There are numerous copes that certain conservatives will hide behind to avoid confronting reality, but it’s not 2009 anymore. American political discourse has moved far beyond what can be considered normal and has drifted into authoritarian power plays since Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
Before then, Americans still largely held it together. There have always been disagreements, but until Trump, they never threatened the union. This was because people knew where certain tactics and rhetoric would lead, and they understood that opening that Pandora’s box was not something that could be taken back.
I personally did everything I can to run from this reality. I’m from a very liberal area and grew up with many liberals and leftists who I considered my friends. For years, I tried to hold my tongue and hold back. I tried to compromise and would go out of my way to do so. I believed in the idea that holding the country together was worth some ideological and policy concessions.
Well, I was naïve, because “orange man bad” took precedence over all of that. It turns out that when you refuse to accept election results, launch federal investigations over paid DNC research into “collusion”, call the President a dictator and portray the opposition as Nazis, white supremacists, or terrorists, the country tends to fragment. There wouldn’t have been any questioning of the 2020 election if the left accepted the 2016 results, but they didn’t. They disgraced one institution after another and crossed every line imaginable. The average leftist has more contempt for their conservative neighbors than they do for ISIS or drug cartels.
That last sentence is true, no matter how many copes pop up for certain right wingers to hide behind. Here are three copes that need to be completely abandoned by the American right.
“The Pendulum Always Swings Back”
It’s true, political power is always going back and forth. Winning the rust belt can be as simple as putting together the best, “I’m gonna bring manufacturing back” pitch for any given election cycle.
But it’s totally different now. The establishment of both parties united to oust an interloper in Donald Trump. The Bush faction, who were once loathed by self-styled leftists, are now insanely popular among the same group. It’s not like Liz Cheney suddenly had an ideological epiphany, garbage like her family simply want to hold on to their grip on power.
The full power of the national security state has been aimed at Trump and his supporters. Capitol protesters are held in solitary confinement for months with no trial date set while BLM/Antifa rioters were released from jail after firebombing a federal courthouse. There are dozens of examples of selective and politically motivated persecution such as this, or lack thereof.
The only difference between the FBI and the Gestapo, NKVD or the Stasi is that they haven’t started their overt political arrests (and killings), yet.
“Politics” as conservatives knew it is dead. Call it the uniparty, the deep state, the establishment, whatever you want; those with power intend on holding on with all they have. When you have separate justice systems based on political affiliation and secret police cracking down on political opposition, you’d be a fool to think they’re going to “let you” do anything that threatens their power.
There is no “pendulum” that will magically swing back, and if there was, it wouldn’t happen with conservatives sitting around and hoping for the best. The ruling class crossed the Rubicon in 2020 and conservatives need to recognize that. The Republic as we knew it is dead and only one camp is acting like it.
“Only a Small Minority of Liberals Think This Way”
Again, this one is half true. There are plenty of Democrats who voted against Trump out of spite for one reason or another. Maybe they didn’t like his attitude, which is a weak reason, but a reason nonetheless. The point is, not every Democrat is a Marxist or a woke ideologue.
There are far more of these people than most conservatives want to admit, however. A common cope is that there’s only a small minority of diehard leftists and that most are good people.
Well, every “moderate liberal” I know fully endorsed the violent terrorist group BLM and their movement. They may not have been in the streets, but they justified and defended those that did. Very few “moderate liberals” spoke out against the Mueller investigation and related conspiracies surrounding Trump’s election. Maybe they saw that it was silly, but at the end of the day, they wanted to win, so they didn’t care. In fact, they subtly endorsed it because they got their way.
The same “moderate liberals” pearl clutch about the two-hour Capitol riot and have no qualms with the civil rights abuses that have followed.
Conservatives would be foolish to appeal to the principles of these types, because clearly they don’t have any. Self-styled liberals with principles, such as Glenn Greenwald, have become ostracized by their former allies. They may style themselves as liberals or leftists but they have nothing in common with what the modern left has become outside a couple social values.
You may not wanna hear it, but there are a-lot more authoritarian leftists than most care to admit. It isn’t some tiny segment of the population, and if it is, they get backing from their allies across the board.
This is the complete opposite of the right, where backstabbing cowards routinely betray their allies. Conservatives who do this appeal to some “bad people on both sides” myth that doesn’t exist, which leads to the next point.
“Bad People on Both Sides”
Like the other two copes, this is of course true on the surface. Left-right framing is ultimately very shallow and does nothing to illustrate the various factions and ideologies that make up both camps. Sure, there are certainly violent and/or ideological extremists on both sides of the aisle who won’t hear compromise and are dangerous.
But only one “side” has the full backing of essentially all major corporations, big tech and the intelligence agencies. A common cope for right wing cowards is to point to some inconsequential Twitter troll and say “see, I think we can all agree that this guy on the left is mean, that guy on the right is also mean, so I think we can all agree….”.
This is bullshit, quite frankly. Left wing extremists are covered for and promoted by the organizations listed above. There is absolutely no equivalent of this on the right. No college professors cultivating and making excuses for violent extremists, no tech platforms arbitrarily applying rules against leftists, no task forces devoted to hunting down pro-Biden grandmas from federal agencies.
Any conservative who wants to pretend like this is an equal fight is just a coward looking to avoid conflict, and it has to stop before it’s too late.