NAOMI WOLF: The Right is the new counterculture

I’ve been occupied with the presentation by Maine State Representative Heidi Sampson of our Clean Elections Bill to the Legislative Council. This took place last Thursday, and it would have been the first step in the journey of the bill from draft bill to law in that state, had the Council voted to endorse it. Instead, after a spirited presentation of the bill by Rep Sampson, the Council voted, incredibly enough, not to endorse it; meaning, our Clean Elections Bill, which would, recall, ensure paper ballots, same-day voting, Voter ID, no ballot harvesting, proactive requests for absentee ballots, the ouster of NGOs from the voting process, same-day voting and public counting — is now dead in Maine.

The vote tally was shocking: a straight party-line vote, Democrats, six opposed, to Republicans, four supporting. I am stunned that any elected official in America wanted to go on the record as having stood between a voter in Maine, and his or her vote being counted accurately; but six have done so, mortifyingly, all Democrats; this has really happened.

I have felt that this bill’s journey in every state will illuminate who and what is standing against clean elections; it does have the side effect of smoking out enemies of ethical voting practices and revealing their motivations.

The fight to pass this bill in Maine is not over; Rep. Sampson is “termed out,” meaning she cannot run again; but she is handing the bill to a successor for the next legislative session. We will keep eyes and voter pressure on Maine. I have to believe that voters of every party in Maine, want their votes counted accurately.

Brian and I then flew this past week to CPAC (the “Conservative Political Action Conference” organized by CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp, and usually hosted three times a year) at the kind invitation of Steve Bannon’s WarRoom’s production team.

When we reached the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland, a fairly recently-developed part of the shore alongside the Potomac opposite Alexandria — I felt a bit disoriented. National Harbor looked like Disneyland — “walkable” “city” streets, lined with slick restaurants and themed bars aimed at conventioneers and tourists, but with none of the grit or eccentricity of a real city. A massive, blue-illuminated Ferris wheel spun slowly at the edge of the dark, slow-moving water.

We entered the Gaylord at the peak of CPAC, to an atrium thronged with happy visitors. My first, ignominious reaction to the scene, for which Brian rightly chided me, was: “This is not my culture.”

There was a buzz, from the moment we entered: a joyful vibe. After we checked in, changed, and ran down to join the festivities, we were struck by how pleasant and positive almost everyone was to us, and to each other. As someone reported to me the desk clerk had said, “I know they won’t approve of me saying this back in Southeast DC, where I come from, but you all are nice.”

Many attendees wore bright colors — the men in white or chino slacks, and what looked to me like golf shirts; or were more formally dressed, in dark blue suits with ties and white shirts. Many of the women wore dresses — solid color blocks of orange, and white, or dresses of deep red, or patriotic blue. A number of women had long wavy flowing locks (or extensions), and wore nude or beige, very high, high heels. I sort of respected this fashion, since it seemed as if it intended to sport a defiant femininity, in an era of “What is a woman?” and Maoist fashions for women outside of that subculture.

The center of the hotel is a vast glass atrium with a wall of glass overlooking the harbor; it is an updated version of the hotels that had been trendy when I was a teen in the 1970s, with glass elevators and atriums, the steamy scent of plants overhanging the balconies, and artificial waterways separating bars from cafes on the ground level.

The Gaylord Hotel was a chic-er, fresh version of that style — with two entire colonial-style houses, that were actually shops, enclosed by the atrium on the ground level — but it aimed for that same visual impact for the out-of-towners. You could live for three days without leaving the resort: a market offered coffee and breakfast wraps and poke bowls and comfortable chairs; a steakhouse for later in the day, provided old-fashioned martinis; and the centerpiece of it all was the two levels of ballrooms showcasing CPAC stages.

