Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, December 17, 2019
In the British parliamentary elections last week, Labour didn’t just lose the election. It lost its base.
The new Conservative majority will include MP’s from constituencies that haven’t supported Tories for decades. Prime Minister Boris Jonson broke the “Red Wall,” or Labour’s “old coalition of small-town, working-class voters in the Midlands and north of England.” In 2016, Donald Trump did much the same when he won most of the Rust Belt: the “Blue Wall” Democrats took for granted.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is an old-school socialist. Despite this “radicalism,” he was spineless on Brexit. He promised a second referendum but said he would stay “neutral.” If you’re going to throw out democracy, you should at least defend your position. In contrast, Boris Johnson had a clear message: “Get Brexit done.” With his huge, newly won majority, he can.
Mr. Johnson also co-opted popular issues from Labour. In his post-election press conference, he said his “People’s Government” would focus “above all” on the National Health Service. He will increase NHS funding and spend billions in the (former) Labour heartland in north England, which has lagged economically. The Conservatives are becoming a working-class party.
Matthew Goodwin, co-author of National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy, wrote: “Boris Johnson and his team have grasped the new unwritten law of politics which is you really need to lean a little bit left on economics and a little bit right on culture and identity to unlock lots of territory, lots of seats you didn’t previously have.” He suggested other center-right parties may imitate “Johnsonism.”
Why the Conservatives are outflanking Labour pic.twitter.com/hBdHBp5tLk
— Matthew Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) December 15, 2019
Writer Andrew Sullivan explained that having “outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy,” Boris Johnson created “Trumpism without Trump,” a “conservative future without an ineffective and polarizing nut job at the heart of it.” He added: “The political sweet spot in the next few years will be a combination of left-economics and a celebration of the nation-state.” This includes tougher immigration laws and making “no apologies” for your county and culture.
Mr. Sullivan suggests American Democrats could adopt these polices and win in 2020, but “wokeness” is central to the modern “Left.” I’d argue it defines it. Prominent Democrats have staked out their position and won’t retreat.
Ilhan Omar said America was founded on “genocide.” Ayanna Pressley tweeted out an article condemning the Declaration of Independence last July 4. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said America is “native land” and that Hispanics can’t be excluded because “Latino people are descendants of native people.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “We are all Americans – north and south in this hemisphere,” echoing radical leftists who say America is a landmass, not a country. “Progressives” don’t want just to reform ICE; they want to abolish it. All leading Democrats, including the supposed “moderate” Joe Biden, support looser immigration laws. Joe Biden’s immigration plan “focuses on undoing President Donald Trump’s policies.” How can a party “celebrate the nation-state” with such leaders?
Two decades ago, progressive Democrat Barbara Jordan supported immigration control because her commission found mass immigration hurt blacks and poor Americans. No prominent Democrat could say that now.
It’s tempting to think Boris Johnson’s victory is an omen. “If current trends continue, Trump may be on a firm path to re-election,” wrote The National Interest. Just as some saw the Brexit vote as a sign Mr. Trump would win in 2016, the Conservative victory might mean the same for 2020.
However, Republicans have problems that Boris Johnson and the Tories didn’t. President Trump arguably ran on a “Johnsonist” program in 2016. “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” he said in 2015. Yet President Trump’s main policy accomplishments have been tax cuts and a rising stock market. These may be good things, but they aren’t much different from what “every other Republican” would brag about.
In 2000, Donald Trump supported universal health care. During the campaign, candidate Trump said he would replace Obamacare with “something terrific.” However, internal staff battles and the president’s own incoherent demands mean he has nothing to offer in 2020. The President hasn’t built infrastructure. He’s been a disappointment on immigration. At the same time, there is no issue that splits the Democrats they way Brexit split Labour.
President Trump probably can’t adopt Matthew Goodwin’s “unwritten law of politics” and move left on spending and right on nationalism. The conservative movement, or “Conservatism Inc.,” is ideologically hostile to spending. The Beltway Right would never tolerate Boris Johnson’s subsidies for medicine and infrastructure.
The Right has failed to stop the federal government’s cancerous growth, but tired slogans about “free markets” and “opposing socialism” still pass for wisdom within the movement. They are irrelevant to a generation drowning in debt and struggling to own a home. “Young people today are inclined to find socialism appealing precisely because conservatism, under its current leadership, sucks,” wrote Matthew Boose in American Greatness.
A Voter Study Group report found that libertarians — those “conservative on economics and liberal on identity issues” — were a small part of the 2016 electorate. Nationalists often use this graph from the report to show that Conservatism Inc.’s focus on “free markets” is unpopular. Conservatism Inc.’s money, especially funds from the Koch network, prop up a vast group of nonprofits, think tanks, and magazines that appeal to that nearly empty bottom right quadrant.
In 2016, people believed Donald Trump’s boasts about “terrific” health care, new infrastructure, and a wall Mexico would pay for. Even Michael Moore understood his appeal. In 2020, the same promises will sound hollow.
Younger conservatives sense this. That’s why college students cheered market-skeptic Tucker Carlson and laughed at Charlie Kirk at a Turning Point USA conference. The frustration of young nationalists with the conservative movement also inspired the “Groyper Wars,” in which right-wing students criticized conservative speakers on issues such as immigration.
Young nationalists want to depose the Conservative Inc. gatekeepers who work with left-wing journalists. Instead of slogans about Israel, tax cuts, deregulation, and free markets left over from Reagan, nationalists want to talk about anti-white discrimination, immigration, affordable family formation, and a collapsing culture. If Conservatism Inc. can be transformed into a nationalist movement, it can win.
As we have seen in the United States, political victory doesn’t necessarily mean real gains. Matthew Goodwin writes that “the Conservative Party’s share of the vote has increased at every general election since 1997,” but the United Kingdom is still in a wretched state culturally and demographically. Is the Conservative government going to reverse this? Just a few years ago, Boris Johnson was campaigning to bring Turkey into the European Union. “Are we really saying about ourselves and about Europe that it must always be forever coterminous with nothing but Christendom?” Mr. Johnson asked.
The Daily Beast, in an article fretting about the Tory takeover of Labour’s heartland, mentioned the GOP’s “vitriolic” Southern Strategy of allegedly wooing southern voters away from the Democrats through thinly disguised racial appeals. Republicans have had the Solid South for a generation — and what is there to show for it? Thanks to corporate America’s desire for cheap labor via mass immigration, Virginia is already a blue state and Georgia is probably next.
“Johnsonism,” or a soft national-populism, could ensure “right-wing” governments in America and the UK for a generation. After that, the anti-white Left will still win by replacing the voters. White Britons will reportedly be a minority in their own country by 2066; white Americans, decades sooner. In the recent UK election, younger voters supported Labour; younger American voters overwhelmingly dislike President Trump. If nationalists and Identitarians can’t retake the campuses, national-populism in the USA and UK won’t last beyond the Boomers, even if immigration stops.
National-populism is a nice start. Maybe the GOP will learn the right lessons from the UK election: Defending the nation, not “the market,” is the future of the Right. Some authentic progressives may even join us someday.
But that’s not enough. Saving Western civilization means asserting white identity. There’s no way around that. There’s also a time limit. Unless demographic trends are reversed, “nationalist” governments will preside over national extinction.
It was satisfying to watch Labour get smashed and Conservatives breaking the Red Wall. There’s potential, but it’s too early to say whether the Tory victory was a good thing or not. If we’ve learned anything from the Trump era, it’s that Identitarians must not mindlessly boost men who infuriate the Left. We’re trying to save our nation, and we’re the only people who understand that the only way to do so is to save our people.