What Does a Millennial Conservatism Look Like? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
What Does a Millennial Conservatism Look Like?

There’s an email going around that suggests a refocusing away from the famous “three-legged stool” of anticommunism, social conservatism, and economic libertarianism, which served as the basis of modern conservatism from its founding in 1955 through to the rolling disaster of Bush Republicanism, which made a mockery of the movement. I first saw it Monday, and then twice on Tuesday it showed up in my email, all from folks you’d recognize. I’m taking this as an indication it isn’t just some chain email, but something people are actually talking about.

And I’m passing this along because I find it very interesting. It is definitely not the kind of thing you’d see from the institutional or establishment gang. It’s fairly raw and not ready for a mainstream political campaign by any means. But most of what’s in here absolutely has a constituency among younger folks on the right, and it’s interesting that some of it still sounds a bit like the “alt-right” from a few years ago before the elite opinion-makers and talking heads threw a fit and shut most of that down.

That many of the things you heard from that crowd haven’t gone away despite their being “canceled” is not really surprising. The ruling class squelched the Tea Party as a bunch of racists and cranks, only to see them come back as the MAGA movement with Donald Trump’s ascension in 2016. Without predicting that the alt-right is the future of conservatism, what I can say is that the people in charge of this country aren’t credible or competent enough to shut down much of anything. You have to win an argument to do that, and they stopped trying years ago.

Anyway, on to this email. The text of it appears at a brand-new Substack known as “YoungConservatives,” and here’s a substantial excerpt, with my comments below:

– While we may be agnostic on causes of current environmental changes, we believe we should be good stewards of the earth. Republicans in the early 20th century were forerunners in conservation efforts, and we support being good stewards of the land. A moratorium on third world immigration and refugees would be a good start toward a realistic environmentalism, because it would put less pressure on resources and less demand for housing, which increases development.

– We are strict immigration restrictionists. This is the #1 issue for many in our ranks. We support a 100-year moratorium on all third world immigration and refugees. We also support repatriating third-world invaders currently in the West. We recognize that both legal and illegal immigration are a problem and are tired of the Cheap Labor Lobby (people like Soros, Singer, Zuckerberg, Kochs, et al) using third-world legal immigration to drive down wages. We also oppose the treasonous and corrupt Refugee Resettlement Racket which profits (off taxpayers) by facilitating the third-world refugee invasion of the West. We have zero tolerance for boomer talking points like “I’m against illegal immigration but support legal immigration” or “we’re a nation of immigrants.” We oppose all amnesties, chain migration, visa lotteries, etc. We want a complete and total moratorium on all third-world immigration and refugees, and the repatriation of third-world invaders currently in the West.

– Many of us support free markets, but we do not worship free markets. In fact, free markets have brought us globalist billionaires who seek to flood the West with third world immigration and refugees. One way to sum up our economic views is: Economic nationalism. Also, like Abraham Lincoln, we support tariffs.

– We oppose the neocon wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. We are tired of seeing trillions of dollars of taxpayer money being used to nation-build abroad …

– We fully oppose Critical Race Theory and believe it is anti-White … We advise anyone to be wary of grifters who are not specifically calling out CRT as “anti-White.”

– While many younger conservatives are pro-life, others are pro-choice. Abortions are at an all-time low, and for nearly all younger conservatives abortion does not rank as a top issue regardless of their views. The abortion debate is largely seen as a boomer issue.

– We oppose the mass censorship by Big Tech and would like to see Big Tech broken up and regulated as public utilities. We also whole-heartedly support free-speech platforms like Gab.com, which is really the only true free-speech social-media platform and is the platform of choice for younger conservatives …

– We support Second Amendment rights. We oppose the tranny agenda, and we believe that gender and race are biologically real.

– While many younger conservatives are Christian, some are also neopagan or atheist. Younger conservatives have made alliances across religious divides to oppose common enemies …

– We welcome all races into our ranks and do not tolerate hate. However, unlike boomers who have more issues with pro-White advocacy, we do not … Back when the USA was around 85 – 90% White, White racial advocacy might not have been called for. But now that demographics are changing (USA 57% White), White people (European-descended people) have the right to advocate for our own interests … That said, common alliance can be made among races on a host of issues. For example, third-world immigration and refugees have been devastating for African-American communities. The type of nationalism we support benefits non-Whites too.

My first reaction to this is that early 21st-century conservatism looks an awful lot like early-to-mid-20th-century conservatism, and I was wondering whether these guys would be for Taft, or Lindbergh, in 2024.

In all seriousness, though, there is a bit of meat on these bones.

The neoconservative/globalist project is intensely unpopular on both sides of the political aisle and is unlikely to hold sway over American politics much longer.

First, it’s refreshing to see someone talk about land stewardship and environmentalism without wasting oxygen on the idiocy of climate change. After all, there is quite a bit we can do on the environment — and a lot of it can be done by rolling back much of the stupidity the “environmentalist” Left has foisted on us. Those solar panels and wind turbines, for example, are mass-murderers of our avian friends, and given the amount of land area they take up with ugly, inefficient structures built from Chinese strip mining of rare-earth minerals there is a great cost to this supposed “clean” energy. If conservatism is willing to engage on this issue it will profit politically, and deservedly so.

