Today we inaugurate what we expect to be an annual series. At the end of each year we will profile a white person who could have been a champion for his people, but instead joined the fight against us. The White Renegade of the Year can be someone like this year’s award-winner, who attracted and mobilized supporters only to turn on them, or he can be someone who has never shown the slightest sign of racial awareness but who has been especially diligent in working against his own people.
There are so many good candidates that we could make a white renegade award every month—heck, every day—but this year’s inaugural honors go to the junior senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul.
What Might Have Been
“For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’ ” So we may say of Rand Paul.
Much like his father Ron, the younger Paul was initially a favorite of white advocates, running as a populist, anti-Establishment candidate who strongly opposed illegal immigration. His platform on border security included the construction of an electric border fence—underground. When he beat the odds to enter the Senate, it was as if Tom Tancredo had somehow reached the upper chamber—indeed, Congressman Tancredo endorsed Rand Paul in his Senate run and his Team America PAC donated money to him.
Rand Paul had a national following and dedicated activists throughout the country. He could push his father’s movement closer to the conservative base and mobilize it behind the paleolibertarian tradition of defending America’s borders and cultural identity. If Rand Paul worked to reduce immigration, slashed the multicultural state, and promoted real freedom of association we might actually have someone to vote for. More importantly, we could have someone who could build a real movement: the anti-state, anti-multiculturalist Right heralded by race-realist libertarians such as Murray Rothbard.
Unlike his father, Rand Paul had extraordinary appeal to grassroots conservatives as an embodiment of the implicitly white Tea Party movement. Not for nothing was his book (ghost written by Jack Hunter) called The Tea Party Goes to Washington. While Ron Paul caused rage and frustration among many mainstream conservatives because of his views on foreign policy and his willingness to break with the Republican Party, Rand Paul was hailed as a conquering hero even by the likes of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. Rand Paul had it in him not just to be the leader of a faction, but of the entire American Right.
White advocates are always tempted to hail anyone controversial as a potential hero—a variant of what the Catholics call the “sign of contradiction.” The progressive media treated Rand Paul’s entry into the Senate with only slightly less hysteria than if he had been David Duke. Headlines shrieked about Rand Paul’s “racist staffers” in the same way they wailed and gnashed their teeth over Ron Paul’s supposedly offensive newsletters.
Conor Friedersdorf, who makes a living being a subservient “respectable” conservative shadowboxing with liberals, wrote that “In the political press, it happens again and again: libertarian leaning folks are portrayed as if they’re radical, extremist ideologues, even when they’re expressing ideas that are widely held by Americans across the political spectrum.” Perhaps the ultimate blessing came from our friends at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who named Rand Paul one of the leading “electoral extremists” of the “Radical Right.” Naturally, white advocates assume that anyone whom the media hate must be doing something worthwhile.
But being hated by the right people isn’t the same as being right. In retrospect, we should have seen it coming. After winning the primary, Rand Paul got into trouble on the Rachel Maddow Show for expressing the standard libertarian argument against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, saying, “Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant?”
Although Rand Paul was running in the conservative stronghold of Kentucky, he could not muster the same courage as someone in Duck Dynasty. He quickly backtracked and assured everyone of his enthusiastic support for the act, and, presumably, the unlimited right of the government to tell business owners whom they can and cannot serve or hire . When he reached the floor of the Senate, he made sure to use his first speech to condemn the great Kentucky statesman Henry Clay for compromising with slavery, and compared himself to abolitionists. Even chinless Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walked off the Senate floor in disgust.
Cruelly, there was a moment of hope. Rand Paul kept his campaign promise in 2011 by co-sponsoring an attempt to end birthright citizenship. At the time, Senator Paul said:
Citizenship is a privilege, and only those who respect our immigration laws should be allowed to enjoy its benefits. This legislation makes it necessary that everyone follows the rules, and goes through same process to become a US citizen.
With statements like that, we wanted to believe—oh so desperately!—that the media were right, and that a dangerous populist who actually meant what he said was in the United States Senate.
Support of amnesty
Alas, it was not to be. Just after the 2012 elections, Rand Paul announced that he now supported an “eventual path” to citizenship for illegals, albeit one that suggested a moratorium on legal immigration in the meantime. However, this did not indicate that Senator Paul was thinking outside the box on immigration; it suggested he was not thinking at all. In some speeches, Senator Paul was confused about the difference between green cards and citizenship, and his “evolving” views on immigration reflected the chaos that results when a politician takes a new position but hasn’t yet figured out what it is or how to explain it.
