seven things tagged “conservatives”

On The People Who Truly Love The United States and Would Like to Restore it to it’s Former Glory

Just as terror, even in its pre-total, merely tyrannical form ruins all relationships between men, so the self-compulsion of ideological thinking ruins all relationships with reality. The preparation has succeeded when people have lost contact with their fellow men* as well as the reality around them; for together with these contacts, men lose the capacity of both experience and thought. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Here are two meditations in the form of Jordan Klepper’s excellent interactions with the deluded. I just wish that every supporter were as candid as the woman Jordan spoke to in this first one (starting 00:40) without resorting to shameless and awkward sophistry and whataboutism.

This is a fucking clown.

The most pathetic position, however, is one where you will readily admit to all of your Orange Leader’s “cruelties, collusions, corruptions, and crimes” but sigh and support the thrice-indicted buffoon’s second go at authoritarianism (with or without issuing a weak “both sides”). Consider this solemn Solomon from my home state:

It’s either malice or delusion. Either way, the Truth does not matter when they’re hurting the right people.

On the Big Lie and the Dangerous Normalization of Fascism by kor_hookmaster More Pasta

I think because the normalization of Trump and his erosion of political norms over the last 5 years, many people don’t seem to see just how unfathomably dangerous and downright fascist this entire situation has become.

Donald Trump lost. He lost. That is irrefutable and indisputable. He has refused to concede. Not only has he refused to concede, he’s actively telling his millions of supporters that he actually won and that the opposition STOLE the election from him. He’s not saying there was some counting error or computer malfunction. He claims that a crime was committed. It’s absolutely inexcusable and outright seditious, as many in this subbreddit already know.

The founding fathers, for all their faults as men, were not stupid. Far from it. They understood how critically important it was that the absolute powers of a monarch (or a despot/dictator) needed to be diffused among many, and that those many separate entities would need to act as checks on one another. That’s why there’s essentially three branches of government in every iteration of democracies around the world; they each hold a fraction of the power that was once reserved for a sole monarch. This division is a check against corruption and the inherent nature of power to corrupt those who wield it. The only reason that democracy - any democracy, not just the American version - can survive is through a peaceful transfer of power. Without it, there is chaos. Several thousand years of recorded history taught the founding fathers that when absolute power is concentrated in one individual, when that individual dies or are overthrown, countless people suffer. Endless wars of succession and conflicts over who has the rightful claim to power plagued us for generations. Without a peaceful and legally delineated method to hand diffuse power from one individual to the next, there’s nothing to stop someone from raising an army, crossing the proverbial Rubicon, and grabbing the reins of power by force. That’s the real magic of a democratic system: that we all collectively agree that the power of the state is peacefully and legally passed down without bloodshed or recrimination. It’s something that only works because we all believe it does, much like the inherent value of money. It’s something we take for granted, but it’s really astonishing given most of human history.

There is a method baked right into the constitution for someone who thinks they lost an election if they believe it was unfair, or corrupt, or stolen: You take it to the courts - to the separate branch - for it to be ruled on. It’s the reason why the president-elect doesn’t just assume power the day after the election. If there’s a legitimate claim to malfeasance or miscounting, it goes to the courts, each side presents its case, and the judicial branch has the time to weigh the evidence and make a ruling.

This isn’t just hypothetical - it’s already happened. In 2000 the electoral college came down to one state: Florida. Gore lost to Bush by less than a thousand votes. The night of the election Gore conceded, and then in the following days as the picture became more clear, he retracted his concession and took the matter to the courts. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, and he lost. They made their ruling and gave the election to Bush. That’s the way it’s supposed to happen, it’s how the founding fathers designed it. No civil war. No bloodshed.

Did Gore claim that the Bush stole the election? Did he sulk away to his mansion and call himself the “real” president? Did he whip his supporters into a frenzy, tell them to “stop the steal” and unleash them on the capital building when the votes were going to be certified? No. He conceded. Not only did he concede, he thanked his supporters for their hard work, congratulated Bush, and told his people to throw their support behind the President-elect. Because that’s what you do in a democracy. It’s not because he’s some decent guy, it’s your responsibility as a participant in the electoral process.

You throw your hat into the ring. You run your campaign and try to sway the voters. If you lose, you concede. It’s not just a formality, it’s critically important to the health of the country as a whole. Every candidate knows this. Kerry conceded in 2004. McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012. Nixon conceded when he lost to Kennedy in 1960, and Nixon was an irredeemable piece of shit. (Skip to 5:50 to hear Nixon describe the importance of concession and uniting around the victor)

Each speech is essentially the same: thanking supporters, officially conceding, and throwing your support behind the new president-elect and urging your supporters to do the same. Candidates, even the irredeemably shitty ones, know that elections are vicious and divisive, so effort needs to be made to try and unite afterwards. No one man is bigger or more important than the whole.

People need to have faith in the process, that elections are fair and free, and that the candidate with the most votes (or electoral votes) wins. If they doubt that very foundational premise some of them will resort to violence. They’ll resort to violence because they’ll believe that the legal channels for peaceful resolution aren’t relevant. That’s why the insurrectionists on January 6th thought they were being “patriots”. It’s a mass self-delusion that was perpetuated and allowed to fester and grow because Trump spent five years gaslighting the country and refusing to concede an election he lost. They might be ignorant authoritarians, but they wouldn’t be storming the capital without Trump and his big lie.

