Every day some facet of American culture will bear the brunt of media attention. There will be protests, and riots, and celebrities opining on the oppresiveness of whatever thing has aroused their wrath. We will discover, perhaps for the first time, or perhaps for the ten-thousandth, that someone or something is offensive. Let us take a moment and recall a few recent issues worthy of national attention. We had the terror of people who took up too much space on the subway, and after that we had to worry about oppressive gender politics in North Carolina’s bathrooms. Today, Confederate monuments are the cause célèbre.
My stance on Confederate monuments is a matter of record, and I see no reason beat a dead horse by repeating myself. It is farcical to even discuss this manufactured issue. Yesterday, nobody cared about Confederate monuments, save for a few fringe jobs who clamored on about slave ownership somehow contaminating history, as if America was somehow uniquely evil for having continued the practice for a time.
Indeed, most folks probably weren’t even aware of the existence of Confederate monuments, at least not specifically. If they were noticed, it was as passing distraction. Oh look, a statue of somebody. Presumably he’s notable for some reason. Whatever. I recently discovered that there was a statue of Lenin in Seattle when the pictured popped up in my Twitter feed. How many people even knew that? Ironically, the statue is currently for sale for the price of $250,000. Sounds like a tidy profit for some enterprising capitalist.
Nobody cares about these things. At least, not enough to take special notice of them. Lenin will not possess his statue and steal my pocket change for the proletariat. Neither will Robert E. Lee clamber down from his bronze horse and march to D.C. with an army at his back, though we can certainly wish he would. This Southerner would even sign up for raising Sherman back from the dead and convincing him to march North this time. Eventually, the paladins of Social Justice will get around to pulling down Grant’s statue, and Sherman’s will follow. After all, Grant was a phallocentric cishet misogynist drunk, or whatever buzzwords are in fashion among the SJWs, right?
It’s all manufactured outrage. The process is simple and transparent. Any man can see it for himself if he chooses to look.
First, an issue is identified by somebody with some level of popularity, wealth, or political power. The issue can be anything, you understand. Perhaps the issue will be the cultural appropriation of taco Tuesday by white Americans. Or maybe it will be how men belching is a dog whistle for misogyny. The man, you see, is demonstrating his contempt for any females within earshot when he burps. Anything can be rationalized this way. Anything can be argued to be hateful or discriminatory.
Once it is identified and pushed in some small way by someone with reach, a few genuinely angry people will protest it. Understand that for anything in the world, someone can be found to hate it. You could make your issue the color blue and be assured that someone, somewhere, would be offended enough to protest its existence.
Now, once a few legitimate protests spring up about the thing, the media will give it 24/7 news coverage. Perhaps there are only a few dozen people who hate the thing enough to come out on their own to protest it, but that doesn’t matter. Clever editing, camera angles, and constant coverage can multiply the perceived numbers and create the illusion of a much bigger movement. Note, too, that this can be used on political enemies as well as allies. When a few dozen Klansmen get together somewhere, the editors can make it appear like the Nuremberg rally.
Once news coverage is established, various wealthy and powerful Leftists can bus in supporters, pay some protesters to show up, and deliver canned protest signs and messages. Distributors of pussy hats may be found. T-shirts made in Chinese sweatshops for a few pennies will arrive, all because of happenstance, you understand. College professors will send their students to the protests, and various Left-wing organizations under the loose control of the DNC will bring in their own people who, like most folks, did not originally care about the issue, but have been convinced by the virtue signals to do so.
Now the issue is trendy. It is a hashtag, an exciting event with news cameras everywhere, a chance to be seen on TV to claim your 15 seconds of fame. Masses of people show up, more because it’s a cool, trendy thing to do than any real belief about the issue. It’s a good time at the protest, it feels nice for them to be part of a big crowd, fighting the injustice of whatever. And Madonna, or some other screeching hag trying to restore her lost relevance, will come to soak in the adoration of the crowds.
Once the protests are large enough to obscure them, bad actors soon show up to make it exciting, or to just loot some free shit and burn down a few buildings. The ritual smashing of windows and burning of trashcans commences. People in black handkerchiefs wave Soviet flags and proudly sport their all-black fashion sensibilities.
