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Meet the New Conservatives, Same As the Old Conservatives

Someone unfamiliar with American political history might be forgiven for thinking that American social conservatives have historically been in favor of individualism and small government and have only recently embraced big government restrictions on civil liberties, in response to the radical left. This narrative has not been questioned enough. Over at the conservative Catholic site First Things, right-winger Sohrab Ahmari recently urged the right to abandon its fixation with “protecting individual liberty,” in response to the supposed phenomenon of “Christians coercively squeezed out of the public square.” According to Ahmari, up until now, conservative Christians have mostly been interested in being left alone to practice their faith, only to be continuously harangued by the authoritarian left. The fact that a key example Ahmari uses to support this point is drag queens reading to children in public libraries might suggest that he is suffering from a victim complex. But even non-conservative critics of Ahmari often let one of his central premises go unchallenged. Over at the libertarian site Reason.com, Stephanie Slade writes, “you’re probably old enough to remember a time when conservatives opposed the idea that it was the federal government’s job to solve most problems. A time when they thought that individuals, families, and community groups, not politicians, were responsible for building a good life and a good society.”

Even further to the right, far left social justice warrior excesses are blamed for the rise of white supremacist movements. In an anonymous YouTube comment that went viral after it was signal-boosted via social media, a self-described “straight white man” writes,

I have never been interested in white ethnonationalism until I started being told I was somehow unworthy of being a part of society by the media/the left. I do not feel superior to anyone based off of my race, but I also will not be told I am inferior. I don’t want to be involved in hateful subcultures, but when the message I’m overwhelmingly receiving from the common culture in general is ‘fuck you for being a straight white man,’ white nationalism starts looking much more appealing. If the rest of society has formed race-based gangs as in a prison, I’m going to start sitting with the other whites for group protection.

Just as Ahmari and company claim that conservative Christians did not start supporting big government until secular leftists provoked them, some white supremacists and their sympathizers claim that they would rather not promote segregation, but are driven to do so by anti-white, anti-male, anti-heterosexual bigotry.

These claims cannot be taken seriously without ignoring basic facts about American history and politics. The American right generally—and the American Christian right even more so—have never been in favor of limited government or opposed to identity politics. In various eras of American history, they backed slavery; Jim Crow; the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans; censorship of everything from anti-slavery literature to Communist propaganda, flag desecration and pornography; massive legal restrictions on the rights of women and LGBT people; the surveillance state; and a host of other uses of government power, designed to promote an authoritarian state that privileges white, heterosexual, cisgender men above everyone else. It was against the backdrop of these examples of socially conservative identity politics and big government that the so-called Social Justice left emerged. That does not mean that social justice warriors, however we define the term, are always right in how they go about promoting their causes. But they cannot be blamed for creating something that they are, in fact, reacting to. If the modern white supremacist movement is a reaction to the left, then what were slavery and Jim Crow a reaction to? If the modern men’s rights movement is a response to feminism gone wrong, then what was the denial of women’s suffrage in the 1800s a reaction to? If the excoriation of the Covington Catholic students on social media justifies an authoritarian right, what does the abuse of Native American children by missionary schoolteachers justify? If Black Lives Matter is how we got Trump, how did we get Andrew Jackson in the 1820s? If the modern anti-LGBT movement is a response to excesses by modern LGBT radicals, then what was the legal persecution of LGBT people throughout American history a reaction to? Are we expected to believe that historical practices such as sodomy laws, confining trans people to insane asylums, and bans on crossdressing and mixed sex dancing were some sort of pre-emptive reaction to future persecution of conservative Christians?

