Awakening To The Loss of Institutions: Critical Race Theory Fight Is About Preventing Society From Turning Against Itself
A Twitter thread read on air by Tucker Carlson ostensibly was about 2020 election media manipulation, but it reflects a broader awakening to institutional rot that is playing out state by state, school district by school district, and school by school. CRT is the cultural battle of our time.
I don’t always get predictions correct, but back in 2017 I was spot on in predicting the situation we are in now, with the loss of almost every major institution to ideological exploitation from the left.
The occasion of that prediction was my annual anniversary post for that year, Legal Insurrection is 9 years old, and filled with dread:
Last year I noted that while it was a difficult year personally, I was optimistic. That’s been one of my roles over the years, keeping hope alive. But there’s no pep talk this year. Just dread….
Imagine living in a repressive country in which the government blocked access to and suppressed internet content. You don’t need to move. It’s coming here but from private industry. This is, in many ways, more dangerous than government suppression of free speech because at least in the U.S. the government is subject to the First Amendment, and can be voted out of office.
I don’t know if there are any uncorrupted institutions left that matter. The education system, from public grade school through public and private higher ed, is gone. The frontal assault on free speech on campuses is the result. If you think this is just a Humanities and Social Sciences problem, stay tuned. In 3-5 years, if we’re still here, we’ll be writing about how the social justice warriors have corrupted the STEM fields. It’s happening now, it’s just not in the headlines yet.
There is a rising tide of absolutism in ideas and enforcement of ideological uniformity that is palpable. I feel it in the air, even at Cornell which is far from the worst….
Even language as a means of communication is corrupted, with terminology manipulated and coerced to achieve political ends. It started on campuses, and it’s moved into the AP stylebook and the mainstream.
The press could stand as a bulwark against this slide, but it too is corrupted. The greatest threat to freedom of the press is not Donald Trump’s bloviating about FCC licenses (which has been a favorite threat traditionally of Democrats), but the mainstream press itself which has abdicated even the pretense of neutrality and joined #TheResistance….
So I’m thinking through what it will mean to live without institutions.
Heading quickly towards the list of corrupted institutions is much of K-12, and the military, which under Biden is starting to rot from the head. Neither is there yet completely, but give it time unless the trajectory is redirected. The fight to salvage K-12 will take place state by state, school district by school district, and in some cases, school by school. The fight to save the military will require a national electoral change.
This is not the usual — oh, we lost an election, Bush/Obama/Trump is now president, we’re screwed. What we are witnessing in real time is the wholesale turning of society against itself.
The implementation of Critical Race Theory in various forms is a part of it, turning society against itself through manufactured racial conflict. This racial self-flaggelation is epitomized by Ibram X. Kendi’s misleadingly titled “antiracism” formula, in which the world is divided into “antiracists” (engaged in a never-ending struggle to unravel ‘systemic’ racism by destroying norms) and “racists” (everyone else who does not agree with them or just wants to be left alone or advocates treating people without regard to skin color). CRT and its offshoots are societal dead ends of perpetual conflict and repression.
People get it that CRT or whatever you want to call it in the nom ju jour (“antiracism” “equity” “culturally sensitive learing” blah, blah, blah) is destructive, not educational. That the two largest teachers unions in the nation have come out for and vow to fight with all their resources to advance CRT to children, even if against the wishes of local parents and state government, reflects that the money and power in society are behind this national death march.
That’s why opposition to CRT is so strong and so organic, and powerful (via The Morning Call, emphasis added):
The politics that [Matt] Taibbi clearly abhors and critiques [here] are, in a very real sense, beside the point. Let us say that again, to be perfectly clear: the legislative efforts to “ban” the teaching of Critical Race Theory, the parental attempts to pushback against school boards and against teachers’ unions, and the whole “political marketing campaign” DO NOT constitute the “main front in the culture war.” Collectively, they are a secondary front in the war at best. They are a reaction to the effects of the primary front, on which conservatives are, contra Taibbi, winning handily.
