Charlie's Blog: August 2017


Hot and Cool

Our patience will achieve more than our force.

I have not written in quite awhile. I am having a personal crisis. Everything is fine in my life, but my thinking is troubled. When my thinking is troubled, I stop writing. Writing is an extension of my thinking, and I have been having trouble resolving an internal conflict. This conflict does not involve politics or religion but strategy. Strategy is important. People who know me will hear me mention strategy often. The strategy that is at the heart of my internal conflict is about being hot versus being cool. I will now elaborate.

What is the difference between the right and the alt-right? I could point to some policy differences between people who are true conservatives versus people who are alt-right. But I realize that these policy differences aren't the really divisive issues. What divides conservatives and alt right people is style.

To give an example, there is one alt right activist who pushes really hard for Trump, and he decries those on the Right who are not as forceful or energetic in their efforts as "cucks" and "cuckservatives." These are insults tossed around very frequently among the alt right. Yet, the irony is that this same individual is a supporter of a universal basic income and lives off a large divorce settlement he got from his very successful wife who made way more money than he did. That should cause you to pause for a moment and reflect.

Alt right people are not really conservatives. When you poke at them a bit, you find that they are downright liberal and progressive in their thinking. For instance, Steve Bannon is the intellectual guru for the alt right, yet he does not support free trade and even thinks we should raise taxes on the rich. Similarly, Donald Trump would gladly sign an Obamacare Lite bill that doesn't actually repeal Obamacare, and the guy totally loves and approves of gay marriage. In fact, I know of no alt right person who has the intellectual consistency or the moral convictions of true conservatives like Ted Cruz or Mark Levin. Politically, these alt right people aren't much different than Democrats from an earlier time like the 1990's. Then, you have alt right gay superstars like Milo and Paul Joseph Watson. How did these guys ever find themselves on the right?

The alt right is simply loud and brash. What they lack in the brain department they fill in with the mouth department. They scream and fight really hard for dubious convictions. Then, there are the white supremacist neo-Nazi types who have jumped on the alt right bandwagon. Yes, folks, it is a real mess. The alt right are like the rowdy cousins of a normally respectable family. They are family, and they are an embarrassment.

Donald Trump is the alt right candidate. My initial support was for Ted Cruz, but Trump got the nomination. My alternatives were Hillary or some third party loser. So, I voted for Trump with low expectations which he has exceeded spectacularly. I do not regret him becoming President. I do regret that he became the GOP nominee for President. I am reminded of this regret every time he decides to do some late night tweeting.

I don't have an issue with the substance of this President, but his style is a disgrace to himself and to the presidency. I am no fan of Joe or Mika, but I do believe that getting into the muck with these two is pretty stupid. Yet, Trump had to do it. He couldn't let it go. It was flame on for the Donald.

The guy who got this sort of thing exactly right was Barack Obama. I despised the man for all the stood for and promoted while he was President. The man was and is an Alinskyite Marxist in my book. But in his style, he was utterly conservative. His cool demeanor was very effective and even beguiling. When Trump kept bashing on Obama, Obama never took the bait. He gave Trump the rope and let the man hang himself on his own words. Then, he quietly released his birth certificate which made Trump look like a complete fool. Now, that birth certificate may be a forgery. I don't know. But Donald Trump's fire was no match for Barack Obama's ice. In terms of strategy, Trump was outdone.

Coolness comes from patience. Patience comes from two things. The first is the knowledge that you are right. The second is the belief that you will win in the long run. Now, Barack Obama has neither of these two things, but he is insanely good at faking it. He is not a conservative so much as a really good poker player.

The alt right lacks patience which is why they burn hot. They don't have the knowledge that they are right nor a belief in long term victory. These things come from the Christian faith which the majority of alt right people lack. They are fundamentally pagan in their outlook. The result is their fire and aggression comes from an inherent insecurity. It is the same sort of thing on the Left, and the alt right has adopted many of the same tactics as the Left.

For myself, I must confess that the alt right has had an effect on me. I have allowed myself to burn hot where I was cool before. Twitter has become a near occasion of sin for me, so I have deactivated my account. As for Gab, it is overwhelmed by racist and antisemitic posts and has become the social media cesspool of the alt right. Social media feeds anger, and my anger has swelled mightily over the past month or so. This is what has brought me to my present crisis.

If you are a conservative, it behooves you to choose the Path of Cool and remain on the Path of Cool. This means living by the confidence that you are right, and that right will win in the end. This is because God wins in the end. As such, you should be civil and calm. But this does not mean that you should be silent. When the shouting in the room finally dies down, your calm words will be the only ones people will remember. Be sure to speak them.

For myself, the shouting is done on social media. Upon leaving Twitter, I wondered if my blog should also go down the rubbish bin. But this would be going down the Path of Silence. This is where Burke's other dictum comes into play which states that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. Being silent is a form of doing nothing.

I tend to go to extremes, so I have been pulled between the poles of the inferno of anger and the ice of silence. The midpoint between these extremes is a principled conservatism that stands up for something but does not degrade itself into conspiracy theories and insults. My hero in this regard is Ted Cruz. That guy is a real fighter who doesn't back down. A lot of people hate him, but they respect him. You don't see that guy slamming people in the middle of the night on Twitter. Cruz knows that conservatism is not just political but also demands a certain level of civility and decorum. Mike Pence is another conservative who gets it right. He would be an awesome president.

When you burn hot, there are two sins you are going to fall into. The first is calumny. This is where you say or write things that are untrue and damaging to others. This is known popularly as "conspiracy theories" and "fake news." This happens when people either fabricate things or simply don't wait for all the facts to come in. Timeliness takes precedence over truth. Getting it out first matters more than getting it right. Unfortunately, Twitter makes this an even bigger problem.

The second sin is detraction. This is where you tear people down with insults or highlighting things that may be true but are not communicated for good. This is something I am guilty of doing especially on Twitter. Twitter is simply a battleground for cheap shots. Meaningful discourse can't happen in 140 characters. The rule is to never insult people. Of course, calling Obama a Marxist might be insulting but necessary. But is it necessary to mock the man's wife? 

As a conservative and as a Christian, I resolve to get on and remain on the Path of Cool. It is a harder path for certain. But it is the sure path.