Sunday, April 16, 2023

Are the Dems Really Panicking?

Are the Dems Really Panicking?

Are the Dems Really Panicking?
Photo by Nickolas Nikolic on Unsplash

I’ve been watching the programs of a number of conservative commentators and diverse media personalities for some time now. Tucker Carlson, of course, is probably the best and most uncompromising of the lot. Mark Levin’s somber and despairing offerings and Mark Steyn’s serrated wit are also to be appreciated. Others, not so much. One thinks, for example, of Peter Robinson and his lengthy but often glancing and overly cautious interviews, Jesse Watters, who gets many things right but is prone to wiredrawn theories (the Dems really want Trump to win the nomination), Dave Rubin and his rather glib appraisals of Democrat desperation, the upbeat and distractingly chatty Officer Tatum, and the unfailingly exuberant and immensely popular Dr. Steve Turley (not his namesake Jonathan Turley), whose presentation I regard as something akin to pure entertainment bordering on burlesque.

As noted, there are several serious and excellent online conservative critics, but there is also a strand of whimsical and ebullient conservative analysts whose style tends to deflect our attention from the gravity of the current state of affairs. Turley is a textbook example of what conservative pundits and bandwidth commentators should avoid, which makes him an object lesson worth examining.

His ringing introduction over the years — “helping you to think better so you can feel better” — is particularly irritating. “Feeling better” is precisely what militates against “thinking better”; it dilutes the sobriety and unsparing focus necessary to probe the social and political depravity of the Left and the criminal insistencies of the Democrats. The honorific “Dr.” seems gratuitous. and his tonal emphasis on self, as in his prelusive “I’ll reveal…” rather than “I’ll reveal…” speaks to his sense of justified presumption.

His audit of current affairs, however, is far too often misconceived: his assurance that the Red Wave was unstoppable, his prediction that Kari Lake was a shoo-in (he never troubled to speculate why Katie Hobbs refused to debate — she had the election micromanaged in her favor), his cantus firmus reliance on polls, his blithe conviction that the populist revolt in Europe and elsewhere would inevitably crush the Liberal global order, and so on. The turmoil over Alvin Bragg’s preposterous case against Donald Trump will not faze the Democrat regime, as Turley believes it will. The Democrats have the machine in place to withstand a Republican counter-attack, should it eventually occur.

To his credit, Turley gets some things right — the underbelly of the Ukraine war and NATO-Biden-Nuland complicity in the tragedy, the rise of the civilization-state (Russia, China, India), the decline of the American dollar — but such lucidity is the exception to the rule. Turley has a tendency to play up even minor or transient victories while remaining silent on major setbacks. His utter misunderstanding of what he calls “postmodernism,” which is not a political concept, and his multiple allusions to “scholars,” most unnamed, to give his arguments a semblance of authority, are especially grating. As are his favorite words, repeated ad nauseam in episode after episode, “panic” and “implode,” applied to the Left in general and the Democrats in particular, who are apparently shivering in fear and on the verge of collapsing inwardly as they face a surge of populist resistance and patriotic fervor. The result is that his audience may indeed feel better, but their thinking must inevitably grow sloppy and hopelessly wide of the mark.

And that is the problem with much conservative scrutiny and sentiment: an inability or unwillingness to recognize the absolute ferocity and dogmatic certitude of the domestic enemy and the false assumption that the Left’s despotic policies are so outrageous they will eventually backfire. But the Left is not panicking: it is doubling down. The Dems are not imploding; they are gaining power and treacherous ascendancy as they mobilize all their resources, transforming the various official agencies sworn to uphold public order into Gestapo-like units making a mockery of the Rule of Law.

Indeed, the Left is supremely confident that it is in command. The Democrats are busy solidifying their lien on power through the instruments of brute coercion, media corruption, judicial complicity, electoral malfeasance, perfidious legislation, a total indifference to what people may think of them, and the installation of a crooked “antipresident” bent on the dissolution of the Republic. As Victor Davis Hanson argues in an article titled Our French Revolution, the Democrats have devolved into a contemporary Jacobin-like reign of terror.

In fairness, it should be said that Dr. Turley is a reputable man. Nor can anyone doubt his passionate support of the cultural trinity — faith, freedom, and family — which is at the core of traditional American values. But he is also a jejune optimist who has persistently misjudged the political drama we are experiencing with his sanguine and feel-good rhetoric, his “panicking” and “imploding” progressivist hordes, and his breezy conviction that conservatives and grassroots Republicans are “united as never before” — “never before” is another of his valedictory bromides. The effort to rouse morale is all well and good, but it is contra-indicated when it consistently misapprehends reality. Conservatives need to be hard-bitten, direct, and unrelentingly realistic.

The only way a patriot people can resist an approaching tyranny is by taking level-headed stock of the situation in which they are embroiled and mobilizing in their own way — guarding the voting stations, mounting recall efforts, picketing their representatives, even adopting the Democrat mode of operating to bring out the vote. They will have to firmly secure the ballot box. Red states will have to assert their legitimate rights against a Beltway insurgency. As the prophet Joel urged (reversing the famous passage in Isaiah 2:4), “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10).

The emoji-like peptides of a Steve Turley, as well as others who are rosily convinced that retribution is on the way, do not allow for a genuine assessment of the totalitarian takeover confronting citizens, who will have to be intellectually armed to meet and possibly defeat — or at least, stall — the forces of an encroaching evil. The times are dark, but if the light is ever to triumph, it must work against the dark without suppressing, disguising, misconstruing, or scanting its encompassing plenitude. Facile solace is inappropriate, as is misplaced confidence. As another Tucker writes, “There is hope, but only if we realize the darkness of the present moment.”

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