Over the past year I’ve lacked the free time to put much effort into this blog, for largely good reasons, I also feel I’ve said most of what I wanted to say. Thus, this will be my last blog post, though the blog will still exist and I might resurrect it in the future if I have the time.
To emphasize one message, one theme for my last blog post, it is the importance of human capital to any political movement: this is the biggest problem we “populists” face today. Many who understand the importance of human capital in explaining the economic performance of countries or the crime rates of neighborhoods seem entirely unconcerned that their movement is disproportionately supported by the duller White people in America or Europe. Though Romney voters had higher IQs than Obama voters, the statistic was reversed for Whites, and I would think this would be even more true if you looked at the 2016 election. Make no mistake: some of that was good, many of those affluent Republican-leaners who switched to Hillary or even Gary Johnson were basically liberals who didn’t like paying taxes. Their removal facilitated the advance of populism within the party. But in the long term populists cannot afford to surrender the class of smart Whites to the cult of leapfrogging loyalties.
There are many actions which help advance that goal and there are many actions that hinder it. Endorsing ridiculous conspiracy theories hinders it. Being careless with the facts hinders it. Un-ironically using “they’re nerds” as a reason to disagree with someone hinders it. Supporting Roy Moore for Senate hinders it. And by God, if you support Roy Moore on the basis that he’s not a Democrat, don’t turn around and say Al Franken is beyond the pale.
What can help it? This is harder, and here we run into the issue of anonymity on the internet. It is costless to log on, hide behind a username, and purity-signal about how uncompromising and “based” you are. It’s harder to try to be “active” in real life, announcing yourself as a Trump supporter, even for mainstream Republican reasons, can be hazardous. But it is also how minds are changed, much more than through the net. People believe what they do fundamentally because of other people. The more hazardous it is to announce your views publicly, the more payout it can have, because it is exactly in those deep-blue environments where people are most affected by group-think and where one dissenter can have an impact.
But if you are unwilling to do that, a simple way to help is to donate money to help keep the populist right’s media in the black. Leaving the funding entirely to advertising rewards deference to the demands of advertisers and unintelligent clickbait, two trends we should want the populist right to avoid. Consider starting here.