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Driving in the Mirrors



Years ago my future wife and I were very active in the local track scene. We would pack up a couple sports cars, con someone into driving a third vehicle loaded down with race tire equipped spare wheels, and spend an entire weekend hammering it at Carolina Motorsports Park. Like most people that got into this kind of ridiculously expensive and potentially dangerous hobby, we picked a club and worked our way up through the levels in High Performance Drivers Education. These “HPDEs” involved classroom time and hands-on instruction in the fine art of driving a car at the absolute limits of its performance envelope on an actual race track. (In many ways, the advanced/solo level was pretty close to a kind of informal, slightly toned down mixed class racing) You got a solid foundation in racing theory, learned from a colorful collection of veteran instructors, proved your ability, and graduated to higher levels until you either took up racing or became an instructor yourself.

My wife was one of the very few women to attend such events, and the vivid pink custom paintjob on her closed-face SNELL approved racing helmet contrasted strongly against the black interior of the Corvette we shared. You could easily pick her out on track from the helmet alone and everyone recognized her. She also had a bad habit of waving and honking when completing passes against a certain driver of a Pontiac GTO. We knew the guy because we were buddies with his instructor, and for whatever reason she liked to mess with him on the track. Probably the fact he was driving a V8 GM product with the same engine model as the ‘Vette had something to do with it.

Probably no better way to waste money actually exists.

Eventually the repeated experience of getting chased down in the corners before receiving an earful of roaring LS1 accompanied by waving and honking in the following straight-away really got in this driver’s headspace. One summer day as the black Chevy with a bobbing pink helmet behind the wheel appeared in the rear view mirror of his GTO just before CMP’s front straight, he finally made a classic novice mistake. Instead of focusing on his arc through the corners, he desperately tried to stay ahead of the over-taking ‘Vette and proceeded to go into a very impressive tire-smoking 360 degree spin in Turn 14. Needless to say, he was immediately passed and got nothing for his trouble except a lecture from the instructor.

We call this phenomena “driving in your mirrors”.

One of the first things you learn about racing is that you have to drive your own racing line on the track, without chasing the car in front of you or trying to outrun the drivers behind you. The racing line is basically a path, a set of heuristics, an abstraction of sorts that lets you push higher speeds than anyone unfamiliar with it. Once you’ve got the line down, you can feed in more throttle, brake later, and start chipping away at faster and faster lap times. If you do it right, you will naturally overtake the other drivers without even trying.

Conservatives, the GOP, and right-wingers in general drive their politics even worse than that novice in a GTO.

One thing that is deadly apparent from watching the behavior of the “looney left” is that despite all of their numerous flaws, they are aiming towards something. Because leftists are actually following some sort of rudimentary ideology or at the very least a cluster of Schelling points, there is a tendency for them to display something approximating coordinated teamwork. Conservatives on the other hand are so rooted in their own individualism they are incapable of perceiving themselves as part of a team. A textbook example of this occurred in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial when Jason Lackowski, a former Marine that went to Kenosha to defend it from rioters opined that Joseph Rosenbaum “didn’t appear to be a serious threat to anyone”. When you consider this case centers around whether or not Rittenhouse was justified in shooting Rosenbaum, the witness’s statement would obviously hurt the self-defense claim being made in court. It’s reasonable to assume that Lackowski probably shares all the same politics as Rittenhouse and even agrees with his actions, but apparently his need to be perceived as a tough guy outweighed any strategic considerations for how to help what should’ve been an obvious ally.

As mentioned before, you don’t “chase” other drivers on the race-track. If you don’t understand the strategy behind why someone is doing something, simply copying them will never get you anywhere. Conservatives regularly commit this mistake when they try to use accusations of racism against the left. Calling Joe Biden a “racist” is never going to work. That’s just pulling the trigger on an unloaded gun over and over expecting something to happen. Leftwingers simply view all white right-wingers as a priori racist and see their attempts to cancel Democrats as cynical hypocrisy.

Finally, much like the wide, ground-hugging silhouette of a black Corvette looming in the rearview mirror, left-wing agendas are always overtaking the feeble, reactive and defensive politics of conservatives. On Critical Race Theory and “Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity”, the American right-wing has already been lapped multiple times. After letting anti-white theories fully permeate all levels of education for YEARS, conservatives now find themselves in an extremely disadvantaged position in which the enemy occupies their entire mind. You cannot go forward while you’re staring at the threat coming up behind you. You have to be following your own line and driving it hard, but for conservatives, they never knew there was a line to begin with.

The dissident right does actually have a concrete agenda under-pinned with real ideological positions. We know our line, and we definitely know the line the enemy is following.  We know exactly which angles to take, where to hit the brakes, and when to hammer down on the throttle.

It’s time for us to take the wheel for a change.

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