Sour Fisking in the Arena

I was reading a recent essay by Curtis Yarvin called, “Heroin Liberals and Cocaine Conservatives.”  Yarvin is a clever writer and he made some entertaining comparisons between what liberals get out of believing in their narrative (anesthesia) versus what conservatives get from their narrative (hope).  Clever stuff.

But later the essay focuses on one particular conservative story.  He fisks an article that Chris Rufo wrote in the aftermath of his part in the recent ousting of Harvard president Claudine Gay called, “The New Right Activism.”  This was a manifesto announcing the counterrevolution that Rufo declares as having already begun and he talks about what it must be, “The Right doesn’t need a white paper. What it needs is a spirited new activism with the courage and resolve to win back the language, recapture institutions, and reorient the state toward rightful ends.”

Later on, he says, “Rather, the New Right needs to move from the politics of pamphlets to the governance of the institutions.    …   We must recruit, recapture, and replace existing leadership. We must produce knowledge and culture at a sufficient scale and standard to shift the balance of ideological power. Conservative thought has to move out of the ghetto and into the mainstream.”

This is all very general stuff.  And Yarvin is very unconvinced about all aspects of what Rufo says in his manifesto.  And he’s quite snide about the fact that Rufo has one of his degrees from Harvard Extension.  And he portrays the manifesto and by extension Rufo’s writing in general as merely salesmanship for his books and career.

Yarvin is a good writer and he is clever and some of his points about tactics may be true.  Perhaps replacing institutions is smarter than trying to reconquer them.  Maybe.

But I detect a certain aroma of sour grapes in this article.  Sure, upending Claudine Gay isn’t going to change the world.  It may not even make the next president of Harvard less beholden to the DEI orthodoxy.  But the point is Rufo has been involved in direct action in several cases.  Down in Florida he’s been involved in purging a state college; New College of Florida, of DEI, critical race theory, LGBTQ orthodoxy and all the other ills that infect modern colleges.  He’s accomplishing something that hasn’t happened before.  He’s taking back an institution from the Left.

Of course, it is necessary to see how this experiment proceeds.  Will a new board make New College of Florida a successful learning environment?  If it does, I can see how other states will learn from this effort.  And if he fails, there will be things learned too.

I always liked Teddy Roosevelt’s essay on the “Man in the Arena.”

“Let the man of learning, the man of lettered leisure, beware of that queer and cheap temptation to pose to himself and to others as a cynic, as the man who has outgrown emotions and beliefs, the man to whom good and evil are as one. The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes second to achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities—all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority, but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affectation of contempt for the achievement of others, to hide from others and from themselves their own weakness. The role is easy; there is none easier, save only the role of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

This is not to say that intellectual ability is nothing.  But as things currently stand, what we are lacking is not ideas, it’s results.  DeSantis and Rufo and some others are actually trying to change things for the better.  I’m more than willing to hope they’ll succeed.  As far as manifestos, I’ll check back on his progress from time to time.  If he continues to score winds, I’ll begin to believe in the revolution.  Maybe I’ll join him on the barricades.  Maybe.

25AUG2023 – 2024 Primary Thoughts

We’ll be bombarded for the next year and more with the 2024 election nonsense.  And the important political races will be things like primarying Mitt Romney out of his senate seat.  Maybe Mitch McConnell is coming up for a leadership vote too.  These are feel good events that we can all embrace and enjoy.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that short of a nuclear war, nothing will keep the Democrats from holding the White House for the foreseeable future.  And since if there is a war, I won’t be around anymore I’ve decided not to get too excited about all the hoopla.  So, the Republican presidential primary race isn’t particularly important with respect to how it plays out.  But does it serve any purpose?  Well, maybe.

A case can be made that it can provide information on the Uni-Party.  The talking points of the most obviously anointed of the candidates can tell us a lot about what the official party line of the Republican establishment is supposed to be.  You might further ask what use knowing that could be.  Well, the obvious answer is amusement.  It’s always fun to know just how stupid they think we are.  Come to think of it most people really are that stupid.  In fact, I was one of those stupid people just a decade or two ago.  I actually believed that George W Bush was a conservative and that he cared about the people on the Right.  What a dope I was.

But being mugged by Operation Iraqi Freedom opened my eyes thoroughly.  So, hearing Nikki Haley talk about how unlimited spending for Ukraine is the highest priority for the United States is hilarious.  Right now, the Ukrainians are being blown to bits in the minefields of Zaporizhzhia trying to approach the first of Russia’s three defensive lines.  Funneling more money and weapons to the Ukrainians will keep the meatgrinder going until the last Ukrainian has been fed in.  When that’s done the plan is the Poles and Balts are next.  When they’re used up it’s supposed to be our children that get fed in.  Something tells me that’s gonna land with a thud.  The Right is who usually fights these wars.  Well, we’ve been smartened up.  So now the millennials and zoomers on the Left are up to bat.  But they already spoke up back during the middle eastern campaigns, “No way bro, let someone else take care of that.  I’ve got pot to smoke and artisanal beer to brew.”  So yeah, Nikki Haley’s talking points tells you that the Uni-Party needs our kids to fight the Russians.

