At the end of the first installment of this series I said “Next time we’ll talk about how you talk to a prospective wife.” Well, I think I’ll leave that one for a later date, mostly because my dating advice is more than forty years out of date. Instead I think I’ll talk about how to interact with the “right-wing.” I put that in scare quotes because even mapping that territory is so fraught with contention that I’m liable to set off a turf war just trying to alphabetize the list. So, I will speak in generalities and I will err on the side of caution.
My handy-dandy guidelines for interacting within the right-wing:
- Don’t get involved in intra-mural wars. If two right-wing factions are at odds let them settle it themselves. The last thing anyone needs is you playing marriage counselor to the Alt-Right.
- Don’t ever discuss family squabbles with the enemy. That includes “neutral” parties who claim to be “conservatives.” Look at the helpful NeverTrumpers at the National Review and the Weekly Standard. They’re just full of good advice for us poor rubes in Trump Land.
- You don’t have to agree with anything that you consider morally wrong just to “fit in.” Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to declare jihad against those who disagree with you. Just walk away. Find a camp where you are comfortable. It’s a very big world.
- Going along with the last point don’t attack to your right. Even if you disagree with someone you consider too extreme, don’t take it upon yourself to police the right. Let the lefties fight their own battles. Don’t do it for them.
- Whenever it is at all possible, support right wing groups financially, politically, socially and with morale boosting. And especially do it at the expense of the left-wing. And do it even if it has a penalty in terms of quality, cost or status. Think of it as part of the war effort. Eventually it should pay dividends.
- Be slow to take offense. There are many folks out there who let zeal get the better of their manners. I try to add an extra dollop of courtesy when corresponding on-line with someone I don’t know well. Many people have a very excitable writing style when discussing highly inflammatory subject matter, which includes just about everything likely to come up in one of these political discussions. Tread lightly. Sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree and even let the other guy get the last word and just walk away. Winning the internet is a lonely assignment.
- And finally, have fun. There are a lot of good people out there who are looking for the chance to share their thoughts and experiences in the trenches. Even some of the lefties can be decent folks. Just don’t let them borrow any money. They won’t pay you back. They’re communists you know.
So, every month or two the world becomes even a lot weirder and I need to do an evaluation to allow for course correction. And it’s definitely one of those times again. The events of the last week have pushed us still deeper into the uncharted territory of American Guerilla War. The prospect of Antifa battling it out with Nationalists has become reality. And right on script establishment republicans have backed Antifa. The press has become almost apoplectic and President Trump is still managing to defy the powers that be. Wow.
The upshot. Social media and much of corporate America have joined lock-step with the narrative that right-wing = Nazism. Even relatively moderate bloggers are being deplatformed by social media and even their internet service providers. Moderates are panicking and swearing allegiance to anyone on the left who will accept their confessions. Many on the right are angry and confused. Some are blaming the Alt-Right for making all this happen.
What do I think? I think that those who foretold a growing separation between left and right in America and the beginning of a schism of the American public were right. I think it may be starting to happen. Now, I don’t think this will be some civil war (either cold or hot). I think there will be more clashes in the streets and more and more animosity and hate. And I think it will harden opinions on both sides and it will move things further along toward a separation of us and them. Alternative platforms and companies and agencies will begin to form that will allow people to disengage from the irritants that exist in the present condition. A way for people to avoid Twitter, Facebook, PayPal, Patreon and Google and the other myriad institutions that despise the right and everything it believes in. And then people on the right are going to start using boycotts to put pressure on Walmart and Target and the other big businesses to stop caving into the pressure from the left and just sell their crap to us without the social justice virtue signaling attached. And they are going to have to start looking for alternative places for their kids to go to school. That will be the toughest choice of all.
But I think all of these things are starting to become more real. The left becomes ever more hateful and irrational. It becomes ever more strident and its demands become more and more intolerable. I believe people on the right will have to build networks and relationships that allow mutual support and even economic relationships. Hire the people you trust and the people you like. Buy from people who don’t despise you. Shun the businesses and the individuals who openly hate everything you stand for and believe in.
It’s not a pretty picture. A year-ago I would have said it sounded silly and melodramatic. I don’t think so anymore. I think it’s the direction we’re going. I’ve begun the first little steps myself. I will no longer click on a news link from any of the left-wing media. Never. I avoid all arts and entertainment sites that control the message and only allow leftist dogma. That is one of the reasons I include photography and science fiction on this website. I wanted a place where people on the right who enjoyed these things weren’t second class citizens. I am looking for alternative companies for products that are produced by flagrantly leftist companies. I don’t use Twitter, Wikipedia or Facebook. I limit what I use Google for and avoid their browser. I support alternatives like Gab, Infogalactic and Brave. I’m waiting to see what alternative crowd-funding and other funding choices become available.
Of course, these are tiny steps. For many of the daily actions no good alternatives exist yet. But start somewhere. Patronize those who agree with you. Shun those who are your sworn enemies. Make a start.