The first night, Brian and I joined AJ Rice and Drew Allen— two men who represent cancelled voices or alternative and conservative voices as publicists at Rice’s PubliusPR.com; the men represent politician Kari Lake (cheated, she argues, of her victory as Governor in Arizona by 35,000 unaccounted votes); economist Peter Navarro (recently sentenced to four months in prison for contempt of Congress); Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz (cancelled, he maintains, by the Left, since he defended President Trump); and had been representing Tulsi Gabbard (who left the Democratic Party after arguing that it had become an oligarchy, and racist). Disclosure, PubliusPR are also my publicists.

We met Drew and AJ’s friends at the steakhouse; these included Jason Sheppard, founder of WimKin.com, a censorship-free social media site. He described the obstacles, including being targeted with harassment, that he endured as he sought to protect free speech for the users on his platform.

I listened to the young men describe the battles they fought daily.

I thought about AJ and Drew connecting innumerable influencers’ voices, including those of silenced authors and marginalized candidates, via dozens of platforms, many of them new ones, to millions of audience members; I mused about WimKin’s millions of visits; I considered their colleague Gray Delaney, my publisher at All Seasons Press, who would arrive the next day, and his fight to publish suppressed voices.

These were men in their thirties or early forties, leading a new generation altogether; with brushed or spiked haircuts; dark jackets; t-shirts, and jeans, and leather sneakers. They were not like the dinosaurs of my generation and older who were running legacy culture, tech and PR. They were not the Establishment.

All of these new leaders had enterprises that were punching, culturally, above their weight, in the sense that all of their enterprises were startups, or are tightly staffed; they are not funded by huge PR or publishing or tech conglomerates.

I had just finished reading In All His Glory: The Life and Times of William S Paley and the Birth of Modern Broadcasting — and I felt I was seeing a modern version of what the book describes as the emergence of the networks of radio in the 30s and 40s, and then of television in the 1950s. Paley too, in his day, had been a brash young man with a vision, and only a handful of outlets, when radio was new. I felt, in listening to the young men plan and joke and analyze and argue, as if I was looking at the future of what will be someday perhaps one half of America’s culture and communications.

They spoke with focus, and planned their strategies, even as the drinks continued to arrive.

I was seeing, I realized, one of the nodes of a new America in the making; a new set of related cultural and telecommunications nerve centers being incubated, developed and extended, by talented, stubborn young men —who simply would not go along with censorship, or with the “othering” of ideas.

They had the ferocity of young men expressed in a new way, in a new generation; but I heard also something familiar and timeless. There was a color and sound in that ferocity that I recognized from my travels to police states around the world; it was the color and sound of dissidents in a community of dissidents; in an actual, not a metaphorical, cultural war.

####

The next morning, Brian and I visited CPAC proper.

The “WarRoom” set there was a dynamic stage to the left of the entrance to CPAC’s auditorium. Live interviews streamed from the set continually, and Bannon, Natalie Winters, his cohost, and their guests, were broadcasting. For many in the crowd that thronged the set, it was clearly fascinating to see the same personalities that they followed digitally, in real life and in real time. I had the pleasure of joining Bannon and Winters on stage briefly, and updating the crowd on the status of the vaccines wars, and on our bill’s defeat in Maine.

I was gratified by a warm welcome from “the Posse”, and delighted to learn that it was Winters’ birthday. Though the Right is represented by legacy media as sexist, I am often struck by the fact that, in his advancing the work of 23-year-old Natalie Winters, one of the best reporters working; the 23-year-old reporter Jayne Zirkle; CFO/COO of WarRoom Grace Chong, and WarRoom CEO and Army veteran Capt. Maureen Bannon, Bannon is investing in and showcasing the work of some of the brightest young women intellectuals, reporters, commentators and business leaders of their generations. In fact, I can’t think of another major media outlet that has a mostly female C-suite leadership team, let alone one made up of relatively young women. When I considered the influential roles of all of these women and saw them at work together on the Death-Star-unstoppable media machine that is WarRoom, I had another moment in which I realized that the stereotypes of those on the Right, are often belied by the realities on the ground.

