (It can also be seen, with respect to the courts, by Bostock, the creation of new rights for trannies by rewriting legislation, hardly a major demand of Americans. I could multiply endless examples.)

          7) I’m not sure I referred you to Shlaes for the precise point about the media, but we’ve talked about whether the Left dominates the media before. Denying that the Left completely dominates the media—that is, completely sets what is considered news—seems to me completely insane, and even more so in the past few years, as social media has moved to massive deplatforming. But we just aren’t going to agree, it seems to me.

          8) Of course the massive resources devoted to the Russia Hoax resulted in seven guilty pleas. How many of those had anything to do with the claimed basis of the Mueller investigation? None, because it was all a lie cooked up by the Deep State. All those were process crimes such as lying to investigators, or ancillary, like “money laundering.” And for non-common law crimes, especially in anything high profile, we should assume that all guilty pleas are illegitimate, since the standard tactic of the federal government is to terrorize defendants with multi-decade proposed sentences (since any person in America can easily be accused of violating multiple federal laws at any time) and total financial ruin, or to take a coerced plea bargain. In other words, your response merely proves my point.

          The simple fact is that (a) the Russia Hoax was a total hoax, and this has been definitively proven and (b) nobody has been punished for this, or for any of the other illegal actions of the Deep State. This alone is a sign of gangster government, and proof the federal government is a wholly illegitimate, criminal entity.

          9) And, finally, of things on which we totally disagree, or are talking past one another, do you deny that all cultural products sold, from movies to dolls, are completely dominated by woke fascism? (See my thoughts on Battlefield V.) Wonder Woman and Black Panther aren’t actually particularly woke (though see Jonathan Pageau’s thoughts on the former). (Black Panther is mostly notable for the sad pathetic way in which a fantasy is constructed that highlights the real accomplishments of Africa for what they are, which is nothing in all of human history.) A better example is how the homosexual pressure group GLAAD forced ten percent of “TV series regulars” to be shown as homosexuals (or other sexual deviants)—and then set the new requirement at twenty percent. This despite that homosexuals are maybe two percent of the population (whatever surveys may say about Gen Z). All popular culture is totally infected with continual Left propaganda, and this is also impossible to deny. If you think any of this propaganda is created with the goal of making more money, again, there’s really no profitable discussion to be had, and we can stick to Beef Supreme!

  10. Warner Graham says

    Hi Charles,

    I appreciate how honest you are with your thoughts. Courage like that is in short supply these days.

    I know you said that there is no more remaining common ground with the Left today but I am curious what your rebuttals would be, if you were persuaded to give them, to what Sam Harris had to say about the events of January the 6th?

    He discussed his take on the events on his podcast shortly after they occurred. I’ll paraphrase his main points here.

    1. Trump caused this all by lying to the public.

    2. This lacked the gravitas of a normal coup which makes it even more embarrassing for the US. It has disgraced the country in the eyes of the world. The US is the laughing stock of the world today.

    3. The Right has no basis of comparison between the BLM riots and Jan 6th because Jan 6th was not a riot, it was an insurrection caused by a sitting US President. Instead of looting a shopping mall the insurrectionists were storming the halls of the Capital building. “There is no analogy to be drawn here.”

    4. “Nothing like this has ever happened in the US before.”

    His full commentary is available on youtube: watch?v=c-pTYLhitds

    What do you make of the man and his commentary?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,
    Warner

    • Charles Haywood says

      I love compliments, such as that I am courageous, so thanks! On the other hand, as I note occasionally, I am almost completely invulnerable, in a way few people are, so I’m not sure it’s all that courageous to tell the truth.

      As to Sam Harris, I didn’t watch the video, but of the summary, I’d say top level that is of a piece with almost everything I’ve ever heard of what Sam Harris says, that is to say, it’s unbelievably stupid in every aspect. (I only know generically about Harris—that he is one of the execrable New Atheists, who are the height of combined stupidity and hubris, and that he has been an occasional interlocutor of Jordan Peterson, but I have never listened to an exchange between them.)