Aside from entertainment, the party line is valuable to know because it gives us a chance to see which of the candidates aren’t complete shills for the donor class.  For people like Haley, Hutchinson, Pence and Christie nothing needs to be proven.  Their tickets are stamped coming out of the gate.  What about this Ramaswamy guy?  Can we parse what he stands for or at least pretends to stand for?  And how about DeSantis?  Has he revealed his bottom line.  He’s already flip-flopped on Ukraine.  So, we know his donors must have given him an earful over his initial position that the war was a local affair and none of our business.  Is Ron a bought and paid for neocon?  Maybe.  That’s important information to ferret out.  After all he’s been about the best Republican governor in years.  How do these two things square?

I guess the other information that comes out of the primary will be where the pundits stand.  We’ve already seen that Fox News is now enemy territory.  Their mission is to support the establishment positions and candidates and attack Donald Trump whenever possible.  It’s been interesting to see how Tucker Carlson has become an outpost of right-wing realism in an ocean of left-wing propaganda.  Elon Musk has shown a willingness to allow free speech on his “X” platform.  That has been a veritable miracle.

And the last thing that will be interesting in the primary is what Donald Trump tells us about his plans.  He’s been kind of vague on what he plans to do either in the election or if he wins.  Of course, he’s the same old Trump and whenever he talks about his accomplishments there are no mistakes or defeats.  So, it’s an open question if he really has a plan to defang the Deep State.  It’s possible his plans have to remain unspoken to allow for the element of surprise.  But I would be less skeptical if he could share them with us.

But there it is.  We’re going to be marinated in this clap-trap for the next fourteen months and just to stay sane we’ll have to address it somewhat.  I’ll do my best not to take it too seriously.  But who knows, maybe something incredibly compelling will occur during this madness and I’ll be caught up in the excitement.  You never know.

Rufo in Florida Shuts Down Gender Studies Dept. in His College

Say what you will about DeSantis as a candidate for president.  He’s getting people to fix things in Florida.  He’s hiring good people.  And they’re doing valuable work.

Purging public colleges of these leeches and psychopaths is one of the highest priorities.  These departments are the spawning grounds for people who destroy the minds of young people and suck the resources away from useful educational opportunities.  For every gender studies department closed down open up a welding class somewhere else.

Florida Law Has Illegal Aliens Leaving Florida

New laws that Governor DeSantis has signed have begun to funnel illegal aliens out of Florida.  Focusing on things like the driver’s licenses that other states issue to illegal aliens, to the social services used at hospitals the bill seeks to identify illegal aliens and punish those who employ them and allow them to stay in the country illegally.

“It is part of a sweeping immigration bill signed by Republican Florida governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis back in May that is prompting many to leave the state.

The run-up to the new law has sparked protests by immigrant workers, from those in the tourism and hospitality industry, to those who work in agricultural fields.

“We are hearing people are starting to leave,” Yvette Cruz with the Farmworkers Association of Florida told CBS News of reports of migrant workers abandoning fields and construction projects. “We’re just gonna keep seeing that more as the law will take effect.”

The law also includes harsh penalties for those who try and hire or transport undocumented migrants, which critics say can include family members.

It also requires hospitals that receive Medicaid funds to ask for a patient’s immigration status.

DeSantis claims the legislation is needed due to what he considers the Biden’s administration’s failure to secure the border.

“At the end of the day, you wouldn’t have the illegal immigration problem if you didn’t have a lot of people who were facilitating this in our country,” DeSantis recently said during a campaign rally.”

Good work Florida, good work DeSantis.

NORMAL

Glenn Youngkin, Ron DeSantis, Disney, Bud Light, Target, Heckler & Koch.  What do these names have in common?  They all relate to Americans getting fed up with radical culture war outrages and pushing back against them.

Republican Glenn Youngkin was elected governor of a blue state (Virginia) because the public schools were indoctrinating the kids with anti-white racism and forgetting to teach them the three R’s.

Ron DeSantis was re-elected in a landslide because he stood up against teachers teaching deviant sex to kids in the second grade.  And he stood up to Disney, one of the largest employers in the state of Florida, when they called him out on the school issue.  And that made him more popular still.

Bud Light stepped on their own … foot when they let a feminist marketing director “partner” the brand with a male TikTok influencer who puts on woman face and pretends he’s the reincarnation of Audrey Hepburn.  Then a video was found of that same marketing director denigrating the “frat-boy” image of Bud Light and saying that the demographic they formerly sold beer to was shrinking and they needed to go after the more progressive younger crowd that was represented by the TikTok influencer in drag.  Of course, she forgot to check if any of these new customers drink beer.  When word got back to her actual customers of her disdain for them, they stopped buying her beer, in droves.  Now sales are down over thirty percent and still falling.  Bud Light is now called Trans Beer and the company can’t give it away, literally.  They’ve tried to sell it with a 100% rebate coupon.  At some point they may have to just pull the product and try to rebrand with some other name.  But the damage now appears permanent because they refused to apologize to their customers.

