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A hat tip to Powerline for putting me on to this article: The Progressive Hive. I had not seen the original back in 1981 (I was 11) but what a concept. The essay is built on the concept from Tom Bethell:
The Hive was a concept of Bethell’s and another gifted conservative writer, Joe Sobran, who likewise wrote for The American Spectator but did most of his work for National Review and as a syndicated columnist. Bethell himself credited Sobran with the concept, even as both would go on to develop it together (as Sobran noted) and champion it over the years. Many hoped that Bethell and Sobran would together write a book on the subject, but they never did.
The Left is much like a buzzing hive, no conspiracy just an agenda they all manage to agree with. Most importantly, the Hive does not sting its own.
Indeed they do not. You never see the Left stinging the Left. To leftists, extremists are exclusive to the Right. City streets could burn all summer with Antifa mobs, but Jerry Nadler won’t see any riots, Joe Biden will deny that Antifa even exists as an organization, and the entirety of the collective Left will howl instead about QAnon or the Proud Boys — groups that even well-informed conservatives haven’t a clue about, as they utterly pale in influence.
I also like the quoting of Bethell about how the buzzing of the Hive changes others:
Bethell would make passing references to the Hive in subsequent articles (for instance, an August 1981 piece, “Phrase Mating”), and then pick up with more expansive renderings, such as an August 1982 piece, “Billy Bee,” in which he lampooned the Washington–Beltway–media–liberal “Hive” for buzzing in the ear of the Rev. Billy Graham and pressuring him into being more to their liking:
By the mid 1970s, Billy Graham began to hear the murmuring of innumerable bees. “Be a better Billy,” the Hive would drone in his ear. At that time Watergate weighed heavily on Billy’s mind. Maybe it was true after all, as they had always said of him, that he was too respectful of the powers that be, too close to Nixon … Hmmmmm … This doubt weakened Billy — made him vulnerable to the Hive, and the worker bees knew it. They spent their days endlessly pollinating public opinion, and some of them — scout bees — kept an eye on Billy Graham. With a little concerted effort, the Hive knew that there was a chance it could assimilate Billy into … the cause — the goal on behalf of which the elements of the Hive instinctively labor.
“Billy,” the Hive would hum, “you’ve been too close to Johnson, too close to Nixon. He was discredited, you know — crimes in high places. You may have been a little tainted with the same brush, Billy. Remember the unindicted co-conspirators? But we won’t say another word about it. Just get on the side of history. Grow a little. Open up to new ideas. Help us build a new society, a society of justice and peace. Stop trying to impose your old views, legislate morality, turn the clock back. You can’t fight reality, can you Billy? So don’t fight us … ”
Yes, Billy thought, it was time to grow.
This buzzing explains much of Never Trump to me. The buzzing of the Hive is a hypnotic song that is heard by so many on the right. See they want to not get stung. Going along with the Hive stops you from getting stung. At least as much. The hive swarmed over Trump to sting him to death any many on the right ran away lest they get stung too. Trump supporters, used to being stung found relief that someone was willing to take the stings along with them. That makes the Trump supporters appear to be mad to the Never Trump right, who listened to the Hive on who is and who is not acceptable.
It is a fascinating read.Published in