OK, I have to admit, I don’t know what to say. I’ve been grappling with saying something ever since Charlottesville. I saw the signs in the crowds, and on people’s shirt: there were plenty of hammerskins joined up with the Nazis and the other alt-right jackasses. Disappointing, yes, but not surprising. Still, it left me with so much I wanted to say.
But I don’t know how to say any of it. It’s too big to address in just a few words, and I have no idea how to start. And just thinking about it gives me anger-induced migraines. I’ve sat on this post for months, hoping the right words would come.
Well, they haven’t. So now I am just going to write what words I have, and let them be enough.
Some years ago I wrote a piece about the culture wars, and in it I talked about the inevitable end of the conservative movement in America. (Please keep in mind, I mean the conservative movement, which is a specific group of people with an agenda, not conservatism, which is a somewhat abstract set of beliefs.)
Do I recant those words now that I have seen the rise to power of the very worst elements of the old conservative movement? Do I believe its end is not so inevitable now that it has given a public voice to the Nazis, the alt right, the Kluxers, and the hammerskins? Do I believe I was wrong now that I see that we have an openly racist president who daily betrays the very values this country was founded on, while aiding and abetting election interference by a hostile foreign power?
Look at what we have here. The Republican party, the organizational face of the conservative movement, reeks of desperation. They support Nazis, child molesters, advocates of domestic terrorism, racists, Dominionists, and basically anybody who will help enact their agenda. They ignore Russian interference in the election, allowing it to happen again, essentially ceding political power to foreign adversaries. In short, they are acting like people who see their inevitable doom approaching, and desperately make deals with any devil they can in order to forestall the inevitable.
They pass blatant tax scams designed to defraud the poor and middle classes, and make the rich richer. They try to strip voting rights from as many (non-Christian, non-white, non-male, non-straight) people as possible. They attack the press, veterans, families whose children sacrificed all for this country, and anyone who so much as questions them. They act like looters grabbing everything they can from a store before burning it to the ground and heading off into the night.
All the forces that I spoke of in that old article are still at work. Their demographic is very old, and very unpopular. They are few in number, and dying off quickly. The only reason they even hold any power at all is because of some very un-American practices like gerrymandering, voter suppression, court shenanigans, and Russian assistance. We, the people of the Other Tribes, are growing vigorously. The Republican circular firing squad and the extreme unpopularity of their positions keep them from recruiting new talent. The math is inevitable: within a decade or two, they will be so few and we will be so many that they will be unable to win any significant elections, no matter how badly gerrymandered the districts.
They know this. As I said in that old post, because they sense their end, they will try to do as much damage as possible before they go. And that is exactly what we are witnessing now. They based their philosophy, their very lives, around hatred of all this is not like them. Now that they see Not-Them becoming dominant, they have to try to destroy as much as possible. This is their nature.
If we can weather the storm, the threat they represent will pass. (Only to be replaced by another, I’m sure.) However, this is no time for battening the hatches and hunkering down. The forces that have completed their takeover of the conservative movement are dangerous in so many ways. They have divorced themselves from reality. They base everything they think and do on virtue signaling and faith. They reject not just science, but reason and facts, too, as if reality were solely a matter of opinion. Because of this, they cannot be reasoned with. They are immune to facts, common sense, and even their own self interest. They stay buried in their echo chambers and construct an elaborate fantasy world. Well, they’re trying to impose that twisted fantasy on everyone now, and there is no compromise with that kind of madness. We all have to do what we can to resist them.
Let me add a whistle of appreciation for the hammerskins fighting shoulder to shoulder with the other regressive forces here. You may hate many of the same things they do. You may be as petty and violent and unreasonable as they are. But at the end of the day, even if they find a way to win, and establish dominance over all of the people you both hate, what do you think happens next? They may tolerate you now, but at the end of the day, you aren’t Christian. Once they’re done using you useful tools, they will destroy you as well. Way to go, quislings.
There was so much more I wanted to say. I do not have the words. Good luck to you. It’s a ways yet, until dawn.