*Nitay had sent me this post before I did yesterday’s, and he thought it had been rendered obsolete by yesterday’s post. I think rather, it is a good complementary post, showing I’m not air-dreaming. The symptoms are there.*
The Great Realignment by Nitay Arbel
“Masgramondou” shared a most interesting article: http://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/02/theresa-mays-new-third-way/ about Theresa May in the UK, about whom he is about to post on his blog https://ombreolivier.liberty.me
In its very opening sentence, the article strikes a chord that resonates much more broadly than the UK:
Forget left and right — the new divide in politics is between nationalists and globalists. Donald Trump’s[..] nationalist rhetoric on everything from trade to global security enabled him to flip traditionally Democratic, blue-collar states and so to defeat that personification of the post-war global order, Hillary Clinton.
The presidential election in France is being fought on these lines, too. Marine Le Pen is the nationalist candidate, a hybrid of the hard right and the far left. She talks of quitting the European single currency and of bringing immigration down to 10,000 a year, while cursing international capitalism with an almost socialist fervour. Her likely second round opponent, the ex-finance minister Emmanuel Macron […] is the globalist candidate: a former […] banker who believes in a eurozone budget, the Schengen borderless area and the need for France to deregulate.
Yes, we are seeing this across the Western world. A “Great Realignment” of politics is taking place: the dividing line runs no longer between liberals and conservatives in the narrow sense, but between transnational elitism and what I would call patriotic populism. Between the Davoisie and the rest of the ‘credentialed gentry’ https://spectator.org/39326_americas-ruling-class-and-perils-revolution/ on the one hand, and the “barely making do”
members of the middle and working classes on the other hand. [in Theresa May’s words, the “Just About Managing”, or Jams] Between the “Brahmandarin caste” https://spinstrangenesscharm.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/trump-and-the-rage-of-the-brahmandarins/ and the rest of us.
We can indeed see this “Great Realignment” create unexpected bedfellows. Thus the cri de coeur of our Beautiful but Evil Space Mistress https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/02/22/if-they-take-milo-down-youre-next/ was applauded by outspoken social conservatives whom you would not expect to have any common cause with a flamboyantly homosexual “grandmaster troll” like Milo Yioannopoulos. (In fact, I personally have never seen Milo as a conservative at all — rather as a cultural libertarian who is as sick and tired of PC and SJW insanity.) It is a sight to see fundamentalist Christians, semi-Orthodox Jews, conservative Catholics, agnostics, and neo-pagans united in his support. What all these supporters have in common is that, wherever else they may differ, they are firmly on the populist side of the map.
Is that because we’re all dumb hicks? Nope. Several of us, for instance, have multiple advanced degrees, IQs deep in Mensa territory, or both.
Is it because we’re all provincial American chauvinists? I hate to break it to you, but some of us have lived in several countries and are fluent in multiple foreign languages.
Is it because we’re all mindless Trump admirers? Heck no. Our contingent runs the entire gamut from NeverTrumpers to MAGA hat wearers, with many of us highly ambivalent about Trump, or having been driven from NeverTrumper to reluctant Trump supporter by spiraling descent into insanity of his opponents. I could quit my day job if I got a dollar for every variation on this meme I’ve seen:
In fact, the irresponsible hyperbole and blatant intellectual dishonesty are worrisome to anyone who believes the POTUS should be kept honest, because they discredit any measured criticism if/when he will engage in overreach.
Of course, it is no surprise that the sexually libertine wing of the tranzi Left would be all too happy to take down a renegade who dares step off the plantation — these are, after all, the people who think nothing of calling a black conservative an Uncle Tom, to accuse a Jew of being a white nationalist, to attribute homophobia to an openly homosexual author, or to describe a libertarian Latina as a misogynist white Mormon male. Or, for that matter, to blame a shooting massacre at a gay nightclub, perpetrated by an ISIS supporter, on Christian homophobia. (Some “reality-based community”.) More interesting is how, in the case of a character like Milo, they find themselves strange bedfellow of some establishment conservatives. (The case of “crunchy cons” like Rod Dreher is different again, in that they have declaredly given up all hope of reforming the culture and are looking inward, seeking shelter in isolated communities of the like-minded.)
What these strange bedfellows of the “Ctrl-Left” and the “Ctrl-Right” have in common is that they are on the same side of the new divide: the one separating transnationalist elitists from patriotic populists. As much as the tranzi left may disagree with, say, a Bret Stephens (an editor I have generally admired in the past), or the National Review crowd, they have certain commonalities with them. (Mind you, this goes only so far. I was pleasantly surprised to read this thoughtful article by David French http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445185/trump-less-authoritarian-obama ) This has nothing to do with education or ethnic background: for instance, I’m a coreligionist of Stephens and actually have more academic credentials than he does, but a working-class childhood followed by decades of immersion in the Brahmandarin class appear to have awakened me to the self-centeredness and bubble vision of the latter.
I grew up in Europe, seeing (Euro-style) liberalism as a haven for freedom of thought. I have meanwhile gotten inured to the US group calling itself “liberal” being less tolerant of diversity of opinion (which is much more fundamental than skin-deep “fauxversity”) than most conservatives and especially libertarians. Now we’re being treated to the spectacle that dyed-in-the-wool social conservatives are in some ways more tolerant of actual people with lifestyles they consider sinful, than the Left and the establishment Right.
Somehow I find this spectacle unexpectedly… bracing.
Postscript: it is hard not to see parallels with the slain Dutch journalist and academic turned politician, Pim Fortuyn. He too was flamboyantly homosexual, deliberately spoke in provocative and at times shocking tones, fiercely criticized multiculturalism, and appealed to patriotism and the preservation of Dutch freedoms. And while his left-wing enemies tried to paint him as an extreme rightist (and actual far-rightists unsuccessfully tried to coopt him), his actual views were an amalgam of ideas from the traditional left-wing and right-wing, with a libertarian streak mixed in. Sounds familiar?