The “Scary Ideology” that Haunts the Left
Vox claims that it “explains” the news to its liberal readers. Instead, it tells them what to feel. Thus we have a recent article in which an author by the name of Jane Coaston reports that President Trump’s immigration policies are driven by a “scary ideology”—and you can imagine what that is likely to be.
Miss Coaston writes that President Trump says he wants to prevent the violence immigrants have brought to Europe. She denies outright that immigration really has increased violence in Europe, and then argues this isn’t “really” his motivation anyway. Instead, the President and “key members of his administration” are driven by a “fringe theory held by the furthest of the far right.” This theory, which Miss Coaston calls “white genocide,” is the belief “that white people are being systematically ‘erased’ by their inferiors and thus require an influx of white babies and new white immigrants (and the exclusion of nonwhite immigrants) to survive.”
Of course, Miss Coaston provides no evidence that any “key administration officials” believe this. This trick of mind-reading, this revelation of the “real reasons” conservatives support certain policies is a well-established journalistic genre; reporters assign dark motives to people they don’t like and then emotionally denounce them for beliefs they probably don’t hold.
Miss Coaston cites Congressman Steve King’s declarations that “culture and demographics are our destiny” and that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” as a proof “this theory [of white genocide] has adherents . . . even in Congress.” So far as I know, Congressman King has never warned that “white people are being systematically ‘erased’ by their inferiors,” but Miss Coaston assures us that what the congressman really thinks is that, “it’s not ‘racist’ to think that a Norwegian might be a better fit with American culture (as they define it) than an immigrant arriving from Lagos or Addis Ababa — it’s ‘racial realism’.”
To think that a European would assimilate more easily than an African is proof, in Miss Coaston’s eyes, of “racism.” But more importantly, Congressman King himself has explicitly denied that culture and race are necessarily linked. As Peter Brimelow wrote, summarizing the congressman’s position, “King in fact apparently does think ‘that our civilization’ can be restored ‘with somebody else’s babies’—if they’re assimilated (which, of course, is notoriously hard to do.)” Unlike Congressman King, race realists would argue that culture arises out of and requires race.
Miss Coaston also quotes White House aide Stephen Miller as saying, “No one is exempt from immigration law,” and cites this as adherence to “white genocide” theory. Yet Mr. Miller is talking about across-the-board law enforcement, not enforcement only against non-whites.
Similarly, Miss Coaston writes, “[Steve] Bannon believed that the movements of nonwhite immigrant groups, legal or not, posed a physical, cultural, political, and moral danger to ‘white’ countries.” As proof, she links to an article detailing Mr. Bannon’s awareness of The Camp of the Saints and cites a quote according to which Mr. Bannon said it could be a “massive problem” if 20 percent of the country were immigrants.
If it is wrong to worry that current waves of immigration into Europe are like those described in The Camp of the Saints, it is presumably right to welcome those immigrants and the eventual replacement of Europeans with aliens. The book was once seriously discussed in such publications as The Atlantic, so Miss Coaston’s shock at learning that Mr. Bannon has read and thought about it suggests her inability to consider serious ideas, not Mr. Bannon’s. Furthermore, to prefer that one’s own country not be one-fifth foreigners is hardly “racist;” it would be a valid concern regardless of race.
Miss Coaston then delves into Madison Grant, racial theories from the Progressive Era, David Lane, and articles from a 1972 newspaper of the National Socialist White People’s Party to show how awful “white genocide theory” really is. This implicitly links the Trump Administration to these figures, even though Miss Coaston has no evidence that anyone in the administration has even heard of them.
Miss Coaston summarizes the supposed beliefs of white nationalists and, by implication, those of the administration from the President on down: “Whiteness is . . . essential to the very nature of American and European life . . . . And it is under attack—not by violence but by immigration, and by sexual intercourse between whites and nonwhites.” Has anyone anywhere in the administration ever said that whiteness is “essential to the very nature of American life” or objected to miscegenation? Again, Miss Coaston attacks something straight out of her imagination.
Miss Coaston claims that “the idea of whiteness as . . . essential to the notion of what it means to be an American ignores virtually all of American history.” In fact, to deny the link between “whiteness” and American identity is to ignore history. Many of the Founding Fathers themselves explicitly recognized the connection between racial and national consciousness. America’s first naturalization law required that new citizens be “free white persons.” Early Americans thought race was so central to national identity that it should be the central criterion of citizenship.