      I’ll respond briefly to points 1-4:

      1) Trump did not lie to the public; I didn’t follow every word he said, but his claims were prima facie sound, and the (preannounced) refusal to even address them in any way, but rather to use mass coordinated power to viciously punish anyone who even asked for any kind of investigation, strongly suggests he was right. When Harris responds to the link I put in the piece (to an article by Michael Anton), then I’d be impressed. Until he does (and neither he nor anyone else will), I will assume their refusal is meant to conceal their complicity in the pysop.

      2) This wasn’t any type of coup (or insurrection, or what have you); such claims are not worth addressing, for they are strictly Stalinist-level propaganda. It may be that the world, meaning presumably Westernized elites, is laughing at us. First, so what? Second, if they are, they are doing so solely on the basis of the propaganda they also are fed, so again, so what? It’s all part of the pysop; it doesn’t end at the border. Anyway, those elites are my enemies just as much as America’s (Left-dominated and controlled) elites are.

      Of course, a feeling that European elites are our superiors is a weird trait of many of our own elites. I don’t understand it. I am extremely well acquainted with Europe, and modern European elites are among the most cretinous people on the globe. Why anyone would care what they think is beyond me, but then, I don’t get invited to Davos, so if I did, maybe I’d care.

      3) There is no comparison; he is correct here. The BLM riots were a gross and evil travesty enabled by our elites and our “justice” system. The Protest was awesome and wholly reasonable; moreover, it was entirely justified. Harris’s focus on the Capitol is a distinction without a difference (and anyway ignores that the Left has similarly protested in the Capitol, without any punishment).

      4) I don’t know what his specific historical claim is here, and I don’t care, though it seems clearly false at first glance. Spending time parsing such claims of, and responding linearly to, my enemies is a waste of time, because they are not acting in good faith. Strictly speaking, this is not (usually) because they choose to act in bad faith, but because they are ideologues, in the James Burnham sense—that is, no possible fact can be adduced that would change their mind, rather than being worked into their ideology or ignored. There is none so blind as he who will not see. (This also explains how Harris can be both highly intelligent and act chronically stupid.)

      Ideology is a traditional defect of the Left, of course, in their nature. But that is doubly true in modern America, because anyone on the Right is bombarded from birth by Left claims and propaganda, whereas a Left ideologue can spend his entire life never once thinking about the claims and arguments of those who disagree with him. On the rare occasions he is even exposed to them, he simply chants, like a Tibetan monk using his prayer wheel, “Fox News! Fox News! Fox News!”, and the unpleasant feeling vanishes. Or, more recently, he chants “White supremacy! White supremacy! White supremacy!”, to the same effect. This works, until it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, the effect is going to be crippling.

  11. demosthenes1d says

    “When Harris responds to the link I put in the piece (to an article by Michael Anton), then I’d be impressed. Until he does (and neither he nor anyone else will), I will assume their refusal is meant to conceal their complicity in the pysop.”

    I read Anton’s piece on the strength of your recommendation, and it is tendentious garbage (with a few bright spots, which are far away from claims that support the narrative that “Donald Trump was unlawfully denied reelection.”) He references Claes Ryn and Patrick Bashan whose pieces are even worse. The willingness of the right-wing pundit class, including edgy outsiders like Anton, to lie or naively swallow and amplify lies about alleged voter fraud has severely damaged their credibility with me. Just because something is useful doesn’t mean its true.

    As conservatives and Christians we should always be partisans of the truth and we shouldn’t listen to fork-tongued soothsayers.

    • Charles Haywood says

      This is completely unconvincing without specifics, of which you offer not one.

