"For many conservatives the real enemy was never Russia anyway. The real enemy was liberals."

We have always been at war with Eastasia: some thoughts on the new Republican doublethink

I can’t find much fault with this article. It explains how, in the past several years, simply tagging an opposing candidate as “liberal” served as an effective attack ad. It explains GOP congressional strategy throughout Obama’s two terms. It explains why Trump’s campaign emboldened the bullies and bigots.

I don’t see much of a way to heal the divide. I think the only option is to pull the left together under a flag of sanity and compassion, and end voter apathy and get people fighting for human rights and social progress.

(fixed “comparrion” typo… I don’t know what that is :D)


The real enemy to them has been the government put in place by our Founding Fathers.

This era has been the rise of the Puritans, back for revenge.


That’s been the “traditional” conservative position for a while. The “Trumpian” position is much more the “culture war / political correctness” thing. They want the freedom to make fun of the disabled, beat up gay people, shoot black people, and grope women.


They want to commit human rights crimes with impunity the way police officers and rich people do. Now everything makes sense.


This is a great article. However, I think for “culture war” you can insert: racism + misogyny. I think ultimately the fear that is being peddled is that blacks, browns, and women are taking over the rightful place of white men in the world.


I’m early in reading the article now, but one small piece I don’t agree with:

Also, he has a history of getting what he wants, and that doesn’t happen from dumb luck.

My quibble: That history of getting what he wants can be based, in large part, on his being 1) white, and 2) wealthy enough to threaten and lie his way into “getting what he wants”. Let’s not bump up a non-skill.


I’d call those prerequisites. Also his wealth is as much an image he projects as it is a reality.


It’s definitely true that that is one of the fears being peddled(and a particularly dangerous one since the ‘enemy’ it postulates is highly vulnerable and at serious risk, economically and physically, if put ‘back in their place’); but it is pretty amazing how effectively ‘culture war’ stuff has been used to sell the idea that “the elite” is people with liberal arts degrees from fancy schools who live in coastal population centers; rather than, say, the people who own the commanding heights of the economy.

Said elbow-patched lit-crit stereotypes aren’t facing the same level of danger(like anyone foolish enough to ‘work’ rather than living off capital gains, they aren’t on the winning team; but white guys with reasonably prestigious educations aren’t first against the wall, either economically or in terms of overt violence); but their demonization has given a great deal of freedom to the actually elite elites in terms of being able to court reactionary voters without being pushed too hard on their role in those voters’ dissatisfaction(see also, basically the entire Trump cabinet).

These ‘liberal elites’ aren’t being placed directly in the line of fire the way women and minorities are; but I’m astounded at how effectively they are used as a smokescreen.


The “liberal elite” academies ARE now WOMEN and people of color.


Thankfully, we are converting tenure track positions into tenuous, underpaid, adjunct labor as quickly as possible; so the pay and job security of academia will be appropriate to women and people of color by the time they get to fill those jobs…

(sarcasm, just in case it wasn’t sufficiently clear)


Yeah, like the Pilgrims. The ability to light an Indian village on fire and shoot the women and children that run out into the night with impunity. The ability to run people looking for religious freedom out of town. The possibility to take over a foreign country, shame the natives into wearing clothes and take all the land.

What, you think they just wore hates with buckles on them and prayed?


Gotta love them Freudian slips.


Olde hates. :slight_smile:


Best typo this week!


Aw, see, now I can never correct it!


Just look at you with your hate at a jaunty angle.

Just look at it.


I’m pretty sure that my hate is held out straight in front of me like a battering ramme.


Considering how white men have been running the world, I’m glad they are getting kicked out.


This why I always had a problem with people saying racism was the reason for all the hatred directed at Obama from the right. There’s no denying racism is in the mix there, but if the Democrats had elected a white male the GOP would be treating him much the same way, just without any racist overtones. This is all part of a gradual hardening of the right in America going back to sometime in the Reagan era or maybe the early 90’s with the hatred directed at Clinton (I recall someone once saying he didn’t understand how conservatives could hate “a moderate and pro-business Democrat” so much.)

And I tend to harp on about this too much, but the rise of a strictly conservative media is probably the root cause. We will never have reasonable debates again as long as one side is depending on fake news, propaganda, and willful misinterpretation of data.


Using “liberal” as an attack slur goes back to the Reagan years if not earlier.