Celebrities lament the terrible tragedy of the issue, and condemn the thing as racist, sexist, homophobic, or some other buzzword of bigotry. Every media outlet runs stories on it. Perhaps Fox pushes a counter-narrative, but perhaps not, too. Most conservative politicians won’t touch the issue, and certainly won’t defend it, out of fear of being tarred alongside it. When in power, Leftist politicians will push for legal remedies for the manufactured issue, which will either involve a suspension of some liberties, or an increase in taxation. Preferably both. When not in power, the burning, screaming, and looting will continue until the Republicans cave in, or until a newer, shinier issue is presented.
As the Confederate monuments come down all across the country, remember this: in a year, few of the participants will even remember that it happened. They will be too busy tearing down the statue of, say, General Grant, or George Washington, or some other “dead white male.” Or perhaps they will lament the sexism inherent in men’s bathrooms having separate urinals, so that men can pee standing up when women cannot.
My crystal ball is fuzzy on the specifics of our future ‘issues’, but it is quite clear on the methods and tactics used to manufacture them. This tactic will be repeated ad nauseum until there are no more freedoms left, until the taxation reaches truly Marxist proportions. And when the last issue is gone, and the media has fallen silent on them, the purges will begin. After issues, it will be people. Reactionaries, perhaps, or kulaks. Like the fake issues, the specific groups of people do not matter. All that matters is that people have their perpetual two-minutes hate, for all time.
Every good capitalist is on the look out for imbalances in the market, opportunities to earn a profit off of a thing that either the market lacks completely, or current businesses do very inefficiently and ineffectively. You can consider it a form of arbitrage.
Today’s politicians, media talking heads, celebrities and the like are moral capitalists, even though they are economic collectivists. That is to say their morality is a form of arbitrage, always for sale to the highest bidder, where each statement they issue is calculated to profit them personally.
Take Marco Rubio, who today issued a series of tweets condemning Donald Trump for suggesting that the Charlottesville attack, and other similar incidents between Antifa and White Supremacists, was equally the fault of both parties. Donald Trump’s position is that both are hate groups, and both are quick to resort to violence to further their political goals, and that putting them together like that was surely going to stir up violence.
Personally, I think Trump is somewhat understating the case. White supremacists are exceedingly rare, even if they’ve received a shot in the arm from SJWs harping on white people all the time (hint: that tends to manufacture more supremacists, not less). What happened in Virginia may very well represent peak white supremacism, the very most such groups are capable of. Antifa and militant Marxists, meanwhile, enjoy far greater support from media, financiers (oh, the irony), and society-at-large. Antifa dwarfs Klansman and Neo-Nazis. Militant Marxists are, by far, the greater threat currently.
But that being said, Trump did put his finger on the central point: both groups espouse violent ideologies that are incompatible with freedom.
Marco, meanwhile, in his own words, pins 100% of the blame onto the supremacists.
This argument is remarkably similar to Antifa and other Marxist groups saying that mean words justifies violence, that speech they don’t like justifies burning down cities and attacking people. It is okay for them to violently shut down anybody right-of-center on college campuses around the country, but it is not okay for anyone right-of-center to speak.
Marco is on a continuum with the SJWs on this matter. He concedes the central point, that violence is an acceptable response to speech deemed offensive. Yes, in the case of Neo-Nazis and Klansmen, the speech actually is offensive. But it is still speech. Until it isn’t, anyway.
But if you’re a regular reader of The Declination, you already know my position on freedom of speech, and how speech alone does not justify violence.
To be fair, a lot of people are saying this, though, so let’s analyze this a little differently. Why does Marco denounce the white supremacists so readily, yet lets militant Marxists off the hook? As a man of Cuban ancestry, he ought to be very familiar with the depredations and dangers of Marxists. Why is he so willing to assign them 0% of the blame?
There is moral arbitrage here. When some politician or celebrity denounces Neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other assorted white supremacists, he is cheered. He is called stunning and brave. He is bashing the fash, taking a brave stand against the most evil ideology of man. In other words, he gets a huge moral bonus in the eyes of the media. It is easy to denounce white supremacists, who probably represent less than a tenth of a percent of the population. And it is profitable to do so, as well.
If it’s cheap and profitable, expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon. The explosion of Nazi denunciations is like the proliferation of those little fidget spinners that cost 10 cents to make and sell for $7.99 in every convenience store from here to Seattle. Everybody wants a slice of that action.
Meanwhile, taking a similar stand against Marxism is expensive. If a politician or celebrity stands up and denounces Marxism as a hateful, murderous ideology that is at least as evil as Nazism, he is often shot down. Real Marxism, of course, has never been tried. Real Marxism is a good theory, a good idea that maybe just hasn’t been implemented quite right. It’s morally true and righteous, and even if it has some problems, surely bashing the fash has to take precedence, right?
