Jack Hunter a.k.a. The Southern Avenger bent the knee. He denounced his own career and his own beliefs, as reported by his own former editor. [Former editor of Rand Paul’s Neo-Confederate staffer talks about the Southern Avenger | Jack Hunter asked me to delete columns, By Chris Haire, Charleston City Paper, July 18, 2013] He prostrated himself before the gods of Political Correctness, he said all that our masters could have required of him, and he gave them everything they could have wanted.
In the end, it didn’t matter.
He was purged anyway, forced out of the staff of Senator Rand Paul supposedly to return to the life of a political columnist. Of course, he’s also retiring the persona of the “Southern Avenger,” raising the question of why anyone should read him at this point. After all, what does he have to say?
This kind of conservative self-emasculation is shameful, but it is merely the logical conclusion of what I have called “Goldbergism,” the terminal stage of conservatism, the official ideology of the Beltway Right, named after former NRO Editor Jonah Goldberg, in whose earlier career I took an appalled interest. “Goldbergism” represents the ideological acceptance of Leftist narratives on Civil Rights, feminism, homosexuality, and most importantly, immigration. At the same time, it tries to maintain the pretense of political opposition through trivial partisan cheerleading. The result is an ideology both dumb and doomed to fail. But, within the Beltway, it has won this round.
The dismal quality of Goldberg’s thought is fully evident in his recent column Rand Paul’s Big Fat Paleo Problem [New York Post, July 17, 2013], Here we are told the Kentucky senator, a much-Mentioned presidential candidate, has “hit some turbulence” because he allowed Hunter to work on his staff even though he once wore a “wrestling mask made from a Confederate flag,” uttered strong statements about states’ rights, and compared Lincoln to Hitler. Although Hunter had already proclaimed “I abhor racism” and said nice things about gay marriage and Obama last year, Goldberg views him as just the kind of rightwing kook who associates with Rand, and Rand’s even more insensitive sire Ron.
Ron Paul, we are reminded, allowed a newsletter to be published under his name “that brimmed with bigoted bile.” Such notorious racists as Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard had filled the newsletter with dangerous extremist ideas. Since naive Ron Paul supporters probably didn’t know the kind of racist lunatic they were backing, Goldberg feels compelled to tell us the full truth. He quotes the socially liberal left-libertarian Steve Horwitz, who asserts:
“the paleo strategy was a horrific mistake, though it apparently made some folks (such as Rockwell and Paul) pretty rich selling newsletters predicting the collapse of Western civilization at the hands of the blacks, gays and multiculturalists.”
[How Did We Get Here? Or, Why Do 20 Year Old Newsletters Matter So Damn Much?, By Steve Horwitz, Bleeding Heart Libertarians. December 23, 2011]
Naturally Goldberg wants us to believe that he’s making this full disclosure for the sake of the Grand Old Party and the conservative cause. He writes:
Even though he’s a vastly better politician—morally and strategically—than his father, in a climate where politicians like Mitt Romney and John McCain can be demonized as bigots, should Rand Paul ever be nominated, one can only imagine what his opponents, in and out of the media, would do…
Presumably Jonah is providing this warning because of his concern with our common cause, although I can’t quite recall what that cause is.
Is it an aggressive liberal internationalist foreign policy, designed to help our “only democratic ally in the Middle East”? Rand, like his father, favors a cutback in American military engagements and an end to foreign aid. This is clearly not Jonah’s cause or that of presidential candidates whom Jonah believes his party should nominate, like Romney or McCain.
Is it government-mandated racial egalitarianism? In 2010, Goldberg stated that he found Rand’s reservations about the Public Accommodations Clause of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to be “repugnant and bizarre.” [Rand Paul’s Civil Rights Act Comments Revisited, TownHall.com, May 26, 2010] Apparently the true conservative position—now—is to allow a federal agency to oversee and shape our emotional and attitudinal relations to customers and clients.
More recently, Goldberg has been joyously celebrating (no doubt as a “true conservative”) the appearance of gay bars as one of the glories of “the freedom-loving West.”
Goldberg’s phony conservatism has consequences. Though Jack Hunter has showily abandoned his opposition to multiculturalism, his continued advocacy of a restrained foreign policy made him a threat. In “Goldbergism,” the acceptance of liberal modernity and an interventionist foreign policy go together. No separation is permitted, lest disagreement with endless war be interpreted as opposition to the sacred cause of “Civil Rights.” In fact, war is justified because it brings the blessings of liberal democracy to benighted foreigners.
