A progressive utopia cancels the Great Emancipator. This is not right.

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Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, CA. (Justin Sullivan/Getty)

I am — or strive to be — a devotee of anti-catastrophism. In a discourse environment given over to hyperbolic outrage, in a takes landscape that professionally incentivizes inflating minor concerns into emblems of decadence, I maintain faith in the pre-internet folkways of Not Thinking That This New Thing Is The End Of Civilization.

I am an evangelist for my cause: I want to convince others to be anti-catastrophists too. My partner-in-crime Nicholas Grossman is also one. Arc is the way it is because we are the way we are.

One of my warnings is that, if we don’t commit…


It’s not always about race

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We knew texts could be disrupted — there’s a whole pedagogical initiative built around doing just that. But here’s the story of the fallout that ensued when someone tried to disrupt #DisruptTexts.

Late last year, Jessica Cluess, an author in the young adult fiction genre, was unceremoniously dropped by her literary agent and viciously mobbed online over the perceived racism in the barrage of aggressive tweets she directed at Lorena Germán, an antiracist educator and co-founder of #DisruptTexts.

Cluess was enraged by a tweet Germán wrote which called into question the importance of reading the classics. The backlash to her…


Berny Belvedere DISSOLVES THE FLESH of Ben Shapiro’s takes through a REVERSE OSMOSIS OF PAIN

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(Wikimedia Commons)

Politico invited Ben Shapiro to guest-curate its Playbook newsletter. Then the leftist tears flowed.

That, anyway, will be the Daily Wire headline when their write-up comes out. Thankfully, the Wire’s offices are stocked with tumblers for just such a moment. The “no drinking in the office” policy can’t possibly apply to this.

The strangest element in this entire episode isn’t anything Shapiro said in his guest spot, or the predictable triggering Shapiro’s presence engendered among the staff — no, the craziest thing about all this is that Playbook isn’t the sort of content offering that naturally lends itself to megapundits…


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Welcome to DiscRep, your guide to the public discourse. I’m Berny Belvedere, editor in chief of Arc Digital.

Rundown

A brief comment on a notable idea, issue, or policy

So it looks as if Mitch McConnell is on board with impeachment.


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Welcome to DiscRep, your guide to the public discourse. I’m Berny Belvedere, editor in chief of Arc Digital.

Rundown

A brief comment on a notable idea, issue, or policy

So it looks like these fun exhibitions of democratic assembly will continue to take place.


The myth of MAGA oppression

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A core element of Trumpism, and of populism more generally, is the incurable conviction that you and your movement are condemned to exist in a kind of permanent outsidership.

You could be utterly ensconced in power, just institutionally entrenched, the jackboot on people’s necks could be yours and yours alone, and yet your self-conception will be of a dispossessed insurgency valiantly opposing Orwellian forces.

What accounts for this?

Multiple things go into this mindset.

The MAGA Mindset

The first is philosophical in nature. Populism by design channels the fears and grievances of ordinary people against the predations of the establishment, of the elites…


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Welcome to DiscRep, your guide to the public discourse. I’m Berny Belvedere, editor in chief of Arc Digital.

Rundown

A brief comment on a notable idea, issue, or policy

In their effort to #whatabout yesterday’s Capitol invaders, people on the MAGA-sympathetic right are making two glaring mistakes about last summer post-Floyd movement.

The first involves failing to make a distinction between the protests and gatherings that were largely safe and legal, and the rioting and looting that were decidedly not.

Conflating everything into some sort of rhetorically effective but substantively empty descriptor like “Floyd riots” or “BLM riots” just marks you…


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Welcome to DiscRep, your guide to the public discourse. I’m Berny Belvedere, editor in chief of Arc Digital.

Rundown

A brief comment on a notable idea, issue, or policy

How should we view a political label like “conservative” or “Marxist” or “progressive”?

On one side is the idea that these labels are anchored to something semantically solid: like history (“Whig”), a document (“Constitutionalist”), a regional sensibility (“Dixiecrats”). …


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Welcome to DiscRep, your guide to the public discourse. I’m Berny Belvedere, editor in chief of Arc Digital.

Rundown

A brief comment on a notable idea, issue, or policy

Tim Pool is one of the worst people in the discourse.

What makes him so bad is that he styles himself as a truth-seeker but is actually a raging tribalist. Those two things are diametrically opposed. To be committed to pursuing the truth means being willing to follow it no matter where it leads, even if it takes you very far from home.

Pool never ventures beyond the safe perimeter of indirect…


Infinite Quark has the letter Cruz circulated to Senate allies. Here it is.

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Theodore Enneagram Dionysus (or “Ted”) Cruz, the senator from Texas, has circulated a letter to Senate allies ahead of the January 6 session to confirm the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In a sensational bid to overturn the will of the people, Cruz has demanded his fellow GOP senators reject the electors from crucial states won by Biden and instead allow his father, who once assassinated JFK (and, if we’re willing to follow the evidence, probably also Lincoln), to stand in for the discarded electors.

His father would be wheeled in, embedded inside a cake designed to look like…

Berny Belvedere

Editor in Chief of Arc Digital

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