Cutting off your nose to spite your face: James Lindsay’s voting for Trump and the Republicans

October 22, 2020 • 11:00 am

UPDATE: Helen Pluckrose, Lindsay’s partner in crime, is more sensible. Here’s from a piece she wrote on Letter urging people to vote for Biden:

The left cannot be made more liberal by people going right. If that were likely to happen, we would have seen the Social Justice movement diminish in power and influence during the last four years of the Trump presidency. Instead it has gained steam and become a dominant illiberal force in society. The hypothesis that the left will come to its senses and ditch the identity politics and general wokery if the population, especially its traditional working class base, surges right has been disproven. Instead, CSJ has become both more dogmatic and more mainstream in response to this development.

Biden is a moderate liberal, not a radical Social Justice activist. He lacks the charisma and rhetorical power of Obama but his platform is very similar.  The lip-service he has paid to identity politics is regrettable but he has condemned the violent riots. His presidency would have to deal with the extremism problem giving him the chance to push the Social Justice left back with liberal leftism. That is the only way it can be pushed back. The left can only be fixed by the left and liberal leftists need to stay put and do that.

Most importantly, there is the rest of Democratic platform compared to the Republican platform. Do you want a minimum wage and progressive taxes? Do you want universal healthcare and a strong welfare safety net? Do you think effective action on climate change and Covid management are important? Do you want to protect same sex marriage and women’s access to reproductive healthcare and abortion? What about effective gun control, reform of the prison system & abolition of the death penalty? Do you want to protect undocumented migrants and give them a safe pathway to legal citizenship? If you do, you are a liberal leftist and the liberal left needs you to stay put and fight for this.

Please vote Democrat next month.

Yours in friendship,

Helen Pluckrose (A British liberal leftie who declines to stay in her lane)

P.S. No, I won’t be denouncing any of my friends who think differently and neither should you

Well, I disagree about the P.S. We can denounce bad decisions, but we needn’t cancel people. (As I said in the comments, my last line about Lindsay was a joke. I will continue to post about things he writes if I like them, but I have to say that he’s made a serious error in judgment.) We cannot hate the Woke so much that we run into the arms of the Right.


I always assumed that James Lindsay, co-author with Helen Pluckrose of the very good book Cynical Theories, and one of the three perpetrators of the Grievance Studies Affair, criticized the Left for the same reasons I did: I don’t want my side to engage in illiberal, foolish, and counterproductive activities, and especially don’t want those activities to drive centrists into the arms of Trump.

Now Lindsay, whom I thought was a classical liberal, has issued this tweet.

I don’t know what prompted this, but I don’t think most members of the American Left want to abolish the Constitution. And because one branch of the Left is behaving in an authoritarian and illiberal manner, Lindsay is going to vote for TRUMP???????  Has he considered what four more years of a Trump administration would be like compared to a Biden administration? Does he think it would be better, or is he simply sending some kind of petulant signal to the regular Left? And what does it mean to say that he’s “unhappily voting Republican, including Trump.” Unhappily? Why is he voting at all?

My father taught me the phrase “cutting off your nose to spite your face,” and I looked it up right now. Wikipedia says it means this:

Cutting off the nose to spite the face” is an expression to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem: “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the object of one’s anger.

This is exactly what Lindsay is doing, and, to be sure, it’s going to damage himself more than Trump. He hasn’t considered how voting for a narcissistic madman out of pique towards the Left will not put him in good stead with the reasonable part of the Left. As my friend the philosopher Maarten Boudry told me, “It’s almost like a reverse form of anti-Woke ‘virtue signaling’: ‘Look at me, I hate the Woke so much, I’d even vote for Trump!'”

As for me, I’m both appalled and revolted. [I’ve removed the last line I had here since Lindsay seems to think it was a death threat. It wasn’t: as I’ve explained twice, it was a joke. I wouldn’t hurt anybody or wish them harm.]

257 thoughts on “Cutting off your nose to spite your face: James Lindsay’s voting for Trump and the Republicans

  1. Various members of a friend’s family are voting for the orange. (My friend is a big Democratic activist/bundler.)

    I asked her if she couldn’t at least get them to skip voting in the presidential election. We shall see.

    So maybe Lindsay is voting for Trump knowing his vote won’t matter much?????? Just a thought.

    This is his latest essay that I would like to share…and I know he is now persona non grata here, so an indulgence, please…

      1. At first, I assumed it was some sort of weird hoax on Lindsay’s part. Seeing Helen Pluckrose’s appeal, in which she named no names, to US liberals not to vote for Trump, I charitably tried to ascribe it to some sort of Sokal cubed that they had cooked up in order to create some sort of reveal. After a day or so, I still couldn’t work out what sort of coherent thought experiment it was supposed to illustrate.

        Frankly, I can’t be bothered following the trail of Lindsay’s logic in voting for Trump. There is no universe in which it can be justifiable. It confirms the historical pattern of the month before the US election. People expect October surprises and the consequentiality of the vote makes otherwise sane people think and do the most reprehensible things.

      2. It may very well all be a hoax on Lindsey’s part, Jerry… we know the guy loves to use hoaxes to prove his points.
        Who knows what he may have in mind.

        I hope that with this article you didn’t fall into his trap, Jerry.

        1. Frankly, I’m not worried if it’s a hoax. What point is he making by this hoax? It’s not like his other hoaxes, which had the point of showing how bad scholarship was prevalent in “grievance studies”. If he’s just lying to get people angry, well, so be it. I’m not impressed.

        2. If you have been following Lindsay as I have, you would know that this is no hoax. It fits with everything else he’s been saying lately. He has some good ideas but he’s a bit of a nutter. For example, one of his hobbies is brandishing a big sword — and I’m not talking about his genital equipment.

            1. I’ve known some nice people who brandished big swords (for clarity, we’re talking battle re-enactments,..)

      3. If it’s a protest vote he wants, there’s always the Green or Libertarian parties or a write-in candidate. Why a dangerous incompetent who still has a puncher’s late-round chance to win like Trump?

        Let’s hope to hell he isn’t registered in a swing state where his vote might matter.

          1. No single ballot makes the difference. Accumulated ballots do, as George W. Bush can attest every time he sends Ralph Nader a thank you note. (I presume he does this.)

    1. I disagree just a little bit. As a commenter on another post pointed out, Hitchens had a blind spot about the US invasion of Iraq, and was in some ways on the wrong side of that bit if history. But that blind spot or error in judgement didn’t make me mistrust his views on many other topics, and I still think Hitchens was right about almost everything (religion, moral cowardice, living the good life). One could perhaps review Lindsay’s other writings and ideas, and pick and choose the ones that still seem to hold up, even while rejecting his electoral politics as a bad choice or blind spot. This specific instance of bad judgement does call his other views into question, and requires rethinking Lindsay’s other analyses. But I hope it’s possible to do that reconsideration and then decide one might agree with many of his other views while rejecting this one.

      tl;dr Can’t we all just (mostly) get along?

      1. Frankly, I’m not familiar enough with the Iraq War to judge Hitchens’ view, but your point of view is fair enough. I would’ve unfollowed him over this but it turns out I’ve already done so earlier. Probably because of his propensity for Twitter drama.


  2. If Biden becomes president, will the WOKE become more or less vocal? Will the Left become more radical or less? My guess is there will be a sigh of relief that will last for years. Wokeness will remain but have less urgency.

    If Trump wins, the Woke will likely double down and everything Lindsay is dislikes will only get worse. What is he thinking?

