Defending Joe Biden to the Right



My establishment conservative acquaintances are still swooning over an anti-Biden tirade that Mark Levin delivered on his TV program last week, when we learned that our current president is the most racist person who has ever occupied the Oval Office, a charge that was then qualified with the phrase “since Woodrow Wilson.”


Only two points in this rant seem even minimally true. One, Woodrow Wilson was a zealous “scientific” racialist who segregated the federal civil service. By 1913 this crusader for democracy abroad had imposed segregated facilities on all departments of the federal government. Two, Biden has rushed to racialize every crisis or disagreement with his Republican opponents. He has accused them and other white Americans—suspected of being Republican—of systemic racism and has even tried to turn a new voter identification requirement in Georgia into an extreme form of Jim Crow. This stunt was already prefigured in Biden’s warning to a Democratic audience in 2009 when he said of Republicans “they gonna put y’all back in chains.” Joe is certainly the most racially polarizing president in American history, surpassing even Barack Obama, but there is no evidence I’ve seen suggesting he is a white racist.


The proof Levin keeps throwing at his viewers, most emphatically last Sunday, only indicates that Biden spent most of his 36 years in the Senate as a conventional Northern Democrat. As one might expect, he cultivated friendly relations with Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who eventually became the leading Democrat in the Senate. Although Byrd had been a Klan organizer in 1941, Biden met him many decades later, when Biden was his much younger associate. 


Levin seems to think that the former Delaware senator was somehow irreversibly tainted with Klan connections because his superior in the Senate with whom he tried to get along had once been a Klan member. Byrd served in the Senate longer than any other member, from 1959, until his death in 2010, and it is ridiculous to assume that those many senators from both political parties who established cordial relations with him had their reputations sullied thereby.


Levin also goes into a lather that Biden maintained friendly relations (as did many Republicans at the time) with two Mississippi Democrats who consistently voted against civil rights legislation, Senators John Stennis and James Eastland. Long tenured members of the Senate, who could be counted on to vote for military expenditures and other programs that both parties backed, these Southern Democrats (aka Dixiecrats) were hardly moral lepers among their colleagues.


Stennis, Eastland, and other Southern Democrats helped members of both parties to build coalitions, even if their overwhelmingly white electorates were not as progressive on race issues as those of their Northern Democratic and Republican colleagues. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas was a liberal darling in the late 1960s, whom my leftist university colleagues hoped would run for president because he was squishy soft on the Communists. He was also a firm segregationist from a Southern state.


Levin seems to be totally unaware of the political realities of the less politically correct age in which Biden rubbed shoulders with Eastland. The two agreed to work together to oppose forced busing, which involved the creation of judicially prescribed racial mixtures among students in classrooms. The fact that Biden, like other Democrats and Republicans, resisted this outlandish measure, was entirely to his credit. I have no idea why Levin, Sean Hannity and other Con. Inc. media stars imagine that Biden exposed himself as a racist by taking this stand. Should he have endorsed the continued, involuntary relocation of white and black students from neighborhood schools to accommodate racial quotas for schools, as determined by judges? I wonder how well that would have played with Fox News viewers.


Levin also quotes statements made by Biden in 1977 to the effect that we’d all be living in a “racial jungle” unless we dealt more effectively with integrating schools. How was that call for orderly integration, which it was, an expression of Biden’s white racism? And why was Biden doing something inexcusably wrong in supporting a crime bill in 1994 which created mandatory sentencing for criminal offenses? Given the erupting crime rate at the time, that may have been the proper course to follow, even if it disproportionately impacted young black males, who unfortunately committed violent crimes at disproportionate rates. I’m still wondering why Biden’s quip about people with “slight Indian accents” at coffee shops and convenience stores (made in 2008) has occasioned repeated expressions of indignation from hosts at Fox News. His statement seems no more than utterly bland light talk.


I’m finally at a loss to understand how someone who won just about every political race he entered in Delaware and throughout the country with overwhelming black support can plausibly be characterized as a white racist. Apparently black voters who gave Biden their support in his senatorial contests and in the 2020 presidential race were all badly deluded. They were endorsing a raging white racist if Levin’s account is to be trusted. But this charge is so bizarre that it would push even some of us on the right who profoundly dislike Biden to rise to his defense.


Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.




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It’s Time to Focus on the Enemy Within, Not Without



The reincarnation of Hitler in some national leader and the heroism of Churchill, both stand-by props of neoconservatives, rear their head again in a recent commentary by Daniel Gelernter.


Expecting neocons to abandon their continual reference of these props would be comparable to asking the Democratic Party to stop talking about “systemic racism” or Mike Pompeo to cease mentioning “our values.” Why give up rhetorical tricks that elicit applause and large checks from wealthy sponsors every time one makes use of them? But as I point out in my book on antifascism, those who engage in silly comparisons shouldn’t imagine that the weight of historical scholarship supports their games.


Gelernter gets giddy pulling out his exaggerated, anachronistic parallels between Putin “the murderer” and the evil Führer, the expanding Japanese empire between 1936 and 1941 and the present Chinese government. His description suggests that we are again thickly embroiled in the Second World War, with only the names of the villains having been changed to reflect the minimally altered circumstances. Munich in October 1938 comes back as another neocon reference point in Gelernter’s complaint that we have not armed ourselves to the teeth to combat the new Hitler. Any failure to be immediately ready for war against the neocon-designated enemy brings back memories (at least for Gelernter and his buds) of how “democracies” surrendered to Hitler’s demand to occupy the Czech Sudetenland in 1938.


Allow me to cite what may be Gelernter’s most lunatic statement in this trip down neocon memory lane:


Now imagine that you are Putin himself—a dictator, a murderer, an absolutely brilliant strategist. What would be your next move? Probably to invade one of the Baltic states to break up NATO. In theory, an attack on any NATO member should be treated as an attack on all. But if Putin senses that there will be no response, or a half-response reminiscent of the so-called Phony War, he can destroy the major barrier against Russia taking over Eastern Europe one country at a time. And the sad fact is that if we, in America, are not willing to go to war to protect Estonia from Russia—and I suspect most of us are not—then Europe and ultimately the entire West is at risk.


Here we are dealing not only with the return of Hitler in the person of Putin and the revival of Imperial Japan as the Chicom regime. We must also confront the likelihood that the “entire West is at risk” if a single Russian soldier crosses into Estonian territory. Where, Gelernter asks by implication, is the new Churchill, who will lead our armies to victory, if Nazi Russia decides to occupy Estonia? This, after all, is the greatest threat that now supposedly faces “the entire West.”


One might of course dispute this judgment and point to other far grimmer threats that now confront Western civilization. Like Thucydides and Aristotle, we might be led to the non-neocon conclusion that the greatest threats to governments or societies come from within.


That certainly applies to the Western world and to our own onetime country, which are in the grips of an ugly cultural and political war. Pardon me if I’m more concerned about preserving traditional gender roles or something resembling the family that I grew up in than I am with the Russian bête noire of such worthies as Gelernter, Rep. Eric Swalwell, and journalist Jake Tapper!


Unlike our president, vice president, Secretary of Defense, and “woke” military command, Putin has some noticeably redeeming features. He thinks marriage should be exclusively between heterosexuals, that males and females differ in socially significant biological ways, and that white people are not inherently evil. Believing and defending such politically inconvenient truths may be necessary for saving “the entire West.” It might be even more useful for this purpose than trying to relive the Second World War by taking on Russia and China.


We might also draw a distinction between predatory regimes like Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia—that romped all over the European continent exterminating indigenous populations—and today’s Russia and China, which are asserting traditional national interests. The latter can certainly create trouble, and I am not suggesting that no measures be taken if the Russian government tries to increase its control over Ukraine or if the Chinese government bullies Taiwan more aggressively. But even those aggressive actions would still not be of the same magnitude as Hitler’s armies overrunning Poland and France and murdering millions of their civilian population. Nothing indicates that Putin is about to do anything even remotely as brutal.


Nor is anyone denying that the Chinese government has treated ethnic minorities, particularly the Uyghurs in East Turkestan, quite brutally. We are therefore right to protest such inhumanities and put economic and diplomatic pressures on the Chinese to stop these misdeeds. But the appropriate measures called for in these cases fall far short of the total mobilization required to fight Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II.


