The return of the original young American conservative magazine
By Kevin DeAnna
Conservatism has failed.
As young men and women of the right, we must look uncomfortably to the world we inherit. We have grown up in a country that is moving radically left, even as nominal conservatives have won great electoral triumphs. We have seen our faith driven from the public square, our heroes torn down from places of honor, our history denigrated and our culture attacked. We have been indoctrinated since birth by an absurd menagerie of teachers, professors, diversity consultants and sensitivity trainers who tell us that truth is offensive, pride in ourselves is hateful and true freedom means submission to the hacks and charlatans in positions of authority. We have seen the power of a hostile government grow daily, as it robs us of traditional liberties, plunders hard earned wealth and is uninterested in the welfare or even continued existence of the American people. We have not seen any effective resistance to these trends even in what historians tell us is a period of conservative ascendancy in American political history.
Despite the optimism that is integral to the American character, it is impossible to avoid a feeling of foreboding. We sense, even if we are unwilling to admit it, that the best days of the West are over, and we are coming of age at the bitter end. We secretly fear that we are fighting a losing struggle, and that the best we can hope for is to stem the tide, if only for the moment.
Mainstream conservative publications discuss the twilight of our civilization with the same nonchalance as the rate of the capital gains tax. The obsession with the minutiae of party politics conceals the hard truth that the political process has failed. We moved farther from all of the principles we claim to fight for during a time of supposed conservative control of every branch of the federal government. It is hard not to question why we should bother to try again. The best that can be argued is that we have saved America from worse alternatives. Unless the purpose of our so-called movement is to manage decline, losing in slow motion is still losing. Changing course is necessary if we are not to be simply wasting our time.
We call for a new movement, populist in orientation, original and rigorous in its intellectual dedication and young and revolutionary in character. The articles in these pages will challenge the failed approaches of the past, expose the crisis of the age and suggest real alternatives. We will focus on the real centers of power in our society: the universities, the culture, the local communities and the battles for the hearts and minds of our generation. We will fight for the vision of a restored republic and a proud Western people rather than a failed reactionary opposition. We will be the organizers, intellectuals and activists of a New Right that will take back our future. We do not want to be the next generation of political hacks in Washington. We will be the first generation of heroes that reclaimed the birthright of liberty we have been denied.
Recognition of our dire situation has been too often delayed by shallow triumphalism. There is much chest thumping about being the “sole superpower,” the leader of the free world and the model for all other countries to follow. This is combined with a tired narrative about the glorious rise of the conservative movement, from the fabled lost cause of Goldwater to the golden age of Reagan. The Right has been making the same case to the American people since the 1968 Nixon campaign. We claim that the Radical Left is an out of touch, unpatriotic elite that does not represent “real” American values. This charge is still true. It has been sufficient to win an occasional election, maybe even this one. However, this strategy is premised upon the continued existence of the Silent Majority. A people cannot avoid perishing without a vision and without defenders. There is a sense that perhaps this year the script will not work and that there are finally more of them than us. The loss of the conservative majority in both government and society happened because the conservative movement let it, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
A real movement does not simply adjust to the whims of public opinion in order to seek electoral viability but seeks to change the direction of the culture. The New Left and the conservative movement in the 1960s pursued two very different strategies. Conservatives went into government and limited their ambitions to controlling the state. The New Left went into the universities and the media and shaped the culture. It is their culture we live in. Government can change every November; cultural changes take generations. Rather than continuing to pay tribute to our purported success because we have the opportunity for middling jobs in Washington DC and occasional handshakes with senators, we must admit that we traded access for real power. We have become accomplices to a system that is attacking the things we claim to stand for.
No longer. Youth is a time for idealism, heroism and, dare we say it, radicalism. It is no time for resume building, compromise or careerism. Revolutions are not made, movements are not sustained and nations are not saved by selling out or settling for the status quo. It could perhaps be understood if such a betrayal came with benefits such as high salaries, social prestige or some kind of notoriety to brag about at the high school reunion. American conservatives, despite their mythic quest for respectability, are openly despised by the establishment they seek to flatter. Let us accept that it is simply not worth it – and resolve to build a new world through a new movement.
This magazine will not urge people not to work for John McCain or other assumed “center-right” politicians of the Republican Party. We do not intend to ignore the political process. However, we believe that no electoral victory, no matter how overwhelming, will be enough to stop what is happening to our country. We suggest that the McCain nomination proves that an approach that is limited to partisan maneuvering within the confines of the two party system will never produce positive results. We need to take back our culture, our schools and our communities rather than pouring our efforts into a political class that has betrayed us far too many times.
We come out of the conservative movement and identify with the conservative tradition. We suggest that the failures of “the movement” may derive from insufficient attention to the true roots of that tradition and we will redeem it. The mistaken, simplistic assumption that Burkean conservatism constitutes aristocratic detachment or adherence to “gradual change” is at best irrelevant and at worst harmful in effectively dealing with the existing political situation. American political, financial and cultural elites are the preeminent force behind leftism today, with a beleaguered middle class and struggling working class the best hope of resistance. This country does not have a landed, traditionalist aristocracy committed to the preservation of the best of the national tradition but a deracinated and gluttonous class openly contemptuous of the people to which we belong. Edmund Burke had something to conserve. By and large, we don’t. We do not reject the conservative label, but we think it is insufficient. We are more than that – we are a movement of the Right and of the West.
