Useful Idiots with Nice Lawns and Mortgages

 

Most prescient Tweet of 2020.

Maybe the drift towards centralized unaccountable power has been underway for a long time.  We have been aware of the growth of the ‘administrative state’ for some time. Even the FBI, which once seemed to be comprised of committed, decent normals has taken on the Ivy League pretensions of which State and CIA have long been redolent. Across the board, the top layer of senior federal bureaucrats seems to share an enforced uniform zeitgeist. And we have watched as the super-rich increasingly secularized and actively empowered the left in the culture wars.

The will to power and self-interest of the new ruling coalition are not hard to grasp.  It is the “much of the left marching behind it” part that is harder to understand.  Why, for example, would the suburban homeowner willingly vote for rapidly increasing taxes, economic policies that intentionally hurt and weaken the middle class, and for the heightened risk of social exclusion, job loss, or even prosecution for inadvertent thought crimes? Why endorse having one’s kids subjected to perverse indoctrination at all education levels and discriminated against for college admission? Why support more crime and chaos? Can it really just be about the satisfying illusion of being part of the elite or the moral satisfaction of opposing what the rulers say are forces of darkness?

In the late 1940s, the elite rallied behind the Stalinist traitor Alger Hiss in opposition to the hated Richard Nixon and HUAC.  Top law firms, major media, and past and present senior government figures supported Hiss. Being overtly anti-Communist and supporting efforts to root out the actual Soviet penetration of every level of the federal government was the MAGA hat of that era—something the sophisticate simply did not do, especially if seeking a position in an elite law firm or elite federal agency.  (Pathetically, Wikipedia’s entry on Alger Hiss  bends over backward to the Hiss defense even now.)

A wry European observer told Whittaker Chambers that in the United States “the working class are Democratic, the middle class are Republicans and the upper class are Communists.”  The FBI was then on the side of the good guys, while State, DOJ, and CIA were overtly sympathetic to the accused traitors until grudgingly forced to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence. (There was no EPA, HHS, HUD, or Education Department in those days so the administrative state was still in its adolescence.)

Who would have guessed that the collapse of the USSR and its propaganda and intel capabilities would result in even more power for the openly anti-democratic forces within the American left?  Google, Twitter, Facebook, Davos, CNN/MSNBC, etc., have come into being and are now all firmly allied with the already existing leftist bastions.

The new, Sovietless left has barely a pretense of a coherent ideology like the Communists or Nazis had.  It is instead just a naked grab for power on the grounds that they are entitled to have it by virtue of expertise, “The Science” and having detached their ties to the traditional national culture and all the déclassé tackiness that goes with it.  If Mussolini had dropped the appeal to patriotism when justifying unaccountable technocrat rule, he would have been an early Davos man.

“Diversity” is just a power move that establishes the right to punish the white middle and working class. Whether it aids or hurts minorities is irrelevant.  “The Science” governing climate policy barely provides a figleaf for the leftover power grabs that were originally envisioned when we allegedly faced the Population Bomb.  “The Science” deployed during the COVID attack on democracy was just as specious and just as falsely sanctified.

Biden and his mediocre handlers seem to have an intuitive grasp that all that is left of their claim to the support of the liberal suburban voter is the rather thin yet persistent psychological and moral satisfaction of opposing the mythical racist, planet-killing, hate-filled troglodytes, the ultra-MAGAs (Yo, represent, Ricochet!) bent on destroying life as we know it.

How do we explain much less address the problem that there are tens of millions of middle-class fellow travelers/useful idiots out there willing to sacrifice so much in exchange for a self-generated imaginary pat on the back from their betters, from people who clearly hold them in contempt?

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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    That certainly was prescient.  Amazingly and scarily so. 

    • #1
  2. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Why, for example, would the suburban homeowner willingly vote for rapidly increasing taxes, economic policies that intentionally hurt and weaken the middle class, and for the heightened risk of social exclusion, job loss, or even prosecution for inadvertent thought crimes? 

    I know this makes me sound like that old curmudgeon on 60 Minutes years ago, but “Didja ever notice . . . ?”