By 2013, the explanation was forthcoming. Senator Paul had identified what was standing in the way of conservative victory: the conservative base. This past year, we saw a series of initiatives, speeches, and publicity campaigns on a host of topics. All of them could be seen as variations on the theme that whites can be replaced.
The opening salvo came in February, when Rand Paul gave the “Tea Party” response to the State of the Union address. He had been chosen as the designated representative of the overwhelmingly white conservative grassroots, as the champion of the populist insurgency who would communicate the authentic feelings of the man in the street, instead of the “official” Republican response given by professional Latino and amnesty booster Senator Marco Rubio.
Incredibly, Rand Paul took the opportunity to give a speech that sounded just like Marco Rubio:
We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future. We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, ‘If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.’
Of course, if all it means to be an American is that “you want to work,” nearly everyone on earth is a potential American. Far from being a break with the Republican past, Rand Paul was taking the GOP back to the days of George W. Bush.
The Kentucky senator didn’t stop there. The next month, Mr. Paul’s pilgrimage took him past the standard neoconservative concept of a “proposition nation” to embrace racial solidarity—for non-whites. On March 19, he addressed the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, beginning his address in Spanish and endorsing the idea of a bilingual nation, arguing that “Republicans who criticize the use of two languages make a great mistake.” He spouted the usual clichés about how we need hard-working Latino immigrants to fill jobs, even though Kentucky already had an unemployment rate higher than the national average. Senator Paul then patronized his audience with a quote from Pablo Neruda, a Chilean writer—and well known Communist Party member who wrote odes to Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro.
Rand Paul’s policy prescriptions could have come from the pen of Joe Biden. Senator Paul dismissed the idea of “deporting 11 million people”—completely ignoring self-deportation through enforcement. He bemoaned the current “de facto amnesty” without explaining how creating de jure amnesty will make things better. He recited the usual litany of praise for Hispanic superiority in “family, faith, and conservative values”—even though Hispanics are more likely than whites to have abortions and illegitimate children, less likely to own businesses, and are far more politically liberal.
But Senator Paul actually went beyond the standard liberal position. He specifically denounced E-Verify, an employment check to prevent illegals from getting jobs. Even Barack Obama and John McCain claim to support this commonsense measure. In the name of liberty, he declared his opposition to any plan that will force “businesses to become policeman.” (No doubt, he will soon campaign against employers policing the withholding of income taxes—also in the name of liberty.)
Having bent the knee to La Raza, Rand Paul moved on to blacks, with a widely publicized address at Howard University on April 10. Here, he was greeted with laughter and scorn from the overwhelmingly black audience, as he acted like he deserved credit simply for showing up. Incredibly, Senator Paul flatly denied that he ever questioned the Civil Rights Act, even though, as one student pointed out, the evidence is “on tape.”
Rand Paul began his address by telling the audience that he wasn’t going to “lecture” them and then proceeded to do just that. Like Sarah Palin pretending that the socialist Martin Luther King was actually a proto-Tea Party activist, Mr. Paul recited Republican clichés that have nothing to do with today’s reality. He told the audience that Lincoln was a Republican who freed the slaves, that the founders of the NAACP belonged to the GOP, and that the Democrats supported Jim Crow. Left unmentioned was the shift in black support from the Republicans to the Democrats, largely in opposition to the limited government conservatism Senator Paul claims to champion. He praised Howard alumnus Edward Brooke as a great black Republican, but couldn’t be bothered to get his name right, calling him Edwin Brooks.
This moment in Republican outreach rivaled the time when Karl Rove danced like a rapper at a correspondents’ dinner. It was simply another chapter in the long history of Republican groveling. After all, as Dave Weigel wryly noted, “the post-election Republican visit to Howard is practically a tradition.” RNC chairman Ken Mehlman made the trip in 2005 to apologize for the Southern strategy of appealing to white conservatives in the formerly Democratic South. Affirmative-action RNC chairman Michael Steele made the same trip in 2009 as part of his vaunted outreach to blacks. Neither speech did anything but embarrass the GOP.