      • demosthenes1d says

        Charles,

        As you know, it can take a long time to respond to such Gish gallop, and would take even longer to provide something robust. Some of my concerns/corrective are in the comments here: https://theworthyhouse.com/2020/12/11/tecumseh-and-the-prophet-the-shawnee-brothers-who-defied-a-nation-peter-cozzens/#comments

        I will just run through his section Reason to Doubt with some commentary:

        Then came the election itself. Unsurprisingly, the “Red Mirage” did appear. But was it a mirage? There are reasons to doubt. (Perhaps the single-best summary of the irregularities is “Memorandum: How the 2020 Election Could Have Been Stolen,” by Claes Ryn, a professor of politics at the Catholic University of America, published online at the American Conservative.)

        This is mostly innuendo. Yes, people correctly predicted that mail in ballots would be heavily democratic. Yes, mail in ballots are counted last in many state (because of rules that GOP legislators refused to reconsider). Every state that doesn’t count ballots as they arrive had this happen, and the reasons are glaringly obvious. (Compare Florida, where they count main in ballots ahead of time, and Georgia/Pennsylvania where they don’t). Everyone who paid attention knew this would happen. Go read the Ryn piece for yourself, it is drivel.

        Vote counting seemed to be inexplicably halted in five states (Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin)—or, more precisely, in Democratic Party-controlled big cities in those states—late on election night as Trump was piling up seemingly insurmountable leads. There are numerous eyewitness reports of election officials in the affected precincts telling the Republican observers to go home, because no more counting would be done that night, only to resume counting as soon as said observers were out of sight. Then suddenly, when the count was made public again, Biden was ahead in all five states.

        This is false or misleading on several fronts. Vote halting wasn’t inexplicable, it is normal for vote counting to be halted overnight in districts with very high volume, happens every year. Vote counting halted in lots of other places too, besides the states and locales he highlights. The eye witness reports he is referring to as numerous and implying happened in all of those states only occurred in Fulton County Georgia. Further, Trump improved on his 2016 performance in most of those “Democratic Party-controlled big cities” including Atlanta and Philadelphia. He lost votes in suburbs among educated white voters.

        Officials “found” huge tranches of ballots that overwhelmingly—and in some cases exclusively—favored Biden. Sometimes the dead “voted,” along with other ineligible people (e.g., felons and people who had moved to other states). Meanwhile, registered voters showed up to vote in person only to be told that they had already voted absentee despite having never requested an absentee ballot. There are sworn affidavits alleging the back-dating of ballots; there are mail-in and absentee ballots which appeared without creases (so how did they get into their envelopes?); as well as thousands upon thousands of Biden ballots without a single choice marked for any down-ballot candidate.

        Tranches of ballots come from specific geographic areas and many of these heavily favor one candidate. My county voted over 91% for Trump, and some of the precincts reported 0 Biden votes, must be fraud! I have looked and have found 0 credible reports of dead people or people who have moved whose votes were counted- though I agree that voter verification should be tightened up. (You may know from other conversations that I am opposed to mail in voting on principle). President only ballots are common in presidential election years. There were many votes for only Trump, though fewer than for Biden. Many Biden voters are very low information (to say the least) and this is more common in those groups.

        Then there are the statistical anomalies. For instance, political scientist Patrick Basham reports in the Spectator that “[i]n Georgia, Biden overtook Trump with 89 percent of the votes counted. For the next 53 batches of votes counted, Biden led Trump by the same exact 50.05 to 49.95 percent margin in every single batch.” What are the chances of that? And that’s only one example.

        This is just a basic failure to understand the vote counting process and statistics. It is completely untrue. The overall margin in the race didn’t change (because you were adding a small number of ballots to a huge number already counted). The actual batches fluctuated.