    1. Yes, that sounds plausible. Biden will likely work hard to address racial issues in the Martin Luther King mode than the Critical Race Theory mode, thereby re-establishing color-blindness as the ultimate goal and showing CRT as the vacuous, destructive philosophy it is.

      1. On what basis do you suppose that the cognitively impaired puppet of the DNC would seek to address grievances in the MLK mode? What’s more likely is that the Democrats will do what they’ve been doing for decades, ie, pander to the social issues du jour — and they’re running out of social issues, honestly, so this new wokeness, and CRT and pro-trans-everything, is just the thing to distract the masses in coming years. Puberty blockers for every gender nonconforming child! Progress! Democrats address surface social issues to please the masses at the expense of addressing any substantive economic issues or changes. The Democrats act like they’re the only game in town to protect abortion rights, marriage rights, racial equality, now “trans rights” etc., and so anyone left of Hitler is supposed to feel their rights are imperiled and to keep voting for Democrats, a party that fully promotes the narrow interests of the ruling class (just as the Republicans do). As much as I loathe Trump and won’t vote for him, he knows his base takes a dim view of CRT and trans mania, so he’s not going to pander in those particular ways.

        1. The Democrats act like they’re the only game in town to protect abortion rights, marriage rights, racial equality, now “trans rights” etc.

          Act like it? They are the only plausible game in town on a national level.

          Look at the contrasting priorities between, for instance, the congresses of 2009 and 2017.

          Your note is fairly incandescent with letting the perfect kill the good.

          Going full-woke is a guarantee of keeping the GOP in power. The bulk of the USA voters are just not going to go there. (I won’t!)

    2. Your arguments are logical and convincing.

      However Lindsay has the right to project the trajectory differently.

      1. He’s has the right to think pigs live in trees. We aren’t evaluating his rights. We’re discussing his judgement.

          1. It’s not supposed to be deep, your lame comeback notwithstanding. It’s supposed to be a reminder to you of just what point
            Jerry is making, and apparently you could *do* with a reminder.

      2. “…project the trajectory differently.”

        Well, that may be a newly creative piece of literary vacuity.
        Or not, if it’s the trajectory spurting from the sword Mr. Topping said it isn’t.
        No, vacuous I think.

        Lindsay is here an embarrassment to all mathematicians, if it isn’t some kind of sick joke from a sickening (in both senses) mind. Maybe I’ll go back to thinking Combinatorics is 80% trivial, as I did in high school. Way back, an academic where I work published about 600 ‘research’ papers, mostly in now-defunct journals he himself founded and edited, in Combinatorics. That was a different kind of vacuity.

    3. If Biden wins, the common enemy is removed and the left will get more vocal and will probably start trying to destroy the administration. They will ultimately fail because, actually, most Americans don’t agree with their ideology. Even if they do succeed in destroying the administration, it won’t be them that gets into power but the Republicans.

      If Trump wins, the left will start screaming about how Biden was the wrong candidate and how Sanders would have won and it was all fixed. It will be exactly like after Hilary Clinton lost except more so. I’m not going to bother speculating on how that will affect the next election because, if Trump wins, I don’t think that the USA will survive as a democratic nation state for four years.

  3. His position seems to be the mirror image of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” — the idea that his fixated opponent is so bad that chaos and the abandonment of principles are better.

  4. I would recommend listening to his hour-long explanation of this decision on the New Discourses site, or on the podcast, before pronouncing him dead to you. There is a rationale, and I find it a sound one – if you agree with the premises put forward in the explanation.

    1. Premises? But that’s just the thing, isn’t it? It’s trivial to construct sound rationales from any given premises.

      The premises are critical. They are the problem. Plenty of the Trumpists’ rationales are sound. If you believe that Hillary Clinton was running a pedophile ring out of the basement of a pizzeria that doesn’t have a basement then it makes perfect sense to consider her a monster. The problem is with the premise. Anyone who does believe that, in any degree, is being a credulous fool or is delusional.

      I think Lindsays premises are foolish and or delusional. Particularly the premise that Wokeism is a greater threat than Trump and the RP. That’s nuts. If his evaluative skills are that poor, that’s a pretty weighty premise to consider when judging anything he has to say.

      1. I disagree. Wokeism has been a mounting threat for decades, as Lindsay’s research shows. It has received quite a spike under Trump – but Biden has thus far proven completely aloof to it, which is all that’s require to be completely controlled by it. Would Wokeism be assuaged by a Biden administration? No, I don’t think so. Control is what it wants, and it will seek it under either administration.

        A counterargument might be that Trump will simply exacerbate Wokeism, but I don’t think so. He has shown some savvy in counteracting it – the ban on CRT training in federal workplaces comes to mind – so Lindsay’s premises hold for me.

        Free to disagree of course. But the premises, from where I stand, are quite compelling.

          1. I haven’t decided yet. It’s either Trump or a write-in. Biden/Harris seems the worst of all worlds – no backbone on Wokeism, no stated principles to counteract it, no stance against court packing, etc.

            The only variable I can’t resolve is how potent the authoritarianism on the Left is. Lindsay is accurate in its power aims, but I’m not sure how effective they will actually be when those power grabs are made.

            1. And how exactly are these “power grabs” going to be made?

              BTW, you may have missed it but Biden has now clarified his position on court-packing. He will appoint a bi-partisan commission to look at the general problem and give them 180 days to report back. Sounds like an excellent plan. Biden has been known as someone who looks to make alliances across the aisle. There’s no reason to expect that to change now.

              1. The usual way – having persons with these agendas installed in positions of power under the guise of progressivism. Take Dalia Mogahed in Obama’s administration – she certainly helped that leader parrot the “Islamophobia” meme and repeat ad nasueum that jihadism had nothing to do with Islam, or religiosity in general. And so with Hilary. To ill ends. And so on with persons at NYT and other major institutions.

                Thank you for that update. I don’t find that too terribly assuring, but it’s better than yesterday, no doubt.

            2. I’m sure the families and friends of the tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of Americans needlessly lost to COVID-19 by Trump’s rank mishandling of the pandemic will take great comfort in your rationale.

              Should Trump be reelected, while he is running this nation off a cliff of corruption, incompetence, and mendacity during his second term, at least you’ll have your reverse virtue-signaling to keep you warm.

              1. Based on some of the comments here, I don’t think Dr PCC(e) ever wrote a more accurately descriptive headline for a post at WEIT. I am astonished at some of the rationales cited here, Lindsay’s not the least.

              2. I am not up to date with the Covid situation in the US.

                Are the deaths worse than in Europe?
                Worse than Spain/Belgium for example?

                Sweden who has less restrictions than the US seems to be doing ok.

              3. Eric:

                The US has 4.25% of the world’s population yet 20% of worldwide COVID deaths.

                Space prevents me from giving a full accounting of Donald Trump’s incompetency and incoherency in preparing for and dealing with this pandemic, but that information is largely a matter of public record, much of it set forth in Bob Woodward’s book Rage.

            3. Not very. The bulk of the DP doesn’t agree with wokeism. The bulk of the DP is worried about health care, the environment, the economy, gun control, equality of opportunity and under the law (not outcomes). Just like Uncle Joe is.

              If Trump wins, then I guess we won’t have to worry — we won’t have a functioning democracy. He’s damned close to shoving off the cliff right now. One more Trump SCOTUS appointment and we can kiss goodbye to:

              Same-sex marriage
              Abortion under any circumstance
              Gay rights
              Separation of church and state
              Environmental protection
              Any sort of tax reform
              Any sort of election funding reform
              Any sort of health care insurance for all
              The social safety net (such as it is)

        1. “… but Biden has thus far proven completely aloof to it, which is all that’s require to be completely controlled by it.”

