Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, January 15, 2019
Iowa congressman Steve King is under fire — and being punished — for another dissident outburst. In an interview published by the New York Times last week, he said: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? . . . Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
The media called this an endorsement of white supremacy, deliberately ignoring the paragraph just before the quote:
At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is ‘the culture of America’ based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe.
The congressman quickly issued a clarification:
My statement on the New York Times article. pic.twitter.com/IjBHgZYgRD
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) January 10, 2019
But even calling white nationalism an “evil ideology” did no good. Democrats sat back and watched Republicans sacrifice one of their own. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that if Mr. King “doesn’t understand why ‘white supremacy’ is offensive, he should find another line of work.” Brand-new Senator Mitt Romney said of Mr. King: “What he said was reprehensible and ought to lead to his resignation from Congress.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted: “Everything about white supremacy and white nationalism goes against who we are as a nation. . . . The Declaration of Independence states that ‘all men are created equal.’ That is a fact. It is self-evident.”
And so yesterday, Republican leaders stripped Mr. King of all committee assignments. The congressman responded by claiming his quote was taken out of context — something that should have been obvious to anyone.
My Statement on Kevin McCarthy’s Unprecedented Assault on my Freedom of Speech. pic.twitter.com/0R0vP6MoWT
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) January 15, 2019
Mr. King is now effectively an outcast in Congress. It severely restricts his influence and badly hurts his chances for reelection. A popular Iowa state senator, Randy Feenstra, has already announced he will challenge Mr. King in the Republican primary for the 2020 election.
Steve King is the best congressman there is on immigration, and he has never wavered in his fight for policies that serve the American people. He has come close to linking race to immigration, as when he tweeted, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” But he has always pulled back and emphasized his commitment to race-blind civic nationalism.
It should be noted that Rep. McCarthy — the one who tweeted fatuously about the Declaration — has taken a Trumpian turn in recent years. He’s been steadfast in support of the president’s immigration policies, and has even said diversity is not America’s strength. But when the media start frothing over alleged “white nationalism,” he is as craven as Paul Ryan.
Needless to say, the King fracas attracted the attention of the lone black GOP senator, Tim Scott, who has repeatedly tried to make the Republican Party crawl on racial issues. Mr. Scott’s op-ed for the Washington Post complained that the Iowa congressman’s words violate civility and “rip at the fabric of our nation, a country built on hope, strength and diversity.” The South Carolina senator then claimed astonishingly that Mr. King’s comments are not conservative because “[c]onservative principles mean equal opportunity for all to succeed, regardless of what you look like or where you are from.”
This isn’t the first time Mr. King has faced the wrath of party leaders. During the 2018 campaign, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee actually denounced him, and many conservative commentators said they hoped he would lose.
This time, “conservatives” were equally vicious. National Review’s editorial board urged the GOP to “dump” Congressman King. The editors expressed disgust that the congressman dares to mention “fringe tropes such as ‘cultural suicide by demographic transformation’.” To be opposed to dispossession is a “fringe trope.”
Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro said that Republicans should censure Mr. King and make sure he loses in the next primary. In the past, Mr. Shapiro supported Mr. King and defended him against charges of racism.
At least one conservative commentator even argued that western civilization isn’t white. John Podhoretz explained in the New York Post that non-whites have shaped western civilization since the beginning. Mr. Podhoretz’s examples were St. Augustine, Alexander Pushkin, and Alexander Hamilton. He also claims that Italian immigrants were not considered white when they first came to America, and yet Italy engineered the Renaissance. Mr. Podhoretz ended in a blaze of stupidity, claiming that the greatness of western civilization lies in its “universal message” that “all men are created equal.”
Unfortunately for Mr. King’s critics, neither he nor his message are going away. The President of the United States and Tucker Carlson make similar arguments all the time. The Republican Party must ask itself: Does it want to be the party of Steve King and defend western civilization? Or does it want to be the party of Tim Scott and lick the boots of the liberal establishment?
As Pat Buchanan wrote in the column tweeted out by President Trump, “The more multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual America becomes — the less it looks like Ronald Reagan’s America — the more dependably Democratic it will become.”
No number of “opportunity zones” will change that.