Two students “ruined everything” for Conservatism Inc. at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC], in the words of Slate’s David Weigel. [CPAC Diary: Meet the White Nationalists Who Ruined Everything, March 16, 2013] Matt Heimbach and Scott Terry torpedoed any hopes that the American Conservative Union (ACU) had of disassociating “conservatism” from its essence as an implicitly white movement when they brought up racially sensitive topics at a farcical panel dedicated to white self-flagellation.
Heimbach and Terry both have extensive experience in the wonkish student-training processes of Conservatism Inc. But, understandably frustrated, Heimbach started a White Student Union at Towson, which inevitably attracted Cultural Marxist Enforcer attention. (Why can’t whites have a student union when blacks, Hispanics etc. etc. do? Welcome to Anti-America!)
The CPAC fun all started at a panel ludicrously entitled “Trump the Race Card: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist and You Know You're Not One?” The moderator: K. Carl Smith, a professional minority conservative, was hawking his book Frederick Douglass Republicans and recycling the somewhat strained Conservatism Inc. narrative about how Democrats during the nineteenth century were racist and how Southern Democrats opposed the Civil Rights movement. A typical and predictable applause line: Smith recounting his shock at discovering that the evil George Wallace had been (gasp!) a Democrat.
The panel was sponsored by Tea Party Patriots. This was an odd choice to teach conservatives about avoiding charges of racism: TPP has been repeatedly smeared by the Southern Poverty Law Center ($PLC to VDARE.com) as extremists and conspiracy theorists. Nonetheless, the panel would have gone down as another example of Conservatism Inc. fleecing the rubes by telling them what they want to hear—if Heimbach and Terry had not attended.
The panel spun off the rails when Scott Terry pointed out from the floor: “It seems to me that you're reaching out to voters at the expense of young white southern males like myself."
This turned into a larger debate about the history of the conservative movement. Matt Heimbach subsequently noted that National Review and William F. Buckley were defending segregation during the 1960's. (See “Why the South Must Prevail.” NR, August 24, 1957 and Can We Desegregate Hesto Presto?, by WFB, November 11, 1961 and the work of James Jackson Kilpatrick.)
Ironically, the duo was joined by a liberal black woman named Kim Brown who works for Voice of Russia. She made similar charges, though obviously she had a different take on their significance.
What generated most of the Main Stream Media [MSM] sound and fury: Smith, who typically for CPAC framed his egalitarianism in Christian terms, waxed poetic about how Frederick Douglass had forgiven his slave-owner. Terry responded: "Did he thank him for giving him shelter? And food?"
You can’t even imply anything positive about America’s slavery experience nowadays. The room exploded. (See video)
(Any fair viewer will note, however, that Smith and Terry, both Southerners, conducted themselves like gentlemen.)
Order was eventually restored, and Smith later was quoted by TalkingPointsMemo.com to the effect that he and Terry had “left as friends.” Meet The Moderator Behind CPAC’s Race Panel Gone Wrong, Benjy Sarlin, TPM, March 18, 2013
But Leftist journalists rejoiced—this is exactly the kind of story that they go to CPAC to find. At a stroke, Heimbach and Terry had reinforced the accepted narrative that the conservative base is hegemonically white, male, Southern, Christian, and “racist.” To a typical Huffington Post reader, every Republican is Matt Heimbach and Scott Terry.
Think Progress gloated CPAC Participant Defends Slavery at Minority Outreach Panel. [By Scott Keyes and Zack Beauchamp, March 15, 2013.] It also made the claim (explicitly refuted by the liberal TalkingPointsMemo.com report) that “several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry's outburst.”
Daily Kos played guilt by association, trying to link the duo to Rick Santorum's group “Patriot Voices” because of a sticker Terry was wearing. Author “eades” sneered that “conservatives at CPAC” are, after all, just a bunch of “rampaging bigots.” Of course, the likes of Little Green Footballs and Andrew Sullivan quickly adopted Heimbach and Terry as the face of the conference. [An African-American CPAC Can Embrace, AndrewSullivan.com, March 15, 2013.]
In response, Conservatism Inc. quickly rallied around the idea that Heimbach and Terry were simply trolls looking for attention—or even liberals deliberately trying to sabotage CPAC. Twitchy.com reported a host of defensive tweets from conservatives disowning the duo, claiming that they were “not conservatives” and talking up real conservative heroes like defeated black Congressman Allen West.
Professional “black conservative” (and self-described “Christian”) Alonzo “'Zo” Rachel unconvincingly threatened to fight Heimbach and Terry and somehow interpreted them as indicative of the libertarian takeover of the GOP. An obviously confused Rachel rapped that conservatives should resist being co-opted by “neo-Confederate libertarians” and stand with the (nonexistent) Republican legacy of Frederick Douglass. [PJTV: Racists Have No Place in the Conservative Movement ] (Hey, 'Zo, 2008 called. They want their neoconservative talking points back.)
