January 26, 2019

Australia Day new wave national tributes

In honor of our Celtic colonizer cousins on their national day, a few new wave-y tributes to their homeland. New wave had a penchant for combining the modern and futuristic with the traditional and ancient. This comes out most clearly in songs that reflect on a people's character and history, like the Icehouse song below.

"Down Under" by Men at Work (1981)

"Great Southern Land" by Icehouse (1982)

"Already Yesterday" by The Church (1985)

January 24, 2019

The crisis phase of the culture war, when disasters lead to defections

After the latest battle in the culture war has blown up so horribly in the faces of the liberal media warmongers, it feels safe to declare a turning point. I don't mean that there couldn't be other similar battles in the short term -- with equal or greater catastrophes suffered by the liberals -- but that we are in a new phase of the culture war, in which many who were formerly in favor of the war begin to defect, publicly and vehemently.

The losses have piled up so much that the war is seen as illegitimate even by many former sympathizers. In the medium term, this means not only a fall-off in the intensity of this particular war, but an enduring sense among the defectors that we ought to never wage similar wars in the future.

As usual, the facts of the "MAGA teen vs. Native American" episode do not matter. With all of these hate hoaxes -- from Tawana Brawley to Matthew Shepard to the Duke lacrosse team to the UVA fraternity in Rolling Stone to the Access Hollywood tape to the Kavanaugh pile-on -- the central elements of the liberal narrative are unsubstantiated or proven false.

Yet again, the key facts of the narrative were proven false in the MAGA teen episode -- the Native American approached the white kids, he beat a drum with a stick right in the kid's face without provocation, all while Black Hebrew Israelites (left out of the original draft) chanted bigotries against the white kids. So much for the take-away message that the white teenagers were the instigators, that they acted out of proportion, etc.

Indeed, the facts of some incident during a war climate are only framed in such a way as to motivate a concrete set of actions that the warriors had already wanted to achieve. It's like the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was involved in 9/11, etc. -- plainly lies from the very outset, but that didn't matter. That narrative was just a rationalization for the pre-existing plan to invade and occupy Iraq, dethrone Hussein, and put the nation under the US military's sphere of influence.

So the total collapse of the narrative is not what is noteworthy this time around -- that always happens with these hoaxes. What's new is the level of response demanded by the culture warriors -- ranging from ruining these teenagers' lives to exterminating conservative white males as a group. At earlier stages of the war, they would have demanded something less extreme, like merely staining their reputations, making them apologize for nothing, or suspending them from school. Now they're calling for them to be completely unpersonned or even killed off.

This marks an escalation in the risk-reward calculation that the culture warriors are making -- increasingly high-risk / high-reward for their cause. But most high-risk attempts fail, by definition. And when they blow up, the losses are far greater than with a loss under a low-risk / low-reward scenario.

Returning to the Iraq War analogy, this is like the stage beyond the Pentagon and CIA's support for both sides in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, or the brief safe battle of the Gulf "War" in the early '90s, or the economic sanctions of the Clinton years. Those were all relatively low-risk and low-reward. Outright invasion and occupation on the order of hundreds of thousands of troops, plus eliminating the governing coalition and its leader, was a far higher risk -- and not surprisingly, it blew up in their faces. The geopolitical goal was to keep Iraq out of the Russian and Iranian spheres of influence, and under the US sphere, but they achieved precisely the opposite.

Whereas many Republicans and conservatives -- and a good deal of liberals and Democrats -- had supported US antagonism against Iraq during the earlier stages, they could no longer defend the war. Supporters turned into skeptics, and skeptics turned into opponents, not just on this war but any other like it in the future.

