Pro Palin, Pro Beck

James N. writes:

Since 2005, I have learned so much from VFR. It has clarified my thinking on many subjects and opened up new vistas for me to explore. I’m very grateful for the enormous effort that you put into it.

I must say, though, that your view of elections—the right way to think about them, and what purpose you believe they serve, is somewhat obscure to me.

Beck turning out 300 000 good guys on the Mall on a bestial day in August is a great achievement. Millions of people (a/k/a voters) identify with Palin.

Activities and behaviors of this nature are premonitory to success on election day. Everything you have ever said about Sarah Palin is absolutely true. Beck’s confusion and thrashing about is apparent to any trained eye.

But candidates whom you have preferred in the past have not done well. Whatever their virtues may be, however well they are lined up with the VFR view of the world—if they get 10 percent of the vote, or less (Tancredo), then the likely outcome is that the worst possible result ensues. Before voting in an election can arrest our decline, the candidate has to be someone who is capable of attracting votes from people who, in a rational system, shouldn’t be voting at all. [LA replies: it can’t actually be said that I favored Tancredo during the run-up to the 2008 primaries because I said he was an enormous disappointment in that he ran on nothing except illegal immigration and his speeches were weak. I said that he had lost his way and that there was no point to his candidacy.]

It is unfortunate—MORE than unfortunate—that a person like Obama could have become President by media-driven voter identification with him. But that’s what happened.

In planning for 2012, if you believe that elections with universal franchise voting are legitimate, then you should consider the possibility that we should fight fire with fire, and nominate Palin, or somebody like her. One thing is for sure—her administration would not be filed to the brim with communists, perverts, and other enemies of the nation. [LA replies: there are no prospective candidates for 2012 whom I favor. Regarding the 2010 congressional elections, I have one position: I want the Republicans to win as many seats as possible and destroy the Democrats as much as possible, so as to discredit the Democrats utterly for what they have done and to turn back their legislative program, especially Obamacare. It’s not necessary for me to throw my principles to the wind and start oohing and aahing over Beck and Palin in order to favor that outcome.]

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Thucydides writes:

Glenn Beck may not be a man of philosophical depth or consistency, but he is meeting with considerable success in pursuing his goal of bringing about a moral reawakening. What kind of moral reawakening? The core of his message is that people should shoulder responsibility for their own lives, and not look to politics or to government for support. He has seen this work in his own life, and wants to bring this insight to others. No doubt the ideological overreaching of the Obama presidency and the economic stresses of the financial crisis are at the root of these popular developments, but Beck is providing a focal point for their expression. Perhaps with the Tea Party and Beck we are seeing signs of a new great awakening.

Our modern democracy has led to a general servility among the population that has replaced the older tradition of individual self-sufficiency that only looked to government to provide a framework of the rule of law for civil society, and did not see it as a vehicle to provide moral tutelage, a means of perfecting the human condition, or a device to live at others’ expense. If the demos is growing restless under the unjustified condescension of their self-anointed “betters,” so much the better.

Every society will have its elite; but as Schumpeter said, it is necessary to change it occasionally. Our left-liberal elites have long overreached and abused their position. Let us hope that Beck’s success with the rally heralds a growing public unwillingness to put up with business as usual. It is the movement that is important, much more so than its spokesmen.

MS writes:

Would you favour John Bolton if he was running for President?

LA replies:

It will never happen. The man’s a total stiff. He’s like an autistic, with no change in his facial expression.

There seems to be an implied expectation that I must favor someone for the presidency (Palin, Bolton), in order to demonstrate that I’m not negative about everyone. Look at VFR’s masthead. Endorsing presidential candidates is not among the site’s missions.

MS replies:

“The man’s a total stiff. He’s like an autistic, with no change in his facial expression.”

That was funny.

LA replies:

But isn’t it true?

MS replies:

Sad but true.

Paul K. writes:

Bolton needs to shave off that mustache. When your scalp hair still has color but your facial hair has turned snow white, time for a clean shave. He looks like Captain Kangaroo or one of those “Got milk?” ads.


James N. writes:

On my part, I have no expectations that you should favor anyone for President. I am certainly aware that endorsing candidates is not part of the mission of VFR.


You do engage from time to time in discussions of why this candidate or that candidate is unsatisfactory. Perhaps it’s your position that they are all unsatisfactory. If so, it would help your readers to understand that if you would say so.

And, if the only candidates that you would find satisfactory are unelectable, perhaps we shouldn’t be discussing elections at all. There are a number of excellent anti-democracy blogs now available—the whole idea of universal franchise elections to choose leaders really is quite a stretch.

I certainly agree with your position on the approaching elections. I can see November from my house.

LA replies:

I only meant I’m not under an obligation to endorse anyone. In 2008 I strongly pushed for Romney, as the best prospect in the field and only way to avoid the disaster of McCain.