This is the New Right. This is New Guard.
1:08 AM | | 3 Comments
The story of the resignation of William & Mary’s president Gene Nichol and how to expose and ruin your campus’s radical leftists
By Joe Luppino-Esposito
When people hear that I was part of the group that put pressure on our university president and forced him to resign, the first thing they ask is, “How did you do that?” There is certainly no simple answer to this. For all of us at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, it was a perfect storm of sorts. It is unlikely that any school will ever again have a headline of “Cross removed from chapel,” or at least not anytime soon.
It was late October 2006 when the William and Mary community first learned that then-President Nichol had ordered the two-foot brass cross that had been sitting on the altar of the College’s historic Wren Chapel for 70 years to be removed from display. The reason was to make the 300 year old chapel a “less faith-specific space” and “welcoming to all.” Prior to this ruling, the cross was on the altar unless an individual or group requested it to be removed. Naturally, our liberal, school-sponsored paper ran the story in a news brief, not seeing the significance of declaring a religious symbol to be offensive. Meanwhile, the newspaper I co-founded, The Virginia Informer, ran the story as a front-page headline.
Privately, not in the capacity of the paper, I began to get organized. Vince Haley, an alumnus, contacted me, as I was Chair of the William and Mary College Republicans, and hoped that I would be interested. From there, I got together with several other students and Vince and we created SaveTheWrenCross.org. The site prominently featured a petition to request a return to the old policy and also had links to news articles and blog posts. Vince started making the rounds on cable news, and it was clear the story would not die.
We e-mailed thousands of alumni to alert them to the situation, and many sent letters to the editor of their local newspapers and wrote to their elected officials, as William and Mary is a public institution. Some of the more committed alumni wrote messages asking how to help even more. Eventually, the group became a consistent digital forum for discussing strategies and ideas.
As time went on, Nichol could not help but trip himself up. His attempt at compromise, to display the cross on Sundays, failed miserably. He then ducked a debate hosted by The Informer in which he was to cross verbal swords with Dinesh D’Souza. Soon thereafter he concocted a new tradition, the “State of the College Address,” in which he made his failing policies seem rosy. He also commissioned a “Committee on Religion in Public University” that would determine the fate of the cross.
In early February 2007, the College announced it had reached its $500 million, seven-year fundraising goal. But later in the month, it was revealed that a major donor revoked a $12 million pledge, pulling the campaign back under its goal.
In mid-February, the Sex Workers Art Show came to campus. The show, which featured strippers and former prostitutes, was funded by student fees. Nichol told the local newspaper that, “It’s not the practice and province of universities to censor or cancel performances because they are controversial.” The irony of the statement, that strippers are okay, religion is not, was not lost on many, as Bill O’Reilly’s producers soon found their way down to Williamsburg and confronted Nichol as he left his home early one morning, with cameras rolling.
Not surprisingly, as if by divine intervention, the committee came to a decision the next day: when O’Reilly’s segment was set to air. Now the cross would remain to the side, in a glass case, with a plaque commemorating the chapel’s Anglican heritage.
Following the settlement of the cross issue, it became clear to many that the problem was not so much the policy as the person. Many alumni and students got together once again to form ShouldNicholBeRenewed.org. This group was questioning the wisdom of renewing Nichol’s contract after June 2008, not only because of the Wren Cross decision, but for many other shortcomings as a manager, head fundraiser and face of the institution.
In the fall of 2007, the College’s Board announced that Nichol would be publicly reviewed through a process of e-mails and other feedback from the community. While this review was underway, The Informer learned that the donor had revoked his pledge in December 2006, meaning that Nichol was aware the fund was $12 million short when he announced the fundraising goal had been reached in February 2007.
Finally, on February 12 of this year, Nichol sent a bitter e-mail to the entire College community stating that he was informed that his contract would not be renewed and that he was resigning immediately. This was, of course, followed by a few days of protests by angry students. But as usual, leftist initiative is fleeting and emotional, by the time we returned from spring break, I could swear I heard, “Gene who?”
There is so much to this story, and it is rich with trials and tribulations of all involved. But the lessons learned from my experience are ones that I want to share with other campus conservatives. The liberal establishment in academia is a force to be reckoned with, but they are not invincible. In fact, it is that belief in themselves that makes them so vulnerable, and there is no reason you should not take advantage.
My guide to any issue like this consists of five rules:
1. Go Organize: As soon as you think you have an issue to pursue, find out who feels the same way. The group does not have to be large, in fact, four people would be ideal, each of whom can accomplish each of the “Go’s.” The first is the leader. That is you if you put the group together. You had the initiative to make those phone calls and send those e-mails and set the meeting time. You are responsible for coordinating strategy, and also must be as fair as possible in the planning to be sure to listen to all the views of the group, which will undoubtedly grow. The leader is in charge of reaching out to potentially-interested parties, including alumni.
2. Go Digital: This should be your first step once your group is established. The techie is in charge of this. Buy a cheap and easy-to-remember domain name and make a dramatic title for the page, and adopt it as the name of your movement. People will need to reference something if they are interested in the issue. Put any related media articles on the page, and include a petition. Hide the list and number of signees until the number is significant enough to have clout.