        Beyond the statistical, there are historical anomalies. Since the 19th century, not a single incumbent president who gained votes in his second run has lost. To the contrary, winners often shed votes. Barack Obama’s total, for instance, dropped by 3.5 million. President Trump’s rose by more than 11 million. Certain states and counties have long served as “bellwethers”: win them, and you win it all. President Trump won all the bellwether states and 18 of 19 bellwether counties. Successful incumbents tend to have “coattails”: they carry down-ballot officials from their party over the finish line. The Republicans gained 11 House seats, did not lose the Senate (at least not on election day) in a year when more than two thirds of defending incumbents were Republican, and cleaned up at the state level. Finally, primary voting has long been a leading indicator of the November outcome: dominate the primaries, win the general. No incumbent who received 75% or more of the total primary vote has ever lost re-election; President Trump got 94%.

        No precedent lasts forever, and perhaps one or more of these really were broken in 2020. But all of them? Mostly stupid. With low n events like presidential elections you can find all sorts of “every time since 1890” sort of correlations. People do it with weather, population movement, crop acres planted, all sorts of stuff. For these specific “Historical Anomalies.” 1. turnout has been on an increasing trend for quite some time, and it may not surprise you to find out that Trump is a polarizing figure. Trump received more votes because MANY more people voted. This is no surprise. 2) bellwether counties are the kind of things that stupid pundits love, but they mean nothing. Political coalitions are changing rapidly right now – Romney’s best demographic group was educated white voters (bachelors or more), Trump outright lost that group. Trump made huge gains among Latinos, especially Latino men. Also, the continued urban/rural split continued in its inexorable path. 3) Trump has consistently polled worse than “generic Republican,” this is about Trump as a phenomena. There was more vote splitting than usual where people voted for Republicans down ballot but voted against Trump. 4) Primary votes for incumbents are completely meaningless. This should be self-evident.

        Anyway, this could be far more thorough, but this is the central plank of his argument, providing the impetus for the entire piece. If you read this section and take it seriously you will be less informed and have a poorer understanding of the world than when you started. That is a mark of bad writing in my estimation.

        • Dave says

          It’s a shame that you had to take the time to do a thorough point-by-point refutation of this idiocy, but thank you. Addressing the conspiracy theories is like playing whack-a-mole; knock one out, and other will pop up a moment later. Anything to avoid having to face an uncomfortable reality.

        • demosthenes1d says

          Hmmm – I wrote (without spaces) before my sections of text in order to differentiate it from Anton’s writing. The system must have thought I was trying an HTML tag and eaten it. It is slightly harder to parse my critique without the marker, but it should still be obvious to anyone reading (at all) carefully. For reference I reproduced and responded to the entire section titled “Reason to Doubt” in Anton’s piece here: https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/the-continuing-crisis/

          Note that Anton doesn’t argue that “Donald Trump was unlawfully denied reelection” as Charles titled the link. He sticks with some innuendo and complaints about the elite and our “one-party oligarchy.” And he has plenty of on-point critiques of Trump’s disastrous preparation and response.

          Anton also mentions Trump’s claim that millions of illegals voted in 2016, which Trump provided as the reason he didn’t win the popular vote. Anton makes it seem as though this claim was just dropped and never followed up on. However, Trump appointed a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with Pence at the helm. They asked for some records which would have been against most states laws to turn over. Then they dithered for about a year and were disbanded without finding any evidence of fraud or issuing a report. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Advisory_Commission_on_Election_Integrity
          Trump then shifted the effort to the DHS and despite their extensive records on immigrants and illegals, they also found nothing.

          Continuing this trend, after Trump lost the 2020 election he talked the Justice Department into opening an investigation into voter fraud. Barr initially made remarks supportive of the idea that mail-in voting could have led to widespread fraud; but upon investigation stated “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.” They kept the investigation open, but never found anything.

          We should remember that this is Trump’s response to everything. When he lost the Iowa caucus to Cruz he responded “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!” I don’t know why anyone takes this stuff seriously. Lets keep our writing reality focuses ;).

