Why American Renaissance?

While Kenneth Vogel’s extraordinary article at Politico has cleared up much of the mystery of “Memogate,” there is an aspect of the affair that has not been clarified sufficiently. Namely, why all this fuss about American Renaissance, a small, marginal publication which (much like VFR) proposes ideas about race and immigration that are anathema to the mainstream conservative movement and the tea parties, and well-nigh invisible in mainstream American politics? Why did the liberal media pick up so eagerly on the DHS’s supposed “strong suspicion” that Jared Lee Loughner was “linked” with AR, which, according to the memo, wanted to harm Rep. Giffords because she is the highest ranking Jewish female politician in U.S. history? In short, if American Renaissance were indeed responsible for the Tucson attack, how would that help the MSM and the left in their campaign to demonize Republicans and tea partiers?

The incredible answer is that, in the minds of the left, not only was Loughner “linked” with AR, but AR itself is “linked” with the conservative movement, the tea parties, and the Republican Party. As the left saw it, to demonstrate AR’s complicity in the mass murder was to demonstrate mainstream conservatives’ complicity in the mass murder. In reality, of course, AR, with its race conscious, white-nationalist philosophy and its belief in the reality and importance of race differences, has nothing to do with mainstream conservatism, and mainstream conservatism has nothing to do with AR; indeed, mainstream conservatives, not to mention the tea partiers, barely know of AR’s existence. But these obvious facts are beyond the comprehension of the left. They actually believed that the putative link between the mass murderer and his putative mastermind, AR editor Jared Taylor, demonstrated the guilt of the entire conservative movement. And the reason they believed such an absurd thing is that, in their view, mainstream conservatives and tea partiers are as “racist” as Jared Taylor himself. Let us recall the remarkable fact that significant portions of the left think that the tea partiers are racist simply for opposing Obamacare. They are also convinced that Sarah Palin is a racist, even though she’s never said anything about race. Very simply, the left sees the right as one undifferentiated mass of evil. Therefore if AR was behind the mass murder, tea partiers and Republicans were behind the mass murder as well. And that’s the reason why American Renaissance has been the focus of this tempest in a tea cup for the last three days.

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Gintas writes:

It’s hard for me to picture AR being important enough to be singled out like this. The vast majority of readers would go, “American Renaissance? Huh?” I saw someone suggest that someone sympathetic to AR at FOX or DHS cobbled the connection together to put AR in the spotlight. Any publicity is good publicity for fringe outfits like AR. Do you not think that if FOX highlighted VFR a large number of hits would be generated, and surely a few would be interested in what they see?

January 12

E. in Florida writes:

Thanks for staying on top of this. Your analysis is, of course, correct. I tell my friends that I’m “arch right wing” and they invariably say, “You voted for Bush?”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 12, 2011 12:00 AM | Send

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