188 Comments

There has long been, in the words of Richard Hofstader, a “paranoid style” of politics on the American Right. When William F. Buckley was reorganizing the Right back in the 1950s and 60s, he adamantly refused to let the John Birch Society (a group that believed that the government was mind-controlling the populace by putting fluoride in water, that many politicians were secret Marxists, etc.) be part of his movement. The Right has often had to dispel its more conspiracy-prone elements, but Trump changed all that. Now we have “Taylor Swift is a leftist psyop” talk.

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The Taylor Swift stuff is nowhere near as memetic as "there are commies in the government". That's a big part of the problem. To demonize Swift relies on paragraphs of weird, tenuous connections because she is, at the end of the day, exactly as Richard says: a beacon of aspirational normality.

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Trump didn't change it as much as he was caused by the derangement of the Right during the Obama years. Look at how radically different the discourse on the Right was during the Obama years compared to the Bush years thanks to figures like Glenn Beck etc. on Fox. 30~40% of GOP voters thought Obama was a Muslim before Trump came down the escalator.

Read David Frum's piece from 2011. 2011!! and look how prescient it was. https://nymag.com/news/politics/conservatives-david-frum-2011-11/

David Frum has talked a lot about this. Maybe Hanania should have him on his podcast to talk about it.

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Ah yes, let's go back to the good old days of George W Bush. His administration did so well the right won a landslide victory in 2008!

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1. Non-sequitor. I do not like Bush.

2. 2004 was the last time the GOP won the popular vote.

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But your whole point relies on the assumption that the GOP would be better off returning to George W Bush-era politics. The very cretin you cite, David Frum, was his speech writer. Why should we give a shit what he says?

And Bush won 2004 on the back of 9/11, giving a giant unfunded liability to seniors, and having a terrible opponent. John Kerry couldn't even given a consistently coherent position on Iraq.

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And don’t forget about the pedo that Bush Republicans elected Speaker.

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Dude you are spot on. The Obama years where when I started drifting leftward, and I was NOT a fan of Obama. But the GOP was getting angry and weird. Then the angriest, weirdest guy won the primary and the rest is history. But yeah, it really started with the deranged hatred of Obama, who on most issues was actually very moderate, to the point that he now regularly criticizes the liberal left.

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Big Tobacco helped Bush win in 2000 and homophobia and Islamaphopia helped him win in 2004…never forget!

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Drum is biased because he was part of the GWB administration, but I’m old enough to remember the GOP being equally deranged re Clinton as they were about Obama.

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Buckley was a big tent guy, and he didn't truly break with the Birchers until they opposed the Vietnam war. There was overlap between early 50s NR and JBS types. Recall a '52 issue where NR has a debate over voting Eisenhower, with Burnham arguing the positive case despite admitting Ike wasn't that right-wing.

The problem is letting the Birchers have a huge say in your party's primary. Otherwise, you see conventions where Glenn Youngkin is selected as the Republican nominee and goes on to be governor of a Biden+8 state. Political parties that grow weak are at the mercy of poor electoral decisions, which can in turn radicalize the party and encourage moves outside the electoral procedure.

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The Birchers were controversial from the start, with its founder accusing Eisenhower of being a tool of communist regimes... very similar to what Republicans are talking about with Swift/Kelce being tools of “globalists/the deep state”.

The GOP doesn’t really have a Buckley/NR anymore that sets its tone. NR is seen as hopelessly out of touch these days and no new publication has united the party. The Dems have all the legacy publications (NYT, Atlantic) in lockstep. Major problem going forward for the GOP.

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Well, I disagree the national media is that important, but I agree party consolidation and authority is a problem. In that vein, my latest essay might be of interest to you:

https://www.trumanshow.org/p/maybe-the-future-of-local-journalism

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Where is the evidence those people for once dislike the left or they didn’t vote dem before ? Taylor was herself alreays pro lgbt in 2012 and being against the “normalcy” back in 2012 was being for gay marriage which was where Romney took a diferent than pro lgbt Obama. And he lost. Being against normalcy didn’t hurt dems. In fact data shows so called Taylor swift dems were already lib and it’s mainly demographic change hurting republicans. College white men still vote republican but those aren’t a big chunk of college as they were even in the 2000s. Recent data shows so called Taylor swift dems are very much in favor of much of trans and pro crime ideas. There is no evidence that shows they oppose the left. So Taylor swift dems were always mainly dems. People can look at the tories , a socially liberal “RW” party that will lose the next election as an example of what the gop shouldn’t ever become.!

