Category Archives: Conservatism

Dennis the Menace

Embarrassed as I am to admit it, I was once an avid fan of Dennis Prager’s “Prager University.” This youtube channel — as much a university as “Trump University” — is the brainchild of Right-Wing radio host Dennis Prager, who apparently seeks to brainwash young high school to college aged Americans into pre-Trumpian conservatism with sleek, colorful cartoons narrated by prominent conservative academics. Of course, a great deal of these videos are informative and actually make sound arguments that answer ubiquitous Democrat talking points young people are bombarded with in schools and on television.

Despite a good deal of useful content, the overall tone and subject matter of the channel basically confirms my enduring view of conservatism as an ideological ghetto which shackles its adherents to anachronistic values and ideas whose time has long passed. If this were the “university’s” only sin, it could be forgiven, as being on the losing side of history is an intrinsic characteristic of conservatism. Several of the channel’s videos however, highlight a trend I’ve often noticed in countercultural movements, and should be avoided at all costs.

I’m referring to two videos in particular which were published last year — “Did Bush Lie About Iraq?” and “Why the U.S. Invaded Iraq.” There’s no real reason for them to exist. If you’re a Right-winger still defending George W. Bush and his disastrous neoconservative foreign policy in The Current Year, please stop. Aside from (probably) making terrible arguments, probably the only reason anyone would continue to defend an indefensible position is because it “fits your narrative.”

This is Prager’s mentality — “Republicans are good, and Bush was a Republican, therefore Bush is good, and we must defend him.” This is false — the Bush Doctrine was objectively bad for the United States and every other country involved, and it has objectively made the world a worse, more dangerous place. For this and many other reasons, zealous belief in the Iraq War is likely repulsive to anyone who isn’t already a Bush Republican. Indeed, the only takeaway I get from those two videos is that conservatives like Dennis Prager are too caught up in their own ideology to see the folly of its practical consequences.

Of course, mainstream conservatives like Prager aren’t the only victims of this phenomenon. Trumpists, for example, often take it upon themselves to defend every gaffe or blunder made by their “God-Emperor” — like defending “grab her by the pussy” as a legitimate, okay thing to say; or fawning over his many weak policy planks and decisions, even though there is substantial room for legitimate criticism; or deriding all of his critics (both on the Left and the Right) as triggered snowflake cucks, unworthy of debate or discussion. Trump supporters still can and should criticize their President, it’s not their duty to defend the stupid or indefensible things he’s said in the past.

This is a problem across the entire spectrum of the Right — Israel sycophants needlessly defend IDF war crimes and unlimited settlement growth, many in the Alt Right actually believe idiotic conspiracy theories like Pizzagate or deny the Holocaust, many Libertarians still feel they have to explain why we shouldn’t have roads, and so on. All of these arguments or ideas serve no purpose other than to repel outsiders from joining these movements.

If you’re on the Right, before making an argument or coming to a conclusion, ask yourself: “Would I still believe all this if I didn’t hold all of my other views?” If your answer is not an emphatic yes, then realize that you’re not objectively analyzing facts, you’re lazily substituting ideology for reason. You’re no different from the people who defend George W. Bush in 2017.

The Immigration Dilemma

Last Friday, President Trump signed Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” into law, implementing a temporary ban on immigration from seven high risk countries in the Middle East and North Africa, among other measures. Predictably, the precious global citizens coddled for eight years by a President who could not utter the words “radical Islamic terror,” were outraged at such an insensitively pragmatic approach to securing the nation’s borders.

Without a warning shot, without the usual, pathetic groveling to the “millions of peaceful Muslims,” the President of the United States acted swiftly in the security interests of the nation and for no other purpose. For the first time in eight years, federal immigration policy was adopted based on security rather than political considerations. As a result, while the Soros coalition stamps their feet and cries with Chuck Schumer, over the next 30 days our vetting procedures will improve and Americans will be safer; that’s a good deal.

Unfortunately, there is a deep, underlying problem with this Executive Order and the rhetoric used by Press Secretary Spicer and the President. Many say that the EO goes too far, that it unfairly targets one religion, that it resembles a Muslim ban. Many conservatives (cuckservatives) have complained that such a discriminatory policy betrays America’s founding principles and values, that America has strength in its ideological diversity.

