The Left's Reaction to Israel/Hamas Has Positioned Trump as the Protector of the West
We on the left seem unable to stop kicking own-goals, and this latest one will probably get Trump elected
A protester waves a Jihadist flag at a Pro-Palestine protest
I think the war in Israel, and the way much of the Left in the West has responded to it, has just created a new culture war.
Or, to be more precise, it’s encompassed and magnified all the previous culture wars going back to 2014 or so, and turned it into a new monster.
We have massive protests that seem to be celebrating Hamas, not just the Palestinians, many of which include violent slogans and signage, and we don’t see widespread condemnation from the Left.
So what’s happening is polarization, with people in the West across the US, Europe, and elsewhere picking sides.
And the sides are (generally and sloppily) pro-West and anti-West. Here are some very imprecise and perhaps flawed associations:
Pro-violence to enact change (not everyone, obviously)
Narrative: Despite all its success, the West still today represents colonialism, oppression, and is the reason so many people are suffering on the planet.
Narrative: Despite its flaws, the West still represents the best place in the world for people of all types to come and pursue happiness and success, and it should be celebrated rather than torn down.
Those lists themselves aren’t what’s so important. And obviously not everyone fits into one or the other, and there are actually many columns, not just two.
But in a world where we’re often forced into X or Y, what’s crucial is how different groups of people in the US are slotting into one side or the other as we head into the 2024 election. Normally there wouldn’t just be two sides. Normally people would resist being forced to pick one. But right now isn’t normal. Right now the pressure is so high I think tons of people are going to literally “pick a side”.
So here’s the question. How are most people in these groups going to go?
West-coast Techie Types
The top 10% in income/wealth?
All this to say, I think a whole lot of Americans are going to go Pro-West, and guess who’s about to become their new spokesperson for the next 13 months?
I think this war in Israel, and the response we’ve seen to it, is about to galvanize the Pro-West side massively by pulling tons of center and left-center people to the Pro-West side, which will be lead by him.
This deeply troubles me, since I think a second Trump presidency is an extraordinary risk to civilization. The West absolutely needs a champion right now, but I really wish it weren’t going to be him.
This is what I see happening, though—basically the Islamacists (defined as extremist theocrats, not the majority of peaceful Muslims), US academia, the general group of “down with America” types, and tons of young idealistic people who have no idea what they’re talking about, are going to get increasingly vocal, and likely violent as well.
And the other side is going to say, “See!?!? This is the same thing as before with BLM and such! And this is why crime is rising. And this is why Israel was attacked! And the attacks in Paris! And this and that!” Etc. All this complexity and contradiction will get collapsed down into overly-simplified sides.
So it’ll be:
Trump (The Savior of The West according to his fans)
Biden (the Fragile Beacon of Subtlety and Nuance)
Who do you think is going to win that?
Basically, we’re fucked. Not just in the culture war that’s about to ensue, but in the fact that this might very well get Trump re-elected.
P.S.: Since I know you want to know, I’m on the Pro-West, Pro-Jewish/Israel/Palestine/Secular/Humanist, Anti-Trump side. Meaning, not cleanly in the two columns as they’ll likely play out, but mostly Pro-West.