Trump had every legal right to contest the results of the 2020 election in the courts. He did. Over 60 lawsuits filed in multiple states. It went to the Supreme Court. He lost every single one. Those lawsuits failed or were tossed out because there was legitimately zero proof of the massive fraud and theft Trump was claiming.

The recent Vanity Fair interview with Trump is probably one of the scariest things I’ve read in a long while. Among the never-ending predictable lies and bullshit we come to expect from Trump came the fact that he was disappointed in the federal and state judges he appointed that decided against him or tossed out his lawsuits. He was upset with Brett Kavanagh and the conservative judges on the Supreme Court for their disloyalty. THEIR DISLOYALTY.

This is surreal. It’s beyond the pale. The President of the United States is upset that a separate branch of the federal government didn’t show him sufficient loyalty. What the everlasting fuck is this fascist nonsense? The federal government is not a mafia family. Federal judges don’t owe anyone loyalty - regardless of whether they’re from the same party or if they’ve been appointed by someone. Your merit is not judged on your loyalty, especially when your very role is to remain impartial and interpret the law. Judges are loyal to the constitution, not the President! It’s in their very oath of office!

This is why Trump is such a threat. It’s not just his ignorance, his incompetence, his vanity, his vindictiveness, his narcissism. Those are all horrible qualities to have. He’s a threat because he’s willing to completely disregard and tear down the very bedrock principles of democracy (the separation of authority and the peaceful transfer of power) to serve his needs. His ego can’t handle a loss, so the constitution and everything that makes democracy a functional alternative to despotism and authoritarianism can burn.

Trump isn’t just the worst president in history, he’s a threat to the very fabric of the country. Because of the slow crawl of his erosion of norms, the frenetic pace of 24 hour news, the short attention span of our modern society, and a media obsessed with ratings over information, Trump has been allowed to get away with this behaviour. The fact that Republicans are lining up and falling over each other to supplicate themselves before this man should be a stain that should never wash off and should be their legacy. If there is any justice in the world, history will not be kind to these enabling sycophants who actively helped this cancerous growth.

I wish I was being hyperbolic, I really do. But there’s no other way to see that one political party and millions of Americans are not only fine with authoritarianism, but will actively cheer it on and promote its rise.

Sure, a case can be made that this was inevitable given the course of the Republican party for the last 30 years. Trump is a mutated strain of their brand of “conservatism” which doesn’t really seem to stand for anything at this point beyond the acquisition and protection of power. But Trump is still far more dangerous than the original pathogen: he’s a force that wants to ensure that facts don’t mean anything and that loyalty is the only currency that matters.

Sometimes I feel like I’m screaming into the void about some of this, but I feel like Trump’s antics and firehose of bullshit is causing millions of people to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Hell, they’re losing sight of the galaxy for the pebbles of sand on the beach.

The only way I see out of this is if he faces legal ramifications for what he’s done. If he’s permitted to get away with it, and run in 2024, and win? That’s the absolute nightmare scenario.

The Freedom Phone

Just some quick notes about a piece of shit from the hit machine that is Conservative Tech.

The Freedom Phone is another grift for those inside the Sphere of Shit who are upset that their Orange Daddy got censored by Facebook (that mighty ethical paragon of Silicon Valley) and Twitter (they aight.) It’s about empowering Conservatives, and is a fine device for Newsmax-lobotomized patriots who proactively disregard their own digital safety and well-being in the interest of sticking it to the Libs as much as possible.

Hardware

It’s a skinned Umdigi A9 Pro you can pick up from AliExpress for $120 but which is sold through the website for $500 (plus $20 shipping because the grift never stops.)

It’s manufactured in Shenzhen, China, although you can totally ignore this like the good Conservative you are and lie about how it’s actually made in Hong Kong (which is a part of China) and hence supports the good democratic anti-China people there with zero fucking evidence.

Software

It runs FreedomOS, of course, which is a “blend of AOSP, LineageOS, GrapheneOS, and our personal development.” Because you have total and complete Freedom of Choice, it has preloaded Conservative-friendly apps like MeWe, Parler, Newsmax, and Rumble (a YouTube competitor that will definitely be around two years from now.)

Need more Conservative-friendly apps? You can get them from the uncensorable “PatriApp Store.” Yes, that’s the actual name. Who needs Liberal creatives when you can just ask your Aunt Sally to smush some shit together? And no more Big Tech censoring you! ‘Uncensorable’ also absolves the PatriApp store of any responsibility apropos terrible exploitative or neo-Nazi content. Freedom is freedom is freedom.

Security

It’s a fucking nightmare. But it’s not a problem if you’re willing to give up on personal liberty, safety, ethics, humanity, and data if you’ve just had it with anyone who hurts your Daddy’s fee-fees and doesn’t love him as much as you do.

Founder

It’s Erik Finman. He has, in his own words, “made it in Silicon Valley and accomplished a lot in my life already.” How, you ask? He invested in BitCoin when he was a wee lad and his investment is now worth some millions.

That’s it.

But winning the lottery makes this Discount Bin Steve Jobs completely trustworthy and eminently capable of dealing with supply-chains, ISPs, regulatory bodies, software and hardware engineering, and the few thousand moving parts needed to create a modern phone and ecosystem worth a shit. It’s not his fault though. As Conservatives like to say, the problem isn’t tech oligopolies… it’s regulation bro 🧐😡

Product Pitch

Enjoy. Plucking MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech out of its context is totally appropriate here.

People Using It

Absolute fucking morons aside, a few Conservative people with large followings did express a lot of interest in this horror but appear to still spew their bile onto the internet with their iPhones and Androids.