The other day, C-list conservative chat-bot Quin Hillyer made a comment in National Review Online stating that the publication has been on the forefront of immigration restriction. He made it in the comments of his article in which he tries to ball-gargle Bobby Jindal. Hillyer is one of those guys who hangs around the local Fox studio on weekends, on the off chance Fox needs a talking head for one of their segments, so there’s no reason to pay attention to him.
What got my attention though was the assertion that NR has been anything but stone silent on the issue of immigration. They used to run Steyn and Derbyshire, who have written eloquently on the details of the topic. Mark Krikorian is given space in their on-line blog to post immigration numbers. Otherwise, the official position of the magazine has been to give it a good leaving alone.
John Derbyshire has often talked about editorial meetings at NR when he was employed there. He was the only person to ever raise the topic and when he did, everyone would slide their chairs away from him, like he had just farted. To be seen sitting next to a bad thinker can only be remedied by looking horribly uncomfortable whilst doing it. That way, the other good thinkers know you are a good thinker just stuck in the same room with a bad thinker.
It’s why I call it the “I” word. Immigration has been sacralized on the Right as a magic talisman that wards off the charge of racism. After all, how can you call these good thinkers racist when they are forever championing the people of the world to come to America? Open borders has become the anti-venom that lets them tangle with the Progressive snake handlers on the chat shows and on-line.
You see that in this Jonah Goldberg column from last week.
If I sound dismayed, it’s only because I am. Conservatives have spent more than 60 years arguing that ideas and character matter. That is the conservative movement I joined and dedicated my professional life to. And now, in a moment of passion, many of my comrades-in-arms are throwing it all away in a fit of pique. Because “Trump fights!”
That’s a very revealing comment. You note there’s no mention of winning. The point of political movements is to win political fights and move the polices and presumably the country, closer to what the movement imagines is best. What Jonah reveals, unintentionally I suspect, is that his game and the that of his coevals does not include winning, at least not winning political fights.
Instead it is an intellectual and spiritual exercise. As the Left runs up and down the field, the Right is supposed to stand aside, congratulating themselves on being men of ideas and character, unlike the the uncouth lefties winning all the battles. In other words, the end game of conservatism, according to Goldberg, is to be a good sport and losing with dignity. Conservatism is a form of assisted suicide where the adherent accepts defeat as a condition of joining the movement.
Of course, what radiates from these columns is the class issue. Jonah Goldberg, despite being a big hulking guy, spent his youth in NYC in fear of the street toughs. Those crude sounding bullies of his youth have suddenly risen up in the form of Donald Trump, threatening to take his lunch money away all over again. The refined men of taste who thought they outran the reality of the street are horrified at the prospect of a proletarian bully moving in on their movement.
All of this reminds me of the scene from Brave Heart where Longshanks confronts his feminine son and his “assistant” after Wallace sacked York.
The Professional Right has a revolt on their hands because they have failed. Their response to the revolt has been a hissy fit that confirms, in the minds of the revolting, that they are right to replace these men of no action. It’s not that the replacement is better or more likely to win. The first step in every revolution is to first exact revenge on those responsible for the current conditions.
That’s why we are revolting.