June 19, 2023
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Two weeks ago I wrote about the folly of viewing “I’m fleeing to a red state” as a panacea rather than a postponement, and last week I dealt with the right’s disdain for details and fondness for “paint with a wide brush” worldviews.
Those themes are interconnected.
“Wide brushism”—clinging to simplistic outlooks and seeking simplistic answers—is why a rightist can see all of California as Downtown L.A. and none of Tennessee as Memphis.
And that myopia, that rejection of detail, leads to frustrated confusion. “Horn-dangit, why’s the Nashville cops not releasin’ the tranny mass shooter’s manifesto? It’s a RAY-UHD STAY-UHT! Why’s this happening?”
The only people who profit from simplistic explanations are the ones who feed them to you. The authors, the bloggers, the TV and Twitter personalities. They sell you the ideological morphine that dulls your pain while ignoring what’s actually causing it or what could potentially cure it. And they sell it to you under the guise of providing “the real answers.”
To revisit the point I made last week about zoning, leftists are quietly hard at work, in blue states and red, rejiggering zoning laws so that no matter where whitey lives, there’ll be black Section 8 slums and overcrowded immigrant tenements next door. I’m focusing on zoning, but it could be all manner of issues—criminal justice, labor law, the medical profession, education. And what it comes down to is individual leftists looking at the small picture—neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, medical procedures—while meanwhile on Truth Social there’s Trump telling you that the real problem is Moloch (I’m not being facetious here; Trump routinely “retruths” QAnon memes about fighting Moloch). And there’s Tucker, birthed anew on Twitter, and his bestest buddy RFK Jr., and they’re telling you that the real problem is CIA warmongering killbots!
They feed you wide-brush answers because deep down you want that. You don’t want to view America’s problems as the product of an army of ordinary people. Mainly because when viewed that way, the challenges appear daunting. Conversely, if it’s all the doing of Moloch, we can just stop Moloch! How? Well, Trump never says, but don’t worry—he has a plan (and don’t question it because that means you would’ve preferred KILLARY had won).
In the end, it’s pleasing to think that you face a grand superhuman foe, not an army of ideology-driven humdrum bureaucrats.
But what if you’re wrong?
Five years ago I wrote about a Korean-American woman I dated in 1996 whose whole deal was “I want to change regulations so that ‘fair and equal housing’ for poor noble blacks and immigrants is forced upon racist white America.” And now that girl does just that. She got a boring ol’ degree from UCLA in “urban planning” and now she—guess what?—urban plans. She’s a leftist living her dream, and I can tell you that Moloch was not involved. I slept with the woman; I would’ve known (I’d have smelled the sulfur).
She’s one of millions of ordinary Americans in every state who go to nondescript little offices and do nondescript little jobs every day, and they’re the ones you should be countering, not Adam Weishaupt or Astaroth.
But you won’t get the same adrenaline rush from an article on zoning laws that you’ll get from one that screams an all-caps version of We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places!
And if sometimes (okay, many times) I come across as a bore by repeatedly attacking rightists who ignore localized specifics—like the gyuckers who can’t or won’t understand the difference between red-leaning Beverly Hills and deep-blue Malibu (“Hyuck-yuck Beverly Hills is where them commie celebrities live, like Streisand and her house on a cliff. Yep, she dun lives on the oceanside cliffs of Beverly Hills”), or the tards like Michael Malice who say “L.A.’s becoming the new Detroit” (when in fact we have a plummeting black population, 7 percent at best, but foreign-born dolts like Malice think 1991’s Boyz n the Hood is a current documentary)—sure, my repetition might get annoying. But what I’m trying to convey is that specifics matter, and that goes for wherever you live. It goes for me, it goes for you. Even if you’re in Shitnkickit, Nebraska, details matter.
When you give your mind over to a wide brushism that sees only giant shapes and no minutiae, you become a menace. Worse still, wide brushism plays on sentimentality, the sentimentality of not wanting to think that your fight is against the guy next door. No, the fight’s against BIG CORPOHOMOGLOBO or Big Jew or Big Moloch or Big MKUltra or whatever. That’s a reassuring message, and it resonates, even with the worst kind of people. David Duke, for example, posits that whites and blacks would get along just fine—not as equals but as peaceful co-participants in the American dream—if not for them horn-dang Hebes who play people against each other. It’s funny to think of a hardcore Klansman as a sentimentalist, but in a very real way people like Duke are just that; their vision of an America without Jews is a “buy the world a Coke” commercial.
Okay, maybe the white girl and the black guy aren’t holding hands, but still, everyone’s getting along.
