Blaming everything on rainbow bullies.
The neurotic fetish of anti-wokeism.
In 1943, Wild Bill Donovan, director of the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner to the CIA, commissioned a psychologist, Walter C. Langer to write a profile of Adolf Hitler. Langer produced a 281-page report with the help of a bunch of professors and doctors from America’s finest head shrinking academies.
Among other things, they examined the Maximum Nazi’s preference for big lies over small, writing:
His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
Coming across that quote as I spiralled ever deeper into doom-scrolling the week, I was struck by how well it described, if not explained, the bizarre-trending-to-bonkers outbreak of deranged hot takes blaming Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine on trans kids, rainbow flags, windmills and welcome-to-country ceremonies – explaining a massive and ongoing crime against humanity, in other words, as a direct result of, you know, wokeism.
Wokeism being le keyword de jure to gather up every neurotic fetish of neo-moronic right wing nut jobs.
From the commissioning editors at The Australian, to the yammering dupes of Sky News After Dark, the industrial scale murder of whole Ukrainian cities was obviously a direct consequence of… diversity training. Not to mention pearl clutching over climate change, gender equity, mask wearing, inclusion, white privilege, ‘LGBQT’ pride and vaccination rates, according to Tim Blair, who made sure to mention them all while giving his pearls a manly clutch in the Daily Telegraph.
The weirdness seemed to begin, as weirdness so often does, with Tony Abbott who complained in Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal that the West’s obsession with social justice and climate change was a straight up provocation to Vladimir Putin, who could barely help himself in the face of so much “economic and cultural surrender.”
The geostrategic equivalent of, “Did you see what she was wearing? She was just asking for it.”
From there we were off to the races. Peta Credlin somehow blaming the presence of two hundred thousand Russian troops storming into Ukraine on members of Parliament feeling “the need to acknowledge country at the start of every speech.”
Lyle Shelton blaming everything on rainbow bullies.
Cory Bernadi going the full Lord Haw Haw.
And, of course, Matt ‘Sooty’ Canavan demanding everyone burn more coal because there is no problem that can’t be solved by burning more coal.
It was weird, it was unhinged, it was inexplicably detached from the awful reality of what is happening to the Ukrainian people. But it did demonstrate an admirable commitment to the bit.
If all you’ve got to talk about is diversity training, climate change, gender equity, mask wearing, inclusion, white privilege, ‘LGBQT’ pride and vaccination rates, then keep talking, no matter what. Never allow the culture war to cool off. Never admit a fault or a wrong.
Never leave room for alternatives. Never accept blame. Concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame them for everything that goes wrong. Especially if ‘they’ use ‘them’ as a pronoun.
The really striking aspect of it all was the pure Freudian projection. Beyond the sheltered workshop of Rupert Murdoch’s various opinion pages there are very few normal people who are as obsessed with the mortal danger of, er, inclusion and diversity, as Rupe’s collection of self-inflating windbags.
I think the sudden flurry of think pieces about the strategic threat of western wokeness was ultimately telling of a deeper fear that the horror of what is happening in Ukraine might well destroy the lucrative business models of a lot of people who’ve done very well out of never once shutting the fuck up about their weird fucking obsessions. Not for one precious minute.
And the hell of it is, they’re so close.
In a world where the Alt Right’s once upon a time favourite autocrat is tossing dumb bombs at maternity wards and, most inconveniently, there’s somebody nearby with a Tik Tok account and a smart phone to capture it all, it’s undeniably true that confected culture war outrage is soon likely to be seen not just as irrelevant but obscene.
And that’s some heavy shit, when you make your living off confected culture war outrage.
The war in Ukraine is an existential struggle. Putin has said plainly that he does not regard the country as a legitimate state or its people as entitled to self determination, and he has laid the heavy hand of war on them for having the gall to defy his judgment. In essence he will not allow them to live as they choose. They must live as he chooses, or they must die.
And this, in essence, is the irreducible argument of every bigot.
Never leave room for alternatives.
It is the motive engine of all intolerance. It amplifies every slur hurled at every human being who defined themselves out of the mainstream. It is the clenched fist slamming into the back of the gay man’s neck in the park. It is the burning cross on the front lawn of the black family’s home. It is the sneering tweet about the trans athlete. It is the old-new misogynist lie of female weakness.
It is fear and loathing and it has paid a lot of grifters pretty well for the last thirty years. But I think its time may be up if we survive these next few weeks.
As actual conservative David Frum put it so well, “Everything they wanted to perceive as decadent and weak has proven strong and brave; everything they wanted to represent as fearsome and powerful has revealed itself as brutal and stupid.”
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You're preaching and I'm the converted but, damn, I heart all of this.
The contemptuous disregard these hate-for-hire mouthpieces have for their audience is quite astounding. Anyone with even the slightest shred of intelligence can see that Russia's war of aggression has literally nothing to do with queer rights or renewable energy, and yet they make these assertions with straight faces. It is now the audience's job to hold them to account for this disgusting propaganda by continually reminding everyone that they said these things until they no longer have jobs spreading their idiotic hate.