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Right-wing think tanker takes 1600 words to call David French a cuck

David French: Accused cuck

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By David Futrelle

Alt-Right Nazis love calling conservative pundit David French a “cuck.” In part, that’s because alt-rightists love calling everyone they hate a cuck, and French — a never-Trumper who’s openly criticized the alt-right — is the sort of “cuckservative” that alt-rightists especially love to hate.

But a large part of the reason they so relish attaching this particular epithet to French– which they’ve been doing for years now — is that he and his wife have an adopted daughter from Ethiopia, making his family an multiracial one. In alt-right eyes, this makes French a “race cuck.”

James Poulos — executive editor of The American Mind, a publication of the right-wing Claremont Institute — evidently also likes to call David French a “cuck.” But apparently he felt that the case for French’s alleged cuckoldry lacked a certain intellectual rigor. And so he recently devoted 1600 words in The American Mind to a rambling, quasi-Nietzschean essay on French’s supposed “cuckery” and, more broadly, on the alleged changes in society that allegedly make this insult so allegedly resonant. The “geneology of cuckery,” he calls it.

The essay is, to put it plainly, a huge mess; Poulos buries whatever points he’s trying to make beneath a virtual avalanche of vague buzzwords. I’ve read the piece through three times now and only barely understand what he’s trying, and mostly failing, to say. Here’s a rather typical passage:

But the charge of cuckery, leveled against Christians like French, has to do with the perceived untenableness today of staking out a middle position between the Benedict Option of evacuating from fronts collapsing in the culture war and the yet-to-be-named option of reasserting powerful constitutional authority for localities to resist and reject colonization by the revolutionary vanguard of institutionalized wokeness.

That’s all one sentence, by the way. The whole piece is like this. Here’s Poulos trying to argue that there are deep cultural changes underlying the sudden popularity of the “cuck” insult:

The Nordlingerians do not grasp that the rise of the cuck charge is the product of changes in our social and psychological environment that supervene upon, and are independent of, ideological phenomena.

In case you’re wondering what, specifically, these “changes in our social and psychological environment” are, he mentions two: ubiquitous porn and, er, invisible robots.

This alien invasion of invisible robots our technologists have touched off makes us feel as if our own creation has betrayed us, because the order of machine memory obsolesces the whole social structure of imagineering that first twinkled into being during the Enlightenment and really took off with the advent of electricity.

I think he’s still mad because Google once apparently tagged an anti-multicultural polemic from The American Thinker as racist.

Speaking of racism: Poulos manages to avoid mentioning the outright racism behind most alt-right attacks on French, and he himself says nothing about French’s adopted daughter. But racist worries about supposed “white genocide” seem to underlie many of the arguments that Poulos shows sympathy for in his piece.

The metaphor of cuckoldry is selected to the exclusion of all others because nothing else quite as effectively sharpens the charge that your obsession with the details of honor and principle has in fact become fatally abstract: you are being kicked out of your own house by a rival power actively working to take away everything that is yours, your children included. You are becoming the end of your line, forever, in every respect. Yet you won’t even evacuate from your breached defenses before it’s too late. Only the heights of spiritual snobbery can explain such a choice.

So, don’t adopt children of another race, I guess? If that is indeed the implicit message (or one of the implicit messages) of this passage, it means that Poulos has managed to stretch out the “race cuck” epithet from two to 1600 words.

This whole weird episode suggests to me that the walls between those like Poulos who warn against the alleged dangers of “multiculutralism” and those who shout about “white genocide” are indeed thin — and porous.

H/T — Thanks to Twitter’s @ClenchedFisk, whose tweet on the subject led me to this essay.

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Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Betrayer

She doesn’t “hate saying her pronouns,” she experiences gender dysphoria when cis people performatively make her say her pronouns when they damn well know them.

It’s hardly a comment worth the harassment and death threats she got as a result.

I agree that she does not deserve the harassment and death threats. I am not condoning harassment that she received for her views.

