While armchair psychoanalyzing the respective ways progressive and conservative Americans relate to death, LIL INTERNET posited that progressives’ taste for edgy, violent art is not a sign of the death drive (as some conservatives might assume), but in fact a cathartic expression of the intense neurosis about death that progressives tend to harbor. Meanwhile, conservatives with their adamant “pro-life” stance, seem to be radically death-adverse but, in practice, are pro-gun, pro-capital punishment, and frothing at the mouth for a chance to realize morbid fantasies of killing home invaders or pedophile elites. In other words, the right wing are repressed, horny-for-death freaks and the actually terrified-of-death Left are neurotically going goth and Spirit Cooking in a lifelong pageant of fear-edging.
TAXI DRIVER PARTY is a term coined by LIL INTERNET to describe the pathos of young Trump supporters, who he compares to Robert De Niro’s character in Taxi Driver, citing: a 1970s identification with anti-elitism and blue-collar labor in the face of light-industrial corporate culture and looming neoliberalism, pride in eating cheap processed food, fetish for guns, repressed sexual urges desublimated through an obsession with rescuing sex-trafficked children, ignorance/ambivalence toward pop culture, and an outward death drive.
LIL INTERNET: I watched Taxi Driver last night for the first time in what must have been over a decade. And I realized it's like the younger side of trumpers. It's literally the Taxi Driver Party. You have working class jobs. You take pride in eating white bread and white sugar; take pride in eating garbage. You love this idea of the people ruling. You have a fetish for guns. You have some sort of repressed sexual urges wrapped up in an obsession with saving sexually trafficked children. All this happened in the film. You have an ambivalence or ignorance of pop culture. And you just outwardly have a death drive. And I just realized, oh, you're also incel adjacent. And so I mean Taxi Driver, if you watch it, the checkboxes match up to the young male Trump supporter: loving vigilanteism, washing away the filth of the city of a perverse place, taking justice in your own hands, capital punishment, it all just checks off. It's basically like they took Al Pacino from Taxi Driver and turned him into a political party.
LI: But it also made me realize something about the death drive, which there seems to be a lot of flying around America right now. I realized that progressives or people more on the left — they're actually neurotic about death, to the point where they like over-perform their relationship to the death drive through edgy art, which the conservatives are all like, ooh, Marina Abramovich or ooh, the Podesta collection, ooh it's so perverse these images. So, the more progressive left figures, they’re neurotic about death and they over-perform the death drive. They have these cathartic aesthetic outlets for it, or the sort of spectacular self-destructive outlets like the rock star, like Kurt Cobain, etc. The right, however, has no neurosis over their death drive. They openly embrace and practice it. They're both willing to risk death of themselves and others during Coronavirus and they openly express their willingness to kill via guns, and fantasize over the chance to enact justice or revenge or kill—but via guns.