Consider the case of Reverend Jerry Falwell. Falwell was one of the most prominent conservative American Christians in the latter half of the twentieth century. He was pivotal in forging an alliance between evangelical Christians and the Republican party. He preached in favor of government-imposed racial segregation during the 1950s, denouncing interracial marriage and Brown v. Board of Education. As open support for segregation became less socially acceptable, Falwell focused his attention on other groups, such as gay people—opposing virtually every gay rights reform from the 1970s to the early 2000s. He not only opposed gay marriage and adoption but was also against allowing gay people to teach schoolchildren. He even warned that legalizing homosexuality could lead to bestiality. He denounced a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights to women and complained that “many women have never accepted their God-given roles.” Free speech was a negotiable principle for the good reverend. He backed obscenity laws and sued Hustler magazine for a satirical article about him, a lawsuit so anti-free speech that even the Rehnquist Court could not sustain it. The writings of Ahmari feel as if they could have easily come from Falwell, minus Ahmari’s Catholicism.

If one is tempted to dismiss Falwell as an anomaly, consider the right-wing magazine National Review. David French, one of the conservatives who attracts the most ire from Ahmari, for his supposed libertarianism (despite French’s opposition to gay marriage, LGBT in the military and trans bathroom rights) writes for the magazine. Other writers for the magazine have defended French against Ahmari’s critiques. The magazine’s original kingpin was William F. Buckley, a conservative Catholic like Ahmari. In the 1950s and 60s, Buckley offered qualified defenses of legally enforced Jim Crow. As late as 1964, he opined that, “segregation is morally wrong if it expresses or implies any invidious view of a race, not so if it intends or implies no such thing.” Later, he would similarly try to rationalize South African apartheid. He was a lifelong foe of gay marriage. While he took a libertarian position on the war on drugs, he favored censorship of pornography. In more recent years, National Review has run articles defending racial profiling and Bob Jones University’s now defunct interracial dating ban and opposing gay marriage and the Supreme Court’s repeal of sodomy laws, as well as taken an official editorial position in favor of banning flag burning.

What, then, of the Republican party establishment? Since its shift to the right in the 1960s, the GOP has been no stranger to big government authoritarianism and identity politics. In his first foray into California politics, Ronald Reagan combined denunciations of anti-discrimination legislation with calls for stricter obscenity laws. We have recently discovered from old recordings that he called black Africans monkeys. When California finally repealed its sodomy law in 1975, Reagan defended the old law because, “You can make immorality legal, but you cannot make it moral.” As Governor of Texas, George W. Bush called his state’s sodomy law a “symbol of traditional values” and opposed attempts to repeal it. As president, he called for a constitutional ban on gay marriage in all fifty states. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush were key advocates of Florida’s anti-gay adoption laws, some of the nation’s harshest. On virtually every occasion that Congress considered an anti-flag desecration amendment, Republicans voted for it overwhelmingly. In 1995, House Republicans voted for the amendment 219–12, Senate Republicans 49–4. Had only conservative Republicans voted, support would have likely been even more lopsided: many of the nay votes came from Rockefeller Republicans, such as Jim Jeffords, Chris Shays, John Chafee and Robert Packwood. It should be obvious to any unbiased observer that the idea of a pro-small government, pro-free speech, anti-identity politics version of conservatism, dominant until recently, is cockamamie.

In 1820, Thomas Jefferson tried to rationalize his intellectual misgivings about slavery with his support for it in practice: “we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.” Jefferson feared a massive slave uprising in the US, of the kind that he and George Washington had unsuccessfully tried to suppress in Haiti. Thus, Jefferson tried to use the fear of what blacks might do in retaliation for slavery to retroactively justify enslaving them, even though continued enslavement obviously made violent revolts more likely. Similarly, the authoritarian and identitarian right use the actions of leftists to retroactively justify continuing to do what they have always done.

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20 comments

  1. As a non-altruistic reciprocator, I have a very simple principle whom to harm or to help: I help those who help me, and harm those who harm me. If religious moralists want to ban my sexual self-interest or other personal preferences of mine, I harm their interests for it. If feminists and SJWs decide that #KillAllMen is a great idea for a hashtag, since I happen to be a man, I harm their interests for it. If you want me to benefit you, don’t attack my personal priorities. If you don’t want white men to be your active enemies, don’t declare yourself active enemies of white men.