What I’m recommending is a more sober assessment of the relative dangers that face our society. The war led by the state, the educational establishment, the media, large segments of corporate capitalism, and now the military against normal America seems far more pernicious than any danger that is coming out of Russia or China. We need a strategy for combatting the internal enemy far more desperately than we need more arms for fighting our foreign competitors.


Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.




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Candy Carson and the ‘Woke’ Media Project



In 2015 Michelle Malkin wrote a column, praising the wife of distinguished neurosurgeon and later Trump Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. Malkin appropriately designated her subject as the “anti-Michelle Obama.” Her description encapsulates some of the merits of Candy Carson, who graduated from Yale with a triple major in music, psychology, and pre-med, and who has written books in defense of constitutional freedoms:


Candy Carson — wife of GOP 2016 hopeful Dr. Ben Carson, mother of three sons, and grandmother of two — is the anti-Michelle Obama. She’s a quiet but confident ray of sunshine: down-to-earth, devoutly Christian and proudly patriotic.


Mrs. Carson would be a thoroughly admirable person, whether she was male or female, white or black. The question we might ask is why she is not more widely celebrated, when the media claim to be honoring blacks and women. Why does this lady not earn the accolades of black and feminist organizations that have frantically showered praise on Michelle Obama and more recently, Vice President Kamala Harris? What have these women done that can equal the intellectual and humanitarian accomplishments of Mrs. Carson, who among her other achievements has set up a scholarship fund for poor, but diligent, high school students?


I am asking this question rhetorically because I could not imagine anyone whom the media would loathe more thoroughly than they do Candy Carson. The “woke” media never hold her up as a model for the young. She is everything Michelle and Kamala are not. Unlike Kamala, who has likened our border control officers to KKK members, and who called for decriminalizing illegal border crossings, Mrs. Carson is “down-to-earth, devoutly Christian, and proudly patriotic.” Perhaps our current vice president should be allowed to decorate her mansion in Washingtoninstead of assuming her responsibility to control the border situation in south Texas. She is undoubtedly better at decorating her pleasure dome than bringing order to the present border chaos, a situation that she did everything possible to incite as a presidential candidate in 2020.


Malkin is also correct to contrast Candy Carson to the grousing, self-important Michelle Obama, who beside marrying a future president has done nothing worth comparing to Mrs. Carson’s considerable achievements. But, as I have argued elsewhere, it is precisely the most disagreeable aspects of Michelle that render her so beloved by the media. Her nonstop diatribes against white America are the source of Michelle’s popularity. They can be cited by the culturally leftist media as evidence that this “most admired woman in the world,” a status the media have meticulously fostered, is courageously exposing our terrible shortcomings. 


The media’s goal is to force us to  accept the racialization of our politics and culture. They manufacture a sense of guilt for the rest of us to wallow in—it is not meant to be shared by the media class any more than it is for Michelle and Kamala. 


Candy’s husband has also received the short end of the stick for not grousing enough about white racism and perhaps for being “proudly patriotic” in his own right. The Benjamin Carson High School for Science and Medicine in Detroit has had the name of the eminent surgeon removed from this largely black institution. This seems entirely appropriate. We wouldn’t want black students attending a school named for a black neurosurgeon who disgraced his race by serving in Donald Trump’s cabinet.  After all, there are worthier and more honorable black people for whom that school could be named: Al Sharpton or Maxine Waters, or perhaps someone on the board of Black Lives Matter. The school administration might also pick one of the media favs, say Kamala or Michelle.


Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.




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Michelle Obama’s Justified Complaint of Existence



Recently The Michelle Obama Podcast revealed shocking information that should concern all white people. “When I’ve been completely incognito during the eight years in the White House, walking the dogs on the canal,” Obama explained, “people will come up and pet my dogs, but will not look me in the eye. They don’t know it’s me.” She further stated: “That is so telling of how white America views people who are not like them, like we don’t exist. And when we do exist, we exist as a threat. And that’s exhausting.”