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This comment perfectly exemplifies why Republicans have lost the suburban normie vote and have committed themselves to ever increasing electoral marginalization. While Swiftie Dems are likely sympathetic to LGTBQ causes and oppose police brutality, few have these as major political priorities. They're much more concerned about draconian abortion restrictions.

Furthermore, if Democrats nominated a raving lunatic who centered the most extreme positions on these issues in their political campaign, then they'd be risking the normie vote. Thankfully we haven't whereas Republicans have again committed themselves to their most offensive lunatic available. The minor political actions taken by the Biden administration on these issues do not impact normie voters, and while Swiftie Dems likely approve of most of the actions, they likely aren't even aware of them.

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All measures of political polarization for the past 30 years show the Dems having shifted far left and the Rs becoming centre left. 'Swifty Dems' are just a result of the increasing proportion single, childless, white women. Their politics was already far left, regardless of what Republicans have done.

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Oh yes, those insane republicans who have the insane view that killing innocent babies is wrong. The fact that the pro-life position is considered crazy disproves your entire worldview that the GOP are the ones who have gone far to their fringes.

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The lefty writer Daniel Davies has noted that the JBS was actually write about much of what was going on:

https://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/the-john-birch-society-was-right/

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C’mon man! Paranoia is sometimes appropriate. It’s not the 50s anymore. Lots of conspiracy theories coming true. It’s just tiresome to see the same tropes over and over whether or not they apply to the situation. And, I believe you’ve missed the point, which is a good one: what was once “normal life” is now somehow right wing, but the real right wing can’t capitalize on that fact. The reason is not because they are paranoid (although again, it is sometimes appropriate) but because they fail to connect with the non crazies on the left. They fail to understand the appeal of leftist positions like abortion. Anyone who wants to win won’t by dismissing disagreement as the raving of crazies.

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But many municipalities DID put fluoride in the public water supplies, and fluoride may have a weak relationship with neuronal deficiency...

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Just a side note that, as a conservative, I've always appreciated that Taylor Swift's self-presentation is reasonably decent, and dare I say, modest, by the standards of Current Year America. When young women celebrities trade on their sex appeal, it's been increasingly common for them to do so in a crudely blatant and even trashy way that would be unrecognizable to Brooke Shields, let alone to Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe. Taylor Swift certainly enjoys being attractive and sexy, but she does it in a decent way that doesn't make me embarrassed to watch her show in the presence of my kids or my parents.

Also, has there ever been a single "tabloid-style" story of her being excessively drunk/drugged/misbehaving/acting out? I'd say her standard of public decorum is well above that of the music-industry mainstream. She seems like the kind of highly conscientious, hard-working, type-A striver who is commonly found in the precincts of the professional-managerial class, except that her metier is music rather than the nonprofit/tech/financial/NGO blob.

Also, prominent far-right extremist Scott Greer broadly lines up with this take on Ms. Swift, although as a far-right extremist he is obviously more critical in the end:

https://www.highly-respected.com/p/taylor-swifts-white-america

Edit Jan. 31: Mary Harrington's interpretation of Right-wing psychology is interesting here:

https://unherd.com/2024/01/why-the-right-fears-taylor-swift/

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Not obviously looking like a street walker is a really low bar for decency.

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I certainly agree, but I also think that in current year America the bar is low in general, and we have to work with what we have.

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"Has there ever been a single tabloid-style story of her being excessively drunk?"

You might have missed the "Drunk Taylor" memes: https://www.eonline.com/news/1063941/taylor-swift-dances-to-her-own-song-at-a-party-and-sparks-drunk-taylor-memes

But most people's response was something like, "Isn't it cute how much fun she's having?" So if anything, the episode seemed to help her reputation.

