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The Death of American Conservative Intellectualism
XXX.) November 2020 (Post-Election) Edition <30th OP>
(I) I am left frustrated living in a country and a world that pits one side against the other. I find myself distrusting of many sources and types of people who are in the public eye. I am upset and disturbed by conservative leaning people I personally know or public figures I know of, who dismiss any “Never Trump Republican” be it a public figure or someone they personally know, as a sell-out or just out for themselves. I find the lane of conservative thinkers that populate the world to be more and more narrow.
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(II) I speak as a person that fashions himself as a politically open-minded, left-leaning American who is curious about a broad range of issues and topics. I actively seek out people who have contrary views to me, and or help me make sense of the world, and our place in it. I find websites like Vox.com and Politicawire.com, invaluable. I think Ezra Klein’s podcasts and the range of podcasts (such as The Weeds Podcast) on his website Vox.com, to be invaluable and instructive in teaching me and informing me of what and where to get my news. Conservative publications I find valuable range from the National Review and their podcast The Editors, as well as interview shows or podcasts that conservative thinkers go on such as The Ezra Klein show, Axe Files by David Axelrod, and even Larry Wilmore’s podcast.
(III) Some people and sources that I used to value, have shown themselves to be a bit more flawed than I even anticipated, and venture too far out on a limb in their opinions, either blissfully unaware of the consequences of what they share, or actually deliberately stirring crap up while pretending to be really real and authentic - are podcasts like Joe Rogan Experience. A podcast that always had such a wide range of interviewees that you couldn’t help but marvel at the podcast enterprise he created. Unfortunately, Joe Rogan in this 2020 election cycle showed himself to be too insulated, too wealthy and too out of touch with the struggle of everyday people. That or he really is just that ignorant, and while a very good conversationalist is truly not a very well-read, human-being.
(IV) One show that I found interesting at one point was “Rising the Hill” with Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti. Unfortunately, I am left with the feeling that Krystal just has an axe to grind with MSNBC, whether it’s justified or not, and that Saagar will ultimately sell-out for more money when the timing is right for him. Saagar does benefit from being a person of color who happens to be conservative. But, with Saagar, there is too much Tucker Carlson written all over him. Tucker Carlson, started working on shows with people who offered a contrasting point of view. Carlson ultimately moved on to Fox News to compete with the most infamous snake-oil salesman of them all, Sean Hannity, to see who could be “Ratings King”.
(V) There are obviously smaller names in the shadows - who are giants in their own right. But, all I can think of when I see them, are people just doing what they can to make a buck, (be it by hook or crook). One of the most notable people is Scott Adams. A man who was very interesting in 2015 and 2016, in predicting Donald Trump’s ascendancy in politics, but now just sounds like a tired old wind-bag, who shows the intellectual honesty of Satan himself. I know of a number of people who are fans of. Ben Shapiro, and while I have no personal beef with him, I find him just a bit peculiar as a young orthodox Jewish man living in Los Angeles California. It’s almost like he’s a younger less bombastic Michael Savage living on the opposite coast. There is another public personality, who is a little bit to the left of Ben Shapiro on ideology, and is known to be Jewish but is actually “atheist?” is Sam Harris, a man with his share of controversy, borders on a fringe intellectual, with a mix of beliefs in whites being the racially superior class, along with a level of Islamophobia and hypocritical takes even he has never been able to adequately explain, but unites religious Christian purists in America with well-known atheists.
(VI) Other people aren’t even worth mentioning because all they do is swim in conspiracies, your Rush Limbaugh’s and your Alex Jones’ and any other a-hole who has turned conspiracy mongering into a cottage industry. Yes Fox News, you are now the worst culprit at this, and Rudy Giuliani is more and more of a mob boss than he ever was. Someone should do Rudy a favor and pour gasoline on one of his suits and light him on fire as he speaks, because that’s the imagery I have of him every time he opens his damn mouth compared to who he once was, celebrated as a Post-911 hero, and Mayor of America.
