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Culture War Roundup for the week of December 11, 2023

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I saw the following exchange between Megyn Kelly and Tucker Carlson, and it made me angry. So instead of getting over it and going and doing normal things like a well adjusted adult, I decided to complain about it on the internet.

MEGYN KELLY: This is one of the reasons why I said if this judge [Chutkan] in DC… because we assume Trump's gonna get convicted in that case, I mean, the smart bet would be this DC jury convicts him because they hate them politically. 92% voted for Joe Biden. And she hates him. If she puts him in jail, pending appeal before the election, the country's going to burn. And then all this blowback, ‘Oh my god. She's calling for violence.’ I'm not calling for violence. But there is no way that Trump base is not going to be beside itself with anger at that level of deprivation of being able to simply vote for the candidate of choice. That's what's being taken away here.

TUCKER CARLSON: Speaking of violence, that's what you're gonna get. And speaking as someone who detests violence… If you leave people no alternative, then what do you think is going to happen? The whole point of electoral democracy is that it's a pressure relief valve that takes people who are very frustrated with the way things are going and gives them a way to express themselves, have their desires heard, and ultimately, their will done to be represented in a peaceful way. And if you take that away, if you have staged an unfair election, which 2020 was, if you suppress information that voters need to make an informed decision, you're rigging the election, and they did that.

So if you keep doing that, and people are like, ‘Wait, I have no economic power, you've devalued my currency, so it's like $11 for a dozen eggs, and my vote doesn't matter anymore. Well, then what do I have? Like what power do I have?’ And you're gonna get violence if you keep the shit up. And that's just the truth. And I am very upset about that, I don't want that to happen, I think the counter violence will be much more extreme than the violence. But any rational person can see what's coming. So they have to stop this.

The charges against Trump are not real. They're not even for serious crimes. I was told Trump was like a murderer and had killed a bunch of people in New Jersey or something. He didn't even cheat on his taxes. And they're treating him like a felon at the same time. Like they protect Epstein until they have to murder him in his cell. It's insane and it's all on public display. Everybody knows what's going on. So I do think the people in charge the people were pulling the strings on Tanya Chutkan in or whatever these ridiculous front people they hire. Those people need to really think this through a little bit. You're about to wreck the country. Don't do this, please.

First of all, I'm at least glad to see that reality is starting to set in. Trump is going to get his nonsense "absolute immunity" claim promptly rejected 9-0 by the Supreme Court. He's going to go on trial on March 4, he's going to get convicted, and he's going to go to prison. This has all been obvious for some time, and people do need to come to grips with it instead of telling themselves "it can't happen, so it won't".

But there is a stark mismatch here between the acceptance on one hand that the jury will convict Trump but the insistence on the other hand that "the charges aren't real". DC is an overwhelmingly democratic voting jurisdiction, but you would need to be cynical indeed to think there is no chance that even one Democrat juror would refuse to imprison a political opponent on obviously baseless charges. But of course, the charges are not nearly so baseless as Carlson suggests.

No, the reason that Kelly and Carlson know that Trump is going down is not because they think there is not one honest soul to be found in DC. They can have confidence Trump will lose this case because both his conduct and the law have little mystery about them. On the facts, there's little if any dispute about the actions that Trump took. On the law we have seen similar charges applied to many January 6 defendants, and it has not gone well for them. If Trump is to get similar treatment for similar conduct, he must be convicted.

Carlson and Kelly know that he's guilty and yet they pretend otherwise. Carlson rants about how outrageous it is to render people's votes meaningless, and yet when Trump is charged for conspiring to do exactly that he flatly states it's "not even a real crime". I emphasize that his contention here isn't even that Trump didn't do the awful thing he's accused of - he's saying that the things he's accused of aren't awful. This lays bare how empty and fake Carlson's feigned defence of democracy is. You can believe that it's outrageous to deprive people of their democratic rights or you can believe that conspiring to deprive people of their democratic rights isn't a "real crime", but it's incoherent to claim both.

But worst of all is the "warning" of violence. Carlson tells us that the man who incited a riot must not be punished or else we'll get more riots. This is the logic of terrorism. Give us what we want or there will be blood. Sure, he phrases it as a prediction rather than a threat and says he detests violence... but he knows full well that many of the people who might actually commit it could well be listening to him, and he knows he is fanning the flames of their resentment and putting the thought of violence in their heads. This would be irresponsible even if Carlson were sincere, but the fact that he's obviously being cynical makes it worse. This is a man who passionately hates Trump and couldn't wait for him to get kicked out of the White House - and yet here he is inventing excuses for him, pre-emptively trying to discredit the verdict he knows is coming, sanewashing Trump's "rigged election" claims, stoking anger, and telling people that violence is the inevitable response if Trump gets locked up. All, one presumes, so he can maintain his position in the GOP media ecosystem. What a worm.

