The ‘Great White Hope?’ Behind the White Nationalist Robocalls for Trump in Iowa

Jonathan Tilove, Austin American-Statesman, January 12, 2016

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William  Johnson lives on a ranch near Los Angeles with horses, ducks and chickens, and various stone fruit he grows, including pomegranates, olives and persimmons.

He is also a devoted white nationalist/separatist.

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The SPLC will now have to add to Johnson’s file that he is the guy who in 2016 produced and paid for white nationalist robocalls that every Iowan with a landline will receive at least once between now and the Feb. 1 caucuses, promoting Donald Trump for president.

In a press release yesterday, Johnson refers to Trump as “the great white hope.”

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I talked to Johnson yesterday, and he explained what he is up to and why.

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Of Trump, Johnson said:

I’ve known about him for 25, 30 years. My wife, she came to me, she was in love with Donald Trump and she said, ‘Listen to what he’s saying about the Mexicans on the border.’ And, up to that time, I didn’t really like Donald Trump. In fact I kind of disliked him, but then he said the stuff about the Mexicans coming in, the Muslims coming in, and my wife was just praising him up and down, so then, I began to think this guy is the real deal and this slowly kind of changed over the last four or five months to now where I really like him.

This guy’s as close to a nationalist as we’ve got.

The thing that I’m pleased with him is that he does not back down.

Like just the other day there was some sort of peaceful Muslim lady standing up (at a Trump rally) and saying, `This is what the face of a Muslim looks like,’ protesting in silence very peacefully, and people were yelling at her, ‘Do you have a bomb? Do you have a bomb?’ So he kicked her out. And she was saying, ‘This shows the hate of people for the Muslims.’ And he said, ‘No, you’re the ones that hate.’ And he never apologized for anything he said. That’s so refreshing and so unique.

A normal politician would have apologized.

I like very much what he’s saying and what he stands for and mostly, l I like the fact that he doesn’t back down.

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But, does Johnson think that his explicitly “white nationalist” radio ads will actually help Trump?

I want to present to everyone that the white race is going to die out if we don’t do something.

Will it hurt Donald Trump? Nothing hurts Donald Trump and what I do won’t hurt and it might help. But it doesn’t matter whether it hurts or helps. I’ve got to get the message out that these mainstream Democrats and mainstream Republicans are helping to destroy our country.

When white nationalists got behind Ron Paul there was a lot of legitimate criticism of him, much more criticism of him than Donald Trump.

Granted, Donald Trump is not a white nationalist and some of his views are dramatically opposed to white nationalism–for example he is for a strong military and continued Republican interventionism, whereas white nationalists support George Washington’s advice to not get involved  foreign entanglements. So we fear that Donald Trump needs to be schooled more on foreign entanglements, and there are other areas he is not strong on, but overall he is the best candidate a nationalist could have for a long time.

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I also talked with Jared Taylor, the founder and editor of American Renaissance last night, who I have talked to and written about over the years. {snip}

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“Donald Trump,” Taylor has written,” may be the last hope for a president who would be good for white people.”

From our conversation last night:

To me the wonderful effect of Trump is to reopen all these questions that the smug liberals had considered closed for all these decades–the whole question of who do we want to come to America, do we dare make a choice, do we dare express ourselves and have a preference. I think single-handedly he has done in just a few months what scores of us have spent decades trying to do–reopen this question. I think it’s absolutely marvelous.

Whether he himself has any kind of really developed racial consciousness, frankly I doubt it. I think it’s just instinct, he goes on his instincts, and his instinct, like most white Americans, is that he prefers European civilization. But whether or not once he was in office he might start  saying things about how he likes being around white people or that there wasn’t anything wrong with an immigration law that was designed to keep America majority white, whether he would say things like that, I have absolutely no idea.

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I said that talking to some conservatives in Iowa last week, I got the feel that they would love for Trump to be elected and see what happens, but are a bit skittish and would like some kind of money-back-guarantee if Trump, once elected, swings wildly in another direction and doesn’t do what they think and hope he is going to do.

I am convinced that what we do have a money-back guarantee on is this whole question of illegal immigrants. I think it would be impossible for him to go back on that, and I think his heart is actually in it, unlike some of these Johnny-come-latelies who are talking tough on illegal immigrants. That is clear, that this was the wind that pushed him out in front and he genuinely feels that way. And for him to double back on that, that would be absolutely unforgivable.

He’s got to have a wall and he’s got to deport the illegals. If he doesn’t do that, well then, my gosh, he’ll be a laughingstock.

Wouldn’t Ted Cruz be every bit as hard-line as Trump on immigration?

Do you think he would build a wall and deport 13 million illegals? I don’t think he would. I don’t think he has the heart for it. It’s an incredible thing to actually send people back across the border. That’s a very tough thing to do. You have to have grit, determination, you to be prepared to take New York Times stories and CBS stories of all these crying families that are being separated. I just don’t think Ted Cruz–Ted Cruz is too conventional, he couldn’t put up with that.

It’s the imitator I don’t trust. I trust the originator.

The other thing that I think people like about Trump is that he is unpredictable. People are tired of these blow-dried, cut-out candidates who have to take five polls before they decide what to say about something. There’s a genuineness about Trump. Sometimes he says things that make us effete types cringe a little bit, but there’s something refreshing about a guy being such a natural.

Of the robocalls potential impact:

I really don’t think that it can hurt Donald Trump. Can it help? I’m not so sure about that either, but it once again circulates an aspect of the question that I think needs to be circulated. It publicizes the whole demographic implications of what Donald Trump is talking about  and the kind of revolution he’s effected in the national conversation on this.

On how he describes himself.

I’ve started using Identitarian.

I don’t like the term white nationalist because people think of Basque nationalists and Kurdish nationalists, throwing bombs. I don’t like that.

White advocate, that’s a term I sometimes use. It’s very frustrating not to have an expression that I can settle on as one that’s comfortable. The word ‘racist,’ that word can absolutely not be rehabilitated. It comes  with just too much more opprobrium.

Maybe, in years to come, a Trump Republican.

For someone to buck the zeitgeist so consistently and so powerfully as he has done, I think it probably is unprecedented, for someone to have so successfully frustrated and baffled all the people who tell us what to think.

This utter flouting of convention, spitting on orthodoxy, I think it’s simply fantastic.

He could be washed away in the Iowa caucuses, his campaign could completely fizzle out, and he would still have achieved an enormous amount.

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