Neither of these concerns are legitimate. The immigration “ban” is temporary, and upon the conclusion of a 90 day period during which the vetting process for immigrants from nations compromised by terror can be improved, immigration from those countries will resume. Moreover, nations with large Muslims populations such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, and others are not included in even the temporary ban; if President Trump were trying to keep Muslims out of the country, this Executive Order would be an abject failure.

Additionally, Trump’s Executive Order does not betray any of the principles under which the nation was founded, this is more demagoguing by establishment Republicans who still flinch like rescue dogs after eight years at the mercy of political correctness. Moreover, the Founders grappled with the Barbary pirates of the Maghreb in the first two decades of the 19th century, it is dubious they would have endorsed the wholesale import of such an alien culture as the West has today.

The problem with President Trump’s Executive Order is that it does not go far enough, and neither does the rhetoric which typically accompanies it. In their haste to construct a logical defense of the EO to the hordes of anarchists threatening to shut down airports and highways, conservatives fall to their knees, desperately trying to educate their ignorant compatriots. They proudly, righteously defend the EO from accusations that its intention is to bar immigration from the Middle East.

But why does it not?

At the most fundamental level, the kind of inclusive, multicultural immigration policy endorsed by both the Democrat and Republican establishment, that just anybody can come to the country in large numbers, is incompatible with the current form of government. Given that everything from a Constitutional Amendment to the Presidential election are determined through democratic processes, the maintenance of a free and liberal government is wholly dependent on the demography of the electorate.

Republicans seem to argue at once that the people of the Middle East do not share our values, yet at the same time are not only welcome but entitled to migrate to America en masse. This is a circle which Speaker Ryan and others cannot square. Many arguments have been invented to wish this problem away using the magical logic of American Exceptionalism.

Establishment types argue that the nation can absorb millions of immigrants from around the world who prefer tyrannical welfare states because they will assimilate into exceptional American culture. Apparently they will assimilate into small government constitutionalism through unionized public school teachers and the mainstream media. Moreover, we can observe from Europe that Muslim migrants are having a difficult time assimilating in the over 450 Muslim “no-go zones” in which the government has effectively ceded control to mobs of violent migrants.

Another popular line of reasoning is that the vast majority of the 10 bazillion Muslims in the world are actually peaceful, freedom loving liberals just dying to escape the uniformly miserable countries which they created. There are some terrorists, just like in any other religion, but the rest are cool, just like in any other religion. Europe is learning the hard way that the distinction between Islamic terrorists and citizens of Islamic states is not their degree of radicalization but their propensity for violence.

It is no coincidence that from Morocco to Indonesia, Islam has wrought nothing but brutal, repressive, sexist, violent autocracies. Surely, if there were such a vast gap between the policies of the state and the principles of the people, one out of the fifty majority Muslim countries in three continents would be palatable by Western standards. Sweden is on the brink of collapse as a result of massive Muslim immigration. Germany, Belgium, France, and Italy are under an almost perpetual state of emergency in their effort to combat latent terrorists which have clearly already infiltrated their populations.

The madness must stop. The President is wise enough to recognize the unique threat that Islamic terrorism poses to the West and the world, yet perhaps the nation and his electorate are not ready to draw the connection between Islamic terrorism and Islam itself. After all, should we consider it a victory that we prevented one or two terrorists from entering the country while thousands who hold many of the same beliefs move in next door?

I do not seek to reproduce the extensive case against massive Muslim migration here as Stefan Molyneux, Gatestone Institue, Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, and others have done so well before. This is only to demonstrate one case study in the much more systemic flaw in the nature of the American political system. Conservative decry “identity politics” and liberals deride generalizations based on race or religion; but so long as the Constitution can be amended directly or indirectly at the ballot box, demography remains, in the words of Mark Steyn, our destiny.

As the composition of the nation changes, so too does the government. Though the Founding Fathers accounted for checking and balancing the powers of various civic and government institutions, they hadn’t the foresight to account for the enfranchisement of mobs of illiberal immigrants at the gates. Ultimately this is the nexus at which the libertarian ethic of the liberal Founders meets the timeless pessimistic pragmatism of conservatism. Though the American Experiment lives on in constitutional self-government and democracy, it depends entirely on the vessel of the American nation secured only through the firm hand of the state.

