The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Policy Goal: Avoid World War III

Posted on | March 18, 2022 | Comments Off on Policy Goal: Avoid World War III

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, I keep thinking of Barbara Tuchman’s Pulitzer-winning history The Guns of August, which chronicled the miscalculations that led to World War I. Probably few of the people blabbing about the need for NATO to defend Ukraine have read Tuchman’s book, and certainly they seem heedless of its lessons. While I’m all in favor of sending the Ukrainians weapons — and cheer them on in their fight against Putin’s army — the risk of widening the conflict is paramount in my concern, because nobody wants a thermonuclear Armageddon. Right? Hello? “Give Peace a Chance”?

The fact that others — especially the neocon #NeverTrump crew — are less concerned about this worst-case scenario than I am doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bloodthirsty warmongers, but I do wish they’d stop the broad-brush defamation of their critics as pro-Russian Putin fanboys or “conspiracy theorists.” This is basically what David French is up to in his article in The Atlantic. Any conservative holding an opinion not approved by French is a “right-wing contrarian”:

The overlap between various conspiracy theories is simply extraordinary. Find someone who believes Trump truly won the 2020 election, and the overlap with anti-masking activism (especially pre-vaccine) and vaccine skepticism is almost guaranteed. Find someone who believes in the basics of the QAnon conspiracy theory, and you’ll find an election conspiracist and likely a Ukraine skeptic.
Indeed, contrarianism and antipathy also present a crucial explanation for Trumpism. What’s a key reason the right likes Trump? Because the mainstream media doesn’t. When would they boo Trump? When he conforms to what the establishment wants, including by getting a COVID-vaccine booster.
If you spend any time watching Tucker Carlson or following the rhetoric of popular far-right voices, such as Candace Owens, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and many, many others, you’ll see a consistent theme — they’ll find what they call “the narrative” (another word for the perceived conventional wisdom in the media or in the political establishment) and simply argue the opposite.

What, pray tell, defines someone as “a Ukraine skeptic”? Good luck figuring that out from French’s article, but then again we must ask, what is “Trumpism”? Seventy-four million Americans voted to re-elect President Trump — are we all equally implicated in the sin of “Trumpism”? Yet it is we, not David French, who stand accused of reflexive “far-right” thinking. Our minds are rigid, while French is an infinitely nuanced thinker, and never mind the evidence that French is just another delusional victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

As for “the narrative,” this is a phrase popularized by the late Andrew Breitbart, who was so much smarter than David French that it’s not even fair to compare them. Breitbart thought strategically, which is why he was always three steps ahead of everybody else. The man had excellent hunches, which was how he was able to take down Anthony Weiner.

Oh, wait — what was this bit French threw in there about QAnon? That’s the conspiracy theory which claims that sexual perversion is rampant among the economic and political elite. Let’s see — Anthony Weiner, Jeffrey Epstein, Hunter Biden, probably a few other names I could add to that list of influential members of the elite who’ve been exposed as depraved perverts in recent years. Perhaps it is not true that the world is ruled by a secretive cabal of wealthy pedophiles, but on the other hand, there’s enough smoke to make you think there’s a fire somewhere.

The line between paranoia and reasonable suspicion is sometimes difficult to locate, but anyone who trusts our national elite has not been paying close attention. Their track record does not inspire confidence in their judgment, and even if they’re not involved in extreme sexual depravity, I don’t trust those sons of bitches at all.

“The ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency,” and if these blundering idiots get us into WWIII, don’t say nobody tried to warn you.



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