If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule? Anton Chigurh, No Country for Old Men
Like it or not, fair or unfair, Trump is finished as president. And while most of the postmortems being conducted at the moment focus on Trumps failures and poor decisions, Id prefer to vivisect his base. To examine the rules they followed that brought them to this.
A modicum of introspection never hurt anyone.
Well, not physically.
Lets begin in Chico, Northern California. Population: approximately 97,000. 82% white, 15% Hispanic, and just like the best kind of milk, its blacks are 2%. Chico city leaders consider their town politically purple. It sorta leans right, but dont let that 82% white thing fool you. There are a lot of aging hippies up there. More important, theres Cal State Chico. And when you have college kids and professors, youre gonna get left-wing dimwits; it just comes with the territory.
At the same time, though, Chico is home to a lot of meat-and-potatoes (accent on the meat) old-school chop wood, shoot deer, and ride horses GOP voters. Chico is a proudly outdoorsy town. Forests, trails, and the massive, 3,670-acre Bidwell Parkfounded in 1905, one of the largest city parks in the nation. Read more
Chico has more registered Democrats than Republicans (but not by too much), and a reputation for being Californias version of a swing state. Four years ago, the city went solidly for Trump. It wasnt even close. In retaliation, the towns leftists focused all their energy on the city council, winning enough seats to gain a solid majority. And then they went to work attacking the quality of life of the citys residents. Public parks became homeless camps. As in, legally ordained. The days of letting your children play on the swings and slides were over; Harry the Hobo had commandeered the slide as his home and the sandbox as his toilet.
Most jarringly, the progressives handed Bidwell Park over to the schizos and druggies. The 115-year-old crown jewel of Chico became a hellish landscape of shanties and garbage.
The city-council progressives also instituted a free-needle program, to ensure that the city streets were littered not only with junkies, but sharp disease-ridden objects as well. Read More
On Nov. 3, the people of Chico ousted the filthy progressives whod made manure of their town. It was a blowout; the GOP handily retook the council.
At the same time, though, Chico went for Biden. There was no chicanery in Chico; no magic, no alchemy. No Democrat election fraud, no foreign vote-stealing machines. This is simply how the people voted, fair and square. Trump had them and he lost them. There was a local red wave that flowed right past the president without getting him even remotely wet.
So lets stop talking about voter fraud for a moment, and analyze these actual votes from actual voters.
Steve Sailer describes political correctness as a war on noticing. Noticing is what the right does best. And that goes beyond political correctness; it translates to the voting booth as well. The right wins when it notices. Chico provides a perfect, blatantly obvious example of that. The people of Chico, whether right-leaning, left-leaning, or dead center, saw their beautiful woodsy town overrun with scum. They saw who was responsible: the Democrats. And the local GOP said, We see what you see, and we agree that its bad. Elect us and well fix it. For far too many Trumpers, the past four years have been about worshiping a Great Man instead of working to advance a good agenda.
See how simple that was? As Kami Denlay, one of the victorious Chico conservatives, told The Sacramento Bee, I think that during campaigning, we all kind of found that the issues that Chico is facing right now, theyre not partisan issues. Theyre just general quality of life issues.
As the Chico leftists were spending their time trying to befuddle, to gaslight, to tell the locals that the swarm of human detritus was actually a good thingand besides, youre white and privileged so you owe them your town as reparations, and who cares about quality of life anyway compared to social justice?the GOP simply said, We see this, we see that its bad, and well change it.
That was Trump in 2016, when he won Chico handily. Illegals are swarming the country; I see it. Third World nations are not sending their best; I see it. Theyre committing crimes; Im acknowledging it. And Ill stem that flow.
Trump won in 2016 because he noticed what the left insists we must never notice.
But somewhere along the line, he lost the thread. And as a result he lost towns like Chico. He turned on supporters like Ann Coulter, who tried to keep him centered on what mattered, on why he was elected in the first place. Of course, by this point its painfully obvious that Trump was ill served by those around him. But lets keep the focus on his superfans, because the guy was ill served by them, too. Instead of holding the God kings feet to the fire on the issues he ran on, his activist base grew increasingly detached from reality and increasingly distracted by flights of fancy that distanced them from the core issues that had appealed to voters in 2016.