I really don’t understand what your problem with me is.

LA writes:

CSPAN is now (Monday evening, 10 p.m. Eastern time) replaying the Beck rally. It’s a big sentimental event, filled with orchestrated sentimentality and lots of liberal rhetoric. Now Beck is speaking. He is a silly character and I don’t respect him and don’t take him seriously. If he helps rouse people more than they are already roused to vote against the Democrats, fine. Being anti-Democrat doesn’t require being pro-Beck. And I’m frankly tired of this expectation that I must support and endorse this silly man whom I don’t respect.

James N. replies to LA:

No problem with you. None at all.

LA replies:

Thank you. Then I’m off the hook. I’m not being told I must support someone whom I don’t support. (The last time I remember that happening was in 2008 when the Ron Paul supporters kept buzzing around my head for months, insisting that I MUST support him, even after I explained why I couldn’t stand him.)

Mark Jaws writes:
Subject: Mister Larry … You is baaaaad

I love when you enter into the realm of physically ranking on people of interest, as you did with Bolton. Lady Jaws and you have much in common.

Paul Henri writes from New Orleans:

You are appropriate in minimizing Beck and Palin.

As much as traditionalists rightly feel gratitude for Beck and Palin, why does Beck behave as a buffoon and Palin as a pastel? They are pseudo-evangelists, who lack the talent of televangelists. “Elmer Gantry,” the ideal televangelist, knew his stuff. But Beck and Palin have no intellectual foundation as is found at VFR or in Reagan’s policies. Beck cannot compose a coherent paragraph when speaking. Palin speaks in soft-boiled conservative platitudes, also without coherence.

Televangelists know the Bible, the intellectual foundation of Western Civilization since Christ. They did not study another fine major; they studied man’s relationship to Christ. They work an audience week in and week out. They do not waiver, because they have ancient ideas to quote.

Beck and Palin are not filled with ancient ideas as is Gingrich, who is capable of vivid coherence but lacking in follow through, statesmanlike backbone. Who knows what his ideas are?

LA writes:

I wrote several years ago that “Ground Zero in the suicide of America” was the mainstream, grassroots Christian conservatives, because they were the one group in America with the numbers and the political presence to save the country, yet at the same time they were more rigidly and moralistically “anti-racist,” and thus more pro-open borders, than any other group in America.

And now that troubling insight is brought to the fore again, with the Beck phenomenon. The country is wowed by this rise of a mass right-wing movement, this movement which many on the left call “racist.” Yet in reality what does this “right wing,” “racist” movement stand for? What is its highest calling? What is the object of its most passionate and insistent rhetoric? It is the fulfillment of multiracial America, where blacks and whites and Hispanics and everyone all get along and race doesn’t matter. Multiracial America is also called post-racial America. People who believe in post-racial America will automatically oppose any attempt to reduce mass Third-World, Mexican, and Muslim immigration into this country, because that would be “racist.” They will automatically reject any concern about preserving America as a racially and culturally recognizable country, as a basically European country, because, for them, the very proof of America’s virtue and greatness is that it is multiracial, and therefore the more multiracial America becomes, the greater and more virtuous it becomes, and therefore any opposition to that project is the essence of evil.

The more conservatives support Beck, the more conservatives will be committed to Beck’s nation-transforming ideal. The rise of Becks’s movement signals conservatives’ continuing surrender to and embrace of the Third-Worldization of the United States.

Commenters who think that there is some implied racial conservatism in the Beck followers that has the potential of emerging are, I fear, kidding themselves. Remember this axiom of politics: people’s explicit beliefs always end up trumping their implicit beliefs. If people explicitly embrace a multiracial ideal, then that is what they will stand for when push comes to shove. They will not stand for some implied position that they may feel but have never articulated.

August 31

Mark Jaws writes:

I disagree with you about Beck and the Restore Honor Rally. It is an important first step. I cannot speak for anyone else who was at that rally, but if you think those conservative whites are going to continue to look the other way after having flexed their political muscle, as the unassimilable segments of blacks and Hispanic America continue to pile up costs in welfare, education, crime, and other aspects of affirmative action, you are wrong. Just look at the Ground Zero Mosque. Look at Arizona.

I think we simply need to embrace and proclaim OUR VERSION of multicultural America, and not the PC the leftists have been cramming down our throats. We can indeed find the middle ground in which black and Hispanic racism and dysfunctionality are dealt with, and Islamic terror constrained, while at the same time welcoming into our fold those folks of the “Other” who truly want to live in peace and harmony. With such a vision, I can embrace the Mark Jaws Multicultural, Post Racial America, if it means (1) You have children only with your spouse; (2) You do not go on welfare, unless there is a bona fide emergency—and unwanted or unplanned pregnancy does not constitute an emergency; (3) You get no affirmative action; (4) No more Section 8 Housing or any breaks on your race. (5) Immigration based on the burden imposed by your predecessors. That is, we will allow immigration from those countries whose previous immigrants have not burdened our welfare system. This sounds far fetched today, but in a tightly constrained fiscal government and through incrementalism (see below) it can be done.

