American constitutionalism, American First, Anne Applebaum, creating one's own reality, deplorables, Donald Trump, election fraud, FARC, Hillary Clinton, MAGA, normal Americans, political violence, seditionists, social-media, The Constitution
I have occasionally written about D/S/C social anthropologists who bravely venture into the untracked wilds of Flyover Country. Armed with superior intellect and morality and what they may actually believe to be good intentions, they observe the unfathomably strange natives in their natural habitat, and may, at danger to their lives and political fortitude, even try to interact with them. They inevitably produce an article that valiantly strains to find even a milligram of good, perhaps some redeeming qualities among the Irredeemables. Ultimately, they conclude with a bit of faux sadness–Hillary Clinton was right all along: though a few of them aren’t really all bad, they really are deplorable, and regrettably, because they can’t be wholesale exterminated, they must be, somehow, tolerated. An inadvertently prophetic example from the aforementioned linked article:
Some hope to discover magic that can unify the country. Of course, such unification must be, without question, under progressive policies and rule, so they search, as all progressives do, for the right ‘messaging,’ the correct way to spin their ideas to make them acceptable to non-believers. In other words, ‘how can we trick the rubes into voting for our latest messiah?’
The article was written after Donald Trump’s election by people who cried that terrible night. Knowing they were not in power, they tried to understand how such a horrible tragedy might have happened to the self-imagined elite. Note the Deplorables did not take away their rights, cancel them, jail them, or do much of anything other than try to restore the rule of law and leave them alone.
Such an enlightened being is Anne Applebaum, who at The Atlantic, writes: Coexistence Is the Only Option. The only real difference between Applebaum and those that ventured out before her is Applebaum ventures nowhere. She doesn’t need to. Oh, and rather than irredeemables or Deplorables, we’re now Seditionists. The subheader of the article is the resigned:
Millions of Americans sympathize with the Capitol insurrection. Everyone else must figure out how to live alongside them.
I can easily explain that, intellectually handicapped though I may be, but you’ll want to read on to see just how inferior we seditionists are. I’ll not respond to the entire article. But I will provide sufficient excerpts to allow you, gentle readers, to see exactly what the self-imagined elite, our intellectual and moral superiors, think of themselves, and how little they think of Normal Americans.
As you read, gentle readers, keep in mind D/S/Cs seek to create their own reality, which has little relation to actual reality, but is more a reality of how they think things ought to be. Disaster occurs when they try to force others grounded in reality to live in, and accept, theirs. Applebaum sort of encourages coexistence, but it’s very, very distasteful, and she wishes, in her heart of heart, there was a better, easier, more final way.
They could be real-estate agents or police officers, bakers or firefighters, veterans of American wars or CEOs of American companies. They might live in Boise or Dallas, College Park or College Station, Sacramento or Delray Beach. Some are wealthy. Some are not. Relatively few of them were at the United States Capitol on January 6, determined to stop Congress from certifying a legitimate election. Millions more cheered the rioters on—and still do.
Uh, not quite. Normal Americans—hereinafter “NAs”—universally support the rule of law, which rules out supporting rioters. Peaceful protest for any cause, as acknowledged in the first Amendment, they certainly support. Rioting and related criminal violence? Never. That’s reserved for D/S/Cs, who are infamous for projection. They absolutely support rioting as long as it’s done by the right—left–people for the right—leftist–reasons.
As a group, it’s hard to know what to call them. They are too many to merit the term extremists. There are not enough of them to be secessionists. Some prominent historians and philosophers have been arguing for a revival of the word fascist; others think white supremacist is more appropriate, though there could also be a case for rebel. For want of a better term, I’m calling all of them seditionists—not just the people who took part in the riot, but the far larger number of Americans who are united by their belief that Donald Trump won the election, that Joe Biden lost, and that a long list of people and institutions are lying about it: Congress, the media, Mike Pence, the election officials in all 50 states, and the judges in dozens of courts.
How about: “Americans?” Note Applebaum’s narrative-supporting assumptions. The NAs she disparages are united by, above all, support for American Constitutionalism. No one is suggesting Mike Pence is lying about anything, but Congress and the media? She’s kidding, right? No rational being trusts them. No one is suggesting “election officials in all 50 states” are lying or conducting fraudulent elections, but there are some six or more states with more than sufficient evidence to support a reasonable belief massive fraud occurred, fraud sufficient to overturn a lawful result. As for “the judges in dozens of courts,” Applebaum fails to inform her readers those judges never heard evidence, instead refused to do so on largely specious procedural grounds.
