I disagree with Jared Holt’s latest article on the SH!TPOST this morning.
“I worry about whether the United States political system is experiencing a type of bystander effect. The term is typically invoked in medical and psychological fields to describe why individuals are so less likely to assist others while part of a crowd. (In situations that don’t involve crowds, those same individuals will hesitate less before springing to action.) The general explanation as I understand it is that people will generally wait to see if someone else will do something first. …
We can’t be content with bystander politics. Those who are seeking to undermine democracy at this moment sure aren’t. Leaders of homegrown anti-democratic movements have specifically instructed their followers to engage in the political process, achieve whatever modicum of power they can, and wield that power to weaken the basic functions of the U.S. election system. This participation in the granular mechanisms of democracy for explicitly anti-democratic ends is strategic; it is assumed (often correctly) that lower rank Party and public positions will be easier to obtain and then leverage against larger apparatuses toward their goals. The immediate victims of this corrosion will inevitably be non-white voters, who have seen their communities targeted with bogus “voter fraud” claims for decades. …
The point is participation. We can’t be bystanders. As alarming as this current trajectory is, there are still more people who care about the integrity of this country than those who wish to dissolve it and make things even more unequal. It’s time we act like it. …”
How in the world are these people bystanders?
Since 2017, they have censored the internet and deplatformed content creators from payment processors. Groups like Integrity First for America have engaged in lawfare. Antifa have doxxed countless people on our side. They have participated in countless pointless street battles with the “far right.” They have weaponized the FBI against Trump and his supporters. The culmination of their effort was electing Joe Biden as president and retaking the House and Senate. There is also the January 6 commission which has become a 24/7/365 running show trial. Are you saying that wasn’t enough?
The truth is that Jared’s side are busybodies and control freaks. Jared is a glorified hall monitor who works for the Atlantic Council. The people who whine the most about “authoritarianism” are precisely the people who are the most inclined and empowered to engage in it. When Antifa show up at our events to engage in violence to deplatform rightwing speakers, they are the ones who are violating our constitutional rights. What do you call people who whine about the death of “our democracy” who always choose repression over persuasion and who are unable to countenance free speech or disagreement?
The whole thrust of everything that these people do who style themselves as the last best hope of “democracy” is aimed at repressing a vast swath of the American population. They are alarmed that Steve Bannon is telling his supporters to go vote and participate in the democratic process. The horror!
Pretty much everything that Jared says is wrong here:
- Republicans usually win by blowout margins in rural areas and small towns where Bannon’s supporters live. There is no need to engage in “voter suppression” against African-Americans when you are winning a county with 70% or 80% of the vote. The real voter suppression is the toxicity of the Democratic brand due to things like Wokeism. Witness Iowa or Ohio. Younger blacks also aren’t voting for Democrats by the same margins like Jim Clyburn’s generation.
- Establishment liberals and progressive activists are heavily engaged in politics. They are far more likely to follow the news and tweet and vote and believe their vote matters. They are far more likely to donate and work on campaigns. These people aren’t bystanders or standing on the sidelines. They are more heavily engaged in politics than almost anyone else in the country. These people pack a far more potent political punch than they ought to based on sheer numbers alone due to their massive overrepresentation across most American institutions.
- Getting involved at the local level won’t solve the problem. Joe Biden set a new record in 2020 for the fewest counties won by a winning presidential candidate. There are far more opportunities for populist candidates to win at the state and local level because shitlibs are packed into their cosmopolitan urban cores, inner ring suburbs and college towns.
- Voter suppression is something we do to ourselves. It is overwhelmingly directed inward. If you are cynical about politics and don’t think your vote matters, you are far more likely to not even bother to show up on election day. No one on the Right is more cynical about American politics due to decades of being discouraged from voting by the GOP and cuckservative politicians.
- They are the “anti-democratic” movement who are obsessed – absolutely obsessed – with policing and repressing other citizens through censorship, surveillance, doxxing, lawfare, violence and state repression. Just imagine how loud these people would be howling if these same tactics were used against them!
In sum, the so-called “anti-democratic” movement on the Right usually doesn’t vote out of overwhelming cynicism, establishment liberals and progressive activists are far more likely to vote, the real “voter suppression” is the toxicity of the Democratic brand, partisans are more geographically sorted which results in more landslide counties and PMCs and their children are the real authoritarians.
Now, turning to our own side and the history of the last thirty years of American politics … we have gone from the Embittered (1996) to the Disaffected (2005) to the Hard-Pressed Skeptics (2014) to the Market Skeptic Republicans (2017) to the Populist Right (2021). The Republican base has gone through a radical change since 2016. Steve Bannon’s faction is now as dominant in the GOP as establishment liberals in the Democratic Party. The Republican gerontocracy is lagging behind this shift in the base.
Establishment liberals and progressive activists or Democrat Independent Liberal Elites (DILEs) – basically, the college-educated, cosmopolitan White liberals who live in cities – already dominate the Democratic Party. If anything, they are becoming more prominent and insufferable. Let’s assume those people ceased to be “bystanders” and became even more prominent and identified with the Democratic brand than they are now. Would that help save our “our democracy” or would those people alienate even more of their own voters with their extreme views?
Jared’s side being the political establishment is heavily engaged and overrepresented in American institutions while our side isn’t nearly as engaged and is severely underrepresented in American politics and institutions due to decades of repression. That’s the dynamic.