3. Go Public: Once the website is established and you have a basic game plan and mantra, it is time to take the issue outside your circle. Look through the local papers and find out who usually writes the news articles about your school. Check out the media contacts and news tip lines for all of the radio and television stations that reach campus and the surrounding towns. Grab the e-mail addresses for a few national columnists and publications that might be interested in the subject matter. And then put together a press release, using a basic template you can find from Microsoft Word. The smooth talker/pretty face is in charge of this. He or she should put their name, e-mail address and phone number as the main contact. This person should be well spoken and presentable and accessible enough to be able to sit for an interview at a moment’s notice. This person is also responsible for making the case and doing battle over the issue in a public forum.
4. Go Digging: Chances are, the administrator or professor has done something else ridiculous in the past that can be used. Give this job to the nerd who knows how to do solid research and can make connections to people and sources that others miss. This is not to say that the nerd should look into the target’s personal life: it is far better to find stories from Lexis-Nexis or from alumni that relate to their job performance, either at your university or where they worked in the past. People will dismiss personal attacks, and rightfully so. The issue is about what they have done wrong that affects you or the university, and unless something in their past suggests a similar violation, there is no need to use it. However, it does not hurt to have it to release virally if they attack your group members personally.
5. Keep the pressure up: The difference between you and your university’s public relations department is that at 5:00pm (maybe later if you have them working overtime to fix the mess) they go home. They have lives, with their families, away from the university, and no matter how good they are at their job; they usually do not need to take it home with them. You are very different. Your life is being a student. Furthermore, you are attached to this issue because it is important to you, and you are passionate about it. For the PR people, it is just a job for them to make sure the school gets more good press than bad press. For you, it is a matter of morals, religious beliefs or political convictions. There is naturally more fight in you than them.
Meanwhile, there are a group of people that revel in reporting controversy; your local news media. Depending on where you go to college, what happens on campus may be the biggest game in town, and if there is anything besides the musical and the football game to report, you can bet the story will grace the front section. That is why going public is important: keeping the issue isolated on campus is almost always a losing battle for conservatives
Most people on campus will assume that the issue will go away if they ignore it, and that is when it is most important to keep the information going. Keep adding more signatures to your petition, and do a press release every time you hit a milestone. Be sure that other media groups know when you get on other shows or printed in other publications; if they sense the story is hot, they will want a piece of it too. Without constant pressure to be shared among alumni, the campus community, the local town and the media, your issue will undoubtedly vanish and nothing will be accomplished.
Although your college president may not attempt to ban religion, chances are there is a radical professor failing students that do not drink his Kool-Aid. These are campus battles that need to be fought and won, and there is no excuse to not engage in them and win them. Continued...
1:04 AM | | 1 Comments
By James O’Keefe
In February 2008, Lila Rose and I released our second undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood. We were able to donate money to the organization for the explicit purpose of reducing the number of black babies born in the United States – in line with the intentions of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger.
We carefully chose a dozen or so “one party consent” states, where it is legal to audio record someone without their consent. Not a single Planned Parenthood employee we spoke to was disinterested in the prospect of a donation for our stated purposes. We asked that our donation to be earmarked for minority mothers only. Autumn Kersey, vice president of development for the Idaho division of Planned Parenthood, actually confessed she was “excited” about the donation. We received nationwide news coverage for our sting operation and put Planned Parenthood on the defensive because of its advocacy of black genocide.
While many pro-life organizations across the country continue focusing on development, this investigation was far more effective, as it managed to expose Planned Parenthood’s original intentions and raise awareness using telephones and a public university’s video editing program.
This kind of political technology needs to be further utilized by young conservative activists. When I was editor of The Rutgers Centurion, the conservative newspaper at Rutgers University in New Jersey, I convinced administrators to ban Lucky Charms cereal on the grounds it is offensive to Irish Americans. This was done to satirize political correctness on campuses, using what legendary leftist activist Saul Alinsky called the most effective political tactic of all – mockery. It was a win-win scenario: If they did not ban Lucky Charms, they would appear to be biased against Irish Americans. If they did, they would be branded as ridiculously sensitive, as was the case. Likewise, either Planned Parenthood accepts donations from racists, or they must reject the view of their founder, Sanger, as racist.
We framed the issue in a creative way. We did not tackle abortion conventionally but from the racism angle. Because leftists believe that racism is a cardinal sin, we used their rules against them.
Alinsky believed in doing whatever necessary to disrupt and annoy power structures, applying constant pressure and opposition. Applying some of his tactics from “Rules for Radicals,” we (a) never went outside our own experience, (b) went outside our opposition’s experience, (c) used enjoyable tactics and did not spend too long on any particular one and (d) made people believe we were a 1,000 member coordinated conspiracy when there are really only three of us. Many in the pro-life movement criticize using deceit in exposing the racism and absurdity in the abortion movement, but are willing to condemn Planned Parenthood for what we exposed utilizing those tactics.
Many students around the country have nodded in agreement with my theories on activism, but they fear doing what it takes to make them happen. The movement dies when it becomes boring and risk-averse. The hardest part about being a leader is getting people to focus on action in addition to philosophy. If you must spend time “convincing” anyone of anything, it is that they owe it to their philosophy to take action. In the pro-life movement it has been particularly difficult to find people to believe in these tactics, or have the courage to use them.
