GABlog Generative Anthropology in the Public Sphere

July 29, 2016

America First, but there’s no “American People”

Filed under: GA — adam @ 8:35 pm

Most commentators and, I assume, most citizens, are still in the habit of referring to the “American people” as the protagonist in the election drama: will the American people go along with this, will the American people support that, will this alienate the American people, etc. This is a habit that must be broken if we want to think about elections and American political life in general clearly. The reason why the Democrats are so confident that they can continue moving to the left without consequence is that they consider their demographic advantages to be insuperable. They have good reasons to think so. Think about the Supreme Court: on every significant question, everyone knows how the four leftist judges will vote—no one ever even speaks about whether Kagan or Breyer might jump ship on this case. On the other side, everyone distinguishes between the invariant and the variable: Thomas and Alito are reliable (and Scalia used to be)—although even here there have been disagreements—but Kennedy and Roberts are wildcards. The same is the case for the voters for each party. The Democrats will get 90% of the black vote, 70% of the Hispanic vote, 75% of the Jewish vote, 70% of the Asian vote. There is very little room for movement here (except, perhaps, among the very heterogeneous “Asian” vote)—maybe the numbers can go 5% one way or the other. This gives us important information about the number of American citizens who see identity politics, a massive welfare state and the vendetta against their “Amerikaner” (a term of I have taken from the Amerika blog) or “badwhite” enemies as more important than allying with the American middle. In fact, now that insistence on the enforcement of immigration laws makes one a “hater,” we can say that these are the voters opposed to America as a sovereign entity. On some level, they rightly realize that according to any rigorous and non-legalistic definition of “American,” they would be excluded, or at least “graded.”

All appeals to these groups (again, with the very minor exception of “Asians”) are as much a waste of time as making legal arguments to Sotomayor, Ginsburg, Kagan and Breyer—except insofar as some of the white voters you want need to salve their conscience with the recognition that some kind of gesture has been made. But that just underscores that a Trump victory (probably even more than any other Republican victory) relies completely upon winning a white landslide. Everything else is irrelevant: Trump needs something like 65% of the white vote to win. (Of course, the number varies according to turnout—obviously, if more white voters than usual come out, and they vote mostly for Trump, maybe he’ll only need 63% or so.) Whether he and his supporters say so publicly or not, if they don’t know this they are throwing the election. Now, we can get even more specific about the demographics—of the 2% or so of sexually “other” whites, at least 75% will vote Clinton. Among single women who see themselves as single women (i.e., not young women looking forward to marriage and family), probably 80% at least will vote Clinton. And how many fit that category—I’m not sure there are, or even can be, real assessments of that. (We’d have to factor in those who work for the government in some capacity as well.) But we can probably say that among normal, married with children, or expecting eventually to be married with children, employed in the private sector, with (or reasonably hoping to have) homes, etc., Trump will need something like 75%. Now, that’s a good way to focus your attention. How many people in this (most unequivocally “American”) category are already likely to vote for Trump, and how many would need to be won over? Whatever campaign masterminds Trump has could not spend their time more productively than on trying to answer that question. In other words, it’s not a question of what the “American people” think; it’s a question of whether there is enough of a constituency (a large enough super-duper majority) among normal Americans for restoring American sovereignty.

Now, Trump and his advisors can (and if they want to win, must) think like this, but it would be extraordinarily risky to speak like that, even in heavily “coded” terms. That itself is a large part of the problem. Last night, at the Democratic convention, a Muslim father of a soldier killed in Iraq attacked Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim entrance into the country. But if mass Muslim immigration, or increased Muslim presence at any level, poses a security risk, then a Muslim who sees himself as an American first of all would agree that we at least need to consider our policy toward further Muslim immigration. All that father was telling us, then, was that he considered his (merely potential) grievances as a Muslim more important than his obligations as an American—and that he was willing to exploit his son’s death to make that point. Even Trump will not make this uncontestable observation. Nor will he observe that those Hispanic citizens who vote on the basis of their support for leniency for illegal aliens are voting their ethnic interests over their duties as citizens and the good of their fellow citizens, even to the point of endorsing massive, systematic lawlessness. Something similar could be observed regarding every reliable Democrat constituency. But nothing like this will be observed, if for no other reason than that it will make it harder for Trump (or any Republican) to get to that 75% of normal Americans—that is, some margin of that 60% or so of the country must have their ethnomasochism (John Derbyshire’s term, as far as I know) appealed to before they can vote their own interests. Which means that we can narrow our election speculations even further, to that tiny margin where the right rhetorical and symbolic balance between white guilt and white interest must be struck. What this also means, though, is that we can tell when the country will really fall apart: when that balance can no longer be struck, or when it no longer matters: when white guilt and white interests are irrevocably, and unmistakably, at odds with each other—at that point whites will have to eschew white guilt or concede the right of non-whites and goodwhites to disregard their interests, even their lives, altogether.

