Friday, March 11, 2016

The Last Days of the Republican Establishment

I have been wondering what my first blog post should be about, and I guess a lot of new bloggers have that problem. I’ve spent the last nine years in a state of constant self-rehabilitation after a workplace accident, and getting on Twitter to shitpost was part of that process (depression over your limits and circumstances sucks, and people with a sense of humor help tremendously).

I got my topic the other day when I attended my first John Birch Society meeting, and met three older people from my local county Republican Party. They were having the same problems in both places, low attendance, and were trying to figure out how to remedy that. Now my wife and I had, not long ago, taken over the website for the county Republican party, and ran it for about 6 months until they decided they wanted no part of a website that had actual content, reverting to their boilerplate page that listed meeting times.

And here I was, in the same position again, having the same conversation about what people today expect of their media and organizational outlets, to deaf ears.

The local county I live in has 30,000 registered Republicans with an average age of 35, whereas the regular attendance of the party meetings is under 50 people, with an average age of 60-something. Their website traffic, during the time we ran it, never exceeded 100 page views per month. By contrast, I have more than 50 followers on twitter (at the time of this writing), and I am averaging 1.3k impressions a day. My twitter account, even adjusted for the value of impressions vs pageviews, has a longer reach than the entire county party. I haven’t even gotten serious yet, either.

The conversation at the JBS meeting, however, was the most enlightening. I asked, plainly, what they were offering to prospective members. What value were they adding to a member’s life, that makes it worth the price of admission?

“Nothing, that’s not what we’re here for. We want people to join because it’s the right thing to do. It’s about sacrificing for your principles.”

And all at once, it made sense. Vox Day connects people to work. Mike Cernovich promotes go-getters to help their audience grow. We share advice, expertise, and good humor. We build networks of friends, we support and protect one another, and we thumb our noses at the do-nothings who would sit in their towers and dictate to the unwashed serfs of their imaginary kingdoms. We are building our own world.

But the relics of the past want nothing to do with such things. They are content to stand on the perceived purity and strength of what came before, the fortunes they have amassed in their youth, and declare themselves blameless in what has transpired, relying on their right-ness to carry them. Everything is someone else’s fault, and someone else, younger and poorer, should sacrifice THEIR wealth and time to fix the problem.

But no, of course the winning strategy is to tell someone you desire to bring to your side that it’s going to cost them dues, they will be given marching orders from above that they have little control over, and the reward at the end is knowing they were right as the country goes down the toilet to the sound of a million tongues clucking in disapproval.

And they wonder why Trump is winning, and the Alt-Right is growing. There is no value left in the Republican party for anyone who doesn’t own a multinational corporation and isn't willing to sell their own country out for a quick buck.

And far too many Republicans see that for the party to be viable any longer.

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