Leaders taking on power structures need to be raw, confident, fearless and impermeable. Lila received a letter threatening to prosecute the group for violating wiretapping laws, but it did not stop her from continuing the investigation. After the investigation aired nationally on Fox News, Planned Parenthood could no longer press charges, as Lila would appear the victim.
Activists should always be forward thinking and compound successes immediately. For example, pro-life activists across the country could easily replicate our racism project locally by demanding Planned Parenthood be banned from their respective community or campus. “Shut down Planned Parenthood because abortion is murder,” simply will not work. The demand should frame the issue in leftist terms, making it harder to say no. It could be something like “We strongly oppose racism at Springfield State. To honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, we demand that Planned Parenthood be disaffiliated from campus.” It will be very hard for a town or campus bureaucrat to say “no” to anything that claims to honor MLK Jr.
The media coverage gained from our investigations is fun but fleeting. Media is unfortunately thought to be an end, but it should be a means. The purpose of our investigation was not just to get on Fox News but to get Planned Parenthood banned from UCLA. If we are successful, this story will likely make the Los Angeles Times and Larry King Live. This would, in turn, encourage others and lead to results so significant across the country that the mainstream media will not be able to ignore them.
Through all of this, your purpose and goal must be clear. We are not doing this just for fun or to embarrass Planned Parenthood; we want to stop them from continuing their murderous activities once and for all. Continued...
1:01 AM | | 2 Comments
Why Republicans in office have been ineffective in accomplishing their social goals
By Daniel McCarthy
There are two kinds of right-wingers: those who are anti-Left and those who are anti-State. The latter includes right-libertarians and small-government conservatives. The former includes the religious right—not all Christian conservatives, but only the hard core that firmly opposes the leftward drift of American government and society—and the national right, which is concerned with preserving a distinct American heritage and identity in the face of multiculturalism, mass immigration, and human-rights internationalism.
Operationally, the anti-Leftists, whether they are religious right or national right, are cutting their own throats if they are not also anti-statist. This is because the state is the indispensable means by which the Left carries out its transformation of the country, and government in 21st century America cannot be turned into an instrument of virtue or nationhood. Mass democracy and the egalitarian rights ideology that infuses American government today reinforce one another and are natural complements. As a result, any anti-Left political activity that is not also anti-State will either fail, or worse, backfire. Whatever strengthens the State, even in the name of virtue or the nation, will ultimately strengthen the Left.
The history of the religious right bears out this contention. For 30 years, the religious right has been an organized political force that has attempted to be anti-Left without being programmatically anti-State. The religious right will support the occasional tax cut, but at root the religious right sees the State as an instrument for keeping or making America virtuous. The results of the religious right’s exertions speak for themselves.
The Christian Coalition—which at the state level did include some right-wing Christians, not just ideological chameleons and opportunists like Ralph Reed—was indispensable to the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, just as the values voters were essential for George W. Bush’s re-election a decade later. Neither of these political victories did anything to halt the leftward trend of American society. The religious right has continued, steadily, to lose the culture war.
Take the issues of abortion and gay rights. At any time when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, they could have removed jurisdiction over abortion from the federal courts. Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to define the scope of the federal judiciary’s authority. This is a power that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives exercised in 2005 by passing H.R. 2389, the “Pledge Protection Act,” which would taken disputes about the constitutionality of “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance out of the federal courts. (The Republican Senate never took up the bill, however.) If the conservative Republicans whom the religious right labored so hard to elect were really pro-life, why would they attempt to take the extraordinary measure of limiting the courts’ power over a symbolic issue like the Pledge while doing nothing of the sort about the federal courts’ power over abortion?
Or if President Bush were such a staunch opponent of abortion, why did he want to put his Texas crony Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court? Bush would also have liked to put another incompetent liberal Republican, former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, on the Supreme Court, if he could have gotten away with it. Miers probably and Gonzales certainly would have been pro-abortion. As it happened, Bush put John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both probably pro-life (though let’s wait and see how they actually vote) on the court. But he did so knowing full well that four pro-life justices would not be enough to overturn Roe. Again, if overturning Roe were the objective, the Republican Congress could have done that at any time.
The GOP will also fail to stop the advance of gay marriage. It is true that state-level constitutional amendments have passed in every state, save Arizona, where they have been put on the ballot. But it is also true that practically every year more states—and, more importantly, more Americans—accept gay marriage. Writing in the Washington Post, liberal Michael Kinsley recalled that in 1989, “Gay marriage itself seemed so far-out and unlikely to happen that whether you were actually for it was beside the point.” Despite all the Republican politicians that the religious right has elected since then, gay marriage has gone from being unthinkable, even in Kinsley’s liberal circles, to being a reality in many states and, seemingly, an inevitability in America’s future, since even in states that passed anti-gay-marriage amendments, younger people tend to favor gay marriage.
