Children are being raised to desecrate the flag. pic.twitter.com/RtNBo3u1st— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) July 9, 2021
I distinctly recall Andrew Sullivan’s sheer terror before Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election. “Fascism” was on the march and was coming to power in America.
“I have long had faith that some version of fascism cannot come to power in America. The events of the past year suggest deep reflection on that conviction. A political hurricane has arrived, as globalization has eroded the economic power of the white working classes, as the cultural left has overplayed its hand on social and racial issues, and as a catastrophic war and a financial crisis has robbed the elites of their credibility. As always in history, you still needed the spark, the unique actor who could deploy demagogic talent to drag an advanced country into violence and barbarism. In Trump, America found one for the ages. …”
Sullivan thought the cultural left had overplayed its hand in 2016.
He was right about that. He was completely wrong about Trump’s “fascism.” In reality, we got a reality television show presidency and a personality cult centered on a demagogue and the usual conservative policies combined with inept governance. It ended in a grift and a fiasco for all involved. Donald Trump was a just an opportunist and a narcissist with good marketing instincts, not a “fascist.”
The Trumpian fascists never came for Andrew Sullivan. Instead, it was his woke progressive allies who indicted him and found him guilty of “white supremacy” during the mania last summer. The people who struck the death blow against liberalism had already burrowed inside its institutions like the New York Times and the ACLU. In our new progressive era, it has been well established that Sully, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Thomas Frank, Jimmy Dore and the rest of their ilk are “white supremacy.”
“It’s a question I get a lot on Twitter. “When did you become so far right?” “Why have you become a white supremacist, transphobic, misogynistic eugenicist?” Or, of course: “See! I told you who he really was! Just take the hood off, Sully!” It’s trolling, mainly. And it’s a weapon for some in the elite to wield against others in the kind of emotional blackmail spiral that was first pioneered on elite college campuses. But it’s worth answering, a year after I was booted from New York Magazine for my unacceptable politics. Because it seems to me that the dynamic should really be the other way round.
The real question is: what happened to you? …
What is it? It is, I’d argue, the sudden, rapid, stunning shift in the belief system of the American elites. It has sent the whole society into a profound cultural dislocation. It is, in essence, an ongoing moral panic against the specter of “white supremacy,” which is now bizarrely regarded as an accurate description of the largest, freest, most successful multiracial democracy in human history.
We all know it’s happened. The elites, increasingly sequestered within one political party and one media monoculture, educated by colleges and private schools that have become hermetically sealed against any non-left dissent, have had a “social justice reckoning” these past few years. And they have been ideologically transformed, with countless cascading consequences. …
Look how far the left’s war on liberalism has gone.
Due process? If you’re a male on campus, gone. Privacy? Stripped away — by anonymous rape accusations, exposure of private emails, violence against people’s private homes, screaming at folks in restaurants, sordid exposés of sexual encounters, eagerly published by woke mags. Non-violence? Exceptions are available if you want to “punch a fascist.” Free speech? Only if you don’t mind being fired and ostracized as a righteous consequence. Free association? You’ve got to be kidding. Religious freedom? Illegitimate bigotry. Equality? Only group equity counts now, and individuals of the wrong identity can and must be discriminated against. Color-blindness? Another word for racism. Mercy? Not for oppressors. Intent? Irrelevant. Objectivity? A racist lie. Science? A manifestation of white supremacy. Biological sex? Replaced by socially constructed gender so that women have penises and men have periods. The rule of law? Not for migrants or looters. Borders? Racist. Viewpoint diversity? A form of violence against the oppressed. …”
There is a lot to unpack here.
My first question would be … what are the consequences of this worldview? What happens when it starts to dawn on millions of White people that progressive elites have decided to cancel their rights and liberties? Given our turbulent politics, how will they respond to this shift in elite opinion?