I agree that beyond her songwriting talent, she's also a brilliant and driven businesswoman and marketer. And she's applied that skill to raise the value of her brand into the stratosphere in the past year.

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And she is on track to pass on those great genes and know how to no one.

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That's awesome; thanks for posting :)

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A lot of people in the comments missing the point - being right isn't really what's important here. If you want to draw a big conspiracy theory pinboard with the NFL and Swift and Pfizer on it you probably will make some directionally correct point about media influence and the interconnectedness of American elites. What you will also do is look really fucking weird and humorless and anti-life. Taylor may well be a "puppet" in some fake and gay sense of being a tool of Big Music and having strictly defined parameters of public interaction, but she's also the idol of millions, a very talented artist, hard-working, with not just a faultless public image but by most accounts a really good private personality, too. You don't beat that with rants about Big Pharma. You let it be.

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The assymetry is that there are legions of insane leftists, many of them famous, who think talk all day about how cops wake up every morning with the dream of killing an innocent black men and that Donald Trump is currently on the phone with Putin plotting how to destroy the world. And what negative repercussions is that having on them?

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She put herself into the political arena , she attacked republicans first . They are supposed to let it go? Also libs attacked “life” for years and that didn’t hurt them. Tuned our that blasting the NFL for years Bc they weren’t pro black or pro gay enough worked !!! Being against the normalcy worked !!! The people that lost were the ones that wanted neutral venues where life without politics cna go on. U think the NFL pushing pride was always normal ? Is the new Normal thanks to libs doing the oposite of what hanania claims people want

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Most voters, if you ask them, say "yeah I guess 'pride' might have gone too far and I don't like men in women's sports." Two minutes later they'll forget you asked and go back to thinking about literally anything else. It's not because you're not schizopoasting hard enough about Swift now that she's in your "political arena", it's that most people just don't think much about this stuff and will in any case compartmentalize it.

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To elaborate, the people who get REALLY agitated about woke are mostly blue-tribe defectors in blue institutions. The closet social conservative in the math department gets bothered with woke crap every day. The F-150 driver in Anytown USA doesn't.

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Making the case that they care about the normalcy any side puts in front of them . Dems trashed their old normalcy and changed it. The nfl today is not what it was in the 2000s or before , u think the nfl used to put pride or BLM? Ni Libs did they oposite of what hanania claims people want “normalcy” they made it polítical and it worked !! The people that wanted to be normal without sports LOST. Libs don’t have to care much about it now Bc they got what they wanted which is making the new nfl the New normal, ofc a conservative wouldn’t accept thr new pro pride normalcy but they got that Mainiy Bc they followed hanania advice of “be normal and ignore politics and don’t push it everywhere”

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If you equate posting coal about Taylor Swift with engaging with politics you're just not gonna make it. If you've read The Origins of Woke, it's like your conclusion isn't that the CRA and the US legal regime need to be reformed, it's that if you keep posting about Rachel Dolezal everyone's going to jump on board with your pet cause.

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Idk how is that related to my comments. Republicans talk about Taylor Bc she attacked them first that’s it. They aren’t talking about brintey spears or any other famous singer. Also dems literally talked about Kanye west for weeks back in 2017 , both sides talk about celebrities they dislike . And ironically is people like Taylor the ones that will make it hard to get rid of the civil rights regime. The system depend on them to protect it

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I'm not going to repeat myself. My core point is this: let's say you're 100 percent correct on the merits. You're not, but let's say you are. Your expression of your correctness is having the net effect of convincing nobody in favor of your point except those who already agreed, and making people who might be sympathetic to your cause think you're a mass shooting waiting to happen.

It might not be fair but it is what it is.

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Sounds like a great argument against mass democracy.

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Preach

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I dimly recall frogs ironically, and self-consciously so, memeing Taylor Swift into a right-wing figurehead in 2016.

Today's MAGA appears to have decided she's supposed to be /ourgal/ unironically, and can't understand why a celeb smart enough to have rejected an FTX partnership actually has... loosely normie lib views?