Except Marxism has a much higher share of the population. Marxism is celebrated openly on college campuses around the country. Marxists trash cities, riot, commit acts of violence with frightening regularity, and Marco assigns them 0% of the blame, because somewhere, there is an inbred Neo-Nazi off his meds tweeting from his mother’s basement.
Marco obtains a moral profit from denouncing white supremacism. He incurs a moral cost from denouncing Marxism. Playing the moral arbitrage for profit thus demands he pin the blame for political violence on only one participant. Then he is “stunning and brave” in the eyes of the body politic.
Marxists have been doing this as long as I’ve been alive. It is correctly seen as stupid and disgusting to wear an Adolf Hitler t-shirt. Yet somehow Che Guevara t-shirts are absurdly common. The Nazi swastika is correctly seen as a hate symbol, yet the Soviet hammer & sickle is given a pass. It is a historical tragedy that Communism was not discredited with the same vigor as Nazism was.
It is socially cheap to oppose Nazism. It is socially expensive to oppose Communism.
Donald Trump, whatever his other faults, possesses enough moral courage to speak the truth: both groups are hateful. And he paid the price for speaking that truth. Marco Rubio, meanwhile, lacks the stones, even though as descendant of Cubans, he ought to know better than most.
I’m very disappointed in him. I expect this from Democrats who have lacked moral courage as long as I’ve been alive, I even expect it from Republicans who have no history with Marxism. But I do not expect it from a Cuban Republican. Of all people, Marco, YOU should know better. Stop playing the moral arbitrage and speak honestly.
After all, even Donald Trump is showing more honesty and integrity than you are, right now.
I realized something important today. There is a friend of mine who is liberal, but I always chalked up as a sort of moderate lefty. We could talk about politics, and disagree on most everything, but drink beers and bullshit anyway. No rancor. We both acknowledged that we were trying to solve the same problems in different ways. Mostly, I could understand him, and he could understand me.
But now, I feel like I can’t reach him anymore. He’s drifted off too far. Oh, he mouths the same words as before. But they are empty. Like he doesn’t really believe them anymore. And I’ve come to realize it is the same for me.
We don’t live in the same country, the same culture. I like him still, but he is a foreigner to me, now. I may as well be talking to someone from Norway or France. His issues aren’t my issues, his world isn’t my world. We’ve nothing left in common. When I talk to him, it’s just going through the motions, now. I see on his wall how much he hates Trump and thinks his supporters are racists and such. He won’t say as much to me, of course, but… it’s there. And we both know that.
It is difficult to explain, but for me this is a major turning point. I used to be able to reach the other side. Oh, it was rare that I would change their minds. But they would listen, and nod, and understand. We could communicate. Make sense to one another.
And we can’t anymore. It’s not even the same language. I hear him talk about microaggressions, and the latest thing some lefty outlet like HuffPo is going on about. Maybe it’s genderqueer rights, or how some industry needs to be nationalized because of slavery. Even the words don’t have the same definition. When he says “justice” he means something entirely different. I don’t know what, exactly. I’ve only a vague understanding of what he means, but it is not what I mean when I use the word. Repeat for many terms, from “equal” to “fairness,” and even to “colonizing.”
We were born in the same country, but I suspect we will not die in the same country. They have different stories, different heroes, different words, different beliefs, and an entirely different culture. I came to realize that he was speaking what I regarded (politely) as gibberish. Utter nonsense. But, somehow, it made sense to him.
This isn’t about disagreements anymore. It’s something much bigger. It’s about the American people separating into its component parts, like taking the whole thing to the scrapyard to be torn apart. People are fracturing along ethnic, religious, and political lines. We aren’t one nation, under God.
But like my friend and I, sometimes we drink a beer together and pretend we are, just vaguely shouting gibberish at one another from the distance. Perhaps for reasons of nostalgia, or maybe just out of some kind of cultural inertia that will soon run out of steam.
Whatever the reason, I am not optimistic about our future as one country, one people.
Lately, the political world has narrowed. It has become small. When the shooting happened at Pulse, in Orlando, I saw folks I knew distraught over the affair. I knew people who lost friends there. I’ve DJed in that area many times. It was too close for comfort. It is one thing when such violence is far away, and quite another when you realize how near to you the lightning struck.
Well, it’s happened again, and even closer this time.
My friend Louis, who lives less than a block away from me, has now been a subject of national news after an altercation over his support of Trump.
