My colleagues at my day job are, for the most part, aware that I do a bit of writing on the side. Everyone knows I’m a conservative. But there, as in real life, I avoid talking politics. I just don’t like it, for the same reason I don’t like watching presidential debates: entertaining as they might be, there’s very little by way of facts or political philosophy. Usually the participants just talk past each other. So when a left-wing co-worker tries to strike up a conversation about politics, I generally just nod and start with the ‘Oh, sure. Yup. Mhm. Too true, too true’ routine.
I’d be lying, though, if I said an aversion to confrontation was all that shut me up. Like so many conservatives – in the US as in Australia – I’m aware that making my political views known could cost me my reputation, and maybe even my job (see: GrubHub). It’s not a risk I’m usually willing to take for a 0.003 percent chance of changing someone’s mind.
But something very queer indeed happened today. I was sitting around with some co-workers – most of them women, several of an… ehem… minority persuasion – when conversation turned to our glorious President-Elect. A few admitted to attending anti-Trump protests in Boston, though they hadn’t voted themselves. After bashing The Donald for a few minutes, they tired of that subject and turned to the wage gap. One of them, an affluent young white man, started loudly bemoaning the unequal treatment of women by our rotten late-capitalist economy, to the unanimous approval of his audience. I kept quiet, trying to busy myself with some pens that needed to be re-capped.
Then, he turned to me. ‘Right, Michael?’ I looked up and cocked my head. ‘You’re not one of those crazy Republicans. You know sexism in the workplace is a serious issue.’
‘There’s no such thing as the wage gap,’ I muttered.
‘What did you say?’ he asked, leaning in.
Feeling my face grow hot, I looked him in the eye and said, ‘The wage gap is a bloody myth. Women tend to work fewer hours and for fewer consecutive years, which means their annual pay is less. But they earn the same amount as men when they work the same amount of time.’
Everyone was stunned – no one more than me. My bien pensant colleague muttered something about my being ‘close-minded’ and the group dispersed.
This all happened on also my first day back from two days in New York, where I brought in the election with Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys. It was my first shift, that is, in Donald Trump’s America.
I can tell you all from here that this country has already changed drastically. It changed the moment the election was called for Trump. This rare, unexpected, but monumental victory has profoundly effected conservatives of all stripes. Those who (like me) preferred to keep their heads down are now loudly identifying themselves and challenging the progressives’ false narratives.
And God, does it feel good. For the last year, it’s been considered a faux pas to support Trump. In fact, if those around you are bashing Trump, it’s considered somewhat rude not to join in.Those who don’t join in condemning Trump are assumed to support him, like those who stay silent when someone applauds Caitlin Jenner for her courage and beauty are assumed to be ‘transphobic’.*
Not anymore. Because, regardless of what these mobsters say, everyone now knows we’re the majority. We’re not extremists – we’re the mainstream. They may not like us or our beliefs, but the Left can’t dismiss us as fringe radicals anymore. They’ve lost their only real weapon: the illusion of ‘inevitability’.
Gavin said it best:
The word ‘bigot’ has been such a successful way to permanently brand someone as a witch in Salem, and now you have to be burned at the stake. Once you get that marker on you, you’re doomed for life. And what Trump did is he went, ‘Yeah, yeah. I’m not interested in that word. You can call me that all you want.
‘And you know what else? America’s sick of this stigma. We’re sick of the shame.’
I didn’t fully realize the power shame had over me until it was lifted. I didn’t realize what a pleasure it was to speak my mind in the enemy’s presence until I did it for the first time in God knows how long. (I finished Year 12 under Obama, if that’s any benchmark.) And that was probably the Left’s point. I thought I was censoring myself – choosing not to exercise my right to free speech.
This is going to be a watershed moment for the American Right and, I hope, right-wingers across the West. Whatever President Trump does, Candidate Trump freed us from those self-righteous homunculi that perch themselves on our brainstems and whisper, ‘Ooo, not sure you should really repeat that statistic about migrant rape in Sweden. Might not be in good taste. Save it for your conservative friends.’
That little fella’s gone. Now we’re behind the wheel. Now our facts will trump their ideology. Our rights will trump their feelings. And we have to police ourselves and each other closely, to make sure we never succumb to self-censorship ever again.
Around 60 million voters made Trump President of the United States and validated his revolt against political correctness, cultural Marxism, and rule by the elite. And though I voted for him in both the Massachusetts GOP primary and the general election, I’ll admit that I had some misgivings about him throughout the race. Many of us did. But that doesn’t matter now. He was the man to lead conservative, patriotic Yanks at this particular moment in history, and he delivered us a historical victory.
We can’t throw that away. We have to take his momentum and share it with the rest of the Western world. Aussie Battlers must count this as a victory just as the Middle Americans do. And we have to vow never to go back.
* While we’re at it, transgenderism is a serious mental illness. Those who suffer it deserve compassion and therapy, not applause and genital mutilation.