Far right frog posters eight years ago seem to have had a better grasp on reality than today's Republican mainstream.

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2015-16 MAGA was *fun*. That is, in my view, the biggest difference. It was *fun* to post frogs, it was fun to put Taylor in a red hat, it was fun to work journalists up into a frenzy where they'd have to write 9,000 explaining why the frog was a Nazi being drone piloted from St Petersburg because Putin had blackmail on Trump and Mueller was about to spill it. The GOP mainstream has decided to apply a similar conspiracy theory about the NFL and Pfizer to America's power couple, and it's both anti-fun - it's the most coal thing imaginable, in fact - and worst of all really weird to people who like normal things.

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Anti fun ? Russia conspiracies literally helped dems. The Taylor memes weren’t gonna continue after she endorsed Biden and her anti confederate monuments agenda. And if dems were successful by going against the normal , did being pro gay marriage in 2012 hurt them ? Even tho being against it was normalcy ? They literally put lgbt and pro blm in every sport space , did that hurt them ? No , dems did the oposite of hanania claims people want.

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Oh hey, we were just talking about you

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Yes u proving dems being neurotic and politically obsessed even in neutral venues like the NFk worked for them. Now the new normal is liberal at least in the NFL. The nfl didn’t have pro pride messages before libs went against centrist normalcy

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I'm not denying that the cultural left can move institutions in its favor, what I'm saying is:

1) writing anti-memetic screeds about Taylor Swift isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't agree with you,

2) more importantly, it's going to make people who might agree with you on other things think you're a kook, and

3) The NFL also didn't have Pride stuff everywhere before Obergefell, which should perhaps guide your priorities

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Taylor Swift's reasons for supporting Biden last time were explicitly tied to wanting to support the 'LGBT community' and being against 'structural racism'.

Sure, some of the things the MAGA crowd would hate her for, like being overly promiscuous or 'vaxed', are stupid. But she is a propaganda outlet for the Woke cultural left. In fairness she's also a puppet and her views aren't really her own, she is just compelled to parrot out the line of the establishment media. If she had chosen to identify as conservative, her career would be immediately over.

The capturing of the 'high status' is exactly the insidious Woke plan. Far from being more forgivable, it is people like Swift that are the most dangerous for a healthy culture, because she looks and acts normal. But it's all a psych-op. a sinister manipulation of social dynamics to humiliate social conservatives.

Trump is absolutely justified in calling for 'retribution'.

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Let's say you're 100% right. The problem is that most people think it's weird and think you sound kooky and are have an inchoate sense of discomfort around people who use words like'insidious' to describe a pop music star. What do you do now?

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Most people also, as Richard points out often, actively dislike the kinds of things that conservatives stand for. People don't want to be hardworking christian farmers, they want to be pop stars or whatever living in inexpensive nice apartments in a city with a good night life. And no i'm not just describing single people.

Now, will living in a city taking birth control and watching netflix make a person happy in the long run? Utterly irrelevant -- if ideology had to be about what works well shit we'd have to have a different word for it.

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100%. Even those who want 'trad' want an aesthetic version of it. Seven days a week of rising pre-dawn to tend to animals actually does get pretty old fast, which is why virtually everyone in human history who's been able to get someone else to do it has taken up that option. Recognizing the pitfalls and excesses of modern life isn't the same as making them unappealing.

I need to be super vague so I don't dox myself or others but I have a friend who was raised in a very traditional environment, but it had clear, obvious dysfunctions - it wasn't just the primitive discomforts that led them away but that the parents weren't very good at it. So when that person left the family environment they associated traditionalism with their mode of it, and inevitably my friend is now a bluehair, with every adjective you can think of. If we enforce some kind of lame internet conservatism to spare our youth the evils of Taylor Swift we'll deservedly reap the cultural whirlwind that follows.

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I kind of want to live in an inexpensive apartment in a city with cool night life. Living on a farm is not my cup of tea.

I just want the city to be free of Wokeness.

And it's not just a reaction to disliking rural life, it is an organized agenda to destroy our society.

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"People don't want to be hardworking christian farmers."

