The main problem with the American right is that it is almost solely a set of democratic institutions. While there are a small number of right of center foundations and right-wing fundraising machines, most of the effort and money on the proper right goes towards encouraging people to vote for Republicans at the polls.
Part of the trouble is that Americans tend to see elections as a legitimate way of resolving major social issues. Mandatory education trains all Americans into believing that a democratically elected government acting within the legal norms set by a written constitution can solve all human problems. For an ordinary American to discover that this claim has no basis in theory or evidence tends to require years of self-directed study.
In terms of the collective American Attention-Interest-Decision-Action loop, the left controls A through I and most of D. The right tries to fight for the tail end of D and a meaningless segment of A while forsaking the rest to its rivals, who want to see it exterminated.
By contrast, the left has taken pains to capture every cultural institution of significance in the United States. When the right has attempted to resist, it tends to do so through televangelists, radio hosts, and web aggregators who tend to focus on encouraging listeners to vote for the correct people when election time comes along.
The trouble with all these methods is that they are inherently secondary commentators on the primary source work performed by left wing corporations. In most cases, with few exceptions, if the Associated Press does not cover it, it’s not on the agenda of the right wing. From a Carlylean perspective, the contemporary right such that it exists cedes its program to its opponents at a structural level. If it doesn’t come in down the wire, it’s as if it never happened.
There are few attempts to re-frame the cultural agenda or to compete with officially accredited educational institutions. One reason for this is that it’s incredibly challenging to create a real counter-cultural structure. The left controls so much of the American arts infrastructure (and in many cases physically owns so many warehouses and museums full of classical art) that any would-be creative rightist finds themselves socially isolated and without a meaningful path towards mastery.
In some cases it just comes down to who owns the real estate. The Koch Brothers can buy part of Lincoln Center and sponsor the New York City Ballet Company, but there’s only so much that that can achieve. Operating that Ballet theater is surely more effective a use of money than any electoral donation that those brothers have ever made.
In the market for art, a prospective rightist needs to beat out countless talentless leftists that nonetheless have privileged access to galleries, publishing houses, theaters, universities, museums, and concert halls. Although one could protest that ‘crowdfunding’ has opened up the market to competition, in reality, the crowd-funding market is dominated by public relations consultants who have built up relationships with leftist media organizations to promote preferred projects and shed shade on those that might not be of ideological use to the cultural programmers.
It’s common on the political fringes to see lazy people proclaim that historical forces will shift events in their favor, but it always becomes clear to me that ‘historical forces’ are actually moved by the strenuous efforts of a handful of hard-working people, rather than being a spontaneous eruption that requires no focused human will.
With this problem in mind, we should consider what the solution should be.
An attempt to convince every major Republican donor to cede every competitive election in the United States for the indefinite future would be a tall order. I’ll still ask for it. The Republican party, at least figuratively, deserves to have its teeth shoved into the curb, and then its skull caved in by several stomps from a heavy boot.
No candidate deserves a dime of your money. The voting box doesn’t deserve a minute of your time.
By focusing on the showmanship of electioneering, the constituency of the American right cedes every other battle worth fighting. Instead of attempting to expose the perfidy of leftist political operatives stealing elections through vote fraud, it’s a better use of resources to discredit democracy as a political selection method. While it’s had its run for the last couple centuries, it’s a historical anomaly (as even ardent democrats will admit), and the international trajectory is again against it.
Leftism is a bubble on the world-historical scale that’s begging for a correction. The fight for electoral territory that only exists on a map and within legal-books is a waste, especially when the corporate entity guaranteeing the validity of those constructs is bankrupt and desperately counterfeiting credit documents to conceal its existential distress. To treat its maps as if they mean anything is to be a sucker. In the east, we see idiots driving pickup trucks rolling over its borders with impunity. Should we expect the ones close by to mean much more?
It should be much more direct to fight for real territory and the allegiance of the people who live upon it. As in streets, hills, cities, towns, forests, waters, and so on. You know. The things you can touch with your hands, rather than electoral districts that exist as numbers within the labyrinths of Karl Rove’s flawless memory. I’ll take dirt, oil, metal, water, fish, and creatures that walk over paper guarantees of taxation rights any time.
To do this requires displacing the soft cultural institutions that the left controls. This requires a ton of work. It’s not even glamorous work. Fortunately, most of the left is unused to serious competition, and become terrified when they discover that no one is coming to rescue them. They fret, they panic, and their distress is just delicious to taste. Attacking the left at the cultural level approaches them from an angle that the entire left has deemed to be secure.
The guardsmen are watching the electoral garrison. On the cultural flank, there are only women and weak men. While it may not be terribly honorable to strike the enemy at his weak points, honor is not the sole virtue of the Western tradition.
Ignore the old map and seize the territory instead. And then, create a new map. It’s at least worth a try, instead of spending time and effort complaining about how much more clever and effective your enemies are at crushing you. The whining is just wretched & tiresome. Stand up and take back what’s yours instead.