Even allowing for Michelle’s status as a privileged female victim of color, in the same category as Meghan Markle and Oprah, it may be a good idea to take her words seriously. Her complaint about not existing for most Americans even as a first lady may be true, albeit not for the reasons she assumes.


It certainly was not the case that Americans looked down on Michelle as first lady because of her race, since she has repeatedly been voted the most admired woman in the world. This honor has been bestowed upon her while she has been ranting nonstop about living in a white racist country, all from her $11.75 million pleasure dome in Martha’s Vineyard.


Americans don’t seem to mind being berated as evil racists, whether at Critical Race Theory indoctrination sessions in universities, in the workplace, or from non-white media stars. Thus it’s not that apparently masochistic Americans are punishing Michelle with neglect for saying bad things about whites. Rather, she is being treated as if she doesn’t exist in another, more existentially critical sense.


Michelle does not exist in the same significant way as do Jeff Zucker, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Dorsey, or Bill Gates. She cannot control the outcome of presidential elections by shutting down the opposition in favor of those leftist candidates whom she favors. She cannot reconstruct reality for tens of millions to fit a political agenda. Instead, what Michelle says only gains approval because of how the media presents her image and her views.


I cannot fully explain why our corporate and media elites wish to radicalize this country socially and culturally, or why they get their kicks by degrading white, heterosexual Christians. But that is the way things are. Those whom the powerful shed their grace upon are expected to support leftist cultural and political agendas. If they don’t, these individuals, no matter how talented they may be, will be pushed out of public life and badly defamed.


If Michelle or her hubby suddenly started sounding like Clarence Thomas on moral and constitutional questions, they would be cancelled in a nanosecond. Enjoying the continued good will of the “woke” media and corporate giants demands total compliance with their politics, something we may assume that Michelle, Barack, and Meghan understand as well as do Don Lemon, Maxine Waters, and Al Sharpton.


The reason such figures take the same positions white leftist elites expect of them may be that at some level they comprehend their accessory role. They are not being showered with fame and fortune to oppose abortion and gay unions or to complain about racialized politics. They are being paid to be an echo chamber for those who enhance their fame and fortune.


This week I was struck by the patently counterfactual response of former president Obama to the killings of eight massage parlor workers in Atlanta. Despite attempts by President Joe Biden to racialize this incident, there is no evidence that white prejudice against Asians was a factor here, yet Obama immediately attacked racism and misogyny as the culprits. He also ignored the fact that whites commit racially motivated crimes against Asians at a much lower rate than blacks do. Furthermore, Obama’s beloved Black Lives Matter targeted Asian shop owners during the “peaceful protests” that the Obamas and their friend Vice President Kamala Harris were drooling over last summer.


But Obama’s well-rehearsed rant is exactly what America’s woke rulers expect from a black hero. It is not because he says sensible things that I saw Obama’s picture nestled against one of George Washington on the cover of a book about great presidents at our local supermarket. Obama is where he is because he indulges the editorial boards of The New York Times and Wapo and provides electronic media giants with the kind of outbursts they enjoy hearing.


Although this is a counterfactual that could never occur, probably not even in an alternate universe, I would be interested in seeing what would happen if Michelle or Barack responded to the killings in Atlanta by telling us that this disaster had nothing to do with race. What if, after the Boulder killings, they explained that we have enough laws to protect us against gun violence, but that it would be nice to have them enforced in Democratic-run cities? Of course, this could never happen, unless the ruling class changed.


Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.






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Books in Brief: America’s Revolutionary Mind



America’s Revolutionary Mind, by C. Bradley Thompson (Encounter Books; 584 pp., $32.99). Thompson’s examination of colonial America’s natural rights political culture and the effects of the Declaration’s oft-quoted passage about unalienable rights is not likely to please members of the traditional right, and as such I consider it required reading. Thompson presents copious evidence that those who led the American Revolution and established American governments afterwards embraced Lockean views about inborn individual rights.


 


Thompson demonstrates that early America’s prevalent understanding of Lockean rights stressed their universality. This belief in universal individual rights, according to Thompson, superseded the Declaration and the case made therein for American independence. Although Murray Rothbard, Thomas West, and Michael Zuckert have made similar arguments, Thompson’s thoroughness makes the best case. Those seeking to disprove his argument will have to do more than just repeat that Edmund Burke, not John Locke, was America’s true philosophical founder.