In the afternoon, we were taken down “Media Row” to do interviews. I spoke with Frank Gaffney on his show Securing America; I had almost refused to speak with him a couple of years ago when we first were connected, as organizations I then respected, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, called him “paranoid” and “wild-eyed” in his concern about radical Islam. Gaffney, along with his equally fearless colleague Reggie Littlejohn of The Sovereignty Coalition, are now among our favorite friends. I don’t always agree with Gaffney or with Littlejohn; but one of the joys of the community in which I surprisingly find myself, is that people can have strong friendships, and respect for one another, while sustaining disagreements.

I met Mike Lindell, who again is caricatured by the press I used to read as being a raving fantasist, in his concerns about compromised elections. I shared my news about our Election Integrity bill with him, and heard about his exciting approach, of calling for paper ballots district by district; I thanked him for doing the work he had done to identify the corruption of voting machines. Though he has paid a heavy price for bringing this issue to light, it is of the greatest importance. As readers of this Substack know from my essay “How Voting Machines Cheat and What to Do About This,” I also, prompted by his and others’ warnings, looked into the issue of whether voting machines are secure - including asking my own totally nonpartisan developer. I learned that they are so easy to compromise that I concluded that we can’t know who has won an election since about 2005, when they were introduced.

I was interviewed by Lou Dobbs, who had been forced out of Fox News after an onerous lawsuit against him and the network, by a Venezuelan businessman; again, the issue he had raised that led to the lawsuit, was about voting machines.

Kevin McKernan, the CSO and Founder of Medicinal Genomics, had sat down earlier that morning at a table where we were having breakfast. He is the scientist who recently found that DNA fragments and plasmids contaminate both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. He has been traveling to congresses and addressing bodies worldwide, explaining the seriousness of his discovery. A quietly witty, very pleasant man with a low-key style, McKernan had welcomed Brian and me twice into his lab in Beverly, Massachusetts, to video-record what he had discovered; first, the corruption of the COVID PCR tests; and more recently, the DNA contamination of the mRNA vaccines. McKernan’s understated manner belies the immense importance of his findings and his current role in the world.

Edward Dowd, former BlackRock hedge fund manager, founder of Phinance Technologies and author of Cause Unknown: The Epidemic of Sudden Deaths in 2021 & 2022 — the man who alerted the world to millions of excess deaths and disabilities from the MRNA injection — a tall, sandy-haired man with a manner as understated and quietly witty as McKernan’s — had also stopped by.

I thought of how some of the people doing the most important and heroic work of all, work that is changing the outcomes of history, have the least egotistical manners of all.

Later that day, in the same area, I met again the incredible, charismatic German Member of the European Parliament, Christine Anderson, and her colleagues. She is a striking woman, tall and dark-haired, who walks as if the currents of history are flowing around her; she wears distinctive tailored suits, in lemon yellow, or deep maroon. That afternoon, as we sat in the atrium for coffee, she wore a beautifully-made brown damask skirted suit with a bronze silk blouse beneath it, tied with a foulard; and black kitten-heeled suede shoes with straps, as if from the 1920s. If she did not exist as a character, as well as as a leader, history would have to invent her.

MEP Anderson and her party, Alternative for Germany, now represent about 22% of Germans. MEP Anderson’s party are being called “Nazis” by the legacy media in Germany. Yet she perseveres.

(Coverage of CPAC in our own legacy media, NBC in this case, identified attendees as Nazis, smearing the event by association, though I neither saw nor heard anything remotely of this kind.)

MEP Anderson confirmed to me that “the narrative” — the vaccine narrative, the Globalist narrative, the digital ID narrative — is crumbling in Europe. She described a Europe riven by mass unchecked immigration as our Southern Border now is, if not even worse. And she described leaders all around the world, waking up to what is happening globally, presenting resistance.

As Anderson described the undoing and the regrouping of Europe, the steel-blue Potomac flowed before us.

