September 05, 2023
This is a sequel-in-spirit to last week’s piece about rightist “fog.”
In a recent column I mentioned a Ron Unz contradiction regarding the Holocaust. In his “landmark” 17,600-word Holocaust denial essay, Unz wrote that Jews never made a big deal about the Holocaust until the 1970s (when “everyone involved in the war was dead so no one could point out their lies!”) and, also, that Jews made a big deal about the Holocaust in order to establish the state of Israel.
“Jews never made a big deal about the Holocaust until the 1970s.”
“Jews made a big deal about the Holocaust so they could establish Israel.”
Those statements can’t both be correct. Yet there are 2,327 comments under that essay, and not one Unz fan noticed the contradiction.
Interesting, huh? How do so many people read an obvious contradiction and not see it?
Let’s jump to something more recent. Tucker Carlson’s spent the past two years telling you that January 6 was nothing more than “nonviolent sightseers” taking a “tour of the Capitol,” walking through “open doors” with no resistance, “guilty of nothing but trespassing” and certainly not guilty of assaulting cops.
Last month, Tuck interviewed former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, whose new book details how the DIMOCRATS (or is it DEMONRATS?) refused to send the National Guard to protect the Capitol on J6. Tuck sat there nodding giddily as Sund described how, on J6, his officers engaged in an “80-minute hand-to-hand battle” with rioters in which the police “had their asses handed to them” by MAGAs (some of whom, according to Sund, wanted to kill Capitol cops) until, exhausted and beaten, the officers could no longer hold the line and the thugs smashed their way into the building.
You understand that those two scenarios can’t both be true, right? Tuck’s “it was a leisurely nonviolent stroll through the Capitol” and Sund’s “80-minute hand-to-hand battle” that ended with rioters beating cops and busting into the building.
If you’re a Tucker fan, and if you swallowed his “nonviolent sightseeing” line, did you notice the contradiction when you saw the Sund interview?
If not, why not? Why didn’t you catch it?
The reason I often invoke Holocaust deniers is that they represent the most extreme example of humans who’ve surrendered their intellect to madness. And as a result, they’ve become incapable of seeing contradictions.
Like, if you show a denier twenty Nazi wartime documents attesting to the mass murder of millions of Jews, they’ll say, “I don’t trust documents! They can be faked! I don’t trust pieces of paper.”
Then you ask them, “So how many Jews do you think died during the war?”
And they’ll say, “270,000.”
You reply, “How do you know that?”
And they’ll say, “I seen a Red Cross report sayin’ it.”
“Uh, isn’t that a document? A piece of paper? I thought you didn’t trust those.”
And that’s when they scream, “Help! I’m being oppressed by the ADL!”
I reach out to hundreds of deniers online. I’ve been doing so for years as part of a study to include in a second edition of my once-bestseller now-banned book.
Okay, sorry, I have to pause because I’m laughing so hard at what I just wrote, I nearly gave myself a hernia. Like my book will ever find a new publisher! Christ, I can’t even persuade my friends to write a forward. These are the days you wish you were an autistic Palestinian…
Anyway, most deniers, when pressed, will admit that their goal isn’t to learn, but to weaponize words against the Jews!
“The Jews weaponized the Hollycost against whites! Now we’re weaponizing our memes against the Jews!”
Words as weapons (sharper than knives, makes you wonder…sorry, musical diversion). Once you start looking at words as ammo instead of elucidation, you stop caring about contradictions, or falsity in general. That’s why thousands of Unz readers could read that 17,600-word Holocaust denial essay and not notice the things that conflict with the other things. It’s all just “ammo against the Jews!”
It don’t gotta make sense. It just gotta hurt the enemy!
“Truth is the first casualty of war” used to be something historical revisionists would solemnly intone, heads bowed, with the understanding that it’s a bad thing. But Holocaust deniers parrot the phrase gleefully; it’s their license to lie.
And as a man with 34 years of experience dealing with deniers, I’m well qualified to state that I’m seeing that same disregard for truth among MAGAs. The slurs against DeSantis? The attacks against anyone who opposes Trump? Pedos! Satanists! Marxist globalists! Who cares if the claims aren’t true?
“Truth is the first casualty of war,” this time spoken with joy, heads held high.
MAGAs, like deniers, see themselves as wartime propagandists.
Except…having, in my youth, interviewed actual WWII propagandists, I can tell you that the key to their success was never believing the things they wrote. It was a job for them; they weren’t filling an emotional hole inside themselves, a yearning for a “god-king,” a desperate need for a messiah. They never let their work fog their mind.
Real wartime propagandists didn’t smoke their own shit.
Hardcore MAGAs have a deep, affective connection to Trump. They believe every slander they lob at his enemies. They may fancy themselves as wartime propagandists, but what separates them from the dudes who actually won a real war is that MAGAs, as much as they say they’re in it “for the nation,” are in it for themselves. Just like Trump. Trump’s in it for the adulation and the grift, and his hardcore followers are in it because they need a savior.
