Strange Bedfellows of the Alt Right…Fellow Travellers on the Path of Commonsense

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There are a lot of larger than life populist cultural commentators nowadays. On the left you have your Waleed Alys and your Clem Fords, who many of us find insufferable, and who many on the left find embarrassing but are afraid to rock the boat. On the right you have your Ann Coulters, and your Milo’s, who the left regard as literally Hitler, and those on the right regard as glorious s**tlords.

Memo to the left BTW. Your ideological others are more self aware than you give them credit for. They actually see nuance and shades of grey, something that an ideology that coined ‘micro-aggressions’ as a thing will never be able to do. They totally get that Trump can be kind of a spectacle and surreal at times, but take that as one part of a whole that’s actually pretty great thus far. Same goes for Coulter and Milo. The Alt. Right don’t demand the eugenics of clean cut and infallible on their side, and some of them being Jesus freaks love ’em a good redemption story.

And redemption stories don’t get much better than being ridiculed for one’s political insight before being unveiled as one of the few WITH political insight, or seemingly going through the death rattle of character assassination by the establishment before bouncing back with a #1 bestseller on Amazon. A self published bestseller I might add, probably the first time this has happened since the Bible or the works of Shakespeare.

Actually, redemption stories do get even more interesting in the case of unexpected fellow travellers on the road to enlightenment. If you were to tell me 20 years ago that I’d be reading interviews with feminist pioneers like Germaine Greer and Camille Paglia and finding common ground, I’d have thought you were out of your mind. If you’d told me I’d be agreeing with a self identified gay liberal from California, a musician with a traditional following among lefty hipsters, a guy who often sounds like he should be selling crystals in Byron Bay, a stoner podcaster orΒ a tenured Professor from Toronto of all places, I would have been rolling on the floor with laughter.

But these things have all happened to me, and I’m sure to many of you over the past 18 to 24 months. All of the cultural commentators I find most fascinating are former or begrudging leftists, who in almost all cases have had the courage in their convictions to defend the same things they felt were worthy of defending twenty years ago, and have been left behind at the station by a movement that has become an out of control crazy train.

Germaine greer photo
Some fat chick. Photo by Maggie Hannan

In the case of Germaine Greer and Camille Paglia, a reasonable world view came in the form of:

A) Realising that their activism was successful, that they’d attained everything that was important to them, and showing humility in victory.

B) Refusing to surrender what they’d fought so hard to achieve to curry favour with genuinely patriarchal men undergoing adventures in surgery so that they could culturally appropriate womanhood, and even more patriarchal Islamists and their apologists.

Let’s be honest. Greer and Paglia’s interpretation of feminism is about a million times more palatable than that of a thirty something third waver who read The Femsle Eunich a decade ago and loved it, then burned it a few short years later when someone was silly enough to ask Germaine what she thought of Bruce Jenner sweeping the women’s awards circuit. So it really isn’t that odd that someone like me is interested in hearing what Germaine or Camille have to say.

Dave Rubin is one of the few West Coast liberals (you can count them on one hand, and a few feature in this article) who understands the concept of tolerance in its purest form. Tolerance is a live and let live attitude that doesn’t necessitate going all in on someone’s belief system, or awarding free passes on bad behaviour in the spirit of ‘tolerance’ over common sense. Rubin is tolerant and engaging with those who have different views, and gets that the fundamental aspect of tolerance isn’t the ignorant all or nothing approach of his peers on the left. The left’s definition of tolerance is one of the most regimented things you’ll see.

Rubin is a married gay man. He gets the fact that a Christian can be tolerant of him as a person and have a civil conversation with him while finding the overt social engineering aspect of the Gay lobby creepy and intrusive, particularly in regard to primary and secondary schools. Likewise, he understands that he can be tolerant of a Christian and have a civil conversation with them without having to go all in on support of their ideology, or refraining from critiques. And he isn’t afraid to offer the same courtesy to a Muslim while bringing up the elephant in the room of long walks off short rooftops.

Sam harris photo
Sam Harris. Photo by samharrisorg

Then we have people like Morrisey, Sam Harris, Joe Rogan, and Jordan Peterson. None can be described as conservative by any stretch, let alone right wing, yet find themselves resonating with many of the same people. What are we supposed to make of this? Are these figures dinosaurs on the wrong side of history as the radical left would have you believe? Are they once acceptable individuals who changed their political stripes because they were always stupid? I find either scenario difficult to swallow.

I’ve known right-wingers who turned left before, and these people were dumb as dogs**t and opportunistic when they were Howard’s battlers, and are even dumber and more opportunistic now that they’re leftists. Dumb and opportunistic people are always dumb and opportunistic. Malcolm Fraser’s late life dementia turned him Liberal, and opportunism seemingly turned comedian Dennis Miller conservative.