As is so common these days, Applebaum’s definition of sedition is precisely the opposite of reality. NAs seek not to overthrow the government, but to demand government remain within its constitutional limits. They inexplicably think a government that does not is illegitimate and destructive to liberty.
In December, 34 percent of Americans said they did not trust the outcome of the 2020 election. More recently, 21 percent said that they either strongly support or somewhat support the storming of the Capitol building. As of this week, 32 percent were still telling pollsters that Biden was not the legitimate winner.
Applebaum’s statistics are misleading. According to a Quinnipiac Poll, 97% of D/S/Cs thought the election was legitimate—no surprise there–77% of Republicans didn’t, and 62% of Independents agreed. Despite the notorious inaccuracy of polling, it’s reasonable to suggest more than a third of American—more than 100 million voting age adults–believe the election was fraudulent, which is a daunting and dangerous reality. As to Applebaum’s 21% assertion, I’d have to know a great deal more about the question(s) asked and the composition of the sample to give that any credence. One might be forgiven for thinking plenty of Americans would agree with any action that might express dissatisfaction with Congress, which would not inevitably indicate support for crimes.
We could also see more violence. Since the election, the Bridging Divides Initiative, a group that tracks and counters political violence in the U.S., has observed a singularly ominous metric: a sharp uptick in the number of protests outside the homes of politicians and public figures, including city- and county-level officials, many featuring ‘armed and unlawful paramilitary actors.’ In Idaho, aggressive protesters shut down a public-health meeting; in Northern California, numerous public-health officials have resigned in the face of threats from anti-maskers. Death threats are already shaping U.S. politics at a higher level too. We may never know how many more Republicans in Congress might have voted for Trump’s impeachment last week had it not been for the ominous messages they were receiving online.
Applebaum fails to note virtually all the political violence perpetrated in the last several years has been committed by Leftist and/or Anarchist organizations and individuals, which have been given a free ride by D/S/C politicians on the local and national levels, and D/S/C prosecutors and judges throughout the nation. Post January 20, we have indeed seen more violence, all of it committed by Antifa and related groups. It should be noted The Bridging Divides Initiative, a project of Princeton University, appears to be very much a leftist project. I suspect Applebaum would be hard pressed to produce evidence of a single instance of a public figure being harassed in their homes by other than violent Leftists.
Outside politics, outside the law, outside the norms—the seditionists have in fact declared their independence from the rest of us. January 6 was indeed their 1776: They declared that they want to live in a different America from the one the rest of us inhabit, ruled over by a different president chosen according to a different rule book. And yet they cannot be wished away, or sent away, or somehow locked up. They will not leave of their own accord, and Americans who accept Biden’s lawful victory won’t either. We have no choice except to coexist.
Once again, Applebaum confuses her political views with reality. NAs want the rule of law under the Constitution—limited government and individual liberty. That’s the “rule book”, the “norms” they support. Those that want to destroy our constitutional republic, not NAs, are declaring independence from “the rest of us.” It’s gracious of her to suggest NAs can’t be “wished away, or sent away, or somehow locked up.” Many of her political inclination are suggesting just that. While NA’s don’t “accept Biden’s lawful victory,” they recognize the reality of his presidency, but are demanding he limit the government to the powers given it by the Constitution. Applebaum is wrong about one thing: coexistence, while the option preferred by NAs, is not the only option.
But how? Clearly we need regulation of social media, but that’s years away. Of course we need better education, but that doesn’t help us deal with the armed men who were standing outside the Ohio statehouse this week.
Regulation of social media is years away? Where has Applebaum been? Of course, the “regulation” she seeks is elimination of the First Amendment and absolute suppression of all but D/S/C speech. The education she seeks is D/S/C political indoctrination. And the “armed men” that must be dealt with engaged in a peaceful protest, which included the entirely peaceful bearing of arms, both acts protected by express, not implied, constitutional rights. There was no danger, no violence. What must be dealt with?
