The Center Cannot Hold

I’d never in my life ever even heard of Tim Urban until Nathan J. Robinson just eviscerated the book he spent six years of his life writing. In the main it sounds at best a laughable and at worst an irresponsible use of seven-hundred pages.

[…] I am losing my patience with those who refuse to look at the suffering in the world, who pretend it isn’t there and spend their time complaining that things are getting a little too woke. Haven’t you looked at the stats? All the queer kids in our schools are fucking miserable. Young girls want to kill themselves in record numbers. People can’t afford an emergency medical expense. Climate change has created millions of refugees in Pakistan. Afghanistan is starving because we wrecked the country. Do you not live in the same world that I do? What kind of busted moral compass must one have to spend six years trying to find the most important political ideas on which to opine, and then to produce a massive tract on the Illiberalism of The Left?

It’s hackneyed for me to go to the dictionary like this, but Merriam-Webster defines conservatism thusly.

  • disposition in politics to preserve what is established

  • a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change

    specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (such as retirement income or health-care coverage)

  • the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change

I don’t know about you, but this sure sounds like centrists actually are conservatives. With little surprise, this reveals what we still call conservatives in this country in fact to be fash or fash-adjacent radicals.

Urban apparently set out to diagnose what most ails American politics and ended up producing the perfect example: a conservatism cosplaying as centrism and doing everything it can to scapegoat the left.