    It’s hard to pull it together into a coherent theme, but for a long time there has been a growing contempt for the profit motive. To me it seems that making a honest profit is what a company is supposed to do. It should be the first priority, but somehow the country has raised a generation or two of fools who can’t understand that. Prime recent example was the incident at Tesla where some employees published a letter criticizing Musk and saying more-or-less that he was interfering with the company’s main goal of creating an inclusive work environment. That may be a laudable goal, but it’s not the reason the company exists. It exists to make a profit by selling a quality product. I admit that I laughed pretty hard when I heard that most of those who signed that stupid letter were fired. 

    I’d bet those fools vote the way you described. If profit is evil, why shouldn’t we tax the Hell out of it? Why shouldn’t we have policies that penalize profit when companies exist to further socialist and diversity goals? 

    I’ll stop here, go and think about this a bit more, and see if it makes sense. 

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It’s like they’re going back to the tribal mentality: one must remain loyal to and supportive of the tribe, no matter what. It requires no intellect, no discretion, essentially no risk to take that position, and many rewards (as they see it). What a sad way to live out one’s life. . . .

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    That certainly was prescient. Amazingly and scarily so.

    Greenwald is one of few journalists that is still doing journalism.

    • #4
  5. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Great Post.  I don’t know where Greenwald got his crystal ball but it totally sized up America today.

    • #5
  6. 1787Libertarian Member
    1787Libertarian
    @

      Why, for example, would the suburban homeowner willingly vote for rapidly increasing taxes, economic policies that intentionally hurt and weaken the middle class, and for the heightened risk of social exclusion, job loss, or even prosecution for inadvertent thought crimes? 

    This is easy to answer.  Because there wasn’t another party telling them otherwise. If you are a comfortable member of the middle class, then you are likely not going to be the type that dives into deep subjects such as political ideology and political theory or even policy debates. You are going to watch “the news” because you know that part of being a well rounded citizen is being informed about your government and your society. So in order to do this without having to spend an exceptional amount of time on it, you are going to watch CBSNews or ABCNews or maybe even Special Report with Brett Beir.  What you are likely not going to do is spend your evenings after 8 hours of work reading anything of political importance, either Left or Right. So if the telly is the only way in which you get your news in the middle class, then you are only getting one side of the story. You are getting nothing but Republicans are evil and Democrats never do anything wrong. This was true even before Trump. You certainly aren’t going to get anything about the list that you have drafted here, OB. The reason why they fall for it is because they are unaware, and uninformed. Hell you yourself call them Useful Idiots, meaning they don’t know anything. And finally, the Bushes weren’t going to tell them. The family that brought you “don’t do any victory dances” is not going to be the family that brings you “government is not the solution, government is the problem.” You can look at any and all GOP “leaders” since Reagan and see that they were nothing more than controlled opposition, with the exception of Newt and I am not convinced with him either. That is how they fall for it. There has never been since 1986 a credible, legitimate leader telling them that these things are not only possible but happening already.

    • #6
  7. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Great essay and reference to Greenwald.

    I have so much appreciation for thinking that goes beyond mine. Thank you.

    • #7
  8. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    When enough has been sacrificed they may get it.  This is why the school board fights are so prominent, and so important. The fact that minorities are being harmed is also more obvious, which is why, I presume, this nasty coalition is in danger of losing more Black and Hispanic votes. 

    • #8
  9. 1787Libertarian Member
    1787Libertarian
    @

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Great Post. I don’t know where Greenwald got his crystal ball but it totally sized up America today.

    I think he got it from ditching his Left v. Right eye glasses and decided on Country Class v. Governing Class eye glasses. 

    • #9
  10. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    1787Libertarian (View Comment):

    Why, for example, would the suburban homeowner willingly vote for rapidly increasing taxes, economic policies that intentionally hurt and weaken the middle class, and for the heightened risk of social exclusion, job loss, or even prosecution for inadvertent thought crimes?