(VII) Alas, conservative voices in America are no longer a credible breed by the very group of people who used to champion them. Anyone who was deemed a true champion of conservative values at home and a wealth of foreign policy experiences abroad, are now deemed to be enablers of this make-believe ‘Marxist takeover’ in our military ranks. (if someone can find a credible source on this "Marxist military takeover", please send it to me...as I can’t locate one...but this is the crap that more than a few conservative friends/acquaintances have told me). These very same “Marxist-enabler” people are also criticized for being too ‘warmongering’ for ‘isolationist conservatives’ liking. Hence, you have the weirdest of alliances between these angry “Isolationist” Americans paired up with angry ‘Anti-Communist’ Americans who think anyone who doesn’t think like them must be a Marxist. It’s truly strange, and there are in fact millions of these people living all among us in this country.
(VIII) There are still unique voices in American politics. Chris Wallace of Fox actually provides this old-school level headedness that is absolutely a dying breed. Nobody actually particularly likes Chris Wallace, but nobody exactly dislikes him either. America is a complicated place. The fact that other-wise ‘mainstream conservatives’ have been deemed too liberal or too sympathetic to ‘Marxism’ by the looniest of conservatives is incredibly dangerous for America. The rules of engagement between the two political parties are constantly changing and being broken by the National Republican Party. Believe me, the Democratic Party has its share of problems. But they have ultimately been the same ideological problems since the 1960s. “Has the party gone too far left?” “Is the party left enough?". Truthfully it has gone further back than the 1960s. One could write a whole dissertation on the Evolution of the Democratic party from the party of “Slavery” to the party of “Civil Rights”. And how the Republican party went from the party of Lincoln to the party of Trump, is a whole other matter that can’t possibly be fully captured in a short video, or article but people can try.
(IX) When you have bad faith actors representing one ideological movement, it’s only a matter of time before the other side becomes bad-faith actors too. It is simply disingenuous to say both parties are equally bad. The Republican party as we know it, is a cult. And it’s a dangerous cult. They have a mix of the most extreme ideological Christians, mixed in with people that are simply just angry at the system and angry at their station in life. The Republican party has become a vessel for true rage and anger, that is now barely contained. I don’t even blame Donald Trump for his incredible immaturity, narcissism and self-centeredness. Rather I blame Republican party leaders that rode the Trump wave and are still trying to ride the Trump wave. Moscow Mitch comes to mind, but it was fairly obvious he was a total dirt-bag at least as far back as Obama's first term as President. My greatest ire as of late is more directed at the weasel formerly known as Lindsey Graham.
(X) The senior US Senator from South Carolina is a “secretive” man who pretended to always claim “country first”, but honestly gives a crap about nothing but holding onto his own power. “In 2012, the Republican senator Lindsey Graham summed up conservatism’s problem with modern demographics and social attitudes more bluntly, saying: “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” - Andy Beckett
(XI) When history books talk about the Civil War from over 160 years ago, a time that when I first learned and studied about it in the 1990s, felt forever ago: it no longer feels that long ago. And it no longer feels like it’s even a remote possibility that we will repeat a war like that from the past. And the saddest part is, I no longer think of it as such pessimism on my part. I think of it as something that can be very real and can actually happen in the near horizon.
(XII) It’s not only intellectually lazy, but very well could be indicative of how much privilege you have, and how insulated you actually are from real world problems to say that everyone is equally at fault, and to act as if you somehow have a moral superiority for claiming your outside the political fray. Politics and government impact everybody, from the types of towns you live in, to how good your schools are, to how well paved your roads are, to how well-funded your library is, to how high-speed your internet is. People that actually claim an ideology that works for themselves, actually are more honest than good people who stand on the sideline and do nothing and virtue signal about how both parties are just as equally bad as the other. What that tells me is you have no background or understanding of history. It’s maddening. Yet, it shouldn’t be all that surprising to me.
(XIII) The reason why I’m depressed by the death of intellectual conservatism, isn’t because I prescribe to it, but rather this country and planet already always had a shortage of intellectual thinkers, and for one large block of ‘intellectual might’ to crumble right before my very eyes, is indicative to me of the world of mess we live in. I pray that the Republican party actually gets it together, and becomes a main-stream party again, and doesn’t just hood-wink people into a cult that so many people don’t even realize they are a part of, now.
PEACE & BLESSINGS!
SOURCES: (in order of appearance)
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PIC 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JpgTrkkdPU (Joe Rogan calling for 4 more years of Trump)
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Look up Saagar Enjeti on Twitter
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