If we were to begin to speak about the obligations of Americans and their differential attentiveness to their patriotic obligations (rather than endlessly demanding the “details” of “plans”), how would we do so? I’ll provide a sample. I’ve been curious about the inability or lack of interest of the leftmedia in going after Trump’s favorite slogan, repeated quite a few times in his convention speech: “America First!” As I have seen some media figures mention, this is a slogan with a “notorious” legacy, the name of a movement that, briefly, in the late 30s and early 40s, horror of horrors, argued for keeping America out of World War II. I would very much like to read a history of how the perfectly reasonable and patriotic Charles Lindbergh and his associates came to be tarred as near-Nazis for their efforts—it would teach us a lot about the history of image management and propaganda in the US (I would look for the red thread). For the left, running a campaign based on the slogan “America First!” is rather like running on “McCarthyism”—don’t these idiots know that we have banished these phrases and ideas from public life? I suppose that to others, though, it must sound so obvious and positive that, rather than being scandalized, most Americans are trying to figure out why this isn’t the slogan of every campaign—so much so, that the media has not yet been able to find a way to crack it. At any rate, here is perhaps the most “notorious” of all of Lindbergh’s speeches for the America First Committee, which lasted up until Pearl Harbor, at which point all its members unequivocally joined the American war effort (without even having to be ordered to do so by the Comintern):

Lindbergh, here and elsewhere, gives plenty of good reasons for America to stay out of the war—all of them debatable of course, which is why Lindbergh is offering arguments—and doing so in an honorable way, pointing out the consistency of his approach to the issue as opposed to the opportunistic propaganda of the pro-War side. He deals with the basic “ideas,” in other words, explaining why the war would, from America’s perspective, do far more harm than good. But he doesn’t stop there (where all of today’s Republicans and “conservatives” would insist we stop), and goes on to ask, who wants the US to enter the war, and why? Given that they represent a small minority, what makes their arguments so effective and, from Lindbergh’s perspective, dangerous? So, he lists three groups: the English, the Jews and the Roosevelt administration. Can anyone really disagree that these groups had powerful interests in drawing the US into the war? Lindbergh does not demean these groups (although he’s highly critical of the administration which, strictly speaking is not really a “group”) or characterize their interests as illegitimate—quite to the contrary, he understands very well why the British and the Jews would want the US to enter the war, and I see no reason to doubt, since I don’t see what he would have gained by it, Lindbergh’s expression of sympathy for the Jewish plight under the Nazis and his condemnation of their persecution. Nor could we refute his claims regarding Jewish influence in the media and entertainment. We could readily question his claim whether American entrance into the war would harm Jewish interests by weakening the tolerance upon which Jews depend—it didn’t work out that way, and Lindbergh is too generalizing here (“war always…”); we could also ask whether there were other groups (German Americans? Italian Americans?) who had a special interest in keeping America out of the war. All that would be fine as a rebuttal to Lindbergh’s argument, but the larger point is that his argument could not even be made today, and to see why, you would just have to see what my above observations on the Muslim father and Hispanics defending illegal immigration would look like extended a bit further along the lines modeled by Lindbergh’s analysis of the British and the Jews. (“It’s easy to understand why Mexican-Americans would feel closer to their brethren in Mexico, with whom they share ethnic and cultural ties going back many generations, then to their fellow Americans, and would wish to help them enjoy the advantages of life in the US, while increasing their own political influence and maintaining their Mexican roots…”)

Well, it’s not true that the argument can’t be made today—such arguments are starting to be made—it would be more precise to say that they cannot yet be made by a winning Presidential campaign. But the gap between the way political figures must think and what they can say can close—indeed, at a certain point, if it doesn’t, that gap will get wide enough so as to make political survival impossible; to put it another way, closing this gap is part of making sovereignty more certain. Of course, if both the SJWs and the patriotic right were to close the gap, they would make explicit that they no longer live in the same country. Ultimately, “law and order” and “crime” may, in fact, be code words for “white” and “black,” respectively; and “gay rights” and “feminism” may very well be code words for the destruction of monogamy, and “Black Lives Matter” for “kill whitey,” or “off the pigs.” The more people who know they are codes, the less they are codes. All arguments have a demography to them, and part of bio-politics is making the demography explicit, even explicit enough to make the arguments mere tokens. In that way we find out if they are in fact real arguments. Through this bio-political process we arrive at the same choice I have taken these discussions to before: either follow the path of least resistance of virtually any commonsensical line of inquiry and end up speaking in such a way that will transform the “conversation,” most likely catastrophically, or go about systematically eliminating “badthoughts” and “hatefacts” from your mind so as to reduce yourself to imbecility. Interestingly, if you choose the latter, the former will never occur to you, and so there’s no way to make an argument in favor of one or the other approach. It’s really just a question of what’s involved in living with yourself. At any rate, tracking that white guilt/white interest needle will be a good way of cutting through a lot of noise and measuring our progress or regress regarding sovereignty restoration—the more white interest can be spoken, even in the indirect form of anti-anti-whiteness, and white guilt silenced, the closer we are to restoration.

Powered by WordPress