    This is easy to answer. Because there wasn’t another party telling them otherwise. If you are a comfortable member of the middle class, then you are likely not going to be the type that dives into deep subjects such as political ideology and political theory or even policy debates. You are going to watch “the news” because you know that part of being a well rounded citizen is being informed about your government and your society. So in order to do this without having to spend an exceptional amount of time on it, you are going to watch CBSNews or ABCNews or maybe even Special Report with Brett Beir. What you are likely not going to do is spend your evenings after 8 hours of work reading anything of political importance, either Left or Right. So if the telly is the only way in which you get your news in the middle class, then you are only getting one side of the story. You are getting nothing but Republicans are evil and Democrats never do anything wrong. This was true even before Trump. You certainly aren’t going to get anything about the list that you have drafted here, OB. The reason why they fall for it is because they are unaware, and uninformed. Hell you yourself call them Useful Idiots, meaning they don’t know anything. And finally, the Bushes weren’t going to tell them. The family that brought you “don’t do any victory dances” is not going to be the family that brings you “government is not the solution, government is the problem.” You can look at any and all GOP “leaders” since Reagan and see that they were nothing more than controlled opposition, with the exception of Newt and I am not convinced with him either. That is how they fall for it. There has never been since 1986 a credible, legitimate leader telling them that these things are not only possible but happening already.

    I agree that there is a bubble and massive media filtering.  But prices at the pump, cities burning, woke BS… at what point does reality trump The Message From on High.

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I fear the future with the climate-change people in charge. They were taking notes during the pandemic. 

    The best thing Trump did was get us out of the Paris Climate Accords. It was really great listening to his Wilkes-Barre speech last Saturday night. I recommend it as therapy for anyone who feels anxious about the future. 

    Leadership matters enormously. 

    • #11
  12. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It’s like they’re going back to the tribal mentality: one must remain loyal to and supportive of the tribe, no matter what. It requires no intellect, no discretion, essentially no risk to take that position, and many rewards (as they see it). What a sad way to live out one’s life. . . .

    This troubles me, Susan, because it seems to suggest that loyalty is a bad thing.  I don’t think that loyalty is a bad thing.  I do think that loyalty may be misplaced.  I don’t like the dismissal of loyalty, which I think is often a virtue, as a “tribal mentality.”

    The issue, for me, is to whom do you give your loyalty?  In a nation, we’re all supposed to give our loyalty to the nation, and perhaps by implication our fellow citizens.  Calling this a “tribal mentality” necessarily undermines the existence of the nation.  I think that this is a mistake, because I think that it is a good idea to organize ourselves into nations.  The alternatives, at the extreme, are: (1) something like anarcho-capitalism (which doesn’t work at all, in my view), and (2) world government.

    I think that world government is a bad idea because nations don’t work well without a common culture.  There are many cultures.  Multi-cultural nations don’t tend to work well, in my view, though there are occasional exceptions (like Switzerland).  Moreover, people in different places have different interests, and are understandably unwilling to submit to a world government that might not serve their interests very well.

    • #12
  13. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I fear the future with the climate-change people in charge. They were taking notes during the pandemic.

    The best thing Trump did was get us out of the Paris Climate Accords. It was really great listening to his Wilkes-Barre speech last Saturday night. I recommend it as therapy for anyone who feels anxious about the future.

    Leadership matters enormously.

    Being in or out of the silly Paris Accord does not matter if stupid policies are going to be implemented regardless.  My fear that in the same way the PTB are blaming the COVID virus for damages caused solely by the COVID policies they will blame the coming energy crisis on climate change and the past failure to go green and continue the beatdown on a weekend middle class and a more dependent lower class. 

    • #13
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It’s like they’re going back to the tribal mentality: one must remain loyal to and supportive of the tribe, no matter what. It requires no intellect, no discretion, essentially no risk to take that position, and many rewards (as they see it). What a sad way to live out one’s life. . . .

    This troubles me, Susan, because it seems to suggest that loyalty is a bad thing. I don’t think that loyalty is a bad thing. I do think that loyalty may be misplaced. I don’t like the dismissal of loyalty, which I think is often a virtue, as a “tribal mentality.”

    The issue, for me, is to whom do you give your loyalty? In a nation, we’re all supposed to give our loyalty to the nation, and perhaps by implication our fellow citizens. Calling this a “tribal mentality” necessarily undermines the existence of the nation. I think that this is a mistake, because I think that it is a good idea to organize ourselves into nations. The alternatives, at the extreme, are: (1) something like anarcho-capitalism (which doesn’t work at all, in my view), and (2) world government.

