Conservatism Inc. may have failed to limit the power of the federal government, cut spending, or defend traditional values, but it can take credit for one thing—inventing an entire genre of journalism intentionally designed to mislead its own supporters. A typical example: in the March 10 treezine issue of National Review, Land of Inequality, [by Troy Senik (email him), webposted February 24, 2014] which discusses the cratering of California—without even mentioning the word immigration.
Senik, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, bemoans the decline of California from a “beacon to the middle class, a place where you could author the future on your own terms” to an overpriced, overregulated state dominated by a “regnant liberalism [supported by] a political alliance between the super-rich and the super-poor.”
So far so good, apart from the occasional standard Beltway Right talking point—I confess I started laughing at the sentence “CEO Magazine has ranked California the worst state in the nation in which to do business”! Still, Senik does clearly identify that California’s main problem is not oppressed Chief Executive Officers, but middle class Californians fleeing their home state:
These are not titans of industry looking to maximize profits in Texas or Florida; these are everyday citizens who’ve found themselves priced out of what was once called the California dream.
Senik also notes that “unemployment had stayed at or above 12 percent from September 2009 to February 2011.”
And he summarizes accurately what has happened to the Golden State:
As the economy faltered, the state raised taxes and continued to let regulation and litigation run riot. As the freeways clogged and housing prices climbed to astronomical levels, environmental activists called for high-speed rail and “sustainable communities.” As the state’s schools saw their performance plummet to national lows, the California Teachers Association — the state’s dominant teachers’ union and foremost opponent of education reform — remained the single biggest financial player in state politics.
Indeed, Senik even approaches a discussion of Steve Sailer’s “Affordable Family Formation” concept (without giving him credit, of course) in explaining why the GOP retains some influence in the Golden State. Senik notes that “many of the state’s inland counties have the political disposition of red states” and identifies the critical economic issue facing the struggling middle class is “finding affordable housing.” He mourns the loss of the California that once “beguiled the nation—one with abundant, affordable suburban housing, open roads, middle-class jobs aplenty, and good schools.” (My emphasis!)
Unfortunately, Senik falls into the usual conservative trap of blaming everything on the “fiscal, legal, and regulatory environment for business.” He says California isn’t permissive enough on new housing. The environmentalists won’t let California utilize its oil reserves. It is actually quicker for Carl’s Jr. (the famous California-based fast food chain) to build a new restaurant in Siberia than it is in California. As a result, Carl’s Jr. is “aggressively expanding in Texas.”
What is the reason for all of this? Senik says that the rich in California want a state “where white-collar workers take public transit through densely packed urban centers, leaving nary a carbon footprint to be found in their wake.” He writes that California’s elites don’t just “evangelize in behalf of their artisanal lifestyles” but “insist that such tastes drive lawmaking….that’s the trend that’s increasingly driving California’s middle class across state lines.”
Thus, for Sanik the problem is that the “elites” are liberal. But this is not simply a matter of ideals. California’s elites materially benefit from the destruction of the state’s middle class paradise. They benefit from a supply of government-dependent cheap labor. This is why Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of those hated “white collar” workers arguing so fanatically for more H1-B visas and Amnesty. Similarly, even though National Review’s picture Illustrating the article was a picture of farm workers, Senik doesn’t mention the hordes of helots imported by the state’s agribusiness to pick fruit and lettuce.
As VDARE.com’s Peter Brimelow has pointed out, the immigration invasion represents a massive transfer of income from labor to capital. Part of this involves beating down wage levels by the importation of a whole new helot class of Hispanic laborers (most of whom are also frankly hostile to the idea of limited government, Conservatism Inc. propaganda notwithstanding).
Of course, “pro-business” Conservatism Inc. publicists literally cannot comprehend that the wealthy may be opposed to their dogmas for selfish, materialist reasons. Instead, Senik seems to think that the California elite’s Leftist beliefs are simply a matter of taste and that what unites the very poor and the very rich is a desire for “more government.” In this, he shares Angelo Codevilla’s bastardization of the work of Sam Francis.
Whether it is called the “Ruling Class” (Codevilla) or simply the “elite” (Senik), the perfidies of the political class are attributed to a simplistic liberal, anti-capitalist agenda. But, in actuality, the managerial elite and its multicultural pets are united by an implacable hostility to the historic American nation. Their politics are a question of who (can disadvantage ordinary Americans and benefit them) not what (particular policy is best in an abstract sense). Senik never mentions that what is happening is not just the fleeing of the middle class—but “white flight” from an entire state. The anti-white animus driving the project of demographic transformation is left unsaid.
Senik is developing a kind of mini-career analyzing the collapse of California. Five years ago, he wrote Who Killed California, for National Affairs. [Fall 2009] He made only a passing reference to “the fact that 72% of those without diplomas are immigrants only fuels the state's growing problem of social stratification.” He wrote a similar column for The Guardian [California, A Republican Paradise Lost, February 25, 2009] which did not mention immigration at all.
Even curiouser—Senik is essentially sound on immigration! He wrote last year that opponents of the Gang of Eight’s Amnesty/Immigration Surge are merely saying that
“Failure to secure the border will only mean millions more illegal immigrants and more grants of citizenship in the year to come. Convince us that you’ve done your duty to protect national sovereignty and we’ll talk about what to do with those who are already here. It’s an utterly reasonable demand.”
[Immigration and Trust: Washington Can’t Be Believed, by Troy Senik, Center of Individual Freedom, June 12, 2013]
But for whatever reason—deference to Politically Correct/ GOP careerist editors?—Senik consistently ignores his own insight, although it is obviously impossible to talk about how the GOP lost California, and how the middle class lost the country, without addressing issues of immigration and, ultimately, race.
And Senik is not unique. From Ross Douthat at New York Times [The War Over California, December 23, 2009,] at the City Journal, to the Claremont Review of Books [Failed State, Fall 2009] to Reason [How Big Government Is Killing California, April 27, 2012] conservatives and libertarians are scratching their heads about what happened to California but not addressing the deliberate replacement of its population. (See Patrick Cleburne on Jennifer Rubin doing the same thing in Commentary.)
Not surprisingly, the answers offered are rote condemnations of “big government.” (Some of the libertarians also fall into their typically lunatic pattern of actually welcoming the leftist takeover of California—because, after all, cultural leftism trumps limited government.)
Similarly, columnists like Kevin Williamson [ Progressivism Kills, NR, February 1, 2014 and George Will [Detroit’s death by democracy, July 31, 2014] make a career writing about how “unions” or “liberalism” have destroyed Detroit—ignoring the undeniable success of liberal but white cities like Portland or Pittsburgh.
More than five decades after the 1965 Immigration Act and three decades after Ronald Reagan’s disastrous 1986 Amnesty, you can no longer pretend discretion is the better part of valor—even if you want to make a career in Conservatism Inc., because Conservatism Inc.’s tenure at the trough is nearly over.
California’s white middle class was destroyed because of mass immigration. Income inequality, is, as Ann Coulter notes, driven by mass immigration. The destruction of the Republican Party (and Conservatism Inc.) is occurring because of the demographic transformation, and increasingly repressive Cultural Marxism, enabled by mass immigration.
Call it for what it is—or be called a liar by omission.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.