The acceptance of gay marriage is not simply a matter of state courts forcing the issue on a recalcitrant public. A large part, if not a majority, of the public has already come to support gay marriage, and another large part of the public does not consider the issue important enough to be worth squabbling over. If all the liberal activist judges who have so far been pushing gay marriage were suddenly replaced, the timetable would be set back—but given the tidal change in the public’s attitudes and the direction of that change, gay marriage would still be unstoppable.
The lesson that the religious right has refused to learn is that a culture war cannot be won by political means. Nor is Republican cowardice on abortion simply a function of having the wrong people in office, or the wrong people in charge of the GOP: mass democracy in 21st century America by its very nature selects cowardly and moderate politicians, who may deploy right-wing rhetoric but who will not ever commit themselves to a feasible right-wing program.
The recent Republican primaries gave a comic illustration of these harsh lessons. Religious conservatives such as Mike Huckabee recycled timeworn clichés about the need to oppose abortion (while jettisoning the party’s nominal commitment to limited government) but did not apply real pressure on the Republican establishment to back up rhetoric with action. Ultimately, Huckabee ended up endorsing John McCain. Much of the conservative movement supported Fred Thompson, and when he faltered, desperately embraced Mitt Romney. Yet the movement was powerless to deliver the nomination even within its narrowly defined political sphere of activity. Because there was no credible alternative to partisan political action and no conservative subculture besides the GOP, movement conservatives were taken for granted by the Republicans and as expected, quickly fell into line once McCain secured the nomination.
Anti-immigration national conservatives such as Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter barely made an impact, garnering Alan Keyes worthy levels of support. Despite the (perhaps temporary) defeat of amnesty for illegal immigration, this has not translated into power within the GOP for immigration restrictionists, with the leading proponent of amnesty cruising to the nomination.
Only Ron Paul built anything like an independent popular movement that could have a lasting impact. As seen by his popularity on the internet, Ron Paul has had a significant cultural impact and introduced a whole new group of people to right wing concepts and ideas. Paul’s activists are educated and committed and are running for office and organizing at the local level all around the country. Most importantly, Paul’s supporters are largely outside existing conservative channels. They think, and act, for themselves, and will not turn left in lockstep with the leadership of the GOP.
The Right’s program has to mean opposing the state. National conservatives are now facing the choice that the religious right confronted 30 years ago. It can choose an ineffective or counterproductive strategy of opposing the Left by attempting to take control of government. Or it can opt for the only strategy that gives any hope at all—that of cutting away the government power that compels everyone to accede to leftist ideological demands for egalitarian conformity. Even then, in the absence of government power pushing America to the Left, the Right may lose the culture war and the struggle to defend the “pre-political” America. But the Right will at least have a chance to beat the Left once the terms of engagement have been redefined to the Right’s advantage. So long as the terms of engagement are dictated by the mass democratic egalitarian State, no appeal to “pre-political” or religious loyalties can succeed. I suspect, however, that this harsh reality will not stop the dreamers of the Right from trying—and failing. Continued...
12:56 AM | | 0 Comments
By Stephanie Auditore
Chris Simcox’s Minutemen Civil Defense Corps is not the monster it has been made out to be. With their lawn chairs, binoculars and cell phones, the Minutemen are essentially a protest group trying to bring the nation’s attention to a serious problem at our borders while performing a public service. At a time when literally millions of illegals pour across the borders with the seeming acquiescence and encouragement of an incompetent or indifferent federal government, the Minutemen are fundamentally trying to embarrass the Washington regime to perform its most elementary duties. Defamatory articles litter liberal blogs and websites; professional protesters even follow him around the country. They decry his organization as a group of racist vigilantes. Debating such rogues is obviously beyond the pale for the self appointed champions of tolerance and free speech, and nowhere is this more true than on those American bastions of Stalinism we call academia.
Simcox’s speech at DePaul University in Chicago in May was no exception. On hearing of his scheduled appearance, leftist professors and student organizations immediately erupted into anger and protest, sending letters to administrators asking for cancellation of the event and an apology from the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA), the organization responsible for Simcox’ invitation. As usual, the leftists are not the anti-establishment rebels, but the subsidized and timid guardians of the power structure, hiding behind their tenured professors and multicultural privileges. While disheartened by the adverse reaction, it is not a new experience for the DCA. The university shut down the club’s affirmative action bake sale in 2006, claiming that the price list was offensive. The bake sale was quickly followed by an appearance by Jesse Jackson who spoke in the Student Center and decried the DCA’s “racist cookies.”
The illegal-immigration forum featured similar shenanigans. Administrators scrambled to create plausible excuses to ban the event while still claiming to defend free speech. They charged the DCA $2,500 for private security. Such a requirement has never been imposed on any other political student organizations at the university, and it completely drained the DCA’s bank account. Student Affairs Vice President and establishment lackey Jim Doyle threatened to cancel the event if the DCA was unable to comply. Additionally, all decision-making power regarding the logistics and format for the evening were usurped by Doyle and his staff. In addition to the security fees, the administration made multiple, last-minute venue changes and capped the audience at 200.
