NRO Warns Against Taking the Red Pill

 

Jack Butler at NRO wants everyone to know that “Red-Pilled” is synonymous with “Kook Who Believes in Cuckoo-Nuts Whackadoodle Conspiracy Theories” and Jonah Goldberg nods his chins in eager wholehearted agreement.  0-+Butler takes out his four-lane-wide brush to  paint those who question what we are supposed to believe about politics as deluded social outcasts who reside “in digital worlds of their own creation.” He chastises them for rejecting “superior forms of conservatism, ones that appeal to reason and to more reliable forms of knowledge and authority.” Butler goes on to say, “The redpilled also tend to have a contempt for politics as it is practiced in the real world,” to which I reply, “What rational person wouldn’t?”

The “superior forms of conservatism” Butler refers to can only mean, given where he is writing, those that have accomplished no conservative policy in this century other than tax cuts for the donor class.  Butler derides Red-Pilled skeptics as conspiracy nuts, without ever addressing their beliefs, or how they arrive at them. Let’s break down some of it, won’t you?

Blue-Pilled Superior Conservative Narrative: The Republicans are the opposition party to the Democrats; representing fiscal conservatism, free markets, and individual liberty.

Red-Pilled Reality: The Republican Party is controlled opposition that rarely rolls back any policies enacted by Democrats, much less advances conservative free-market policies or fiscal responsibility. The Republican Party sent two dozen Obamacare Repeal bills to Obama’s desk when they knew they would be vetoed. They couldn’t even manage to get a single, watered-down, weak tea partial repeal to Trump’s desk when he would have signed it.  Paul Ryan was presented as a fiscal hawk, but his budget deals spent even more money than “irresponsible” big spender Barack Obama asked for.  When it comes to tax cuts for their donors, Republicans get those done no matter the opposition. On Border Security, on Health Care Reform, or even cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, it’s invariably “Well, gosh, we just couldn’t do it. The Democrats (or the Democrats+a few supposedly rogue Republicans) straight up blocked us. Shucky Darn. Please donate so we can fight harder next time.”

Blue-Pilled Superior Conservative Narrative:  Our multiple national security agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, DOD, HLS) are populated by non-partisan professionals of unquestionable caliber and professionalism who are worthy of our esteem because of their important work protecting the nation’s interests.

Red-Pilled Reality: For some, the ultimate red pill is the track record of our national security agencies: The FBI was tipped off that the Boston Marathon bombers were up to no good and chose to ignore it. The FBI interviewed Orlando Pulse shooter Omar Mateen, but decided he wasn’t a threat. It’s been four years since the worst mass shooting in history, and the FBI has… nothing.  Jim Comey’s FBI was tipped off that Larry Nassar was molesting little girls, but did nothing for a year and a half.  On the other hand, the FBI sent 13 agents to check out a garage pull at a NASCAR site in North Carolina, and busted Aunt Becky for bribing a college official. (Oh, and have you been paying attention to the FBI’s utter clown-show in instigating a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer?)

It’s striking how conservative skepticism of enormous government bureaucracies utterly evaporated while Trump was president and his presidency was undermined daily by longtime bureaucratic operatives. In the words of Jonah Goldberg: “Deep-staters are now those who follow the rules in ways inconvenient to Trump’s personal desires or political ambitions.” When I was in college, the existence of the permanent bureaucracy (i.e., the Deep State) was poli sci 101. When Trump finally exposed it, suddenly the left and the Never Trump conservatives insisted the Deep State was a “conspiracy theory.”

And in the broader Federal Bureaucracy, Republicans failed to hold anyone accountable for the Obama VA Scandal that allowed 300,000 veterans to die waiting for care, or anyone at the EPA accountable for dumping a million gallons of toxic waste into the Animas River, or anyone at the IRS accountable for targeting conservative groups for harassment, or anyone at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms accountable for the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. But only nutty, red-pilled conspiracy theorists believe that our bureaucratic state is corrupt, incompetent, and never held to account.

Blue-Pilled Superior Conservative Narrative: The Justice system, while imperfect, largely succeeds at dispensing justice impartially and equitably.

Red-Pilled Reality: Hundreds of January 6 protesters are being held in jail indefinitely on nonviolent misdemeanor charges while the FBI destroys people simply for being present in Washington DC on January 6th. Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters who burned neighborhoods and looted businesses are released the same day with charges eventually dropped entirely. It certainly looks like the level of “Justice” one receives depends on one’s political alignment and social status.

Certainly, there are some people who take the red-pill thing too far and believe in some crazy stuff. (“Yes, that’s exactly what I would expect one of the Bilderberger Lizard People to say.”) But Butler is using those nuts to justify establishment conservatives who consider their skeptics a bunch of “rabble,.”

Being red-pilled just means you’ve been paying attention, thinking critically, and recognizing that a lot of what you have been told to believe just isn’t so.

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  1. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Victor Tango Kilo: Hundreds of January 6 protesters are being held in jail indefinitely on nonviolent misdemeanor charges while the FBI destroys people simply for being present in Washington DC on January 6th.

