I am so confused. When I started, I thought I was pissed, but I’m not. I’m bewildered.
How did this happen? How did we poison so many young white men? School shooters, Incels, groypers, MGTOW, pick-up artists, MRAs. How much of the electorate do they have? And their determination scares the fuck out of me. They’re not stupid, and they’re not lazy.
I thought they were all stupid and lazy.
How did I miss this?
Yesterday I realized that Trump is going to win the 2020 election and will be considered America’s last Moderate Conservative. We haven’t lost yet, but we will. I got trained on Tuesday how to mobilize new volunteers. The ask from the Texas Democratic Party was to recruit 10 new volunteers and teach them to get 5 volunteers of their own. To work that hard, I would have to put my soul into it. I would have to allow myself to have hope.
And that seems like the most dangerous Mind Fuck I could volunteer for.
Once again, I see myself in my mind. It’s night, and I’m standing in my front lawn holding the garden hose, which is spraying at full force. My neighborhood is on fire. Only my lawn is left. The flames are encroaching and there’s nowhere to run.
I keep holding up the hose.
What else am I supposed to do?
My research started with the “Incels” video on Natalie Wynn’s YouTube channel, Contrapoints. She introduced me to a world of young men with a shared delusion that leads them to hate all women. The young men of the alt-right are angry and having fun by punishing “society”. That’s the origin of school shooter/gun violence movement. Young, white men are told that they have all the privilege even though they are suffering under toxic expectations and no-longer-functional capitalism, just like everone. We’ve told them that their demographic is both privileged and dogshit. Of course they’re hurt. Of course they’ve banded together. Of course they’re going to lash out.
Of course they want to hurt us.
“Sit back and watch the world burn” is apathy. A 20-year-old acquaintance of mine told me that was what her peers said when she was in high school. In my passion for the environment, I was deeply wounded to know that the young people have already given up. But maybe that was just her personal peer group. After all, there are young people like Greta Thunberg. She started the Climate Strike with one voice.
I tell everyone that. “Every voice matters” has become my rallying cry. I point to Greta as my Patron Saint of Social Change.
But I forgot that indeed, she was only one voice.
I’m holding the hose.
What do we do? There are plenty of people who want to fight the rise of the Alt-Rght, but don’t actually know whom they’re facing. The truth is far uglier than I knew. My research only started a week ago. And today, November 14th, 2019, is when I saw our country tip into radical extremism being in power for the foreseeable future, until our next civil war, which the liberals will lose.
I’m still holding the hose.
When everyone heard about echo-chambers, we were not completely insulated yet. We could each still see a little of the other side, enough for us to be exposed to some of their ideas. Now, everyone knows how to unfollow and unfriend. The left keeps their circles tight: no false news for them. We on the left are extremely efficient at weeding out the hateful, stupid, or wrong. No need for them. Their opinions are a joke and their ideology is hatred.
All the more reason we need to be paying close attention.
I thought I was keeping pace with our county’s demographics by watching liberal coverage of what’s happening on the right. It made me feel safe to know that there were other liberals keeping tabs on the circus that I was too innocent to look at. Now, we’re in the middle of impeachment hearings, and everything is ringing crystal clear: the masses will not leave their echo-chambers, and the impeachment trials will change absolutely nothing in public opinion. Even the journalists know it, and they’re trying to warn us. We have to leave our bubbles. The LEFT has to leave our bubble. The smart and dangerous people on the right are paying attention to our arguments, our strategies, our weaknesses, and our tactics. They understand the way we argue and know how to beat us. They have far stronger fear responses and tribalist instincts. They are probably biologically more driven to physically fight than we are. At least that’s what’s being projected by their words and actions. School shooters all have one thing in common: they are angry, disenfranchised, young men in the alt-right movement. The Unite The Right rally should have shaken us awake. But what are we supposed to do? Buy guns and start killing people? The left is not going to reach for that option until the right beats us to it.
I’m afraid they will.
Blood and soil.
Guns and Nation.
To the young voters, this is punk rock. They think our ideas are old and boring, and want to rail against the system, which in their minds is everything Obama stood for. These are the Zoomers, Generation Z, whose grandparents are the Baby Boomers. They’re being led by Millenials like Richard Spencer, Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and Charlie Kirk. Someone who “has their shit together” to look up to.
I have no clever way to tie this all together and make a clean exit from this mess. There are no easy answers. I, personally, have no idea what we need to do to fix this.
I’m still holding the hose.