Indeed, we can see the beginning of this crisis phase in the culture war already with the media campaign against Trump's sexism during the 2016 election. The facts don't matter -- how many of the accusers retracted their stories, didn't pursue their allegations after the election season, or the clear intent of Trump's words on the Access Hollywood tape (i.e., that when you're a big star, women will let you do all sorts of things sexually because women are star-fuckers who fall under the spell of your celebrity). That was high-risk -- a continual campaign against one of the major-party candidates -- and it blew up in their faces. They lost the election, even more decisively than when they were more reserved against George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

The same thing happened during the Kavanaugh confirmation in 2018. They escalated from "Kavanaugh drunkenly groped a girl in high school" to "Kavanaugh's entire social circle were perpetrating a serial gang rape epidemic in the affluent DC suburbs." And what reward did they get out of this high-risk campaign? Not only failure to block his confirmation, but leaving such a bitter taste in his mouth that he will only be more vindictive against their pet causes during his long tenure.

With the MAGA teen episode, the culture warriors were not just demanding the withdrawal of a presidential candidate or Supreme Court nominee -- they were calling for the banishment, impoverishment, assault, and murder of white adolescents who don't back down when antagonized by non-whites. If you respond like a pussy-ass little bitch, then fine, you don't have to be banished from society. But if you stand your ground -- like the average, normal, majority would do -- then you should be genocided.

And what did the warriors achieve? Not a single scalp! None of the kids are going to get disciplined, none are groveling or apologizing for nothing, presumably none will be shut out from gainful employment, and none are going to get assaulted or murdered as punishment for their supposed crime. If anything, they have only hardened their targets into greater vindictiveness after the warriors lost.

And unlike the earlier incidents, this time the media had to almost immediately retract their narrative and issue mealymouthed apologies. This makes all future battles even more risky on the warriors' part, since they've already admitted their own guilt. If they were not forced into admitting guilt, they could enlist their troops into another high-risk battle. But after having to admit guilt, and cut their losses so swiftly, there will be far fewer troops willing to enlist in the next battle, and they will not fight with the same zeal.

To reiterate, this is not necessarily because those would-be warriors have had a change of beliefs -- they may still believe the narrative to some degree, but given how catastrophically their leaders have fucked up, they would not expect glorious victory but humiliating defeat. Thanks, but no thanks. These are akin to former Iraq War supporters who may still believe that Hussein was a threat that needed to be contained, but on pragmatic grounds simply do not want to keep losing wars.

Of course, some would-be warriors have gone the extra step and now no longer believe the narrative that there are widespread roving gangs of white supremacist preppies who must be eliminated before they inflict further trauma on society. These are akin to the former Iraq War supporters who will never forget being lied to so blatantly about WMDs, 9/11, etc. They might hypothetically accept a military role for the US if such claims were proven to be true, but after such a stinging betrayal, they can no longer trust the claims from the US military. In the culture war, these types will dismiss future narratives as the same old fear-mongering that they lied about last time.

A tiny minority have been principled anti-culture-war pacifists the whole time, but then they do not represent a change during this new phase. Pacifists don't end wars -- defectors do. This has nothing to do with value judgments of who has been on the right side of history, but a descriptive statement of when we can evaluate the conditions to have qualitatively shifted out of one phase and into another.

Below is a sample of these defections. They are on the socialist Left, and although I don't know for sure, probably bought into the basic narrative of the Duke lacrosse case in the last decade. Maybe even saw white preppy dudes as a bad social force needing to be contained somehow. And at least some of them bought into the initial reporting on the MAGA teen episode, before the whole picture disproved it.

But their initial reaction was that even if we accept your framing of the events, what do you want us to do? You're calling for teenagers to be doxxed, banished, assaulted, and mass murdered -- that's psychotic and disgusting on its own, and will only make it more impossible for the class-oriented Left to build a coalition to achieve a better standard of living for everyone.

That's the key distinction -- it doesn't matter if some on the Left still believe parts of a specific narrative (e.g., the MAGA teen), or the greater ongoing narrative about "shitty white males". Beliefs don't matter, only actions. If they're unwilling to enlist in the culture war, and might outright sabotage it in the future, that's what matters, not their conception of events.

This will be lost on the identitarian Right, who as idealists will not consider the culture war over until one side changes its beliefs. But to the materialist / realist Right, this clearly portends the winding down of the culture war, as liberal media generals increasingly find it harder and harder to sign up new zealous troops.

