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Throughout history, memories of a gallant defeat have provided spiritual sustenance to the defeated. The Texans have the Alamo. The defeated Confederacy embraced the story of southern valor in a “lost cause.” France has its Bourbon restorationists, who remember the blood of the Vendee and of their murdered king.
In some sense, certain wars, despite a nominal ceasefire, are never quite over. They are ongoing events, and the defeated are sustained by tales of revenge, being stabbed in the back, and rising from the ashes in glory when conditions change.
It seems the far Left in America, having been defeated in the November 2016 election, has decided to go down this road. After all, they label themselves grandiloquently #TheResistance. They attribute their defeat to poor campaign tactics and Russian meddling, but the turn of so many former, mostly white, Obama voters to Trump surely had something to do with the Democrats’ message.
Although Obama won decisively in 2008 with a message of national unity, the mask came off during his second term. That’s when the talk of “no red states and no blue states” was exchanged for endless haranguing about “out of control” cops and “white privilege.” Perhaps the most pathetic moment of the last election occurred when, during the Democratic primary debates, the candidates could not agree with the seemingly noncontroversial statement, “all lives matter.”
Whites, many of whom are struggling, have worn this country’s uniform, and whose people have lived in this land for centuries, did not appreciate the hate campaign, nor the suggestion that they are especially privileged. They are not, by and large, racist in the sense of wishing ill or hoping to dominate others. The only privilege to which most were attached was not to be treated as strangers in the land of their birth. There is some middle ground, after all, between genocidal racism and simply wanting things to remain not terribly different from the country one grew up in and to have a political system that promotes the prosperity of one’s “posterity.”
Trump, by emphasizing a restoration of the historical American nation and the elevation of the forgotten American workers of the interior, won the presidency. Various parts of his rhetoric, like “Build the Wall,” “Bad Hombres,” and “Make America Great Again,” while not “racist” as described by the Left, did show a recognition of the dignity and power of the majority. Trump affirmed that the nation is not merely “an idea” but a people, whose welfare the government is supposed to promote. Although Conservatism, Inc.™ rejects “identity politics,” it is hard to avoid talk of identity when the other side preaches a Marxist, divide-and-conquer message founded explicitly on the intersectional trinity of “race, class, and gender.” People notice when the other side is out for blood even when, by nature and practice, they are not particularly tribal in their orientation.
Far from rethinking their message after the 2016 election, the Left has redoubled it. Companies like Starbucks are now compelled to sponsor reeducation seminars for the crime of not wanting to become homeless encampments. Wayward comments on Twitter are enough to send someone into social and economic oblivion. Long standing statues of American heroes are now toppled, and, contrary to the assurances of Conservatism, Inc.™, the revolutionaries have not stopped with the traitors of the Confederacy. Being a traitor hardly matters to the Left, after all; why else would they give prime university jobs to former Weather Underground terrorists? The anti-Confederate angle is simply a pretext; their hatred is for the entire historical America, Trump’s America, which they consider irredeemably racist and evil.
While the Left lost the election, it only lost barely. Leftists have hope because of the irrelevant popular vote, the echo chamber effect of their circles of friendship and influence, and their decisive control of institutions of culture: Hollywood, newsrooms, universities, and large corporations. In addition, while perhaps they moved too soon, demographics are on the Left’s side, particularly if circumstances remain the same.
They simply do not accept the rise of Trump and nationalist politics. They think both are wrong as well as anachronistic and destined to fail, and, thus, they are acting as if he didn’t win at all. We see signs of this resistance everywhere. MSNBC—an increasingly irrelevant network—holds a “teach in” on race the main theme of which is that whites generally speaking are bad and need to become second-class citizens. Speakers at college graduations and elsewhere act as if Trump is not a legitimate president, making snide and poorly received remarks about him to mixed audiences, forgetting that their fellow swamp beneficiaries who live on the coasts are not representative of the interior. While the Left did their best to make damn sure a small bakery had to provide the cake for a gay wedding even when that violated their religious views, political discrimination (against Trump supporters, anyway) is upheld as perfectly acceptable. And, most important, the establishment, on both the far Left and NeverTrump Right, has supported the historically unprecedented abuse of intelligence and law enforcement against a rival political campaign in the form of the Mueller Probe.
We saw a similar phenomenon on the far Right during the Obama years. The talk of him being a crypto-Muslim born in Kenya undermined his authority by calling into question his claim to be the American president. His retreat from asserting American power abroad, coupled with his hostility to historical America at home—whose people he lambasted as “bitter clingers” in a moment of candor—did not help to disabuse his critics very much. But their resistance was a shadow of what Trump faces. Trump’s opposition is both partisan and political, as well as a cry of despair from the managerial elite who mostly identify with or have learned to acquiesce to this Leftist political tribe.
The fight between Left and Right, nationalist and globalists, and historical Americans and immigrant newcomers is fundamentally a question about what the country is. Is it defined as a combination of a settled people, their habits and institutions, their character, and their tremendously successful stewardship of limited government? Or is it, while being all of the above, fundamentally an illegitimate conspiracy, defined by genocide of Indians and enslavement of Africans, which illegitimacy extends into any claim of the historical majority to rule and maintain the country in accordance with its historical character?
Far from thinking America has always been great, the Left thinks it is not that great, and indeed is but a hypocritical swindle. Think of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States. There was a glimmer of conditional patriotism with the election of Obama, who would work to accomplish the nation’s “fundamental transformation”, but the defeat of his successor disillusioned them into their default state of hostility.
This is the basic leftist worldview: that the nation is only valuable, and its heroes only exist, insofar as they advance leftism, that the nation only becomes true to its claims of justice as it destroys its historical incarnation and replaces it with something more progressive. This is what James Burnham meant when he said liberalism is an ideology of Western suicide. Leftism functions to justify our objective decline as the advance of historical progress and universal justice.
The dissident Right, the nationalists, or, if you prefer, Trump supporters, must accept that this is simply the way things will be for the foreseeable future. The only hope to advance the success of our way of understanding things is to seek converts among the apolitical middle, including those who do not yet realize that the Left and the Democrats essentially want to destroy them and their kind.
As for the Left and the modern Democratic Party, they need to be defeated, their policies designed to remake the American people need to be reversed, and they need to be recognized for what they are: a treacherous and disloyal revolutionary clique, whose policies and rhetoric are only one step removed from an explicit call to genocide.
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