Today I link two articles that address the problem of conservative silence. We hear often of a "silent majority." The term describes a real phenomenon in America, but it also describes a real problem for conservatives who seek to form a culture that embodies their values.
A majority that is afraid to speak its views in the public square is a serious problem for any society that is dedicated to the principle of representative government. In the past governments attempted to suppress speech that governments disapproved of. That type of speech suppression by the governing authorities is what our First Amendment was designed to eliminate. The idea behind the First Amendment was that a free marketplace of information and ideas would be the best way to combat harmful ideas.
Today we face a somewhat different problem. A hegemonistic cultural Establishment--yet one with close ties to political actors and instiututions--has obtained control over core institutions in our society: educational institutions, the greater part of the media, much of the executive governing institutions, as well as our public judical philosophy for the most part. They have done this in the name of a Leftist ideology that is allied to the political effort to "fundamentally transform" America and its constitutional order. And in support of that effort they actively seek to to suppress dissenting speech or the expression of ideas that oppose their own. This hegemonistic imperative is advanced as often as not by private actors rather than by the government, and when the government is involved the enforcement is often "subcontracted" to private actors who rely upon novel judicial interpretations to threaten employment and livelihood to enforce conformity.
And so I offer these two articles that address this unique problem that we face.
Voting Isn’t Enough to Combat the Woke Left
Donald Trump can’t stop the Left’s assaults on American institutions. Only the citizens who have had “enough” can do it. Voting isn’t enough.
Left unmentioned is that the elected representatives that conservatives vote for too often have been coopted by the Leftists who control our cultural institutions. Donald Trump's task would not be nearly so difficult but for the opposition of those who claim to be conservative but act against conservative principles. The reasons for this are complex, having to do with the difficulty many find in even articulating principled conservative ideas--so thorough has the cultural indoctrination become.
Recently, I read with great interest James Lindsay’s essay called “The Woke Breaking Point.” There, he invites his readers to ask friends and acquaintances “What would it take for you to say that the Woke movement has gone too far?” This, he suggests, is a way to help people keep themselves honest: if you consider in advance what state of affairs, specifically, would be “too far,” then you will be able to recognize better the excesses of the totalitarian Left and more ready to resist them at the point when it becomes absolutely necessary.
Reframing the question, he writes: “Ask. When is enough, enough?”
To his credit, Lindsay recognizes that posing this question is a tricky rhetorical gambit. “To get real about this, you shouldn’t expect this conversation to go well,” he writes. “It might, of course, depending on the relationship, but it’s very likely to be received defensively or with an assumption that you’ve lost your mind. So here’s some advice: don’t expect it to go well. Don’t expect them to come around. Don’t expect them to take you seriously. Just get the question out there where they have to think about it.”
The second article--Driving Conservatives Underground--addresses the goal of Leftist speech suppression: by suppressing the public expression of conservative ideas the Left hopes to instill a sense of defeat in the "silent majority" and to embolden the public expression of radical, culturally transformative ideas.
Cultural tyranny reigns in America, the last step before full-fledged political tyranny.
Lurking beneath the surface of virtue signaling leftists are tyrants seeking to exert their will over those they despise. The defining leftist culture enables them to ruthlessly use all the power at their disposal, both real and imagined, to enforce a single acceptable viewpoint on society.
In some geographic areas, this is more obvious than in others, but no area will ultimately be spared. This week, my wife volunteered during the Virginia Republican primary. As people came by the booth to get information on the candidates, she offered these Republican voters an opportunity to sign up for yard signs. Most whispered that they could never put something like that up in their neighborhood. ...
When people can’t put a bumper sticker for their preferred candidate on their car, they have suffered a loss of liberty. ...
Democrats in this country do not feel they need to hide their political allegiance or culturally approved viewpoints. Most never shut up about it, believing they are speaking truth to power, even as they bask in the approval of the corrupt and wicked power centers.
This is war and the left is playing to win. Anyone who doesn’t get that by now, to include most of the NeverTrumpers, is either irredeemably stupid or an active collaborator. Every pillar of cultural power in America, to include the unholy trinity of academia, the media, and government has declared cultural war on at least half the country. ...
... Americans are silent because the cultural tyrants ensure there is a price to pay for any peep of sane protest, which is also why Republicans voters are undercounted in polls.
The problem is that the silence enables the leftists to continue to drive the narrative and normalize ideas and behaviors that would have been considered unfathomable just a few short years ago while winning more converts, which shrinks that sane majority. It is their toxic ideas that are being force fed to every young person in America and we are paying a heavy price for that.
The culture war matters when you are living in a cultural tyranny. If you believe Andrew Breitbart, that politics is downstream of culture, we are getting dangerously close to losing everything, to include our liberty.
