19 comments

  1. Tuesday’s senate race was probably the final nail in the coffin of the right-wing evangelicals. Coverage seemed to suggest the electorate was not convinced of the sex scandal’s veracity, but all the same did not find the “sodomy and abortion,” routine very appealing. This largely dovetails with my theory that white Christianity is dying as the institutions offer virtually nothing to their adherents except more of the same original sin and continual penance narrative that one can find in any mainstream narrative (eg. white privilege, white guilt, white self-sacrifice).

    On the positive side, this bodes well for those who have long wished the right could detach itself from religious fundamentalism. On the negative side, there are some signs that evangelicals are aligning with the neolib left. Given that sector of American politics is already rife with moral majoritarian tyranny, one must be concerned about the potential for an even more messianic progressive quasi-theocracy to metastasize.

    • “On the negative side, there are some signs that evangelicals are aligning with the neolib left.”

      On what are you basing that claim? I have some ideas on the question, but I’m wondering what your thoughts are.

      • I tend to think that just as pre-modern societies tended to be ruled by a hybrid of monarchs, aristocrats, and clerics, modern states are ruled by a hybrid of politicians, plutocrats, and moralists. The moralists can be secular or religious, left or right, and they may shift in terms of which group of moralists are dominant at any one time. In past times, it may have been the church that were the dominant moralists. However, in contemporary times I’d say the moralists are more likely to be found in the media, academia and the professional classes (Joel Kotkin even calls them the “new clerisy”). Some of the most disastrous policies in US history have occurred when religious and secular, left and right moralists, have converged. Prohibition and the “war on drugs” are obviously examples. I’ve noticed there’s now a growing hysteria over sex trafficking in both camps (which seems to be gaining as the war on drugs is losing its credibility). I have noticed a leftward drift in some evangelical circles as well.

        • I certainly share the view that convergence between polar states of moral panic can be the prelude to the proliferation of very undesirable policy. As it is happening; however, I don’t believe this will be analogous to any prior events of left-right convergence. As the right has largely lost the power to make social issues a major part of their platform, the “left,” is becoming the only place for one who wishes to impose morality to go. In that sense, it might plausibly be argued that neolib Progressive capture of these institutions is indeed a two-way street. Not only do the managerialists desire more fine control over the moral narrative in these institutions, but the institutions themselves recognize that without attaching themselves to neolib power, they will soon be identified as completely powerless and pointless, emptying pews and pockets in short order.

          As some of the more clever self-styled “reactionaries,” have noted, power dynamics are the first mover in culture. So as the failure of a nascent “trumpist,” backlash against neolib power becomes more apparent, ever more institutions of the “right,” will, I predict, defect to the new center of permanent power and status. I scare quote the political poles here because I believe the magnitude of the power teased by the replete failures of Trump to enact any of his agenda suggest that an undeniably monotonic political hegemony is likely to emerge into full view after his leaving (or removal from) office.

          • Yeah, a lot of the paleocon types are always saying that anything that is not explicitly right will move left. The example they usually cite is the constant leftward drift on the neocons on everything but foreign policy. Trumpism seems to have had the effect of pushing a lot of the moderate Republicans and neocons leftward. I also suspect there will be a big backlash against Trumpism, and the left will make a big comeback. What happened in Virginia in the last election this year may happen on a national level next year, and in 2020.

            • I would hesitate to call it a backlash given the lashing is already apparent. The single party state is what follows and I would hesitate to call it “left.” It will borrow heavily from the Chinese.

              • Yes, I would agree the backlash against Trumpism is already happening, if the recent election in Virginia, and the generally hysterical tone of the media and center-left opinion, is any indication.

                I’ve also considered the possibility of the US becoming essentially a one-party state under the Democrats given the ongoing demographic, cultural, and generational shifts. It’s true that if the GOP continues to become little more than an “old, rural, white peoples’ party” then it will be impossible for the Republicans to win national elections, or to dominate the House of Representatives. Although the Republicans could be competitive in the Senate given the way the seats are determined. Also, it looks like the GOP is pursing a “scorched earth policy” in terms of appointments to federal courts. There’s also the possibility of a shift in political demographics such as conservative-leaning minorities moving to the Republicans.

                • I believe it’s a misunderstanding that the GOP can be anything besides the white people’s party. There is simply no means by which they can compete politically for the votes of any minority group.