          He’s aloof to it because he wants to get elected. It is obviously the wrong time to get into an argument with the Extreme Left. If Biden gets elected, I expect to see a lot of pushback from him and his administration. For one thing, I bet he doesn’t add a single Woke person to his cabinet.

        2. Your comparing unevidenced speculation about the Biden administration’s ability to handle the extreme left wing of its party to the actions of a man who is trying to burn down your entire democracy right now and you’re concluding the arsonist is the way to go.

          What could the woke left do that is worse than Trump’s handling of the COVID19 pandemic?

    2. I listened to 25 minutes and couldn’t take more of that unhinged bloviating. The main reason seems indeed to be that Biden and the Democrats are LIARS who are in deep sympathy with the woke and the lying mainstream media, and though Lidsay doesn’t agree with everything Trump does, he really hates Biden and Harris for their lying and “gaslighting”. So no, in the first half I saw no sound rationale.

      I couldn’t spare an hour to find out what more there was; Lindsay’s hourlong and tedious “explanation” is too long for me. He could have said it in ten minutes.

      1. Thank you for partially taking that bullet for us. I don’t think I could listen to a minute of a pro-Trump tantrum.

        Lindsay doesn’t seem to understand that Wokism grew exponentially during the Trump years and would continue to grow if Trump held power. He has fostered a climate of increased polarization and his racism has given the woke ammunition and appeal.

        And dare Lindsay claim that he’s upset about lying and then pledge to vote for the biggest liar to every occupy the White House? Trump lies and exaggerates every time he opens his fool mouth!

        1. The proposal that a second Trump term will reduce wokism strikes me as similar to the proposal that a second Trump Presidency will be one of Law and Order, without protests and riots.

          All this is happening DURING the Trump presidency!

          So the idea of going with president whose narcissism is so complete as to threaten the very legitimacy of the democratic voting process, on the hope that things will be better the second term seems utterly insane.

  5. I have long wanted to speak up and now is as good a time as any. I have enjoyed Jerry’s posts over the years and read many if not most of them. I also find myself agreeing ~80-90% of the time with Jerry’s take although I do wince when he criticizes Republicans. I certainly agree with this post and yet…find myself also voting for Trump recognizing that my vote is both appalling and revolting. I guess I, too, am chum. As for me, I’ll keep on reading Jerry’s posts and why not, we agree on so much even though I am a Republican and Jerry is a Democrat. Imagine that!

        1. So, just to be clear, you’re voting for tRump because a vote for Biden is also a vote for Harris? I’m having trouble taking your position seriously.

    1. Just what is it about Trump that causes you to support him? I can list some things he has done which I support, but those are overwhelmingly negated by the other things he has done or tried to do, in my opinion.

      1. One is, of course, “allowed” to be wrong. But one should not expect immunity from criticism for it.

        You grasp the distinction, yes?

        1. Ken be honest.

          Lately among many liberal colleagues or friends you are not allowed to be “wrong politically” you run a high risk of being ostracized.

          Which is what this blog post is effectively about.

          1. I wouldn’t think of being anything BUT honest, Eric.

            I don’t believe Trump supporters deserve to be “ostracized” (if, by that, you mean some type of religious-like shunning). But I do think they deserve a tongue-lashing (or keyboard-lashing, as the case may be).

            And, if they can’t take that sorta heat, they should (as Harry Truman said) stay out of the kitchen.

    2. find myself also voting for Trump recognizing that my vote is both appalling and revolting

      When I recognise that something I’m doing is appalling and revolting, I stop doing it.

      1. “When I recognise that something I’m doing is appalling and revolting, I stop doing it.”

        Apparently, Republicans don’t.

      2. Vomiting

        All could be revolting and appalling, yet the victim would be hopelessly in the control of an extrinsic factor which forces the body against its will.

      3. My vote for the *man* is appalling and revolting. My vote for his results is not.


        Antidote to the monoculture
        Regularly excoriates Acela Corridor journalism
        Moved U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
        Abraham Accords
        Remade the federal judiciary
        Withdrew from Iran deal
        Law and order

        I fully recognize there are many things Democrats do BETTER. I simply find today’s Democrats unrecognizable.

        1. That’s an interesting list. You think “law and order” has been the result of one of the most unashamedly kleptocratic administrations in Western history?

        2. Actual results:

          215,000 death due to pandemic
          Rioting in the streets
          Children in cages
          Completely untrusted by international allies
          Destruction of environmental protections
          Judiciary packed with Republican stooges instead of competent judges
          Economy and jobs tanked
          Extortion of heads of states of foreign powers
          Funnelling of tax payer funds into his private businesses
          Conversion of DoJ into his own private law firm

          I fully recognize there are many things Democrats do BETTER.

          But you’re still going to vote for the orange turd.

  6. The expression that came to mind was, “drinking poison hoping your enemy gets sick”.

    He’s not quite dead to me, because his academic and philosophical analysis of “woke” ideology is still very good, but I can’t take his political analysis seriously.

  7. It seems to me that Lindsay is so wrapped up in his cocoon of anti-wokeism that he can’t see the forest from the trees. It appears that a large part of his life is dedicated to his New Discourses website, which is nothing more than an unrelenting attack on the Woke, that he has come to believe that the Woke are the main threat to a liberal society. A threat they may be, but they are nothing compared to the threat of Trumpism. I am waiting, and perhaps it will be a long wait, to see an article on his site on groups such as QAnon and the Proud Boys that are now apparently members in good standing in the Republican Party. (I searched his site and could find no mention of either group.)

    1. I agree. If you spend too much of your time fretting about one particular problem you see everything through that lens, and blow it way out of proportion to its actual impact on society.

    1. The article linked to is posted on the New Republic site. These days the magazine is quite leftish with wokeist elements. Nevertheless, author Osita Nwanevu’s argument seems quite reasonable to me. In a long piece, he supports court packing (which I do) and makes the case that the Constitution is dysfunctional for today’s world (which it is). Of course, the Constitution will not be substantially amended or replaced any time soon, and if it were, the product could be even worse than the original.

      1. I shudder to think of the US constitution re-written by anyone in politics in the US right now. Even the core DP.

        Not like it will happen! The most recent significant Amendment was 26 in 1971.

  8. I’ve been following Lindsay on Twitter for months. He’s evidently devoted his entire life to battling the Woke and Critical Race Theory to the point where nothing else matters. His voting for Trump makes this clear. Considering some of the goofy things he tweets, it is really amazing that he thinks and writes so well when he wants to. IMHO, he’s sadly in need of a life rebalance.

    1. “In need of a life rebalance.” That was my thought as well: Lindsay may have spent so much time reading and thinking and writing about virtue signalling by the woke that he has internalized some of that logic. Announcing that he is voting orange is a signal of his virtuous politics.

      1. +1 for the Foundation reference. In 2015 I thought of Trump as the Mule, an aberration who could not have been predicted. But it later became clear that someone like Trump was a predictable outcome of 50 years of Republican politics.

        1. The only problem with Trump as the Mule is that Trump is far too stupid to be the Mule.

          But yeah, I’ve likened him to the Mule before too. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t say much of anything about Trump but rather his followers.

  9. Please, PCC(e), we are mostly academics here. We do not say “sleeps with the fishes”.
    We say “Dormit cum piscibus”.

