David Roberts @drvox Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for vox.com/ about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove. Not a doctor. Mar. 18, 2018 2 min read

1. I argued in my piece last week that the primary animating force on the US right today is white tribalism, and that efforts by the NYT to elide that fact are dangerously misleading.  https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/15/17113176/new-york-times-opinion-page-conservatism 

2. On a related subject, see this poignant tweet thread from @djrothkopf, which reflects on how open & unashamed that white tribalism is getting:

3. Also closely related is this new NYT op-ed from @chrislhayes, about what "law and order" means to the tribal right:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/opinion/sunday/chris-hayes-trump-law-order.html 

4. "The history of the US is the story of a struggle between the desire to establish certain universal rights and the countervailing desire to preserve a particular social order," Hayes writes. Today's right has "stopped pretending to have any universalist aspirations."

5. This is what I've been trying & trying to get at. America's "universalist aspirations" have always fallen short in practice, as women, POC, LGBT etc. are painfully aware. But those aspirations are inscribed in our founding documents & our laws -- they call us to progress.

6. What we are seeing now is a movement that has all but explicitly renounced those aspirations and is fighting, not for universal ideals or principles, but to preserve a (white patriarchal) social order. That is incredibly, incredibly dangerous.

7. Like I said in my piece, the challenge is now out in the open: is America an idea or is it a particular (white, Christian, traditionalist) people? The way we answer that question in the next few years will help determine the country's (and the world's!) fate.

8. This could not be a more pivotal, fateful moment for America. That's why I spend my days yelling about the real nature of the right, trying to get people & institutions to quit softening, normalizing, and mischaracterizing it. Seeing clearly has got to be step one.

9. If the mainstream establishment & mainstream institutions continue clinging to normalcy, pretending that we're in a period of normal politics, that what we're seeing are policy disputes and not a contest for the country's soul ...

10. ... they risk losing the fight without ever really fighting it. They risk waking up, like the Respectable Establishments in so many other purportedly democratic countries recently, and blinking in dismay at the illiberalism & tyranny that have sprouted around them. </fin>


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