I don’t think that you can make the stupid or opportunistic accusation of any of the aforementioned strange bedfellows of the Alt-Right. All of them to a man and a woman are, or at least were, held in very high regard as intellectuals by left ideologists. None of their views can be explained away as stupidity or ignorance. None are of a vintage where dementia can be levelled as a charge either.

None of them have even radically changed their views, so does that make them foolish or misinformed, or those that respected their views until only recently and now regard them as blasphemous, foolish and misinformed? Moreover, can ‘deplorables’ who agree with views that were accepted as fairly mainstream progressive doctrine until only a few years ago really be accused of ‘being on the wrong side of history’ when this history of which they speak isn’t 40 years old, but a mere 3 or 4 years old? Really? Is that the narrative you expect us to believe?

Hillary Clinton was against same sex marriage until at least 2000. She and Bill used black slave labour at the governor’s mansion in Arkansas up until 1992. Does this make Hillary less on the wrong side of history than somebody who committed a micro aggression by misgendering someone on a college campus in 2017?

So taking nonsensical timelines dictating who is or isn’t on ‘the wrong side of history’ out of the equation, and the fact that most of these fellow travellers seem as puzzled as anybody else is by who their allies and enemies are in 2017, we can only assume that their conclusions have been arrived at by pure, unadulterated reason. Something that the radical left are averse to, and perhaps why they are so venomous in their vitriol toward these so called pariahs.

It’s a fascinating phenomenon. Everything that isn’t radical socialism is becoming a broad church, a loose collective of compatible ideas and concerns. These unexpected supporters and conservatives of all stripes do make strange bedfellows, but as Jordan Peterson might say, at least they’re making the bed and cleaning their room.

It’s your XYZ.

  • Adam Piggott

    Greer and Paglia are two of the women who are directly responsible for the shitstorm we now find ourselves in. You don’t rip the hinges off Pandora’s Box and then go around crying about the monster you have unleashed.

    Rubin as a gay married man is a sodomite and his sham marriage is an abomination.

    As for tolerance, it is duplicitous bullshit up there with diversity, equality, and all of the other Marxist cultural maxims that we suffer through in this day and age.

    These people have nothing to do with or have anything in common with the alt right. They are our cultural enemies. So stop trying to curry favor with them or think up bizarre ways that they could be our friends.

    • Damned right.
      Faggots and Feminazi’s are the Nemesis of decent Western societies.
      Termites and fifth columnists.

    • Ray Johnston

      The sooner you find a place in Europe and piss off there, the better. And good riddance.

    • Deplorable Steve

      Adam, you just gave voice to the objections I couldn’t readily articulate about this article. I could not quite understand why our enemies were shown in such a positive light…

    • Warty2

      I couldn’t agree more about Dave Rubin and Milo, and Simon de Beauvoir, Greer, Paglia and a host since have entrenched the gender wars we see around us now. The inevitable result is Men’s movements, and don’t the feminists and other progressive fellow travellers hate them. As you say, these warped intellectuals have nothing to do with real conservatism and the resurrection (if possible) of traditional values.
      Incidentally, I was impressed by Paul Kelly’s article in The Oz today, though he can’t help introducing a bit of Trump bashing, given half an opportunity. That I don’t like.
      Warty.

  • Karen Dwyer

    Greer and Paglia are two of the women who are directly responsible for the mass rejection of a particular view of females and marriage. In my view, their ideas gained traction because, in general, the biblical model for marriage had been rejected and been replaced with a diluted and inferior copy that didn’t do much for either men or women.

    Some of their observations were apt, but their solutions and substitutions were not. Their replacement ideology was based on a poor foundation, and they have ultimately missed out in a multitude of ways. Greer has acknowledged this at various times in her life.

    Rubin as a gay married man is a sodomite and his sham marriage is an abomination. Ultimately, he also misses out in a multitude of ways.

    So too, do those who, in other sham imitation of marriage, “lord” over their wives or “undercut” their husbands. The type of marriage wherein a man will not blend “head of the home” with sacrificial love; and a woman will not blend “respect (non-servile gratitude, acknowledgement, and honour)” with being the recipient of this high quality of love, will always be a sham and inferior.

    Marriage is a “high calling”, in that men in their natural state are NOT loving; women in their natural state are NOT respectful (grateful, etc). Each sex can call out the other on behaving in line with their “natural state”. Each sex can also choose, not religiosity, but modelling the relationship that Christ has with the church.

    I realise that last sentence is wide open to mockery, but I can attest that it is the model of marriage which is most mutually fulfilling, stable, deeply loving, apt for children, and “very good”.

    All that was a tangent – there are some people who are so toxic in their behaviour that it is unhealthy (emotionally, physically, and spiritually) to spend time in their company. Decidedly so if they have black masks, brass knuckles, and ANTIFA signs. Decidedly so if they are imposing totalitarian education on one’s own children.

