I want to be part of the higher status tribe but

1 I can't bring myself to pretend to believe in their low IQ ideas about race and sex and

2 the liberal philosophy is all about hating white men and I'm a white man.

What are we supposed to do?

Expand full comment

Richard, have you ever given the question of gerrymandering any intellectual honesty? Lines based on population density rather than lines based on voter history is the dichotomy; non-gerrymandered lines are still “squiggly”.

Expand full comment
Dec 4, 2022Liked by Richard Hanania

I think it`s easier then that. What is an important part of being "low-status"? That would be inability to freely access society`s resources. The Right`s scams target the elderly & politics-obsessed, because that`s the only people they are capable of extracting resources from. The methods are low-status, because the targets are low-status.

The high-status scams don`t register as scams, because they are fitted to the tastes of their targets. The money collected for BLM went into buying mansions for charity organizers. Sam Bankman-Fried accidently clicked the wrong account and gambled away money. And also purchased mansions. Theranos managed to screw up and be actually punished, but if they handled things with more finesse, I could see it being just a silly mistake of a promising, young woman.

And those are just examples of extreme greed. At normal levels it`s just government or charitable foundations issuing checks for 100s millions dollars to "promote antiracism" or "count the sperm of penguins for science and environment". The high-status scams are legalized.

Expand full comment

Excellent observations in general. I’ve long loathed how the American right tolerates scams.

But you make one error which Bayesianism would have avoided: if the Democrats HAD stolen the election, the same scams about fighting election fraud would still be seen. I think you’re incorrectly inferring that they didn’t from the existence of the scammers. (I think they *did* steal it, but I’m not going to hijack the discussion here to explain why, I just think you need to remain open-minded rather than assuming scammers are always wrong about diagnosis as well as about remedy.)

Expand full comment

A Republican friend responded on Facebook when I posted your article in his feed:

Literally EVERY SINGLE POINT the guy made was incorrect. It's hard for me to point out specifics when there's not a single correct word. The highlight was the overall message, that conservatives in 2022 are similar to the black community of 2005, which is transparently absurd on its face. Our communities aren't falling apart at the seams, 1/3rd of our men don't end up in prison, we don't have massively disproportional poverty rates, the comparison is stupid on every level.

Furthermore, the anti-vaxx and election skepticism positions are not foundational to the Republican Party, nor are they baseless scams. We just had the entire medical establishment approve a vaccine that even VAERS admits has injured nearly 1 million people. We just had an election where the rules were changed in the middle of the game in a manner which exclusively benefited one party. I am not the intellectual equal of a welfare consuming black single mother who names her daughter Starquasia because I notice those things, and Hanania is a moron for claiming such an absurd position.

Did a single major Republican candidate run on an anti vaccine position? Did a single major Republican candidate other than Kari Lake run on a platform which said the 2020 election was stolen? Even the premises which he's working from as to what Republicans are saying is just incorrect. We can't get a single candidate to talk about either stance, yet he's claiming them to be foundational. It's just dumb.

Expand full comment

I don’t completely disagree with your thesis but I think it’s a difficult line to draw. You mention coulter, she’s made some good points about how scammery plagued the trump admin. While this is true, she then pivots back into a more comfortable form of scammery that by this point she should be able to see. This scammery being the comfortable conservative politician who gets some wins legislatively and electorally, such as Reagan or now Ron desantis. The major paradigm shift of the ‘16 trump campaign was him looking at the Republican Party and saying “yeah this is literally all fake, you people are equivalent to the fake democratic parties they had in east Germany, this is the definition of controlled opposition”. His subsequent failures in office don’t invalidate this critique. Not really sure what the solution is but the right seems doomed either way, they could pick trump again and probably lose as he does more of his stop the steal shit or they could pick desantis, maybe win, get a few good legislative wins but ultimately return to the fake allusion that they’re not a fake oppositional party

Expand full comment

“Starting in the 1960s, elite institutions started to encourage black communities to take a hostile attitude towards mainstream American society. “

By letting them in?