The last one is the start of a thread too long to embed here. I'm leaving Michael Tracey aside since he's been reliably against this culture war crap for awhile, and not as notable of a defection.

Here is a recent episode of the Red Scare podcast that discusses the issue, and places them within the same defector camp as the Twitter people above. Two of those quoted, Adam Proctor and Aimee Terese, host the Dead Pundits Society podcast, and will be live-streaming on their YouTube channel at 8pm ET tonight -- I'd be surprised if they didn't touch on the issue. Here are two lengthy threads, first and second, at a Reddit group dedicated to destroying identity politics in favor of class-first Leftism.

A separate defection comes from the Black identitarian part of the Left, exemplified by Tariq Nasheed. He takes the media narrative at face value -- since, again, the facts are not relevant -- but asks what the liberal Establishment wants him to do about it? Blacks have been fighting other groups' fights for too long, with no reciprocation to help out blacks specifically, so it's time to let non-black groups like Native Americans fight their own fights. (HYON means "hold your own nuts".) He emphasizes the antagonism between non-white groups, such as Native American tribes trying to keep their membership purified of black people with some Native ancestry.

Presumably, Nasheed would enlist in a culture war hysteria that involved blacks as the victims, but those have become increasingly rare. As he goes on at length about in a livestream on this issue, the mainstream now considers the narratives about blacks as victims to belong to the past, during the 1960s Civil Rights movement. They are old news. The new culture war narratives are all about women of various races, including wealthy white women, Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, immigrants (including African immigrants, who slavery-descended Nasheed does not identify with), homosexuals, trannies, and so on and so forth.

So while he and his fellow travelers are potential culture warriors, they will not be so in practice since the generals are no longer waging war on the "black victims" battlefield. If the only battlefields that the generals choose are about defending wealthy Ivy-educated white women, gay Hollywood child molesters, and black-hating immigrant groups, they will not be volunteering for the culture war.

Political independents and realist conservatives should be doing whatever they can to amplify these fractures within the Left, so that identity politics and culture warring can be eliminated for good. Not because Leftists will convert their belief system to that of right-wingers, but because they won't want to keep investing so much into such increasingly risky ventures that only keep delivering greater and greater losses.

January 13, 2019

Tulsi campaign to flush out woke imperialists from Democrat party, attract culturally conservative populist crossover voters

As long as Tulsi Gabbard does not cannibalize votes from the one plausible re-aligner candidate to unite around, Bernie Sanders, there's no problem in her running a campaign before the actual primary voting begins. She could help build enthusiasm for realignment during the debating stage, and get most of her supporters to go to the polls for Bernie during the voting stage. She endorsed him last time, and they mostly overlap on the issues, so that should not be too hard for her to do.

The real threat to uniting around Bernie is Pocahontas, who will not campaign on the same issues as he will -- she is a Reaganite, not a realigner -- but who will still position herself as an enemy of the banks. She will not drop out before voting begins, nor eagerly plead with her supporters to vote for Bernie, whom she refused to endorse last time.

With Tulsi in the race during the debate stage, she and Bernie can tag-team the neoliberals -- Bernie focusing more on domestic issues, and Tulsi on foreign policy. They will force the dozen other neolibs to promise crushing austerity programs domestically, and endless wasteful destruction abroad.

That will be the main split among the candidates -- survival or extinction. Most voters will not care what particular flavor their austerity/warmonger candidate comes in. They are sick of the failed Reaganite system, and want major change. That leaves only Bernie/Tulsi. The voters who materially benefit from austerity and war will split their vote a dozen different ways, just like the anti-realigners did during the GOP primary in 2016, clearing the way for a consolidated realignment vote in favor of Trump.

Tulsi's function in the prelude to voting will be to force voters to choose between identity politics and material issues like healthcare, wages, and war. She will be pilloried by liberals for not being pro-gay, pro-choice, or pro-Islamist. These are empty dead-end identity issues for materially comfortable liberals to jerk themselves off to -- no different than being vocally against gay marriage, pro-life, or anti-Islamist are empty identity issues for materially comfortable conservatives.