Finally, we could learn some useful lessons from Colombia, a country that has for several years tried, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, to bring members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) back into society. The guerrilla movement had sustained itself for more than 50 years by selling drugs and ransoming hostages, and the decision to reintegrate its members created great ambivalence, and even hostility: Understandably, people don’t especially relish the idea of working alongside former FARC operatives who might have murdered their relatives, let alone paying taxes so that the government can help them retrain and find jobs. At the same time, leaving them to wage drug wars in the jungle isn’t a solution either, and so the program continues.
Has Applebaum any idea of the reality of FARC, an army of violent, murderous Marxists? Obviously, she’s comparing NAs to communist murderers. This is a valid basis for coexistence? The issue is not reintegrating non-violent Americans who want peace under the Constitution into some sort of bizarre, post-Constitution D/S/C worker’s paradise, though Applebaum, and presumably many D/S/Cs like her, believe it is.
Not coincidentally, this is exactly the kind of advice that can be heard from psychologists who specialize in exit counseling for people who have left religious cults. Roderick Dubrow-Marshall, a psychologist who has written about the similarities between cults and extremist political movements, told me that in both cases, identification with the group comes to dominate people psychologically. ‘Other interests and ideas become closed off,’ he said. ‘They dismiss anything that pushes back against them.’
What’s most amazing is Applebaum appears blissfully unaware of her projection. Only among contemporary D/S/Cs could half or more of Americans expecting adherence to the Constitution be thought “cults and extremist political movements.”
Remember, the people in the Capitol really believed that they were on a mission to save America, that it was patriotic to smash windows and kill and injure police. Before they can be convinced otherwise, they will have to see some kind of future for themselves in an America run by Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and a Democratic Congress.
Applebaum has no idea what those at the Capital thought. She lumps together NAs protesting under the first Amendment and criminal opportunists and a small group of organized false flag conspirators. As we now know, even the politically compromised FBI believes the criminal acts there were planned well in advance and have all the hallmarks of Antifa and related groups. NAs present that day did not think criminal acts patriotic, nor do they ever. As to saving America, they were there to remind their political masters whose power they exercise on loan on condition of good and constitutional behavior, which is the essence of peaceful, constitutional protest. So to some extent, they were seeking to preserve a constitutional, American republic, which is obviously not what Applebaum seeks to secure. Where was Applebaum’s condemnation of mass Leftist rioting in American cities over the last several years? Here, Applebaum lets slip what she really thinks about NAs:
I recognize that this is not what everyone wants to hear. Even as I write this, I can hear many readers of this article uttering a collective snort of annoyance. Quite a few, I imagine, feel that, having won the election, they don’t want to pay for a bunch of happy-clappy vaccine volunteers, or new roads in rural America, or mental-health services and life counseling for the MAGA-infected—let them learn to live with us. I can well imagine that, like the Colombians who hate the reintegration of FARC, many will resent every penny of public money, every ounce of political time, that is spent on the seditious minority. Some might even prefer an American version of de-Baathification: track down every last Capitol-riot sympathizer and shame them on social media, preferably with enough rigor that they lose their jobs.
Thus do we see the depth of Applebaum’s kindness, empathy and concern for her fellow Americans. NAs, thank you very much, aren’t in need of safe spaces or “mental-health services,” or “life counseling,” whatever that might be. That sort of thing is a D/S/C affectation. I suspect most NAs are quite content to be “infected” with the certainty America is the greatest, must equal and just nation in history, and that state of affairs ought to continue.
Like every other D/S/ social anthropologist, Applebaum finds NAs not only wanting, but only grudgingly worthy of being allowed to work and survive. She is so sorry the self-imagined elite must stoop to coexist with such miserable, barely human creatures, loathsome as they are. I suppose NAs should be grateful such superior intellects exist and are willing to allow such wretched seditionists to eke out a pathetic, unenlightened and meaningless existence out there somewhere in Flyover Country.
Here, in Applebaum’s strained kindness, her tenuous connection to half or more of Americans, we find the reality that may doom our republic. NAs ask only that everyone that live in America honor the Constitution. That the rule of law prevail equally for everyone. That equality, not “equity,” which is a euphemism for racial discrimination and preference, be our shared inheritance, that government stay within its constitutional limits and that every American be left alone.
This is sedition? For Applebaum and other D/S/Cs, it is. That view of “reality,” ensures there can be no coexistence. It ensures Applebaum and others of her kind will discover, and soon for they will force the issue, ignoring reality has drastic, though easily forseeable coincidences.