The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What David French Won’t Say

Posted on | November 28, 2018 | No Comments

 

David French published a rather strange column at National Review entitled “The White-Supremacy Surge” that drags, among others, Milo Yiannopoulos, Allum Bokhari, Steve Bannon, Mytheos Holt, Corey Stewart and Rep. Steve King. Because I know David French and like him, despite his #NeverTrump politics, I don’t want to engage in ad hominem insults, as calling him a “cruise ship conservative” wouldn’t solve anything and would fail to accomplish my educational mission.

French cites an increase in “right-wing” racial violence as somehow linked to the sort of politics he despises, and doesn’t seem to have spent much time wondering about the connection between the two phenomena. Let us stipulate that the vast majority of racial violence, whatever its target or whoever its perpetrators, is committed by people who could justly be labeled losers or kooks. If racial violence usually reflects some combination of personal failure and mental illness, what does this tell us about the underlying causes of the “surge” French laments? He seems to allude to this in the conclusion of his column, describing “the immensely difficult task of cultural repair” he sees as necessary:

Faith and family can act as a vaccine against extremism. As much as we might wish that better politics could provide the cure, only a purpose be­yond politics can truly transform the human heart.

French fails to mention that the vast apparatus of “culture” is almost entirely in the hands of people who are anti-faith and anti-family. The people who staff our nation’s schools and universities, who produce our entertainment and journalism, are against Christianity. By the mid-1990s, it was apparent to me that the public-education system was irreparable in this regard, and the Columbine massacre ratified my judgment. The problems I perceived in K-12 education 25 years ago are now much worse, and the situation in America’s universities — Yale now has more homosexuals than Republicans on campus — is so hopeless that it is no exaggeration to speak of them as left-wing indoctrination centers.

What has the conservative movement, as represented by National Review, achieved in terms of “cultural repair”? While they were, in Buckley’s phrase, “standing athwart history, yelling Stop,” history didn’t seem to pay them much heed and, it should be pointed out, today’s NR cruise-ship crew would be embarrassed to be associated with many of their forebears in the movement. Barry Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Buckley himself said some things about civil rights that I doubt David French would defend, assuming he could actually be bothered to read Up From Liberalism. For my part, in studying the history of the conservative movement — Up From Liberalism was published in 1959, the year I was born, and Goldwater ran for president when I was in kindergarten — my instinct is to say that Goldwater and Buckley were correct to foresee trouble ahead and warn against it. One can trace a direct line from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Boston busing riots of 1974, and thence down to the present day, when Democrats claim that “voter suppression” was responsible for the defeat of Stacey Abrams in Georgia. And what about the fact that the congressional map of Orange County, California is now solid blue? Can David French explain how “white supremacy” is to blame for that?

What is apparent to me — and I don’t think David French is too stupid to see this, although he may never have stopped to contemplate it at any length — is that the modern conservative movement, born in the early years of the Cold War crisis, failed to adjust to the circumstances that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. From 1968 to 1988, Republicans won five of six presidential elections, four of those (1972, 1980, 1984 and 1988) by landslide margins. Since then, however, Democrats have won four of seven presidential elections, and none of the three Republican victories (2000, 2004 and 2016) were landslides; indeed, in both 2000 and 2016, the Democrats (Al Gore and Hillary Clinton) won the popular vote. The enormous electoral advantage the GOP formerly enjoyed has been frittered away since the end of the Cold War, no one now employed at National Review seems capable of explaining why this has happened, and the only reason we have a Republican in the White House now is because voters ignored the defeatist #NeverTrump rhetoric of National Review.

Perhaps Peter Brimelow might have something to say about this, but Brimelow was purged from National Review 20 years ago for his opposition to their open-borders agenda, back in the day when so many conservative “intellectuals” argued that Hispanic immigrants, because they were mostly Catholic, were ready-made Republican “values voters.”

The National Review crew have lost their ability to influence politics because they have been so often wrong about so many things — especially about immigration — for the past 20 years. David French’s hand-wringing concern about “white supremacy” is a sermon preached to the #NeverTrump choir, and will do nothing to bridge the widening chasm of polarization from which this problem has emerged.

As the elite who shape American public opinion have succeeded in moving the Overton Window leftward, the editors and staff of National Review have passively followed in their wake, so that the “conservative” opposition is being towed to port, as it were. This is true on many issues — if David French does not now applaud same-sex marriage, it is unlikely Rich Lowry would permit him to condemn it too strongly — but unrestricted immigration is the legitimate grievance that has given rise to the “white supremacy” that concerns French, and Lowry has presided over the ruin of National Review’s credibility on this issue. Consider this passage of French’s column:

Then there’s Iowa Republican congressman Steve King. He recently endorsed Canadian alt-right activist Faith Goldy in the Toronto mayor’s race, dined in Austria with members of that country’s far-right Freedom Party, and has endorsed the “great replacement” conspiracy theory that’s popular with white supremacists. The theory rests on the belief that there is an intentional global effort to repopulate the predominantly white nations of the West with masses of immigrants.