                    • Nobody at The Nation believes a word of it; Premised on concepts the neolib progressive political class has abandoned if not out-right condemned, eg. assimilation (numerically impossible), adopting whiteness (socially unacceptable, academically handicapping, legally disenfranchising).

                    • I agree that Rick Perlstein’s argument seems to draw on the post-Ellis Island model of assimilation, which seems extraordinarily anachronistic. What Perlstein is suggesting is that the white majority will remain a majority by redefining whiteness to include a wider umbrella of ethnic groups. That’s not theoretically impossible, just less plausible the further you extend it. I suppose you could have a “reverse one drop rule” where if you have one drop of white, you’re white. I had a WN guy tell me once that “anyone who fights white is white” so from that perspective a “pro-white” black person counts as white. But it would seem at that point what you have is not ethic groups but political factions, which is kind of what we have now as evidenced by the growing number of minorities you find in anti-leftist circles. For example, I have seen “pro-free speech” anti-antifa/anti-SJW rallies whose organizers were gay or transgender or people of color as well as white. Then you have a guy like Milo, who is considered a neo-Nazi by the Left, even though he is a gay Jewish guy who is gay married to a black guy, and whose politics are mostly just lame ass Republican talking points. Not exactly what Hitler had in mind, lol.

                    • I believe that neolib progressive hegemony is solid as its foundation lies in virtually all multi-national corporations, financial institutions, and civil bureaucracies. Minorities in very small numbers have defected to support the embattled white plurality, but they are trivial in number and often punished with the same zeal as their white counterparts (eg. the black woman apple fired for claiming white men could be “diverse”).

                  • “they are trivial in number and often punished with the same zeal as their white counterparts (eg. the black woman apple fired for claiming white men could be “diverse”)”

                    If anything, they are even more hated.

      • Capture of the Southern Baptist Convention by members of the Progressive caste, an event that happened nearly a decade ago but was formalized by their publicized vote and re-vote to condemn “white supremacy,” suggests that the formation of an evangelical-progressive hybrid ideological space has been in the works for some time and may well be on the cusp of fruition. Voting habits have, predictably, shown some inertia; however, on once-catalyzing social issues many popular evangelical organs are now appending themselves much more closely to Progressive dogma.

        • In more recent years, I have also seem some evidence of younger evangelical types moving leftward on a range of issues: immigration, climate change, economics, even gay rights in some instances. There seems to be something of a divide among evangelicals along generational lines. You have the older ones who are more interested in issues like opposing abortion, gay marriage, etc. and who tend to be more conservative on immigration, and sometimes more conservative on racial issues, depending on their geography. Some of the younger ones seem to be moving leftward on a lot of things. They may still be into the pro-life cause the same way a lot of young leftists are into animal rights (in fact, I know people who are into both). But they are less conservative on virtually everything. It also seems like the evangelicals are starting to decline demographically the same way the mainline churches have declined: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/1010/Amid-Evangelical-decline-growing-split-between-young-Christians-and-church-elders

  2. Well, it looks like Frank saw what was coming down the road long before the rest of the Great Unwashed….A home grown Nostradamus who just happen to be A Musician or perhaps a Muse ?
    Suzy Creamscheese where art tho ?

  3. “Nowadays, it’s guys like Dave Rubin who have picked up the torch from Frank”

    Is Dave Rubin really in that vein though? He seems like a nice guy but more of a throwback to the evening show hosts of old (where they would let the guests actually talk about their views at length). Although I suppose he does harp on the Left’s current tendencies.

    • Well, Frank’s politics weren’t all that radical. He was mostly a kind of liberal-libertarian type like Rubin not a far left type. In fact, he was actual critical of the Left in a lot of ways. He used to bash guys like Jesse Jackson in his songs, and even back then Frank was at times accused of poking fun at ethnic groups or gays (which he did, he poked fun at everything). He was vocally opposed to censorship and restrictions on expression. Back then most of that kind of do-gooder crusading tended to come from right-wing moralists concerned about the arts and entertainment promoting sex, drugs, violence, communism, and Satan, lol. Nowadays, there is not much of that. It’s more the Left waxing hysterical about perceived racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, etc. Although the same kinds of moralistic impulses are the driving force.

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