There’s an episode of the 1985 Twilight Zone reboot in which an alien backed by an armada of UFOs appears before the U.N. to deliver a message (yes, a retread of the “it’s a cookbook” opening, but in sci-fi, retread is the genre’s lifeblood). And the alien says, “We are a mighty race that seeds barren worlds across the universe. Millions of years ago we initiated life on your planet, and now we’ve come to end it, because you humans are obsessed with meaningless little wars over small parcels of land and ridiculous trifling feuds over your ‘holy books.’ You are small, petty bickerers. So we will be vaporizing your planet.”
And the head of the U.N. is like, “Wait, please, give us a chance. We can change! We can be better! We can be worthy of you! Just give us one day, that’s all we ask.”
And the alien’s like, “Meh, why not? See you in 24 hours.”
And that night all the nations, races, and ethnicities work together to solve every human conflict. Jew and Arab, black and white, American and Russian. And the next day the alien returns and the members of the U.N. present him with a giant binder: “Here it is! Peace forever! Peace between nations, peace between peoples, peace between all faiths, colors, and creeds!”
And the alien starts laughing. And the U.N. delegates laugh with him. But then he starts laughing a lot. Like, way harder than he should. And the U.N. people stop smiling.
“Oh, you poor idiots,” he chortles, “you totally misunderstood me. My planet breeds mighty warriors! Conscienceless supersoldiers to fight intergalactic battles. You humans, your fights are petty, small. And in the end, in your hearts—as you’ve just proved—all you actually want is peace.”
And the alien beams away as Earth is destroyed.
In this ’80s TV ephemera we see the core of our current problem. Many rightists, from the really decent ones to the wackos (indeed, most of the wackos), want to believe that the conflict is not intractable; that there’s some Moloch or Merck or Moishe that’s making us fight. This is a worldview that pleases sentimentality and excuses the lazy and intellectually challenged from doing the hard work—the scut work—to counter the ordinary, everyday leftist ideologues in our nation.
It was a popular leftist talking point in 1988 that Dan Quayle met his wife, Marilyn, while the two were at law school drafting a death penalty statute for their state. “Look at those two racists; their ‘courtship’ involved scouring law books to create legislation to execute poor, victimized blacks whose only crime was murder.”
In fact, yeah, Dan and Marilyn met while spending their nights at the law library working on just that. Back then, that’s what young rightists did: policy. Boring shit.
Today, there are hundreds of thousands of young leftists meeting at law libraries scouring boring old books working on policies to free black murderers and punish their victims.
They’re doing the work.
Meanwhile, rightists are marching into battle against Moloch.
Leftists look for the devil in the details. Rightists look for the actual devil.
There are untold numbers of ordinary leftists enamored of ideas that may have been unleashed by the “Moloch” of your choosing, but as I pointed out in a column seven years ago, you can blame “the Jews” all you want for communism, but the reality is it’s a concept that took hold among every race and ethnicity, from the most primitive Ooga-booga to the chinkiest Chinaman.
The power of a self-perpetuating idea.
Henry Ford blamed “jazz dancing” on the Jews. Now, answer me honestly—do you think if America expatriated every single Jew, your kids and grandkids would happily go back to waltzing?
That’s why Moloch-hunting is pointless. If there is a Moloch, all he’d do is produce ideas that catch fire among ordinary humans. That’s all he’d have to do.
Rightists with wide-brush myopia can’t see that.
Why do you think a rightist “icon” like Newt Gingrich can actively promote soft-on-crime policies and Trump can free thousands of hardcore criminals and conservatives are cool with it? If you can’t see the Memphis in Tennessee, you’re not gonna see the Soros in Gingrich (“Newt’s red! He’s guuuud!”). All of you who’ve shared videos of shoplifters in California need to know that the root of this problem is a state ballot initiative pushed by Gingrich. He’s the one who changed California laws regarding theft and imprisonment. Because the dedicated, detail-oriented ideologues who live to spread “progressive” crime policies had previously tried to change our theft/prosecution rules, and they’d failed. So these leftist equivalents of young Dan and Marilyn Quayle painstakingly studied the voting results precinct by precinct and realized that they needed to win a certain amount of GOP-leaning rural areas so they brought in Newt and conservatives mindlessly voted as he instructed because Newt’s a guuuud Catholic who fights Satan so of course he’s not gonna mislead us!
That’s why fleeing to a red state won’t do jack. It’s your worldview that makes you susceptible, not your soil.
The issue that hangs over the GOP primary like the Grim Reaper is that Trump personifies the flight from detail, the triumph of wide brushism. He exacerbates already-existing rightist pathologies. Republicans who embrace him are like cancer patients inhaling asbestos: It ain’t gonna help, and it will hurt.
But unlike the cancer patient analogy, you’ll be hurting more than just yourself.
Keep that in mind as you don your pith helmet for your big Moloch hunt.