The speech itself was marked by boisterous, disorderly behavior from attendees who had no intention of keeping an open mind or even listening to what the speaker had to say. Simcox was continually interrupted by boos and insults from the overwhelmingly leftist crowd. The DCA invited a leftist professor to give an alternative viewpoint. However, leftist professor Charles Strain did not even try to argue in good faith. His speech was already written despite having never met or heard Simcox speak before. Students were treated to a collection of ad hominem attacks and insults rather than anything substantial. Strain clearly thought he had scored a major point by bringing up Simcox’s arrest for bringing a gun into a national park, which is irrelevant to the immigration debate, as well as a rather pointless law which the Interior Department is considering changing anyway. After the speech, security personnel snuck Simcox out of the center because of the rioting mob.
Outside the event, more chaos awaited. An angry mob of over 500 protestors marched outside the venue, shouting insults at Simcox and the DCA. One of their more charming chants was “maricón,” meaning “faggot” in Spanish. Strangely, the homosexual groups on campus and the ever so sensitive campus administration neglected to protest such language in the days that followed. Another choice argument was “Simcox is a racist liar, let’s go and set him on fire.” Inside, the walls were lined with administrators and private security, ready to pounce. As the raucous crowd grew, the Chicago Police Department augmented its initial presence outside the venue.
The event sparked so much anger and protest around Chicago that it was featured on all of the local news channels as well as on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor. The following weeks were no less contentious at DePaul. Dozens of liberal student organizations combined their resources to create a “Stop the Hate” event, aimed at smearing, ostracizing and ultimately eradicating the DCA and their activism on campus. Representatives from the Latinos Unidos organization on campus wrote a letter to the DCA president demanding “a formal written statement of responsibility and clarification and of sincere regret” as well as demanded a “thorough revision of your organization’s promotional guidelines and officers be conducted, in order to prevent these types of incidents in the future.” Typically, the bold campus rebels ran for help and comfort from campus administrators to protect them from arguments that might hurt their feelings. Apparently unconvinced that the demand letter was sufficient, DCA members also received Facebook messages from the Stop the Hate organizers, recommending they rethink their involvement in such a “radical” organization. Conservative students tried to respond reasonably, offering to participate in the student discussion panel hosted by Latinos Unidos at “Stop the Hate”. Their offer was denied, the organizers citing that conservatives’ participation in the panel would be unnecessary. Obviously, only one side of discussion was to be heard.
Simcox seemed unfazed, as he says that this response is not uncommon. “At most liberal arts universities, where the issue seems to be very divisive it’s usually because of the influence of many professors and most of it is very misguided. Obviously the students have been fed a lot of misinformation about our organization and about the issue.” Furthermore, he says it is a problem isolated at the more liberal institutions. He says that at more conservative institutions, “there’s usually no protest. Everyone comes willing to listen and engage.”
After the madness at DePaul finally subsided, DCA members were left with one pressing and disquieting question that often plagues the group after hosting events: When did the dialogue become so difficult? A university, after all, is supposed to be a great marketplace of ideas, a places of dialogue, debate and learning. Simcox’ organization is no more radical than any citizen who calls 911 when there’s an emergency. But the left at DePaul was so shocked, appalled and offended that someone dared conflict with their views that instead of engaging in a constructive debate they labeled Simcox and all of his supporters as racists and disturbed.
Simcox had to spend a majority of the speech defending his organization, placing a particularly strong emphasis on the fact that they are in the desert trying to protect not only their communities but also the immigrants. Simcox is proud of the organization he has created. “We abide by the laws of every state,” he says, “Not one Minuteman has ever used a weapon in any way. Our reputation is above reproach.” He recounted the hundreds of dying immigrants they have saved from the desert heat, 329 people to date, and also detailed horrifying stories of drug and gang lords killing and abusing immigrants. Certainly, Simcox has saved more Hispanic lives than all the tenured, subsidized, and privileged paladins of La Raza safely ensconced in Latino Studies classes. Most importantly his organization has never been responsible for any violent acts while patrolling the border. Even the protestors could not produce any evidence to refute this.
“We’re in business to be put out of business,” Simcox states, explaining that his goal is to bring “awareness, education and the nitty gritty truth about what’s happening at the border to students in order to engage them in the discussion. Ultimately, he still believes that the best way to solve illegal immigration is to encourage students as voters to elect officials who will fix the problem.
“We need people to work pragmatically to solve the problem. The more that everyone is arguing, there’s another human dying in the desert. There’s another woman being sold into prostitution. There are victims on bother sides of the border. We need to solve it to protect people.”
Despite all that he had to say, and all of the proof he had to defend his claims, the protestors and radical audience members were unable to accept any of it. Professor Strain concluded in his speech that Simcox must suffer from a multiple personality disorder, because he knows this cannot be the real Simcox. The question and answer session yielded similar results. Students accused Simcox of various falsehoods, with flimsy to no proof supporting them.
The reaction that Simcox gets on campuses around the country, from DePaul to Michigan State, shows the priorities of the left. They recognize that illegal immigration is an issue of core importance, and they are fighting for open borders on explicitly racist and tribalist grounds. They also do not recognize any limitations on their tactics in the interest of decency or compromise. Conservatives at DePaul went out of their way to engage their interlocutors in good faith – they were greeted with contempt and hatred.