Where he invites his readers to ask friends and acquaintances “What would it take....?", I offer a less direct alternative, for those whose fear of retaliation precludes such a direct approach to very "suspect" (esp. SJW) persons.ReplyDelete
A less direct approach could involve referring to, say, J. Haidt's article on "The Dark Psychology of Social
Networks: Why it feels like everything is going haywire".
In this essay, he argues that our democracy is threatened by the growth, since c. 2014, of Social Media anonymity etc., spurring users from reflection, toward *emotive* status- *grandstanding* (i.e. virtue signalling), and thus toward Madison's Nightmare, of a public *inflamed* into "mutual animosity".
If the friend/ acquaintance blows off such concerns from folks like Haidt, one might call it a day, and conserve one's time/ effort for those open to caring about such concerns.
See https://www.theAtlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/12/social-media-democracy/600763/ .
I don't think the situation is as bad as all this might suggest. It's really a question of who holds the megaphone--and not what the rest of us (the public) think or believe. Granted, the megaphone speaker is more forthcoming than the listening public.ReplyDelete
I can't say I know anyone who is supportive of this nonsense, e.g. toppling statues, rioting, looting. (Though I'm sure those opposed to Trump believe it helps their "side.") Democrat city politicians are intimidated into accommodating far too much of this violence because they view it as team sport politics--my team wins, your team loses, and they're rooting for their prog-left team. But a few large Democrat cities are like the Hillary voting archipelagos is the sea of Trump voters across the land.
The situation is drastically distorted by the fact that much of the country has been sitting a home for a couple months. The result being pent up energy and emotion in need of an outlet. Were everyone working, employed, engaged in getting on with their life, little of this would've happened. As an alternative, even for those barely interested in such matters, joining a march or a rally was all there was. Boredom has its limits.
The megaphone is held by the legacy media, and they prefer "the worse, the better" in order to turn Trump out of office. It started with the 2016 election and the "resistance," and has continued with everything and anything they can throw at him.
Media is simply the permanent opposition to Republicans. It's been that way all my life. What has changed across time is politics went from once a year exercising the franchise, to all consuming all the time, intruding into every aspect of life.
The downside to the madness is the public voting for Biden in order to end their lives having been taken hostage by the chaos and dysfunction caused by media opposition to Trump. I shudder the thought.
See my full comment below, and please address its last question, on "the megaphone speaker is more *forthcoming* than the listening public."Delete
"Forthcoming" how, to whom?
Tucker Carlson: The weakness of Republicans is "a severe and dangerous problem....Republicans at all levels could lose this fall. If they do, there will be profound consequences for you....There's never been a political party as radical and as angry as the Democrats are now." (via Curtis Houck)Delete
The Progressive Left owns all the important levers of power in our society, save one; which is Barr's minority cadre within DOJ that remains uncorrupted by the prior Obama Administration. And the Left is being proactively ruthless in punishing anyone who takes the public stage and fights back with solid effectiveness. They will even eat their own if it can score a few points (case in point, see the blog Slate Star Codex and the doxing of its very liberal author Scott Alexander). As another example, they are now using backdoor attacks on Dan Bongino's young children to try to force him to curb his criticism of their deeds. They are playing for keeps, and the collateral damage includes unprecedented loss of life in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.ReplyDelete
You're not going to beat that by simply asking more ordinary citizens to make a suicide charge into the public arena.
If you really want to turn the tide, then Barr must lead the way and the Left must pay a price for fighting dirty. It needs to happen now, there is no shortage of miscreants with which to examples of. Barr must take up Churchill's cudgel and start swinging it soon, or his potential army will disperse and hunker down until the war is over.
Indeed, if you really want to turn the tide, then Barr must be the one to lead the way.Delete
He has unprecedentedly-powerful evidentiary cards, in that the scale of the plot vs. DJT dwarfs anything ever launched in a major modern democracy.
If Barr can bring enough busts, to show the public the scale of SparkleFarts' assault on Const. governance, it'll be the ultimate test of whether the U.S. public still has enough sense, to see why Const. governance is the best (if not the only available), bulwark vs. tyranny.
"The Progressive Left owns all the important levers of power in our society, save one; which is Barr's minority cadre within DOJ that remains uncorrupted by the prior Obama Administration."
In terms of institutional power, I'm sure you're right.
The other important element of power which the Left does not yet control is the Electoral College. In 2016 Trump controlled it. We have to do everything we can within our power to make sure he controls it again in 2020.
Another way of saying this is that while the Progressive Left controls the Democrat Party, the Main Stream Media, Elite Academia, the Deep State, Silicon Valley, and the Legal Establishment, it does not yet control the vote of millions of Americans.
There is hope.
