In an earlier time, and not that distant a time, statements like these coming from Congressman Jerry Nadler would make him sound like a crack pot, and a dangerous one. Now? It’s considered normal discourse.
“This growth in extremist ideology is echoed in an epidemic of violence and intimidation directed at our health care professionals, teachers, essential workers, school board members and election workers…”
Ah yes those school board members under attack from those domestic terrorists, formerly known as concerned parents.
Since the Reichstag Fire that January 6th has become, we’ve seen more and more attacks from the government on these “extremists.” Exactly what way they are extreme is never really defined, but hey, you’ll know them when you see them.
The American Experiment has taken a huge pummeling this year, and the routine demonization of large swaths of the American people shows no signs of easing up. In fact, I don’t think it’s going to. Eventually all of those wrong sorts of people are going to fall under the eye of Sauron, and boy, you don’t want that to happen!
But first, you have to recognize the problem, something the normie right stubbornly refuses to do. Although first I suppose I should define what I mean by “normie” right. Others may have their own definitions, but I view them as the conservative establishment that doesn’t recognize how warm the temperature of the cannibal’s pot is getting that they find themselves in. Although they hate Trump, they’re shy of being never Trumpers, and some may have voted for him, through hot tears. But they agree that Trump was a disaster for the Republican Party rather than the wakeup call he really was. Most importantly, they don’t really think things are getting worse. Sure, there is a pendulum, things swing back and forth, but it always swings back. Democrats are in charge now, but they will overreach; are overreaching, and it will swing back to the Republicans. Nothing ever really changes.
But…ask them if it would ever be possible for a Republican to win a 49 State victory like Reagan had in 1984 and see how they hem and haw. Deep down, they know things are worse, but they can’t quite admit it…
Which brings me to Rod Dreher, a conservative columnist at The American Conservative. Dreher is Catholic, culturally conservative, and feels the need to qualify almost every article with a comment about not liking Trump or not being a Trump fan. We get it; you are still trying to have establishment bona fides. Like many establishment conservatives, he has been working overtime to try to ignore what his lying eyes (and ears) are showing him every day. But when your business model is dependent upon believing lies, sometimes there is a crack in the cognitive dissonance and you get moments like this:
“Longtime readers will know that I used to not only defend NPR, but used to celebrate it, despite its liberal bias. I really liked public radio. But after Trump’s election, NPR rushed hard to the Left —[After? Not for decades?] and became unlistenable. I used to turn it on all the time when I was in the car, but it started making me so mad I would either listen to podcasts or drive in silence. Understand that I have been a fan, and sometimes a donor, of NPR for decades, even though it’s significantly to the Left of my own politics and cultural beliefs. I was not even a Trump fan [obligatory, “I’m not one of those people moments]. Still, the obsession with race, gender ideology, and immigration — all of which was talked about exclusively from a radical-left point of view — was deeply alienating.
Today I was in the car driving back from Jimmy John’s, and I turned on NPR. There was a locally produced news show that had a feature about “pregnant people” and their “fetuses.” I finally got so angry I turned it off. Nothing new about that. But the thought that came into my head this time was that I had been listening to the radio of an occupying power, and I was sick of it. Again, I get that this is an ultra-bourgeois right-wing moment — middle-aged fat conservative rages at NPR in his Honda! — but something had flipped slightly in my usual rantiness. For what I think was the first time, I began to regard these people — the ruling class that runs NPR and all the institutions — as people who despise normal people so much that they are trying to colonize our culture.
As an aside, I’m also one of those rare creatures, the right wing NPR listener, but the network does seem intent on purging the few remaining ones like me. Every time I cut on the damn thing all I hear about is intersectionality, pronouns like “they” being used to obfuscate, rather than describe gender, and various degrees of oppression. News? What’s that?
But this is the key statement, “But the thought that came into my head this time was that I had been listening to the radio of an occupying power, and I was sick of it.”
So belated congratulations to Rod Dreher for finally figuring out where he is in relation to the country’s rulers. And I think it’s important for everyone on the right to realize where we fit in. We are living under occupation. Act accordingly. This isn’t 2010 where you can put on your tricorn hat and show up at a protest to shout “Let’s Go Brandon!” You do that today and you can expect to be surveilled by the FBI and possibly end up on the no fly list and have your bank and credit accounts closed. Go viral on twitter for doing it, and you can find yourself fired. After all, what company wants to explain why they are employing an “extremist?”
In a historical sense, there is nothing unique about this. Entire generations have grown up under occupation or its equivalent. Hell, just ask any African American growing up under Jim Crow. Sure, you could be a rabble rouser and come to a likely bad end, or you could just keep your head down and try to live your life as best as you can. That’s crucially important if you have children. You have an obligation to keep them safe, and not have their lives ruined because their parent wanted to make some sort of futile point. As I mentioned back in January, deplatforming is proceeding apace, with no signs of slowing down. So why attract attention, jumping up and down letting them know where the Kulaks are?
It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I know; I get that. But I don’t have a better solution and I do have a family. Things are fast moving and things could change for the better, but until they do, I don’t have a better strategy for weathering the storm until a little daylight can break through.