Because of ongoing legal matters, I cannot tell all of the details. What I can say is this: Louis acted in defense of himself and his family.
He brought his Trump “Make America Great Again” hat with him on his vacation to our nation’s capital. Louis has been a strong supporter of Trump from day one. In this, we sometimes disagreed, on occasion, as my support for Trump was somewhat more grudging and less enthusiastic. But nonetheless, he wanted to support our President on his trip to DC, and I can’t blame him for that. While in a restaurant with his wife and two daughters, he was heckled by three men over his hat. There were threats made in front his family. I won’t repeat them here, but note that they were targeted at his wife and daughters as much as at him.
Louis tried to leave the restaurant, not wanting to deal with that sort of thing while on vacation, but while waiting for an Uber ride to pick him and his family up, the three came outside and continued with their heckling and threats. And then one of the men struck him.
Suffice it to say, once they turned the situation physical, it did not go so well for them. 3 on 1, and they got their asses handed to them.
DC Police, of course, sided with the Leftists immediately. After all, it’s not exactly a bastion of Trump support. They tried to charge him with a hate crime, despite the fact that it was the anti-Trumpers who kept following him (this much has already been proven from cameras inside the restaurant), and it was them who struck first. Fortunately, it appears that his lawyer got the hate crime charge struck down, at least. But Louis’ defense will be expensive, and victory is not at all assured, unless camera footage from outside the restaurant can be found covering the incident. The punishment is the process, and he’s suffering it now.
Our political world is narrowing. Or, at least it sure feels that way to me. Used to be I didn’t know anyone who had been through political violence like this. Now, it’s becoming routine. Not to mention Antifa has been calling Louis and his wife continuing with various threats, and trying to post bad reviews of his business. Standard operating procedure for them, I suppose. Our block is ready for them, of course, should they try anything particularly stupid.
But, being cowards who only attack with 3 to 1 superiority (and still lose), I doubt we have much to worry about. Until the next such incident, anyway. Next time it could be you, dear reader, or even me.
After a short break from political posts, I have returned. This morning, I read an excellent piece at Liberty’s Torch, which touched on intimidation in politics. This, in turn, was inspired by another post at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. Both got me thinking on the matter of subtle intimidation.
Intimidation is a common feature of Leftist politics, such that most regular folks routinely hide the extent of their true political beliefs.
Leftists have taken it upon themselves to insinuate that this is racism, or some other -ism, and that we are all secret fascists who merely don’t want our horrible views exposed to daylight. But they have it exactly backwards, probably by design. You see, actual neo-Nazis and modern fascists are anything but secretive about their beliefs. Though they are very few, they are also very loud. They want to be seen. They have already paid the social price for it. Calling a Nazi a Nazi doesn’t hurt their feelings any. They know what they are.
In this, SJWs and their ilk are projecting their own behavior onto their ideological opponents. Many SJWs are thinly-veiled Communists, so they presume that we must all be thinly-veiled Nazis. After all, it’s the sort of thing they would do in our place.
In reality, most people on the Right are just scared. Not of physical violence for the most part, though perhaps some worry about that too. Rather, they fear character assassination. They fear being tarred as racist, sexist, or some other thing, and losing their friends, their jobs, and their good names.
Meanwhile the Left continues to increase the number of indications of racism. Eating a plate of Chinese takeout may now be considered a racist act. Wearing a kimono to an art exhibit about a well-known painting featuring a kimono is now cultural appropriation. Enjoying the wrong video game is an indication of sexism. Failing to be 100% convinced by Climate Change activists is proof of… well, some kind of violation against The One True Narrative. The specifics don’t matter. There is always something they can use against you.
In such an environment, many folks do indeed hide their beliefs. They fear that they might be the target of a political witch hunt, that anything they say will be taken out of context by the hostile media establishment and used to destroy them.
In some ways, this has bit the Left in the ass. Donald Trump’s election was unexpected in part due to the fact that people hid their support for him out of such fear. Polls were shifted as a result. The hidden Trump closet proved fatal to Hillary’s campaign.
But nonetheless, the fear is strong. I hear it from many personal friends who read my posts, but do not comment on them out of fear of being identified. One friend told me: “I love your posts. Even when I disagree with them, they always give me something to think about. But I can’t reply. It’s too public. I don’t know how you do it.”
In a Facebook thread that blew up to over 500 replies, I admitted my conservative/libertarian leanings in public view. I lost dozens of “friends” over this, one who spent the better part of the thread calling me a neo-Nazi and suggesting that I wanted to send Muslims to death camps, before he finally blocked me.