 


The antebellum South’s traditional way of life and social hierarchies resembled European feudalism more than the Lockean individualism Thompson focuses on. Historian M. E. Bradford remarked that Southerners living in a society of unequal members could not have understood “all men being born equally” as we do today. So why did Virginia’s planter class feel obliged to begin statements of political belief with an incantation they did not accept?


 


Constitutional historian Forrest McDonald noted the influence of ancient and modern Europeans, as well as the Bible, on early American political thinkers. McDonald argued early Americans eclectically constructed their regime around these multiple references. Still, natural rights skeptics ignore Thompson’s exhaustively researched scholarship at their peril.


(Paul Gottfried)


Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.




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What the Right Needs Now



Amid an eloquent diatribe against the “woke” left and its friends in the Deep State, Fox News host Tucker Carlson attributed to American Deplorables a sentiment that may more accurately reflect his own feelings: “All they want to do is go back to how things were in 2005.”


 


I heard myself responding out loud to this observation with, “What good would that do?”


 


Whatever now ails us as a society already existed 15 years ago, and even much earlier. Why would one think things would turn out differently if we could travel a second time along the path that we traversed from 2005 to the present? If all the same forces remained operative—and there is no reason to believe they would not—the outcome would likely be the same.


 


There are key turning points in history, so allow me to make a critical distinction between times in which a process of cultural change has already been set into motion, and times when circumstances might have produced different results if certain steps were taken at the proper time. For instance, if the alliance blocs in 1914 had been more flexible, or less warlike, or less fatalistic, the Great War with all its attendant evils might have been averted. All the major powers behaved disastrously during that international crisis, which historian Christopher Clark depicts graphically in his book The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (2014), and which my own extensive study of the Great War has made obvious to me.


 

Responsibility for the tortuous road leading to the Great War, and finally to its outbreak, was widely shared. While studying this event, one finds oneself thinking aloud that if only this or that had been done by the Germans, Russians, Serbs, Austrians, French, or English, all that bloodshed could have been avoided.


 


A onetime professor of mine produced a book on the role of contingency in Hitler’s accession to power in January 1933. This scholar, Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., studiously outlined all the failed opportunities and petty intrigues that had allowed a dangerous demagogue to gain control of Germany. Once in that position, Hitler could launch war on neighboring countries and exterminate ethnic and political groups whom he personally disliked. Turner’s research shows that, once again, we have a clear example of a situation in which bad choices were made and paths were not taken at critical points, resulting in appalling consequences for millions.


 


One cannot reasonably say the same thing, however, about how the American and other Western governments and cultures have developed over the last 15 years. For example, what difference would it have made in terms of where we are right now as a society, if John Kerry, not George W. Bush, had been elected president in 2004?


 


Since I was working in what is euphemistically called higher education in 2005, I can testify to the fact that academics were then only slightly less batty than they are right now. Certainly, no sea change has occurred among this group since the beginning of the current century; nor among young professionals working in investment banks and stock firms, who to all appearances have not changed their leftist politics in the last 15 years.


 


Perhaps Americans would have celebrated gay marriage or waged a war against “systemic racism” one year earlier had Kerry been elected. Or maybe his presidency would have enabled us to lavish praise on transgenderism six months sooner. Most of the social upheaval that we have endured since the 1960s, however, would have been the same, no matter who was elected president in 2004 and no matter which party dominated Congress and the statehouses.


 


The swerving toward the cultural left by the new American administration and the forces that are supporting this direction reflect the impact of a largely uninterrupted process going back decades. Moreover, given the leadership role of the United States in the Western world, it is understandable that other Western countries imitate our tics and styles. Thus, the LGBTQ and anti-racist ideologies that have prevailed in American life and politics have also affected—sometimes in even more extreme forms—Canada, Germany, England, France, and other Western countries. In all these places, culturally leftist forces continue to advance, bringing about bizarre transformations to the detriment of once constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and long-settled ways of life.


