Saturday, March 4, 2017

- Not A Divorce, An (Alt) Republican Merger

For those of you who still read Jonah Goldberg, (it’s ok really… never lie when you don’t have to) you might have noticed that in spite of being one of the more prominent NeverTrump’ers, he’s still making a slow gradual roll toward being “ok” with some Trumpy things. He’d probably resent my saying so and deny it in public, but I can see it myself. The ideas are growing on him in dribs and drabs, not from the philosophy up, but from the practical application down.

Personally, this thrills me. Jonah is smart, clever, and can be devastating in his critiques, particularly when he see’s that truth is on his side. He’ll make a great ally in the policy fight to make America into a more stable, successful, and fair nation state. He’ll never be on the same page with someone like Vox, and certainly not with Richard Spencer, whose public image I think is now firmly beyond mainstream redemption. But he’ll make a great ally to whoever steps up and claims the mantle of “Political Leader” to the intellectual leadership of Jared Taylor and the Alt-Right’s own version of the beetles, John, Peter, Gavin (and Ringo?).

I say ally, because I think that’s honestly all we can ever hope for from him. An ally is someone with whom you’re various interests at least temporarily align. And while those interests are aligned, to the degree they’re capable; they will fight as reliably as family. But when the alignment of interests comes to an end, so too does your ally’s reliability.

Right now, Jonah is learning about the new political landscape, as we all should be. He’s seeing where things are and how they’re likely to change. But he’s also learning about where things were. The election showed him that things political weren’t where he thought, and now, looking back with fresh eyes, he’s realizing that maybe his master prayed to a different god than he thought they did.

And the conclusion that he slowly seems to be coming to is that maybe the alt-right isn’t what his tribal paranoia said it was. Maybe they aren’t really “after the jews” the way his twitter feed made him think they were. Maybe the Klan doesn’t really have as much of a hold on the hearts and minds of the Alt-Right, and Pepe really was nasty joke designed to shock, just like we always said it was.

And now, with those fresh eyes, he’s seeing that the boogie man under the bed may not actually be a guy named Adolf with an ugly mustache and a can of Zyklon B. Maybe it’s just a guy names Joe from Iowa City, who doesn’t want anything that seems so fully unpalatable to Jonah in practice, even if his animating reasons for it may sound less agreeable to him. And Jonah seems to be deciding that he can live with much of that.

Jonah’s mental journey should be instructive to us. Rather than embracing the Alt-right from the philosophy up to the practical, he’s embracing it from the practical down, and that’s changing his philosophy in small ways. Maybe that will never be enough to make him an advocate. Though that would be helpful, we don’t need him to be an advocate. An ally in achieving policy goals will be more than good enough, and that’s not only what I would expect from him, I think it’s what we should expect from the bulk of the psychologically accessible center of American politics.

There is a lesson here for us. But since I’m awful at politics and Finance is my thing, let me use a financial analogy. Lets talk about a merger, between the Alt-Right and the big R Republicans.

The way a merger works is that one party brings something essential, and the other brings something appealing. The essential part is almost always access to Cash. The appealing part is a whole bunch of things. Maybe it’s distribution channels or maybe it’s market access. Maybe it’s a supply chain or a particular kind of expertise that didn’t work well on it’s own but would serve the acquiring company better than it did it’s current owner. But one thing it often brings to the party that the acquiring company almost always wants is a great, big, easily recognizable or prestigiously storied name.

For a party that’s just been handed an historic victory against their nominal opponents, the Republican party relationship to Republican voters is a shipwreck. They must change or die, and unlike the Democrats who are in the same position, I have to believe they know this. They are unable or unwilling to market to their voters in a way that makes any sense. The Democrats cut the ground out from under their feet by arguing culture instead of politics and Alinsky-ing the Republicans to death. Now they’re huddled in their boardroom watching the ticker, and wondering why the rising electoral stock price isn’t affecting the philosophical bottom line.