Expand full comment

Musk drops the info showing precisely how Twitter interfered in the 2020 election, and the very next day you go on a tirade calling people who questioned the malfeasance in 2020 - for which there is extensive EVIDENCE - election deniers?

How stupid do you think your readers are?

Give us a break.

Expand full comment

Your analysis of the stupidity of the Right is of course very much correct, but how do you square the greater discernment and intelligence of the Left (which I do agree exist) with their own beliefs in falsehoods? Is it simply that their scams are that much better-orchestrated? A specific example is the belief (or at least emoted conviction) among huge portions of the American Left that Trump was controlled by the Russian government, and that opposition to their domestic agenda is too animated by paid Russian agents, despite no evidence existing for these things. I've raised this to other people and they hand-wave it away as meaningless; I don't think it is meaningless. I think when the entire literate class acts for the better part of five years as though their President is an agent of a hostile foreign power, that is actually more important than whatever dumbery Dinesh D'Souza is peddling that week.

As I hinted at, my suspicion here is that the scam is just bigger and better, but still a scam for that. Right wing conspiracy theories over the 2020 and 2022 elections are penny-ante and stupid. (D'Souza's peerlessly asinine "2,000 Mules" a particularly fly-ridden, stinking example.) Left wing conspiracy theories over the 2016 election dominated the discourse for years, led to all manner of investigations, a chilling effect against support for Trump, and primed the pump for our current proxy war in Ukraine. In other words, they actually worked. Is that the only difference?

Expand full comment

It is own the lib culture that defines many republicans. As a faculty at Dartmouth, I was a student advisor for college republicans chapter prior to 2016. College Republicans advocated for lesser regulations, strong military and some social conservative issues ( like Abortion restrictions, religious liberty etc.). However, the new crop of college republicans are just so different. They have hosted James O'Keefe ( Project Veritas), Andy Ngo (some guy who opposes Antifa) and Candace Owens. The people hosted by Dartmouth college republicans are just to outrage liberals on campus and they fall for it. But the reputational damage is much more severe. For old republicans on Campus, Professors, staff members etc, we want to support college republicans but their choice of guests and antics are just boorish.

The college republicans even called for more American professors and less foreign ''imports". You can champion immigration restrictions but at Dartmouth, faculty selection ( At least in Science and Engineering) is strictly based on Merit. In their newsletter they called an Indian professor who is a pioneer in machine learning ( computer science) and has won multiple grants from Google and Nvidia a foreign import and said his job must have gone to an American. The faculty selection was transparent, computer science department invited all the applicants to a seminar where they gave a 30 minute presentation followed by 30 mins questions by faculty selection committee and 30 minutes of question by anyone in the room. Every applicant's CV was open to college republicans, so was the seminar which was recorded. Instead of making nuanced arguments of why this Indian professor was a wrong choice or they could have pointed out a better candidate instead they just made simplistic argument that he was not American. In my view, he was the most qualified but a good argument could be made to say another American applicant (also of Indian heritage) was equally well qualified. But, the new republican movement is interested in creating outrage and not any valuable arguments. So naturally, they went with a low-IQ take about not hiring this Indian Professor just because he is not American.

Expand full comment

"But denying election results is in its own category. In any kind of social system, some things are optional and can be negotiated, but a few fundamental rules make civilization possible. . . The idea that you should accept election results falls into the latter category. "

Using the term "Election Denier," like "Holocaust Denier," is just sloppy circular logic. You start off by assuming the 100% fairness of the election, then dismiss all evidence to the contrary as self-evident "denial" of true facts. It's a breeze to win a debate when you simply assume the opposing view is stupid and wrong ab initio, and therefore anything they could say is inadmissible. Your brain chooses this path for two reasons. First, it's so much easier than investigating and explaining why, for example, 33% of the voting machines in Maricopa County -- supervised by the Dem secretary of state who was running for Governor -- simultaneously and inexplicably malfunctioned on election day, throwing the election to said objectively awful Dem candidate. Second, if you questioned the "all elections are always fair" party line, you yourself would be branded a "denier" and expelled from the ranks of socially acceptable internet pundits.