A little wintry light-blue sky showed through what had been grey-white cloud cover. One of the oldest cities in America, Alexandria, Virginia, was visible on the far shore. As Anderson spoke about her country and mine, I felt the weight of the centuries that preceded us: the long fight up through the 18th century for the Enlightenment, which was now at risk of being altogether lost; the 20th century’s bloody fight against fascism; and now this.

“We are living in an interesting time,” she remarked, with that very slight edge of irony that is her hallmark; and what we both did not add out loud, I felt was something that we may have both agreed silently: in some ways, we are privileged to live in this time and to be warriors, with others similarly battling around the world, in this fight.

###

Late the next day, we visited with commentator Emerald Robinson and her husband, poet and critic Garrick Davis; Cameron Wallace, Bannon’s producer; Claire Dooley, the talented CHD filmmaker; Ed Dowd; and actress/podcaster Sofia Karstens.

Robinson, in addition to being one of our era’s great beauties, is also a savagely intelligent analyst of the current scene. She too has been a martyr to an environment in which questions are no longer allowed.

Robinson is a former White House correspondent for Fox News who was fired by her employer, and banned by Twitter, after she tweeted, reportedly, that the mRNA vaccines contained Luciferase. TheWRAP.com ran a smear piece asserting that the Luciferase issue, raised by the “disgraced reporter,” was an example of “satanical [sic] conspiracy theories”.

In fact, Robinson’s questions were not unreasonable; while it may not be in the Moderna mRNA vaccine, Luciferase is a real thing, and it is indeed being widely studied as a “biosensor marker” in virology, as well as having been studied for some SARS-COV-2 vaccine development.

As “Luciferase-Based Biosensors in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic” concludes, “Collectively, these data demonstrate the utility of bioluminescent biosensors for interrogating various aspects of virology. Their relative ease of construction and validation makes bioluminescent biosensors a ready tool for application to urgent problems, including the present SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.”

Texas Medical Center’s scientists collaborated with COVID vaccine developers, by using Luciferase: “Not only does the enhanced brightness provided by luciferase decrease turnaround time for a diagnosis, but it also helps speed up the process of vaccine development […] “For vaccine studies, you need to find out how much of a response somebody has to a potential vaccine […] So, instead of the traditional way—which could take days—we can get results in four hours after infection.”’

And here is the FDA, now offering Luciferase as a biosensor assay to track RSV. And here, again, is an NIH-database paper, “In vivo bioluminescence for tracking cell fate and function”, explaining how Luciferase can be used to track biological processes in vivo.

So while Robinson may not have been completely right in her concern about where Luciferase was currently being used, she was completely right in raising the alarm about it — as both vaccine and virology developments are focused on Luciferase’s abilities to track biological processes within mammals. This of course can have all kinds of alarming sociopolitical applications: let us not forget the huge push we all recently barely survived, for vaccine passports. Luciferase can — and was being tested to — allow a look inside, in effect, a mammalian body.

Reporters know that sometimes their initial hypotheses are not completely right. In a normal democracy they are supposed to persevere and to keep questioning.

Indeed this kind of iterative questioning is exactly what reporters are supposed to do.

But Robinson too had her life turned upside-down, by doing exactly what reporters are supposed to do.

Nonetheless, she perseveres.

#####

I am not naming the leaders above, whom we met or with whom we spoke at CPAC and near the Global COVID Summit, as an exercise in name-dropping. Rather, I am trying to give you the sense I had that in attending CPAC, and in being near the Global COVID Summit, I was witnessing a vortex of history in the making.

Here is where all of these great figures convened or passed by.


I feel that some day this — this sweeping, overstated, corporate-decorated Marriott — might be remembered as are some of the inns and churches and institutes and gathering-places that birthed the Abolitionist movement.

