Editor’s Note: MEH must still have my number from his Newsweek days.
Michael Edison Hayden asks this afternoon:
Taking my family on cross country road trips.
Doing the sorts of things which I neglected for almost 20 years.
As I am sure you are aware, I identify as a garden variety normie these days. I still maintain this website, observe and opine on current events, but I don’t see the need to be as engaged in politics or activism as I used to be. I don’t feel as alienated from society now that my views have become conventional in my swath of the population over the past few years. I feel like I have gotten my point across.
Looking back on Charlottesville, I obviously wish I would have never gone. We were impatient. We wanted society to change faster than it was ready to at the time. We felt the urgent need to “do something” to “wake people up.” In retrospect, I look back on it and have concluded that most people “wake up” on their own time and would have done so anyway had we never exposed ourselves to taking such risks.
In 2020, we didn’t feel the need to go out and engage with the “racial justice movement” after George Floyd was killed when BLM and Antifa were rioting all over the country. We gave your side the national stage which you had all to yourselves and that did more to discredit you and radicalize conservatives than anything we could have done in our lifetimes. Trump narrowly losing the election had the same galvanizing effect. It was necessary to get our politics moving in the right direction again.
We’re currently in a big transition phase. Now that basic concepts like the Great Replacement, Christian nationalism and secession are no longer marginal and taboo, I think we are going to have to make the leap from being a fringe political culture into boring political activists who sell out and reform conservatism like the Religious Right. We are going to have to nominate candidates and start winning elections. There will soon be Great Replacement activists like pro-life activists or gun rights activists. I think the victories of people like Doug Mastriano and Michael Peroutka in their primaries are the tip of the iceberg.
I’ve personally spent years railing against the idea and insisting on this website that it would never happen. I still have difficulty wrapping my mind around it, but it is what it is. Conservative normies are radicalizing to the point where the rhetoric is so blurred with our own that it is pointless and counterproductive to maintain a distinction like “Alt-Right” or “Dissident Right.” Millions of these people are more radical now than I am in the sense of being ready to storm the Capitol and go straight to violence.
The Senate gerontocracy that is clinging to power in the GOP is going to retire over the next decade or so. Politicians are a lagging indicator. As those people like Mitch McConnell cycle out of power, they will eventually be replaced with more people who reflect the more radical temperature of the GOP base, particularly voters under the age of 40. This is inevitably going to happen on both sides of the aisle.
Basically, I think the trends and events that I am seeing are being propelled forward by their own momentum now. The cake is baking in the oven. I’m content to just watch it gain steam and play out for now while focusing on other things.