Covid is the first time I've seen the far right sacrifice themselves at the alter of identity politics

Not at all. The South Asians are out in Sugar Land these days or just outside in unincorporated Fort Bend waiting until it gets annexed by Sugar Land, like the New Territory subdivision of First Colony.

Your mom’s area is still fairly white but a bit older and close to Harris County for the ones looking at the newer developments. Meadow’s Place is only a few miles up Dulles/Kirkwood from my place. Katy, Sugar Land, and a lot of the big master plans abutting them but technically unincorporated (Riverstone/Cinco Ranch) have a lot of Asian Americans.

But it’s still true the more rural parts of the county, along with Richmond/Rosenberg are what you’d think. And many of the Asian Americans in the county really do skew conservative but aren’t so comfortable with the current GOP.

It’s confusing because it’s the party of altarnate facts.

Great thread, great responses mostly. Here’s another perspective:

Kevin Drum, 6/22/2021:

So we’re hierarchical creatures and efforts to re-arrange the hierarchy tend to make reformers and opponents freak out. Because in the ancestral environment, being a low status member of the tribe led to far more offspring than being an outcast from all tribes.

As it happens Liberals have led the culture wars, not conservatives, according to polling. But over at the never-Trumpist Bulwark, another guy argues that the opposite is true if you consider political leaders - Republican politicos stir the cultural muck far more enthusiastically than Dem politicos do, on average. But wait, you shouldn’t focus the dozen or 3 nutcases in Washington. That’s just political entrepreneurs responding to incentives. Instead, go back to the source of sensationalist views on public policy: It’s all Fox News.

Vulpes Nuntium delenda est.

Right. At the end of the day, this is a forum with the tagline of “fighting ignorance”. Based on a newspaper column which, though not always 100% correct, makes a good attempt to research facts and give a balanced, nuanced picture with no underlying agenda. The forum’s whole concept is inherently at odds with the “principles” of the current Republican party before anyone even says anything.

It should be added though, that it’s not hostile towards conservatism itself, and arguably even skews that way by international standards. I’m right-wing enough that I even represented the Conservative Party once in my native UK, and I feel quite comfortable here. It’s only the lunatic GOP that have a problem.

A former Republican presidential candidate died of it last year and Loser Donald’s cult barely noticed.

I even made this point in the ‘should we keep the Pit’ thread.

Conservatives were, shall I say, not happy.

In their defense, the guy who died was black.

I thought the gist of @Roger_That’s question was whether enough Republicans would actually die of Covid to give Democrats an electoral advantage. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) Fortunately for all of us, the virus just isn’t that lethal, so even a massive outbreak amongst, say, Florida Republicans probably wouldn’t tip the scales statewide.

Thomas Hobbes wrote:

So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second for safety; and the third for reputation. The first use violence, to make themselves masters of other men’s persons, wives, children and cattle; the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles, as a word, a smile, a different opinion, and any other sign of undervalue, either direct in their persons or by reflection in their kindred, their friends, their nation, their profession, or their name

I think the point about “I’d rather die than be told what to do” is very accurate, but I think it gets extended to “by reflection in their kindred, their friends, their nation, their profession, or their name”. So much racist shit it about how no black or brown person, anywhere, should be able to tell any white person what to do, and that principle goes in front of other considerations: it’s bad that a unarmed black/brown person got killed, but it would be even worse if that black/brown person had been able to resist orders from a white person. They lost their shit over Colin Kaepernick because he was publicly trying to tell white people what to do. It couldn’t be allowed.

And it’s the same with mask mandates. Even if they are living in such a way that they don’t feel personally constrained, it infuriates them that people they identify with are being told what to do.

The weirdest part is that so many conservatives who are struggling and poor have been convinced that somehow the wealthy are “their people”. They don’t like “their people” being told to pay more taxes. This goes back to poor whites being convinced that fighting in the Civil War was in their best interests. America has been remarkably effective at preventing the development of any sort of class consciousness, substituting racial identification in its stead.

