The Cancellation of RFK, Jr.
This is not American politics, but something more petty and sinister.
No sooner has the man demonstrated his viability as a presidential candidate, we have witnessed all sorts of makeshift opposition wheeled out in complete disunity. It’s something I’m quite disgusted with and I think there is a golden opportunity here to illustrate better the root of the problem lately with American presidential politics. Let’s get into it.
Here’s what we’ve seen so far: a knee-jerk spat between Nassim Taleb and RFK plus Joe Rogan by proxy, a probable intelligence front digging up and propagating garden variety ‘dirt’ to smear RFK, and tabloid articles from the dirtbag left telling us to “beware” and to “ignore him at our peril”. What the hell is going on?
Let’s start with the intelligence front on Twitter. Here we have some account posting about RFK’s drug history. I’m not aware of him trying to hide or conceal this, but rest assured we’ve got these Concerned Citizens™ raising the alarm in perfect lockstep with him successfully polling an upset. Extremely normal, nothing to see here.
One of the things that was unusual was how many people had been tagged in propagation of the post: about 6 different accounts in the conversation. The replies mostly speak for themselves if you are familiar with the manipulation tactics of gaslighting, and I mean… just look at the branding on some of these accounts. Very spooky if you ask me.
Every single one of these ‘points’ made perfectly propagate an obviously motivated perception about RFK. They all go in one direction, and frothy, unhinged narratives abound about ‘his people’ doing all of the worst things, in a completely fake ‘conversation’.
I’m sure this is all completely genuine and real, only from patriotic concerned Americans who care about the truth and justice and liberty and all of that.
It doesn’t take much speculation to figure out why the OGA, with their complete lack of accountability and transparency to the government hosting them, might be pissed at the prospect of this man being President. He says as much himself:
With that, I rest my case about the intelligence community.
From the other direction of things, let us turn our attention from the shadows to the swamps: The Guardian, famed these days as a post-leftist rag, loudly trumpets, “Ignoring RFK is not an option.” They highlight as their thesis that he is going around the bought-and-paid-for Establishment Cum Rags™, earning endorsements and garnering reach without sanction:
The rest of the article is a giant exercise in mental gymnastics, where public sentiment is totally pathologised and reduced to an irrational emotional impulse that needs to be cultivated and controlled by these party apparatchiks:
Nowhere is any critical mention of how the DNC openly conspired to corrupt their convention to deny the popular candidate his victory in the primary, thereby creating their own worst nightmare they call Trump. It’s like listening to the neocons wax about the failure that was Iraq, which leads me quite nicely into my last example here upon which I rest my thesis: the outburst of Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
This man actually made me angry this morning, because I had not seen so clear an example of a petty, cowardly, motivated drive-by character assassination for no benefit or cause to the aggressor. Apparently, this whole spat started not with Taleb, but rather another Ph.D. egg head by the name of Dr. Peter Hotez. Apparently, Hotez is a faithful servant of the academic wing of the American permanent state, who masterfully toed lines and conditionally broke rank according to whatever peer sentiment would net him a stronger reputation in the end. I can infer this from the fact that Taleb has chosen to wade into this and pick sides even though, ostensibly, he has no horse in the race. This is classic office politics and drama, and everyone involved is mostly clowning on themselves.
Here’s his ‘ethics’-motivated contextualisation for why he was talking shit, and apparently it’s because he looked him up on Wikipedia once and decided to stay away for reasons of ‘reputation’.
My main question is, if you have no horse in this race and don’t want to be associated with the guy anyway, why in the fuck did you pipe up in the first place? This isn’t your fight; you imply as much with your claims of disassociation. So, what the hell is going on?
I don’t buy it for one minute that his claimed motivations are his actual motivations. I think Taleb here was a dumbass who weighed in on something he had no business in, ran his mouth, and is now backpedaling while admitting no mistake in the form of this dipshit sophistry about ‘ethics’. What a crock of shit.
The closer you look at these kinds of goings on, the more you piece together how a lot of people have a much more selfish and cynical motivation behind all of their interactions. They talk much about ‘reputation’, in a seemingly paradoxical way as they offer it as an explanation for why they are not engaging directly with those they disagree with. I had dealt with these kinds of people in Austin, so to say I am offended on RFK’s behalf would not be a stretch. These people effectively preempt truth seeking and wear science like a fucking costume. It’s a moral abomination all its own.
Here’s some replies in tune with him. Like this one, where the classic false question of ‘reputation’ is earnestly asked:
If you are categorically forbidden from debating certain people about science, you don’t have a medium of debate about science. If your reputation as a professional hinges on not dealing with untouchables ipso facto, you aren’t a professional, and you don’t have a fucking reputation as anything but a worm. Your real job is closer to engineering and justifying the arbitrary desires of a regime. You are no better than Trofim Lysenko.
Or how about this reply, which Billy above was replying to, where they earnestly discuss the false problem of ‘spin’ as a result of Joe’s debate hosting:
These people wouldn’t know an honest human being if it ran them over on the street. And their concern about spin is a hugely revealed preference: again, they’re not really tasked with finding scientific truths or theories, but rather the manufacture and perception management of such. They are pseudoscientific scum, and judging by the reach they have through orbiting people like Taleb, they are at least passively sanctioned as such by a real power base.
Finally, it is quite fitting that Taleb’s disingenuous backpedaling was in quote of this Tweet:
This belongs in a dictionary as a visual example of snobbery. I don’t care what sort of science or engineering you do, if you do anything at all requiring brain power, you know intrinsically about statements of the form “I can’t believe [association between X and Y] considering [Y] doesn’t even [Z]”. It’s not earnest to levy personal discredit against a peer by measure of cherry-picked factoids. For fuck’s sake, this is on the pyramid of argument. If these sorry shits weren’t glorified meat puppets, I would command them to do better.
As for Taleb himself, I think that he is a man who has no regard for the American democratic cultural pastime. He wines and dines with rootless, internationalist cosmopolitan elites, hails from the Mediterranean, and acts out in a totally cynical manner when confronted with the American politics him and his ilk are entangled with. He is, culturally, a foreigner, and needs to be treated as such in the classic American way: told to get with the program or get the fuck out of the way. He has no right to interfere with the public discourse of our elections in service of his own petty, mafiaesque obligations to kick the man while everyone else is doing it. Fuck him.
When you break it down into its elemental pieces, you discover that Taleb, the OGA and the Guardian are all motivated for different reasons in the same ways: it’s not that they have a vision or a goal necessarily, but rather that they have conspired, often successfully, to usurp power from the public, and feel credibly threatened by a man who dares to be earnest and talk about the things they have drawn lines in the sand over.
RFK is not a threat because he “spreads misinformation”, whatever in the unholy fuck that is supposed to mean. He is a threat because he is willing to be openly wrong in pursuit of being right.
RFK is a threat to them because they are cowards with no legitimacy and no cause for their power to the public. They can’t handle the ‘reputational damage’ of being wrong like he can, because their ‘reputation’ is the only thing between them and the permanent discrediting that they probably deserve. They are too cowardly and owned by their own small-minded and petty perceptions of power to dare to stand out and have an opinion of their own. And they may not have realised this yet, but they just made a lot of strange bedfellows.