If there is some consolation, it is that leftist students are being set up for failure in the real world, where their childish behavior and antics won’t be accepted by rational bosses and managers, although the foolish of diversity programs and sensitivity training is rapidly spreading in big business as well. Their inability to have a civil debate on campus without name-calling or mass protest is becoming incredibly frustrating for the reasonable student. I suppose I’ll just have to take solace in a familiar Churchill adage, “You’ve got enemies? Good, that means you stood for something sometime in your life.” Immigration is clearly the main battleground that the left has chosen on college campuses. Conservative students must recognize this and charge forward regardless.
12:52 AM | | 0 Comments
A look back at the candidacy of Ron Paul
By Evan McLaren
Congressman Ron Paul burst onto the scene this presidential campaign season, turning heads in GOP debates and setting miraculous fundraising records with a grassroots-organized, Internet-driven campaign.
The national Paul phenomenon is new—so new that it remains a source of astonishment to the good doctor himself. Paul frequently expresses surprise and pleasure to find his movement continuing to attract attention. He is delighted to be invited to myriad rallies and television appearances, and to discover his latest book on the New York Times best seller list. With so much ground already traveled since last winter, when Paul was only a humble Congressman with no wider recognition, his supporters have their eyes fixed on the future.
Paul himself, however, is not new. He’s 73, and he’s been involved in politics for over thirty years. Paul has been hard at work developing his Constitutionalist agenda and sculpting its libertarian, free market, hard money muscles. He has received plenty of help over the years from intellectuals and politicos with whom he exchanges mutual admiration and respect. In early 2007, when Paul began exploring the idea of a presidential campaign, he was not acting alone. Behind him was a geographically dispersed but highly networked libertarian subculture that regarded Paul as its present-day hero and stood ready to devote itself to his cause.
Paul palpably benefits by associating with this subculture. Unlike the established conservative movement, whose leaders and hirelings have ceded its identity to the GOP and various groups of post-conservative sub-creatures, Paul and his Campaign for Liberty are drawing on intellectual and political reservoirs that are pristine by comparison. The pro-Paul camp is littered with highly intelligent partisans of the Old Right, people who make a habit of calling a spade a spade, a neocon a neocon, and a Republican a Leftist. The people Paul keeps closest are those gathered around the Ludwig von Mises Institute, who reverently tend the fire of the Austrian economic tradition from whence Paul and his acolytes draw warmth.”
Despite all the positives, it is not a revelation that Paul’s campaign has limitations and disappointing features. One such limitation is his single-minded devotion to monetary affairs. Though his followers listen obediently to his lecturing on the necessity of a sound dollar, Paul gets his biggest applause when he is venting his spleen against the hated neocons. One could not fill a single regiment with people who would go into battle to restore the gold standard, and though Paul’s expertise and relative idiosyncrasy on monetary issues gets him invited on financial reporting programs, to the general voter he seems quaint and less-than-relevant when he is pushing his favorite issue.
Even if Paul suddenly gave his monetary views a more nuanced role in his program, though, the Campaign for Liberty remains a vehicle that will take the Right only so far. One ought to sense this by observing how comfortable those gathered around Lewrockwell.com (the unofficial clearinghouse for Ron Paul enthusiasm) are with the sociological makeup of the campaign’s grassroots following. While that following is not distinguished by its professional or material ties to a debased establishment (my local meet-up is attended by four well-dressed elderly ladies, a data analyst, a retired schoolteacher, a gold coin vendor, and an unemployed forklift operator), their ties to an inherited Western civilization are not necessarily more stable than those held by the rest of the population. They deserve credit for recognizing Paul’s authenticity, and for sensing that their government has strayed outside its Constitutional limits. But the Campaign does not clearly belong to those with a more historically-informed eagerness for civilizational restoration. Instead it sometimes appears to be driven by people whose attachments to a post-national, post-Christian society of consumers and global democrats are indelible. The MLK-themed fundraiser organized by the grassroots in January 2008 evidences a spirit of contentment with and even enthusiasm for a political and social context that people of the right oppose to their core.
This does not appear to bother Campaign leadership. Whatever the culturally conservative beliefs of many right-libertarians, they seem satisfied to limit their fight to the economic and limited government wonkery exemplified by the Campaign. Given their worldview this should come as no surprise. Following the bourgeois liberal minarchism of Ludwig von Mises and the right-minded anarchism of Rothbard, these libertarians have pinned 100% of the blame for modern calamities on the State. Restore individual liberty, overcome institutionalized violence—fin. Absent is any sense of pre-political uncomfortable realities like race, culture, or religion—or at least, that sense is seriously atrophied, allowing LRC types to reduce those realities to a point below meaningful recognition.
That means different things for different anarcho-libertarians. Some appear to have no interest at all in pre-political matters, and, like post-New Deal liberal historiographers, appreciate Western civilization for little else than having produced their preferred political tradition. Others (Tom Woods may be a good example) exhibit an appreciation of the West wide and deep enough to include things other than individualism, and seem truly interested in restoration. Yet even in those cases, their allegiance to the West runs a close second to their pursuit of a libertarian agenda. Both groups apply praise and blame to historical figures based solely on their proximity to a complete laissez faire mind set.