    We all make mistakes, and many grievances may be legitimate. But harming me without compensating me for it is never free, neither should it ever be.

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  2. “If the modern white supremacist movement is a reaction to the left, then what were slavery and Jim Crow a reaction to?”

    To something else. Obviously not a justified reaction. Two things to notice:

    1) Giving a causal explanation for a phenomenon is not automatically an attempt to justify the phenomenon. There is nothing wrong in trying to find the causal explanation for the rise of or a change in the white supremacist movements at a certain point in time (viz. recently).

    2) Playing “who did wrong first” is a stupid game and the winner gets a stupid prize. A better game to play is “how can we do better in the future”. The latter game is a lot easier to play with good results, if you don’t mistake causal explanation for moral justification and descriptive for normative.

    The same goes for the rest of the “if … then what” -questions.

  3. I’m always surprised how thinly considered Americans can be when it comes to opinion pieces like this. Just recently, I read a story about a Foreign Service worker who quit his job because he was accused of representing an America in conflict with his ideals “I attended celebrations of Black History Month at our embassy in Lisbon as black communities in the United States demanded justice for Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.” Well, that describes all of us right? Plenty enough for some apparently.

    I don’t know about you, but I hate being stereotyped. I came to conservatism via a man named Larry Arnn. Heard of him? Among other things, he is the man behind a publication called ‘Imprimis’. It has 4.5 million subscribers. It has been around since 1972, so if you’re interested in digging up some obscure authoritarian dirt you have several decades to work with. I don’t bother trying to evangelize who or what conservatives are or were, but it would be nice to hear somebody talk about diversity in the American Right instead of aggregating fear and illogic.

    1. I don’t think one can really call Reagan, Buckley, Falwell, the Bushes, or Rubio “obscure.” And does Larry Arnn, for example, think government has a right to ban gay marriage? I would be interested to look at precisely where his views are at odds with the social conservatives I have described here.

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  4. Honestly, I have to admit the fact that I believed, believe and will continue to believe that a negative attitude towards sexual deviations is a healthy instinctive reaction of a mentally normal person.
    I’m not a believer. Absolutely. But I’m still sure that the institution of marriage is about offspring, not about sex.

    Sorry, Charles 🙂

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      1. For the first question my answer is – definitely government has right to define marriage as a term used for heterosexual couples only. There are a lot of politically correct terms for homosexual unions. I have no intention of offending homosexual couples, but I ask them to use other terms.
        The answer to the second question is even simpler because your question is a typical demagogic trick. I remember, when I said that I was against adoption of children by homosexual MSM couples, my opponents gave me examples of families in which parents are heavy alcoholics and said that it is better to give children from such families to gays than to leave them in these families.
        This is a false alternative, based on the assertion that it is better to simply cut off the child’s leg than to kill him. To cut off leg is definitely better that to kill but this choice is not mine, mine is an ordinary family.
        It’s the same here. Social institutions are based on general rules, not on exceptions.

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        1. Nah, there are plenty of married couples who have no intention of ever reproducing. It would be very easy to exclude all these people from the right to marry. It’s very clear you’re rationalizing.

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            1. The only reason this is “boring” to you is that you choose not even to try to comprehend the logical structure underneath the counter-arguments.

              You wrote “But I’m still sure that the institution of marriage is about offspring, not about sex.” We merely took your argument to its logical conclusion, which you reject out of hand while providing no arguments for that rejection.

              If you really wanted to make sure that marriage is about offspring, not about sex, you would take the idea of excluding child-free couples from the right to marry very seriously. The fact that you don’t shows us it was never your true rejection. You are obviously lying through your teeth. This wouldn’t matter if you weren’t attacking the self-determination rights of other people. Except you are.

              1. Yes, I’m sure that any man who pretends to be a “woman” still remains a man. He may pretend that he is Napoleon, but he is not the emperor of the French.
                This type of “self-determination” does not change reality.

