If you’re not familiar with the bizarre, internet-only story of Yashar Ali and DC McAllister, click here.
Social media is still a new phenomenon, and there’s a great deal to learn from how people act and react on such a medium. So when I learn something, typically by experience, I like to show other people what I’ve found out.
Before I do that, I must point out that I’m not selling advertising on this website. I don’t get paid by the click. I write and maintain this site so people interested in my fiction can come here and find that I’m present, I’m available, and I’m always writing. Runners run, swimmers swim, and writers write, to paraphrase Pedro Rizzo, an NHB champion. I only allow comments that I think are worth looking at. Nobody who isn’t paying my hosting bills has a right to comment here, or see his comment published, or have his comment responded to. I’m not a news site. I’m not running a charity. I’m not obligated to let someone who has no intention of buying my extremely well-written and exciting books comment on my website. It’s astonishing how entitled the average internet dweller has become; I suspect that social media’s $0.00 price tag has contributed to this sense of self-importance, as though Anonymous Hostile Internet User has a right to make herself heard on someone else’s paid-for space.
With that out of the way, let’s move to the content portion of the program. This is what I’ve learned. You probably knew these things already.
- Nobody wants to admit to being part of a mob. While it’s true that mobs are made up of individuals doing individual things, when these individuals coordinate their efforts to destroy, impugn, or silence another individual, they’re part of a mob. No matter how special and unique and searing you think your hot take might be, if it’s in service to a mob, you’re part of a mob. You’re throwing shit with all the other chimpanzees; you’re not more evolved.
- Everybody in a mob thinks they’re meting out justice. This is my favorite phenomenon. You can see it here when I covered the mob that went after my friend R.M. Huffman. So not only do people in a mob refuse to admit they’re part of a mob, they’e certain that they’re acting with honor, integrity, and ethics. Engaging in mob-like behavior is a good thing, you see, when you’re attacking the right people. Mobs are only bad when other people do them. When we do them, we’re standing up for justice. God won’t punish the wicked, so we have to do it. Our mob is the Hand of Justice.
- Nobody is interested in reading what’s written; they merely use other people’s content to advance personal issues that often have nothing to do with the topic. You can write clearly and well; you can format your work using short, digestible bullet points; and you can craft simple, straightforward arguments, but they will go completely over the heads of most readers. Most people who comment online want to discuss their bugaboos, not yours, and they will steer every conversation toward that end. They don’t even know they’re doing it because they can’t read well. It’s not that they’re stupid (unless they’re in a mob), it’s that they’re unable to focus on things that might influence them to reassess certain beliefs. It’s not you; it’s them.
- The vast majority of people can’t write. They can’t string coherent sentences together. They’re inept at making their thoughts known via the written word, despite that social media is a communications medium that generally requires the written word. When pressed, they can’t perform. They can’t. Everyone seems to think that he or she has got huge stores of untapped rhetorical skill lurking below the surface like the Loch Ness Monster, waiting for the right moment to spring. But much like the Loch Ness Monster, this mode of thinking is mythical. They can’t write. Whether it’s because of poor schooling, below-average language skills, or lack of interest in reading is immaterial. Arguing over the internet hasn’t sharpened rhetorical skills. It hasn’t improved the quality of writing among the general populace.
- Many people simply use social media as a release of the id. They can’t write, but they have feelings, and they must communicate those feelings or they’ll die (or worse: exercise self-restraint). Those feelings are often anger in its many forms, and they have to release that anger. The relative safety and anonymity of the internet has permitted every last frustrated reprobate to unbuckle all restraint and expose his disgusting, outrage-slimed id to the world without consequence, so why not? Everyone else is doing it. The favorite expression of anger is derision. Nobody wants to admit vulnerability by saying, “What you said made me angry. You made me experience something I didn’t want to feel. I let you have power over me.” So they insult. They deride. They show the laughing/crying face emoji. They whip out their favorite gif. It’s easier than doing the three near-impossible tasks of (1) reading critically, (2) focusing on what’s written, and (3) using complete sentences to express a relevant thought.
I already explained why I think DC McAllister got canned from The Federalist. I don’t know why she got fired from The Daily Wire. It’s easier to leave a wounded man to die on the battlefield than send out a medical team to haul him back, all of whom could get shot themselves. Conservatives learned that lesson decades ago and have taken it to heart throughout all forms of media. In a shooting war, the people on the front lines get hit first, not the REMFs. Or, to switch metaphors, it’s only the people pushing the envelope who are at risk. Without risk, without pushing the envelope, without being on the front lines, you are worthless. Get off the field, shut your mouth, and let people with real courage lead. The backstabbing of DC McAllister is frustrating because not a single person holding a knife has done a single thing to push the envelope. Conservatism, Inc is, by and large, focused on tossing bombs from afar and finishing off their own wounded. It’s comfortable, which makes it a coward’s game.
There’s nothing courageous about going to a college campus filled with left-wing snowflakes and saying things you know they’ll cry about. You already know what’s going to happen. They’ll disrupt you and you go away, escorted by armed security; they’ll disrupt you and armed security will take them away; or you cancel and win the moral victory for free speech by not speaking. How does that advance an argument? How is that brave? Where’s the bravery of conservatives when a single protester is able to disrupt and even cancel a speaking event simply by standing there and shouting? Preaching anodyne conservative boilerplate to tiny conservative campus organizations is fun, maybe lucrative, but it’s not courageous. We’ve already proved that college campuses are hotbeds of progressive activism masquerading as academic institutions. Time to move on.
For over a decade I worked for Paladin Press, a publishing company that did more than push the envelope for First Amendment issues: we ripped it. Google “Hit Man Case”. Look at the TV movie Deliberate Intent. Hollywood tried to destroy us. I was there during the case and its aftermath. We got very little support from free speech advocates and virtually no money. Paladin’s insurance company finally settled after appeals. It was a mess. Conservatism, Inc left us to die on the battlefield like it does all their so-called allies. That’s not courage. That’s not risk-taking. That’s cowardice, and it’s why, like I said, the right will never win the Culture War. They just don’t have the sack.
I’m never going to disrupt a play in the park or handcuff myself to a door, but one thing I have never seen a single person who laughs at Laura Loomer do is push that envelope. She does. She’s out there on the front lines. I’ve never watched a single video of hers, I’ve never read what she’s written. I’m not a fan. But I’m not going to laugh at her, either. She’s taking a risk and you’re not.
DC McAllister dared to attack a gay man for his domestic arrangement after he attacked her for hers, which made her damaged goods. It’s cowardly to leave her behind. That’s all.
If you’ve read this far, do me a favor. I’ve entertained you, so now it’s time for you to do for me. Share this post somewhere. Nobody’s going to buy my novels about Armageddon or satirical Trump dystopias because of it, so it’s not like I’m making any money writing this. But if you want to do something, just a tiny bit to push that envelope, to tell someone that Conservatism, Inc doesn’t speak for you, copy the link and share this post.
Thanks for reading. Next week I’ve got some television show reviews planned.