Someone who wants to improve material conditions first and foremost will form an alliance with anyone else who does, regardless of their differences on less important social-cultural issues. So Tulsi is perfectly happy to endorse and work with Bernie, who holds more liberal positions on the social issues. And Bernie is happy to work with Tulsi. Each one of them does not care about these marginal identity issues, or else their alliance would never have formed.

Those who put empty identity issues first could stand behind Bernie but would reject Tulsi. This includes most of the so-called "socialists" who have re-branded themselves after Bernie's 2016 campaign. They're not the inheritors of historical socialism, which is class-first and anti-imperialist. They just got tired of being called SJWs, but still could not leave behind their favorite label of "social justice". In practice, in the US in 2019, "socialism" mainly means "social justice-ism" AKA "intersectionality".

That's how the DSA shot up in membership by several orders of magnitude overnight -- tens of thousands of former liberals or progressives did not suddenly adopt a whole new worldview, vision, strategy, tone, or set of goals. They're the same ol' libs and progs from before Bernie showed up, but since the hot new phenomenon labeled himself a "democratic socialist," well, they had to adopt that label as well. They've always styled themselves as radicals, and "socialism" has a radical connotation, so they're happy to adopt the term. But fundamentally, they are stylistically-radical liberals ("radlibs" in the words of the class-first, anti-imperialist Left).

These libs and progs will not condemn Tulsi for her economic policies, which they mostly share, so these opponents are not pro-austerity. They are pro-welfare state. But they will scold her for discussing radical Islamic terrorism, on the basis of any criticism of any Muslim individual or group being Islamophobic. She will make these crazy woketards say that we must let ourselves get blown up by jihadists just to prove that we aren't Islamophobic. And that anyone who isn't a Sunni Muslim in the Middle East must let themselves get blown up, their shrines desecrated, and their villages bulldozed, to prove they have not bought into the Western white supremacist myth of radical Islam.

These identitarian attacks against Tulsi's foreign policy agenda benefit the Pentagon's alliance with the Salafi jihadists of the Gulf like Saudi Arabia, who along with Israel are our partners in imperialism throughout the Middle East. This puts the woke crowd in league with the imperialists. And if there's anything the American people hate, it's political correctness and endless wars -- combine them both, and it's an electoral death wish. Tulsi's campaign will serve to flush the woke imperialists out of any realignment coalition.

There are far more politically incorrect anti-imperialists than there are woke imperialists, and being more Independent in partisan affiliation, they would have no problem invading the Democrat primary to vote for Bernie, if Tulsi withdraws and endorses him. The woketards are far more moralistically partisan, and would rather drop out of Bernie's electoral coalition if it meant sharing space with those who are ritually unclean ("deplorable"). All the more space for us, then, who don't mind mingling with different groups, as long as they share our goals.

Realignment of the Democrats into the dominant party, after Reaganism, requires purging themselves of their anti-coalitional members, i.e. those who want a smaller purer party. All politics is coalitional, and a dominant party must be even more of a cohesive coalition than the opposition party. And in order to realign, they must secure permanent massive defections from the current dominant party. In 2019, that means stealing away legions of Trump voters for the indefinite future. The only way to do that is to say "We're going to bury the hatchet on all this pointless culture war BS, and focus on improving material living standards at home, and cutting loose our dead weight empire abroad."

Woketards will never bury the hatchet on the culture wars, so they will purge themselves out of this new realignment coalition, especially once they get a taste of large numbers of former Trump voters sharing the room with them. Tulsi's campaign can be a call to the Trumpian cavalry to come to the aid of Bernie during the primary, when he's most desperate.

The strategy for Trumpian populists should be supporting Tulsi during the debating stage, then voting for Bernie when the polls open. Bernie is the only viable candidate to crush the identity politics crowd for good, by winning on material issues after getting vilified as a racist sexist old white man. Just as Trump was the only viable candidate to crush right-wing identity politics (pandering to evangelicals), by winning on material issues after getting vilified as an atheist adulterer with "New York values".