Shocking, that. I always feel that people who say this kind of thing have never actually lived off real labor, because I can tell you from experience that it's no trivial thing. My girlfriend lived a hard rural life as a child and she was more than happy to have city comforts the minute she could work her way up to them. Trying to base our social ethos (or retroactively apply this ethos as the homogeneous culture of the West) off weird, nauseated aversion to pleasure combined with constant back-breaking mortification is its own cultural psychosis. I'm not surprised that we've swung so hard the other way. Believing that it's right and natural in the spiritual sense to live like a cross between St. Francis of Assisi and a socialist realism cartoon is an extreme position and no one is going to buy it. Wherever that paradigm existed it was penury, not Eden.

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I can't tell if you're agreeing with me but are accustomed to freighting everything you write online with snark, if you're hallucinating that I said something I didn't are then disagreeing with that, or some secret third thing.

And no, obviously people don't want it -- that's why real reactionaries fantasize about fascism or monarchy. People aren't ever going to vote for the conditions of hard struggle that might make them better people.

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You have to go pretty far in the fringes to find the people advocating everyone become a farmer. Kind of a strawman.

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Brian Caplan just wrote a great piece on the straw man straw man. You can find it on his blog.

https://www.betonit.ai/p/the_straw_man_shtml

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Name the most prominent person on the right who advocates for a mass movement back to an agrarian lifestyle?

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Lol no. Maybe try naming the person in your circle with the best reading comprehension and ask him for help.

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RW twitter has a lot of obsessions that aren't appealing to normal people at all. Like body count - they're furious about it, and it probably will hurt your marriage prospects to be too far above the norm, but there's no critical mass of mainstream men or women clamoring to get married as 18 yo old virgins again. They're mad about birth control, and it probably would be better for morr people to have kids, but there's no mainstream desire to bring back having soccer teams of kids again. There's a lot of conservative energy in those spaces, but they can't seem to put together a vision that normal people want.

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Yeah that is absolutely stupid.

Don't get me wrong, there are some absolute fucking weirdos on the right, who seem to want a Christian Taliban.

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The research is pretty clear that the happiest most stable marraiges are those where both people were virgins when married. Should we hide this data?

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Nobody said anything about hiding data. You can tell people things like this and encourage them to change their behavior, but if your goal is to be electable, you have to be popular. You can sneak some unpopular positions in if they're bundled with enough popular ones, but that means you have to choose carefully. No pre-marital sex is a very niche position right now - you're going to have to convince a lot more people that they actually want this before it becomes an asset to your platform.

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That's the fundamental problem of modernity and liberalism. Without a strong restraining force or set of forces, people will revert to anti-civilizational behaviors in conditions of modernity.

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Idk ask the people that lost their minds for weeks when Kanye west endorsed trump in 2017 but I guess that was normal

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How did that work out for them, exactly? How do you think wailing about a music star's endorsement makes you look in light of this?

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deletedJan 31
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Yes, I was. I was asleep for the entire year. How did organized pedophilia fare in 2020?

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Conservatives don’t understand that lefties seem cooler than them. In a nutshell that’s why TS and so many young go there. It’s now so cool to be LBGT-whatever that 30 percent of the young say they are! IMO, the vast majority of that percentage will turn out to lead boring conservative lives. But they wouldn’t want you to know that. No, siree, they’re still cool! It’s how so many boomer grannies now have blue hair. You’ll have to pry the cool from their cold dead hands!

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LGBT has become the perfect combination of positive and negative attention. By identifying with it, you can be so special you get your own parade or a victim of meany bigot-pants, depending on your emotional needs of the day. I hear the Daily Wire guys talk about going after gay marriage, and it's another perfect example of having no idea how to appeal to normies. Normal people don't have an issue with gays anymore. Trying to relitigate this is going to annoy them and make them even more sympathetic to the LGBT movement, and add fuel to the LGBT victimhood narrative fire.

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The idea that the Right now offers a real alternative to Liberalism is what makes them appealing. Recent surges in support for 'far-right' parties across Europe show that a growing proportion of people don't want "normality". Frankly if 'victimizing' queers is the downside of fixing the moral hazards on public education, I'm okay with it.