Next, immigration. As written this platform comes off a perhaps a bit extreme in demanding 100 years of zero third-world immigration. It’ll be denounced immediately as racist, and this ties into the Left’s attempts to marginalize the anti-immigration Right as a bunch of neo-Nazis and bigots howling about the “browning” of America. An excellent essay by the editors at American Mind on Monday dove deeply into this subject, noting the supposed “conspiracy theory” of the Great Replacement which such deplorables as Rep. Steve King and Tucker Carlson have warned of is actually a quite real and not-racist thing.

For years Democrats pleasured themselves with self-congratulatory predictions that immigration-related demographic changes thinning out the “white” majority in this country would yield a cornucopia of political benefits to their party, with California hailed as the future of America. Then when conservatives caught up to this and began pointing out its dystopian societal consequences, it was all of a sudden racism and bigotry to even note there was an attempt to import a new electorate in the first place.

So it’s good that someone is willing to take on this issue unapologetically. My suggestion would be to take the notion of semi-permanent immigration bans within a historical perspective; throughout American history we’ve had periods of intense immigration, followed by slowdowns during which the emphasis was on assimilating the latest wave of newcomers into American culture. Historically we are overdue for a time of assimilation rather than immigration, and therefore a 20-year ratcheting-down of immigration from all sources, save for those people escaping Marxist tyranny and/or those bringing resources or marketable skills, is more than warranted and is likely a majoritarian agenda item.

“Economic nationalism” is a term that will likely be savaged by the Left, and perhaps it doesn’t represent the best branding. But the theme is solid — we want to protect and promote American manufacturing, and particularly of those items that carry national security importance. It might be sufficient, though, simply to focus our efforts on pulling our supply chain out of China. We might not find that it’s economically feasible to make flip-flops in Schenectady; if that’s so, better they’re made in Manila or Manaus than in Dongguan. The other key point in an “economic nationalist” agenda would be a resurgence of antitrust policy and action to begin breaking up the corporate oligopoly, which has infected all too many of our market sectors.

However it’s branded, what I’d suggest is that conservative economic policy be intensely pro-capitalist but just as intensely anti-corporate. With data showing that Americans created 53 percent more small businesses in 2021 than in 2019, it’s apparent the public is getting very fed up with the corporate class and would welcome a political movement that embraces that feeling without marrying it to Marxist idiocy.

The neoconservative/globalist project is intensely unpopular on both sides of the political aisle and is unlikely to hold sway over American politics much longer once the current breed of septuagenarians and octogenarians are finally flushed out of Capitol Hill. And the woke excesses of critical race theory and others are an easy sell as well; we’ve already seen in last year’s Virginia elections what a slam-dunk it is to oppose those.

But this piece comes off the rails a bit in downplaying abortion. We’re on the cusp of Roe v. Wade being sharply curtailed if not overturned, and that’s going to make abortion as hot an issue as it’s ever been. Conservatives have been winning on this issue for a good while, and this is no time to give up — especially when Planned Parenthood is busy selling body parts of aborted fetuses and giving out puberty blockers to mixed-up kids without their parents’ knowledge. Any conservative movement that would give up on abortion now simply likes to lose, and that can’t be tolerated.

I can’t speak to “neopaganism,” and there is a school of thought which holds that if you’re on board with the concept of natural law, however you might come about that understanding, then it isn’t necessary to uphold the primary role of Judeo-Christian moral teaching as the foundation of American society.

From a political standpoint, though, it seems a whole lot simpler just to say that you don’t have to attend a church or synagogue every weekend to recognize that the Judeo-Christian tradition is what we’ve founded American society on, and that our moral tradition is one of the key elements that makes America special. And further, we’ve already seen what you get when you abandon the old-time religion; you get this woke Marxism, which lacks any concept of grace or forgiveness or even the golden rule, much less any rational rules of conduct.

It should be a pretty easy sell to tell people that a society based on Judeo-Christian traditions, even if it’s secular, is a hell of a lot better than one that is set in the shifting sands of wokeness. So far these appear to be our choices, and conservatives unapologetically stand for the former.

And finally, there’s this issue of race and white advocacy. Politically you can’t go there, because it’s going to be cast as neo-Nazism by the legacy media gang (most of whom are incandescently racist in their own right and have no room to talk, as Monday’s column in this space discussed). That said, the basic point made in the little manifesto above isn’t wrong as a matter of basic inevitability: if the Left is going to continue attacking white people on as broad a front as they are, the consequences will look like this.

You can’t tell a Joe Rogan or Morgan Wallen he isn’t allowed to use the N-word while black people can use it at will and not have people notice, and you can’t give Whoopi Goldberg a two-week vacation for dismissing the Holocaust as a disagreement between groups of honkies while Gina Carano gets fired for posting a meme explaining how a government run by psychotics could corrupt a population into cheering on a genocide. You can’t have imbeciles like Jennifer Rubin cheering a decline in the white population without the declining people reacting.

If the sudden support for white racial advocacy in the manifesto above is jarring, I can tell you that it’s quite broad-based among young people and not just among conservatives (and not just in America). The platform above can be summed up thusly: it’s a full-frontal rejection of virtually everything the ruling elite in this country has been pushing for the past 25 years, and it should be no surprise the racial taboos of the ruling class are in that bathwater as well. That doesn’t make it right, or even good politics, but the lesson is these kids don’t give a damn about the cancel culture and they aren’t afraid of being called names.

“And a child shall lead them” has never been particularly prevalent strategy for the conservative movement, and what you see above isn’t going to fully describe the direction of the movement anytime soon. That said, it is interesting to see what all these years of politicization and cultural decline have wrought.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and RVIVR.com, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at Amazon.com. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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