However, her original comment was rather insensitive with regards to NB people and other gender nonconforming people. She could have phrased the same sentiment in a way that wasn’t promoting non-binary erasure. I’m kind of surprised, seeing as she once identified as genderqueer.

Anyway, make of it what you will. I personally don’t think I will be watching anymore.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
1 year ago

Agender chiming in.

The first thing to put me off of ContraPoints was the video ‘The Aesthetic’ and the rather stereotypical caricature of NBs.

And then there was this mess.

Her whole point hinges on the assumption that she is the only non cis person there. And that the asking was done only for her benefit, when in fact it’s entirely possible that this was standard practice for the group.

Internet hate mobs are always way too much.

But a bit of backlash along the lines of ‘I was hurt by what you said and here is why’ is perfectly fine.

The fact that shitty people will do shitty things is no reason not to criticize others when they mess up a bit.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Knitting Cat Lady

The first thing to put me off of ContraPoints was the video ‘The Aesthetic’ and the rather stereotypical caricature of NBs.

I didn’t watch that specific video, but I did see her “Transtrenders” video, which engages in quite a bit of stereotyping and mocking of NB people. Again, odd, as she once identified as genderqueer.

Her whole point hinges on the assumption that she is the only non cis person there. And that the asking was done only for her benefit, when in fact it’s entirely possible that this was standard practice for the group.

She even said in her original tweet that in many groups it is standard practice and that she doesn’t like that.

My opinion as non-binary (but not totally sure what I am) is that it is good to ask pronouns. Most people I’ve talked to about this, cis and trans, say that stating their pronouns affirms their gender or at least that it doesn’t bother them to say it. I’m not publicly out, so I don’t get to say that I use they/them pronouns except with a small group of friends. But when I do use those pronouns and say my pronouns it affirms my gender. I can sort of understand why Natalie might feel different, but to say it this way seems almost mocking toward NB people. To me, she sounded like one of the conservatives who complains about trans people stating their pronouns at all.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
1 year ago

@Naglfar

Which part of “Transtrenders” was mocking of NB people? I am legit not asking this question to be difficult, but to educate myself because I watched that video and I thought that Baltimore Maryland came out by far looking like the reasonable and correct character in the debate. Afterwards, the friend Justine was entirely saying that Tiffany was wrong to judge them based on her own standards because not everyone’s trans journeys was the same, and that Baltimore’s identity was just as valid as hers.

That was what I got from the video, but I’m not trans nor do I have much steeping in trans culture, so maybe I missed something somewhere? On the face of it, I thought the entire point of the video was “there is no such thing as a transtrender, NB people are valid.” This is of reasonable importance for me to clear up because I have a colleague who just this summer came out as nonbinary/trans and they lost quite a bit of work friends over it, so I would not like to accidentally make them feel even more uncomfortable because I can’t pick up on what is mocking or not.

Beyond Ocean
Beyond Ocean
1 year ago

This scandal makes me just sad.

Contra Points deserves criticism like anyone else, but if it takes a single badly phrased remark for a hate mob to form against someone who did a lot of good (at least from my point of view), well, maybe the stereotypes rightists have of us progressives are true.

I, for one, wouldn’t be comfortable if someone expected me up front to make a pronoun a part of my identification, though likely for different reasons than her. Is this method supposed to be beyond reproach?

Although in moments like this, I’m always left wondering if, as a non-native English speaker, I just don’t understand something cultural about English pronouns.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Big Titty Demon

Which part of “Transtrenders” was mocking of NB people?

I might be alone in this opinion, but to me it seemed like the way Baltimore Maryland acted and dressed was lampooning non-binary people (implying that they’re all overly flamboyant and argumentative), which is not accurate of the non-binary people I know. Most of us are just trying to blend in and avoid harassment. I understand her intention with the video, but to me it seemed problematic the way Baltimore was portrayed.

@Beyond Ocean

I, for one, wouldn’t be comfortable if someone expected me up front to make a pronoun a part of my identification, though likely for different reasons than her. Is this method supposed to be beyond reproach?

Although in moments like this, I’m always left wondering if, as a non-native English speaker, I just don’t understand something cultural about English pronouns.

