Madonna first squirmed around squealing about being a virgin on MTV’s Video Music Awards stage when I was merely a toddler. Madonna was already in her late twenties at the time, and was certainly no virgin. Decades later, the sixty year old woman is still squirming around trying to arouse and shock people. So are the VMAs, still awkwardly humping the wrecking ball that they’re taking to the ruins of American culture with Miley Cyrus this year.
Things got ugly this year when Nicki Minaj escalated her tiff with the half-naked hostess by going ghetto on her live and off-script. For all her herculean efforts to the contrary, Miley could not have looked more “white” when the sassy Black Nicki refused to be “tone policed.”
White Advocates may be inclined to reflexively side with Hannah Montana, but I’m firmly on Team Nicki. Miley had been scolding Nicki about her tone rather than addressing her allegations of racism in the VMA nomination process for weeks leading up to the ceremony.
“If you do things with an open heart and you come at things with love, you would be heard and I would respect your statement,” Cyrus said about Minaj’s tweets. “But I don’t respect your statement because of the anger that came with it … What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite.”
Trust me, I don’t agree with the point Nicki Minaj was trying to make about the VMA selection board supposedly being a holdout of White Supremacy. That point is indeed stupid. But Miley wasn’t disagreeing with that point; she was condescendingly disagreeing with how she said it. Tone policing is the disingenuous debate tactic of disregarding the topic in favor of the tone.
The #NRORevolt campaign against National Review is a revolt against their tone policing. Jonah Golberg’s article about Donald Trump was what triggered it, but the revolt against National Review is much bigger than Goldberg, the Trump phenomenon, or even the neocon takeover of the magazine over the past couple decades. From its very inception, National Review was founded by William F. Buckley as a vehicle for controlling the content of the conservative movement by feigning a high-minded concern for its tone.
Buckley didn’t challenge the substance of the John Birch Society’s paleoconservative arguments. He dismissed them all as lacking in respectability and gravitas. For the National Review, Birchers were a class of ideologues whose ideas were beneath discussion because they had the wrong tone. Buckley cleverly and effectively played on the status insecurities of middle-class WASP conservatives by feigning an aristocratic bearing and insisting that men with an aristocratic bearing all think in his consistently compromising antiquarian libertarian manner.
National Review played a pivotal role–perhaps the pivotal role–in transforming the Right from a movement with ideas to a status-signaling charade of fashionable posturing through a series of purges of any and all men who dared to insist on unfashionable Rightist ideals. Buckley appeared to achieve what no other “conservative” could, which is win the praise and respect of Leftists. This apparent anomaly was actually no anomaly at all, but a demonstration of his ability to win over the Right with style and win over the Left with substance.
Buckley is no longer around to manage this tone policing tightrope act, and it shows. He would have likely kept some harmless domesticated paleoconservative outliers like Robert Weissberg and John Derbyshire around. Buckley understood precisely how to lull the monster of White Identity asleep, and how to serve the Jewish agenda without making it too obvious that he’s cuckolding his readership. Buckley had a keen enough instinct for politics to have seen that some kind of populist uprising against libertarian wonkery and neocon cuckoldry was imminent, and he would have known better than to directly head butt Donald Trump’s populist insurgency.
In the absence of Buckley, you have the same actors as before, a bunch of Chamber of Commerce hacks kvetching about lowering taxes for rich people, partisan hacks playing red team/blue team grabass, and Zionist hacks engaging in thinly veiled ethnic advocacy for their “invade the world/invite the world” agenda. What you lack in his absence is a charismatic and congenial ringleader to persuade the audience that the carnival of corruption was a fancy and respectable conservative affair.
The flagship publication remains in publication despite being unprofitable on the fumes of its legacy, but the national conversation has left National Review behind. I don’t even know if Buckley himself could have managed to keep a cork on White American frustration at this point. We’re done being lied to. We’re done being condescended to. We’re done being politically cuckolded, and we’re not going to watch our tone.
Jonah Goldberg and the rest of the Trotskyite entryists at the National Review can fire their label gun at us all they want. Call us “anti-semites,” call us “fascists,” call us “isolationists,” call us “inbred,” and call us “peckerwoods.” They’ve tried everything over the last few days on Twitter and a very magical thing has happened in the conservative movement in America; they’ve stopped caring about being called names. Donald Trump is the current avatar of this sea change in conservative attitude, but this whole thing is even more yuuuuge than The Donald.
The SPLC has busted me around thirty times for being a big scary bigot, and I’ve even been known to sip from a swastika-emblazoned coffee mug. But the majority of the men on twitter and the NRO comment section are ordinary conservatives who’ve simply had it with being cucked. If the National Review staff and others keep calling them anti-semitic for objecting to their agenda of gifting our jobs to foreigners, gifting our citizenship to invaders, and gifting our soldiers to Israeli warmongers, the sharper ones may just make the connection; and they won’t watch their tone when they do.