Good point. And there are probably a lot of Blue states that would think long and hard before ceding their electoral college leverage to NY and CA.Delete
To a major degree, it's always been a question of who holds the megaphone, once there was a megaphone.ReplyDelete
Eva Braun's squeeze was the first politician to really make hay with a modern Megaphone.
But, yeah, now it's all consuming all the time, intruding into every aspect of life.
DJT won in '16, partly because the megaphone had become megaphones, not all of which were under Leftist boot.
So now, Sil. Valley is trying to inflict Gliechschaltung upon the bucket of megaphones.
Please clarify on "the megaphone speaker is more *forthcoming* than the listening public."
"Forthcoming" how, to whom?
Sounds to me as though the megaphone speaker may be more frank, more forthcoming, than the “listening public” who prefer to avoid anything that appears to be a challenge. Afraid of offending anyone or causing problems (for themselves).Delete
To his credit, Lindsay recognizes that posing this question is a tricky rhetorical gambit. “To get real about this, you shouldn’t expect this conversation to go well,” he writes. “It might, of course, depending on the relationship, but it’s very likely to be received defensively or with an assumption that you’ve lost your mind. So here’s some advice: don’t expect it to go well. Don’t expect them to come around. Don’t expect them to take you seriously. Just get the question out there where they have to think about it.”Delete
Our problem? We don’t like conversations that “don’t go well”… Don’t want to risk it.
Forthcoming, or revealing of their sentiments. Listeners aren't expressive of anything.Delete
It is my impression that many are happy to speak out on forums like this one, but don’t spread the word or challenge anyone in person. I send articles like yours to my links. Lost an adult granddaughter for a few years, but she came around in 2016. Became an avid Trump supporter. There is hope - we can’t give up...ReplyDelete
I know I have been affected by whats happening... 1st time ever I have given to money to a political party (Trump). I was surprised when my wife saw what I was doing, she said give him more.ReplyDelete
Was talking with my cousin the other day. He is an retired engineer and I would say he isn't a dummy. Since he expressed his white privilege to me, I asked him if we could have a discussion about politics... wrong thing to ask. He turned into a Tasmanian devil about hating trump, hating Trump, hating ... He is a leader in the church and sings in the choir. Obviously, he must have a moral conscience of some sort but it is over ridden by this. I don't have a clue how one would do an intervention and bring him back. Needs Jesus.
I could sound just like that.Delete
You are a blessing to us Mark and all of us here appreciate all the work you put into this blog.Delete
Good article from Turley on ZerohedgeDelete
Dittos, on that all of us here appreciate all the work you put into this blog.Delete
Yeah, Mike, when someone *expresses* his "white privilege" to you, it's a terrible sign, almost as bad as if he referred to his Toxic Masculinity.Delete
I'd reserve my emotional energy etc., for those who at least hint at open-mindedness.
As for him having a moral conscience, so did Nazis (many of whom, after all, gave their lives for what they believed in).
Like Nazis, these folks are outright warped, here mostly by an utterly degenerate "higher ed" system.
Good article by Mike FlynnReplyDelete
Not totally o/t, as Tucker opened his show tonite, on the NYT & WaPo dissing the couple involved in this story:ReplyDelete
"Progressives Dox And Target The Business Of The St. Louis *Gun-Toting* Couple Who Confronted Protesters", at
From the Zman, more on the macro scene (esp. deplatforming by the Left) than on the micro-conversations easpect of this:ReplyDelete
"There is no beating them at their own game, or on their platforms. These are evil people, who are only motivated by the suffering of decent people.... When you *engage* with them, you are giving them oxygen.
The way forward is to *reduce* the number of contacts between them and us.... It makes them work hard for the dopamine rush of *tormenting* the condemned.
... There’s no defeating the Left in the conventional sense of a fight. Instead, the goal is to *exhaust* them. Since a big part of what sustains them is, the attention they get from their victims, not giving them that attention increases their cost of operation....
When our side sits it out, the results are impressive. Look at the *riots*.
The Left was sure, these riots would draw out “right-wing extremists” they could then use as a *foil*. When that did not happen, they tried inventing them, but failed to make it work.
It’s hard to convince people, that the black guys beating a white guy with a skateboard are actually white nationalists.
It just underscored the fact, that the only people in the streets are left-wing agitators, and their pets from the vibrant community...."
From: https://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=20796 .
My view is, we may be best off giving the left *just enough* rope for them to hang themselves, 'til Barr/ Durham can make big dents in the Left's overall public stature.
However, the Dems seem to be hell-bent on beating Barr to the punch (on appalling the rest of the country), as they whine about Mt. Rushmore's purported pushing of "white supremacy", see buzz about the recent DNC tweet, e.g. atReplyDelete
It's as if the Babylon Bee has infiltrated the DNC!