The Pied Pipers of the Dirtbag Left Want to Lead Everyone to Bernie Sanders

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The topic is inequality, raging against the rich.

Progressives who are more concerned with racial equality or gender parity have had to figure out how to either go against the Dirtbag movement or resign themselves to this singular focus, which occasionally runs roughshod over all the rest.

“I’m a news junkie, and it’s good to supplement that with joking especially in America where everyone has to be so careful about what they say,” said Steven Sutro, a 32-year-old lawyer, who attended a comedy show last summer that featured a popular Dirtbag Left podcast host.

Julius Krein, the conservative founder of the new publication American Affairs, has noticed the new allies.

“There is a lot of interesting convergence on some of the anti-woke thinking and many things that, perhaps surprisingly, we agree on, for different reasons,” he said. One of the Chapo hosts contributed a piece to his magazine.

“It’s fairly easy to have fun, pretty exciting dialogue between right-wing anti-neoliberals and left-wing anti-neoliberals.”

But what some call an exciting dialogue can feel exclusionary to others.

“‘Chapo Trap House,’ the entire Dirtbag Left, have tapped that male privilege of intimidating people into assuming you’re cool,” said Amanda Marcotte, a liberal feminist writer for Salon. “It reminds me of when we pretended that ‘Jackass’ was funny back in the day, just so dudes wouldn’t bully you about not liking it.” (Ms. Marcotte has been vocal in her criticism of “Chapo Trap House” and is the subject of mocking attention from the Dirtbag universe.)

As it grows in influence, the Dirtbag Left movement is now running into several challenges.

The movement’s identity is based on being in the wilderness. What happens if its leaders become the establishment? That seems increasingly possible as Mr. Sanders holds on to front-runner status in the 2020 campaign. They want what Mr. Sanders wants: universal health care, canceled student loans, free college, and an overhaul of the tax system. They want to cut the national prison population by half and to install a ban on fracking. And for them anything less than this is nothing at all.

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