A Polish friend, who reads this website regularly, sent me recently this characterization of my personality and worldview:
“He’s a sniffy traditionalist, a self-described ‘Robert Taft Republican,’ with a classical liberal bent, and a Nietzschean American nationalist who goes out of his way to exaggerate his European affect. He opposes both the Civil Rights Act and white nationalism. He’s a bone-deep elitist and the oracle of what’s billed as a populist revolt.”
Although the person who wrote this for the (Jewish) Tablet was certainly not intending to compliment me, I fully recognize myself in his words. If by American nationalist he means someone who opposes a neoconservative-neoliberal missionary foreign policy and who wishes to restrict immigration to those whom our economy desperately needs and who are not likely to cause political and cultural problems, I’ll accept that designation along with the rest of his sketch. I suspect the author thinks there is something strange about opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and for that matter the Voting Rights Act and Immigration Reform Act of the following year) but most emphatically not being a white nationalist. But let me explain. I opposed all the “landmark” Congressional legislation of the 1960s which increased the power of the managerial therapeutic administration and its invasive crusade against “prejudice.” Even then I fully understood the open-ended and accelerating nature of that enterprise, and that it would lead to further coercive efforts to reconstruct social behavior. I prefer the right to privacy, including the right to be “prejudiced” against someone, to living under a government dedicated to some abstract principle of “equality.” For most of my adult life I have vigorously opposed giving public administrators the right to invade every human relation in an endless war against “discrimination.” Even as a young man in 1964 I saw the Civil Rights Act as the beginning of something that would go well beyond ensuring that public facilities would be open to American citizens regardless of their race or sex.
The Voting Rights and Immigration Reform Acts changed the American electorate significantly, in ways that cannot be undone. And the VRA did this without any pretense of holding back the storm. This congressional act and the enforcement mechanism it created aimed at maximal turnout by blacks, who had been kept from voting in proportionate numbers to their percentage of the population mostly in the Deep South. Whatever merits one might ascribe to this law, its passage and periodic renewal guaranteed a critical increase in the electoral weight of the most radicalized part of the American electorate; it did this by more than doubling the black vote in most Southern states and vastly increasing the number of black legislators in state and federal governments, even before the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. Not incidentally, the VRA furnished increasing political support for pushing public administration into government crusades against discrimination. This law was used, among other things, to combat proportionately low black voter turnout in states like New York, Oregon, and Alaska, states that had never before been accused of suppressing black votes. The last extension of the VRA, which was intended to last twenty-five years, was under Republican president George W. Bush in 2006. This extension was signed in the conspicuous presence of such civil rights icons as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
No matter how destabilizing the effects of the more than doubling of the black electorate that has occurred since 1965, there are valid grounds on which blacks can claim citizenship, including the franchise. Although the VRA may have been an unwise attempt to right past wrongs, there have been other less justified contributions to the socially leftist course that we’ve been on for decades. Heavy immigration, mostly from the Third World, encouraged by American elites and the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, has had grave political consequences. As its beneficiaries have acquired the right to vote, this has worked overwhelmingly in the same direction as the Voting Rights Act. It has increased the power of the centralized state to control social and commercial relations and ultimately to suppress freedom of speech though intimidation. The question we avoid asking, and which even a nineteenth-century social democrat and outspoken feminist John Stuart Mill did not shy away from, is whether an electorate can become too large and grasping to sustain constitutional government. Mill’s tentative remedy was to remove recipients of welfare and illiterates from the voting roles.
Needless to say, I’d gladly vote for a black, Latino or Asian political candidate who didn’t fit the pattern described. In 2006 I happily backed the black Republican and former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann for the governorship of Pennsylvania. Swann ran as a social and fiscally right-of-center candidate against the clownish, predictably leftist Ed Rendell and (alas) lost. Not surprisingly Swann did far better among white voters than among his fellow-blacks. Had Rendell’s opponent been Maxine Waters or Al Sharpton I’m sure his electoral support among blacks would have been vastly greater.
I find it impossible to rejoice over those electoral changes that have taken place since the 1960s. Why exactly am I supposed to celebrate them? Should I cheer the election of a multitude of race-hustlers to political office, the further corruption of urban government, or the black state senator who last week called for the assassination of our president as a “white supremacist”? What about the coercive imposition of the LGBT agenda which would not have been possible were it not for the electoral transformation that has transpired in the US since the 1960s? As someone who would be a Robert Taft Republican (in a better America) and who doesn’t belong to the fake “conservative” opposition with Mona Charen and Rich Lowry, I’ve no idea why I should think that I live in the best and freest America of all times. Although I’m delighted that both slavery and state-enforced segregation have disappeared, I can’t think of much else that has improved politically in this country since the eighteenth century. Certainly widening the suffrage has not improved the quality of American leadership since the 1790s. The totalitarian Left is tightening its grip on us, and the “landmark legislation” of the 1960s contributed significantly to this development.
Having explained why I was and remain against certain alleged reforms, let me also express my unconditional opposition to real white supremacists. These activists have diverted us from the cultural war, which is not primarily about race but a struggle within the white race. Keith Preston was right when on his website last week he observed that most of the combatants on both sides in Charlottesville last Saturday were white. The most lunatic Cultural Marxists I’ve encountered are Aryan-looking Germans and Swedes, who right now are running their countries, into the ground. I haven’t noticed any black people in Europe pushing radical lifestyle agendas or demanding that Europeans open their borders to more Muslim migrants. For the last thirty years I have been battling PC fanatics, including the ones in conservatism, inc.; and these zealots have been predominantly white. Although I wouldn’t deny that the PC Left has tried to “empower” minorities for revolutionary or political transformational uses, the roles played by these minorities have been secondary. The major war for civilization has gone on among whites.
I am, moreover, delighted that some black commentators are willing to attack black race hustlers with the appropriate contempt. It was black conservative Larry Elders who had the spunk to say what I couldn’t imagine Stephen Hayes, Bret Baier, or Bernie Goldberg ever allowing himself to utter. Elders called Al Sharpton a bigoted thug who managed to start a race war in Brooklyn before becoming Obama’s gray eminence. And he described the raving California Congresswoman Maxine Waters as a “delusional poverty pimp.” Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County was also one of the first interviewees whom I heard on TV openly condemning both sides for the Charlottesville riot. In the war for civilization at least a minority of blacks has been vocally and persistently on the conservative side. Am I supposed to reject such warriors in favor of white leftists who happen to have the approved skin color? I shall happily make common cause with decent people of all races to battle the Cultural Marxist totalitarians, who are taking power in just about every so-called liberal democracy.