My sense is that everyone knows they pay some taxes – even if they’re poor, they pay sales tax and see deductions from their paychecks. And they can’t stomach the idea that those tax dollars support those other people who don’t work as hard as they do. So they may hear about tax hikes for the wealthy and just figure, oh sure, and then the evil libruls will come for me next.

Exactly right.

And they’ll probably put their government hands all over my medicare.

Also in their defence,
‘What? Ben Carson isn’t dead!’

In a paywalled Bloomberg article (maybe with a couple of freebees per month), Josh Bernstein gives 4 reasons why Republican leaders have turned against vaccines: ( Bloomberg - Are you a robot? (No.))

Paul Krugman references reason #4 in this twitter essay:

After the GOP policy collapse it became more and more difficult for extremists to differentiated themselves from ordinary Republicans. So they needed to up the crazy.

Identity politics have been self-destructive for a long time. Poor white Southern sharecroppers had far more in common with their black neighbors than they did with plantation owners or railroad tycoons. Systemic racism was cultivated to keep people divided who would otherwise unite and exert pressure for their common good.

This is exactly right. It’s worth pointing out that some of the race riots of the late 19th Century occurred when black farmers/sharecroppers tried to negotiate better deals with white landowners. Free labor basically meant that poor whites had diminished labor prospects, thus presenting an ecological crisis. This was partly remedied by giving poorer whites jobs managing black slaves in different capacities.

When the system of slavery ended, that social class structure faced an instant crisis. Jim Crow was as much about restoring that structure in ways that the federal government would tolerate, and it was about making sure that working class whites didn’t rise up against upper class whites when capital and production inputs declined.

The Republicans, by virtue of things like the Southern Strategy, are the guardians of the Southern Democratic legacy. Republicans no longer try to compete on the battlefield of ideas - they’ve checked out. They know that they can’t win democratically, which means that they have to win undemocratically. They have to use the machinery of political power to their advantage and overpower democracy. And that’s precisely what they intend to do - and are doing right now.

In order to achieve that, though, they have to be solidly unified. Republicans don’t have the same levels of wealth, so they can’t really use economic status as a cause to rally around. It comes down to culture - more specifically, religion and race. They will use religion and race interchangeably, depending on their audience at any given moment. They’ll try to dress it up and tone it down somewhat while they still have to compete in elections, but as they get more sophisticated at rigging elections, they will become increasingly and viciously hostile toward non-whites.

Worse, we’re approaching a serious ecological crisis in the next 10-20 years. When an ecological crisis happens, there are two ways to respond. The powers that be can either reallocate capital, or they can reduce the ‘waste’ (unemployed and underutilized people) in an attempt to lower maintenance costs. I seriously doubt these guys would give even a thought to the first option, which leaves the second one.

Except, they do. Women who think they are “just fine”, forgetting how many of the rights they now have wouldn’t be theirs if it had been for “those damn feminists”. People who are confused when their cousin isn’t allowed to enter the country; they’re against inmigration but not of their cousin! Etc. etc.

I swear the USA is not the West. Unless you really, really, really like the writings of Samuel P. Huntington, that is. You seriously should know better.

I made a point about the West in general, and gave a cite from the (British) Telegraph as an example. What should I have known better?

Your “point” is not about the West in general, because most of the West was nowhere near as much of a clusterfuck as the US. Not even the UK, and even Boris Johnson’s dick knows he tried hard.

Firstly, that’s debateable. In terms of deaths per capita for example, the UK scores worse than the US (cite).

Secondly, it seems you leapt straight into being offended without reading what I actually said.
I was very clearly talking about masking and mask rules (only).

I view news from across the Anglosphere, and also a little from across Europe. And the majority of the Western world did this whole silly dance of “Masks are useless” becoming “N95 masks may have benefit, but surgical masks are useless” to finally “OK even surgical masks may be useful, but only to protect others from you, not the other way round”, which is still not what the actual science is saying.
Since various health agencies across the Western world have apologized for giving misleading information on masks, I really don’t see how this is even controversial at this point.

And, right now, I still don’t think the UK policy on masks is the most sensible one. Even if we’re dropping restrictions in general it really should be a no-brainer to keep masks as mandatory for public transport for the foreseeable future.