Target was celebrating their annual “Pride” month with a display at the front of the store that included clothing for children including tuck-friendly bathing suits.  When this was highlighted by several right-wing media outlets a huge hostile reaction started from Target customers in several states.  Target claimed that their employees were frightened by the anger in these areas and the company moved the displays to the back of the stores and scaled it back in these areas of the country.  And the stock price of Target took a nosedive.  It went from about $160 a share to about $130 which is close to a twenty percent loss in equity.  Target claims that they will not change their stance on LGBTQ sponsorship.  It should be interesting to see how things progress over the summer.

And finally, we come to Heckler & Koch.  This German gun manufacturer also had a feminist marketing executive who decided to respond to some of the company’s on-line patrons when they called the Bud Light marketing manager “woke.”  She told them they were stupid and explained that sexist ads like the bikini babes in beer and gun advertisements was “trash marketing” and only dinosaurs liked that kind of stuff.  And she went on and on trading barbs with her company’s customer base about identity politics of various sorts.  Well, that didn’t go over well with the customers.  They threatened to boycott Heckler & Koch.  After a short pause a post from the company appeared saying “Policies were ignored.  Changes have been made.  Heckler & Koch does not engage in identity politics.”  Shortly after this a new marketing manager started posting and he very humorously disowned the remarks of his predecessor.  Problem solved.

It appears to me that there is a very large audience of Americans who are fed up with the woke agenda and will reward politicians who will fight it and punish corporations that mock them and side with their enemies.  What is needed is an organizing force to channel this anger and use it to accomplish some goals.  What we need is the opposite of GLAAD.  We need an organization that advocates for normalcy.  Its acronym should be something like NORMAL or NORML or STRAIT or something like that.  Their job should be to give a report card on corporations that reflects the degree to which they align with the values of normal people.  And they can report these findings back to the members in the general public and make recommendations for actions like boycotts or protests or letters to government to protest the actions of the worst offenders.  And alternatively, they can recommend that the membership patronize and support the companies that are most sympathetic to the community.  And likewise, NORMAL, or whatever it’s called can give scores to elected officials and candidates with respect to how they protect the interests of their constituents.

It’s easy to see how such an organization would be useful and what it could achieve.  The real question is why doesn’t it already exist.  Now all I have to do is figure out words to fit the acronym.  National Organization Representing Moral American …  Dammit, what begins with L?

As the Nose on Your Face

Look at all the attention that the Bud Light and Target boycotts have gotten.  Even in blue states the uproar has hit a nerve with many people, especially parents of small children.  Look at the popularity of Matt Walsh’s movie “What Is a Woman?”  We seem to have finally reached a breaking point to what people will ignore.  Even the most lethargic or bovine parents have been triggered.  They can see that terrible things are being done to children and they’re afraid for their own children.  They’re looking for someone to fix this.

The transgender madness and more generally all of the grooming that is being done to kids in the public schools is the weapon of opportunity that any half-intelligent candidate running for president in 2024 should embrace whole-heartedly.  And obviously it is the one that gives Ron DeSantis his biggest advantage.  He has gone the farthest in words and actions to attack this visible target.

His work with the Florida legislature to outlaw grooming children in the lower grades and his attacks on Disney reinforce this reputation for defending parents’ rights against the LGBTQ coalition and their goal to indoctrinate small children into sexual deviance and confusion.  And if any issue has the potential to overcome the voter fraud machine that the Democrats have built it would be parental fear for their children’s welfare at the hands of the public schools.  Glenn Youngkin showed this in Virginia, a state that had long ago gone from purple to blue.  The fear that parents felt over the indoctrination of their kids by radical teachers overcame their social programming to vote Democrat.

Could such a thing happen on a national level.  I think it’s possible.  But it would have to be rolled out with a powerful message that transgender indoctrination was a nefarious and potentially fatal poison that threatened children.  And even though DeSantis and Youngkin are the ones that would primarily benefit from this strategy all of the Republicans could potentially get on board such a campaign.  In fact, any of them that stands against this strategy will be flattened in the wake of it.  Even Trump would be in trouble if he ignores the strength of its appeal.

But are any of them smart enough to grab onto this third rail and ride the lightning to the White House.  Well, Trump is obviously savvy enough but he also realizes that the issue favors his most dangerous rival, Ron DeSantis.  In fact, Trump’s come out against labelling things as woke.  He claims the expression is overused.  And it may be.  But in the case of transgender grooming, it doesn’t matter what you call it, but trying to ignore it is not a good play.

And as much as I want Trump to be the protest candidate in the phony elections we now have, I can see how DeSantis is the real strong horse if he has the brains and guts to play the transgender card for all its worth.  Impassioned rallies where he brings de-transitioned victims of the transgender medical industry out to speak and make their case against the insanity of transitioning children would be an enormously powerful platform.  Imagine that idiot Biden trying to defend all his rainbow nonsense in the face of something like that.

Well, for what it’s worth that’s my thought.  What actually happens is anybody’s guess.

DeSantis Keeps Getting Better

Boy, I wish I lived in Florida.