Well, is it a “conspiracy theory” if there actually is such a conspiracy? Is it irrational paranoia for people to suppose that the visible effect of a policy is the same as the intent of the policy-makers? The demographic consequences of our immigration policy are plain enough, and Democrats now complain that any restriction on immigration is inherently “racist” (and unconstitutional, according to the Ninth Circuit).

Now consider Europe. News and commentary about what happened, and is still happening, in Europe in the wake of the 2015 “refugee crisis” (the scare-quotes signifying this phrase as the bogus propaganda term it is) was delivered to Americans by websites like Breitbart.com, Infowars and others that might be described as “Alt-Right” or “white nationalist.” The problems caused by the increasing influx of Muslim immigrants into Europe were likewise reported mainly by people like Pamela Geller, who have been condemned by the Left as “Islamophobic” extremists. Maybe I overlooked David French’s coverage of the Rotherham Horror, but if National Review was paying attention to the problem in Europe, they sure as hell weren’t drawing the correct conclusions as to what this might portend for us in America. Perhaps Rich Lowry should ask Raheem Kassam, author of No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You, to explain it to their readers. However, I guess Raheem, being a known associate of Nigel Farage, is too much of a “white supremacist” to write for National Review. But I digress . . .

If the Americans succumbing to “white supremacy” lack the moorings of faith and family that might restrain them, why is this? In other words, what accounts for white people becoming kooks and losers in such numbers as to create the “surge” that David French laments? This relates to a question I asked last month: “Why Do We Know Almost Nothing About Pittsburgh Gunman Robert Bowers?” The background of the synagogue shooter was quite nearly blank, and journalists showed a strange lack of curiosity about how or why or when this 46-year-old high school dropout became a Jew-hating madman. If there is any connection between (a) the 2016 election of Trump and (b) the Pittsburgh massacre, what is it? According to Bowers himself, the connection was the role of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in our own “refugee crisis.”

Now, I hope David French would agree with me that most Americans concerned about our immigration problem are not Jew-haters prone to terroristic violence, but why is it that if someone is interested in the institutional infrastructure of the open-borders lobby, National Review is not the most helpful source of information? Wouldn’t it be possible for Rich Lowry to assign his staff to compile a dossier on the various activist groups (most of them tax-exempt organizations) and individuals involved in . . . Well, “an intentional global effort to repopulate the predominantly white nations of the West with masses of immigrants,” so to speak?

Either this “global effort” exists or it doesn’t, and insofar as it does exist, why isn’t this being reported by National Review? Why is the concerned citizen more or less forced to seek out “fringe” sources for such information, so that it is unfortunately easy for an ill-educated simpleton like Robert Bowers to be drawn into the vortex of paranoid darkness where extremists tell him to blame the Jews? If Lowry wishes National Review to remain relevant, wouldn’t it behoove him to pay attention to the way in which his magazine’s failure in regard to the immigration problem has helped open this Pandora’s Box of “white supremacy”?

The blank biography of Robert Bowers also implicates the deeper “cultural repair” problem to which David French refers. We know almost nothing about Bowers’ family life, but it appears that he never married and had no children. Indeed, he may have been an “incel.” To quote the lyrics of Lennon and McCartney, “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” It is foolish to expect politics to solve people’s personal problems. A loser is a loser, and a kook is a kook, and this reality is unaffected by whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. We cannot make the crimes of violent maniacs the weathervane of politics, but if these kooks and losers are part of some pattern, we should try to figure out what this pattern actually means, and not let the SPLC do our thinking for us. What is happening, and what David French either doesn’t recognize or doesn’t want to admit, is that the conservative movement and the GOP are trailing by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The demographic trend is not their friend, and if they wish to do anything else except to keep collecting paychecks for presiding over the long funeral of the Republic, they had better wake the hell up.

Here are a few data points from the 2018 exit polls: White people, who were 72% of the electorate, voted Republican by a 10-point margin, 54% to 44%. They were the only racial group that did not favor Democrats. Latinos went 69% for Democrats. Among white voters who describe themselves as evangelical or “born again” Christians, 75% voted Republican, while 72% of Jews voted for Democrats, as did 70% of voters with “no religion. What were the results? Democrats gained 39 House seats, recording a combined congressional vote of 59.5 million (53%) to the GOP’s 51.5 million (45%) — an eight-point margin nationwide.

David French will acknowledge that 2018 was not a good year for Republicans, and would have us believe this has something to do with Donald Trump and “white supremacy.” However, 2006 wasn’t a good year for Republicans either, nor were 2008 and 2012 good years for Republicans, and those bad years cannot be blamed on Trump. The issue of changing demographics — “the ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory,” as David French calls it — is highly relevant to the GOP’s declining electoral fortunes, and if it is “white supremacy” to acknowledge this, then what about all those left-wing pundits celebrating this trend? Why is it that Ruy Teixeira can high-five his fellow Democrats about how the shrinking white population dooms the GOP, but any conservative who calls attention to this trend is denounced as a latter-day Eichmann?