But the uniparty line is exactly backward in saying that citizens aren't allowed to question the elections run by their governments because the mases having faith in elections is so important to legitimize elite decisions. The official arrogant dismissal of well-founded suspicions is more corrosive of faith in democracy than the the suspicions themselves. Besides, what could possibly encourage cheating more than a rule that: "no one is allowed to allege cheating, no matter how much it looks like cheating."

Citizens who get screwed by extremely and obviously fishy events deserve slightly better than a backhanded dismissal that no facts are needed to refute a "denier." Indeed, a government or elite that says cheating is impossible by definition is plainly lying. (Read about LBJ stealing his 1948 Senate race if you want to learn how it's done). If you want confidence in elections you need to SHOW people they are fair, not just tell them to STFU.

Expand full comment

I agree with your claim that much of "conservatism" now is simply oppositional culture. I try not to even identify myself as a "conservative" any longer, although I'm certainly very right wing and I do hate the left.

I don't agree that the right is somehow more scam-happy or lies more often than the left, and you don't seem to present any evidence for this claim besides anecdotal. Right-wing scammers are common, of course, but to pretend that they aren't also everywhere to be found on the left is completely absurd. I would argue left wing scammers are more troubling because the regime openly endorses them. Of course, you've shown in previous posts that you have a "right wingers are idiots" bias, so meh.

I also disagree with your proposed "solution" of simply voting harder next time. We can speculate in several different directions about possible ways for the right to gain power or achieve policy goals, but if you look at the big picture, the conventional "vote harder" line simply doesn't work. The country has moved farther left non-stop regardless of election outcomes since WWII (arguably before, but WWII is the organizing event for the current regime, so).

Conservative election victories have, at best, provided nothing more than a speed bump in this trend, if even that. This has remained constant over many decades, suggesting that it is a feature of the regime itself, not something that can simply be overcome if we finally figure out the right way to vote. It's like communism, at a certain point you need to recognize that this just doesn't work no matter how many times you try it over and over again.

I believe this is why "election denial" has gained so much steam on the right, even if many people engaging in it cannot fully articulate this motivation. The system *does* appear to be rigged against the right, in ways that are far more subtle and effective than outright election fraud (although I believe that does happen as well). Even if we accept your premise that the right loses because they are stupid, my counter-conclusion remains correct--right-wing policies cannot be effected and right-wing ideologies cannot gain power under the current regime. To say "just vote harder" is to endorse the status quo, whether you like it or not.

Expand full comment

Speaking of scams, the leadership of BLM are making out like bandits, buying mansions with supporter cash. And it looks like all those "low-IQ conspiracy theories" about Big Tech putting its thumb on the scale at election time were true as well. Nothing but thieves and liars at both ends of the political spectrum. How pathetic to see anyone claiming that their side of American politics is full of virtue and intelligence, and that only the other side has a lack of these characteristics.

Expand full comment

One look at the ridiculously absurd things believed by the Left indicates they are the low IQ group. Especially in light of the fact the the so-calked conspiracy theories are all proving true. But these ill educated narcissistic libs like the author can’t see beyond their up turned noses. LOL low IQ indeed.

Expand full comment

I dont know why you insist so much on the "liberalz have higher IQ"

when holding quasi-religious. , laughable, dogmatic beliefs as "we are all equal" ( zero evidence for this) "men can give birth", or "damn social-economical factors, muh poor blacks" (when Natives in reservations have it worse and their crime rate isnt as high).

it seems to me that they give up any pretense of individuality and original thought to be part of the "higher status" flock, like sheep perpetually hounded by their elites

Expand full comment

On the one hand, I love the piece, as it makes a case not made anywhere near often enough. On the other hand, by hand-waving at Abrams, Clinton, Kerry (Diebold!), and Gore, who brought us the modern-day never-concede grift, the argument is weakened considerably. Abrams turned election denial into a massive fundraising engine and a platform for personal celebrity that was in full operation until just last month.

I wonder if what you are on top of is a broader, multi-partisan delegitimization of democratic outcomes by the current elite class.

Expand full comment