But Rand Paul declared victory and moved on. In December, he spoke at the new Republican African-American Outreach Office based in Detroit. There, the senator promoted “economic freedom zones” that would bring prosperity and opportunity through low taxes in urban areas. Unfortunately, the audience was filled with “well-dressed, white supporters.” Most of the blacks present were outside, protesting with Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Rand Paul also paused in December to honor Communist Party member and former South African President Nelson Mandela, speaking of “the indelible mark he left on his country and the world [that] will serve as an example of rightness and perseverance for humanity for all time.”
The Jack Hunter debacle
Ironically, even though Rand Paul repeatedly humiliated himself trying to prove he’s not racist, he was caught in one of the largest political scandals of the year. His close aide, Jack Hunter, who was once known as the “Southern Avenger,” was the subject of a hit piece by the neoconservative Washington Free Beacon. Mr. Hunter had once said sensible things about race and multiculturalism, including, most damningly, that mass immigration would render American meaningless. He was also once a member of the League of the South, made critical comments about Abraham Lincoln, and used the Confederate flag as part of his pseudo-wrestler persona. All of this was dutifully reported in point-and-stutter style, and spread with staggering speed across both the conventional Left and Right.
Mr. Hunter immediately recanted from most of his positions in an interview with the Beacon. He wrote his former editor at the Charleston City Paper asking him to remove controversial articles, but this backfired spectacularly when the editor condemned him as a coward and a racist. Rand Paul claimed that he hadn’t read all of his staffer’s work, some of which he called “absolutely stupid.” Inevitably, Jack Hunter left Rand Paul’s staff—in what Mr. Hunter called solely his decision and what Senator Paul called a “mutual decision.” As a result, despite all the pandering Rand Paul did throughout the year, the black-oriented website TheGrio wrote, “As Kentucky Senator Rand Paul weighs the possibility of a 2016 presidential run, his past—and present—record on racism manages to catch up with him again.”
Mr. Hunter would later cautiously re-emerge with a humiliating article for Politico entitled “Confessions of a Right-Wing Shock Jock.” Mr. Hunter explicitly disavowed his former writings and claimed that his views had changed. However, not content with condemning himself, he condemned the entire conservative movement as complicit in his offensive past, suggesting that he only said these things to appeal to the larger American Right. Luckily, Mr. Hunter says, a new libertarianism that emphasizes tolerance, diversity, and sensitivity is changing the American Right. “It certainly changed me,” he wrote.
And now this new, fuzzy multicultural American Right has a champion running for the White House in 2016: Rand Paul.
The futility of it all
There is nothing new about any of this. The Republican Party is always trying to turn itself into something else. George W. Bush justified his run for the White House on the grounds that his “compassionate conservatism” represented a new era for the party and a break with the cold rhetoric of the past. He also said that he could win Hispanic voters—since he claimed to speak Spanish. Ken Mehlman, who is Jewish and later came out as homosexual, headed the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007 at a time when liberals bemoaned “Christian theocracy.” Mr. Mehlman spent much of his tenure apologizing for the conservative base and urging more outreach.
Michael Steele justified his time as head of the RNC on the grounds that he could make an impact on black voters, and that the GOP had previously been “unconcerned about minorities.” Senator John McCain, who has been one of the most vocal supporters of amnesty in the Republican Party, argued that the GOP should support comprehensive immigration reform because “we are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote.”
And, in the more distant past, there was Jack Kemp, a former NFL player who claimed that he was uniquely concerned about black voters because “I can’t help but care about the rights of the people I used to shower with.” Mr. Kemp’s proposals for “enterprise zones” in depressed urban areas are practically identical to Senator Paul’s “economic freedom zones.” The record of the attempts of Ken Mehlman, Michael Steele, John McCain, and Jack Kemp to win over non-white voters speaks for itself. Rand Paul’s stale rhetoric and patronizing outreach has been part of the failed Republican playbook for decades.
Who speaks for us?
Republican incompetence and failure is not the point. The point is that Rand Paul turned his back on his own constituents, who voted for him because he campaigned as a populist, anti-establishment candidate who would restrict immigration. Nor is Rand Paul simply adopting a socially moderate tone to be acceptable to the mainstream media. He is quite willing to take media criticism for aligning with the Religious Right. He has written a bill that would define life as starting with conception, and has been a vocal proponent of traditional marriage. He even joked that he couldn’t see how President Obama’s position on marriage could get “any gayer.”