In one of the Left’s most overworked racial clichés, Miss Coaston invokes early anti-Irish, anti-Italian, and anti-Catholic sentiments to suggest such groups were not considered white. This would be a surprise to Charles Carroll (a Catholic who signed the Declaration of Independence), eight others of Irish descent (including some born in Ireland) who were also signers, and Confederate Generals William Taliaferro and P. G. T. Beauregard, both of whom had Italian heritage. As Samuel Huntington pointed out in Who Are We?, America’s core culture, like that of England, is Anglo-Protestant. Many early WASPS were contemptuous of the Irish and the Italians, but to suggest anyone thought they weren’t white is hilarious. What were they? Negroes? Chinamen? Malays? Mexicans?
The irony is that after portraying “white genocide theory” as a kind of mental disease, Miss Coaston herself celebrates it. She states, correctly, that whites are declining as a share of the national population, and then adds, “For many Americans, this is a positive development.” Whites should be happy to become a minority, and anyone who opposes the process is a moral inferior. Miss Coaston’s views are perhaps ambiguous insofar as she is a black woman married to a white woman.
Miss Coaston writes that “racial realists” believe that “if there are fewer white people, there will be fewer white voters who would favor conservative policies.” She quotes me: “American civil nationalism ultimately depends upon white voters,” adding that my “underlying assumption is that only white people will favor conservative policies.” She then claims there is “markedly little discussion among ‘racial realists’ of attempting to [create] conservative arguments that appeal to nonwhite Americans.”
It’s true that “race realists” don’t devise arguments to convince Guatemalans and Detroiters to cut welfare or become originalist interpreters of the Constitution, but “conservatives” are always trying to turn the most improbable people into Republicans. Mocking the futility of these efforts is what lies behind the “cuckservative” insult. And no prominent Republican, including President Trump, has ever explicitly appealed to white voters as whites.
At the same time, the conservative movement and the Republican Party constantly frame their policy stances on such issues as school choice as being good for various minority groups. They take white voters for granted. Miss Coaston suggests that conservatives are so race conscious they don’t even try to win minority voters. Is she deaf to all the major conservative speakers who urge blacks “to leave the Democratic plantation” or who claim Hispanics are “natural conservatives”?
Miss Coaston dismisses benighted whites who seem to think that “race is political destiny, and to the racial victors will go the nation.” Yet that is exactly what her co-workers at Vox believe. In an article about House races in California, Tara Golashan writes that Republican Duncan Hunter is in trouble because “the demographics here have been changing slowly; there’s a growing Latino population, and Democrats think they can shift the area’s politics.”
Another Vox contributor, Ruy Teixeira (one of the authors of “The Emerging Democratic Majority”) practically taunted Republicans about population change. Though the GOP won “the demographic battle” in 2016, it will “still lose the war.” In Vox, he argues, “[T]he fact that Democrats’ coalition relies on growing groups while the GOP’s relies on declining ones is still a considerable advantage for Democrats. That advantage will only grow in coming years.” Rhetoric about “war” and “declining” groups is racially explicit. But anything that celebrates the dispossession of whites appears in Vox as serious analysis rather than unhinged conspiracy mongering.
Miss Coaston suggests that no dialogue is possible with Republicans. “[I]f the debate over immigration is actually about a belief that nonwhite immigrants pose an existential danger to America and Americanness as a whole, and that ‘demographics’ require Haitian immigrants to be expelled from the country while hypothetical immigrants from Norway are welcomed with open arms, then there is no ready compromise at hand.”
This mischaracterizes the debate. Far from proposing a genteel ethnic cleansing, even the immigration bills the mainstream media call “hardline” and that recently failed in the House would have awarded amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants, the so-called “Dreamers.” Neither the GOP Congress nor Donald Trump has proposed proven enforcement measures such as mandatory E-Verify. No one has proposed immigration rules that would favor whites over non-whites. If the Trump White House really is filled with “white genocide” theorists, they must be awfully lazy.
The real extremism is in Miss Coaston’s contention that there can be “no compromise” with those who suggest Norwegians might make better immigrants than Haitians. For most of American history, immigration policy made such distinctions. Miss Coaston’s thinks such judgments are illegitimate. Whites must therefore be reduced to a minority through non-white immigration and “no compromise” is possible with anyone who disagrees.
Mrs. Coaston closes by quoting her colleague Dara Lind, who stated, “Either America is a nation of immigrants or it is a nation of blood and soil.” This is not true. The question is whether America is to be a nation at all, or simply a geographic area. America was a nation of settlers, colonizers, and conquerors—plus European immigrants. The non-whites who arrived after the 1965 Immigration Act are a radical departure from American history. To return to an immigration policy our Founders would recognize would be a restoration of the American ideal, not a betrayal.
The dispossession and disempowerment of white Americans is the result of policies, and could be reversed through policy. If the Trump administration were trying to preserve a white majority—which it clearly is not—it would be a healthy and long overdue change. Miss Coaston is trying to scare white Americans away from just such a change, but our future will not be dictated by disingenuous journalists at a publication like Vox.