Though this may seem a Statist proposition, the alternative best case scenario is the gradual emergence of a foreign born American electorate which never knew limited government or constitutionalism; a multiethnic unitary government with a vast and corrupt bureaucracy unaccountable to its people. We see a premonition of the worst case scenario in European nations like Sweden and France: formerly advanced and prosperous liberal democracies teetering on the brink of collapse or under constant martial law staving off the unassimilated hordes.

Conservatives and liberals constantly talk about our “values” as a nation. They talk of the altruistic, generous nature of America, a nation so exceptional it could turn its back on its own selfish interests in order to embrace the poor, warring peoples of the third world. In the words of the President, “Can’t happen folks!” The United States can project far more hope to the rest of the world as Gods shining city than by wading knee deep into the muck in order to save foreign peoples from themselves.

Though this may seem callous or cruel, consider the motivations of the globalist powers which propagate for open borders and multiculturalism. In response to reasonable, logistical actions such as the President’s Executive Order to improve vetting procedure, they tell us that even this is too great a burden for immigrants. They tell us that immigrants are entitled to unlimited, unmitigated, unconditional access to the material and cultural fruits of our ancestors who fought, sweat, and bled to build this great country. They tell us that even though there will be more terror, more bloodshed, that “your odds of being killed in a terrorist attack are actually very slim.”

In a word, they prioritize the material comfort of foreign people in foreign lands over the lives of the American people. “So what if there’s more terror?” a British tourist remarked to me at Shia LaBeouf’s He Will Not Divide Us Exhibit, “There’s already crime!” It is dubious whether or not these cosmopolitan virtue signalers would see one or two terrorist attacks as so trivial if their children were among the few people killed in them. The government of the United States of America exists to protect the liberties, but more importantly the lives of the citizens of the United States of America.

We should be tired of hearing about our obligation to the people of Mexico and Syria, what of the Mexican and Syrian governments to their people? The same Latin Americans who see America as the greatest threat to world peace, who break our laws through illegal immigration and who abuse our public services. The same Syrians who almost universally hate the United States and the West, until they find their government deploying chemical weapons in their streets and their neighbors chopping off heads.

The progressives who shill for these open border policies call this sort of appeal “nativist,” “nationalist,” and “xenophobic.” While there is partial truth in all of these accusations, not one of them provides a solution or answers to the inescapable perils of unchecked immigration. Moreover, these labels seem to be almost exclusively applied to the most tolerant, selfless, free societies of the West. Can we think of a few nations in the Middle East which harbor some nativist, nationalist, or xenophobic prejudices? Can we think of a few examples in Africa? In Latin America? In Asia? You’ll never read of those prejudices on Vox or Huffington Post.

For example, in retaliation for Trump’s Executive Order suspending immigration from Iran for 90 days, Iran responded in kind by banning immigration from the United States. Did Ezra Klein issue a report about the xenophobic, anti-semitic, anti-American, anti-Christian, nationalist, nativist Iranian government? Beyond this, few even cared or reacted to Iran’s ban because nobody wants to immigrate to Iran, and there is a reason for this. The immigration crises of the world move in one direction, West. There is a reason for this too.

We have cultivated something remarkably special in the West, particularly exceptional in America. The West is the wealthiest, freest, most prosperous and humane society possibly in the history of the world. Contrary to the belief of people who write words and agitate for a living, the West did not become so great because of “privilege.” This society was built through centuries of sacrifice in brutal wars, on unlivable factory floors, and intense thought and study in libraries. In short, this magnificent triumph of human ingenuity and labor is not ours to give away, we must preserve our inheritance for the next generation and for posterity.

We can have immigration, we can welcome new Americans into the nation from all walks of life and from all countries, of course. But we must never forget that immigration is maintained so that new citizens will assimilate and make the country better, never the other way around. So long as we keep these considerations in mind we will command respect from the world, the respect we deserve.

Tread on Them

Moments after President Trump’s historic inauguration last Friday, Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer was speaking to CBS News in a live interview when Suddenly a masked man — likely affiliated with the leftist terrorist group, ANTIFA — ran in front of the camera and sucker-punched Spencer, knocking him to the ground.

