Opinion: National Review Misses the Point Again – Gregory Hood

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National Review published a statement about “America’s Crisis of Self-Doubt.” The magazine says the signers are speaking for only for themselves, but movement conservatism’s flagship magazine published it. The statement grandly declares that the signers are “devotees of America,” but fails to say what America is and who built it. It’s an uncertain trumpet rather than a call to battle. The signers want us to defend liberalism from itself.

Considering some of them, such as John PodhoretzErick Erickson, and Dan Crenshaw, this isn’t surprising. However, if figures including John O’Sullivan and Charles Murray thought this was worthy of support, we should take it seriously.

Erick Erickson (Credit Image: Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia)

The statement says that the “American project is under assault,” a bizarre way to view one’s country. A real nation is not a “project.” A real nation is blood and history.

The signers write:

Our history is the subject of a revisionist critique that is all-encompassing, unsparing, and very often flatly inaccurate. Our traditional heroes are under threat of being run out of the national pantheon. Our institutions, from elections to the job market to law enforcement, stand accused of perpetuating a systemic racism that is impossible to eradicate. Our educational system, from kindergarten through graduate school, is increasingly a forum for crude propagandizing. Our system of government is attacked as archaic, unfair, and racially biased. Our traditional values of fair play, free speech, and religious liberty are trampled by inflamed ideologues determined to impose their will by force and fear.

Whose history is “our” history? Which people’s “traditional heroes” are being attacked? Who built “our institutions?” The words “white,” “West,” and “Europe,” never appear.

The authors are probably referring to the 1619 Project when they talk about distortions to American history, but the iconoclasm unleashed after George Floyd’s death didn’t just happen. Decades of academic and media incitement against whites and their history paved the way. National Review’s attempt in 2020 to get a separate peace for the Founding Fathers while letting Confederate heroes be toppled failed. Now, the signers are trying to set up another defensive line. Leftists will overrun this one, too.

The statement fails for three reasons. First, it says America is “fundamentally fair,” conceding the ground that America must be justified on the grounds of “fairness.” Second, it says that America’s “original sins” have been “honorably, if belatedly repudiated.” This concedes that America had “original sins” to apologize for. Finally, it says America became “wealthy and powerful primarily through its own internal strengths, not via expropriation and conquest.” Almost every nation is the result of conquest. These are conservatives begging leftists to allow America to continue because it is liberal.

Claiming that America is “fundamentally fair” doesn’t satisfy leftists who want reasons for racial gaps in wealth, education, and crime rates. Charles Murray is one of the signers of this document. He knows the reasons, and it’s a shame he didn’t explain it to his co-signers.

Charles Murray at the Milken Institute Global Conference held Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at the Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Credit Image: © Javier Rojas / Prensa Internacional / ZUMAPRESS.com)

You can’t explain racial gaps without considering biological realities. If the American conservative movement won’t go that far, it will lose every debate about fairness. Unless you are willing to discuss racial differences, you can’t answer progressives who claim that systemic racism explains all differences.

If the sole explanation for racial differences is white racism, practically unlimited government action is justified to achieve equality. Ibram Kendi’s proposed Anti-Racist Constitutional Amendment may sound crazy, but it’s the logical conclusion of “colorblind” thought, not just modern Critical Race Theory. Conservatives and libertarians may not be comfortable talking about this, but they are going to have to get used to it.

Trying to fit American history into modern, progressive morality is a fool’s errand. White Americans don’t need to apologize for our history. There is no American history without us. There is no America without us.

The non-white group with the most historically rooted claim to American identity (as opposed to an indigenous identity), black American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS), were not considered part of the original American nation. The Founders were racially aware and thought they were creating a white nation. America’s first immigration law, the 1790 United States Naturalization Law, limited citizenship to “free white person[s]” of “good character.” Citing this law and the 1792 militia law that required enrollment in the militia for every “free able-bodied white male citizen,” Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled that blacks were not and were never intended to be part of “the people of the United States.”

ADOS have a claim to being Americans, but America would be better off if they had never come. America would be less divided without blacks, and most of America’s early leaders knew this. That’s why they formed the American Colonization Society. Many Americans may be uncomfortable with this, but refusing to accept it, defend it, and consider its consequences cedes the ground to progressives.

People such as Nikole Hannah-Jones may have specific facts about American history wrong but Critical Race Theorists and progressive historians understand a larger truth: America was made by and for whites. One could argue that being American now doesn’t necessitate being white, but that wasn’t true for most of American history. Samuel Huntington, probably the greatest political scientist of the last century, argued in Who Are We? that until recently, America’s core ethnic identity didn’t even extend beyond Anglo-Saxon Protestantism.

Nikole Hannah-Jones (Credit Image: © Beowulf Sheehan / ZUMA Wire)

For most of American history, our country’s triumphs were white triumphs. Blacks, Mexicans, or American Indians can’t be expected to celebrate historic American victories over blacks, Mexicans, and Indians. Most blacks, quite reasonably, won’t think slavery has been “honorably, if belatedly repudiated” until every monument to every slaveholder (including George Washington) comes down, American identity is fundamentally redefined, and reparations are paid. Even if whites surrender and do all these things, whites will continue to outperform blacks. If we can’t discuss racial differences, we’ll be eternally paying off non-whites for our invented sins. Racism’s definition will keep changing to justify new allocations of wealth and power.

The signers are right that Americans built their wealth and power rather than stealing it from others. The greatest wound we ever inflicted on ourselves was the War Between the States, a consequence of the presence of blacks in this country. However, again, progressive historians are closer to the mark when they argue that the very existence of the United States is an act of conquest.