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But is the right appealing in the US? The "red wave" expected for the last midterm didn't really go anywhere, and Trump and Biden are expected to run a pretty close race even though Biden has been brain dead for 3 years. I would like to have a normie right that could crush the weird left, but I agree with Richard that the right in the US seems to be digging in on things that are off-putting to most people.

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Power.

Ruthlessly purge all liberals from these institutions, and ensure that it is social conservatives that have cultural hegemony. If that means violating private property, so be it.

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And you'll amass this power, and this confiscatory force, by... posting really unpopular stuff online?

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It worked for the left. They were talking about pro-pedophilia stuff in the 70;s and it didn't hurt them.

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It doesn't seem to have worked out too well for the pedophiles.

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Well twerking on kids is basically the same as molesting them. Their pedophilia is, at least publicly, confined to exhibitionism and voyerism. In private, I believe most of them are pedophiles.

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If you don't have authoritarianism, the poisonous cultural left subverts everything. Because in a democracy the 'side that wants to win always beats the side that wants to be left alone', and so the moderate majority is forced to comply with a radicalized minority.

An authoritarian leader can truly represent the moderate majority more.

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Yeah, the Taylor Swift thing is bizarre and nice wish people would shut up about it. It's stupid. I quit watching the NFL after trying to like it for a couple of years just to see what the fuss was about all the time. Some of the very rightist right is too much, even for me. And, I tend to be pretty forgiving and understanding of their (some of my) issues.

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There's a higher level on which conservatives are onto something, but they draw the wrong conclusions. Anyone who hasn't bought into certain key contemporary assumptions has a hard time believing all the things we see on the left are real or organic. Deep down they can't believe that things have gotten so bad -- that people really don't care about faith or chastity or european values/culture. If they faced how absolutely lost and gone the world really is from their perspective, they'd want to kill themselves. Instead they want to believe that most people are like them, but there's a corrupt conspiracy keeping them down.

This is a hard thing even to look at from the outside, and I don't fault Richard for not seeing it. He only has contempt for the world they feel was stolen, and I wouldn't argue that he's wrong to do so. But it makes it hard to see.

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Excellent point.

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But when libs trashed the nfl for not supporting BLM or lgbt that was sane? Turned out they got what they wanted. Now the new normal is the NFL saying football is gay and BLM !!! Maybe bring against what’s normal works , it worked for libs

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Actually, that's when I stopped watching. I didn't like the politicization. And, I didn't go back to watching like all these other numbskulls.

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Yet didn’t hurt dems. The people that followed hanania rule of “support neutral venues and let the normalcy go on” lost. Libs trashed the nfl and sports until they changed the normalcy. Now the new normalcy includes pride which is why libs don’t care much as they used to

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Good point, but once again this is a comparison between lefty activists on the one side and GOP politicians on the other. Democrats have lots of loony toons but they usually don't elect them to public office. Biden isn't out there complaining about the NFL, but Trump sure is.

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Naturally disagree with Richard on abortion as a Christian (though I acknowledge Republicans are somewhat stupid on the issue and you actually do need to compromise), but otherwise not much to disagree with. White girls from good homes younger than about 45 all like Taylor Swift. If they're listening to current-year pop, it's basically the best you can hope for, by a wide margin.

I tire of the insanity. I feel like conservatives used to be able to watch and enjoy Jaws or E.T. and not make it about the fact that Spielberg is a large Democrat donor. Hollywood is now unambiguously worse than those days in terms of both quality and messaging, but pop music isn't, really. Taylor is a better influence than a lot of pop singers of yesteryear: Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Britney Spears, etc. etc.

I remember having an exchange with Richard not so long ago and he was more optimistic than me on the Republicans' prospects, which he thought of as 50/50ish. He seems to be coming around more now. The outlook is grim for this party, and I don't really know how it improves. We've been calling it the Stupid Party for most of my life now, but it just keeps getting dumber. I'm inclined to think the Republicans' only hope is for the Democrats to catch up to them in self-destructive insanity and stupidity, because they don't seem able to pull themselves out of the tailspin.

