February 7, 2018

Meme project: Destroying society through immigration to own the hicks

To underscore how suicidal the Right's partisanship has become, Matt Christman from lefty podcast Chapo Trap House has developed an ongoing meme about harming yourself just "to own the libs".

It began with more graphic variations on the corporeal theme of "cutting off the nose to spite the face":

It then moved to absurdist scenarios on sociopolitical issues, to make it clearer that the partisan Republicans are harming themselves not in an unrelated domain like their physical health, in a warped trade-off, but were entirely self-defeating within the political domain itself:

And now to show that truth is more absurd than fiction, basing them on themes that are ripped from the headlines:

The point is taken about how self-destructive partisanship can get. But given that it was the Trump campaign who so decisively broke with the Reaganite orthodoxy of the past 40 years, and battled the leaders of its own party so openly, suicidal partisanship has clearly begun to fade more on the Right than on the Left.

After Trump became co-opted in office -- both through institutional pressures overwhelming a neophyte with no political capital, as well as the lifelong media star preferring a theatrical rather than an instrumental role in government -- a good chunk of his supporters have reverted along with him back to cuckservative partisanship. But these were mostly GOP-ers to begin with, who fell into relapse. I doubt as many of his hardcore Independent supporters have followed the GOP lemmings in their march toward the cliff's edge.

And we still haven't seen much improvement from the Left to whistle a different tune on immigration, the one issue where they could break with their party's orthodoxy in a way similar to Trumpian populists warming up to single-payer healthcare, forgiving student loan debt, closing down most of our failed imperial military outposts around the world, and gutting the free trade deals to boost incomes for the American working class at the expense of multinational corporate profits.

Here is the one effort post from a Democrat to question why a Left devoted to improving the material welfare of the American working class should so blindly support an open-borders immigration policy, which tends to lower wages and increase rents, especially at the lower strata of the class pyramid. It appeared in The Atlantic, and the author Peter Beinart was a familiar Bernie supporter from the 2016 campaign season. Yet since it was written last summer, no broader group of progressives or socialists has run with it.

That means we need a complementary meme campaign that highlights how the Left is willing to sabotage its own goals on improving the lot of the working class, just to own the cultural conservatives.

Not a counter-campaign to the original, since that message is true enough, and needs to be reinforced as former Trumpians slide back into kneejerk cheerleading for failed Reaganism. But complementary, to make the Bernie people reflect on their own suicidal partisanship. Otherwise they won't win over the Trumpian populists in a compromise or alliance, and the neoconservative and neoliberal wings of both parties will remain dominant, if moribund.

I'm not on Twitter, but here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling. Remember, the goal is not to complain about how open borders hurts Republicans or conservatives, but to show how an open-borders policy defeats their own progressive agenda. Bonus points if it harms blacks or urban residents -- so that the policy harms only the Democrats themselves, rather than harming the entire society in order to harm their Republican enemies.

Common themes are cheap labor leading to lower wages, higher population sizes leading to higher rents, and diversity leading to the breakdown of common norms and civic institutions.

Dissolving myself into a vortex of mutually distrusting ethnic groups to own the hicks.

Coughing up blood after contracting tuberculosis from my Somali neighbors to own the hicks.

Helping management strangle the handful of surviving trade unions by importing 50 million scabs, to own the hicks.

Carving "#FuckIslamophobia" into my arm during subway ride home as Pakistani father honor-kills his daughter in the seat next to me after discovering Tinder on her phone. To own the hicks.

Re-settling 627 immigrant groups who can cooperate on nothing other than driving blacks out of their own historical neighborhoods, to own the hicks.

Paying $4000 more per month on rent after welcoming a million refugees into the overcrowded Brooklyn housing market, to own the hicks.

Fracturing low-income urban civic associations because no two residents speak the same language, to own the hicks.

You get the idea. Might want to modulate the straight vs. absurdist tone depending on the audience.


  1. The original "meme" is no good to begin with. It's just snark, weak weak snark. Any impression you might have otherwise I think is just because you heard it pitched to a friendly audience that would clap for anything. It's not a form I'd copy to convey a message but only mock the faggot who thought it clever to begin with. It's just outrage masking itself as humor. These are unfunny humorless people.