At grassroots conservative sites like FreeRepublic (which deletes any article that links to Vdare.com), conservative activists gleefully ruminated on why Terry and Heimbach should be “purged” by a new William F. Buckley.
Of course, it was William F. Buckley himself to whom Heimbach had appealed in defending racial realism and states' rights as part of conservative history.
Perhaps the most remarkable reaction came from Glenn Beck's The Blaze. This webzine is utterly dependent on channeling white resentment for traffic. But one of its reporters took to Twitter in the aftermath of the incident to condemn Heimbach and Terry as “not conservatives.”
Intriguingly, after an initially negative story portraying Heimbach and Terry as utter lunatics, the story has since been updated to allow them to speak for themselves.
The Blaze quotes Terry's complaint that his supposedly outrageous positions of “defending slavery” and promoting black subservience are “completely false.”
The comments thread at The Blaze reveals significant support for Heimbach and Terry.
The CPAC debacle shows that any mention of whites as a group with legitimate interests is immediately smeared, in the prevailing political culture, as “white supremacism.”
The Establishment Conservative media are just as complicit as the Left in this framing device, with commentators leaping to characterize racially conscious conservatives as “trolls”—even when the dissidents clearly know more about conservative movement history than the movement's own “intellectuals.”
In one particularly devastating response to a hostile reporter, Matt Heimbach pointed out that Buckley defended segregation in the South (before characteristically reversing himself) and that the GOP was boosted by the defection of the Dixiecrats (still continuing in 2012). [ CPAC's 'Trump the Race Card' Panel Derailed by Actual Segregationist, By Elspeth Reeve, March 15, 2013]
Contra movement conservatives, the fact that Republicans supported the Civil Rights Act by a greater margin than the Democrats is irrelevant because the “Dixiecrats” joined the GOP a few years later. As Heimbach made clear, Movement Conservatism can only “rebrand” itself by either ignoring or actively attacking its own intellectual history. Of course, as he pointed out to Atlantic Magazine’s Reeves, the “right-wing” is very good at “lying to itself.”
This hostility to white racial consciousness is matched by an increasingly embarrassing multicultural opportunism by Republican operatives. They are abandoning colorblind rhetoric and openly pandering to blacks as blacks, Hispanics as Hispanics, and so on. Thus Rand Paul's speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce makes clear he thinks that expecting non-whites to speak and understand the national language of English is exclusionary.
Furthermore, Conservatism Inc’s recent unconditional embrace of the new black savior figure Dr. Ben Carson (who supports both gun control and amnesty) shows that a Politically Correct complexion can trump principles even among many activists.
It is whites – and only whites—who are not allowed advocate for their interests; or even their existence.
In an March 19 interview with Thom Hartmann on Russia Today, Heimbach lays out his position that the conservative movement should stand up for its supporters and reach out to disaffected blue-collar workers. He attacks policies of mass immigration and outsourcing that have crippled the American working class and forced patriots into an impossible choice between the Scylla of a Republican Party that wants to replace them and the Charybdis of a Democratic Party that actively hates them.
Note that both Heimbach and Hartmann agree on the “transition” of the GOP that took place with the Southern Strategy: Republicans made a conscious choice to appeal to disaffected white Democrats, especially in the South.
But Hartmann smears this vast portion of the American population as “racists” and suggests they shouldn't be represented at all. Like most progressives, Hartmann hates conservatives not because of what they believe—but because of who they are.
Conservatism Inc.'s political platform is slowly degenerating into its logical conclusion of left-libertarianism. Cultural elements are being disregarded as the Left cruises from victory to victory. The Republican Party itself, as evidenced by the RNC’s recent report, is moving towards an agenda that can only be described as overtly anti-white—while paradoxically more reliant than ever on white voters.
At the same time, grassroots resentment against the Democrats (and fundraising for Conservatism Inc.) is being fueled by racial dog whistling that is hardly even disguised. A simple glance at the Drudge Report, The Blaze, or Breitbart.com each day shows that Conservatism Inc. exploits white racial resentments, while simultaneously condemning them.
The center cannot hold. Heimbach and Terry showed that even a couple of diversity dissidents can utterly discredit any Conservatism Inc. event by simply highlighting the GOP's hypocritical reliance on its white base.
Heimbach and Terry proved that the GOP's preferred strategy of wishful thinking won't work. If a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign can be “ruined” by two students, it was built upon sand.
The historic American Conservative Movement is dead. Conservatism Inc. exists as a racket. For immigration patriots, the only question is—what comes next?