In the early days of the Abolitionist movement, a handful of stubborn, dogged men and women, who were relatively poor, or without many resources, and who were continually being told that they were insane, dangerous and threatening to society, kept insisting, in spite of continual harassment and loss of status, friends and income, on their belief that all men and women of whatever race, were brothers and sisters; and that slavery, as deeply entrenched as any institutional evil in their society, could indeed with God’s help, and their own hard work and courage, some day be defeated.

Perhaps in 1860 in the Great Hall in New York’s Cooper Union, when Abraham Lincoln gave a stirring speech to denounce slavery; or in one of the other gathering places of that marginalized, hated and derided freedom movement at that time, people felt as I did this past weekend in National Harbor.

 

I felt a sense of astonishment that a great evil force had sought to destroy us all — to destroy sovereignty, democracy, representational government; bodily integrity; science; journalism; religion.

And that these individuals, all at great cost to themselves; and then others and others and others upon hearing them — had all said,

No.

And I thought that out of those first tens then thousands and now millions of voices saying, No —

Something new; something powerful; a great rebirthing —

Was in the making.

####

Tomorrow, I will describe the last day of CPAC. But for today, I want to give you a taste of what I felt after these exhausting, exhilarating few days.

One conclusion I reached was that it was odd — and notable — that so many people who were leaders in the freedom field, and who attended events at the Gaylord Hotel, may or may not have been Republican, or MAGA. In regards to many of the people I have mentioned above, I have no idea the politics they hold. But what was clear to me was that CPAC cherished many people who cherish freedom, whatever their secondary political views might be.

And I felt that it was sad and important that all of these freedom-oriented leaders, were NOT being convened at the DNC, or at the Southern Poverty Law Center, or by the ACLU, or were not being celebrated at Burning Man, or hosted in whatever the left-wing equivalent of CPAC (there really isn’t any, but you take my point) might be.

The left is not engaging these fierce warriors for truth and freedom — from what I see, at all.

I want to leave you today with the sense I had in the midst of one of the CPAC days — of what time it is, and where I stood.

We were waiting for President Trump to appear.

We were in a vast auditorium/ballroom, and the soundtrack was booming; people of all races and from many countries were in the crowd. I was seated in the Media section, among my former colleagues, who were silently, sourly taking notes.

An ABBA song rang out, and then Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.

A lovely young girl of about nineteen, with a ponytail and a black swirly skirt, and a handsome young man about her own age, in a button-down vest and jeans, suddenly got up from where they had been sitting in the bleachers. With exuberant good spirits, they began to do a fantastically skilled swing dance. The young man spun the young lady, and twirled her; he leaned her back and she kicked her foot in the air.

The crowd of older, more jaded people, could not help themselves, and burst into spontaneous applause.

I reflected on the young people I had met at CPAC, who were determined to find husbands and wives (whatever orientation they may be; there were gay men and lesbians there too); and have children, and to raise good healthy families.

I thought of how the young people I had met who were trying to find something other and better than the moral chaos they saw on Tiktok, and a world of porn and violent hiphop and of cannabis stores on every other block, and a menu of depression, SSRIs and nihilism on offer to the young — were rejecting all of that by being here and aligning with these other values; I thought of how the “tradmoms” I had met, were moving heaven and earth to homeschool their own kids so that the children could grow up not indoctrinated and not sexualized too young or transitioned while they were not old enough to vote or fight in a war.

I thought of the elders I had met, who were just trying to clean up the voter rolls in their neighborhoods in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania; and I thought of the genial member of Priests for Life I had met, Father Pavone, who spoke about not judging women who had abortions, but offering women with unwanted pregnancies love and options in a culture of death.

As I looked at the spinning, exuberant, innocently joyful young people, I realized in a flash — this is the Revolution.

This was not the Moral Majority of my father’s era. Rather, this was a subversive, courageous subculture that was resisting the dominant narrative, and the morass of darkness that is our dominant cultural moment.

These, I realized with a start — are the dissidents.

This is the counterculture.

Reposted from naomiwolf.substack.com with permission from the author.


Image: Title: naomi wolf
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