Smith and Chuktan will obviously not allow themselves to be swayed by threats of violence, so we will unfortunately get to see if the dark talk turns into action. I for one hope Trump's most volatile supporters will at least recognize the truth that Carlson acknowledges - it will go extremely badly for anyone who takes it upon themselves to shed blood.

  • -20

But there is a stark mismatch here between the acceptance on one hand that the jury will convict Trump but the insistence on the other hand that "the charges aren't real".

Because the charges are not real.

It is starkly obvious to anyone paying even a modicum of attention that the charges are politically motivated. That fact is the whole point of the conversation. Trump hasn't done anything that Clinton and Biden didn't also do, and that's the fucking problem.

What I think is happening here is a warning.

We all know that it doesn't matter whether Trump is guilty or innocent. The professional managerial class would despise him regardless. The real stake here wis whether said PMCs are prepared to pick that fight. Because if they are well...

The real stake here wis whether said PMCs are prepared to pick that fight. Because if they are well...

And now I'm reminded of some comments Yarvin made on the Good Ol' Boyz podcast (I think it was this one). Like when he calls the "Vaisya"/"hobbits"/"chuds" "worse than Morlocks," because the Eloi at least needed the Morlocks to keep the machinery running, but "you can be replaced by immigrants and automation" (that's from memory, so it might not be a perfect quote). Or the point earlier, when he asserts the that chud resistance to inevitable "Brahmin"/"elf" rule is futile because, "What are you going to do, kill us? The mid-century Germans tried that, and look what happened to them. Enough smart elves got out ahead of things, and now their grandkids are back and running the place."

Or there's the left-wing fellow on what was then still Twitter, who, when someone pointed out that it's "red" areas that grow everyone's food, responded with dire warnings that the Red Tribe had better not go there, followed by a thread describing a particularly nasty modernized variant on the early Athenian strategy against Sparta, through which it would be Flyover country that all starves to death while urban coastal elites remain fed.

a particularly nasty modernized variant on the early Athenian strategy against Sparta

Was he talking about what Pericles did or some other conflict?

  • Turn Athens and local vital infrastructure into connected fortresses
  • Evacuate the allied rural population from vulnerable areas to the fortified cities so enemy raids cannot harm them.
  • Use superior Athenian wealth, industry and trade relations to make up for reductions in available harvest by trading for food imports.
  • Deny the enemy a conventional battle or easy areas to pillage, leaving as the only available targets heavily defended urban areas that would take horrific casualties to besiege.
  • Focus on destroying the enemy navy to deny them mobility and give Athenian forces command of the seas.
  • Use the navy to launch unpredictable raids into enemy territory, making them dash back and forth chasing after fleets that have already left and struck somewhere else.
  • Target the Spartan agriculture to destroy their harvests and recruit or arm uprisings of the Spartan's brutalized helots, forcing the Spartans to abandon gains to protect their supply lines and fight uprisings behind their lines.
  • Count on the Athenian wealth and logistical superiority winning out through putting the Spartans into an attrition war where their wealth and logistics will run out first.

Probably would have succeeded if Pericles hadn't died of plague and been replaced by impatient morons keen on decisive battles.

Probably would have succeeded if Pericles hadn't died of plague and been replaced by impatient morons keen on decisive battles.

I agree with this.

But as to the overall point, it was mainly

Use superior Athenian wealth, industry and trade relations to make up for reductions in available harvest by trading for food imports.


Target the Spartan agriculture to destroy their harvests

Specifically, they began by pointing out that the US has done a lot of biological and chemical weapons research, not all of it aimed at humans — there are ones targeting crops and livestock, too. And there's a reason it's called "flyover country." This, accompanied with a photo of a crop-duster plane in action.

So, they argued, if red states decide to stop selling the food they grow to blue states, to try to use hunger as a weapon, then the other side will use hunger as a weapon back, go "if we can't have it, no one can," and send out aircraft to drop as many herbicides, blights, livestock diseases, et cetera upon red state farms as necessary. At which point, food will then have to be shipped in from elsewhere… and look at which side controls the coasts, and especially all the big coastal port cities. Oh, yes, and as for the funds with which pay foreign countries for that food, isn't a large majority of America's economy and wealth concentrated in those very same big coastal cities?

It’s a ridiculous subject matter for any number of reasons, not least the fact that in any new American civil war the entire rest of the world would pick sides, and those sides aren’t easy to determine from current political dynamics (eg the simple fact that the left is more xenophilic isn’t sufficient to predict whose side various other factions would be on). The dollar and US financial institutions would collapse, and the US is a huge net food exporter, so it’s unclear where the coastal cities would be buying food from anyway.

There won’t be a civil war, though, a slow Orbanization is more feasible and the modern American ruling class is much more disunited than they were 30 years ago (the Israel question discussed above is one example).

The whole nukes thing would probably hinder the potential for direct intervention, and there’s like 5-10 wars waiting to pop off the moment American attention to global interventions would stop in the manner required by a bonafide civil war.

That depends on who has the nukes and who has the army. If the Republic of California invites soldiers of a foreign nation into their territory, that’s not an invasion.