Comment of the Week is originally from Slate Star Codex but made its way here via Anatoly Karlin, the silver standard in journalism on human intelligence. Scott Alexander wrote this in the Fall of 2016:
One more warning for conservatives who still aren’t convinced. If the next generation is radicalized by Trump being a bad president, they’re not just going to lean left. They’re going to lean regressive, totalitarian, super-social-justice left.
Everyone has already constructed the narrative: Trump is the anti-PC, anti-social-justice candidate. If he wins, he’s going to be the anti-PC, anti-social-justice President. And he will fail. First of all, because he doesn’t really show much sign of knowing what he’s doing. Second of all, because all presidents fail in a sense – 80% of Americans consistently believe the country is headed the wrong direction and the president is the natural fall guy for this trend. And third of all, because even if by some miracle Trump avoids the first two failure modes, the media will say he failed and people will believe them. And when the anti-PC, anti-social-justice President fails, the reaction will be a giant “we told you so” from the social justice movement, and a giant shift of all the disillusioned young people right into their fold.
Trump is all set to be the biggest gift to the social justice movement in history. They thrive on claims of persecution, claims that they’re the ones fighting a stupid hateful regressive culture that controls everything. And people think that bringing their straw man to life and putting him in the Oval Office is going to help?
Maybe. From someone who spends an inordinate amount of time combing through surveys and polling, though, there is a glaring problem–the Great Awokening began years before Trump announced his candidacy, let alone won the presidency. It’s detectable in the GSS in 2012 and definitely by 2014. Did Trump send SJWs into high tension mode or was he made possible by it?
Trump also thrives on claims of persecution. Almost uniquely among Republicans, he instinctively understands that we are in neither an honor culture nor a dignity culture. We are in a victim culture. “So unfair!,” “Presidential harassment!,” “Witch hunt!.” Wokeists claim they’re being persecuted, but so does Trump–and it works.
At some point very soon, those on the right will have to start responding to accusations of racism, etc. not with impotent denials or lame accusations about how it’s really the Democrats who are racist against non-whites, but by firing back that the left hates white people. There are fairly mainstream black figures who’ve been quite successful doing this–Candace Owens, Jesse Lee Peterson, Jon Miller–and mainstream white conservatives will start doing the same.