  5. “The American right generally—and the American Christian right even more so—have never been in favor of limited government or opposed to identity politics. In various eras of American history, they backed slavery; Jim Crow; the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans; censorship of everything from anti-slavery literature to Communist propaganda, flag desecration and pornography; massive legal restrictions on the rights of women and LGBT people; the surveillance state; and a host of other uses of government power, designed to promote an authoritarian state that privileges white, heterosexual, cisgender men above everyone else. ”

    I see what you did there. “The American Right” is here defined as, “anyone who does or advocates anything bad”. You tacitly equate the motives for and identify the proponents of backing slavery with the proponents of and motives for backing Jim Crow; you tacitly equate the motives for and identify the proponents of censoring anti-slavery literature with the motives for and proponents of censoring Communist propaganda and etc; you tacitly equate the motives for and identify the proponents of “massive” legal restrictions on the rights of women with the motives for and proponents of “massive” legal restrictions on LGBT people; etc etc; and then you assert without the slightest justification that all these tacitly assumed identical proponents really had but one motive which was to “promote an authoritarian state that privileges white, heterosexual, cisgender men above everyone else.”

    Prove it. You’ve imagined a monolithic polity with a single motive that you have called “The American right”. Demonstrate its existence. Give us a credible estimate of its numbers. Show us where these bugbears live when they are at home. Explain why the folks who owned slaves were very rich while the folks who backed Jim Crow were generally lower middle class or poor white working class and how those two groups formed a single polity. Explain how the folks who opposed suffrage for women were also the folks who opposed suffrage for unpropertied men and how the reasons for that opposition had anything to do with being opposed to buggery and cunnilingus, and how support for female suffrage was not overwhelmingly a subset of support for universal suffrage for reasons which had nothing whatever to do with being in support of freedom to engage in homosexual activities. Explain how the folks who conceived of and who sustain the surveillance state in America are any different from the folks who conceived of and support the surveillance state in the Soviet Union and The People’s Republic of China. Explicitly work out and show how you know that all the bad things you’ve alluded to are the product and expression of the ideology and purposes of a single polity.

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    1. I never claimed that the American Right was responsible for everything bad in this country. Nevertheless, all of the policies that I have laid out were policies that most social conservatives in America supported and eventually clashed with many social liberals over. Many of those policies were directly and fairly explicitly about promoting a State that privileged white, heterosexual, cisgender men above everyone else. All of these policies were rather unambiguously authoritarian, with the caveat that most advocates of authoritarian government don’t use that term to describe their vision. And many, though certainly not all, of the people who supported policies such as obscenity laws and government suppression of Communists also favored policies such as Jim Crow. I believe I demonstrated the existence of the American Right when I looked at the history of the Conservative Movement, the Christian Right, and the post-1964 GOP establishment. You can easily look at opinion polls and voting patterns to get a rough estimate of the size of the American Right–if we go by polls on gay marriage, unwavering Trump support, race, etc., I’d estimate the number could be somewhere around a third of the U.S. population. If your estimate is different, I am happy to hear it. As for where they live, they can be found all over the country but especially in the South and certain rural/suburban areas elsewhere. The claim that most wealthy white Southerners opposed Jim Crow following emancipation is a myth. Jim Crow was supported by most, though not all, Southern whites across class lines. If you look at the arguments for women’s suffrage, they have notable parallels with the arguments for LGBT rights, which is a reason many later generations of feminists became LGBT rights supporters and why countries that are more liberal on women’s rights tend to be more liberal on LGBT rights. Finally, the Communist governments of the Soviet Union and China have been primarily fiscally left-wing but socially right-wing–very pro-death penalty, anti-gay, pro-conscription, etc.

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  6. There are a whole lot of claims here, and not a single source to back any of them up. I’m curious to know if Ahmari really wants a federal ban on drag queen story time and if French really is opposed to unions between gay couples, among many of the other claims in the article. It is awfully convenient to leave the sources out so the readers have no way of judging propaganda from a reasoned critique.

