They want you to lift the veil pulled over your eyes by the progressives who secretly control society. Like Neo escaping the Matrix, your choice is to wake up and see how the world really is, discarding religion, subjectivity, and feminist indoctrination. Conspiracy theorists, Men’s Rights Activists, Pick-Up Artists, GamerGate, even the Neoreaction: all of these communities share a common creed, tech-fluent and superficially self-aware. To outsiders, it's distinctly conservative. But they don’t see themselves as conservatives at all.
Welcome to the Red Pill worldview, where the entire world is a game and the people who are winning are the best players.
They've yet to assume a formal name, remaining a loose confederation of overlapping reactionary movements resistant to (though exploited by) their would-be leaders. Most identify as libertarian, many as atheists, and they are overwhelmingly white and male. They’re comfortable with progressive terminology and how technology has changed society, which puts them sharply at odds with most conservatives, who see both as a threat to traditional values. Many "Redpillers" perceive conservatism as censorious and unscientific, and instead identify with the “freethought” and “skeptic” internet communities.
The term “cuckservative” caught the eye of puzzled observers this week amid the froth of commentary floating around the race to become the Republican nominee for president in 2016.
It has been dubbed a sign of a “raging civil war” tearing the Republican party apart, “the GamerGate” of white supremacists, and a meme expressing “a certain kind of contempt”. But the dictionaries have yet to step in, leaving readers to take it apart more or less on their own.
The basics are simple: cuckold, a man with an adulterous wife or partner, and conservative, which in context means someone on the spectrum of 21st-century Republican thought.
The insult’s most general gist is conservatives accused of bowing to one non-conservative idea or another, eg immigration reform, should feel humiliated, their ideology adulterated.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is thus accused of cuckservatism for supporting a path to citizenship for immigrants, rather than the “big, beautiful wall” to enclose the United States, as endorsed by Donald Trump in last week’s GOP debate.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh alluded to the meme in praise of Trump on Wednesday, saying that “if Trump were your average, ordinary, cuckolded Republican, he would have apologized by now” for criticizing Fox News host Megyn Kelly. In this sense, as it’s used to criticize mainstream Republicans, the insult is an update on the “Rino” (“Republican in name only”).
Mostly, the word is used to belittle conservatives for a perceived weakness, for instance as an emasculation of Fox host Bill O’Reilly for “daring to question” Trump.
At present, “cuckservative” is just one more signal of how the contemporary Republican Party and movement conservatism have become a carnival-like human zoo fueled by the talk-radio echo chamber, one where extremism is now mainstream, and the politically adolescent and immature obsessions of “men’s rights” victimologists — with their “alpha males” and “cuckolding” anxieties — are considered reasonable and respectable points of view.
The convergence of white supremacy and conservatism in the modern Republican Party — spurred in part by a renaissance of toxic white masculinity — has produced what, in the moment, appears to be a series of never-ending climaxes and crescendos wherein new levels of absurdity and paranoia replace previous peaks once thought unattainable. The extreme has become the new normal for mainstream American conservatism. As the Republican Party continues its death-spiral embrace of fascism, misogyny, patriarchy, and racism, the political insanity embodied by concepts such as “cuckservative” will become the new normal.