A Twitter Spaces debate on the future of the conservative movement.
Listen to the debate here: https://twitter.com/realchrisrufo/status/1706790626182955508.
One thing that I will mention is that former liberals and leftists inherently believe in their right to rule and manage the ones they deem as unequals. When the left goes too far, a new brand of “the left left me” pops up and suddenly becomes the arbiter on the right of what they are allowed to believe. While I believe there is nuance to “no enemies to the right,” it is important to acknowledge the glaring fact that many people on the right do not want to be told by former liberals, or even former leftists, who supported every left-wing social revolution up until now and are now "anti-woke," who they can and cannot be friends with.
I think you are correct, Mr. Rufo. I just finished the biography of Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas, and was surprised to read about some very kooky people that took his side in the reformation but started preaching crazy ideas that did much harm to the cause.
As you point out, Chris, some moral positions are a non-starter. For me, one of these is the vilification of Ukraine on the right. I don’t have a problem with those who wish to debate how much the US should be sending. I DO however have a huge problem with vilification of Ukraine and praise of Russia in order to persuade Americans that aiding Ukraine is morally wrong. There are influential populists who know they’re lying about the facts to manufacture support for Russia and the victims to these lies who live in that particular echo chamber. That coalition is as evil to me as those who are lying about racism in America in order to manipulate their army of followers.
A difficult question. I think we need to prioritize going after the woke. And those on the right who are off are not anywhere near the threat that the woke globalists are.
I hesitate to say NO enemies to the right, but we have to prioritize.
Curious question, does the Left have any enemies to the Left anymore? I know there are anti-woke liberals who refuse to believe that wokeness is the logical outcome of liberalism (see Deneen on this). But in general, does the Left eschew anyone as too extreme?
That might be an indication of whether we have truly devolved into friend-enemy politics.
"Enemies" in politics? This is my simple acid test for deciding where my enemies are: I hate bullies, all kinds....bullies on the Left; bullies on the Right and bullies in the middle. In an ideal world (which of course it isn't) once a political movement set it's moral creed against bullies of whatever stamp, almost every other social/political 'issue' would become redundant....there'd be no need of 'human rights', no need of anti-this that-or-the-other - a creed based on just one simple 'human responsibility': don't try to bully your fellow man.
Of course here in the early 21st century, the great majority of political bullying is done in the name of 'Progress' but I still apply my acid test right across the political spectrum.
Conservatives have a generational opportunity to win the normies and erode Dem holds on key demos. Republicans can win big -- as long as they are running the sane candidate in comparison to a progressive moron.
Interestingly, I sense that the Democrats have abided by the no enemies on the left for sometime, but it's crumbling. To paraphrase Gerard Baker in today's WSJ, globalists, green freaks, and nihilists are losing their grip. Not a day too soon if you ask me.
People are people. Freedom is doing what you want. Liberty is doing what is right. Do no harm and don’t take others stuff. Do onto others as you would want done to you. Be kind. Do the right thing when no one is looking. 🙏🏻🇺🇸
We are living it. Your position is correct. Those of us dissidents are a mix of independents, conservatives, and conscientious objectors from the "former left/liberal". We are living through a situation at a family-members place of employment where some left-leaning politics happened, it got out in public, and not to go in to specifics but they've received what appears to be extreme threats from a right wing individual or group. This, galvanizes the left, empower the establishment, and lumps us dissidents easily (by their media) into one group of extremists. In summary, going to the point of threats is a horrible strategy that I condemn.. I get it, both sides have violent and/or threatening extremists. The dissident movement is hurt by extremists making threats. The left can do it all day long, they enjoy cover and hero status.
"No enemies to the right" (and same with "left") strikes me as particularly dangerous because of its ambiguity and room for plausible deniability. It is one thing to advocate for, say, a relative shift in emphasis away from intra-conservative fighting toward focusing on other issues (and maybe that is a good idea, maybe not, I don't know), but quite another to ally oneself with overtly repulsive people and ideas. In this case I think the answer is simple but not easy: remain principled, and do not sacrifice integrity.
Like most people, I'm not familiar with any of the four thinkers lined up for this debate. Googling didn't help their case. I'm averse to theory, theology, and pontifications.
Yes, there is a scary "woke" army out there, commies, identity politicians etc. trying to take over everything. Isn't best opposition to that movement is a broad coalition of everybody else?
"Conservative" is a limiting term. It excludes independents still furious about the Dobbs decision, and turns off agnostics, libertines and libertarians, moderate Democrats, either the pro-Trump or the anti-Trump depending on who's talking, and Boomers who remember the Vidal-Buckley feud, rooted for neither, and enjoyed a spectacle where the intellectuals got down and dirty with the rest of us.
I'm learning that nothing is extreme.
I also have learned that the mainstream, old guard, traditional, (insert words here for the people in power) are all either corrupt, lazy or power hungry. None are to be trusted.
I am an independent thinker with a mostly leftist political background. My values are very anti-authoritarian, and I oppose authoritarianism on both the left and the right. I am a strong supporter of the U.S. Constitution as our country's guiding document, and am particularly dedicated to the Bill of Rights. I do not want a "socialist" system in the U.S. but am in favor of moderate safety nets, such as Social Security. I want to be a part of a coalition whose primary purpose is to oppose the woke cult's efforts to "disrupt and dismantle" our societal norms, freedoms and laws.
I do not support racism or sexism in any of their forms, and I see both of these tendencies operating among some people on both the right and the left. Racist and sexist attitudes strongly interfere with my willingness to make common cause with their proponents, but I am open to honest and respectful dialogue with people who hold these positions.
A level of tension appears to be emerging between people who more or less share my values and agendas, and people who share with each other an agenda of forming a new conservative movement or party. Perhaps it would be helpful if we could separate those two very important projects, so that conservative people would not feel pressured to adopt positions held by anti-woke independents like myself, and I would not feel pressured to adopt positions of theirs that I strongly oppose, such as total bans on abortion access.
I think that limiting the focus and goals of coalitions might help reduce internal fracturing. A lot of wars have been fought in this manner, including WWII. I don't need to embrace the Republican Party to join with Republicans and other Americans on the right for the purpose of combatting the increasing authoritarianism in our country. I am interested in forming alliances for the purpose of attaining goals that we do have in common, without being pressured to change my values and beliefs to fit in with those of a group. That is precisely what I am opposing when I reject woke conformity.
If Charles Haywood is now the "dissident right", we are screwed. Some new, irrelevant figure that's coming with 2016-era MAGA talking points, opposed by fearful, paranoid shitlibs like James Lindsay?
The real dissident right, Mr. Rufo, you are not engaging with, I guess. You'd have to talk with somebody like, I dunno, Devon Stack, or Morgoth - people that have been doing this for a decade now.
Or with Jared Taylor and Amren.
The truth is, you simply want to be the one to police boundaries. Everyone wants that. You want to be the one that is saying where speech becomes too extreme to be given the light of day in a debate.
In many ways, you are similar to the shitlibs you claim to fight, and simply refuse to discuss genuine issues like ethnicity and race.
For example, everyone, including Richard Dawkins, acknowledges that eugenics work - how else could we have so many specific dog breeds. Yet everyone has a heart attack when it comes to humans.
Are we special or are we mammals too?
Just as an example.