I’m really looking forward to receiving this book. I posted this link some weeks ago, but if you missed it, it’s a great piece. A response to NR’s hack job of a ‘review’ of this book.
Stevens also has an op-ed in the USA Today:
Not Donald Trump. It’s clear his instinct is to make the 2020 election a cultural war, which in his interpretation is just a socially acceptable term for a race war. Why? How does this make any political sense?
The answer is that it doesn’t but it is what Trump wants to do. Steve Bannon liked to say of Trump, “Dude, he’s Archie Bunker,” but that seems overly generous. Archie had Meathead, who strongly disagreed with him and would argue. Trump has his children and son-in-law, who serve the same purpose in a Trump administration as the devoted Waylon Smithers does for his boss in “The Simpsons.”
There is a need in Trump world to describe his erratic behavior and lack of discipline as some kind of brilliant hidden strategy because otherwise you are left with the conclusion that he is a blithering idiot. Which, of course, Trump is, but he’s an idiot with deep racial animosity that dates back decades. Now with his reelection campaign crumbling around him, Trump is lashing out trying to divide the country along racial lines.
Holy cow. Anyone who tries to defend Buckley’s role in conservatism and the GOP needs to also explain this, written and published by Buckley as an editorial in the National Review in 1957:
The central question that emerges is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically?
The sobering answer is Yes — the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the median cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists. The question, as far as the White community is concerned, is whether the claims of civilization supersede those of universal suffrage. The British believe they do, and acted accordingly, in Kenya, where the choice was dramatically one between civilization and barbarism, and elsewhere; the South, where the conflict is by no means dramatic, as in Kenya, nevertheless perceives important qualitative differences between its culture and the Negroes’, and intends to assert its own. NATIONAL REVIEW believes that the South’s premises are correct. If the majority wills what is socially atavistic, then to thwart the majority may be, though undemocratic, enlightened. It is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority.
Sometimes it becomes impossible to assert the will of a minority, in which case it must give way, and the society will regress; sometimes the numerical minority cannot prevail except by violence: then it must determine whether the prevalence of its will is worth the terrible price of violence.
Thank you for reposting that. @gruntled is right: Holy cow indeed.
Yeah, I had no idea Buckley had ever written anything like that. I knew he was conservative but I always assumed he was fair-minded. He out and out says blacks are inferior and that justifies disenfranchising them and using violence against them to keep them in their place. Buckley might as well have been a grand wizard of the KKK.
Hence why anyone surprised at Trump being the standard-bearer for the conservative party has always gotten an eyeroll from me.
Buckley did moderate his view on race in later years, but it is demonstrably true that National Review was founded in racism.
It’d be cool if politics today actually involved two smart people debating things at length.
…and one of them a racist! Totally cool.
This is such a weird tactic. Nancy Pelosi is not going to get voted out. So what’s the point of these fake videos?
Dunno. The stimulus bill is being hashed out, maybe related to that? Or the “look at who Biden surrounds himself with” messaging they’re going to be doing this week? Or just the usual troglodytes really having an issue with women in positions of authority.
David Corn talks to Stuart Stevens.
Now that I think of it, the answer is probably the simplest: it’s about making money off clicks. Some room full of kids in Eastern Europe is probably just churning this stuff out for AdSense dollars.
10 confessions of a former strategist - you won’t believe #7!
(Sorry, the piece may be great but that tweet is the most cliche form of clickbait)
Nothing we haven’t discussed here many times, but I do like hearing this acknowledgement from people that have been lifelong members of the GOP.
The book offers one overarching prescription for the GOP: “Burn it to the ground and start over.”
Now there’s a Never Trumper recommendation I can get behind.
This is totally true, but it’s important to note that Buckley DID in fact evolve quite a lot, from his positions in the 1950’s (which I suspect is why he specifically describes him as a stone cold racist in the 50’s). You can read about them here, if you are so inclined:
It gives a pretty good breakdown of the source of Buckley’s racism (I would suggest that in the 1950’s, pretty much every white person in America was likely pretty damn racist) and how it changed over the years and why.
I think Buckley was an ACTUAL intellectual, who actually cared about ideas and things, something which the GOP itself has clearly abandoned long ago.
I know he evolved, but the seeds of the modern GOP were planted there and it’s remained true of the party, even if his own views moderated.
While I think that’s true, it’s also important to note that even at places like the National Review, which started with racist stuff, did eventually EXPLICITLY reject a lot of that bigotry. But of course, this was an ideological piece, not the GOP party itself.
I think the MJ piece gets it right, in that the modern GOP seemingly had no real ideology or principles at all. Not that none of its members did… Stevens himself would be an example, presumably, of someone who was part of that machine without realizing that it didn’t actually stand for anything he believed. I think a lot of the never trumpers fall into this category, including myself. It’s also part of why we have such deep animosity towards the modern GOP at this point, because it’s not just a piece of shit party, but it’s also a betrayal of what they told us.
In retrospect, I think you can see this starting up with Nixon and the Southern Strategy. Nixon was one of the strongest Republican supporters of civil rights in the early days of the movement… but then essentially abandoned all of that in favor of political expediency. And at this point, with the modern incarnation culminating in Trump, it shows that the same goes for literally any policy. Free trade? Fuck that noise. Fiscal responsibility? That’s for low energy losers. Basic fucking literacy and intellectualism? That’s for the globalist elite!
The GOP stands for literally nothing. It pretended to stand for things, but it was just a show. Its leadership is fundamentally corrupt at this point.