Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, December 28, 2019
“Suddenly,” declares Politico, “Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is being taken seriously.” It’s not “sudden” at all. Polls repeatedly show he’s the country’s most popular Senator. For months, he’s been in second or (briefly) third place nationally. He’s a top candidate in Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2016, he beat Hillary Clinton convincingly in New Hampshire, when there were far fewer serious contenders.
This year, Bernie Sanders has even greater advantages. His brand is unique because he’s been an unapologetic socialist for decades. No other candidate can satisfy his supporters. His voters march from state to state like a phalanx while his competitors rely heavily on media boosting or, in Joe Biden’s case, nostalgia. This may not be enough to win, but he won’t lose until the “anyone but Bernie” camp coalesces behind one candidate or Mr. Sanders has another heart attack.
Hillary Clinton was the neoliberal in 2016. She represented Goldman Sachs, neoconservatives, and Lena Dunham. She tried to build a coalition of status-conscious white professionals who would vote like non-whites while living far away from them. She was the System candidate, the president for those who think “America is already great.”
In 2012, I said Mitt Romney must lose. Why? President Romney would lead to a “re-energized Left” that could become the populist alternative. Meanwhile, I wrote that “President Romney’s policies, like those of George W. Bush, would actively punish and dispossess his own base.” “If white advocates are to triumph,” I said, “we have to become the popular opposition to the ruling system.”
The 2016 election showed I was partially right. We were part of a larger populist movement. Yet President Trump danced to Conservatism Inc.’s tune and became, himself, the System.
The initial result was a futile push to repeal Obamacare. After years of promising to “repeal and replace,” it turned out Conservatism Inc. had no alternative. While President Trump will almost certainly survive a Senate trial, he’ll be blundering into the 2020 campaign with no clear position on healthcare, the number-one issue for voters.
Many people think neoliberalism is failing, and this feeling transcends Left and Right. David Sirota, author of the 2008 book The Uprising, understood this. He admired progressives, but also conceded that Lou Dobbs hosted a program “nothing like the slew of substance-free pundit shows that Washington vomits out to America every night.” Mr. Sirota understood that the side that seized the populist, anti-System, banner would win.
Today, though Mr. Dobbs has remained strong on immigration, it’s Tucker Carlson who is the populist standard-bearer. Mr. Carlson is a powerful voice on Fox News, but Mr. Sirota is the senior advisor and speechwriter for . . . Bernie Sanders.
In 2016, President Trump was a wrecking-ball who promised to Make America Great Again and Drain the Swamp. Today, many of the charges I leveled at a hypothetical Romney Administration are similar to what President Trump actually did. Now it’s President Trump who’s aping the Hillary Clinton strategy, promising to “Keep America Great.” Donald Trump supporters are complacent, while the Left is invigorated, enraged, and organized.
President Trump’s alliance with the GOP Establishment did have some advantages. Many conservative pundits want us to forget they were supporting the ridiculous Evan McMullin in 2016, the candidate who probably cost Donald Trump Minnesota. While Democrats prepare for a brutal primary, President Trump and the Republican National Committee are assembling a formidable war chest.
Hillary Clinton crushed Donald Trump in fundraising, but candidate Trump had a vast, self-organizing grassroots effort, independent online media, and slashing support from platforms such as Breitbart. None of that exists today. His Justice Department arrests his supporters. He gave new treaty protections to tech companies that censor his supporters. Breitbart and other conservative media outlets are timid and defensive because they are afraid of advertiser boycotts. The astroturfed pro-Trump youth movement is parody. It brags that the “Left can’t meme” while it grovels to leftists who call it racist or sexist.
This isn’t what we were promised. President Trump has not deported illegals, made E-Verify mandatory, or even acted on winning issues such as making English the official national language. There’s no Executive Order on birthright citizenship. There’s no remittance tax. President Trump could act, but tweets instead.
Matthew Goodwin observed after the recent British election that it’s easier for the Right to move “left” on economics than it is for progressives to move “right” on social issues. This isn’t true in America. Conservatism Inc. would never stand for universal health care. If President Trump had started his administration with infrastructure funding (and invited Democrats to join him), he could have built a new coalition. Instead, he’s a normal Republican, precisely what GOP primary voters rejected in 2015 and early 2016.
Many expected Mr. Trump to be the beginning of new nationalist GOP. Yet conservative nonprofits are more eager to purge dissidents than in 2016. The mediocrities left behind are trying to appeal to a desperate, debt-plagued generation with slogans like “Socialism Sucks.”
In contrast, socialists are thriving intellectually. They have created powerful institutions and media voices. They are a powerful force within the Democrats, but not dependent on them. It helps that the corporate oligarchs they claim are oppressing them suppress us and support them. That’s President Trump’s and the conservative movement’s fault for not defending online free speech.
What Conservatism Inc. wants is a showdown between “capitalism” and “socialism.” Wealthy donors will write huge checks to support such a battle. Many conservatives think all they will have to do is start another Red Scare over Crazy Bernie.
But the Soviet Union is now gone, and few people under 30 understand why it was so awful. The growing “White Scare” is much more compelling. Conservatives don’t help their cause when they make nonsensical claims comparing Cuba to Denmark. We roll our eyes when someone says Hallmark movies are “fascist propaganda,” but it’s equally stupid to pretend that Scandinavia is like Venezuela.
Ordinary whites might be disgusted at affirmative action, Cultural Marxism, or the Left’s open contempt for them, but if they don’t see a positive alternative, socialism is tempting. Everyone else is looting America. Whites might as well get a cut too.
President Trump has the right enemies. He says the right things. He’s still a powerful symbol — but that’s not enough. President Trump and the GOP don’t have answers on medical care, student debt, and outsourcing. He’s not confronting the oligarchs. He’s not ending the wars, so brave Americans are still dying for causes no one can explain. “Deaths of despair” continue.
Meanwhile, many who benefit from the soaring stock market are disgusted at Trump’s crude behavior and language. He’s a capitalist who talks like a populist demagogue – a terrible combination. If you’re going to run a campaign on “the economy,” you’re better off talking like Mitt Romney.
If the last few years have shown anything, it’s that the anti-System candidate has the advantage. Conservatism Inc. may get the “socialist” versus “capitalist” showdown it wants, but complacent conservatives are wrong to assume they’ll win. In 2016, Donald Trump accepted the “mantle of anger,” which can drive a candidate to the top. In 2020, he’s handed it to Bernie Sanders.
Spike Lee’s Malcolm X is mostly fiction but is still a great nationalist movie. In one scene, Elijah Mohammed tells his new national minister Malcolm X that the people will drink from a polluted glass if they are thirsty and have no alternative. However, if you offer clear water and let them decide, they’ll make the right choice.
Struggling whites took a chance on Donald Trump. Some will continue to sacrifice for him, but if the Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders, many will vote for him. Schemes for “climate justice” and “racial justice” will ultimately destroy whites, but if they have no alternative, they will drink from that polluted glass.