    You know what she meant.

    • #14
  15. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It’s like they’re going back to the tribal mentality: one must remain loyal to and supportive of the tribe, no matter what. It requires no intellect, no discretion, essentially no risk to take that position, and many rewards (as they see it). What a sad way to live out one’s life. . . .

    That is exactly it.  Saying the proper progressive things seems to be more important than their own survival at this point.  I don’t think we’ve ever experienced that before.  In the past when things got bad enough, people voted their leaders out, but they can’t bear to have to admit at their cocktail party or book club that they voted for the wrong party.  

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It’s like they’re going back to the tribal mentality: one must remain loyal to and supportive of the tribe, no matter what.

    Jerry, why don’t you read the whole sentence–one should not be loyal when we are called to do immoral, destructive acts. Loyalty is a wonderful attribute, but not when it leads us to terrible action.

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I fear the future with the climate-change people in charge. They were taking notes during the pandemic.

    The best thing Trump did was get us out of the Paris Climate Accords. It was really great listening to his Wilkes-Barre speech last Saturday night. I recommend it as therapy for anyone who feels anxious about the future.

    Leadership matters enormously.

    Being in or out of the silly Paris Accord does not matter if stupid policies are going to be implemented regardless. My fear that in the same way the PTB are blaming the COVID virus for damages caused solely by the COVID policies they will blame the coming energy crisis on climate change and the past failure to go green and continue the beatdown on a weekend middle class and a more dependent lower class.

    Trump is a very strong and confident voice against these things. I agree that it may not be enough. He certainly tried to hold the pandemic controllers at bay and failed to inspire the state governments to ease up.

    Perhaps you’re right.

    But I’m drowning in the middle of the ocean at the moment, and Trump’s speech is the only floating toothpick I’m seeing to hold onto. :-) :-)

    My husband enjoyed it too, by the way. I saw his shoulders relax and heard him laugh out loud for the first time in two years. :-) Trump is an entertainer, and he was great.

    It’s been a tough and exhausting grind with Biden.

    • #17
  18. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Django (View Comment):
    I’ll stop here, go and think about this a bit more, and see if it makes sense.

    It makes a heap of sense; please continue.

    (Edit: Corrected typo.)

    • #18
  19. 1787Libertarian Member
    1787Libertarian
    @

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I agree that there is a bubble and massive media filtering. But prices at the pump, cities burning, woke BS… at what point does reality trump The Message From on High.

    Prices at the pump = Greedy Oil Companies

    Cities burning = Trump was just too extreme

    woke BS = Never reported on, so they have no opinion (Seriously ask any in your sphere about the racist hoaxes or about strip clubs letting children in for “Pride” month.) (As an aside, I guess y’all were right: Pride is the worst sin.)

    • #19
  20. 1787Libertarian Member
    1787Libertarian
    @

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I fear the future with the climate-change people in charge. They were taking notes during the pandemic.

    The best thing Trump did was get us out of the Paris Climate Accords. It was really great listening to his Wilkes-Barre speech last Saturday night. I recommend it as therapy for anyone who feels anxious about the future.

    Leadership matters enormously.

    Notes? That was a bloody dress rehearsal. The same people who implemented that COVID tyranny are the same ones telling us to eat zee bugs because of global warming.

    • #20
  21. 1787Libertarian Member
    1787Libertarian
    @

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It’s like they’re going back to the tribal mentality: one must remain loyal to and supportive of the tribe, no matter what. It requires no intellect, no discretion, essentially no risk to take that position, and many rewards (as they see it). What a sad way to live out one’s life. . . .

    This troubles me, Susan, because it seems to suggest that loyalty is a bad thing. I don’t think that loyalty is a bad thing. I do think that loyalty may be misplaced. I don’t like the dismissal of loyalty, which I think is often a virtue, as a “tribal mentality.”

    The issue, for me, is to whom do you give your loyalty? In a nation, we’re all supposed to give our loyalty to the nation, and perhaps by implication our fellow citizens. Calling this a “tribal mentality” necessarily undermines the existence of the nation. I think that this is a mistake, because I think that it is a good idea to organize ourselves into nations. The alternatives, at the extreme, are: (1) something like anarcho-capitalism (which doesn’t work at all, in my view), and (2) world government.