But when it comes to anything that would advance white interests on immigration, racial preferences, or crime, Rank Paul dances to the media’s tune. He has even claimed the American justice system is biased against blacks.
This is what happens when ambition comes before what might once have been convictions. Rand Paul’s father Ron was once explicit about the dangers posed by multiculturalism and mass immigration, writing that “we must address the cultural aspects of immigration” and calling for a vigorous defense of the southern border. However, once he became a national figure and the tribune of the libertarians, he reversed his position.
Rand Paul is making the same transformation as he sets his sights above being the junior senator from Kentucky and positions himself as a contender for President. In order to appeal to corporate donors and ensure the support of the libertarians who comprise his national following, Senator Paul has made the strategic decision to abandon even implicitly white racial politics. Instead, he will run as a pure “Constitutional conservative,” mouthing platitudes about limited government while raking in donations from companies lusting for cheap labor. In the end, Rand Paul has become all but indistinguishable from Beltway Right hacks such as open-borders apologist Grover Norquist or corporate lobbyist Dick Armey.
In his journey from promise to pointlessness, Rand Paul occasionally talks like a Jacksonian nationalist, but his ideological core is by-the-numbers libertarianism. Not only does he not recognize whites as a group with collective interests, he doesn’t recognize America as a nation with interests. Instead, America is simply a place where deracinated, rights-bearing individuals live and compete with each other about who gets to make the most money. Although for electoral purposes Senator Paul had to give the nod to immigration restriction, his ideological core is being played out before our eyes–open borders, cheap labor, and utter indifference to the demographic makeup of the country.
This may actually understate Rand Paul’s uselessness. As shown in his nondefense of the principle of free association, whenever libertarianism conflicts with political correctness, Senator Paul bows to the latter. Though he said he would fire anyone proven to be a “white supremacist,” he has no problem speaking to racially collectivist groups of nonwhites. When there is pushback from the Left, Rand Paul retreats. The only targets libertarians feel free to attack are white conservatives.
Rand Paul, like the Beltway Right, sees cultural and racial trends as essentially fixed. Like weather patterns, they are beyond human control. Therefore, all Mr. Paul can do is try to carve out a niche for libertarianism in the areas permitted him by the media gatekeepers. Thus, he can talk about why libertarianism is good for blacks as a group, but not why it is good for whites. He can promote libertarian opposition to “racist” drug laws but not libertarian opposition to the forced-association consequences of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
And this is the essential problem of Rand Paul. The libertarian takeover of the Republican Party is not a liberation from feckless and corrupt leaders. It’s a takeover by people who are unwilling to show even symbolic solidarity with the white Republican base. The tragedy is that Rand Paul was ideally positioned to lead a real political insurrection, to turn the Tea Party into the Middle American Revolution prophesied by Sam Francis. He had a real opportunity to create a movement that could roll back the multicultural state, stop illegal immigration, and reverse anti-white discrimination. Instead, we have someone who is afraid to talk about limiting immigration but thinks it’s a winning issue to defend British Petroleum after a catastrophic oil spill.
The worst of it is that Rand Paul is dependent on increasingly dispossessed whites. Angry white voters who understand that the financial, cultural, and political elites despise them are looking for a leader. Senator Paul struck a revolutionary pose but ultimately lead his followers into familiar dead ends. Worse, he takes promising activists and leaders and neuters them.
Instead of opposing a political class that enables mass immigration, the rise of Rand Paul and Beltway Libertarianism has given us a generation of enthusiastic and intelligent young activists fighting for the immigration and cultural policies of George Soros. It’s worse than a safety valve; it’s outright misdirection.
This is why Rand Paul wins our award as White Renegade of the Year. He has heaped far more scorn than he had to on his party, his people, and himself. Even when he doesn’t need to, he defends the anti-white narrative of the media. Even when it would be to his advantage, he avoids fighting for the cause of his constituents, and clings to clichés or outright fabrications to avoid being called a racist. In so doing, he condemns his own cause to inevitable political defeat and his own people to demographic destruction.
We can take one note of grim satisfaction. No matter how many outreach centers he opens, how many aides he fires, how many embarrassing, groveling speeches he makes, Rand Paul will always need race-conscious whites.
But that doesn’t mean we need him.