What is happening in American politics?
We’re in the midst of a rebellion. The bottom and middle are pushing against the top. It’s a throwing off of old claims and it’s been going on for a while, but we’re seeing it more sharply after New Hampshire. This is not politics as usual, which by its nature is full of surprise. There’s something deep, suggestive, even epochal about what’s happening now.
I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. Gloria Steinemthought she owned feminism, thought she was feminism. She doesn’t and isn’t. The Clintons thought they owned the party—they don’t. Hedge-funders thought they owned the GOP. Too bad they forgot to buy the base!
All this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions. We feel less respect for almost all of them—the church, the professions, the presidency, the Supreme Court. The only formal national institution that continues to score high in terms of public respect (72% in the most recent Gallup poll) is the military.
A few years ago I gave a lecture to a class at West Point, the text of which was: You are entering the only U.S. institution left standing. Your prime responsibility throughout your careers will be to keep it respected. I then told them about the Dreyfus case. They had not heard of it. I explained how that scandal rocked public faith in a previously exalted institution, the French army, doing it and France lasting damage. And so your personal integrity is of the utmost importance, I said, as day by day that integrity creates the integrity of the military. The cadets actually listened to that part.
I mention this to say we are in a precarious position in the U.S. with so many of our institutions going down. Many of those pushing against the system have no idea how precarious it is or what they will be destroying. Those defending it don’t know how precarious its position is or even what they’re defending, or why. But people lose respect for a reason.
To New Hampshire: The rejection of the establishment’s preferred candidates in both major parties is a big moment. It is also understandable, the result of 15 years of failed presidencies. It is a gesture of rebuke toward the political class—move aside.
It’s said this is the year of anger but there’s a kind of grim practicality to Trump and Sanders......MORE
Speaking with host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News Daily, Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos discussed the suppression of conservative voices by Twitter on the social media platform.
“Why are you beating up Twitter, and why are you saying that Twitter trying to suppress conservative voices, and why is Twitter’s stock in a total free fall because Milo’s taking them on?” Bannon asked. “Are you a bigger, badder guy than Jack Dorsey?”
“Yeah, of course I am,” Yiannopoulos replied mischievously. “I’m absolute convinced that Twitter is embarking on a war against conservative points of view, a war against what we might call ‘Generation Trump,’ the dissident, mischievous voices of the new counter-cultural alternative right wing and libertarian youth.”
“Look at who Twitter employs,” he warned in reference to Twitter possibly influencing the 2016 presidential election. “You know, this guy used to work with Hillary, this guy used to work with Obama…”
“This is why Obama ran the tables with Google and with Facebook,” Bannon agreed. “Let’s talk about Facebook for a second. Why is Facebook suppressing voices in the continent of Europe about immigration. Why is Zuckerberg in bed with Merkel?”
Referring to the story of Facebook teaming up with the German government to censor debate over the influx of Middle Eastern migrants, Yiannopoulos said, “This is what the left does all over the world. They’ll take ridicule and criticism and they’ll rebrand it as abuse and harrassment or hate speech in some way.”
“This mergence of technology and thought control, it’s Orwellian,” Bannon said. “Are you fighting a rearguard action, or can we have victory in this?”
Noting that Twitter is failing and “in its death throes,” Yiannopoulos stated that Facebook is “more of a problem” and “the one we should really be worried about.”
“Why is Facebook more of a problem?” Bannon asked.
“Because the company’s not doing so badly,” Yiannopoulos replied. “Twitter’s influence is waning. We found out this week its monthly active users are going down. The stock price is tanking, partly as a result of their spat with me, I think. I don’t worry too much about them.”
“I do worry about Facebook. I worry about Facebook because it’s not just Facebook we’re talking about, they also own WhatsApp, and they also own Instagram,” he explained. “This company owns the platforms on which young people are messaging one another, and it has shown itself to be untrustworthy when it comes to free speech.”.....(MORE)
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