The Girth Man cometh to destroy the media and the lords of the fainting-couch Right.
Like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Monster straight outta Ghostbusters the Form of the Destructor has been chosen.
Leftism is a status machine. A very, very successful status machine. Conservatives have lost status battle after status battle, often because they fought it as a policy battle. It rarely is.
That’s conservatism’s most consistent and most damaging mistake.
President Trump’s systematic thrashing of the leftist media is the example that illustrates the theory.
Conservatives complained about the media for a long time. Aristotle’s dialectic approach, against people uninterested in truth. Net effect? Very low. Sad!
So let’s apply what we’ve learned.
Why do the media have power? Because they have social status with ordinary people. Are we still hearing about Watergate — decades later? The Pentagon Papers? How many movies seem to exist just to show journalists as heroes? Or let’s take a different tack: What’s the attraction of such a low-paying profession? Status given by the profession, and status from rubbing shoulders with high-status people. Status by acting as a vector for status signals, which is what every women’s magazine is. Ditto publications like WIRED, which is just Cosmo for geeks.
The media offers people clues about what things are high status within the areas they cover. People notice, and act accordingly. Yet most conservatives still don’t understand Trump’s response:
If I lower the media’s status, I will wreck their power.
Glenn Reynolds popped the champagne cork on this a year ago in an article titled New status anxiety fuels Trump derangement
Money quote from the post:
It’s been nearly two months since the election, and Democrats and leftists still haven’t settled down. The campus safe spaces and cry-ins immediately after the votes were counted were bad enough. But the craziness is still going on.
Why are they so upset? I think it’s because of status anxiety. Our privileged, college-educated left — what Joel Kotkin calls the gentry liberals — feels that its preeminent position in American society is under threat. And people care a lot about status.
What’s more, the people who seem to be lashing out the most are, in fact, just those gentry liberals: academics, entertainers, pundits, low-level tech types, and so on. As journalism professor Mark Grabowski reported, another academic texted him on election night: “Oh my God! We will be the ones ostracized if he wins.”
A Trump victory is a blow to the status of the people who thought Hillary Clinton was their candidate — one that they feel even more deeply because gentry liberals, having been raised on the principle that the personal is political, seem to take politics pretty personally.
The right attempts political persuasion. The left, on the other hand, attempts social persuasion — basically seizing the commanding heights of culture-making institutions and then deciding that espousing some political claims (being pro-gay-marriage) increase social status and that espousing other political claims (being against gay marriage) decrease social status and, indeed, make one a social pariah, fit for ostracism, mass mockery, and internal exile.
The left’s method works much better than the right’s. It always has and it always will. Because most people don’t care about politics all that much — but nearly everyone (except for the crankiest of contrarians, including some of the current assembled company) cares about their social status.
Trump’s manner of engaging with The Blob of left-wing virtue-signalling and status-conferring is to attempt to degrade the left wing cultural Borg of its own social status, thereby reducing its ability to set tastes, serve as “gatekeepers” of what the right-minded people agree are proper attitudes and beliefs, and demonize dissenters
The only way to rob them of that ability is to reduce their own social status to a low level. You cannot confer or reduce social status unless you yourself have a great deal of it.
Enter 239 pounds of Orange Destructor – rampaging through The Established Order with Unbridled Joy.
Break out the fiddles all you Deplorable Jumpin’ Jack Neros – Rome’s a burnin’ and it’s a gas, gas, gas…