  10. If he’s a left-leaning or moderate Republican, he should still be voting for Biden. I mean, nobody is confusing Biden with a progressive wokester, are they?

    I agree with Dr. Coyne, if one really feels they can’t pull the lever for Biden, don’t vote (or vote 3rd party) but for the love of all that is holy, why would anybody who holds liberal values vote Trump???

  11. Why that last line Jerry? I think it’s just over the top… you could have easily criticized him in a much more nuanced, reasoned and reasonable way. But that last line seems me to be an unreasonable knee-jerk emotional reaction that, and I tell you that as an admirer, doesn’t do you much honor.

    In these times of madness, we need serenity. Lindsey is proving he doesn’t have it (since he wants to vote for Trump), but so are you Jerry. Take it easier. The fact that he’s voting for Trump is quite disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world.

    1. It was a joke, for chrissake, from The Godfather. If making a joke like that “doesn’t do me much honor”, so be it. But spare me your smug, superior lectures based on a misreading of what I said.

        1. You must be one of those people that takes every word very literal and serious. You would be a lot of fun at a comedy house.

          1. “You must be one of those people that takes every word very literal and serious.”

            I’m reminded of reading the Bible and trying to determine what is literal and what is figurative. Sophisticated Theologians to the rescue.

        2. For your edification:

          Might be time you got around to seeing Mr. Coppola’s masterpiece — if not for its pure cinematic pleasures, then at least as a matter of cultural literacy.

          As Hyman Roth always made money for his partners, so to Jerry Coyne brings joy with his felicitous cultural allusions.

              1. ‘Lindsay must have internalized the Woke dogma that jokes and other speech acts constitute “violence.”’

                Do I correctly recall that the Woke say that “Silence is Violence”?

  12. in re ” simply sending some kind of petulant
    signal, ” … … .THIS. is exactly
    THE determination as to why Mr Trump won
    initially. Upon 08 November y2016, that is.

    Within the privacy of their ballotting,
    there were quite, and electorally, enough
    misogynists, closeted or open ones, who were
    never, ever going to brook with a
    human female residing as … … The Leader
    within Our Home. These people, then and now
    … … now, ‘ll vote for ANYone to send
    such the S A M E signal. NO way will they,
    of either party AND of any religion or
    of NO religion, tolerate a possibly … …
    President Harris. NOT within the U S of A.

    .THAT. is the w h y behind their still
    turning in a voted ballot. For .o n l y.
    such a president as Mr Trump is.



      ” What Donald Trump Understands
      about American Men

      10/22/2020 by JACKSON KATZ, PhD

      Trump understands something fundamental about manhood in a patriarchal culture: A majority of men fear being ‘unmanned’ more than they value democracy. ”

      ” Trumpism is not just a white identity
      movement; it is a white .male. identity

      Donald Trump knows this. He figured out
      a long time ago that by presenting himself
      in the media as a kind of throwback playboy
      and tough-guy businessman, he could appeal
      to millions of white men—and a much lesser
      but still notable number of white women—who
      respond positively to that retro performance.

      There is little evidence that Donald Trump
      cares even a little about the lives and daily
      struggles of white working and middle class
      men. But he instinctually understands that
      countless men — in an era of feminism and
      increasing gender fluidity — CRAVE respect
      as men and long for the return of old –
      fashioned patriarchal authority. ”

      Hmm: crave AND craven.


    2. This fits well with a NYT article today that described his appeal to Hispanic men. They admire strength and machismo. About 30% of Hispanic men will vote for DT despite his failure on immigration policy.

      1. There’s also a faction within legal immigrants who is against further immigration. They seem to want the door shut behind them. It’s as if what the US offers is fixed-size benefit pie and they don’t want to see their piece made smaller.

  13. I hope everyone in the United States who is voting for Biden only because it will remove Trump from the presidency follows the suggestion that they should, rather, not vote.

      1. So they contribute to the defeat of the Progressive Project as a whole, one splinter of which is the Woke. Donald Trump is no American Revolutionary, but he is the only thing, for the moment, standing in the doorway to stave off the counter-revolution.

        1. The “Progressive Project” (why is that capitalized?) is not on the ballot. What is on the ballot is the collapse of American Democracy to be replaced by oligarchy under the rule of humanity’s greatest narcissist.

          Frankly, I think you are delusional if you imagine the Left is coming for you. Meanwhile, tRumpist “militias” are actively plotting to kidnap elected governors. Your priorities are royally distorted.

          1. The “Left” is coming for the American Revolution. You remember that, right? Freedom, individual (not group) rights, private property (not what’s left over after distribution), personal responsibility, pursuit of happiness? Freedom?

            Cancellation of this is on the ballot. Any reason given for not voting for it’s flag-bearer, Biden, such as “only hating Trump,” is welcome.

            1. “Personal responsibility”

              Give me a break. The days when Republicans had any kind of claim to that are long gone. You heard the chief himself.

  14. “Has he considered what four more years of a Trump administration would be like compared to a Biden administration? ”

    Perhaps he did and came to a different conclusion on the risk of each administration!

    “As for me, I’m both appalled and revolted. Lindsay is dead to me; he sleeps with the fishes.”

    Seems you have cancelled him 🙂

    I am sure your dad also believed reasonable people can disagree while being respectful.

    Perhaps you are just very disappointed and angry with Lindsay.
    (At the moment I am very disappointed with humanity and lost faith in human reason)
    Lindsay might be naive and dead wrong, but he does not seem like a bad actor to me.

    1. Depends on what you consider a “bad actor”. To my mind, supporters of the Orange Menace are acting badly. They are, hence, bad actors.

      1. “Depends on what you consider a “bad actor”.”

        Lets say someone who does not care about his fellow human beings.

        1. Mr Grobler – do you recall in the run up to the election when Trump ridiculed a disabled reporter?

          To me that -RIGHT THERE- disqualified him from any public office. Ignore all the lies, all the fraud, all the misogyny, all the hatred he spews. Just that one incident….how can you support such a malevolent creature?

          1. Mr EdwardM,

            Why do you assume I support Trump?
            I do not.

            I find Trump, Biden, Pence and Harris all unacceptable candidates.

            I am not an American citizen, if I were I would either vote Biden or abstain.

            America is a dangerous divided country, I think it is a terrible idea to call people who decide to vote for trump (many reluctantly) names.

            1. Then my assumption was wrong. Your comments could easily be mistaken for a Trump supporter, but I take you at your word that you are not. I apologize.

              But you do see the choice we Americans face, right? RIGHT? We really do face a malevolence that threatens our very society, not just our form of government and you think we should place nice with those who would drive us there? Why should I respect people who vote for someone like Trump?

              Yeah, our country is dangerous and divided (we’re not well civilized, I’ll grant you that) but there are an enormous number of decent people here who are sick of the shit from the president and his cult. Clinton was stupid stupid stupid for saying it out loud but they really are deplorable and they are far more dangerous. than the woke.

          2. Exactly. This is the thing that I find hard to comprehend. There are dozens, perhaps even hundreds of such incidents to choose from. How can people experience them and not evaluate that it demonstrates him unfit for any office?

            Just that one incident clearly displays juvenile immaturity, low ethics, meanness, low class and stupidity in such degree and combination that there is no valid excuse for any decent person to not disqualify him based on that alone. And I really mean that.

    2. My only worry about Lindsey is that he & Helen (who I love!) have indeed been cagey about who finances their work. I shrugged it off, but I gotta be honest. Defending Trump in anyway is a litmus year for me. (Hence my support for Sam Harris and not for Dave Rubin etc).