    Don’t know why I’ve been humming “The Men Behind the Wire” so much lately. Just can’t figure it out. (Other Irish Rebel songs as well.)

    Great post VTK!

     

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    What’s funny to me is that Jack Butler seems to have only just discovered the term “red-pill.” And now he’s going to explain it for you.

     

    • #2
  3. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Mollie Hemingway appears to agree.   
    https://thefederalist.com/2021/09/14/what-the-right-needs-now-is-the-courage-to-fight-even-if-it-costs-us/

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    What is this NRO of which you speak?

    Seriously, Conservatism, Inc. now speaks to the bi costals just like the NYT. There are two Americans, interior and coastal. 

    • #4
  5. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    In Texas, we have a running joke that is told on Saturdays in the fall:
    Person 1:  What time is it?
    Person 2:  It is two o’clock and O.U. still sukks!

    We could use the same joke for NRO.   It saves a lot of time.  

    I just checked the groundhog and it looks like we are in for 6 more weeks of gas-lighting.

    • #5
  6. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    …and Hunter Biden’s laptop computer, and Joe and Hunter’s Biden’s financial dealings with Ukraine, the Chinese Communist Party, and Hunter receiving millions from the wife of the former mayor of Moscow, and Hillary Clinton’s illegal email server, and falsification of information on FISA applications, and FBI collusion to remove a duly-elected president based on bogus intel, and the FBI using agents to set up a kidnapping scheme to abduct the governor of Michigan, and, and, and…

    • #6
  7. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Amen. 

    When you think an accusation or theory is over the top the proper approach is ‘let’s look at the evidence’, not ‘let’s attack the people who believe it’. Especially when they’re your own [redacting] people! 

    • #7
  8. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Further to the above, one often observes the uncool mocking other uncool in hopes of elevating their status. It never works, but the ‘cool’ people enjoy the bum fight. 

    • #8
  9. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Victor Tango Kilo: The Republican Party sent two dozen Obamacare Repeal to Obama’s desk when they knew they would be vetoed. They couldn’t even manage to get a single, watered-down, weak tea partial repeal to Trump’s desk when he would have signed it.

    Years of “Repeal! Repeal! Repeal!” followed by, “Yeah, we got nothing.” They don’t want to rule, they just want to jeer from the sidelines.

    • #9
  10. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Sandy (View Comment):

    Mollie Hemingway appears to agree.
    https://thefederalist.com/2021/09/14/what-the-right-needs-now-is-the-courage-to-fight-even-if-it-costs-us/

    Two great essays; first by Victor Tango Kilo who, I am sure will be honored to be mentioned in the same sentence with Mollie Hemmingway, to whom you linked @sandy.

    • #10
  11. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: The Republican Party sent two dozen Obamacare Repeal to Obama’s desk when they knew they would be vetoed. They couldn’t even manage to get a single, watered-down, weak tea partial repeal to Trump’s desk when he would have signed it.

    Years of “Repeal! Repeal! Repeal!” followed by, “Yeah, we got nothing.” They don’t want to rule, they just want to jeer from the sidelines.

    I don’t want them to rule; that’s what kings do.  I want them to govern.

    • #11
  12. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Great post.

    I read the article – well I had to scan over several driveling paragraphs. What a bunch of baloney!

    First he endlessly describes the origin of the ‘red pill’ because apparently NRO readers are culturally deprived – and I mean ordinary pop culture. But the author needs this kind of reader, because first he’s going to define it, then he proceeds to associate it with mysognyny on the basis that the reference was used by some men’s rights group. ( I imagine it’s been used by any and every fringe group there is, just like they use other phrases and cliches) Then claims it has roots in ‘gnosticism’ which most people can’t argue, because that also requires explanations and definitions, unless the reader has a degree in philosophy or theology. 

    This is how Democrat essayists approach a threat be it person, place or thing. They label it, then they (alone) define it, they provide a tainted history of the idea or person, they associate it with other movements that have been successfully demonized, then dismiss and condemn it, followed by a condemnation of adherents friends or followers.

    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    • #12
  13. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Franco (View Comment):
    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    He’s  a kid, isn’t he?

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    He’s a kid, isn’t he?

    I didn’t realize that Jonah had damaged him so much during their association.

    • #14
  15. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: The Republican Party sent two dozen Obamacare Repeal to Obama’s desk when they knew they would be vetoed. They couldn’t even manage to get a single, watered-down, weak tea partial repeal to Trump’s desk when he would have signed it.

    Years of “Repeal! Repeal! Repeal!” followed by, “Yeah, we got nothing.” They don’t want to rule, they just want to jeer from the sidelines.

    I don’t want them to rule; that’s what kings do. I want them to govern.

    Yeah, they don’t want to do that either.

    • #15
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Sandy (View Comment):

    Mollie Hemingway appears to agree.
    https://thefederalist.com/2021/09/14/what-the-right-needs-now-is-the-courage-to-fight-even-if-it-costs-us/

    At first I thought you meant that Mollie appears to agree with Jack and Jonah.