January 9, 2019

Trump's border speech was typical GOP, about crime / drugs; Realignment requires focus on economics and populism, which only Bernie crowd can deliver

Trump's border speech could have been worse -- it could have said no barrier whatsoever, and btw we're amnestying everybody. But it failed to realign the GOP, adhering to the Reaganite orthodoxy about waging a war on crime and drugs in order to distract from the elite sources of our deteriorating standard of living and fragmentation of our communities.

In particular, he failed to name and blame the enemy -- the elites on the GOP side, who have been steering our society since the 1980s, and who have a collective material interest in cheap labor. Their sectors of economic activity are physical and labor-intensive, unlike the informational and non-labor-intensive sectors who control the Democrat party. The cost of labor is a major component of the cost structure for GOP elite sectors like armed force (military, police, prisons), manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.

Their cartels will always push for cheaper labor in order to maximize profits, and when they organize together in a political coalition like the GOP, they will pursue this goal through replacing American workers with cheap foreigners. Either by re-locating the worksite to the cheap labor colony (manufacturers who off-shore their factories), or by bringing the cheap labor here if the worksite cannot be re-located (agribusiness whose worksites are its immovable land).

Democrats have been the powerless shut-out opposition party during the Reagan era, so they deserve less or no blame in general. On immigration, they have not passed the amnesties or open-borders laws that Reagan and Bush Sr did, and that Bush Jr spent his entire time attempting. Workers -- not the elites -- in labor-intensive sectors are a major chunk of their electoral base, especially those who are collectively organized, like union members.

Even their elites do not depend on slashing labor costs because that is just a rounding error in their cost structure. For example, the senior cartel of their coalition -- finance -- employs nobody, and is still at the top of their industry on a global scale. Their "costs" are when they take financial risks that blow up, like lending someone money who doesn't pay it back. Those are balanced by the rewards when their risks pan out, like when the debtor does something highly profitable with their loan, and manages to pay back the loan plus interest. Finance may seek bailouts if their bets don't work out, but they do not seek cheaper labor.

So far, Bernie Sanders has been the only major politician to call out these cheap-labor material motives as the basis for our immigration policies, casting blame correctly on the GOP elites. During the most recent presidential election cycle, he dismissed "open borders" as "a Koch Brothers proposal". He represents the electoral base of the Democrats -- actual or potential union members -- but his view could be harmonized with the elites of his party like the Wall Street investment banks, whose bottom lines would not be affected one way or the other if we closed the borders.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump railed against the GOP elites, though not so much on immigration as for trade / industrial policy and foreign policy. Still, he was not blindly partisan in his blame, and delighted in antagonizing the party's elites, who he said were manipulating the other candidates like puppets on a string. Now in office, Trump only blames the powerless opposition party, rather than returning to his campaign trail slogan of being even more disappointed in the Republicans than in the Democrats.

Aside from having the wrong analysis, and therefore the wrong proposed solution (hector Congressional Democrats), this speech took the wrong move in building a broad coalition to support the supposed goal of reducing immigration. By being partisan, he turned off all Democrats and most Independents -- who want to hear both parties blamed -- and by focusing on the themes of crime and drugs, he appealed only to conservative morality, giving liberals and moderates an easy excuse not to join him.

Focusing on matters of class and economics, and populism against elitism, would have had greater success in building a coalition at the popular level, but also at the elite level. Now, he has no elite support, including from Republicans, whose material interests militate in favor of cheap labor, and therefore open borders. If he had opened the door for Democrat elites, such as finance, they could have amassed political capital for appearing to be the good elites, as opposed to the bad elites, on the economic concerns of the working and middle classes -- while not having to sacrifice their own material interests. That's how the borders stayed closed during the prosperous New Deal era, when finance still controlled the Democrats but they were the dominant rather than opposition party.

In order for the Democrats to re-gain dominant-party status, they require massive defections at the electoral level, as well as one or more elite sectors.