          • Charles Haywood says

            Thank you for the detailed response (though I had to look up what “Gish gallop” is!) Sorry about the formatting problems—WordPress doesn’t allow commenters to format very well, which is annoying. It allows me to; I can change your comment to any format you want me to, to make it clearer. (But using third-party commenting systems like Disqus is a bad alternative.)

            You are correct that our earlier discussion you linked covers some of my concerns. But you don’t, there or here, address my points about what might be called “higher level” fraud. My claim that Dementia Joe’s election was and is illegitimate rests on a tripod, but unlike most tripods, it can stand completely firmly on only one leg.

            I outlined this argument in our earlier discussion that you linked, but will expand here:

            1) As to “higher level,” I mean by that two things, that are two of the three legs of the tripod. First, that completely aside from “ballot stuffing” fraud, two other forms of fraud make the election fundamentally unfair, in precisely the same manner as a South American banana republic election, only on a much greater scale.

            The first is the massive propaganda campaign, quite literally unprecedented in human history as to scope and reach, waged to deny Trump reelection. This includes not only media attacks, fueled by the money and power of the organized Left, the Deep State, and the Uniparty, that were the equivalent of tens of billions of dollars of advertisements; that’s the least of it. It includes the coordinated suppression by the Lords of Tech of any information damaging to Biden; the manipulation of search results by Google; and vastly more, no doubt much of it unknown (though that infamous Time article intimated the general plan of attack).

            The Deep State element is important, too. Such projects as the investigation into illegal voting by illegal immigrants and the post-election Justice Department’s washing its hands of the matter are merely one of innumerable examples of Trump being stymied by the permanent bureaucracy. Barr knew he had only one choice; if he chose wrong, he would likely be jailed on trumped-up (no pun intended charges). It’s simply not convincing to point to the resulting evidence of absence as absence of evidence.

            I will grant, though, that Trump’s tendency to make unlikely claims erodes, at first glance, the strength of his claims of election fraud; I address this “kooky” problem below.

            Second, the Democrats extremely successfully engaged in a lawfare campaign, with the assistance of compliant judges (and unopposed by the incompetent Trump forces, and by the Republicans, as Anton discusses), to hugely expand the ability to vote without expending any energy at all, again in a total departure from American (and for that matter, global) practice. Part of that is simply enabling the huge numbers of Democratic voters who are low-IQ and low-energy to vote; nobody denies that the easier it is to vote, the more Democratic votes are obtained, which necessarily makes an uncomplimentary statement about Biden voters. But most of the lawfare was to enable a range of fraud, from ballot harvesting (which is almost all simply open fraud) to preventing signature matching on absentee ballots to allowing ballots to be counted when received after election day in plain violation of statute law (Pennsylvania) to allowing anyone who happened to get one to complete a mailed ballot. I’m sure if I looked into it there would be more, though looking into it is a waste of time, for reasons discussed below.

            So even aside from “ballot stuffing,” a blanket term I use here to mean all direct manipulation of the actual voting process, the election was illegitimate for these two independent reasons. This is what I meant “by one manner or another” in my initial piece. Anton touches on these matters, but your thoughts on his piece seem confined to ballot stuffing.

            2) Before we get to ballot stuffing, it is worth noting that in discussions like these, there is another element in play here, a holdover from the years when actual debate seemed like a useful exercise in American politics. (This is no longer true, of course; the Left loves it when the Right spends its time talking about and pointing out the endless hypocrisies of the Left, for example, because they are indifferent to hypocrisy, caring only about using power to implement their imagined moral crusade, and it wastes the Right’s energies.) That element is that because the Narrative is offered as an airtight and obligatory suppository, part of a massive propaganda campaign of the Left, Anton’s Megaphone, the few reasonable, anyone on the Right (i.e., the targets of the Narrative) can’t say anything in response that is not phrased as an absolute without looking like he’s hedging. The classic example of this was the Clarence Thomas nomination. Leaving aside how obviously in retrospect Anita Hill was a total liar, the Left merely announced that she was a saint and everything she said was true, and any good person must repeat their cant. The reality was, there was no way to know, since Hill offered no proof, and Thomas couldn’t disprove her allegations. But if one were to say that, since the Left had already announced the Narrative was that Hill was telling the truth and Thomas was lying, one appeared to be simply hiding that one knew Thomas was in the wrong. So no middle position was possible, leading to the Left’s inevitable goal, the naked exercise of power. (It didn’t work out for them there, but their power was far less then.)