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    1. I am happy to provide sources for any and all of the claims here upon request. I am not entirely sure if Ahmari wants a FEDERAL ban on drag queen story readings at libraries, nor did I claim that he did. However, it is hard to come away from reading his article and not think that he at least wants states and towns to ban them. If that is not his position, he is happy to say so, but that was the strong implication of his article where he referenced the subject. As for French, he stated his belief that government should ban gay marriage here: https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/04/why-i-changed-my-mind-about-gay-marriage-david-french/

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      1. Thank you for a source. It’s interesting because left-wing authoritarian haranguing against Christians (which you casually dismiss) is the exact reason French gives for changing his stance on gay marriage. He cites the case of Brendan Eich (https://www.forbes.com/sites/tonybradley/2014/04/05/backlash-against-brendan-eich-crossed-a-line/#1d8243c6f8a6) and a number of others in the piece. Not included in the piece for obvious reasons, but in the same vane, the Supreme Court recently found that the state of Colorado also discriminated against Jack Phillips’ Christian beliefs in the Masterpiece cakeshop case. French writes “there is a concerted legal and cultural effort to not just carve out a legal space for same-sex couples but to essentially banish orthodox Christianity from public life — to treat it with the same respect that mainstream culture treats abhorrent ideologies like white supremacy.”

        He’s certainly not wrong here, and this is coming from an atheist. There has undoubtedly been a rise in anti-Christian intolerance in the country, and it comes almost exclusively from the party that holds tolerance as a primary virtue. French wants the same rights afforded to gay couples as straight ones, he just disagrees with changing the definition of marriage because “It’s important to understand that this wave of coercive intolerance is not mere aberrational excess but the natural and inevitable byproduct of grafting same-sex relationships into an institution that is a key building-block to civilization itself.”

        I don’t think the rise of anti-Christian intolerance stems from the gay marriage ruling because it certainly seems to predate the ruling, but it does seem to have rapidly exacerbated this intolerance.

        What’s important is whether the right wants the same legal rights for same sex and opposite sex unions, and from what I can tell, most do, including French. This is true tolerance, specifically, this is the type of tolerance Scott Alexander writes about in this essay: http://archive.is/QRJ6m. An excerpt here:

        The Emperor summons before him Bodhidharma and asks: “Master, I have been tolerant of innumerable gays, lesbians, bisexuals, asexuals, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, transgender people, and Jews. How many Virtue Points have I earned for my meritorious deeds?”
        Bodhidharma answers: “None at all”.
        The Emperor, somewhat put out, demands to know why.
        Bodhidharma asks: “Well, what do you think of gay people?”
        The Emperor answers: “What do you think I am, some kind of homophobic bigot? Of course I have nothing against gay people!”
        And Bodhidharma answers: “Thus do you gain no merit by tolerating them!”

        You write that the rise of the social justice left (what I often consider the authoritarian left) is caused by decades of right wing intolerance, but dismiss the idea that the rise of the authoritarian right is caused by the intolerant left. For instance, the NYT article titled “Can my children be friends with white people” (the answer titular question is a resounding no), received almost zero backlash from the left compared to Bari Weiss’ “Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web”. In another article for the NYT titled “White Women, come get your people” the author claims white women who voted for Kavanaugh’s confirmation were motivated by their “Whiteness” and were gender traitors. No backlash. Trump accused a judge of Mexican dissent of not being impartial in a ruling well over a year ago and we’re still hearing about how abhorrently racist that comment was. It’s literally the exact same logic. When the NYT hired Sarah Jeong, the women who wrote hundreds of anti-white racists messages, Vox wrote – three separate pieces – defending her, not her right to free speech, but the content of her speech (https://areomagazine.com/2019/06/10/voxs-double-standard-for-hate/).