    Whew!

    • #16
  17. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Sandy (View Comment):

    Mollie Hemingway appears to agree.
    https://thefederalist.com/2021/09/14/what-the-right-needs-now-is-the-courage-to-fight-even-if-it-costs-us/

    At first I thought you meant that Mollie appears to agree with Jack and Jonah.

    Whew!

    I thought the same.

    • #17
  18. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    cdor (View Comment):

    Sandy (View Comment):

    Mollie Hemingway appears to agree.
    https://thefederalist.com/2021/09/14/what-the-right-needs-now-is-the-courage-to-fight-even-if-it-costs-us/

    Two great essays; first by Victor Tango Kilo who, I am sure will be honored to be mentioned in the same sentence with Mollie Hemmingway, to whom you linked @ sandy.

    Oh, wow… that would so cool.

    • #18
  19. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Please.  They should wish people were only red-pilled.  The problem is that we’re past that and people are getting black pilled.

    • #19
  20. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    This is why I’ve been enjoying listening to the American Mind podcast. I don’t get over to their site often enough and I don’t know if it’s been written about over there. On the podcast at least, they’ve discussed the red and blue pills, the white and black ones, and even coined the quantum pill. I think white is when you think the world is on a destructive path but we will get through and black is that we’re doomed and will go down fighting. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. The quantum pill is holding beliefs in two colors at the same time. Part of you sees it going one way but at the same time you can see it in an opposite direction. 

    The American Mind guys usually do a better job of assessing the current climate and not staying wedded to outdated divisions. They’ve also been recently attacked by the Bulwark so they must be doing something right.

    • #20
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I’ve got a half-written post about the various pills. Don’t nobody jump in ahead of me.

    • #21
  22. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    I’ve got a half-written post about the various pills. Don’t nobody jump in ahead of me.

    Will enjoy it. Was I close on the black and white ones?

    • #22
  23. La Tapada Member
    La Tapada
    @LaTapada

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: Hundreds of January 6 protesters are being held in jail indefinitely on nonviolent misdemeanor charges while the FBI destroys people simply for being present in Washington DC on January 6th.

    Don’t know why I’ve been humming “The Men Behind the Wire” so much lately. Just can’t figure it out. (Other Irish Rebel songs as well.)

    Great post VTK!

    My husband and I have been listening to this one over and over (ever since I first heard a bit of it quoted by M. B. Dougherty on the NRO site, oddly enough). We feel like our nation needs a few good songs that common people can sing, to go with our stand for our original rights in this nation.

    • #23
  24. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    He’s a kid, isn’t he?

    I didn’t realize that Jonah had damaged him so much during their association.

    Wasn’t he around here for awhile?  Podcast or something?

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    He’s a kid, isn’t he?

    I didn’t realize that Jonah had damaged him so much during their association.

    Wasn’t he around here for awhile? Podcast or something?

    He was kinda the sidekick for Jonah for a while.  And he started the “Young Americans” podcast.

    • #25
  26. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    He’s a kid, isn’t he?

    I didn’t realize that Jonah had damaged him so much during their association.

    Wasn’t he around here for awhile? Podcast or something?

    He was kinda the sidekick for Jonah for a while. And he started the “Young Americans” podcast.

    The latter is what I recall.

    • #26
  27. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    He’s a kid, isn’t he?

    Just turned 28, I believe.

     

    • #27
  28. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    He’s a kid, isn’t he?

    I didn’t realize that Jonah had damaged him so much during their association.

    Wasn’t he around here for awhile? Podcast or something?

    He was kinda the sidekick for Jonah for a while. And he started the “Young Americans” podcast.

    Has a podcaster badge on his profile. Last commented in December.

    • #28
  29. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    He’s a kid, isn’t he?

    Just turned 28, I believe.

    Who the hell are these kids lecturing us middle-aged men.

    • #29
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Franco (View Comment):

    Great post.

    I read the article – well I had to scan over several driveling paragraphs. What a bunch of baloney!

    First he endlessly describes the origin of the ‘red pill’ because apparently NRO readers are culturally deprived – and I mean ordinary pop culture. But the author needs this kind of reader, because first he’s going to define it, then he proceeds to associate it with mysognyny on the basis that the reference was used by some men’s rights group. ( I imagine it’s been used by any and every fringe group there is, just like they use other phrases and cliches) Then claims it has roots in ‘gnosticism’ which most people can’t argue, because that also requires explanations and definitions, unless the reader has a degree in philosophy or theology.

    This is how Democrat essayists approach a threat be it person, place or thing. They label it, then they (alone) define it, they provide a tainted history of the idea or person, they associate it with other movements that have been successfully demonized, then dismiss and condemn it, followed by a condemnation of adherents friends or followers.

    NR is scared, and they know they are in trouble. Butler is just lashing out.

    Perfect insights, Franco.

     

    • #30