How the 'soft bois' pave the way for the 'hard men': conservative
Never Trumper Jonathan V. Last does plenty of mocking in a column published by The Bulwark on September 29, but he also has a dead-serious warning where MAGA is concerned: With authoritarian movements of the far left or far right, the “soft bois” are often followed by the “hard men.” And history, according to Last, shows that the “hard men” aren’t the least bit shy about resorting to violent, brutal methods.
Last opens the column by mocking some examples of “soft bois” in the far-right MAGA movement.
“Michael Anton is out there calling for just asking questions about having a violent revolution in America,” Last explains. “Anton is a former private-equity guy turned speechwriter whose dream is to be a chef. Per the New York Times, Anton is ‘a classically trained chef who favors French cuisine.’ He is also something of a dandy. Then there’s Roger Stone, out there calling for violence — when the voting stops the shooting starts, I guess?”
Last continues, “He once posted, and then deleted, a picture of the judge hearing his case with a crosshairs next to her head. So tough. But Stone makes Anton look like a biker. He’s a dandy’s dandy, a heavily made-up old man with a penchant for complicated glasses. Curtis Yarvin is the internet troll who wants to get rid of democracy and replace it with monarchy and who thinks that mass killings by right-wingers are wrong mostly because they’re bad for the brand. Yarvin is more or less what you’d order from central casting if you were looking for ‘middle-age, basement-dwelling coder on the spectrum’…. The point I’m trying to make is that none of the outcasts and weirdos who are talking about overthrowing the liberal order in the name of the Great Common Man would be at home in a Budweiser commercial.”
But Last warns that “outcasts and weirdos” who preach violence while sitting behind a desk are often followed by the “hard men” who are willing to do the actual dirty work. And he uses the history of the Soviet Union to make his point, along with some footage of the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building.
“I don’t know that Trotsky and Lenin were all that butch, either,” Last argues. “In hindsight, they look like third-rate intellectuals thirsting for power. But Koba was not. He was a brutalist. And he was more than happy to take over for them.”
Last continues, “The problem is that the soft bois eventually give way to hard men, who understand and are eager to use power. What starts out as fops and dandies posing and talking tough about how super-duper double-bad they want to overthrow liberalism can eventually lead to actual men with actual weapons deciding to try it for themselves.”
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