They feel as weak and helpless as they did when the Democrats were in charge, and believe me, they very much are. Only now, instead of curled into the fetal position at the sight of the Democrats praetorian press, they are forced to stand and smile while they wonder what exactly Steve Bannon and Team Trump are up to in the longer term and the short. They are very much ripe for a takeover.

What the Alt-Right brings to the table of this merger are a few things. To overwork my analogy a little, the “cash equivalent” is a coherent, marketable, and deeply animating philosophy that when necessary, can be turned on the Democrats in Alinskyite ways that “standing in the doorway of history yelling stop” never could.

It brings a vigor and an enthusiasm from a highly animated base. It’s brings an army of technically competent and brutally unapologetic trolls, goons, and tough guys, who don’t need the police to quell a riot, all they need is a is a clear line of sight. And it brings substantial list of messengers, each with their own tiny but exceedingly well used soapbox, who are willing to make the case for everything.

It’s a sound merger. It will work. And what’s even better is that right now, our deal team is already sitting down at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. First team Trump wooed the shareholders. Then, they persuaded a meaningful piece of the infrastructure in the form of CPAC. On the whole, the deal is running apace. If the house-cleaning in middle management seems to be going too slowly for you, don’t worry. It’s coming. Measure twice, cut once is the old carpenters adage, and applies well here.

Here’s the thing though. We need to be prepared for the deal. We the shareholders will need to approve it. And to do that, we the alt-right need to think carefully about what we want and reflect on what we must have. The process must be seized. The way we make future decisions in the party. That must be fully Alt-Right and is non-negotiable. But beyond that, turning the Republican party into an incrementalist machine like the Communists did to the Democrats in the 60’s, must be what we strive for.

Having that, we can then take small steps toward the goal, always small enough for our allies to swallow, and never so big that they choke. We never surrender the end point, but in the meantime we deny it, we hide it, and though we’ll never do so as well or as completely as the left who are naturals, we cloak it behind rhetoric, just like the Democrats always have. But we never, ever, forget it. The only question we should ever ask day on day, is if the decision today brings us closer or further from the goals of tomorrow.

And for our patience and perseverance, we will get everything we must have, a great deal of what we want, and the means to get much more. For our willingness to sign off on a deal that very much does not give us everything that someone like Richard Spencer might want, we will acquire a machine to deliver all that is peacefully available to us. And we’ll get something else too. We’ll get the storied name over the door. We’ll get the banner, and the flag, and all that comes with it. We’ll get to call ourselves something that a majority of Americans don’t find as unpalatable as “Hail Trump” and that has enormous persuasive machinery.

The other option is violence. And if you think that’s a better way, you’re wrong. The question of inevitable victory isn’t at issue. The only question is what price we pay, and blood is far too expensive. Democrats are cowards, but there are a lot of them out there, and they aren’t ever going away. The dream of equalism and the abolition of the nation state will remain a part of our culture for decades at least. They’ll be capable of huge violence in all the places we’re not looking. And that’s a bad recipe for everyone.

Since the left is so animated by their terror of the moment, some violence may be unavoidable, but we should always strive to keep it to a minimum. If we have to take a deal that is a compromise on extreme positions, this should be a fair price. So long as we obtain the tools to speak freely in the marketplace of ideas, the rest can be obtained later.

And there should be no mistake about what we’re striving for. We should be working toward sending the violent snowflakes of the Social Justice Left, back to the political hinterland with the Klan and the American Nazi party, that their actions so resemble. We should make them the subject of ridicule again, like they would have been if they argued their much beloved ‘transgender bathrooms’ or sanctuary cities in 1962, instead of 2012. We don’t have to deny them a platform like they have done to us, we just need the protection to ridicule them as they deserve, when the do have the nerve to speak such utter nonsense.

This is the route to real control of America, and the one that is the most peaceful. We don’t need a divorce, we need a merger. A hostile takeover if it comes to it, though I don’t think it will. The Republican party needs us, even if individual people still can’t see it. Then after entering and consuming the Republican party, we gather up the left with their emotional projection, they hysteria and their hyperbole and pack them off to the ‘right side of history’ for them. The fringe where they’ve always belonged.

No comments: