photog’s August 2019 Guide to Right-Wing Dynamics

For those of you out there who already know the ins and outs of the Right-Wing ecosystem this post won’t provide any new information except inasmuch as it provides my slant on it.  For everybody else this may provide some insights into what the various groups believe and how they relate to each other.

Over the course of several years, my understanding of the relationship between the various components of the Right-Wing has become somewhat better.  Back in 2016 the term Alt-Right was bandied about by the Media to describe almost anyone to the right of Jeb Bush and John McCain.  And for Leftists that hasn’t changed.  They use the term as a club to attack anyone who appears to be a threat to their political dominance.  But for those on the Right there is plenty of confusion about the various groups and their defining ideologies.  And that’s to be expected because actually most people aren’t really sure which group, they themselves belong to or if they even fit comfortably into one of the boxes that have simple labels.  Terms like Dissident Right and White Nationalism sound strange and threatening to regular people who have always just heard labels like Democrat and Republican or Liberal and Conservative.  But it is important to know who’s out there and what they believe and how they influence the larger community of people who don’t believe in the Left-Wing narrative.

As ever, the largest and the least self-aware component of the Non-Left-Wing are the NORMIES.  They are regular schlubs who go to work and raise their kids and pay their taxes and think of themselves as regular Americans who aren’t ideological.  They probably think that Mitt Romney must be pretty conservative because he’s a Mormon and because he said he was “extremely conservative” back when he was running for president in 2012.  Basically, these folks are so busy trying to live their lives that they aren’t even aware that the country has drifted enormously to the left over the course of their adult lives.  And when they do realize what has happened a lot of them are so apathetic that if asked whether it is even possible to reverse the changes that have taken place, they’d say no.  Some of these people are unreachable.  They are largely inert and the most you can hope for is that they’ll drift to the right if the country moves in that direction.  But they are also the target group for recruitment by the next two groups.

Next up are the AWAKENED NORMIES.  I fall into this class.  These are the normies who looked up one day and realized that the country had been taken over by Anti-Americans with the willing participation of the establishment Republicans and that there existed a Rebellion that was actively resisting this Anti-American establishment.  These are the people who jumped on board the Trump band wagon when it became clear that he was the only candidate who wouldn’t just give us more of the same Leftist result that we had been seeing from every politician after Ronald Reagan.  Most of these awakened normies are civic nationalists who trusted in the tenets that were espoused in school and in the media when we were kids back a generation ago and thought that what needed to be done was return to the old ways of looking at things and everything else would straighten itself out.  Now they realize that the only way to fight identity politics is with identity politics.  It has been made painfully clear to us that we have been made the fall guys for the rest of America and the only way we are going to succeed is to level the playing field.  We’ll have to stand up for our own rights because no one else, including our so-called representatives, is willing to.

Beyond the awakened are the RADICALIZED.  There are several groups in this category.  These folks have decided that the United States is broken and can’t be fixed.  Among these folks are groups that describe themselves as Dissident Right, Alt-Right, White Nationalists and other things.  Many of these folks espouse a belief called human biodiversity.  According to this way of looking at things, racial differences in intelligence will preclude the United States from functioning as it has in the past once the fraction of the population descended from Europeans falls below some unspecified point.  In addition, they feel that once political control no longer resides among the European descendants the identity politics practiced by the Democrat party will make life for the European descendants intolerable.

In general, these radicalized folks assume that trying to continue on in the old way is futile and what needs to be done first is bring the European descended population together into an identity group that can coordinate its efforts to protect its interests.  Where these groups differ is what is seen by each as the end state of this strategy.

The Alt-Right and other White Nationalists envision some white ethno-state occupying some proportion of the present geographical territory of the United States alongside other successor states populated by the other ethnic groups.

The Dissident Right seems to contain more moderate individuals who envision the outcome involving various state governments adopting laws that diverge from the current Leftist trajectory.  For instance, some of the more conservative southern states are already challenging the Roe v. Wade orthodoxy by passing abortion restrictions that eventually will be challenged by federal courts.  What the Dissident Right foresees is the day when a state government will ignore the decision of a Federal or Supreme Court decision that it feels is intolerable. At that point the idea is that ignoring the Federal decision will trigger the beginning of a loosening of the United States.  And in a way we are already seeing this.  Federal law prohibits the ownership or use of marijuana.  But several states have legalized it.  And the example of Sanctuary Cities flouting the action of federal ICE enforcement is especially flagrant.  With these precedents it becomes easier to imagine the federal government ignoring challenges from the Right at the state or regional level if they institute policies that are popular in those places.

What I’ve left out of this spectrum are groups like Neoconservatives, libertarians and establishment Republicans who have no interest in what I would call the normal social issues.  None of these groups care a whit if progressives want to put three-year-olds in gender reassignment programs or allow post birth abortion as the law of the land.  If any of these groups ever agree with the agenda of the actual Right-Wing it will be, as in the words of the fictional person disclaimer, “purely coincidental.”

As stated above I fall into the middle group.  I’m in between the sleepwalkers and the bomb-throwers.  I am aware of both and I am formulating here how I interact with each of them.  First of all, the thing to know about the normies is they can’t teach you much.  They’re like your younger siblings.  You’ve been where they are now but they don’t know what you know.  The ZMan (a bad thinker in the Dissident Right) makes the analogy of a river.  Those who have crossed over know both sides but those who haven’t only know their side.  Getting them to cross over is the challenge.  Of course, his river leads to the Dissident Right.  I’m just talking about what is needed to wake up the sleepwalkers.  But it’s still a transition.  It requires them to discover that something that they thought was true is false.  For me it was learning that the Republican establishment was the controlled opposition.  That in exchange for the perks of office they would put up a sham resistance to the Progressives but always lose.  As has been often pointed out they are the Washington Generals of American politics.  So that is the primary mission for the awakened; to rouse the sleepwalkers.  Because in a democracy numbers are everything and the sleepwalkers are where the numbers are.  So with the normies you look to open their eyes to something that will shock them out of their coma.  Show them something like the “evolving” conservative opinion on illegal immigration.  That should do it.

But what is our relationship with the radicalized groups?  Well, it is varied.  For those who are already foaming at the mouth and beating the drum for fire fights in the street I believe the correct stance is to keep your distance.  As has been noted elsewhere, often the most extreme groups are really mostly FBI agents looking for fools to show themselves as madmen.  But by the same token it’s not my job to police these groups.  Let the Left own that.  Punching right is a slippery slope.

For the less extreme groups it’s extremely useful to see what they have to say.  Often much of what they believe is quite true and in fact these groups were the first to notice and figure out the tactics and goals of the Left and their stooges in the Republican establishment.  Typically, with these groups it’s the conclusions they draw for how all this will end up that are the points of disagreement with the awakened civic nationalists.  From my point of view, they’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water and have gone too far.  So, reading their essays is usually a case of nodding in agreement for the first two thirds of the document and then grimacing when it gets to the bitter end.  But reading that two thirds is very valuable.  For instance, you don’t have to be hoping to divvy up the United States into bite sized chunks to realize that the way to address the anti-white rhetoric of the Progressives is to get these people being libeled to band together and use their clout to put a stop to these attacks.  The Dissident Right is known for the motto “You’re not going to vote your way out of this.”  But if you look at the fragmentation on the Left it isn’t far-fetched to imagine that coalitions can be built to make common cause against lots of Leftist policies that are extremely unpopular.  More than anything it’s a matter of awareness of how gaslighting by the Left and their allies in the controlled opposition has been used to cow the normies over things like illegal immigration, job outsourcing and LGBTQ issues.  When you stop assuming it’s a lost cause you have a chance to win.

So, my policy is to read the more moderate radicals and glean what they know but withhold judgement on their conclusions.  After all, if they’re right then all that they say will come to pass.  And knowing the why and how will leave me in a position to respond to the situation.  But if the awakened population is able to assert themselves to the point where society returns to the normal behaviors that we expect in the United States then that would certainly be a better outcome in my opinion.

After all the fact that human beings are not identical individuals either in intelligence or any other characteristic is pretty obvious.  And even if some groups differ markedly from others that is no reason to assume that they can’t each cooperate in a heterogeneous society.  After all I’m no super genius but I can work with people who are both smarter and dumber than I am.  From my experience what needs to stop is the Leftist practice of trying to blame every difference in outcomes on racism or sexism or any other -ism they care to invent.  If a 4’ 11” woman can’t carry an eighty-pound pack of critical gear during the training exercises for the Navy Seals the solution isn’t to drop the requirement down to ten pounds so that she can qualify.  That’s the madness that has gotten us here.  But neither do I think that fixing this requires the balkanization of the United States.  It requires some honesty, courage and the willingness to say no to the insane and their dishonest enablers.

So that’s the latest installment in my voyage through the stormy seas of non-Leftist thought.  As ever, it’s confusing, aggravating and uncertain but without a doubt we’ve made significant progress in the last three years.  More and more people know Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney work for the Progressives and Donald Trump saved them from a fate worse than death, Hillary.  Long live the revolution and keep the faith baby.

 

What’s Right

(My Understanding of the Current Composition of Non-Leftist America)

This is an update to my earlier column back in November 2017 “Defining the Space Between NeverTrump and the Alt-Right,”  that appeared on the American Greatness website.  At the time I declared that I was a red-pilled normie.  Of course, I was quickly corrected by someone surely far to my right with the news that there are many red pills and I had a ways to go.

Here we are another eighteen months later (more or less) and my learning curve has flattened out a little and I have a better understanding of the nuances and distinctions on the non-left half of the socio-political spectrum.  And the world has changed a great deal too.

Back in 2017 the NeverTrumpers were still in the ascendancy in Washington.  Paul Ryan was still the Speaker of the House and the National Review and the Weekly Standard were still considered conservative magazines by some Republicans.  Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham were still more likely to side with Chuck Schumer than President Trump on any particular issue of the day.  And every fresh rumor from the leakers on the Mueller investigation was trumpeted on the front page of the Times and Post as if impeachment and conviction were only hours away.  How the mighty have fallen.

The point to all this is that the categories of the Non-Left have not changed much over time but the sizes of these constituencies have shifted radically.  Let’s start with the left most extreme edge of the Non-Left.  Here are the liberal civic nationalists or “Centrists.”  These are the swing voters that can vote Democrat or Republican depending on circumstances and really don’t have much claim to be grouped with conservatives.  They are socially liberal and fiscally pretty liberal too.  But to the extent that they can vote Republican they are Non-Left.  This is a fairly large group of people in the Mid-West and probably a large number of them would be capable of voting for Joe Biden or President Trump in 2020 depending on circumstances.  But considering the changes in the economy and the news (like the conclusion to the Mueller investigation) it seems likely that President Trump’s rising popularity probably stems from the changes in opinion of this group.  So, to the extent that they are shifting rightwards let’s say that this constituency is growing.

Next to the Centrists moving rightwards are the so-called “Establishment Republicans.”  Here are the business people who expect the Republican party to stand for capitalism, low taxes and fiscal restraint.  This is the JEB! crowd.  They trooped over to the NeverTrump movement en masse as soon as they found out that Trump didn’t think globalization was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  This group doesn’t shrink or grow.  It’s a population that inhabits the same stratum with the elite Left.  In fact, they’re the same people.  They’re just a little less strident in their social opinions.  But they have moved away from their virulent anti-Trump positions as of late and at this point, they’re more neutral in their attitudes about the President.  Personally, they still despise him but on a practical basis they concede that they may have to deal with him for another term and they are trying to figure out how best to take advantage of that.  An exception to this trend is the Neo-Cons.  These War-Hawks are now synonymous with the NeverTrumpers.  Bill Kristol and Max Boot are the most virulent of the bunch but as a group they have drifted so far from even the remaining Establishment Republicans that they are now essentially Leftists.

The next big class of people are the Conservative Civic Nationalists.  This is the bulk of the Non-Left.  These are the normal people who have always believed in God and Country and that America was the land of freedom, opportunity and fairness.  They believed that all Americans were lucky to be living in the greatest country on God’s green earth.  They believed that the rule of law under the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights is what made this the closest thing to heaven on earth and anyone living here should be supremely grateful to the Founding Fathers for inventing it and his own ancestors for coming here.  This is the group that has had the biggest change occur in the last couple of years.  But to define the change let’s break this group into two sub-divisions.  Let’s call them Sleepwalkers and the Red-Pilled.  Back in the early 2000s all the Civic Nationalists (including myself) were Sleepwalkers.  We believed that the Bush family was conservative.  W told us he was a religious conservative.  We thought he meant that he believed in the social conservative beliefs.  We thought he would defend and protect the traditional values that formed the basis of the support that allowed him to send millions of young men half way around the world to primitive lands where they would put their bodies in harms way to fight his wars.

But the more we defended W, the more he embraced the programs and policies that exposed his constituency to impoverishment through globalist financial policies and replacement by illegal migration.  By the time the Bushes had come to publicly embrace the Clintons and the Obamas it was becoming plain to a small part of the Civic Nationalists that we were being played.  This group decamped and became the Dissident Right (some called themselves the Alt-Right).  Others were just confused and demoralized that all the loyalty and sacrifice that went into the Afghan and Iraq Wars was completely lost on the Neo-Cons and the Republican Establishment.  But during the run up to the 2016 election the information that the Dissident Right had decoded started becoming disseminated and a small group of the Civic Nationalists became “red-pilled.”  They realized that if Jeb Bush was the Republican candidate there was no hope of turning around the Anti-American program that Obama had started.  In fact, none of the candidates, even ones who believed in the conservative agenda could stand up to the combination of Left-Wing journalism and their own fears of being called racists if they dared campaign against globalism and replacement migration.  No one except Trump.  And as these red-pilled normies saw the lengths to which the Establishment Republicans and the Left would go in order to defeat Trump they became convinced that the only way to save the country was to destroy the old order.  Business as usual would mean the end of our republic as we knew it.

And here is the other big change that has been happening for the last year and a half.  The ratio of the Red-Pilled to the Sleepwalkers has been growing.  My information is based on the acquaintances I have who have shifted over that time.  It is a steady trend and it only goes in one direction.  This shift isn’t too important short term because even the Sleepwalkers have accepted Trump and will support him in 2020 but the importance of the Red-Pilled contingent lies in the post-Trump era.  The Red-Pilled are far less likely than their Sleepwalking brethren of being fooled again, no more Bushes for them.

To the right of the Red-Pilled Normies lies the Dissident Right.  These are the people that are so disillusioned with America that they feel that the only way for them to live free is for the United States to be divided between the Left and the Right.  To a large extent these folks feel that racial differences and resentment will prevent the various ethnic populations from living in harmony.  They believe that the Left’s use of identity politics will spread to the white population and will splinter the unity of the American nation into racial components that will want to separate to provide each group freedom from oppression by the other groups.

The Dissident Right is a disturbing group to follow.  Their theory paints a bleak picture of human nature and the future they predict doesn’t hold much hope for a happy place where America is now.  But one thing that cannot be denied is that they understand the Left and how it has been dominating the world for about a century.  They understand the psychological and sociological tactics and strategies that the Left has been successfully using to destroy almost every facet of life that we held dear.  They’ve destroyed the laws, education, corporations, social institutions, churches, the family, sex roles and now they are even redefining what it means biologically to be a man or a woman.  They can predict what the Left will say and do and they can define tactics that will work against these people.  That’s pretty hard to argue with.

For myself, I tend to agree with what they say is wrong with our society.  But I presume that if the practices are changed then the result will change too.  For instance, I think that the anti-male, anti-normal and anti-white rhetoric and governmental policies that the Left has enshrined and which breed animosity between people can be eliminated.  Once these things are removed the reasons for resentments will be eliminated too.  But I also will admit that I can’t be 100% sure that they are wrong.  After all they have seen things when others didn’t.  For me the jury is out on their predictions.  But I hold onto my civic nationalist beliefs.

So that’s what I see to the right of the Left.  The biggest chunk is still the Civic Nationalists and, in that chunk, the Red-Pilled Normies are growing and the Sleepwalkers are slowly waking up.  The Centrist are on our side at the moment but as always, they blow with the wind.  The Establishment Republicans are useless and in it for themselves but they’ll go along if a strong man drags them by their purse strings.  The Neo-cons have returned to the Left where they belonged.  And finally, the Dissident Right is the Angry Cynic who sees the Con-Man on the Left shaking down the Idealists and warns the rest of us to prepare for a fight.

The Legacy of the Alt-Right

Much digital ink has been spent burying the spectre of the Alt-Right.  Probably most of this is butt-covering going on trying to assure the powers that be that the individual in question is NOT of the Alt-Right and therefore not deserving of de-platforming.

Along with this interment is the surprising fact that most people (including myself) are not entirely sure what the definition and origins of the Alt-Right precisely are.  I know that depending on the exact capitalization and hyphenation of the name it can be the Richard Spencer coined term for the white identitarian group that he belongs to.  Other versions of this and similar expressions like Dissident Right have different emphases and appeal to different points of view.

But whatever names and whatever divisions these groups make between each other (and they certainly do that), one thing is undeniable.  These were the groups that identified the real problems afflicting the United States and they were the ones who backed Donald Trump before anyone else even thought he was serious.  Whatever else they are wrong about they were right about those things.  To deny that is to deny the truth.

And the other thing that needs to be said and that is the central point of this post is that they along with President Trump are responsible for moving the Overton Window to the point where even the normies like me have heard the details of what the Alt-Right knew and have incorporated it into our world view.  No one bothers to even dispute the platitudes of the Establishment GOP when they’re mouthed.  We might give a sarcastic snort and then close the link and go to some useful website where actual thinking is going on.  The Alt-Right and Donald Trump truly revealed why the right always lost.  It was because our supposed leaders didn’t want to win.  They just wanted the job of losing.

Now, all of this is old hat.  We all know all of this.  But it was hammered home to me when I was perusing an article in American Greatness by Christopher Roach entitled “The Radicalism of Conservatism, Inc.”  Now it’s a very good article and it delves into the history of how the establishment right became so wrong on how to win.  But reading the description of how Trump deconstructed the “illegal immigration is an act of love,” and describing establishment conservatives by saying, “that they function chiefly as the palace guard for yesterday’s liberalism” could have come directly out of a ZMan post from a year ago.  What that tells me is the knowledge that the Alt-Right pioneered has been successfully dispersed into the bloodstream of the conservative body politic (if I may mangle a metaphor that far).

Whatever agreements or disagreements we may have with either the tactics or the substance of what the Alt-Right believes we have to acknowledge that they have red-pilled a significant part of the normie right.  And that is without a doubt an enormous achievement.  Without them maybe Clinton beats Trump and with a solid liberal majority on the Supreme Court we might now be watching as the First and Second Amendments were being effectively chloroformed.

Where Do I Stand in the Political Spectrum

For the newer readers of Orion’s Cold Fire this article I wrote for American Greatness sums up my position in the Great Revolt

https://amgreatness.com/2017/11/25/defining-the-space-between-nevertrump-and-the-alt-right/

I consider myself fully aware of the tremendous obstacles to preserving what’s left of the remarkable experiment that is the United States of America but I can’t quite give up on it yet.

 

 

Woo-Hoo!!!  I Is Bona Fide – American Greatness Published My Article

The good folks at American Greatness have gone temporarily insane and published an article by an anonymous troll calling himself “photog.”  Said troll claims to run a website called Orion’s Cold Fire and for his theme chose “Defining the Space Between Never-Trump and the Alt-Right.”  The article is overheated and borderline psychotic but I’ll leave it to you to judge the merits of the argument, such as it is.

Excuse me. I have the inexplicable desire to shoot off some fireworks in the yard.  Life is good.

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Coming Soon
What is your politics?
Total Votes : 56

Exciting News For Orion’s Cold Fire

American Greatness is gonna publish a new post of mine on their site.  I’m very excited to be in some pretty remarkable company.  Michael Anton, Angelo Codevilla and Victor Davis Hanson wrote essays last year that summed up where I felt I was in the political world.  I am thrilled that I’ll have the chance to add my own humble words to those of much abler writers.  I’ve been told it’ll appear on Friday. *   And the byline will of course be “photog.”  It’s basically my take on what it’s like to be a “red-pilled normie.”   Or as I jokingly paraphrase Gerry Rafferty, “Cucks to the left of me, Hitler to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with who?”

Come by and leave a comment of support (or protest, all publicity is good).

*  UPDATE – Oooops I guess something changed.  I’ll let you know when I hear from those folks.  Maybe they meant next Friday.

 

And they published it.   https://amgreatness.com/2017/11/25/defining-the-space-between-nevertrump-and-the-alt-right/

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Coming Soon
What is your politics?
Total Votes : 56