Thus, Jack Hunter’s past authentically-conservative writings were used as a weapon by Conservatism Inc. to expunge dangerous deviationism—and to damage Rand Paul and his emerging “Liberty Movement” faction.
It’s interesting that Jonah sees this ideological purge as an action against “paleoconservatives.” I am supposed to have invented the term “paleoconservative” and I have written copiously on the history of the American conservative movement. But I don’t know Jonah means when he fulminates against the hated “paleo” threat. And Jonah certainly doesn’t.
The only paleo names he cites are the libertarian economist Murray Rothbard, who died in 1994, and Lew Rockwell, whose website now deals almost exclusively with monetary issues and opposition to war. Are these dubious examples the only illustrations of the “paleo problem” that Jonah can discover? Even the Village Voice, in their latest exposé on my supposed “hate group,” the H.L. Mencken Club, seems to think we are “archaic, dusty, [and] overwhelmingly geriatric,” not some existential threat.
Of course, The Ron Paul Newsletter did express ideas that would never be permitted by the current, sensitized staff of NR—for example, on the philandering of Martin Luther King. However, if Goldberg traveled back to the 1980s, he would have heard dozens of US senators in our nation’s capital making similar statements.
More importantly, the conservative movement, including institutions such as National Review and Human Events, once expressed sentiments far more politically incorrect than anything Jack Hunter has ever said.
As hard as it may be for Goldberg to comprehend, the US was not always the monument to Cultural Marxism it has become in recent years.
But Jonah wants to resurrect us “geriatric” paleoconservatives from our retirement village, in the same way European “antifascists” perpetually denounce Hitler in order to mobilize their troops. In Jonah’s fevered imagination, we are still a danger to the GOP. Goldberg not only suffers from terminal stupidity—he’s delusional.
Goldberg claims the GOP can’t afford to allow “rightwing extremist” positions to be identified with their party, lest Republicans go down with them. But this ignores two obvious truths.
- One, the US has moved to the Left in proportion to Conservatism Inc. move to the Left.
Goldbergism has been totally complicit in this. Goldberg himself is a case in point. In some ways he is to the left of where the Democratic Party was when I was growing up. Into the 1960s, Democrats believed in traditional marriage and traditional gender relations. “Conservative” Jonah believes in neither. Goldbergism does not “stand athwart history, yelling stop!” It yells: “Wait for me!”
- Two, large numbers of white Americans would not be at all offended by the “ideology” that Jonah wants the GOP to “inter.” Those are the voters whom Romney lost and whose endorsement no neocon-coached Republican presidential candidate can hope to pick up.
There are millions of these white voters, as Steve Sailer and others on VDARE have noted, who would be delighted to vote for an anti-immigration Republican presidential candidate. But they might not come out to support the warmongering candidates for whom Jonah and his crowd are shilling.
Rand Paul is not even particularly strong on the National Question. Up until a few weeks ago, he was leaning toward the Gang of Eight on the Amnesty/ Immigration Surge, while trying to win applause from Goldberg and his kind by kissing up hopelessly to sneering black crowds at Howard University. Rand has done nothing significant since then to forgo the blessings of the multicultural establishment, aside from voting against the Amnesty/ Immigration Surge for supposedly Constitutional reasons. And, of course, he has been pitifully incompetent in warding off this attack.
Nonetheless, in Jonah Goldberg’s mind, Rand Paul, Jack Hunter, and other leading figures in the rising “Liberty Movement” faction are all tainted by “paleoconservatism” and therefore unacceptable. The term, like “racist,” has become a catchall for anyone who disputes any aspect of the Beltway Right’s program.
The real problem for Conservatism Inc. and its mouthpieces: not that Rand Paul is a secret paleoconservative or that one of his employees is somehow a racist—but that he is not fully under control.
Rand Paul once questioned anti-discrimination laws, he might advance the meaning of “conservatism” beyond the limits defined by the post-purge National Review, and above all he might favor a more restrained foreign policy.
For that reason, Paul and those associated with him must be eliminated—even if the GOP’s presidential hopes are eliminated along with them.
In the eyes of the Beltway Right, “conservatism” must be destroyed, in order to save it.