      I just don’t see how logic could ever lead to Trump. I listened to James podcast half way. He was talking about Trump’s policies. Trump has NO policies! I agree with James that he’s no fascist either. He’s not organized enough to be a fascist. And while Trump might indeed be a bigot he’s no ideological white supremacist (classic definition). But he IS an existential threat. He’s a moron. As Sam Harris says, he doesn’t know how the world works.

      He’s also gasoline to the idiotic Portland protests. Maybe Wokeness doesn’t die right away under Biden but it turns into a full on forest fire under 4 more years of Trump.

  15. James Lindsay is currently fighting for everyting that the radical wing of the Left (the same movement Biden pays lip service to) wants to destroy: science, rationalism, liberalism, open dialogue, freedom of speech and thought, civility, social cohesion. These are things that should matter to you as a scientist, because your ability to do your job depends on them. It’s really disappointing to see that your private political sympathies (or rather sympathy for what the Democratic Party used to be)are more important to you than all the things that are at stake. Trump is a bad choice. But Biden is worse. And as a woman, I can give you a list of reasons why I can’t vote for a president who, among many others, wants to abolish sex-segregation in women’s sports. James Lindsay is right here.

    1. I’m sorry, but your comment is grossly misleading. My sympathies for Biden are because he, and, importantly, the people he will appoint to positions of power, are more science-friendly, civil, and inclined to reach across the aisle than are Trump’s people. Don’t you remember last week when Trump criticized Biden because he said “Biden will listen to the scientists”? Trump’s about the most anti-science President I’ve ever seen.

      Your comment is one of the worst justifications for voting for Trump that I’ve read. It’s really disappointing to see that someone wants to continue four years of Trump because Biden supposedly wants to abolish sex-segregation in women’s sports. I have criticized the participation of untreated trans women in women’s sports, but, seriously, it’s not the most important issue on which to judge a candidate, and I’m not sure how Biden stands on the untreated issue. I bet you’re not, either!

      No matter what Lindsay is fighting for, his voting for Trump is unconscionable and reprehensible.

      Enjoy casting your ballot for Trump, who stands for everything I oppose, and YOU should oppose if you feel the way you do.

      1. “are more science-friendly, civil, and inclined to reach across the aisle than are Trump’s people.”

        I agree that on balance the democrats seem more civil, but YOU do not seem that civil towards Weronika or anyone “across the aisle”

      2. Yes, exactly. Weronika may have good intentions but her instincts are leading her astray. This is the kind of analysis that led 1.4 million people to vote for Jill Stein in 2016.

        1. Ninja’d by Eric. I think Jerry’s response is correct, and not uncivil. Weronika’s view that “Biden is worse” is just wrong: there are zero ways in which Biden < Trump.

          1. By “worse” you mean “has not succeed at it as often” or “has not boasted in audio recordings about doing it”…

        2. Insults are good if you do not care that a naive or ill-informed person intends to vote for a reprehensible candidate.

    2. Why is it that right-wingers that are supposedly so concerned about freedom of speech have not exhibited an iota of concern that Republicans are actively engaged in voter suppression? One would think that these people of “principle” would be up in arms against an activity that attempts to suppress the most basic right to express oneself in a democracy. Maybe they have forgotten what voting is all about.😊

      1. And up in arms about foreign interference in US elections!

        Hypocrisy is a core GOP most nicely instantiated by Moscow Mitch and My Word Is My Bond Lindsey.

    3. At a time of pandemic and incipient soon-to-be-irreversible climate change, the only issue that you bothered to sample from your list of voting issues is…women’s sports?

  16. Terrible judgement in both deed and pronouncement. The pronouncement though will endear him to the right, and may result in some paying gigs from that side which could be the reason for this public pronouncement. But I don’t know if he will learn to like his new found friends.

  17. I think Lindsay in making a big mistake, and I would never vote Trump. However, Jerry, you may underestimate the significance (if only in this one blog entry) of that “one branch of the Left.” It seems like that’s where all the energy is on the Left and in the Democratic Party (octogenarians aside). I can understand Lindsay’s fear that the Dem Party has been effectively hijacked and Biden’s breed will be dying off in the next couple of years. As I said, I would never vote Trump, but I understand why some would vote Biden for pragmatics and why some would vote 3rd party for ideals — the latter especially if you are not in a purple state and have the luxury of casting a symbolic or “conscience” vote. Lindsay’s vote, though, remains inexplicable (so your dad’s phrase indeed applies in this case).

      1. Good point per Biden’s candidacy. I don’t think those former Republicans at all represent the energy fueling the next generation of the Left or of the Democratic Party, but it is certainly a good point per this particular election.

        1. Obviously not the next generation of the Left. But very much possibly the next iteration of the Democratic Party. They have lost their home and many will end up Democrats over the long haul. Wokism isn’t the future of the Dems, IMO. Wokism dislikes Democrats almost as much as they dislike Republicans.

        2. I doubt so many prominent Republicans would be supporting Biden if they thought there was any chance of Biden, or the Democratic Party, being taken over by the Woke crowd. They certainly have discussed it and have universally dismissed it as unfounded Trumpish blather.

      1. I agree totally. The vast majority of Democrats are moderates. This is why Biden and not Bernie Sanders won the nomination. The right wing fear mongering is quite reminiscent of the Republicans of the 1950s warning that the Democratic Party was being taken over by communists.

        The so-called impartial commentators who parrot the Trump trope seems to completely “forget” that, in fact, the Republican Party has been taken over by the far right wing. This is why long-time Republican operatives, such as those now part of the Lincoln Project, have abandoned the party.

        Unfortunately, there are all too many people that can be fooled so easily, including those you see at Trump rallies.

        1. You’re right. It’s another both-sides argument. The GOP has been taken over by Trump so many would like to think the Democrats have been taken over by the Woke. It’s just not true.

  18. James has posted a 54-minute long monologue explaining his decision.

    James thinks that the Woke are aggressively enough taking control of institutions, guidelines, commitees etc.

    Biden will be a “permissive president” towards the totalitarian left, maintains James. And this will suffice to entrench them into American institutions very powerfully. And this poses an existential risk to the American liberal system.

    I am wondering if you have fully listen to his explanation?

    And if so, would you be kind enough to have a more detailed counter argument rather?

    PS. I suspect this post was before the explanation was posted. So maybe now…

    1. I listened to half of it and I couldn’t take any more. I disagree that the Woke are hijacking the Democratic party (though I do worry about that), and that Biden will bow to them. And no, I’m not going to answer that rambling and tedious explanation in detail. All I have to say is that in my view, Lindsay is misguided based on his long history of criticizing (often thoughtfully) the woke, and I also think that, in my view, four more years of Trump would be a disaster for America compared to four years of Biden.

      Unless this is some kind of hoax, Lindsay has allowed his hatred of Wokeness to overwhelm his judgment. And that’s all I’ll say. I do not write long responses to podcasts at the request of readers; I’ve had my say. And I’ve already voted for the Biden/Harris ticket.

  19. This is the same stupid attitude that got us Dubya (fookn Naderites). Enough people vote like Lindsay (and some of the commentators here) and we will see another 4 years of that bastard. As dangerous as the woke are (and I AM worried about the Democrats embracing that shit) that is a problem for down the road. What we have here is an existential crisis about our republic. To run the risk of ensuring our country will fall by electing the orange bigot simply because of extreme ideology is the most foolish sort of hubris. Hopefully these people will be small in number and will not impact the results.

