National Review ran a piece today that it should have run in January. But its editors were too busy with their "Against Trump" edition to notice that Trump voters were eating their lunch. The subsidized magazine now wants as supporters the very people these elitists from the Washington donor-based think tanks detest.
Nicholas M. Gallagher, an Oxford grad (class of 2011), debuted in "Conservatives must find a way to make common cause with Andrew Jackson’s nationalist heirs" today.
That's progress. Trump supporters no longer are Know Nothing Xenophobes but rather Andrew Jackson voters, which is a kinder, gentler way of calling them racist.
Jacksonians don’t fit easily into either the liberal or the conservative camp; they are the “radical middle.” They also don’t comport with regional stereotypes. Jacksonians are not synonymous with southerners or rednecks: Trump has performed best in northeastern states and prospered in cities. And while Trump is supported by racists (especially by the ugly little band of Twitter trolls known as the alt-right), Jacksonians cannot be dismissed as such en masse. In the past, Jacksonians have been found at the heart of the Confederacy, but they also formed the core of the Union Army, and later the one that defeated Hitler. Their motivations and history are too complex — and they comprise too wide a swath of the American public — to be rightly considered atavistic or a sectional rump.Well, if he had read National Review's very special edition in March -- redundantly titled, "The Father-Führer," -- Gallagher would know exactly who they are.
From Kevin D. Williamson:
If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.
Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.This ugly rant is not only the opinion of the loathsome Williamson but that of every staffer (a loose term as most of them are part-timers who cash fat checks from think tanks) on National Review, because not a single one of them quit over the racism and other hate expressed. Indeed David A. French defended this crapping on white America.
These are strong words, but they are fundamentally true and important to say. My childhood was different from Kevin’s, but I grew up in Kentucky, live in a rural county in Tennessee, and have seen the challenges of the white working-class first-hand. Simply put, Americans are killing themselves and destroying their families at an alarming rate. No one is making them do it. The economy isn’t putting a bottle in their hand. Immigrants aren’t making them cheat on their wives or snort OxyContin. Obama isn’t walking them into the lawyer’s office to force them to file a bogus disability claim.I see. Every white person in West Pennsyltucky is a drug addict leaching off taxpayers.
Change the location to Chicago and the race to black, and tell me how that works out.
Hey, they can cleverly call them Jesse Jacksonian voters.
Because the racist stereotypes -- and I really don't care if the National Review is as white as the staff at Huffington Post -- thrown up over Trump supporters are just as immoral and inaccurate. Indeed, the National Review is the Huffington Post in its attitudes. The only difference is one has mainly white male editors, the other has mainly white female editors.
Having called Trump Hitler and therefore his supporters Nazis by proxy, the National Review today tries to embrace those lying, cheating, drug addicted, xenophobic, ignorant people living in dead towns:
While conservatives are more than within their rights to write off Trump, they would be neither wise nor justified to write off the Jacksonians. They may be disgusted with Trump’s antics, and they may find some Jacksonian positions inchoate, wrongheaded, or unfulfillable. But after the dust from this election settles, it will be urgently necessary to once again fuse patriotic, idealistic, and inclusive conservatism with Jacksonian nationalism.
Ideals need gut instincts and folk tradition on their side in order to be efficacious. The Jacksonian sense of common American identity enables self-governance, charity, and neighborliness; for many — including groups that the GOP has been trying to court for years, such as Hispanic Americans and single women without college degrees — it gives important meaning to life. And Jacksonian support will also be necessary to addressing our pressing foreign-policy problems.
For now, Jacksonianism lies closer to conservatism than it does to the identity-politics Left, and one may reasonably hope for a “best of both” compromise between intellectual conservatism and Jacksonian impulses. It will take some time to work out the details, but time is something we conservatives will have a lot of as we spend the rest of the 2016 presidential campaign in the political wilderness. Consider it the price of ignoring political reality for a generation.Thank you for the invitation to rub elbows with Washington elites Mister Oxford '11, but I think I will stay in Poca, West Virginia, where yes, the Monsanto plant in Nitro died, but at least the people here are not trying to suck up to drug-addicted racists, right?
Why yes, the National Review does get a little attention in my upcoming book.
Coming soon -- "Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race."