    However, there is a vast difference in rejecting ideology and calling out deceitfulness, and treating people as if they are sub-human. It is entirely possible, and indeed advisable, to acknowledge that people are both fallen creatures and made in the image of God. This isn’t phoney naiive tolerance (a veneer that wears thin when someone else finally gets up our nose in a mega way), but love. And it is EXTREMELY powerful and far-reaching. And not at all easy or glib.

    • Deplorable Steve

      Well said Mrs Dwyer…

      • Ralphy

        Hear hear sir.

      • Karen Dwyer

        Thank you. Every now and again one must pontificate (soliloquise, prattle on), as is one’s little way…

    • Karen. Thankyou for your rational and balanced observations.Kudos.
      It balances out my vitriolic,vulgar, abusive and disgraceful racist white supremacist vile,neo Nazi posts.

      • Karen Dwyer

        I think the sheer volume of destructive stuff out there (abortion, ANTIFA, misogyny, misandry, pornography, assassination, assaults, hypocrisy, deception, etc) wears one down after a while. Some people get apathetic (which is deadly and defeatist), and others get aggressive.

        For you, there are obviously behaviours and people that are so in your face with constant nonsense that you push back with vitriol.

        For me, it’s a sign I need to re-focus if I’m getting prickly (I.e. impatient and annoyed; happily, I don’t have facial hair). It’s an absolutely deliberate effort on my part to not relegate Mr Merlino and Mr Andrews to sub-human status. I condemn, without reservation, their motives and actions. I’m not going to pretend they are honourable men. They are capable of integrity, but they choose otherwise. Repeatedly. And each repetition of not hating their guts seems to make me stronger and more resistant to their wiles. It’s a paradox. πŸ™‚

        • Ray Johnston

          Thanks Karen for your posts. Yeah, all the destructive stuff out there you mention, I’ve been watching TV and reading too much about it lately and it’s getting me down. Getting prickly and aggressive and then today I just reacted nastily to Adam’s comment. I regretted it and came back a few hours later to delete it but I was 20 minutes too late, he’d replied.
          Anyway, I’ve been inspired before as well by your words and I still read Rachel Fulton Brown’s blog esp. since she’s doing Dr.Peterson’s lessons. She is so uplifting as well as Peterson’s bible stories. I didn’t really have a religious upbringing ( as a kid I just enjoyed looking at the statues and the stained glass windows πŸ™‚ but maybe I should try harder and get away from too much negative “current affairs” and getting annoyed.

          • Karen Dwyer

            Thanks, Ray.

            The times are enough to make anyone feel joyless. And the way that Adam ripped into Eh? reveals that he, too, is feeling overwhelmed and cornered. Or maybe I’m just projecting, based on my own recent need for a respite from it all.

            At any rate, I’ve found the following ways restorative:
            * Starting the day just reading the Bible. I’m looking at the Book of Revelation, but in context with the Old Testament, Gospels, and Epistles (Letters). I’m using an interesting commentary, but it’s Scripture itself that restores me.
            * Keeping exposure to current affairs quite low (Culture Watch I find good commentary, and if even that gets a bit much I stop).
            * Reminding myself to “Take every thought and make it captive to Christ”. I tend to fall out of this habit of checking the correlation between Jesus’s words and my thoughts.
            *Taking time to focus on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy”
            * Remembering that this is spiritual warfare that we live in; and that “those who are with us are greater than those who are against us” and similarly “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”.
            * Remembering the Passover and the Exodus.
            * Remembering that God always fulfils His promises
            * Remembering to stop looking at my feet, or the storm, or the water and fixing my eyes (my focus) on Jesus.

            I do understand about making a comment in the heat of the moment and regretting it later. I don’t regret placing verbal boundaries, indeed sharply if necessary, but there’s one particular comment I wrote that made me feel as if I’d eaten something rotten. It was deliberately mean spirited of me, and I do regret that.

            In a moment of wry amusement, I recall that Adam told Moses A., to more or less p*** off to Singapore the sooner the better. Either just give a simple apology: “Please accept my apologies for that comment”; or just leave it but don’t do it again.

            Onwards and upwards, Ray. Like running a race (and sometimes we run in relay, and we fumble the baton etc), keep your eye on the prize and keep going.

            There is something evocative about stained glass, isn’t there? I’m very low church (relatively unadorned but not Soviet-era grey concrete style misery architecture) Protestant myself.

            Anyway, before anyone comments that I “Protest too much” I’d better finish here. πŸ™‚

          • Ray Johnston

            “just leave it but don’t do it again” and “onwards and upwards” Yes, thanks again Karen.

    • Ralphy

      You simply must donate your genome to medical research Mrs Dwyer. We’re seriously crying out for a replicable commercial application.☺

      • Karen Dwyer

        I’m so grateful you added the smiley face. On a quick first reading it seemed like you were suggesting I should be cut up and donated to medical research. Somewhat like Mr Merrick a.k.a. “The Elephant Man”. :-))))))))))

        Actually, it’s Mr Dwyer who deserves to be replicated: he’s a prince among men.