 


To understand this radicalization, it is necessary to consider contributing causes. Perhaps near the top of this list, and a factor that is almost too obvious to mention, is the absence of significant resistance. If there is nothing consequential restraining those who are pushing society in a particular direction, it will continue to move along the same trajectory.


 


In most Western countries a powerful right-wing opposition no longer existed by the time that a leftist takeover was underway. The growing weakness of the right in relation to the left was not a one-way street; in essence, the right did not become weak simply because the other side grew strong.


 


One reason the left—or at least the non-right—rules in Western countries without effective opposition is that the other side has collapsed and, in some countries, like Canada, even vanished. Weakened conservatives in the U.S. have behaved in a cowardly fashion by engaging in periodic purges of their own ranks. And, as the left veers ever more leftward, particularly on social and cultural issues, conservatives further weaken themselves by eagerly embracing positions once held by their leftist counterparts.


 


The soi-disant right in the U.S. has made other mistakes since the 1960s. It has flinched repeatedly when the left smeared it as fascistic, racist, anti-Semitic, and chauvinistic.


Additionally, this self-described conservative opposition has been all too ready to yield to leftist blackmail. It has therefore assumed a permanent defensive role, from which it has never fully extricated itself. Although conservatives were justified in distancing themselves from neo-Nazis and Klan members, they have also purged other, far less sinister collaborators in a frenzied attempt to avoid being attacked by the left. In the process they have become an opportunistic imitation of their accusers.


 


This generalization admittedly requires that exceptions be made. Monologues of Tucker Carlson, the anti-Biden investigations of the Australian columnist Miranda Devine, and several unabashedly pro-Trump websites furnish praiseworthy deviations from this rule of conformity. But examples of pulling punches abound on Fox News as well as in the pronouncements of the libertarian and Republican think tanks of Washington, D.C., and within the pages of most “conservative” print magazines. Conservative Inc. foundations have also received Big Tech funding, which may have reduced their willingness to be unpleasantly adversarial. At least, they are not inclined to be confrontational toward leftist benefactors, as opposed to unclubbable critics on the right.


 

EDITORIALS-7A recent example of this timidity was Fox News pushing back at the removal of Chris Harrison as the host of The Bachelor, the ABC reality television series. Harrison was removed after he defended a contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, when she was attacked by the “woke” online mob after a photograph surfaced of her attending an “Old South”-themed fraternity ball at a plantation in 2018. Activist bloggers disapproved of her attendance, which they characterized as “racist.” Apparently the show’s host, Harrison, fell under the same condemnation for merely noting that in 2018, the politically correct inquisition had not become as intense as it is right now.


 


These happenings caused Fox News to defend both Rachael and Chris, albeit in a strikingly anodyne manner. A panel consisting of agreeable guests was expeditiously assembled, which included a black interlocutor who announced irrelevantly that he was married to an Iranian lady. The invited participants were asked whether they thought the actress in question had been unfairly treated.


 


At one point, the Fox News moderator interrupted her black guest to point out that Martin Luther King, Jr. would not have approved of what happened to the host and guest at The Bachelor. She was certain of this but gave no evidence for her statement. This gesture was like quoting Scripture at a fundamentalist service: the source may have been regarded as too sacred to be questioned.


 


All that was lacking in Fox’s politically correct criticism of the left’s even more extravagant politically correct behavior was a transgendered individual to rush to the aid of Kirkconnell and Harrison. Conservative media once again descended into cringing caution as soon as the discussion turned to blacks and the South.


 

0321-EDITORIALS-2This politically correct objection to a more advanced form of the same pathology reminded me of Sean Hannity’s past rants against Muslims. We were supposed to oppose these human rights violators because they threw gays off the tops of buildings, were brutal sexists, had bad relations with Israel, and so on. It was only at the end of this long list of offenses that one came to the concerns of the Christian majority in the U.S., who might have found Muslim fanatics to be a bit of a problem.


 


Curiously, this demographic, which was stuck at the end, made up the vast majority of those who listened to Hannity’s tears against unfriendly Muslims. This illustrates how Conservative Inc. slights its majority base, while attempting to woo other demographics that have been associated with the left.


