Hey, great news for white racialists and anti-Semites!— Yoram Hazony (@yhazony) February 10, 2020
Now you have *your own conference*!
You can see all your favorites at the “America First Political Action Conference.”
And you can stop complaining about why you weren’t welcome at the National Conservatism Conference! https://t.co/JTo6XZLme3
If you are dumb enough to believe that Donald Trump and National Conservatism have brought about the end of the Reagan and Thatcher era, I don’t know what to tell you. The Trump administration has only doubled down on neoliberalism.
“In an Italian hotel ballroom of spectacular opulence—on red velvet chairs, beneath glittering crystal chandeliers and a stained-glass ceiling—the conservative movement that once inspired people across Europe, built bridges across the Iron Curtain and helped to win the Cold War came, finally, to an end.
The occasion was a conference in Rome last week called “God, Honor, Country: President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and the Freedom of Nations.” Inspired by the Israeli writer Yoram Hazony, convened under the banner of “National Conservatism,” this event was co-organized by Chris DeMuth, a former president of the American Enterprise Institute (in the era when it supported global capitalism and the Iraq War) and John O’Sullivan, a former speechwriter for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. O’Sullivan now runs the Danube Institute, which is funded, via a foundation, by the Hungarian government. The conference itself was funded, according to DeMuth, by an anonymous American donor. This was the successor to the National Conservatism Conference held in Washington, D.C., last year. That occasion featured a strange agglomeration of new and old conservatives, including both John Bolton and Tucker Carlson, people who still talk hopefully about shrinking the state and those who want to enlarge it, people still jockeying to be relevant and people full of confidence that they now are. …”
A word salad.
Here are a few reasons to be skeptical:
1.) The Tories have wanted out of the EU for decades in order to transform Britain into a free trade utopia. The White working class in Britain also wanted out of the EU, but for entirely different reasons. Boris Johnson wants to bring in more African immigrants to Britain. Now that BREXIT is over, there is no reason for this coalition to continue to exist.
2.) Donald Trump lied about all his “nationalist” and “populist” positions in the 2016 campaign to attract swing voters. He ran as the “law-and-order” candidate who supported a nationwide stop-and-frisk policy. Today, he is boasting about how he delivered criminal justice reform as president. He literally ran on one thing to win the 2016 election and delivered the exact opposite.
3.) Donald Trump’s signature legislative accomplishment as president is cutting the corporate tax rate. He has renegotiated and rebranded our existing free trade deals. He boasts at his rallies about the success of his deregulation agenda. The budgets he releases propose cuts to entitlement programs. There is no substantial difference between Donald Trump and his neoliberal predecessors stretching back to Reagan. They have all consistently pushed tax cuts, deregulation, entitlement cuts and free trade. The only difference is the manner in which they have pitched it to voters. Trump rails against illegal immigration, free trade and cultural decline to harness and exploit the public’s anger about those issues while doing nothing about any of it in office. The Left goes along with it to incite their voters against the boogeyman.
4.) Donald Trump boasts about his military build up. How is squandering billions of dollars on the military, increasing the number of troops in the Middle East and remaining mired in the “forever wars” in the Middle East any different from Ronald Reagan or the Bushes?
5.) Donald Trump has given Israel virtually everything it has asked of the United States for the past fifty years. Trump has only been more intensely Zionist than Ronald Reagan or the Bushes.
6.) As for the culture wars, Donald Trump’s great accomplishments on that front are presiding over the mainstreaming of homosexuality on the Right, the intensification of political correctness and his supporters being wiped out by Big Tech censorship.
7.) Donald Trump said all kinds of things about immigration in the 2016 election to get elected and delivered on virtually none of it. There was never a Deportation Force. He failed to build the wall. He actually increased the caps on all guest worker programs. He is now running on INCREASING immigration and giving an amnesty to the DREAMers (!!!)
What do you call this peculiar combination of tax cuts, deregulation, free trade, increases in military spending and troop deployments to the Middle East, cultural decay, cuts in entitlement programs, spending a whole year on “fighting anti-Semitism,” giving Israel everything it wants, increasing guest worker programs and more legal and illegal immigration? If that is the new “nationalism” and “populism,” it is a meaningless distinction without a difference.
Aside from calling itself “National Conservatism” instead of mainstream conservatism, the only difference on display at this conference is that Yoram Hazony made a point to include prominent rightwing homosexuals and give them a platform. This version of conservatism is more virulently Zionist than previous versions. It isn’t as veiled either in the sense that Israelis are defining “American Nationalism.” Otherwise, it is a ring of the same conservative elites from Rich Lowry to John Bolton who have run this country into the ground for the past half century.
If the choice in 2020 is Bernie Sanders or this crowd, I would rather take my chances on Sanders. I think President Bernie Sanders would have a more transformative impact on the Right than these people. Nothing will change on the Right until there is a serious threat to their money. Go after the money of the Republican donor class and start confiscating their mega yachts.
Note: I’m not going to vote for or support Bernie Sanders. I will be damned though if I am going to support “National Conservatism.”