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The Overton Window inches right

Conservatives have spent too long trying to convince the left what they’re against, rather than declaring what they’re for

November 13, 2019

12:46 PM

13 November 2019

12:46 PM

Last month, two 17-year-olds were arrested in New Jersey for harassing and urinating on four black middle school girls. The boys allegedly called the girls the n-word and now face charges of bias discrimination and lewdness. When the story broke, if you happened to be standing on Eight Avenue in Manhattan, the faint sound of rapturous panting you heard was probably coming from the New York Times building. However, there was one small problem, the ‘racist’ boys were of Indian descent, not white.

Don’t worry, the Times has a fix for such meddlesome fiddle-faddle. Bring in some stately-looking quack with lots of degrees, in this case a historian and activist named Nell Irvin Painter, to write about how race is a social construct and ‘whiteness’ evolves. The argument goes, all these dark skinned racists prove you don’t have to have white skin to be white, it’s actually something that is acquired, like Lyme Disease or a pre-war classic six.

Considering Painter, a black woman, was educated at Harvard, is retired from teaching at Princeton, and writing op-eds for the New York Times, it seems she may have caught the white as well, unless she believes the nation’s cradle of intellectualism, New England, the culture she embodies, was founded on the values of the Gambia River basin and not 17th-century English Puritans. No, ‘whiteness,’ in mainstream discourse, has become a bizarre synonym for ‘hateful’ or ‘violence-prone,’ despite whites disproportionately committing violent crimes at a dramatically lower rate than blacks or Hispanics.

Painter’s whiteness is defined by a belief in earthly utopia, hellbent to enforce their morals and way of life onto not only the rest of the nation, as they continue to do today, but — if senseless Middle Eastern wars, open borders, and experiments in exporting democracy are any indication — the entire world. That’s the flavor of ‘whiteness’ Painter descends from. Europe’s sect of irritating, witch-burning busybodies.

That same week, the Seattle public school system deemed math racist, some college said grammar was racist, and there was probably something about tacos, can openers, or ballroom dancing being racist. Who can keep track. That week I attended a Republican event where a scrum of middle-aged white lesbians gathered outside to protest, with their badly designed ‘Resist Fascism’ signs. One of them pointed at a friend of mine as he entered the club, a very dark-skinned black gentleman, and sneered, ‘you don’t belong here.’ It was the most shockingly and overtly racist thing I’d ever seen. And yet, who cares anymore?

Like bees at the end of summer — hungry, frantic, vaguely aware of some impending doom — our friends on the left are buzzing around in a suicidal stupor recklessly jabbing their stingers in any direction trying to get our attention. Meanwhile, all the most interesting people on the right just aren’t that into the left anymore. Don’t cry, liberals, we’ll always have 2016. It was heady, passionate, exciting, and high-stakes. The left may be enduringly powerful and corrupt, but after three years of refusing to let up on the gas of the same niggardly nonsense and failed coups, few see them as a real threat in 2020. We get it: they lie, cheat, steal, kill, can’t do basic math, failed biology, ritually defame and smear, and protect pedophiles and sex pests. Whoop-de-doo, we’re over it. Sorry, liberals, conservatives are moving on. Like the fat-positivity activists in your ranks, this relationship just isn’t working out.

Look no further than the current campus civil war between Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA and the groypers. No matter what side you’re on, it shows a swell of right-wingers who no longer see the left as a worthy or interesting sparring partner. If you haven’t picked a side in the Kirk-Groyper holy war, you probably see the conflict as weakening conservatives against the left and wishing it would just end already. That’s fine, I get it.

But I’d ask the anti-groypers to consider one thing: many of us came to see what they call Conservative, Inc (and this is larger than just Kirk) as a defense industry obsessed with trying to convince the left of what we are not: homophobic, racist, old, boring, hateful. While being upbeat and bubbly, it was ultimately negative posturing and the Overton window continued to skid into the deepest, wackiest areas of the left. Enter the groypers, waddling up to the mic and suddenly wanting to know not what we aren’t, but who we are.

Some lines of questioning from the groypers are difficult and very uncomfortable. They tend to sound ethno-nationalist, while I don’t believe many actual white nationalists are in the bunch. And as an Appalachian Protestant, I’m not so keen on Catholics telling me what to do. But we’ve reached a point where conservative media and organizations will fire writers for making a gay joke, or for posing in a photo with someone provocative, or won’t defend, or even mention, a pair of Proud Boys spending four years in jail for a street fight with antifa — because the governor of New York used them as political pawns for midterm optics.

What hope did we have of dragging acceptable public discourse back from its increasing slide leftward if someone didn’t start asking seemingly controversial questions of our own side? At least, in the tiniest way, it’s starting to work. During another groyper-packed event last night at the University of Florida, and after being publicly called out by both Tucker Carlson and Michelle Malkin, Kirk admitted he was wrong about ‘stapling green cards to diplomas’ of people holding F-1 visas.

He did not, however, elaborate on what had caused the sudden change of heart.


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