And let me review for you the Mark Jaws concept of Incrementalism. If blacks and their leftist white puppeteers could patiently wade through institutional obstacles emplaced by Jim Crow while winning one tactical victory after another, and thereby move from begging for truly “separate but equal” in the South of the 1930’s to demanding and getting white bashing multiculturalism a mere 40 to 50 years later, then we, the white majority, can chart a similiar course on an acclerated time scale. Today, we lament the breakdown of the black family, next week we tally the costs to society and the tax payers, next year we plan to abolish such an inhumane system.

There is an awakening out there, and if we have to pay tribute to “Post Racial America” while bringing back the Traditionalist America with a healthy dose of objective discrimination, and allowing the productive and assimilable segments of the “Other” to freely dwell among us, then that is OK by Mark Jaws.

Paul Nachman writes:

I hope Mark Jaws is correct. But in the spirit of informed pessimism, I offer this counterexample of the indomitable stupidity of the American voter: McCain won big over JD Hayworth in the Arizona primary for U.S. Senate, despite the huge popularity of the new Arizona law on illegal immigration. That people were snookered by $20 million in McCain ads compared to Hayworth’s $2 million proves to me that the average voter can, maybe, grasp that, e.g., 2 + 2 = 4, but can’t simultaneously grasp anything else.

Florida Republican primary voters had done a similar thing in 2008, favoring McCain over Romney by something like 33 percent to 31 percent (in a winner-take-all state), with many of them somehow convinced that McCain was strong on illegal immigration. But the recent Arizona primary is a much stronger case for voters’ stupidity, given the enormous contemporary news about SB1070.

LA replies:

Yes. And now let’s see how long it takes before McCain returns to his real position, i.e., opposing the Arizona law and supporting amnesty now. (However, I’ve acknowledged the possibility that his change this time was real, that he was so shocked by his 31 percent vote among Hispanics in 2008 after he gave them his all, that he decided to stop being their uber champion.)

Clark Coleman writes:

You wrote:

I wrote several years ago that “Ground Zero in the suicide of America” was the mainstream, grassroots Christian conservatives, because they were the one group in America with the numbers and the political presence to save the country, yet at the same time they were more rigidly and moralistically “anti-racist,” and thus more pro-open borders, than any other group in America.

Really? More anti-racist and pro-open borders than the mainline (i.e. liberal) Protestant denominations? More than the Jews? More than the secular academic liberal crowd? I don’t think they are even more so than the Catholics.

An accurate statement would be that conservative evangelical groups are disappointingly anti-racist, pro-open borders. The disappointment is relative to what we wish they were, not relative to other groups. I believe we discussed in a VFR thread, with actual poll numbers, the greater support for restricted immigration among conservative Christians than among any other group.

LA replies:

As I explained at the time, that was my perception, based on my contacts with conservative evangelical groups. Specifically, I talked about my experience at the Paul Weyrich “cultural separation” conference in 1999, where evangelicals—who are generally considered the most conservative group in American politics—went nuts against any idea of being in a coalition that consisted of, among other groups, people who were concerned about the ethnocultural impact of mass non-European immigration. Among the arguments heard were, “Would you turn back Jesus if he were at the border?” The fervor against even being in a coalition with immigration restrictionists (not having to support immigration restriction oneself, but just being in a coalition with people who supported it) was such that the cultural separation conference broke up over that one issue.

I also talked about my experience as a speaker at the 2002 National Policy Council conference where the very idea that mass Hispanic immigration was changing America in undesirable ways was automatically and instantly rejected because any notion of being concerned about the impact of an immigrant group based on its ethnicity, culture, or race was an absolute no-no. There I was, at the the triannual meeting of the foremost conservative umbrella group in the country, and the very notion of being concerned about non-European immigration changing America was alien and out of the question.

Again, consider the paradoxical nature of what I’m talking about here: that the “conservative” group that has the most numbers and organization and thus the most ability to turn the immigration issue around, turns out to be the most anti-racist and pro-open borders. My context here is not liberal mainline Protestants, but conservatives, indeed the group widely considered the most conservative group in the country.

I take your point that “the disappointment is relative to what we wish they were, not relative to other groups.” I also register your point that polls show “greater support for restricted immigration among conservative Christians than among any other group.” But I was talking about the actual people and groups I had encountered. And among those groups, the revulsion against any concern about the ethnocultural impact of immigration (which was not the subject of the poll you referenced) was total.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 30, 2010 08:58 PM | Send

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