Rushing to Russia? | WORLD

Social media is not real life. Twitter is not real life. Twitter is overwhelmingly dominated by white progressives and an army of activists and promoters. While millions of Americans have Twitter accounts, few use them. Most of the talk on Twitter is led by around 10% of the platform’s users. But, on the right, a subset of new online right-wing thinkers and activists are trying to move the Overton window of the center-right coalition, and too many are pushing them toward authoritarianism.

Though not on Twitter themselves, former White House strategist Steve Bannon and former national security adviser Michael Flynn have been among the most vocal pro-Putin apologists of late in the states. -United. The young men (it’s rarely women) who idolize them circulated their views on social media while often applauding Tucker Carlson’s tough talk on Ukraine on Fox News. As the war turned and Russia didn’t have an easy sweep, this group instead turned to debunking any stories useful to Ukraine. They now pretend not to be pro-Russian, but simply pro-truth, while devoting their energies to amplifying attacks on Ukraine and minimizing Russian aggression.

It’s not just Russia, however. China also receives praise. Sohrab Ahmari, to be clear, is not one of the irresponsible, but the conservative writer tweeted a tweet that started a trend. He tweeted that he was at peace with China leading the 21st century. In the since-deleted tweet, Ahmari said, “Late liberal America is too stupid and decadent to last as a superpower.” He followed his deleted tweet by noting, “My wife was born in China, so I don’t need lectures on the horrors of the CCP. But my conservative friends go to sleep thinking that China’s civilizational wisdom is completely dead and not a source of strength.

I take Ahmari at his word that he is not a fan of China, but his tweet helped me notice a trend of others on the right shedding the ‘conservative’ label and praising China. .

Carlson, who is not a fan of the Chinese Community Party, said, “Chinese people care about themselves and their future.

But Ahmari and Carlson, the voices Twitterati Switch Overton listens to, have seemingly emboldened the would-be right-wing authoritarians. None of them like China, but they appreciate unity, Chinese culture and its so-called cultural conservatism.

It is a very dangerous game that is both destabilizing for the republic and extremely likely to backfire.

What is really happening here, with so many young right-wing men unhappy with conservatism and hungry for a new ideology, is much the same thing happening with American socialists. They have the luxury of never having lived in China or Russia. Like many of their ideological counterparts, they see their adversaries as enemies ready to destroy their way of life. They perceive Russia and China as retaining their ways of life. They would rather bet on the hypothetical ideal of authoritarianism than live in the system they have.

Moreover, many of those on the right who sympathize with Russia and China flirt with racial identity politics. They see Russia and China as homogeneous peoples. They ignore the corruption and strongman tactics of these regimes and praise a seamless conservative monoculture. The Russian and Chinese acolytes go further. But there is still a difference between Russia and China, on the one hand, and Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian head of state, who is also praised for leading his country in a deliberately conservative direction.

Some of these right-wing voices, who call themselves “national populists,” advocate a federal government that provides for the “common good” of Americans. This common good is linked to the Judeo-Christian worldview and a conservative culture woven into society. They argue that the federal government should push conservative morals and values ​​to guide funding, doctrine and who should be targeted for silence. As a Christian and a conservative, I am not criticizing their desire for Christianity or the influence of conservatism (I am very much in favor of both!), but the use of force to exclude those who are not from American identity. not violate the very idea of ​​the constitutional order of the United States.

At a time when progressives are increasingly brazen about bringing their ungodly values ​​to the forefront of American life and silencing dissent, national populists offer something appealing to some conservatives: fighting back with the same tactics, like using courts and crowds to enforce a set of values. They see the laissez-faire, free-market ideas that so many conservatives advocate as a weakness. They see Russia and China eradicating dissent to ensure a cultural homogeneity that the United States does not have, and they are jealous of it.

The ultimate problem, however, is that the United States is attached to elections. There is no permanent political majority in the United States. The only way to get it is to claim power and refuse to give it up. This is no doubt why many of the loudest pro-Russian voices, like Steve Bannon and Mike Flynn, also talk so loudly about stolen elections. They must discredit confidence in the electoral process to overturn these elections and refuse to relinquish power.

It is a very dangerous game that is both destabilizing for the republic and extremely likely to backfire. In a fallen world full of sinners who hate the things of God, a conservative Christian republic maintained by autocratic forces will not remain Christian for long.

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