But I mostly think we're living in a many-decade era of Democrat dominance that started in 2008, akin to the era of Republican dominance from 1860-1928, and Trump is our Grover Cleveland. He might even get his non-consecutive terms. Probably not, but maybe.

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Agreed. Dems won't go off the deep end any time soon because the normy conservative suburbanites are now an important part of their coalition they don't want to lose. Whereas the GOP is now most concerned with losing rural populists who can barely remember when it's election day.

After Trump is gone the current GOP coalition can't possibly hold together so we may see some radical shifts, but most likely the MAGA crowd will just lose interest and stop voting and the suburbanites will stay Democrats. Doesn't look good for the GOP, but who knows.

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I wouldn't hold my breath on Dems not going off the deep end. Or at least, I'd expect their party to continue to get crazier and/or stupider, just not at as fast a rate as the Republicans.

The Biden Administration could have been -- and was elected to be -- much more moderate than it actually is. If he's in any political danger now, this is a large part of the reason. If all the Democrats wanted to do was win elections, they'd be triangulating like crazy and would have a real shot of winning in a landslide. But this is not what they're doing. They want to make certain unpopular priorities happen and trade that off against votes. Fortunately for them, they have demographics on their side so they can lose some white voters every election and still come out ahead. They also have much more ability to actually make priorities happen due to their IQ/education/institutional advantages.

I agree that once Trump is no longer on the ticket, the Republicans might find they don't have a competitive coalition anymore because they can't turn out the white working class. And for purposes of the general electorate, basically all Republicans have the stink of Trump on them and will be attacked as Trump 2.0. It's at least going to take a very good candidate to put together a new coalition, and we don't see many very good candidates running these days.

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Republicans don’t understand that the party is not the GOP of 2012. In fact both parties are undergoing transformation. We need two new parties to reflect this. We’re entering new territory.

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this piece is brilliant!

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"We can understand Taylor Swift Democrats as men and women comfortable with their birth sex, eager to play the roles traditionally assigned to it, not racist but not feeling particularly guilty about the sins of their country, and who will naturally gravitate towards whichever political coalition comes across as the most normal, willing to let them go about their lives watching football or buying makeup from Sephora."

Yep, this is me (in an American context)

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And this is why women shouldn't vote. Your primary instinct is to find which side is the strongest (which you call normal), and back it for that very reason. You could care less if it's the correct side.

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Feb 1·edited Feb 1

Yes, this seems to be a reasonable view - except long term it will result in a cultural shift to the left (through their control of most of the education system) which is more often than not damaging to the society (rising crime, broken families and lower birthrates, mass immigration causing social trust to break down) even if it is masked by the technological advances.

It would take a near-dictator to reverse it, but who would trust Trump with absolute power?

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There are only 2 options: trust Trump or someone else on the GOP with absolute power, or go with the status quo where the bureaucrats have absolute power.

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Here's the disconnect. There are two archetypes of anti-woke:

- The closet social conservative in the math department. Subjected to infuriating displays of wokery on the daily, and is even made to publicly display fealty to it. Will actually endanger his job/promotion if he voices a minor criticism of Trans. Sees the common folk as allies against a mind-virus spreading amongst his own class. Thinks tattoos are gauche.

- The F-150 driving light beer drinker. Only thinks about woke when the political news is on. Tells gay jokes on the job to riotous laughter from his ethnically heterogeneous coworkers. Sees himself as one of the common folk. Thinks tattoos are SICK, BRAH and doesn't know what gauche means.

The second guy is like "hah, stupid liberals" and goes back to worrying about the Lions versus the Niners. The first guy is the one who daydreams of putting the political enforcers in the blue institutions that he lives in against the wall while he sits through another PowerPoint training.

Notably, the first guy doesn't understand that the second guy doesn't like him.

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To let the border smugglers determine the demography of your country is no less crazy than the Republicans' obsession with abortions. Both parties have let the lunatics and extremists dictate the agenda.

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Caring about the murder of innocent babies is not crazy. You just want to frame it as such so you can live a life free of consequences for your actions.