  2. You're either a dead-end GOP partisan or a 20 year-old who hasn't seen what self-destructive garbage over the years the GOP-ers have not just grudgingly defended but shriekingly demanded, all for no greater purpose than to own the libs, troll the DEMONRATS, etc.

    Trying to frame the non-GOP response as "just outrage" is setting yourself up for major failure, not that you guys ever learn.

    When non-Republicans were making fun of "Freedom fries" and "blood for no oil" during the Bush years, that was "just outrage" masquerading as satire. No way that will resonate with a broader audience, nor cause a change in the political zeitgeist.

    Nope, the non-Republicans had painted themselves into a corner by opposing "Freedom fries" -- they accepted the label of being anti-freedom! Now they'll never control anything again!

    Fast-forward a couple years to: losing the House, losing the Senate, losing the majority of governorships, losing the White House in a landslide that includes losing a solid red state like Indiana.

    Everyone else reading: do not repeat this person's glib dismissal, or you'll end up as the next round of guys with McCain 2008 bumper-stickers, trolling the Dems as the real misogynists for not wanting a woman like Sarah Palin as VP.

  3. And to the main point, throwing this kind of meme back in the faces of the Bernie people is a much-needed corrective for their side on immigration.

    They have no idea how hated and rejected their open-borders position is, nor how self-destructive it is to their own progressive class agenda. They're only supporting open borders to own the hicks and troll the RETHUGLICANS and Cheeto Hitler.

    If they glibly dismiss our response as "just outrage" masquerading as satire, they'll be in for a rude awakening themselves at the backlash their position will provoke. They should've already sense that after Trump's election, but they haven't had their ridiculous positions presented to them in a cutting way that shows it destroying their own agenda.

    Accusing them of partisanship won't do, since most people are for their own team and against the other team. It has to show their partisanship as suicidal, sabotaging their own agenda, and them going along smugly right over the cliff.

  4. RobertStarke2/8/18, 4:29 PM

    I just discovered your blog recently and have been reading many posts in different years and have been very pleased and interested. I know this isn't quite right but I don't know if you notice comments on old posts so I'm going to go ahead, forgive me.

    On the difference between the dystopias of the 1960s and 1970s vs the 1980s: There clearly is a difference and you highlighted that very well. However, I think you undersold some aspects of the dystopian view, some of them point out and critique modernity very well. I haven't seen the movie but Anthony Burgess in the Clockwork Orange was pointing out that the master-planned, artificial homogenizing ideology of some of the worst proponents of Modernism was quite untraditional and unhealthy. Note that Anthony Burgess was not some libertarian Barry Goldwater or Ron Paul fan, his ideal was a Catholic Jacobite Imperial Monarch.

    The Worst of the streamlining modernists can be see in the architecture of and city planning of Le Corbusier or his many disciples and compatriots, or the building of Brasilia or Canberra. They might look good on a clean blueprint from a top-down bureaucrats point of view, but they leave much to be desired from the actual inhabitants.

    I haven't seen many of these movies but I agree with you that the Narcissism of the Boomers and overinduvidualistic ideologies probably do influence many of them in a stupid way. But it's also worth noting that the top-down city and modern governmental planning that some of these were criticizing were very unnatural, artificial, and bad. These planners were elevating the automobile way above and beyond what it deserved, it destroyed many walkable areas and train and bus transit, transit that emphasized natural communities and seeing people face to face and walking in crowds, to elevate a system in which many people drive alone to and from work and often times other places as well. It's also worth noting that the places that took this to the highest extremes are always in the most rootless libertarian places, Phoenix, Salt Lake City region, Albuquerque, etc.

    There is a reason why New York City, London, Paris, Nuremberg, is a much better place than Canberra or Brasilia or even the much older masterplanned city of Washington DC, it's because they developed naturally and organically and weren't developed by a stupid modernistic "scientific" bureaucratic way. Robert Moses tried to tear down natural neighborhoods in Manhattan to ram a highway right down the middle of NYC but thankfully was stopped by people who weren't idiots.


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