Let me say something important about Republicans, immigration and racism: The GOP open-borders crowd can offer many rationalizations for their support of unrestricted immigration, but we all know its really because they’re beholden to corporate donors who want cheap labor. But if that explains the craven pro-amnesty stance of GOP politicians, what explains such enthusiasm for the “huddled masses” among the kind of people who still consider National Review conservative?

Well, to put it quite bluntly — racism, insofar as they believe immigrants are better people than African Americans. Many affluent white Republicans (who don’t consider themselves racist) are nonetheless convinced that, in terms of work ethic and other moral traits, the new arrival from Guatemala or Pakistan is superior to the American-born black descendant of slaves. Indeed, if you spend a little time listening to the unguarded conversations of such people, you’ll find that they consider black immigrants from Africa or the Caribbean to be superior to American-born black people. Not only that, many well-to-do white Republicans prefer immigrants of any race to “poor whites” (e.g., the kind of drug-addled, food-stamp-dependent hillbilly underclass Kevin Williamson profiled in “The White Ghetto”).

Whatever else we might say of these opinions, it does not appear that such pro-immigrant Republicans have done their political arithmetic. Because in their minds — a unstated premise of their open-borders arguments — these hard-working immigrants are being substituted for the existing U.S. population, rather than added to it. They seem to have confused economics with politics. Perhaps your local fast-food franchise has in recent decades substituted one group of employees for another in this manner, so that while white teenagers were staffing the McDonald’s in 1988, now your burgers and fries are served by Hispanic, Asian or black workers. But politics and employment policy are different things, and the addition of immigrants to the U.S. population does not diminish the size of the black electorate, 90% of whom voted Democrat in 2016.

Our immigration policy adds Hispanic voters (69% Democrat) and Asian voters (77% Democrat) to the existing electorate, and cui bono? Go ask black people in California (or those who have left California in the past couple of decades) if the influx of immigrants improved their lives. Many black people understand that pro-immigrant sentiment among white people is at least partly motivated by racism. Does David French realize that Donald Trump did better among black voters than did either John McCain or Mitt Romney? “Cast down your bucket where you are!”

If there is any hope to save our country from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic Socialist horde, conservatives must first stop denying reality and begin to do the basic arithmetic. Continuing our current immigration policy will destroy the Republican Party, and all the blabber from the Wall Street Journal open-borders lobby about “Hispanic outreach” won’t change this arithmetic. As distasteful as we might find some personalities who oppose unlimited immigration (certainly I don’t enjoy thinking of myself as an ally of Alex Jones), conservatives are faced with an existential threat. Unless something is done to fix this problem, there will soon be no hope whatsoever of implementing conservative policy, and a sort of Venezuela/Zimbabwe future may unfold.

Having set sail with Rich Lowry’s open-borders National Review cruise crew, David French doesn’t want to acknowledge this reality:

What is happening? Some on the left have a straightforward explanation. Under Donald Trump, they say, the subtext is becoming text. In other words, the “dog whistle” racism that’s the foundation of GOP appeal to much of white America is now out in the open. And as the appeals to white identity become more acceptable, people will feel more comfortable coming out of their racist closet. . . .
The ranks of socially disconnected Americans are growing at alarming rates. Men and women, especially in white working-class populations, attend church less, their families fracture, and they check out of civil society. As Rich Lowry wrote after the Pittsburgh massacre, “the rise of mortality among a subset of working-class whites from suicide, drugs, and alcohol” represents “one of the most stunning trends in American life.” . . .
There’s something else at work also — a poison within the broader conservative movement. Hatred for political correctness has yielded an unhealthy fascination with and admiration for pure defiance. Young voices pride themselves on fearlessness and place attitude over thought in their words and deeds. They troll online and at school to “trigger the libs,” and nothing triggers the libs more than defiance on matters of race.

Question: Who is paying Rich Lowry to look down his nose at “working-class whites”? Isn’t condescending disdain for these people — i.e., the Trump voters who made the difference in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa — the problem of the GOP elite in a nutshell?

Rich Lowry loves him some “huddled masses,” so long as they’re foreigners, rather than “working-class whites,” and I repeat my question: Who is paying Rich Lowry for his open-borders activism? We know Bill Kristol has sold out to liberal billionaires, and the question is whether the #NeverTrump National Review crew are on the same payroll.

Well, far be it from me to “troll online,” but my hunch is that National Review‘s financial situation might be related to their editorial direction since they jettisoned John O’Sullivan and Peter Brimelow 20 years ago. And I suspect that paying the bills at National Review requires Lowry to satisfy deep-pocket donors who are of different opinions than the people who stopped reading National Review after Lowry went #NeverTrump and thereby tacitly endorsed the election of Hillary Clinton.

Like I keep saying, people need to wake the hell up.



 

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