As for the latter, that is a separate post, but it is industrial commodities like steel, whose elites have generally supported the GOP but who have been wiped out by the de-industrial trend pursued by the more powerful manufacturers of finished goods, who want cheap materials as well as cheap labor, and who have been only too happy to substitute foreign for American steel. Robust protection of steel would secure Pennsylvania back for the Dems, while mealymouthed marketeering would give them little reason to return.

As for popular support, they need anyone who feels like the GOP has sold them out. These are people opposed to wasting resources on maintaining our crumbling and pathetic empire abroad. They are people who want to re-industrialize the economy, in order to raise the average person's prosperity back to industrial-society standards rather than continuing to revert to pre-industrial peasant levels. And they are people who want to dramatically reduce the share of the population who are foreigners.

The GOP during the Reagan era has sold out all of those groups, and they feel like they "want their country back". A minority do not really mean this, and are dyed-in-the-wool Reaganites who are simply upset that their gains also come with some costs. But most disaffected non-Democrats really do want to go back to the New Deal era, which did include closed borders, a more homogeneous population, and civil rights focused on one group, the descendants of African slaves, who were deeply rooted in this country and had been mistreated, rather than diluting civil rights into "every fresh-off-the-boat minority group gets to be represented in Disney movies".

Realigners on the Democrat side do not have to make explicit nationalist appeals to the very large group who "wants their country back," but rationalizations are not important, the outcomes are. As long as that group can see that immigration will come down, and the population will be more native-born, they don't care what the reasoning is, what the public rhetoric is, or what party or politician gives it to them. If it's a democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders, and if he's making purely class-based rather than nationality-based appeals, who cares? That's just PR.

There would be a wave of people who have "never voted Democrat in my life," or who have done so only occasionally and grudgingly, who will now do so eagerly and devotedly. That will mark a departure from the Obama coalition, most of whose GOP defectors were temporary and grudging -- and who went right back to the Tea Party and neutered Obama from getting anything done.

The right must move in that direction also, giving relatively less importance to nationalist appeals in the context of immigration, and more to economic appeals. Breitbart, Ann Coulter, and Tucker Carlson are leading the way on this shift in appeal. They are positioning to be the opposition party under a Bernie-dominant era -- agreeing on the big-picture fundamentals, in the same way today's Democrats share the GOP's neoliberal orthodoxy, but are more culturally liberal. The new GOP will be culturally conservative sympathizers of the Bernie / Ali O-C agenda.

And the left must accept these new populist Republicans, as a preferable opposition compared to one dominated by Reagan, the Bushes, McCain, Romney, Ryan, et al. At the outset of the realignment, they will even have to tolerate them in the Bernie coalition, in order to give it the oopmh necessary to overcome all the obstacles in its way and secure status as the new way of doing things. After that initial hurdle has been cleared, then the conservative populists can separate off on their own, into a new populist GOP.

That will be no different from everybody voting for Reagan, to terminate the New Deal, before segregating into red and blue Reaganite states. Or everyone voting for FDR, to secure the New Deal, before segregating into red and blue Midcentury states.

The alternative is to favor "woke neoliberals" over "racist populists," i.e. prioritize identity over class, and deliver an even more crippling level of inequality and immiseration than the Reaganites. There are only a handful of woke populists, not enough to sustain a dominant-party coalition. They will have to choose which slate of issues is more important in the trade-off, and that will determine whether we head toward another New Deal or another Robber Baron era.

January 1, 2019

Bernie is the most populist / socialist, not the "most left" -- therefore, the only shot to win the general

Socialists who are trying to clear the 2020 Democrat primary field for Bernie are going with the argument that Bernie is the farthest left, there's no one to his left, he's the true left, etc., against the identity politics crowd who would place all sorts of other Democrats to Bernie's left, including Harris, Booker, and other liberals in good standing with the ID-pol camp.

They are quibbling over the definition of "left," attempting to wrest it away from meaning identity-oriented SJW and back toward meaning class-oriented populist. But words mean whatever the language community's consensus is at the time and place that they're being used. You can't re-define words and expect everyone else to go along with it.