Our ancestors were conquerors, pioneers, and explorers. The relationship between whites and Indians was complicated and there were many Indian nations, not a monolithic whole. Nonetheless, whites took a continent that was once the exclusive preserve of American Indians. Our national and racial identity was birthed in blood when white settlers defied American Indians’ attempt to drive us off. We should honor our heritage as a conquering, victorious people, rather than apologizing for it or denying it.

The signers are right that there is a cultural offensive against American patriotism, history and identity. However, they offer no solution. The statement says we must rely on the “common sense and decency of the American people.” Who are the American people? If anyone who wanders across the border is an “American,” free speech will die because non-whites don’t want it. If white Americans are replaced in the only country we have, our institutions and cultural norms the signers claim to value will die. This is so obvious it’s almost embarrassing to argue it, yet that’s more than the signers can do. They never mention immigration.

Do Americans still have “common sense and decency?” Debates about transgender education in elementary schools would have horrified almost all Americans just a decade ago. However, we’ve learned that moral principles can be changed very quickly following concerted media campaigns. To build a movement on ever-shifting values is to build a castle on sand.

October 29, 2018 – New York City – Hundreds of New York’s transgender community rallied in downtown Manhattan  to condemn the leaked Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo that seeks to redefine sex in federal law as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth. (Credit Image: © G. Ronald Lopez / ZUMA Wire)

The signers appeal to “voluntary associations” and “churches” to check “edicts from Washington.” However, the Civil Rights Act gives the federal government the power to disrupt or destroy those associations if they don’t accept racial orthodoxy. The statement’s references to the “rule of law, federalism, and the protections of the U.S. Constitution” seem fanciful. These things shatter if they conflict with civil rights law or complaints about disparate impact. An increasingly non-white population, trained in claims of victimization, guarantees such conflicts will occur more often.

“[T]here is no substitute for the hard work of public persuasion,” says the statement. In the face of censorship on social media and the economic threats faced by political dissidents, one wonders if this isn’t a cynical joke. “Public persuasion” means little in a rigged marketplace of ideas. For public persuasion to work, conservatives would need to buy Alphabet, Twitter, Meta Platforms, and TikTok and take over the education system. How exactly is “public persuasion” going to work when the mainstream media works with far-left radicals to deplatform dissidents?

National Review purged figures such as Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire, and Robert Weissberg for opinions far more moderate than the ones William F. Buckley held when he started the magazine. The conservative movement’s history is defined by purges that maintain a weak, submissive, phony opposition to America’s constant leftward, anti-white drift. We’re in this mess largely because the conservative movement stabbed its best writers in the back.

The signers vow to defy the “illiberalism ascendant on college campuses and elsewhere” and the “rampaging anti-Americanism of our elite culture.” One could argue that liberalism, “classical” or otherwise, put us in this situation and shouldn’t be defended. However, I am a free speech absolutist for political questions. I would join the signers in this fight, but they offer no weapons.

Instead, they presume to lecture “those on the right [who] have become disenchanted with the American project and are prepared to quit on it on grounds that it is already lost or hopelessly corrupted.” White patriots didn’t quit on America. America quit on whites. The Biden Administration, against all evidence, says we are the greatest threat. We are under no moral obligation to prop up a “project” when that project seems to delight in replacing us and insulting us.

Until racial preferences against whites are ended, immigration laws enforced, and the unconstitutional Civil Rights Act of 1964 repealed, we owe no moral fealty to our rulers. We should instead regard them as occupiers. I will nevertheless join the signers in saying that I am thankful for America. I am thankful because we have slightly more freedom to organize than most of our European kin elsewhere. That may not last long. When demographics shift far enough, it will be gone.

A majority non-white America has no use for the tattered scraps of law and symbolism that the signers are desperately trying to use as a flag. Instead of propping up what is falling, we should push. Before we can try to save America, we must save ourselves.

Perhaps such rhetoric makes me a “white nationalist.” If so, I join a group that would include the Founding Fathers, those who conquered the West, the soldiers of almost every American army and most Americans until just a few decades ago. If the NR signers’ America has no place for white advocates, it has no place for those who founded this country. Whatever the failings of leftist historians, they understand this better than American conservatives.

The signers are right to say there is a crisis of self-doubt, but it’s not the one they describe. Whites are ashamed of who they are. Our rulers have told us this must be so. White advocates tell whites to resist. When enough of us do resist, America’s identity crisis will fade and we can retake what is ours.

At this late stage, it’s hard to believe movement conservatives don’t see that, but maybe they would rather lose everything they claim to love rather than talk about race. I call that cowardice.

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3 thoughts on “Opinion: National Review Misses the Point Again – Gregory Hood”

  1. The August 2015 National Review was totally dedicated to “Against Trump”. As a 15 year subscriber I mailed my copy with a strong cover letter to the publisher in New York City and cancelled my subscription. This essay on today’s National Review shows the further appeasement of the leftist – socialist – Marxist movement of the past 100 years. Communism came to America in the 1920’s and located in Chicago, New York City and San Francisco working there way into labor unions and all areas of influence; most especially; the federal government. Efforts to remove Communists from the State Department in 1953 with FBI detailed records by Senator McCarthy were rebuffed by President Truman and Democrat leadership of congress.
    Fast forward to today and we see the destruction of education, media and the constitutional rule of law in near shambles. Only the replacement of these anti constitutional rules and regulations will begin the recovery of our republic. It begins with a replacement of elected officials of both parties who are ignoring our constitution and what it truly represents to all good Americans.

    1. George Hotchkiss

      FYI, it is not illegal to be a communist. FYI, the U.S. will never be a communist state. FYI, McCarthy was a monster who ruined many innocent people’s lives. FYI, there is no communist movement in U.S. schools. FYI, the constitutional rule of law is alive and well. FYI, the National Review is in no way Marxist. Mr. Steele, you really need to get out more. Have a great day!

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