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Richard this a very insightful analysis. I must admit to having totally missed Republican carping about Taylor Swift, but I don’t watch cable news. I must though admit that Republicans and conservatives in general have gone all in on an oppositional conspiracy focused politics.

Richard I agree with you that Dobbs marked some sort of turning point though not because I believe it was a bad or wrong decision. The problem is that after Dobbs Republicans were like the dog that chased the car and caught it--now that I got what I wanted what do I do now? Republicans never thought about how to play the game after Dobbs. The key was to endorse the decision but not use it to press the most restrictive anti abortion measures--measures without an electoral majority.

Surprisingly, Republicans and conservatives generally forgot that even if abortion is a state’s right you still need to build a governing majority around the issue. Forcing women to give birth to infants who will die or live briefly with terrible health defects and that may limit the mother’s ability to have future healthy children is not how to build electoral majorities.

Unfortunately, the Republican blinders seem to be broad. As a center-right voter I am appalled that the Republican party is going to renominate Trump. Even if he managed to beat Biden, maybe the most unpopular president in my lifetime, it will not be good news for the party or the nation. I believe if Trump wins, the voters will balance the scales by voting in Democrat majorities in the House and Senate.

While I agree with you that the majority of Americans are not in sync with the full craziness of the Woke Left remember this group continues to be in significant policy making and leadership positions in education and media. Moreover, through DEI they have gained a significant foothold in the private and public sectors in America. So they are indoctrinating our kids; inundating us with Woke Leftist propaganda; and misdirecting our economic and governmental institutions. Given the damage these folks can and have caused opposing them seems to be the correct thing to do.

However, I do agree that conservatives and the Republicans have lost their way.

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You say Trump is 'crude, dishonest, and corrupt'. That may be true, but he is more of a Bullshitter than a Liar (technical definition). But he is hardly alone in that, very many politicians are dishonest and corrupt. However, the cultural elite will NEVER accept his crudeness. It offends their sensibilities. Its drives them insane. Its the crudeness that really causes TDS.

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Support for LGBT, abortion, soft on crime policies and not normal stances for apolitical 'normies'. They're so irrational and outside of most people's interests that the question is 'How they became normalized?' not 'Why isn't the other party adopting them and instead committed itself to lunacy?' Swifty Dems are the results of this process of normalization. Why is abortion such a totem for them despite the fact that most of them will never have one? My best guess is that it is symbolic of their cohort: childless, single women. As an increasing proportion of women fall into this category so increases the importance of abortion. The Republicans never had these women to begin with and they've only ever drifted further apart.

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Feb 1·edited Feb 1

No. Pro-choice is absolutely a normal stance for 'apolitical normies', they don't want the government to intrude on what they consider their (or their families') most private decisions. Most of them will never have an abortion, but if an unfortunate situation arises, they want the option available for them.

That's why Republicans are losing referendums on abortion left and right.

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No, it's because people don't want to have consequences for their actions, and are willing to kill their babies to avoid said consequences.

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Great piece. Truly pointless and objectively stupid to make TS out as anything other than the Center of mainstream….she’s even written lyrics about Gyllenhaal dissing her stuff as not being indie cool enough. It’s picking a fight with the most successful and recognizable entertainer of the present era, who happens to have a huge and rabid fan base, on something without substance and not based on any principles.

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Notably, while Taylor Swift isn't a traditionally loud left-wing activist, she has taken a pretty clear left-wing position on the relevant culture war issues.

https://www.vogue.com/article/taylor-swift-cover-september-2019

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Like a lot of popstars like JLO, Beyoncé, Eminem, Greenday and ... Kayne West. But for a weird reason cuckservatives chose to label Taylor Swift as the absolute evil. Why? Richard Hanania explained it well in his article.

PS:

Do you know who is another famous guy who has taken "pretty clear left-wing position on culture war issues"? Donald Trump! Don't you believe it? Ask to Ron De Sanctimonious.

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Yep. The water they swim in is a culture of lefty virtue signaling. The signal that you’re ‘one of them’ aka an insider, matters.

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