This doesn’t mean that there’s nothing in the Campaign for Liberty for right-wingers. Most of the serious people of the Right I know remain on the fence in this regard. Ultimately any judgment must take into account certain facts—that the Campaign’s grassroots exhibits an outlook that is generally presentist, and not historical or restorative (in spite of its Constitutionalist script); and that those in firmest control of its top-down agenda hold restoration, if they hold it at all, as a secondary goal. Meanwhile the program of the Right must remain, in the language of Youth for Western Civilization, the creation of “a subculture that will promote the survival of Western Civilization and pride in Western heritage.” Continued...
12:48 AM | | 0 Comments
This excerpt from “Revolt on the Campus” by M. Stanton Evans was originally printed in New Guard’s September 1961 edition.
Throughout this discussion, I have emphasized the activism and the political energy of the young conservatives. The fact is frequently noted by those who seek to challenge its credentials as truly “conservative.” Picket lines, giant rallies, lobbying, precinct work—these, it is objected, are not the stigmata of conservatism.
Such young people want to change everything-to dismantle “social gains”; in addition to favoring individualist goals, they want to use radical means. If they were truly “conservative,” say their detractors, they would be content to accept the status quo—to rest with the “gains” legislated by the New Deal and its Democratic and Republican successors.
In this view, a conservative is complacent, withdrawn, inclined to introspection. In his political preferences, he favors government by an “elite,” and he likes to see society subdivided into hierarchies, with minimum opportunity for individual mobility. And, above all, the conservative is opposed to change. None of which consorts very well with the present shape of young conservative activity.
Before examining this criticism, I must acknowledge that its empirical foundation is sound: the young conservative of today is (1) determined upon change; (2) devoted to the cause of freedom; and (3) sometimes prone to use “radical” means. But do these things indicate that he is not a conservative?
The answer, of course, depends upon what one means by the word. If “conservatism” is an immutable catalogue of foibles, defining style of dress, views on personal activism, and political temperament, then today’s young rebels are indeed not “conservative.” For in these matters they often exhibit no continuity with the conservatives who have gone before them.
But if “conservatism” means, as I believe it should, a view of man, society and the moral order; if it means philosophical convictions, rather than surface characteristics, then today’s young rebels are, for the most part, true conservatives, and represent an authentic continuity with the great ideas of the conservative past.
Conservatism, as I conceive it is not primarily a matter of mood and temperament—although it cannot be denied that certain matters of tone and style are, all things being equal, more consonant with conservative principles than certain others. But conservatism is first and foremost a set of principles, a way of looking at man and his universe. And the other things are not equal.
There are two points of philosophy which have, through the ages, characterized the conservative. The first is the belief that ours is an ordered universe, informed by the purpose of a Divine Being. The second is that man, in seeking his place in this universe, is hampered by an imperfect mind and a vagrant will. Upon those postulates, the conservative constructs a view of society, of man’s place in it, and of the institutions suitable to man.
Because of them, he has favored a regime of stability premised upon a community of volition, and has tended to mistrust the unbridled exercise of power. Circumstances may change, but principles do not. In determining the political style appropriate to the conservative, the key question becomes: Are the circumstances congenial to the principles? As the answer varies so must one’s assessment of the methods by which circumstances may be accommodated, the principles sustained.
In general, we may assume that the conservative will resist change during periods in which the values he cherishes predominate. Since these values have, by and large, been the basis of Western civilization, the conservative has become habituated to quiescence—to preserving and nurturing the existing order. As certain changes occur, he strikes an intuitive balance: So long as the main tradition is preserved, he is willing to accommodate the change. Every tradition must provide a latitude for adjustment; this fact, plus the conservative’s habituation to a general continuity in his institutions, make him willing to accept changes of degree, and unwilling to resort to “radical” methods to overturn those changes, once established. Well and good.
But there comes a point there changes in degree fuse into a change in kind, where the essential tradition is not amended, nor modified, but violated; when the changes enacted are no longer adjustments which allow the central principle to survive n altered circumstances, but revolutionary acts conspiring to deny those principles. Faced with such conditions, the conservative’s characteristic mood no longer avails. By acquiescing in the established subversion of its principles, that mood becomes a silent partner in the work of destruction. The conservative must then consider what techniques are available to him, within the moral universe he cherishes, to restore his tradition.
It is just such a condition which today prevails in America, indeed throughout the West, and it is just such a condition which confronts the young man or woman who, grasping the essential lessons of our tradition, decides that he or she is a conservative. Frank S. Meyer, writing in Modern Age, notes that in our era “a revolutionary force” has shattered “the unity and balance of civilization.” In such an era, he says, conservatism “… cannot be limited to that uncritical acceptance, that uncomplicated reverence, which is the essence of national conservatism. The world of idea and symbol and image has been turned topsy-turvy; the life-dream of civilization has been cut off and dispersed.
Meyer concludes that a conscious conservatism is required, a conservatism which will “select and adjudge.” This, compelled by his altered circumstances, the young conservative is led to break with the “natural piety” which is most congenial to the conservative temperament. He is required to be, in the non-pejorative sense, an ideologue—with clearly conceived notions of how principles and institutions and men affect one another to form a culture and a society within it.
If that much is granted, the alleged “radicalism” of today’s young conservatives becomes comprehensible. Confronted with an established revolution, the conservative must seek to change the status quo; he has no other means of affirming his tradition. And in seeking that alteration, he must invoke certain of the techniques which are effective in producing change. Continued...
12:41 AM | | 1 Comments