National Review’s David French gets his facts right but his conclusions abysmally wrong in a recent piece entitled “Identity Politics are Ripping Us Apart” for one of movement cuckservatism’s more celebrated publications. The regressive/progressive left has indeed demarcated moral and political virtue as skin-color-dependent, and some of his commentary almost reads as if it were alt-right or identitarian. He talks about the role of people of color in the international slave trade. He talks about intra-racial differences among Black Americans and Nigerians. He even notes that the frequently White champions of progressivism harbor a deep anti-White animus and call their socio-economic inferiors ‘racist’:
Oddly enough, this self-loathing doesn’t diminish the power of the white progressive. The movement is still chock-full of rich white men and women... the legitimate concerns of white working-class and middle-class Americans are dismissed as misguided at best (after all, they’re privileged) and racist at worst.
But then French, being an NRO writer, informs us that Democrats are the real racists, that most cherished of moves in the cuckservative playbook:
Here’s the problem: Progressives don’t like to admit this, but identity politics work as the mirror image of white supremacy... For the white supremacist, white people are natural-born victors. For the identity-politics leftist, white people are natural-born predators.
And moving further along this line of reasoning in which liberals are racist and patriotic conservatives are not, he ties the evil collectivist alt-right to the Saint-Martin-Luther-King-Jr.-abandoning left. And MLK will indeed be one day claimed by only self-proclaimed conservatives, I suspect, if the trajectory of the racially conscious left continues:
When identity politics rule, racism and polarization thrive. It is no coincidence that we are seeing a resurgence in outright white nationalism — embodied in the so-called alt-right — at the same time that America’s leftist cultural elite are decisively rejecting Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that Americans be judged by the “content of their character” and not the color of their skin.
Finally, he bemoans the damage being done to racial progress by the media- and academia-driven growth of identity politics:
[O]ur nation is undoing its progress on race issues more in the academy, on social media, and in Hollywood than it is in the halls of power. Politicians are responding to culture, not driving culture, and we’re driving our nation apart piece by piece, from Facebook to 4chan.
French sees much of what is wrong with the new left, but his response is a meek: “Please don’t do that to my nation in front of me.” Still, I can’t help but feel some progress of our own has been made on conservatives. They are almost acknowledging our interests exist just by describing them, even if somewhat inaccurately—we all know for example that charges of “supremacy” in Western political discourse are only ever lobbed at one group and only one group for showing any signs of ethnocentrism or self-preserving behavior, and here he is playing along with it while claiming to oppose leftists.
French insists that the solution to the wave of tribalism that America is experiencing, both among Whites and people of color, is to embrace individualism. For him, the idea of identifying with one’s biological and cultural collective in-group and their history is bunk. Ironically, it is this cavalier attitude among the custodians of this country that got us into this mess in the first place. In-groups don’t matter when you are a cosmopolitan internationalist who lives wherever he wants and only cares about the economy. But individualism was not always the meme of this country’s elites. It was understood as early as the republic’s first decades of self-rule that citizenship in the American nation would only be open to Whites, an inherently collectivist idea. As the Naturalization Act of 1795 said:
[A]ny alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States.
Throughout the mid-19th to early 20th century, the United States experienced waves of non-British European immigrants, as well as a large influx of ((((religious tribalists from the Russian Pale)))), which triggered even greater nativism and ethnocentrism among the American people. And so Congress acted and passed some of the toughest immigration restrictions anywhere in the world after WWI. The fiercest opponents of our 1924 immigration quotas—which essentially banned Southern and Eastern European immigration, as well as colored immigration from countries outside of North America—were some of history’s most famous identity politicians, the Jewish people. (Have you heard the recent news out of Brooklyn? These people know how to monopolize something at the expense of the common good). Their organizational efforts and even lawmakers were instrumental in having these quotas overturned by the 1965 ((((Hart-Celler Act)))), which gave us the current year’s increasingly balkanized demographic profile. And to this day, they aggressively work against nativist and nationalist efforts in the United States.
So go ahead and encourage individualism for your own kind all you want, but no one else is playing this game. Not the ‘regressive left,’ not Blacks, not Hispanics, not Asians, not kebabs, and not Jews. They are all collectivists when it comes down to the wire and their majorities are called to participate in politics, culture, and society. The spoils up for grabs are zero-sum. That is how universal franchise democracy works.
So who constitutes the “us” that is being ripped apart here? Were America’s identity groups ever together? Did Brown v. Board of Ed. make America a paradise of integration? Today many parts of this country are considered to be more segregated than ever before—because they are more diverse, not that anyone is going to point it out, not outside of the alt-right. What held this country together was having a 90% English-speaking European majority, not merely some ideas about freedom, liberty, and civil rights. Is David French ready for a world where those ideas and the population which gave them to us are an absolute minority demographically, electorally, and politically? How are the alt-right the misguided ones for adapting to our changing environment by intellectually, politically, and spatially wanting to look out for ourselves against people who he himself has noted hate us? He wants to wish identity politics and polarization away, but reality doesn’t work that way. This kind of ideology is just asking us to die with our principles, and not to live above them.
The sooner the American “us” he speaks of is indeed ripped apart, then perhaps there will be some reservation left for him to practice his implicitly White politics on. But until then, his ideology will continue to die its ongoing slow death, as its pool of potential adherents collapses due to government malevolence, the actions of more ethnocentric groups, and our own decadence. You aren’t more noble or virtuous for refusing to get your hands dirty with perimeter defense. It is our current struggle against suppression and encroachment which will shape this continent and its peoples, not the wishes of the deceased and those attending the wake.