Yesterday there was the big event at SPJ Airplay, where they had several people having a discussion about GamerGate and what it means for journalism. It was a very disappointing discussion, in my opinion, because the moderator was a fucking idiot. No joke, every time the dude opened his mouth, it was insufferable. Made me wish we got someone from NPR or something to come on and mod that. At least that person would have asked better questions, and not interrupted people ALL the time. Then there was a bomb threat (surprise, surprise) that several sites claimed was because of GamerGate. Whatever. Shitty online rags putting out shitty journalism is nothing new. That’s just the world we live in. Gotta love the Fifth Estate, am I right?
However, there was an article that talked about the one-year anniversary of GamerGate in The Federalist. This is a publication that I don’t often agree with. It’s very pro-conservative, and I find a lot of their articles to be a little slanted in ways that I think ignore facts. However, I don’t live in an echo chamber like SJWs, so I am willing to at least hear them out to see what I can gather from them. The author of the article, Mytheos Holt, wrote an article that said that conservatives need to work harder to get us “disaffected liberals” to board on with the conservative ship, because we apparently have SO much in common with these people. Here’s a link to his article, now let’s talk about it.
The irony is that for all the criticism of GamerGate as a reactionary right-wing movement, most of its members continue to loudly identify with the political Left.
It’s true. I do, and so do many others that I have talked to. I took one of those neat political tests, and it seems that I fall on a side on the libertarian-left side of the political spectrum, but not as far from center as I thought. I do believe myself to be a liberal. Why? Well, for one, the whole free market stuff is bullshit. Capitalism often needs people to reign it in. To hold it by the ears and go – whoa there, capitalism! You’re painting toys with lead paint because it’s cheaper. You need to stop doing that. You’re using asbestos to insulate homes, which has been shown to cause health problems. You need to stop doing that too. In countries that aren’t America, there is often the statement – whoa, capitalism! You are charging absurd amounts for health care and medicine. The state is going to take charge of insurance, or at least give a public option for people who don’t want to pay out the ass (which then ends up crushing the rest of the competition anyway).
Conservative economics are not something that I am ever going to be able to agree with. Among other things, but I think that I’ll hold off talking about that until later. Let’s keep going with the article.
You’d think the Left would have learned. After all, Sanders and GamerGate are hardly the first self-described ideological liberals to find themselves ideologically orphaned by their more radical brethren.
So what, is our values system going to up and change because radical elements of our political spectrum are not cool with us? Does the fact that moderate conservatives have been alienated by the radical Tea Party cause you to want to jump ship? No? I didn’t think so.
From this battle between old school Roosevelt-era liberalism and radical sixties Leftism, emerged a reluctant new breed of intellectual: the neoconservative. Kristol himself defined this breed this way: “A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.”
I hate this kind of shit. “You’re secretly with us, but you just don’t know it!” No, man. I am a liberal. Loud and proud, I am one. I’m not one of these insane progressives, but I am a liberal. If you want to find a way to redefine things and make us fit into your mold, that’s on you. But I know where my leanings lie. Change the definitions all you like, but I am not a conservative.
The evidence that such a group will materialize is fairly good. For instance, GamerGate’s champions these days seem to come almost exclusively from the Right.
What? Sargon of Akkad has stated several times that he is on the left. Mundane Matt has stated several times that he is on the left. Sure, there are some conservatives in this movement. It was a hashtag movement that has now just become a rallying cry for ethics, or a way to call out bad reporting. For real, that’s the bulk of what you see the hashtag used for now. Which is fine by me. I’m glad that the tag has died down, but the eagerness to hold journalists accountable has not. Better that than other situations.
When Cathy Young, Christina Hoff Sommers, Allum Bokhari, Milo Yiannopoulos and Ashe Schow make up five of six of those voices, you really have to admit that this looks like a movement looking for an alternative.
Hey dude – Christina Hoff Sommers has been a registered Democrat for over 20 years, and has stated several times that she views herself as a liberal. Fact-checking can do worlds of good.
However, it is also true that GamerGate remains leery of the Right. Why? Well, if you look at the five people I just named, you’ll find that they share another, deeper trait beyond their association with right-leaning outlets: each is a committed defender of immutable and universal political rights, the core principle of liberalism going back to John Locke himself.
We have a reason to be leery of the Right. Look at that last Republican debate and tell me that any of those clowns is fit to run this country. Hell, the one I am rooting for is Donald Trump, just because his campaign will be hilarious. Watching him is the most fun I think I’ve had in years. Not to mention – if he wins, we don’t needs a general election. Just give the award to the Democrats (rooting for Bernie Sanders up in here!) and be done with it. When people like myself call the Progressive Left as bad as the Tea Party Right, we do that for a reason.
But this is not the concern of all the Right. Indeed, many GamerGaters I’ve spoken to seem to believe that the Right is just as illiberal as their new enemies on the Left, even going so far as to claim that the two are synonymous now.
There’s a good argument to be made for that. One that I’ve made many times. Like how the authoritarian Left is as dogmatic as the Right, and the fact that two seem to have blinders on for outside opinions. We tend to adopt a much-closer-to-center approach, which is good. At least, I think so.
As evidence, they cite what they see as the Right’s continued fear of porn, its willingness to cave on bills that restrict internet freedom in the name of cybersecurity/anti-piracy, and its phobia of certain areas of scientific inquiry. These three items alone provide much for conservatives to quarrel with, but they do suggest something very important that we must reckon with if these newly disaffected liberals join our ranks.
That’s just it, dude – we’re not going to join your ranks. Because those issues you mentioned alone are enough to totally void the Right’s lines. When you have candidates like Mike Huckabee saying that a ten year old girl should carry her stepfather’s rape baby to term, that’s something we can’t get behind. When you have sexist (and hilarious) dickheads like Donald Trump flouting how little he cares about female opinions, that is something that you have to account for. When you have Representative Paul Brown saying that evolution, embryology are “lies, straight from the pit of Hell.” That’s something that we can’t agree with. When you have people on your side of the fence, in Congress, talking about how climate change is a hoax or overblown, when 97% of the scientific community agrees that it’s real and that it is mostly driven by us, then we have a problem. It’s not a couple of little issues that keep me from jumping across your aisle, man. Your attempts to boil this down to just a couple of nit-picky issues seems to miss the point.
If GamerGate does take the same plunge as Kristol and his compatriots, it will do more than simply change them into conservatives. Like the neocons, the videocons will also change the nature of what conservatism in America means. How they might do this, and in what ways, I can’t say — unless they do end up taking that plunge.
Until you can get some political candidates who are unwilling to bend the knee to the Tea Party base, it’s not happening. Not at all. We aren’t just going to go to your side of the fence because you want us to. Show us that you can reign in the insanity, instead of having candidates who kowtow to it. But that isn’t going to happen. It’s the reason why, until the Tea Party base is dead and buried, the Republicans are not getting into the White House again. So, another twenty years, at least. That’s when they’ll have a legitimate shot. Until then, you have Clown Town Republicans who will do whatever it takes the suck the dick of the Tea Party. Good luck with that.
Keep on fighting, GamerGate. Hope to see you at CPAC in a couple years.
Not a chance in Hell.
Until next time, a quote,
“The battle never ends, and the choices we make in democracy often get religious or partisan beliefs against scientific evidence that contradicts them. And beliefs can be stubborn, hard to give up. They even determine which facts we choose to accept.” -Bill Moyers