Not long ago, National Review writer Jonah Goldberg discussed the “alt-right” with Hugh Hewitt on the latter’s talk radio show. They agreed that, at the bottom, the movement upon which Hillary Clinton bestowed national recognition last month was “racist” and “supremacist.” As such, it deserved to be purged from the GOP and the conservative movement.
The notion that there is an alt-right is highly suspect, for there can be an alt-right only if there is a right. But, contrary to what Democrats and Republicans alike would have us think, there is no genuine right in contemporary American politics. So, there is no alternative on the right to it.
As I argued in a recent essay, there is, rather, an alt-left that has been passed off by the political Establishment and its media apologists as the right. And Hewitt and Goldberg are among those who belong to it.
Alt-leftists decry the so-called alt-right as being nothing more or less than a white supremacist, racist movement. Goldberg, for example, referred to Jared Taylor, a self-avowed representative of the alt-right, as “a leading racist,” and Hewitt characterized Peter Brimelow’s vdare.com site as “supremacist.” For good measure, Goldberg added that the alt-right was “anti-Semitic.”
It is the modus operandi of the left to demonize their opponents to their right in these sorts of terms. That the Hewitts and Goldbergs of the world hesitate not for a moment to appropriate this tactic betrays their affinity for the left. Yet it is a disgusting tactic, the rhetorical equivalent of shooting off a gun in a crowded area, for charges of racism and the like, though sorely lacking any precise meaning, threaten to inflict a kind of social death upon those against whom they’re leveled. And “anti-racists” know it.
That this is so, that alt-leftists would not dare to pursue the implications of their reasoning, can be gotten easily enough from the following.
Of the author of the seminal The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Elliot, Bill Buckley—the founder of the very magazine that employs Jonah Goldberg and many other anti-Trumpist enemies of the alt-right—said that it “is inconceivable even to imagine, let alone hope for, a dominant conservative movement in America” without Kirk’s “labor.” Indeed. Kirk was probably as close to a contemporary American version of Edmund Burke, the conservative tradition’s “patron saint,” as any that has ever been. Yet Kirk resolutely eschewed the kind of rationalist, globalist abstractions—like Democracy and American Exceptionalism (America-As-An Idea)—in which neoconservatives like Goldberg routinely trade, and which they try to sell as “conservatism.”
Kirk, rather, being a conservative, affirmed the concreteness and particularity of tradition. More exactly, he prized the culturally-specific traditions of the West, of what has historically been a European, i.e. a predominantly white Christian, civilization.
Was Kirk a racist and supremacist?
Once while remarking upon the fixation on Israel exhibited by some alt-leftists, Kirk claimed that there are “some neoconservatives” who seemed to think that Tel Aviv was the capital of the United States.
Was Kirk an anti-Semite?
Buckley not only didn’t purge Kirk from the conservative movement; he had originally begged him to write for National Review. Kirk accepted.
If Kirk is a racist, supremacist, and anti-Semite, then does this mean that, by implication, so too is Buckley, and so too was National Review?
And if the latter is true, then does this imply that those who write for the publication to this day, folks like, say, Goldberg, are also guilty by association?
Speaking of Buckley and NR, though many today would care to forget this, the truth is that much ink was spilled at conservatism’s flagship journal defending Jim Crow. In 1957, Buckley wrote that since Southern whites, at this juncture in history, constituted “the advanced race,” they were “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, where they do not prevail numerically [.]” In “Why the South Must Prevail,” Buckley argued for the “cultural superiority of white over Negro [.]”
In the 1960’s, Buckley and his magazine advocated on behalf of apartheid in South Africa, colonialism, and the genetically-based intellectual inferiority of blacks.
Since Goldberg, Hewitt, and every other anti-Trumpist who are so quick to brand those to their right with the “R”-word remain especially cozy with National Review, it’s not unfair to ask them:
Is not National Review a supremacist publication? Shouldn’t it and those who are affiliated with it be driven from the GOP and the conservative movement?
Back in 1963, the now-deceased editor of the alt-left journal Commentary authored an article, “My Negro Problem and Ours,” in which he admits to the “hatred I still feel for Negroes,” what he describes as “the hardest of all the old feelings to face or admit [.]” Podhoretz talks as well about “the insane rage that can stir in me at the thought of Negro anti-Semitism” and “the disgusting prurience that can stir in me at the sight of a mixed couple [.]” His “hatred” also manifests itself in “the violence that can stir in me whenever I encounter that special brand of touchiness to which many Negroes are prone.”
Is Norman Podhoretz a racist? Is Commentary a supremacist publication?
Should the public be alerted that the New York Post employs the son—John Podhoretz—of a white racist supremacist?
Specific individuals aside, the case can be made all too easily that by the measure that the alt-left judges Jared Taylor, Peter Brimelow, and any number of other commentators who have never hurt a hair on the head of any non-white person, the alt-left stands condemned many-fold. Indeed, if, as many alt-leftists frequently argue, the policies of leftist Democrats convict them of “racism” because of the damage that these policies have visited upon black communities, then alt-leftists are homicidally racist because of the incalculable damages thattheir policies have visited upon peoples of color in places like Iraq.
Moreover, the alt left’s doctrine of American Exceptionalism, the belief that America is the greatest country on Earth with the authority to advance its form of government everywhere,betrays its own form of supremacy: Alt-leftists are American supremacists or Democratist supremacists.
Though he is no conservative or rightist, perhaps Donald Trump—with whom Hillary, the left, and the alt-left try to link the alt-right—can be credited with purging the Republican Party of its alt-left extremists.