            The same dynamic applies to ballot stuffing (but not to the propaganda campaign and the lawfare, which have only one legitimate interpretation, being incontrovertible facts). One can say, in theory, “I don’t know.” In fact, that’s the logical choice, given the suppression and censorship discussed below—all one can say is, as Anton does, there are suspicious circumstances. But the dynamic tends to push absolute statements.

            3) On to ballot stuffing! We should begin by wondering why it is that any verbalized allegation of ballot stuffing has been treated to a level of censorship earlier found only in Stalinist-type regimes. We were treated before the election to preemptive announcements that this would be the case, itself suspicious (especially in light of the organized campaigns related to propaganda and lawfare, suggesting a plan). And since the election, those who control the organs of communication (Anton’s Narrative and Megaphone, again) have not only used their power to state, without argument, the complete unacceptability of any discussion, but used their power to erase any widespread dissemination of any questioning. Thus, YouTube has rigorously censored the least mention of this topic, including destroying the income of many who relied on the platform (an unwise choice on their part, to be sure, given the evil of the people in charge of it). Any white-collar employee seen to be questioning the Narrative was fired (e.g., John Eastman). And, again, much, much more. Whatever happened to “sunshine is the best disinfectant?”

            Naturally, anyone with evidence of ballot stuffing would be highly unlikely to come forward in these circumstances, though certainly several did (e.g., the postal worker, who was immediately threatened by federal agents who came to his home). In addition, beyond mere censorship of discussion, any attempt to do rigorous analysis has also been directly suppressed (e.g., GoFundMe, a pernicious element of the Left hydra, immediately erased a statistician’s campaign to do analysis, which had raised $300K), and any alternative platform that allowed free speech (of which Parler is the most prominent example) has been destroyed (so much for the libertarian argument “go build your own Twitter!”).

            It is certainly possible, though not probable, that no relevant ballot stuffing occurred. In the normal course, the way of proving this is to debate the issue. When we instead see the opposite, a crackdown on any deviation from the Party’s line, we ask, cui bono? The answer is obvious. Given this massive censorship campaign alone, a reasonable observer can conclude that the preponderance of the evidence must favor that ballot stuffing took place. That conclusion could be refuted, but zero effort has been made to do so.

            Moreover, to the extent Anton’s piece can be considered “Gish gallop,” which I don’t think is at all, this explains why. If you are forbidden from accessing evidence that allows you to weigh arguments, it is necessary to lay out many possible arguments, preferably all possible arguments, such that (a) the reader is aware those arguments exist at all, given that nowhere else could he receive that data and (b) in the hope that some future researcher, not subject to the massive censorship we are today, can use the list as signposts.

            On the specifics of ballot stuffing, to repeat what I said earlier, in our earlier discussion you linked:

            Now, I agree that a lot of the election claims were in fact kooky. And Trump surrounded himself with people who turned out to be total kooks. There are two possible reasons for that, not necessarily exclusive. First, Trump is a grifter narcissist who can’t judge character, so he attracts and then rewards (then tries to discard) these types. Second, because they are afraid of personal destruction, nobody competent will help him (e.g., high-end law firms). I think both are true. But the net effect, that kookiness surrounded all of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, doesn’t change the two points I made above [the same points I make above today], both of which strongly suggest that the election was widely fraudulent.