  20. Lindsay is dead to me; he sleeps with the fishes …

    Lindsay is making the classic mistake of taking the criticism he’s received from some quarters of the Left personally; it’s strictly business (or politics, as the case may be).

  21. It is possible for intelligent people to agree on most things and still come to different conclusions because they weight things differently. The wokeness and some of the economic policies of the Democrats scare me. I abhor Trump.

    I will vote for Jo Jorgensen but I could see a slightly different version of me holding my nose and voting for either Trump or Biden.

    I hope that whichever party wins the presidency loses the senate. The country needs a brake on the idiocy of both parties.

    1. “still come to different conclusions because they weight things differently.”

      How do come to a “different conclusion” on Trump’s pathological lying, criminality, and sexual assault?

      How do you weigh those things?

      1. I look at Trump’s basic venality and destruction of political norms vs. wokeness and a potential rise in unemployment and get angry at both sides. On the issues I care most about (deficits and civil liberties) both sides are horrible.

        Living in a blue state, I have decided Jorgensen is the best way to show my disgust. If I were in a town with high unemployment, I would vote Trump. Another thing like the recent child separation revelations could easily push me to Biden.

      2. You didn’t actually answer the question:

        How do you come to a “different conclusion” on Trump’s pathological lying, criminality, and sexual assault?

        Perhaps you simply ignore it.

          1. No, “venality” – the quality of being open to bribery or overly motivated by money, doesn’t cover that – pathological lying, criminality, and sexual assault.

      3. You have a choice between 2 professional liars, if not criminals both morally bankrupt.

        You have to argue the lesser evil here.

        1. False equivalency – an unreasonable comparison.

          Furthermore, I asked how do you come to a “different conclusion” on Trump’s pathological lying, criminality, and sexual assault?

        1. Honest question, am I more guilty than others here?

          I am an outsider and I despair about the level of hate I see among Americans.
          Perhaps I do feel like a parent that want to tell the children to calm down, thus perhaps the cartoon does apply to me!

          However I am genuinely deeply concerned by the lack of goodwill and empathy for others.

          1. You do have a point – try to understand the exasperation many of us feel towards those who dismiss the disaster of this presidency as if it is exactly what we might expect from another (even another Republican). You cannot expect anyone to believe that you are unaware of his faults and deficiencies and yet you (and others here) continue to draw false equivalencies or, as the headline of this thread suggests, find ways to delude yourselves into thinking the alternative is worse.

            I’ve had enough. I promised myself I wouldn’t do politics here again and I failed myself. I tell you what – I am looking forward to the time in late January next year WHEN I NEVER HAVE TO HEAR TRUMP’S NAME AGAIN.

          2. I’m also an outsider (not USian). No, I don’t think you’re “guilty” of anything here. It’s just a discussion thread, Jake.

            But I don’t see any “lack of goodwill and empathy for others” here either. I see a genuine concern among liberals that woke both-siderism will lead otherwise sensible people like Lindsay to vote against their own interests by not voting for Biden. The sense of urgency felt by commenters here seems easily understandable. And the if the urgency sounds like lack of goodwill or empathy, well that’s just a misapprehension on your part, not a real absence of either of those sentiments.

      1. This cartoon is funny but not very insightful. I obviously think my views are correct but so does everybody. I am sure you find yourself superior to the extreme woke and the Republicans. The woke find themselves superior to both liberals and conservatives.

        I regularly read intelligent opinions from both the left (Slate, The Atlantic), the right (Razib Khan, Oren Cass) and non-partisans (Reason and The Economist.)
        I am open to change and have very different economic ideas than I did four years ago.

        I like and respect true liberals like Jerry. His views on civil liberties are impeccable and his willingness to call out his side is admirable. On this site, I enjoy most of the commentary from the left. You make me think and I appreciate it.

        1. I’m just funnin’ you with the cartoon, man.

          I get a kick out of the rough & tumble of the battlefield of ideas.

  22. Donald Trump is such a deeply, deeply flawed human. He’s sociopath, a pathological liar, a con-man, a criminal, a sexual assaulter. How can anyone reconcile that with voting for him as POTUS?

    I just can’t fathom it. It boggles my mind.

    1. Well, it’s mostly lack of knowledge. Many people in Trump country live in an information bubble which Trump has worked tirelessly to build and reinforce. Whenever they hear someone complain about Trump, they assume it’s all lies.

      1. And pointing out that they are demonstrably not in any better shape than four years ago doesn’t seem to phase them. Still living in a wreck of a home or trailer? Yes. Still unemployed or making crap hourly wages with no raises? Yep. Still have poor healthcare and higher than ever hospital bills and medication copays? Yep. Still no dental care? Yep. Have any friends or family get sick with or lose them to COVID-19? Yep. Still can’t pay your bills? Yep. Still pay more taxes than “billionaire” tRump? Yep. And you are still voting for him? Yep.


      1. Is that some kind of slur?

        That is what people, parties and countries have done throughout history.
        Many who you respect.

    2. “He’s sociopath, a pathological liar, a con-man, a criminal, a sexual assaulter.”

      I agree with this statement.

      However, would this not apply to Bill Clinton as well?
      (perhaps minus outright criminal)

        1. Furthermore, it’s like comparing the ditch beside the street outside my home with the Grand Canyon – they’re both holes in the ground.

      1. “Quantity changes lead to quality changes.”

        — Friedrich Hegel

        I’ve often been a critic of Bill Clinton, but Bubba had a vast knowledge of public policy and the functioning of government that Donald Trump cannot comprehend even exists. Plus, unlike Donald Trump, Clinton didn’t just jump into politics as a lark to aggrandize his “brand” or use his office for self-enrichment.

        Also unlike Trump, Bill Clinton fully disclosed his finances so that the American people knew he had no foreign entanglements compromising his ability to act in this nation’s best interests.

      2. No. Not at all.
        Clinton was a middle aged man with a dead marriage who got a sly consensual bj at work and … yes… (sigh) lied about it WHEN everybody piled on and thought his private businesses was theirs. It wasn’t. Like your sex life and mine as long as it isn’t criminal.

        What else did he do wrong or unethical?
        Or criminal?
        Can you not see tRump’s record for, what 40-50 YEARS now?

        NYers have known Trump is a con man grifter liar criminal (and only lately, rapist) for DECADES. He can’t even show his face here.

        Vs Bill cheating on his wife a few times.

        REALLY? Gimme a break, sir. A break!
        D.A. NYC

    3. From what i’ve read and heard, the majority of his ardent supporters see the many flaws that you list, and they too consider those to be terrible qualities.
      But they don’t care b/c they see that he has been ferociously pushing for the causes they consider most important: Protect our southern border, close the trade gap with China, bring back American industry, get us out of the forever-wars in the mid-east, eliminate Obama-care, repeal Roe-v-Wade, and so on.

      1. Indeed. But you’d think Trump supporters would notice how badly Trump has fumbled in giving them what they want. His trade wars with China resolved nothing and decreased American jobs, his feeble attempts to bring back American industry accomplished nothing, his inconsistent foreign policy in the Middle East handed the region to Russia and Turkey and almost caused a war with Iran, and he tried to roll back Obamacare without having anything to replace it with. His only major legislative accomplishment has been a tax cut for the rich!

        Granted, he has proved a success at stocking the courts with Federalist Society-approved hacks, so I guess many conservatives are holding their nose and voting for Trump because he’ll turn the Supreme Court right wing. But the minute the right is out of power there will be a counter-reaction that will rightly attempt to limit the power of activist judges.