The level of vitriol you are exposed to as an open conservative is staggering, and I am not surprised that most regular folks are disinclined to weather it. Indeed, I wouldn’t have even done it, had my financial position been at all insecure. Only from a strong financial position can you weather character assassination by the media.
And I did lose some support in that quarter. The admission cost me one of my long-time DJ residencies. The promoter was an outspoken Bernie Bro, and could not countenance working with someone who as an admitted Rightist. I made up the difference with a new residency (and I maintained one of my other ones – I found out that promoter was a secret libertarian), but it was nonetheless disappointing to me. This was someone I had worked with for several years.
The financial and social penalty for admitted Rightists is non-trivial. Whereas most Rightists I know will continue to work with admitted Leftists. Perhaps this is a mistake. The Left has deployed a weapon against us, and perhaps it is time to use it against them, to expel them from our communities, to price them out of our markets, and to remove them from groups under our control.
For me, however, the price was much smaller than it could have been. By having minimal debt (only a mortgage now, and one that is approaching 50% equity), significant savings, and multiple streams of income independent of one another, it is very difficult for a Leftist to ruin me. The attempt cost me less than 5% of my income, and even that was quickly replaced.
How different is it for a man who has a lot of debt, and only one job? How much fear does he have that a media storm could deprive him of not only his job, but of his employability? I submit that such folks vastly outnumber folks in my position.
But it is always the Left that claims they are oppressed, harassed, bullied and such. The pressure on Rightists is not so obvious, but it is pervasive and everybody knows about it. This is why the Left continues to push the Nazi label. “Do what I want,” says the Leftist, “or I will make the entire world see you as the scum of the Earth.”
Of course, it’s seldom openly stated as such. But we all know it, nonetheless.
It all comes down to the media. Without the power of the media to amplify such nonsensical accusations, nobody would fear the Left. We would laugh at such insults. The stupidity of calling everybody a secret fascist would be readily apparent. But with the media able to pick any random target it wishes, and assassinate that person’s character at will, with little to no possibility of defense… the fear is there.
Incidents like what happened to Justine Sacco reinforce this. Remember Brendan Eich “resigning” (we all know the he was pressured to do so). Remember the media trotting out to the middle of nowhere to find a pizza shop that didn’t want to cater gay weddings. The implication is that anyone could be a target. Being a small business owner in the middle of nowhere doesn’t make you safe.
Nobody is safe from the media. That’s what they want you to believe, but in such a way that no one clearly states it, that nobody clearly admits it, so that they always retain plausible deniability.
Note that since Trump unexpectedly won the election, the media has been dedicating itself 24/7 to doing nothing but assassinating his character. They even tacitly excuse literal assassination, in the case of Steve Scalise.
At some point in the history of this country, the gatekeepers in media and entertainment presumed that they were the true rulers of this country, that they determined what people believed, what they thought, and what they were allowed to say. They presumed to move Presidents and Congressmen merely by leveraging character assassination and establishing the framework of their accepted Overton Window. They could swing whole elections.
The Internet has deprived them of the exclusivity of this framing. People may (and frequently do) bypass them for news and information. But they still retain the power of character assassination, even if a few, like Donald Trump, have remained stubbornly immune to it. They have the funding, the airtime, the audience, and allies among gatekeepers and HR departments around the world.
It is that power which must be broken if we are to step out into the light again. It is not enough that we cast them as fake news, though this must be done also. They cannot be permitted to assassinate characters on a whim.
And if we cannot break them of this power, then we must deploy a similar power ourselves. How much economic damage can we force on them if they do this? How many people can we get fired? How many businesses can we destroy?
I really don’t want to go down that road. I’ve always thought it to be one of the lowest, most scummy tactics a man might use on a political opponent. I hate it, and I’ve always attacked the practice as the worst of mudslinging.
But if they don’t stop it soon, what choice do we have? And maybe that’s the message we have to use: “stop now, we really don’t want to do this back to you, but we will if we must.”
Perusing the usual suspects this morning, I came across a piece at Liberty’s Torch which bears some commentary. In it, Francis explains his view on the recent unpleasantness from CNN and anonymity in general:
I do disapprove of what CNN did. There are Internet users with good reasons to keep their real names a secret. Certainly the maker of that video was within his rights to travel under an anonymizing moniker. However, allow me to say that:
- I have much more respect for persons who don’t hide their identities when they express themselves;
- Had this fellow traveled under his right name, CNN would have been unable to do him any harm.