        Do you recognize these types of sentiments are inherently intolerant, coming from the Emperor-esque pseudo-tolerant left? If you do, why is the rise of the authoritarian left justified by right wing intolerance (which absolutely does exist), but the rise of the authoritarian right not justified by left-wing intolerance (which also absolutely does exists)? We should be pushing for true tolerance, and while the right is very imperfect in this regard, they seem to be much more tolerant than the left as far as I can tell.

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        1. And French’s stated reason for his change of heart actually proves my point. In French’s mind, real or imagined incidents of intolerance by LGBT rights advocates toward conservative Christians justify not allowing gay people to marry, while the persecution of gay people by conservative Christians, which goes back much further in history and is much more extreme, does not justify violating the rights of conservative Christians. By French’s own logic, the long history of antigay persecution by government, with the support of all too many Christians, should serve as a warning against religious freedom for conservative Christians. Now, I don’t believe at all believe that this is a good reason to oppose religious freedom, I am merely making the point that French is being utterly hypocritical. (As an aside, I do not believe including LGBT people in anti discrimination laws that protect other Americans, including Christians, is a religious freedom violation.) This is especially true, given that real and imagined cases of conservative Christians being harangued for their beliefs about gay people and homosexuality is a relatively recent phenomena, while gay people have been having their rights brazenly violated for centuries in America and for far longer in other countries.

          It is an innate contradiction to say that one wants equal rights and tolerance for gay people but also wants to deny them the same access to legal, civil marriage that heterosexual people have. This is largely the same kind of “tolerance” and “equal rights” involved in making black people drink out of “separate but equal” water fountains and attend “separate but equal” schools. It is not at all consistent with granting gay people the “same legal rights.”

          The reason I dismiss the idea that the rise of the authoritarian Right is caused by the Social Justice Warrior Left is that, as I have demonstrated–and as nobody has been able to refute–the authoritarian Right was extremely powerful in America long before the Social Justice Warrior Left came into existence. I have not attempted to excuse all actions or beliefs by members of the SJW Left. In fact, I specifically referred to “excesses” that I do not support or condone. What I will not do is to make inaccurate claims about the reason for the rise of the SJW Left or blame it for political phenomena that long predate it.

          I would also caution against cherrypicking cases of the Left being more tolerant of offensive statements from other leftists compared to offensive statements by people on the Right. I could just as easily point out that racist, anti-LGBT, xenophobic, and misogynistic statements by people on the Right frequently encounter minimal backlash from other people on the Right. For instance, Donald Trump’s admonition that four nonwhite Representatives, three of whom were American-born, should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” has been largely excused by the Right. A resolution condemning these comments as racist was supported by only four House Republicans. Meanwhile, Ilhan Omar’s less extreme, but still tasteless comment about “the Benjamins” was widely condemned in the Democratic Party. The SJW Left controls some universities and some media outlets. The authoritarian Right controls much of the U.S. government, and as I demonstrated, it caused the formation of the SJW Left. Hence, the authoritarian Right is more culpable and more dangerous.

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          1. I don’t know that French is being hypocritical. In his eyes the change in marriage laws has resulted in an extraordinary escalation of anti-christian bigotry. I think he’s got his cause and effect wrong here, but regardless, he still wants all the same rights and privileges afforded to same sex couples as straight couples. He, and many like him on the right, are not driven by malice against gay people, which cannot be said for the other side for the most part. Comparing his position on marriage to Jim Crow laws is a false equivalence. Marriage and what it signifies is at the heart of Christian religious beliefs. Wanting to preserve the sacredness of an institution because of religious beliefs is not the same as wanting to preserve segregated spaces because of a deep seated hatred against minorities.