            People make the mistake of thinking that because Trump could get no legal relief, his claims have been disproved. But that’s obviously false. First, no judge will risk personal destruction either. But more importantly, there is no legal relief for most fraud claims of this type, because courts in the United States are barred for deciding “political questions,” both by law and custom. The solution would have been for the Republicans to prevent fraud in advance. Which they didn’t, because the Republicans who actually have power almost universally despise Trump, and those who support him. Which we are seeing writ large over the past few days.

            Thus:

            a) I don’t know if Ryn’s piece is drivel. It may be. But the claim is not self-proving. To me, it seems more tentative, rather than definitive, which is the only possible end of the Left’s campaign of suppression.

            Anton only spends five brief paragraphs on ballot stuffing. There are other more detailed pieces out there; Eastman prepared one as well. I haven’t read them (well, I skimmed them), because I don’t care—it’s not profitable for the reasons I outline throughout this response. I didn’t mean to imply that Anton was the last word on the topic; I was just linking to an interesting piece on the topic, though reading Anton is always informative. (Have you seen his recent video debating Curtis Yarvin? Yarvin does not come off well.)

            b) As to the specifics Anton does mention, absentee ballots, the halting of vote counting, and so forth, your response seems coherent. It also seems very “they say.” I believe it when you say you’ve looked into these things in detail, but since data supporting only one side is allowed, this seems necessarily incomplete. True, you can point out that picking apparent patterns out of data is always possible, and that historical anomalies aren’t a great argument, because past performance is no guarantee of future results. On the other hand, some patterns are real patterns, and sometimes historical anomalies are evidence. Both are certainly probative. And if the truth is forbidden to be discussed, but the conclusion announced in advance, it is not convincing that any person can do a complete analysis. It would take scores of people and millions of dollars to do any analysis, and that analysis is, as I say, forbidden by the lords of the present time.

            Of course, at some level, I don’t care about the legitimacy of Trump’s election. I care about power, and ensuring that, given someone must rule and our society is too divided to continue as it is, that I, or my proxies, rule, and that my enemies are suppressed or exiled. To that end I am turning to a study of two episodes in history where ideologies were suppressed by victors: the Directory prior to Napoleon and denazification in 1945 and after. I expect this to be a more fruitful line of inquiry for future use than analyzing Trump voting. For after all, if an angel appeared and announced that God had sent him to inform us that Trump was in fact defrauded, the Left would not care in the least, because they correctly focus on power and their ends, not on the truth or justice of the matter. And what is done is done, so we might as well move on to the next thing, the sooner the better!

    • > As conservatives and Christians we should always be partisans of the truth and we shouldn’t listen to fork-tongued soothsayers.

      Which is why you should stop speaking with a forked tongue. Assuming your are even a Christian and not an obvious concern troll.

  12. Carlos Danger says

    Nancy Pelosi and many others call what happened at the Capitol an insurrection. Why wasn’t it a “mostly peaceful protest”? That’s what they called what happened outside the White House in Washington, DC last summer. Police were attacked by some protesters, a building burned and a church destroyed. But other than the violence, it was peaceful, sure.

    Speaking of insurrections, we even had one of those last summer. In Seattle, protesters took over a portion of the Capitol Hill area and called it an “autonomous zone”, independent of the United States. They attacked police, destroyed property, and set up their own “government”. Yet mayor and former US attorney Jenny Durkan (my law school classmate) laughed it off as a “summer of love” rather than seek sedition or insurrection charges.

    What’s laughable is the reaction of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Sandy Cortez, for convenience) to what happened at the Capitol. She continues to claim that her life was in danger that day. That people tried to kill her. This from a woman who cowered in a toilet, mortally afraid of a policeman charged with evacuating the building after a suspicious package was found!

    As time passes, I hope people do remember the points made in Charles’s piece rather than the pompous posturing of people like Nancy Pelosi and Sandy Cortez.

    • Charles Haywood says

      We can start by popularizing the term “Electoral Justice Protest”!

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