Scott Greer (the guy who is 6’2″ with the 187 IQ) has for the past week or so been getting into a Twitter spat of sorts between his followers regarding the NFL and conservatism. Greer argues that the NFL is woke, and that conservatives should not support it or watch it. He tweeted:
It’s important to realize much of the fantasy football crowd is not our demographic, no matter how much we say we love the NFL. They’re focused on other things and many of them are happy with the status quo. it’s better to be truthful than self-censor to defend the honor of BWW https://t.co/rYYG8tgwhC
— Scott Greer 6’2” IQ 187 (@ScottMGreer) September 13, 2022
I think the mistake he makes here, not that he is wrong (I agree that the NFL is no ally to conservatives), is when he says “our demographic” as if he can speak for ‘the right’ as a whole. Conservativism or the right, as an ideology, is very broad, even possibly more so than the left. The only thing they can agree on is ‘the left is bad’ and that ‘society is going in the wrong direction’, but beyond that, it’s very hard to make generalizations.
The left for example can be divided into two large groups, and a third smaller one, those being the neo-liberal/classical-liberal left (mainstream democrats, thinktanks, WSJ, etc.), the woke/SJW-left (social media, college campuses, BLM, etc.), and the anti-idpol left (disaffected economic populists, Marxists, activists, and such who aggregate online but still command a large enough presence and popularity to have some effect on discourse, notably Breaking Points, Freddie deBoer, Glenn Greenwald, Matthew Yglesias, and others).
Even after writing about conservativism for a decade and reading, I still don’t understand it well enough. My assumptions or notions about it are constantly being challenged. Conservatism is like an organism that is constantly evolving via memetic propagation , whereas liberalism seems more fixed in its ways. As discussed earlier, liberal positions are generally about expanding rights and equality. Even if this is unworkable or has ruinous consequences, it’s at least consistent. Conservatism is more about being opposed to the left, but what exactly it intends to conserve or what this entails, is harder to pin down.
Conservatism originally meant preserving the monarchy in the context of the French Revolution. Edmund Burke, widely considered a major theorist of conservatism, opposed the French Revolution but supported the American Revolution. 20th century American political theorist Russel Kirk, inspired by Burke, laid the framework for modern American conservatism and advocated natural law. In the 17th century, Hobbes’ legal framework, which could be considered a form of natural law, was a challenger to the prevailing notion of the divine right of kings. Conservatism in the US and the UK are divergent, not just on issues but also their founding. The Tory Party, the conservative counterpart to Labor, is implicitly understood to be pro-monarchist, but the essence or sine qua non of American conservativism is opposition to the British monarchy (the hagiography of Paul Revere, for example), or probably any monarchy.
A much more recent reversal, beginning by my estimate in 2016 with the huge popularity of Joe Rogan and the rise of MMA and CrossFit, is American conservatives, especially millennials and gen-z, championing health. In the ’70s and ’80s it was liberals who were health obsessed, like the popularity of Jane Fonda tapes, in contrast to the machismo and rugged individualism of the Marlboro Man or Joe Camel, but now the left has now embraced fact acceptance and ‘healthy at any size’, and many on the right now see fitness as a moral duty. In the ’90s it was the left who were against ‘big tobacco’ and ‘big sugar’, but now we see such opposition from the right too. This came as a surprise to me, but things change. By contrast, the corpulent Rush Limbaugh was the antithesis of Rogan. But fat acceptance is wholly consistent with the left expanding its frontier of inclusion of disadvantaged groups (as if overeating makes one oppressed).
Conservatism, again, is very broad. Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson are sometimes labeled as right-wing by their detractors, but so are Sam Francis or Paul Gottfried. The former two are conservative in the sense of opposing the far left, but are liberal in other respects. The latter two are are much more economically populist, unlike Dr. Peterson who is staunchly opposed to any economic populism, but are much more socially conservative. There is also the dilemma being that conservatism implies risk aversion and preserving the status quo, what does it do when that very status quo seeks its demise?
To bring this back, to Scott or anyone, the morality play never works. Even if you think you’re right, it comes off as moralizing, which is uncool and infective. If you think the NFL sucks, just make a single tweet about it and then don’t bring it up again unless there is a major development that affirms your original view, or the majority of people agree with you with minimal disagreement. If the goal is to be an effective propogandist, which let’s admit this what punditry is, then the last thing you want to do is divide your followers.