And right now, in probably every country where there's a word for "left," it refers to identity politics rather than class politics. It means supporting a coalition of certain marginalized identity groups -- people of color, women, gays, foreigners, etc. (Other marginalized identities fall under "right" ID-pol -- founding stock natives, heterosexual men, etc.)

"Left" does not mean wanting to break up the cartels that run our society, wanting labor unions to play a stronger role in the economy, seeking government protection for certain industries, and so on.

Like it, or don't like it, but that's what it means.

It's no different for "right" or "conservative". Everyone understands that to refer to culture-war topics, not so much to deregulation, tax cuts, military expansion, and the rest of their material agenda.

The populists supporting Bernie should learn from Trump's successful populist insurgent campaign in 2016. He did not run as the "most conservative" or the "farthest right" -- indeed, his opponents continually decried him as "not a true conservative," not a real Republican. And that charge was true -- he was a moderate on culture-war topics.

More importantly, though, he did not emphasize these identitarian distractions one way or the other. Some Republicans going for the yuppie vote try to play the culture war game, only from the liberal side. But Trump avoided those topics altogether, sticking with trade and industrial policy, militarism / foreign policy, and immigration. Whenever the culture war came up, he waved his hands and then moved on to his familiar material issues.

As he put it (paraphrasing), "Folks, I do happen to be conservative, but who cares? Our country's a mess, and we don't have time to worry about who's conservative, liberal, or moderate."

Some of his supporters may have made earnest arguments about how he was actually the truest conservative of the field, and the true candidate of the right, based on some rejected usage of "conservative" and "right". They didn't feel wholesome voting for a moderate, and felt better if they could cast their choice as ideologically pure. But nobody else bought that argument.

The same must happen on the Bernie side for 2020. He should not bring up identity politics or intersectionality at all, except to briefly wave his hands while mispronouncing a shibboleth to prove to the normies that he isn't really "one of them" (psychotic SJWs).

Voters worried that Trump might be another Bible-thumping Republican were quickly relieved to hear him mispronounce "Two Corinthians". Only someone who's never been to church, and doesn't take religion seriously, would fuck that up so bad. Phew! Evangelicals like Ted Cruz would never have made such a mistake.

If Bernie were to botch a pronunciation, fumbling over "outer-sectionality", it would relieve the non-leftist voters that he has nothing to do with identity politics. After the neoliberal shills jumped on his mispronunciation in the broadcast media, social media, etc., that would only convince normies all the more that Bernie does not belong to their in-group. Phew! No way would we ever vote for someone who revered a concept like "intersectionality".

All this crazy hand-wringing over identity politics would give Bernie the perfect opportunity to, like Trump, say "Look, I do happen to side with you guys on social and cultural issues, but there are quite frankly far more dire fundamental problems facing this nation, so who cares about who's liberal, conservative, or moderate?"

Like Trump, he would not be taking the opposite side of his party in the culture war, but ignoring it altogether, and casting aspersions on those who fixate on it -- as Trump did to Cruz et al, who were more worried about trannies in bathrooms than whether the working class would continue to be able to support their families if the management relocated their factories to Mexico, or whether we should go into debt by another $7 trillion just so the generals can play Risk in the Middle East.

The fact that Bernie is not the "most left" of the 2020 Democrats -- e.g. on "Abolish the 2nd amendment" -- is a selling point for the general public, not something to obfuscate or apologize for. If you need to tell yourself he's the "most" something, to make yourself feel pure, tell yourself that he's the most populist or the most socialist. No one believes those terms refer to social-cultural issues, and nobody disagrees that Bernie is the most class / economics populist of the field, by far.

Abandon the pointless struggle to re-claim the definition of "left" from the long-victorious SJWs, and prioritize terms like populism or socialism, choosing appropriately for your audience. Symbolic battles are not supposed to matter to materialists -- so just let the SJWs have their stupid "left" word, and use that to marginalize them with a general audience in order to advance materialist populism.

"See, the SJWs themselves hate Bernie -- what more of an endorsement could you want, Independent / Moderate / disaffected voters?"