    You know what she meant.

    He might not. If I am not mistaken, he is a lawyer. I’m a lawyer too. We have a tendency to purposely not know what words mean in any given context. 

    • #21
  22. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    “The purpose of power is power.”
    –George Orwell

    • #22
  23. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Old Bathos: Who would have guessed that the collapse of the USSR and its propaganda and intel capabilities would result in even more power for the openly anti-democratic forces within the American left?

    Many of the leftists I once knew were indeed quite demoralized by the fall of the Berlin Wall, but they eventually found it helpful to no longer have that terrible example around to be thrown in their faces.

    • #23
  24. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Old Bathos: The new, Sovietless left has barely a pretense of a coherent ideology like the Communists or Nazis had.

    Marxism has been thoroughly discredited, both in theory and in practice, which has led the left to search for new excuses to justify its quest for totalitarian power.

    • #24
  25. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    “The purpose of power is power.”
    –George Orwell

    “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
    –George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, chapter 3

    • #25
  26. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    “The purpose of power is power.”
    –George Orwell

    “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
    –George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, chapter 3

    “Stupid is as stupid does.” – Forest Gump

    Beware the confluence of these truths.

    • #26
  27. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    You ask “why” the suburbanites are okay with the Leftish putsch that is going on in our society.

    A partial reason – Many of them who are now parents of kids still in the home were themselves raised during the “helicopter” parenting style of the late 1990’s and in to the 21st Century. they weren’t allowed to walk to school, even though mom and dad had bought a house in a neighborhood of expensive homes and manicured lawns and much greenery.

    As young people growing up in that era, they went on to postpone having children until they had a good job, a decent bankroll for emergencies and the house, two cars and social reputation.

    So real hardship, or even minor hardships, are not situations they have dealt with. They  have held on to an unconscious  pervasive fear that would beset an individual whose  parents continually saw to it that no child of theirs would ever  play in dirt and get dirty. These kids had structured  play time involving activities well supervised, like ballet classes, swim team, and other sports team programs.

    The freedom prior generations had, to play freely with other kids from all over the community, and not just a tight knit pack of other suburban children, was not possible for kids raised during the days of helicopter parenting.

    When I moved to Lake County Ca in 2005, kids were still kids. They played hide and go seek, one catch all, all manner of games and sports, including horse back riding.

    Sadly that lifestyle is disappearing. Even in families where there are horses and dirt bikes, by the time a kid is a pre-teen, the parent finds it hard to nudge them out of the bedroom and away from their gaming devices.

    How kids played: from a photo in the early 1900’s.

    • #27
  28. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Does anybody remember the Bicentennial Minute?   I think that was good educational material/propaganda and we need a *lot* things like that.  People are properly educated and not grateful for what they have inherited.

     

    Bicentennial Minutes was a series of short educational American television segments commemorating the bicentennial of the American Revolution. The segments were produced by the CBS Television Network and broadcast nightly from July 4, 1974, until December 31, 1976. (The series was originally slated to end on July 4, 1976, airing a total of 732 episodes, but was extended to the end of the year.) The segments were sponsored by Shell Oil Company, then later by Raid (insecticide) from July 1976 onward.

    he videotaped segments were each one minute long and were broadcast each night during prime time hours, generally at approximately 8:27 or 8:57 P.M. Eastern time.[1] The format of the segments did not change, although each segment featured a different narrator, often a CBS network television star. The narrator, after introducing himself or herself, would state “This is a Bicentennial Minute,” followed by the phrase “Two hundred years ago today…” and a description of a historical event or personage prominent on that particular date two hundred years before during the American Revolution. The segment would close with the narrator saying, “I’m (his/her name), and that’s the way it was.”

     

     

    • #28
  29. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    “The purpose of power is power.”
    –George Orwell

    “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
    –George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, chapter 3

    “Stupid is as stupid does.” – Forest Gump

    “Marxism is the intellectualism of fools.”
    –unknown

    • #29
  30. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Old Bathos: “Diversity” is just a power move that establishes the right to punish the white middle and working class.

    If diversity really were our strength, they’d be fighting it tooth and nail!

    Fantastic post!

    • #30
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