In fact, Trumps loss has highlighted the worst aspects of his base. The opposite of noticing is sleuthing. Noticing is when you see whats right in front of you. Noticing means you have no need to go to the chalkboard to diagram some complex theorem that no one else in the room can understand without your footnotes and parenthetical tangents. Noticing is saying, Im pointing out the obvious while the other guy is telling you to ignore what you know to be true. Sleuthing, on the other hand, is all about saying, Whats right in front of me is not enough. I wanna play superspy. I wanna let my imagination run wild in conspiratorial fantasyland. I wanna boost my self-esteem by pretending to see things you mere mortals cannot see. Im talking about QAnon, Im talking about Pizzagate, Im talking about the past four years of ridiculous theorizing about all the secret schemes Trump was hatching to indict the swamp and lock everyone up. How every supposed loss, every setback Trump suffered along the way was just him luring his foes into the briar patch to turn the tables on them in an elaborate sting.
Trust the plan. Howd that work out, sleuthers?
Noticing is saying, I see what you see. Sleuthing is saying, I see what you cant. Guess which one resonates better with voters?
So certain were the sleuths in their sleuthing, they never felt the need to worry about Trumps missteps, because they didnt see them as missteps. They saw them as shrewd moves by a master 4D chess player.
Thats why Trumps base failed him, just as he failed them.
And since Trumps election loss, the sleuthing has gone into overdrive. Trump secretly watermarked the ballots! Trump only pretended to lose to ferret out the Dems voter fraud! The indictments are coming! The arrests are coming! Trump has a plan!
Jesus, it never ends. For far too many Trumpers, the past four years have been about worshiping a Great Man instead of working to advance a good agenda.
We dont need sooper sleuths, and we dont need Great Men. We need noticing, and we need effective men. To be clear, sleuthing harms the left as well, as evidenced by the Democrats hugely unsuccessful and convoluted Russiagate and Ukraine impeachment manias. But leftists have to rely on such things, because leftists cant allow noticing. Theyre forced to act with stealth and misdirection, because their agenda becomes hugely unpopular once its actually known.
Rightists have the benefit of not having to bamboozle or misdirect. Rightists succeed by talking straight about the problems that leftists deny (Theres no rise in crime! Crime has no color! All immigrants are beneficial!), and the problems they claim you deserve (As a white you should suffer, because you were born racist and privileged).
Again, look to Chico. Locally, Dems ran on a platform of All those criminal transients and druggies are actually good for the community; you just cant see it. Conversely, Republicans told voters, We see what you see; it stinks, and well end it. Trump, who won four years ago by running on I see what you see; it stinks, and Ill end it, lost this time by running on a $500 billion Platinum welfare and reparations plan that had no relevance to most voters, an Im letting people out of jail agenda that actively alienated many voters, and a Hunter Biden corruption thesis that, regardless of its veracity, was inaccessibly Byzantine.
If its any consolation, MAGAs, youre not losing 2016 Donald Trump, the populist who embraced the concerns of working white Americans. Youre not losing that guy. Youre not losing the medias hes so right-wing hes worse than Hitler boogeyman Trump. Youre losing a guy who was boisterous but generally ineffective, a panderer who allowed his agenda to be sabotaged by those closest to him. A guy who embraced traitors while denouncing those (like Coulter) who actually had his best interestsand the best interests of the nationat heart.
We can afford to lose that guy. We just cant afford to not replace him with something better.
And thats another consolation: The GOP did exceptionally well locally, in city councils, statehouses, and congressional races.
Good. The right needs to downsize. Its the ipecac that will force them to vomit up their fetid obsessions with sleuthing and Great Man worship.
The formula for rightist advocates, activists, and politicians from this point on is simple: Voters (specifically the ones most open to voting GOP) notice who is committing the crimes in their city. They notice who is rioting and looting. They dont want the police to be defunded. They understand that the Third Worlding of America is bad. They see that they lose jobs to cheap immigrant labor. They see the lawlessness of refugee communities imported from halfway around the world.
Notice that shit too. Run on a platform of seeing what they see, and you cant go wrong. Deny reality, pander to the criminals, terrorists, and rioters, and you will go wrong, guaranteed.
On COVID, stick to what voters know firsthand: the draconian lockdowns and the double standard by which BLM and Antifa terrorists are exempted. Dont get distracted by wacky Chinese mad-scientist lab theories and bizarre doctors in lab coats publicity stunts. Address what voters see and experience for themselves.
Stay grounded. Put away the Sherlock Holmes cap; sleuthin time is over. Tear down the Trump poster and resist the urge to find a replacement Great Man.
Trump followed a bum rule, and it led him to this. His supporters need to man up and learn from it.
The Trump thing was fun, but its over. We can do better, and if we stay smartand sanewe will.