Ironically, for the last two decades or so, conservatives have paid lip service to the “Breitbart doctrine,” which says that “politics is downstream from culture,” but have done precious little to prove that they actually believe this. In the case of Critical Race Theory and associated phenomena, however, conservatives are actually practicing what they preach, putting culture first and letting the political cards fall where they may.
The leaders in the conservative pushback against CRT are not policymakers or even policy-wonks. They are, rather, intellectuals, writers, documentary filmmakers – cultural “influencers,” to borrow a social media term. They are not advocating policy or encouraging political actors. They are not writing bills and issuing pedagogical statements. Rather, they are exposing the reality that exists today throughout the nation’s institutions of cultural transmission. They are doing the job that most investigative journalists won’t do, revealing the attitudes and ideas that dominate the ruling class’s belief system, and compelling honest disclosure from the governing elites to the parents, voters, shareholders, and customers who comprise the American people.
You cannot divorce the rise of a grassroots cultural opposition to national racial self-immolation from the awakening to the loss of institutions. The realization that even kindergarteners are being exploited and manipulated into viewing their country as uniquely and irredeemably evil reflects an awakening to more than education.
One of the reasons Tucker Carlson is the most watched cable news show, and has become the focus of attack from corporatist media and the political left, is that he has put his finger on the pulse of this loss of institutions, and what it means for an individual in such circumstance.
Last night Tucker read a Twitter thread on his show. The video is below. The thread ostensibly is about why Trump voters feel cheated by the 2020 election, even if they do not accept particular ballot fraud theories. The manipulation of the electoral process in the run up to the election, even if not fraudulent, awakened tens of millions of people to the loss of institutions, and they can’t unsee it.
Here’s the text of the thread (with some highlighting by me on points that ring particularly true) by “Martyrmade” (Darryl Cooper).
I think I’ve had discussions w/enough Boomer-tier Trump supporters who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent to extract a general theory about their perspective. It is also the perspective of most of the people at the Capitol on 1/6, and probably even Trump himself. 1/x
Most believe some or all of the theories involving midnight ballots, voting machines, etc, but what you find when you talk to them is that, while they’ll defend those positions w/info they got from Hannity or Breitbart or whatever, they’re not particularly attached to them. 2/x
Here are the facts – actual, confirmed facts – that shape their perspective: 1) The FBI/etc spied on the 2016 Trump campaign using evidence manufactured by the Clinton campaign. We now know that all involved knew it was fake from Day 1 (see: Brennan’s July 2016 memo, etc). 3/x
These are Tea Party people. The types who give their kids a pocket Constitution for their birthday and have Founding Fathers memes in their bios. The intel community spying on a presidential campaign using fake evidence (incl forged documents) is a big deal to them. 4/x
Everyone involved lied about their involvement as long as they could. We only learned the DNC paid for the manufactured evidence because of a court order. Comey denied on TV knowing the DNC paid for it, when we have emails from a year earlier proving that he knew. 5/x
This was true with everyone, from CIA Dir Brennan & Adam Schiff – who were on TV saying they’d seen clear evidence of collusion w/Russia, while admitting under oath behind closed doors that they hadn’t – all the way down the line. In the end we learned that it was ALL fake. 6/x
At first, many Trump ppl were worried there must be some collusion, because every media & intel agency wouldn’t make it up out of nothing. When it was clear that they had made it up, people expected a reckoning, and shed many illusions about their gov’t when it didn’t happen. 7/x
We know as fact: a) The Steele dossier was the sole evidence used to justify spying on the Trump campaign, b) The FBI knew the Steele dossier was a DNC op, c) Steele’s source told the FBI the info was unserious, d) they did not inform the court of any of this and kept spying. 8/x
Trump supporters know the collusion case front and back. They went from worrying the collusion must be real, to suspecting it might be fake, to realizing it was a scam, then watched as every institution – agencies, the press, Congress, academia – gaslit them for another year. 9/x