This attack, and its implications, inspired jubilation across the left wing blogosphere. The New York Times, for instance, published an article titled “Attack on Alt-Right Leader Has Internet Asking: Is it O.K. to Punch a Nazi?” The answer, unsurprisingly, from most of those interviewed was an unequivocal yes. One woman, who publishes a Tumblr blog called “Unequivocally Hilarious” wrote that “If you’re having a conversation about whether or not it’s okay to punch a Nazi, you’re having the wrong conversation.” Another interviewee, Twitter personality Kara Calavera, tweeted that “punching Nazis is the most [American] thing to do.”

The most noteworthy thing about this Spencer fiasco, however, was what was left largely unmentioned in this fountain of ink — on the other side of Washington, Republican commentator and pollster Frank Luntz was also attacked in a similar fashion, likely by members of the same group that attacked Spencer. Interestingly enough, Luntz and Spencer come from opposite ends of the right-wing spectrum — during the primaries, Luntz was a denizen of the “Never Trump” movement, and to my knowledge, didn’t vote for Donald Trump in the general election either.

Moreover, in counter-protests to the leftist demonstrations across the country, Trump supporters were met with similar violence. Live footage from Washington on the day of the inauguration shows counter-protesters being shouted at, threatened with sexual assault, beaten up, and one woman even being set on fire.

To ANTIFA and groups like it, there is no difference between moderates like Luntz and open white nationalists like Spencer, nor between the thousands of counter-protesters of every ideology in between. To the Left, the vast and diverse people of the Trump coalition are merely obstacles standing in the way of their political goals, and for that reason — in the eyes of many — violence against the Right is justified.

Even more emblematic of the current political climate is the counter-protesters’ response to this disturbing turn of events. As is not uncommon in any Republican gathering, you could find in the crowds of counter protesters at least one person proudly waving the Gadsden flag — a yellow banner with a snake printed above the words “Don’t Tread on Me.” If movements are defined by their symbols, then “Don’t Tread on Me” paints these conservatives as effete reactionaries.

Leftists agitators and groups like ANTIFA have figuratively declared war on the Right. To them, anyone on the Right is fair game, an enemy, and worthy of getting beaten up. The Right’s response is not to fight back or, God forbid, use the heavy hand of the government against these anarchists; but rather to just stand there, taking it, begging for mercy, waving their flag. “Please, please, please don’t step on the snake.”

This underscores a problem that has challenged the Right throughout all of American history, and has been particularly debilitating towards modern conservatives. A conservative, by definition, abides by their ideology, values and traditions that are perpetually on the path towards decline. If they were not declining, then the terms conservative — which derives from the operative “to conserve” — and liberal would not arise.

The Left, on the other hand, represents new, revolutionary forces which overthrow established (usually conservative) social and political orders — as such, the new invariably defeats the old, giving rise to new establishments. History belongs to those who change it, never to those battling to rewind it. This is why the (then) Leftist Puritans overthrew the Royal House of Stuart in 17th century Britain, why the Jacobins overthrew Louis XVI, why the Bolsheviks overthrew the Romanovs.

Of course, none of these examples work as an analogy for today’s ANTIFA because — without a modicum of doubt — the Left is the establishment in 21st century America. The entire culture is Leftist. The entire media (including ostensibly conservative networks like Fox) operates on liberal premises. Almost every Hollywood star is a liberal. All of the country’s largest corporations are Leftist and controlled by Leftist directors. The university system functions in a way that does not allow students to graduate as conservatives unless they entered as conservatives.

Absurdly, the masked men waving black banners of anarchy who attacked Richard Spencer and Frank Luntz could recite their ideology before a gathering of Fortune 500 CEOs and the managing partners of all their law firms, and their speech would offend literally not one person in the room. In fact, almost all would actually agree with them!

Indeed, it is the Right — particularly Trump supporters — who are the true heirs to the revolutionary mantle and the underground, punk aesthetic that would guide them towards a more compelling narrative. Yet they choose to reject it. They wave flags that beg for mercy. Their slogans can be summarized by the phrase “please leave us alone.” They behave like reactionaries losing their country, when they should act like revolutionaries taking it back.

Is there anything Trump supporters can do to make sure they don’t repeat the mistakes of past conservative movements? They can start by permanently excising the words “we just want to be left alone” from their parlance, and tearing up those accursed yellow banners of passive reaction. If they were to do this sincerely, their movement would cease to be “conservative” in its essence, and would evolve into a force capable of shaping history.