One of the saddest spectacles this election season has been the Trump-induced transmogrification of Kevin Williamson from an insightful columnist into a dishonest hack. I’ve read Williamson for years, met him once, and generally have never failed to learn something from his articles. He is an excellent writer with a gift for conveying complex economic concepts in clear and simple prose.
As is the case with Jim Geraghty, the Trump phenomenon seems to have shaken something loose in him, to the point where his latest article in his most embarrassing yet. It is not enough to say that it is beneath his usual standards – it is indeed beneath contempt.
In Resentment Republicans Have Their Day, Williamson claims the Trump phenomenon has revealed a fissure in the GOP between Aspiration Republicans and Resentment Republicans. The Aspiration Republicans are those good Republicans like Reagan, Buckley and, of course Williamson himself, who champion limited government, the founding principles, baseball, apple pie and sunshiney unicorns. The Resentment Republicans, who have hearts of darkness (his phrase), are barely literate unreconstructed racists fixated on welfare, foreign aid, and spewing ethnic stereotypes.
Extrapolating from the polls, it would seem that Aspiration Republicans and Resentment Republicans are about evenly split. Which is to say, Kevin Williamson thinks about half of the GOP is comprised of nascent Nazis. He sounds like he’s been reading Mother Jones – maybe he’ll be writing there soon.
Equally disappointing as Williamson’s dishonest caricature of Trump supporters is his refusal to address the legitimate grievances of those supporters. Rather, he strikes a faux “speaking truth to power” pose in which he recasts those grievances into a form he is happy to answer, though which bears no resemblance to any position any reasonable person actually holds. As a public service, I thought I would assist Mr. Williamson by agreeing with him on those bold statements he is comfortable making:
1. People Should Not Hate Other People Based on the Color of Their Skin. Agreed.
2. People Should Not Take Meth or Engage in Other Self-Destructive Behavior. Agreed.
3. People Who Live in Areas With No Good Jobs Should Move Where Good Jobs Are. Agreed.
4. Donald Trump Is a Vulgar Buffoon, Lifelong Liberal, . . . (Numerous Insults Continue). Agreed. (I am a Cruz guy myself.)
There. Feel better? Straw arguments comfortably slain?
Now, about those pesky issues the Trump phenomenon actually does raise, but which Williamson would on pain of death refuse to address:
1. Should it be the official policy of the U.S. government to encourage mass immigration (legal and illegal) of unskilled migrants?
2. Should it be the official policy of the U.S. government to encourage mass non-white immigration (legal and illegal) with the express goal of making whites a minority in the U.S.? U.S. immigration policy does indeed actively discriminate against whites; this is not paranoia or hyperbole, it is fact. The “demographic transformation” underway in the U.S. is not a naturally occurring event, it is deliberate government policy.
3. Should whites object to being second-class citizens under the law? It is in fact legal to actively discriminate against whites in university admissions, government contracting and employment. This is not paranoia or hyperbole, it is objectively verifiable fact.
4. Can reasonable, non-racist whites be concerned about the wisdom of these three policies, or does harboring any such concerns make one ipso facto a racist?
Inquiring minds would like to know, but you will be waiting a long time (see, e.g., eternity) before Williamson or any of his NR colleagues will provide an answer. I can understand their refusal: these are unpleasant issues with no easy answers. Endorse the demographic transformation of the U.S. and lose much of your white support; oppose it and you’re a card-carrying Klansman. Far better to evade, obfuscate, and reformulate the hard questions into cartoon versions that can be answered.
Which is to say, I understand the dodge, the weaseling, the cowardice. Occasionally that’s the best way to advance your goals. But please spare me the sanctimonious contempt for those too unsophisticated to lie.