Worse, collusion was used to scare people away from working in the administration. They knew their entire lives would be investigated. Many quit because they were being bankrupted by legal fees. The DoJ, press, & gov’t destroyed lives and actively subverted an elected admin. 10/x
This is where people whose political identity was largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in Civics class began to see the outline of a Regime that crossed all institutional boundaries. Because it had stepped out of the shadows to unite against an interloper. 11/x
GOP propaganda still has many of them thinking in terms of partisan binaries, but A LOT of Trump supporters see that the Regime is not partisan. They all know that the same institutions would have taken opposite sides if it was a Tulsi Gabbard vs Jeb Bush election. 12/x
It’s hard to describe to people on the left (who are used to thinking of gov’t as a conspiracy… Watergate, COINTELPRO, WMD, etc) how shocking & disillusioning this was for people who encourage their sons to enlist in the Army, and hate ppl who don’t stand for the Anthem. 13/x
They could have managed the shock if it only involved the government. But the behavior of the corporate press is really what radicalized them. They hate journalists more than they hate any politician or gov’t official, because they feel most betrayed by them. 14/x
The idea that the press is driven by ratings/sensationalism became untenable. If that were true, they’d be all over the Epstein story. The corporate press is the propaganda arm of the Regime they now see in outline. Nothing anyone says will ever make them unsee that, period. 15/x
This is profoundly disorienting. Many of them don’t know for certain whether ballots were faked in November 2020, but they know for absolute certain that the press, the FBI, etc would lie to them if there was. They have every reason to believe that, and it’s probably true. 16/x
They watched the press behave like animals for four years. Tens of millions of people will always see Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, based on nothing, because of CNN. And CNN seems proud of that. They led a lynch mob against a high school kid. They cheered on a summer of riots. 17/x
They always claimed the media had liberal bias, fine, whatever. They still thought the press would admit truth if they were cornered. Now they don’t. It’s a different thing to watch them invent stories whole cloth in order to destroy regular lives and spark mass violence. 18/x
Time Mag told us that during the 2020 riots, there were weekly conference calls involving, among others, leaders of the protests, the local officials who refused to stop them, and media people who framed them for political effect. In Ukraine we call that a color revolution. 19/x
Throughout the summer, Democrat governors took advantage of COVID to change voting procedures. It wasn’t just the mail-ins (they lowered signature matching standards, etc). After the collusion scam, the fake impeachment, Trump ppl expected shenanigans by now. 20/x
Re: “fake impeachment”, we now know that Trump’s request for Ukraine to cooperate w/the DOJ regarding Biden’s $ activities in Ukraine was in support of an active investigation being pursued by the FBI and Ukraine AG at the time, and so a completely legitimate request. 21/x
Then you get the Hunter laptop scandal. Big Tech ran a full-on censorship campaign against a major newspaper to protect a political candidate. Period. Everyone knows it, all of the Tech companies now admit it was a “mistake” – but, ya know, the election’s over, so who cares? 22/x
Goes w/o saying, but: If the NY Times had Don Jr’s laptop, full of pics of him smoking crack and engaging in group sex, lots of lurid family drama, emails describing direct corruption and backed up by the CEO of the company they were using, the NYT wouldn’t have been banned. 23/x
Think back: Stories about Trump being pissed on by Russian prostitutes and blackmailed by Putin were promoted as fact, and the only evidence was a document paid for by his opposition and disavowed by its source. The NY Post was banned for reporting on true information. 24/x
The reaction of Trump ppl to all this was not, “no fair!” That’s how they felt about Romney’s “binders of women” in 2012. This is different. Now they see, correctly, that every institution is captured by ppl who will use any means to exclude them from the political process. 25/x
And yet they showed up in record numbers to vote. He got 13m more votes than in 2016, 10m more than Clinton got! As election night dragged on, they allowed themselves some hope. But when the four critical swing states (and only those states) went dark at midnight, they knew. 26/x
Over the ensuing weeks, they got shuffled around by grifters and media scam artists selling them conspiracy theories. They latched onto one, then another increasingly absurd theory as they tried to put a concrete name on something very real. 27/x