 


Almost equally disadvantageous to the right has been its outmoded fixation on anti-communism and anti-Marxism when the enemy has noticeably changed. Is Mark Zuckerberg a communist? What about Jeff Bezos or Jeff Zucker? Sure, all those Silicon Valley executives take Chinese Communist money, but this hardly proves that our high-tech giants, or those whom Keith Preston has dubbed “rainbow capitalists,” are ideological Marxists. It is not even clear that the Chinese government is genuinely Communist, as opposed to being a very unpleasant authoritarian nationalist regime that is working to weaken the U.S.


 


I also wonder whether the rhetoric from conservative media about a communist enemy is not a deliberate attempt to bring back the relatively cohesive conservative movement of yesteryear. If only we can focus again on a familiar enemy, perhaps it would be possible to ignore the post-Marxist left, which is the one that is raging right now. This focus also allows Conservative Inc. to avoid giving offense to its benefactors who fancy the LGBTQ agenda. Ditto for all the Fox News celebrities who are proudly gay and make no bones about it.


 


A third reason that so much ground has been ceded to the left is that the conservative media cannot break away from what it claims to be opposing. It seeks, where possible, to establish good relations with leftist celebrities who may be willing to deal with oozingly affable, moderate conservatives. There is of course no comparable value for these media luminaries making nice to rightist outliers. Who needs these superfluous right-wingers anyhow?


 


Although there were and still are conservative talk radio figures, such as the recently deceased Rush Limbaugh, who preach only to the converted, the conservative media has strained to dialogue with the left. Fox News devotes millions of dollars every year to buying its own leftist commentators to set an example of civilized discourse with left. Although this openness to the left has helped enhance the careers of conservative media celebrities, it has done zero to strengthen the right in a losing battle against implacable foes.


 


It would be ridiculous to think that the ground the right or non-left has abandoned in the last 50 years can be reclaimed all at once. That is not the way the world works. But we can come up with measures to keep the left from doing more harm, while giving the right time to mobilize.


 


While it may be impossible to realize all these reforms immediately, efforts should be made to advance as many of them as possible. These would include halting immigration, defunding public education while refunding police forces, and abolishing all anti-discrimination laws, the effect of which has been to allow government administrators to bully American citizens who are white, Christian, heterosexual, and/or male.


 


We may also benefit from promoting effective electronic media that would permit us to escape leftist censors, and, yes, we should organize mass boycotts of companies that finance left-wing terrorism.


 


Some way must also be found to ensure only legal votes count in elections. There’s no way to control the left if it remains in a position to manipulate mailed-in votes and votes cast by people who provide no real identification.


 


In the longer run, a new conservatism must be fashioned that is built on the working class and small business and which is unswervingly populist in its appeal. Although this movement may attract some minority support, its base will be necessarily white and Christian, and it will be viable mostly outside of large cities. It would be best for this movement to emphasize regional autonomy, since it is highly unlikely that it will gain a sizeable electoral foothold in metropolitan areas.


 


The important thing here is that conservative strongholds be allowed to survive and thrive outside the centralized leftist administrative state. If possible, we should drive this permanent ruling class from power. But if that cannot be done, at least its would-be victims should try to protect themselves. Social programs aimed at the working masses should be administered locally; and above all, education should be run the same way.


 


Please note that in this vision of a renewed right, I’m not describing something that either the Republican National Committee or The Wall Street Journal editorial page would happily endorse. This is also not a right that would push the bipartisanship that, among others, Fox News host Bret Baier, Washington Post conservative columnist Marc Thiessen, former Congressman Trey Gowdy, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have adopted as a mantra, even as the present administration does anything it wants to please its donors.


 


Nor do I believe this renewed right would resonate particularly well among soccer moms in Delaware County, Pennsylvania or Lake County, Illinois; and it would probably not make electoral inroads in Harlem, Watts, or in any other black urban concentration. (Of course, Conservative Inc. hasn’t won the hearts and minds of those demographics, either.)


 


What I am presenting is what I think the right must become to prevent further advances by an increasingly unhinged left. Unfortunately, the pursuit of more modest goals is not likely to change the political situation.



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