From the New York Times opinion page:
We face a choice between a true renewal and a warped fantasy of the past.
By Roger Cohen
Roger Cohen has been a columnist for The Times since 2009. His columns appear Wednesday and Saturday. He joined The Times in 1990, and has served as a foreign correspondent and foreign editor. @NYTimesCohen
Oct. 16, 2020
Less than 20 days. It has been a long, hard road to this election. I see fearful faces, those of tormented migrants at the Mexican border, and hate-filled faces, those of the white nationalists in Charlottesville chanting, “Jews will not replace us.”
Donald Trump has been all about the fear of replacement, or as it’s sometimes called, “the great replacement.” His has been the stand — I am tempted to say the last stand — of whites against nonwhites.
Of America-first nationalists against migrants; of straight people against L.G.B.T.Q. people; of the gunned-up against the unarmed. Of Trump against all those he believes would replace the likes of him. …
“The great replacement” is a phrase generally attributed to a French writer, Renaud Camus, who said: “The great replacement is very simple. You have one people, and in the space of a generation, you have a different people.”
That, of course, is a good definition of America.
Of its vitality, its churn, its reinvention, its essential openness. The America that Trump would deny. He wants to freeze a white America. Some strange blend of Norman Rockwell and “Mad Men,” in an imaginary United States strutting across a world pliant to its will. Behind “America first” lurks a very un-American credo.
The New York Times used to tell you that the Great Replacement is a conspiracy theory, but now it tells you it’s your deserved fate.
Change can be frightening, which is what the great replacement conspiracy theory hinges on. Camus warns grotesquely of a “genocide by substitution,” the replacement of a white French and European order by Muslim hordes in a plot orchestrated by cosmopolitan elites.
Teenager of Chechen origin suspected of decapitating teacher in ‘Islamist attack’ in Paris suburb
By Pierre Bairin, Eva Tapiero, Martin Goillandeau and Ivana Kottasová, CNN
Updated 5:05 AM ET, Sat October 17, 2020
Paris (CNN)An 18-year-old man of Chechen origin has been identified as the suspect in Friday’s beheading of a schoolteacher in a suburb of Paris, a French judicial source told CNN Saturday.
The victim was a teacher at a secondary school in the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine area, according to the French National Anti-Terror Prosecutor’s office. The Moscow-born alleged attacker was shot dead by police on Friday afternoon in Éragny, the same area where the victim’s body was found. Nine individuals have been taken in for questioning in relation to the attack, including the suspect’s parents, grandfather and brother, the judicial source added.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the teacher was a “victim of an Islamist attack.” Speaking at the scene of the attack, Macron said the educator was “killed because he was teaching students freedom of speech, the freedom to believe and not believe.”
Back to Roger Cohen in the NYT:
In Trump’s case, read a white American order replaced by brown Mexican rapists and Black pillagers.
France is worried about Muslims from North Africa. Germans were once so worried about Jews replacing them that they killed six million of them. In a world of mass migration, fear rages: Some idea of the nation will be diluted or lost!
America is particularly susceptible to fear today because the world has changed in unsettling ways. Power has migrated eastward to Asia. America’s recent wars have been unwon. By midcentury, non-Hispanic whites will constitute less than 50 percent of the population.
The Great Replacement is not a conspiracy theory when I, Roger Cohen, exult that you are being replaced. But it is a conspiracy theory when you whine about being replaced. That’s just the way it is. Sorry, but you, unlike me, are just on the Wrong Side of History.
American freedom is in decline. The freedom to think, because thought depends on truth. The freedom to dissent, because Trump believes he has “the right to do whatever I want as president.” The freedom to breathe, because Trumpism — its nepotism, its cozying to dictators, its incessant volume — is suffocating.
… Biden is not a lousy candidate; he is a good man, a brave man. I doff my hat to any parent who survives with such dignity the loss of two of his four children.
And then there’s the boy who lived…