Media & Tech did everything to make things worse. Everything about the election was strange – the changes to procedure, unprecedented mail-in voting, the delays, etc – but rather than admit that and make everything transparent, they banned discussion of it (even in DMs!). 28/x
Everyone knows that, just as Don Jr’s laptop would’ve been the story of the century, if everything about the election dispute was the same, except the parties were reversed, suspicions about the outcome would’ve been Taken Very Seriously. See 2016 for proof. 29/x
Even the courts’ refusal of the case gets nowhere w/them, because of how the opposition embraced mass political violence. They’ll say, w/good reason: What judge will stick his neck out for Trump knowing he’ll be destroyed in the media as a violent mob burns down his house? 30/x
It’s a fact, according to Time Magazine, that mass riots were planned in cities across the country if Trump won. Sure, they were “protests”, but they were planned by the same people as during the summer, and everyone knows what it would have meant. Judges have families, too. 31/x
Forget the ballot conspiracies. It’s a fact that governors used COVID to unconstitutionally alter election procedures (the Constitution states that only legislatures can do so) to help Biden to make up for a massive enthusiasm gap by gaming the mail-in ballot system. 32/x
They knew it was unconstitutional, it’s right there in plain English. But they knew the cases wouldn’t see court until after the election. And what judge will toss millions of ballots because a governor broke the rules? The threat of mass riots wasn’t implied, it was direct. 33/x
a) The entrenched bureaucracy & security state subverted Trump from Day 1, b) The press is part of the operation, c) Election rules were changed, d) Big Tech censors opposition, e) Political violence is legitimized & encouraged, f) Trump is banned from social media. 34/x
They were led down some rabbit holes, but they are absolutely right that their gov’t is monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to keep them getting it. Trump fans should be happy he lost; it might’ve kept him alive. /end
Although I highlighted it above, it’s worth repeating how disgusting and manipulative corporate mainstream media has become:
But the behavior of the corporate press is really what radicalized them. They hate journalists more than they hate any politician or gov’t official, because they feel most betrayed by them.
Here is video Tucker reading most of the thread (via The Right Scoop):
(also here if doesn’t load)
Reaction from people who “get it” has been strong.
Glenn Greenwald, who has become a visible critic of corporate (including liberal/left) media, focused particularly on the suppression of the Hunter Biden story:
Twitter literally prohibited all links to reports about the Biden docs, not just publicly but in DMs. FB announced — through a life-long Dem operative — it would algorithmically suppress the story pending a fact-check (which never came). It was brute censorship to elect Biden.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 9, 2021
Just ponder it: weeks before the 2020 vote, corporate media, CIA, Big Tech and the Dem Party all conspired to manufacture a lie — Biden docs were "Russian disinformation" — to justify censoring them. @NatashaBertrand did it, then got promoted to CNN.https://t.co/vR6inMcvYy
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 9, 2021
Others predict where this loss of institutions will lead:
The Right will pick a fascist soon. A real one. Nothing like Trump. I mean a real one. This will happen in my lifetime. People will not be abused like this without end.
It will be terrible, but it’s inevitable.
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) July 9, 2021
Every day, you become a little more like Jesse Kelly or a little more like David French. We are all inching in one direction or the other. Say whatever you want; you well know whom you’d want beside you if it hits the fan. And it’s hitting the fan, by the way.
— Anna James Zeigler (@ajzeigler) July 8, 2021
When I say you see things like Jesse Kelly or like French, that means you either understand no one will be spared, or you clap along because you’re certain the train isn’t coming for you.
— Anna James Zeigler (@ajzeigler) July 9, 2021
In 2017, I was filled with dread. I wish I had been wrong.
Perhaps people have finally woken up, or perhaps better phrased, awakened up.
If the national teachers unions and the activists who now inhabit the Biden administration have their way, things are going to get much worse. Don’t let them win. The fight against CRT and its offshoots is the great cultural battle of our time, the politics will follow.DONATE
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