I understand that in our time, a policy of openness about who you are and what you believe is double-edged. Those who find your thoughts persuasive will respect you more than otherwise. However, those who find your sentiments (or you personally) offensive or threatening will be able to target you. If you regard yourself, or persons you love, as too vulnerable for my policy, I understand your decision.
But remember the breadth of the Internet, and the tissue-thinness of the concealment an anonymizing moniker provides. What CNN did to that video maker, it can do to you. For that matter, it takes far less clout and far fewer resources than those possessed by CNN to do it.
Just a quick thought. Feel free to dismiss it as the blather of a man who probably has “nothing to lose.” Except that if you really knew how much I have to lose, and how often vicious persons have threatened me and it, you might sing a different tune.
Personally, I am very divided on this issue. As a result, I continue to operate under a sort of partial anonymity. I am immune to casual attempts to discover my identity. But I don’t operate under any sort of security, and, indeed, my photograph is in the upper right corner. It is also present on my Twitter feed. My Facebook friends are aware of my generally Right-wing leanings, now. I have spoken about family history, and it would not be difficult at all to discover my identity. Indeed, I’ve been doxed before.
At the same time, I don’t sign my name at the end of every piece for a very important reason: it could cost me money. Among my clients and business partners, I deliberately avoid political discussion. No doubt a good many of them are fully aware of my views anyway. But by avoiding discussion of such matters, we focus more readily on matters of business.
Fact is, I don’t expect most folks to understand my views or how I came to believe them. And if any are inclined toward Leftism, not only would they fail to understand my views, they would possibly come to see them as racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, or whatever. It is likely I would lose business.
Now, one might say I am being dishonest with them. But that’s not true either. I explicitly avoid political discussion with them, and they grant me the same courtesy. There are no lies exchanged, only a shared understanding that political discussion can ruin otherwise good business relationships. Now, if CNN came and made a national news story out of something I said, the issue would be forced with them. Their compatriots would ask “why do you associate with him, he said (insert something they don’t like here)?” The relationship would thus be damaged, or destroyed.
On the other hand, I am not personally afraid to air my views. So I attach my photo. And to folks I trust aren’t out to cause me grief, I readily disclose my identity.
Nonetheless, if CNN made me the subject of one of their Maoist Struggle Sessions it would cost me a considerable amount of business. I could afford to suffer the loss, mind you. I generally live below my means and have significant savings and assets. Furthermore, while some of my clients are undoubtedly Left-leaning, many others are not and would probably stick by me even in such an event.
And this circles back to one of the strongest reasons to maintain some level of anonymity: your income. Character assassinations from the Left generally focus on your income. They want to get you fired from your job, or ruin your business, or render you unemployable. And they will twist and spin your words to do this, if necessary. They may even invent lies out of whole cloth, if they don’t find enough to incriminate you. They will take your words out of context, or interpret a joke seriously. If you’ve ever said anything hasty or angry on the Internet, they will unearth it and use that too.
Remember when that poor chef was tarred as a racist because she used the N-word once, decades ago, right after she was robbed?
If Leftists had respect for free speech, anonymity wouldn’t be necessary. And even today, as Francis says, putting your name to a thing shows a level of conviction that the anonymous often lack. But on the other hand, signing your name to a thing can carry a financial cost that one must be comfortable paying. It’s a trade off. Using your name grants authenticity, but can render you and yours more vulnerable.
Only you can decide if the risk is worth the reward. For myself, I have decided to split the middle. I go to no great effort to hide myself, but I maintain a sort of gentleman’s agreement to avoid too much political publicity for sake of my business relationships.
The fact of the matter is, it would be very unwise for CNN or any other entity to dox me and make me the focus of a struggle session, for then I would be freed to sign my name to all of this. The cost would have been forced on me anyway. They would get no apology from me, no grovelling. And I would only become more forceful about my opinions, not less.
Because at that point, what have you got to lose by just going with it? And that ties into another point. If the Left and the media keeps up with tactics like this, it could get very ugly. I have resources and alternate sources of income to carry me through such a time. What happens to folks who don’t have such resources to call upon? If you destroy their livelihood, you will have created an enemy with nothing to lose. You will have put their backs to the wall.
The Left ought to reflect very carefully on this. The anonymous denizens of the Internet could become a lot more dangerous if pressed into a corner. I wouldn’t recommend this course.