In a lot of progressive spaces it’s currently expected that people state their pronouns when introducing themselves. It’s meant to prevent misgendering people by using the wrong pronouns due to the proliferation of non-binary people for whom their pronouns cannot be visibly implied. Natalie was complaining that she doesn’t like doing this even if it is a social expectation that isn’t meant just for her but for everybody.

The real problem with what she said is that it implies that avoiding the inconvenience (she said it was a minor thing) of saying “she/her” after her introduction was more important than the comfort of non-binary people.

Betrayer
Betrayer
1 year ago

I’m nonbinary, and I didn’t consider her original remarks to be dismissive.

But then, being asked pronouns sets off my anxiety, so I also don’t like when people do it, even though they’d never use the proper pronouns otherwise.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
1 year ago

@Naglfar

Ok, I could see how Baltimore could be seen that way. I myself interpreted it as the entire debate show including the host and Tiffany being way over the top, so in the context of the video I did not see it as mocking. But I could see how it might rub people the wrong way.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Betrayer
Your opinions are equally valid as mine, and I’m sorry if I offended you. I recognize that other NB people have different views and I respect other opinions. Sorry if I came across as hurtful.

@Big Titty Demon
I know that there are other interpretations of the video, and it’s only tangentially related to what’s going on more recently. I was just sharing my perspective on the subject.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
1 year ago

@Naglfar

Yep, I got you. I was trying to say that I could see how you saw it, after you said it. 🙂

Beyond Ocean
Beyond Ocean
1 year ago

@Naglfar

I didn’t really read Contra’s comment like that, but I understand many see it differently.

Out of curiosity (since I’m clearly not part of any such space right now), do you think that refusing to include a pronoun with the introduction, or saying “just use whatever”, could be read as inconsiderate or hurtful?

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Beyond Oceans

Out of curiosity (since I’m clearly not part of any such space right now), do you think that refusing to include a pronoun with the introduction, or saying “just use whatever”, could be read as inconsiderate or hurtful?

Simply omitting your pronouns would probably not be seen as hurtful by most people. If someone asks you about pronouns specifically and you become defensive, that could be seen as unusual, but you probably won’t offend anyone simply by not saying your pronouns. Obviously I don’t speak for everyone, and other people may have different opinions, so YMMV. I would imagine, however, that it wouldn’t be seen as hurtful so long as you respect other people’s pronouns.

Brooksie
Brooksie
11 months ago

You’re literally sticking up for a misogynistic homophobe just because the MAGA crowd hates him. Ace work.

Jeff Krasney
Jeff Krasney
9 months ago

David French is described as a cuckservative by most conservatives because he claims to be a conservative while he advocates for the latest Leftist talking points. Its as if he enjoys being on the losing side and is always searching for a new way to humiliate himself and people he claims to be allied with. This is behavior much like a cuckold who enjoys the disrespect he receives as other men sleep with his wife.

Much like a cuckold, no one respects David French. Leftists invite him to come onto their programs so that he can say how much he agrees with them on whatever the issue of the day might be. Conservatives rightly view him as a wierdo sell out who only pretends to be on the conservative side. Much like a wife who sees that her husband enjoys being cuckolded.

A prominent example is that French denigrated Devin Nunes majority Congressional report on the FBI spying on Trump’s presidential campaign of 03/22/2018, and then David French wrote about how Adam Schiff’s minority Congressional report on the FBI spying on Trump of 04/27/2018 was far more credible. We now know the Nunes report was correct and that Adam Schiff was lying. Schiff was not honestly mistaken. He had the exact same information as Nunes and Inspector General Horowitz and he knowingly posted a minority report that was filled with falsehoods.

David French has no problem with being wrong about the most important scandal of the last three years and supporting Adam Shiff as he lies about the same scandal. French doesn’t mind that he has just been humiliated in front of the entire world by the recent Dep’t of Justice Inspector General’s report debunking Schiff’s minority report. French probably enjoys this humiliation just like a cuckold enjoys being humiliated.