            You say the rise of the SJW left is due to the intolerance of the right, and there is some truth to this, more so historically than presently. Its also due in large part, and I’d argue in much larger part, to the asymmetrical warfare and fear-mongering the left has engaged in, aided and abetted by mainstream media. For my entire life, the left has called most every conservative presidential candidate, politician, or pundit a racist sexist bigot homophobe who hates the poor. https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/453892-media-cried-wolf-calling-every-republican-a-racist-lost-its-bite

            According to Biden in 2012, Romney was going to “Put y’all back in chains”. Before that, McCain was routinely called a racist and Islamophobe. Today, WaPo runs stories about how Ben Shapiro was “envoking the spectre of war” by claiming the Notre Dame Cathedral was a monument to Western Civilization and Judeo Christian heritage and casually mentioned him right alongside Richard Spencer. Jordan Peterson is routinely called a misogynist and NBC blatantly called him the favorite figure of the alt-right. When Steven Crowder made jokes about Carlos Maza like calling him a “lispy Mexican queer” the WaPo headline was “A right-wing YouTuber hurled racist, homophobic taunts at a gay reporter.” When Sarah Jeong called White people dogs and goblins, the WaPo headline was “An Asian American woman’s tweets ignite a debate: Is it okay to make fun of white people online?”.

            Every action a public right winger makes is analyzed in the most unscrupulous, uncharitable, and often downright dishonest fashion by the left and the mainstream media (hence my original comment about propaganda vs. a reasoned critique). Their words and actions are routinely twisted in such a way so as to make them look evil, not dumb or ignorant, but evil. This has been going on my whole life, and has only been ramped up under Trump. The right isn’t innocent here either, for instance I think they twisted Omar’s “some people did some things” comment, but I see this as merely playing by the left’s rules.

            So yes, you can make an argument that the right failed to condemn Trumps remarks, but if the right condemned every person who the left deems to have stepped out of line, like Crowder, while the left’s misgivings are given the utmost benefit of the doubt, even when the benefit is unwarranted like in Jeong’s case, then the right would have beaten themselves into submission long ago. The right simply cannot play by any sort of good faith set of rules if they want to survive in the culture. Yes, democrats condemned Omar’s “all about the benjamins” comment (which I also think was given an unfair interpretation), but that isn’t really saying much since far more Jews are democrats rather than Republicans. I would have been much more impressed if they had condemned Maxine Water’s comments, which they failed to do. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/25/politics/maxine-waters-trump-officials/index.html.

            The authoritarian bigoted right, once very much a real thing, was mostly gone (although they are making somewhat of a return under Trump) but has been kept alive in the imaginations of the left through fear-mongering. Now, after decades of crying wolf, there may actually be a man in the white house who actually is all the things the left has imagined the right to be for years, but the old words ring hollow and the siren calls are not given much notice. This is a terrible shame, because these scars won’t heal for a long time, and they may never will. The right is not innocent, but I see a good faith effort from the right wing thought leaders, like French, to create a better and more tolerant world. The left is also not innocent, but the difference is I see no such good faith effort on their end. The right controls the government (for now), but the left controls the culture, and I see mostly hate and bigotry in their vision of the world. I’m open to new perspectives and having my mind changed, but I am fairly confident my analysis, particularly of the left, is accurate.

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            1. “. . . I see a good faith effort from the right wing thought leaders, like French, to create a better and more tolerant world.”

              What exactly is this better world supposed to look like? Did he actually say such a thing? Can you point to an example like a country, county, town, neighborhood? I’ve been hearing for quite a while how so-and-so wants to make the world a better place or make a difference and I can’t say what exactly it is they have accomplished. For every group that gets something another group has to pay. It’s human nature. For all the rhetoric, in the end, right/left liberals, conservatives, leftists, et. al., all want to live in the neighborhoods with the most white people and send their kids to the whitest schools. They may vote for open borders but they live with security cameras and call the police if they see someone (usually black) doing something they don’t like. And I’m talking about Washington, DC. If they could choose most parents if not all would want their children to look and act like themselves. If anything, in the coming years the wealthy like French and his sponsors will genetically engineer their kids in the womb to enhance their abilities and beauty.

              When you call someone tolerant what you really mean is they are either terrified of being called a hater, racist, sexist, homophobe, etc., or else they are self-righteous twits (or pros like French) virtue signaling in order to score cheap human rights points.

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