Unlike Holocaust deniers, who are motivated by hate combined with low IQ combined with the narcissism that drives all smug seekers of “hidden truth” (“snort snort only I can see through the veil of lies! Bow to me, mortals”), most older MAGAs are just decent people who got so tired of losing elections, losing the culture, that they grasped at a guy who said, “You’ll get tired of winning,” and they can’t let go even after he’s done nothing but lose.
They’ve fogged themselves. The fog I wrote about last week; they’ve given themselves over to it. That’s why they don’t notice contradictions. Like last week when Roger Stone declared that Brian Kemp actually did steal the Georgia governor’s race from poor Stacey Abrams. Abrams, the imbecilic, inexperienced, unskilled DMV-worker-lookin’ ghetto ho (seriously—you can’t look at her photo without hearing, “You got da wrong form, sir. Go to da next line. Next lahne!”), won in a landslide, and Kemp stole the victory right out from under her.
Stacey Abrams has been right this whole time!
But…wait. See the contradiction? Trump’s entire case in Georgia is predicated on the notion that the state couldn’t have gone for Biden; it’s too Republican! All those so-called Biden votes are proof of skulduggery! No Democrat as bad as Sleepy Joe could’ve won that state.
But Roger Stone just said Abrams won, and by a lot.
Well, if that’s true, then surely any state that could elect a Democrat monstrosity like Abrams could also elect Biden. There goes Trump’s entire Georgia argument. If Abrams could win, Biden obviously could’ve won.
But fogged-up MAGAs didn’t catch that.
A good wartime propagandist is an asset. When there’s an actual war. And when he retains the ability to separate truth from fiction. A phony-baloney self-styled wartime propagandist who propagandizes himself, who treats his own mind as an enemy to be fooled, and who ends up no longer capable of discerning fact from fiction, is a liability. Not a “patriot,” not a “truth-teller,” but a risk.
I hate to repeat myself, but I do enjoy threading running themes through my columns over the years (I think that’ll be fun for readers should a publisher ever release an anthology of my work…and oh shit I just got that laugh-induced hernia).
One of my recurring themes is the deleterious effect of Breitbartism on conservatives.
“Fuck you: WAR!”
“Use the left’s playbook—do as they do!”
Whereas Lee Atwaterism—so popular in the 1980s and ’90s (back when rightists actually won elections and leftists were forced to give lip service to rightist talking points)—was about embracing reality (“I don’t want to lose my job to an unqualified black,” “black criminals should be imprisoned”), Breitbartism was based on rightist envy of the perceived leftist power of movies, music, academic gobbledygook, and street-level activism. So Breitbart’s whole thing was “we’re gonna win the culture war by doing as they do, by hugging nonwhites and making movies and weaponizing words and empowering an army of citizen journalists!”
Never forget that Breitbart’s ultimate plan to “own the left” was for the GOP to only run black candidates.
That’ll show ’em!
Breitbartism was the first nick in the mooring rope that grounded the right to reality. “The left is nutty? We’ll be nutty too! The left wants everything black? We’ll make everything blacker to prove we’re not racists. And then leftists will be like, ‘Oh no, they OWNED us!’”
Trump 2016 was a subconscious revolt against Breitbartism. After (at that point) eight straight years of electoral and cultural losses (with even “wins” becoming losses; “We won the House! John Boehner will save us!”), conservatives embraced Trump because he represented anti-Breitbartism. No, we don’t need citizen journalists. We don’t need “movies to change the culture.” We don’t need to “weaponize words like the left does.” We need ONE billionaire strongman speaking ONE simple truth in plain English with no fear of appearing racist: Build a wall to stop the Third Worlding of the nation and deport as many Third Worlders as possible.
No weaponized words, no trickery, no Nick Searcy in a cowboy hat (Herman Cain didn’t die of Covid; he died of embarrassment from this). It was a return to Lee Atwater’s “I don’t want Willie Horton raping my wife” reality acknowledgment, and like Atwater’s campaign (and unlike anything Breitbart ever did), it worked.
Unfortunately, it turned out that Trump, who was supposed to secure the mooring line, ended up taking an ax to it. As he abandoned every campaign pledge, as he reverted to Breitbartism (“let’s free black criminals!”), and as he lost again and again, the trolls and memers (Trump’s version of Breitbart’s “citizen journalists”) who thought they’d won 2016 (they didn’t; Trump’s straightforward platform courtesy of Ann Coulter did) took over. Trump came to rely less on voters (who rejected him after he abandoned his pledges) and more on his reality-detached personality cultists (who idolize him as the god-king).
So now we have the odd phenomenon of inverse Breitbartism…rightists using “words as weapons”—ammo not elucidation—against themselves. Fogging their own minds, dulling themselves so that the faults and contradictions of the god-king are glossed over.
What a mess. My God, what a mess.
I wish I could end on an optimistic note, but I can’t.
What a fucking mess.