        1. “But you’d think Trump supporters would notice how badly Trump has fumbled in giving them what they want.”

          His gullible rubes are easily conned.

      2. “see that he has been ferociously pushing for the causes they consider most important”

        Strike two for them because he doesn’t actually ferociously push for those causes.

  23. My very non-liberal father is still voting for tRump. He’s been a great president except the virus, dontcha know? Plus Biden will take all our guns and Kamala probably beats her white husband. I mean, you can’t argue with logic like that, it’s too stupid! Granted I think he was leaning towards Biden but the BLM protests/riots, anti-cop sentiments, and the collapse of legitimate governance in Portland didn’t help.

    I’m just glad I take after my mother.

  24. Gotta see how this statement by a well-known hoaxist (in a good way) and mathematically-trained mind plays out – I suspect a carefully thought out game play.

  25. I feel the same. I got kicked off of Twitter for calling Trump a retard. (I meant it Literally. Not pejoratively.) So now I can’t tell James how disappointed I am with him. I still like what James says about the problems of wokeness, but the fact that he’s voting for Trump honestly makes me take everything he says with a grain of salt.

    Last point. Do these anti-workers not see that Trump is the woke’s life blood? I’m not saying it’ll die right away but Biden’s nomination and now his strong lead in the polls shows that the nation is sick of WOKE and MAGA in equal measures. Both hate institutions. Both hate science. Both lie endlessly. Both want power at any price. Both are stupid.

    This is not a false equivalency. These two movements really are equivalent.

    Okay, the woke are slightly smarter than Trump & his drooling zombies. And James thinks that makes them more dangerous in the long run. But I’d counter that the woke rank & file won’t stand for it if it gets crazier. Think of the woman at the restaurant refusing to raise her fist.

    What will cause the woke to stay on the road? Smart people saying Trump is a viable bulwark against wokeness.

    He isn’t. He’s gasoline to them. Both have to go.

      1. Yup. I was arguing with some Q-Anon nut (bot?) and kept saying “But Trump is mentally retarded so he can’t fix anything even if you’re right about it.”

        This “person” not only reported me, he went through my timeline and found numerous “retard” mentions.

        So I’m pretty sure it was the word retard.

        It’s fine. It’s like getting kicked out of a crack house. Twitter is horrible.

    1. “This is not a false equivalency. These two movements really are equivalent.”

      No, they are not equivalent. The woke have very little power in the Democratic party but Republicans are stacking the judiciary at every level with far right ideologues.

      The Democratic party sidelines their quacks and nuts. Republicans elect them to high office.

      1. I meant “equivalent” in the vapidness of their ideologies. Not power. That said, yes, the MAGA’S have the Whitehouse & Senate. For the moment. But the WOKE have the music industry, most of publishing, hollywood, the universities, most of twitter, cable news and now even The New York Times.

        But again, I’m voting for Biden. They WOKE do NOT have the heartland. And MAGA is slipping there too. Finger’s crossed.

  26. I see this is causing quite the fuss! I think it’s a shame Lindsay’s doing this- he tars himself more than anything else, and it’s just the excuse the opponents of his work exposing wokery need to dismiss him to themselves and others. ‘Don’t trust him, he’s a Trump supporter!’ is how it’ll play. Thankfully my friend Helen Pluckrose is being much more sensible on this topic, as can be found in this Letter she wrote arguing against frustrated liberals/leftists who might not vote Biden, with which I agree fulsomely:

    As I’ve put it on Twitter, unless the Dems are putting Stalin and Mao on the ticket, the choice is clear! And no, I’m not American, but, like Helen, I don’t much care for staying in lanes- and besides, you lot affect the rest of us quite a lot! For the love of Ceiling Cat get Trump out!

  27. Biden and Harris have been moderate career politicians their entire lives and they are despised by much of the left (ask a Bernie fanatic about Biden if you don’t believe me, or ask why many Leftists deride Harris as a “cop”).

    The idea that they are Trojan horses for the Woke is almost as paranoid and ludicrous as the idea in 2008 that Obama was a Trojan horse for Sharia Law.

    Biden and Harris are pragmatists interested in holding on to power, and the woke are not even big enough to be a voting block. As a matter of fact, their votes can be taken for granted because Democrats know the Woke will not vote Republican.

    Lindsay has destroyed his credibility and furthered the falsehood that anti-woke attitudes are primarily right-wing. Thank goodness Helen Pluckrose is still sane. Lindsay has done valuable work combatting the woke, but he demonstrates Nietzsche old saying: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster.”

    1. “Obama was a Trojan horse for Sharia Law.”

      Ironically, here are some of the tenets of Sharia Law:

      Government based on religious doctrine
      Women having fewer rights than men
      Homosexuality is outlawed
      Rejecting science in favor of religious doctrine
      No separation between church and state
      Religion taught in school
      Abortion is illegal

      Curiously, these are the same beliefs as the Republican party. So if you want to enact Sharia Law in America, vote republican.

  28. Abolish the Constitution, WTF! How does he think we have maintained any shadow of equality? Criminals to the Right, Idiots to the far Left!

  29. Trump really seems to have a gift for gaslighting people. I don’t understand it. I’ve been aware of him and his career AT LEAST since I was a teenager, and he’s never seemed like anything but a slimy, self-serving, self-aggrandizing, ignorant, and not too terribly bright individual at best. The most complimentary thing I could say of him is that I once had an enjoyable time giving him money by playing blackjack in one of his casinos (but he couldn’t even keep casinos (!) solvent). And yet, when I attended a fundraising event at Mar-a-Lago once, I saw loads of successful, well-dressed adults, almost all of whom were older than I, fawning over him like teens over a pop star. It was pathetic.

    It’s reminiscent of the phenomenon in which people support and even defend their own abusers against those who are trying to help them. But it’s hard to understand why someone like Lindsay could be so short-sighted.

  30. Lindsay thought your last line was a death threat?!?!?!? Has he never seen Fiddler on the Roof? Was Tevye threatening Chava with death when he said, “Chava is dead to us!” It’s an old and common saying.

    1. Yes, sadly, he tweeted that, and so I felt compelled to remove the line because it was misunderstood. I don’t want anybody thinking that I want to hurt them.

      It’s not just the Woke who lack humor.

  31. Mr. Lindsay needs to review Bayes’ Theorem. The “new” evidence being that there is a tiny vocal minority on the left espousing abolishing the Constitution. The prior being that the bulk of the Democratic party does not, while Trump has spent 4 years undermining the Constitution. Another way of putting it is, James needs to get out more!

    1. Those who advocate “abolishing” the Constitution are not calling for anarchy or some Marxist system. Apparently, you seem to think American governance is just peachy under the current Constitution. No, in contrast to the beliefs of some, the Constitution is not a holy document exempt from criticism, just below the Bible in its degree of holiness. I think that a document drafted almost a quarter of millennium ago never worked very well and certainly not in today’s world. A new system could conceivably work better than the current mess, but finding consensus on something new is highly unlikely. Thus, we seem doomed to live in this rickety house. Dysfunction will continue to reign for the foreseeable future.

  32. Not an American, so I have no vote.

    Trump’s foreign policy is almost as good as I could hope for. The first president in 40 years to not start a new war, and turning opinion on China, which I also see as the biggest threat to the world this century. Also happy to see the United Nations starting to be sidelined. While I have no problems with a forum for discussion, virtually every agency of the United Nations is clearly not fit for purpose, from the Human Rights Council that gives China and Russia seats, to the World Health Organisation that was completely subverted by China to get Chinese Traditional Medicine recognised as “real”.

    As a non-American, that’s what matters to me more than shitposting on twitter. I also think this woke shit is civilisation ending. I’m not as sure as Lindsay is that Trump is the better call here. I do think that those people should never be allowed anywhere near power.

    Agree Trump is not a good person, but I’m not sure that matters. I’m completely black pilled on the media, who, as Michael Malice says, are truthful but not honest. Seen too many stories where I’ve seen the primary sources and compared that to the reporting to know the narrative matters more than being honest.

    1. As a non-American who actually benefits from these policies, the only thing I have to say is a broken clock is right twice a day.

      Or once every four years, apparently.


  33. I share many of James’ concerns about the “woke” and the horribly illiberal march of various shades of Far Left through various organisations.

    However, just as there is Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), there is Woke Derangement Syndrome (WDS), and James needs something of a vaccine against the latter. I realise he is in the firing line, and gets a ton of abuse and trolling from the Far Left, but I don’t see that as a reason to vote for Trump.

  34. You make some good points, but saying the WOKE shouldn’t be “anywhere near power” is an argument FOR Biden. Not against. He was vice president for 8 years. Harris is a “jail em up” prosecutor. These people are humoring the WOKE a bit, but they are not trojan horses.

    Conversly, Trump is not a white supremacist far right nut. He’s just a nut. He’ll do anyone’s bidding. Which is even more dangerous.

  35. Thank you for your voice of sanity, WSampson. Why are so many Americans ready to impose our purity tests on others so quickly? A little charitable listening goes a long way. I listened to Lindsay’s explanation. He is voting in a red state, so using his vote to sound the alarm that the left must wake up to the growing totalitarianism of the woke is far from immoral or unhinged.

    1. In my humble opinion, rejecting a President who has openly refused to accept election results if he loses, and who has encouraged violent right-wing extremists to “stand by,” is hardly a “purity test.” You can be pro-democracy or pro-Trump, but sadly, you can’t be pro-both.

  36. I’m similarly disappointed, but not surprised to hear about Lindsay’s vote. I’d read him on Twitter for a while before seeing you’d written about him, and resonated with his criticism of CRT while sensing the subtler cracks in his foundation.

    People recognize the flaws in CRT because they’re discerning and honest, but not all such people cherish honesty as enough of a core value to vote against a liar by way of life.

  37. I see I’m late to the party, but like our esteemed host, I am appalled by James Lindsay’s decision to support the tangerine-tinted tyrant. I liked Lindsay, I enjoyed reading his New Discourses posts, but now I feel that I can’t respect his judgment. Good for Helen Pluckrose for being a voice of reason. Would you consider becoming a US citizen, Helen? We need more people like you!

    And to any readers who might say “but both sides are bad!” or “why are you so prejudiced against Trump supporters?” I say this: Trump has refused to accept the results of the election if he loses. In a free country, that ought to be completely unacceptable, like a firefighter who contemplates committing arson or a schoolteacher who suggests that having sex with children is a good idea. Ceiling Cat knows that Agent Orange has done and said plenty of things that deserve condemnation, but that one thing alone ought to be enough to disqualify him in the eyes of any decent and thoughtful American.

  38. James has been getting pretty chummy with some shady right wing ‘anti-Soros’ types, and no doubt he’s ethically compromised now, by his own declaration of voting intentions. He done red-pilled himself! We lose too many bright young men to Woke Derangement Syndrome, sadly.

  39. “…to spite your face” is a term I’ve and heard used in arguements, debates all my life. It was always banded about like “sticks and stones can break your bones but names will never hurt you” something the woke might benefit by absorbing and taking note.

  40. “This is exactly what Lindsay is doing, and, to be sure, it’s going to damage himself more than Trump. He hasn’t considered how voting for a narcissistic madman out of pique towards the Left will not put him in good stead with the reasonable part of the Left.”

    It’s going to damage me and a lot of other people more than the damage done to both of them put together.

  41. I thought James Lindsay is associated with the gnarly corners of the ‘intellectual dark web’ for quite a while, shading into what’s called the “Alt Lite” and paleolibertarianism (who often style themselves as “classical liberals”). This corner, and the Woke are mirror images of one another, who see each other as the main opponent. The Right Wingers were first brought into a state of perpetual outrage and moral panic, thanks to Talk Radio and Fox News. The Woke are an alternative, Democratic Party aligned variant that came with social media, but were also groomed and fostered by big media corporations ever since. In the Right Wing and IDW corner, James Lindsay’s bubble, the Woke aren’t very online virtue signalling people with personality disorders, but are “far left” and “postmodern neo-marxists”.

    The evidence for this is thin. Postmodernists in their heyday in the 1990s were vocal about being “very left wing” and even louder asserted that their critics were right wingers. But this was always disputed and postmodernists and Marxists didn’t exactly like each other. Alan Sokal wrote in the aftermath of his hoax that he rejects association of epistemological and philosophical positions with political sides (and elsewhere declared himself to the left). Later on, the political right adopted defacto postmodernists elements into their culture. You can find postmodernism on Answers in Genesis and unsurprisingly, many critics of postmodernists were also engaged against creationism/intelligent design.

    Today, the most vocal critic of the woke 1619 project was the world socialist site, which wrote “[…] the 1619 Project is a politically motivated falsification of history.“ The most vocal opposition to the self-professed “socialist” Bernie Sanders came in 2016 from Woke faction which brought their famous “callout culture” to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and called out the Sanders supporters as “bernie bros” and “brogressives” (i.e. white dudes, which is of course a bad thing in their circles).

    Long story short, like the postmodernists before, the woke are seen as the champions on the left, and everyone against them is declared “right wing”. This was disputed by most people, but over time, many Right Wingers or those drifting to the right accepted that narrative and ever since promoted the idea of “culture war” that encompasses US partisan politics. Once in the Right Wing bubble, they are bombarded with doom and gloom scenarios which they actually believe. James Lindsay is one of them. In reality, the USA is far from any social change and US workers and employees will continue to have some of the worst conditions of any modern democracy. Again, the Woke did sabotage a mildly social-democratic politician like Bernie Sanders, because to them, identity and race is all that matters.

  42. IMO there’s not a man on this planet with sex appeal sufficient to compensate for him having voted for a sleazy bastard who stole from a children’s cancer charity.

  43. god DAMN that’s disappointing about J.L.

    Ms. Pluckrose though – goodness she has an impressive intellect. It is hard to find somebody I disagree with LESS than her. There is almost no daylight between our positions.
    Her recent lectures and podcasts are worth listening to TWICE. You will sprain your neck nodding along!
    Go Helen!

    D.A., NYC

  44. Disappointing, but also baffling. The culture wars stuff plays out in the wider culture – politicians talk tough on it (especially on the conservative side), but that’s nothing new nor is it something that can be very effective. It’s not even relevant to how a government runs, which is one reason I think populists make a big deal out of it – they can whip up outrage without having to do anything beyond “taking sides”.

  45. “As for me, I’m both appalled and revolted.” – J. Coyne

    So am I. In one of the articles at the New Discourses website the author (not Lindsay) speaks of “building the unwoke resistance”. …By voting for Trump? Come on, Mr. Lindsay, you can’t be serious!

  46. “…and especially don’t want those activities to drive centrists into the arms of Trump.”

    I read that as “…and especially don’t want those activities to drive dentists into the arms of Trump.”


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