Steve Curtis: You guys documented, on VDARE.com, the length of time that Trump has been giving real solutions to immigration, talking about putting America first. This is not some Johnny-come-lately, is it?
Peter Brimelow: You know, Steve, Rudy Giuliani, who is not an immigration patriot —he is actually a liberal Republican—said, when Trump declared nearly a year ago, that people underestimate him. All of these people know each other in New York City. He said that Trump was very clever, that he was very knowledgeable about current issues and he said, ““We might have a little bit of a Ronald Reagan here.” [Giuliani: Trump may show a 'little Reagan', By Mark Hensch, The Hill, August 5, 2015]. This was way back in the summer of last year. I don’t think Giuliani agrees with Trump on a lot of the key issues, but he is just really impressed with him as a force.
Curtis: This wasn’t a narrow victory. Trump has had this thing sewn up for a long time, hasn’t he?
Peter: Yes. The really interesting thing is the way the Republican elites have behaved. Normally, people would have been jumping on the Trump Train months ago. Whereas, instead, you get Mitt Romney coming out and attacking him. It’s astounding that Trump’s poll numbers and his votes are still so good given that these people, whom the Republican voter is supposed to respect, have been so hysterical about him.
His underlying strength, the thing that has really carried him through, is his ability to connect with voters. There has never been anything like this.
Curtis: I was looking through a bit of headlines that you have on VDARE.com this morning. James Kirkpatrick’s piece, which I read on your website, says, Trump Victorious As GOP Transformed Into A National Conservative Party. And I thought, there you go! You got it!
Peter: Kirkpatrick has this concept of “National Conservatism”—which includes what we call at VDARE.com “the National Question”—whether the U.S. is going to be a nation-state, representing a specific group of people, whether it is going to speak English, if it is going to be a universal nation or fundamentally a white European nation.
These are issues that the Republican elites haven’t wanted to address—partly because some of them are too busy making money with crony capitalism; and partly because some of them are more interested in defending Israel and stuff like that.
Peter: The neoconservatives—this peculiar faction that came into the Republican Party in the late 1970s, early 1980s, they were really former Democrats—came to control the party and expel everyone else.
The funny thing is that it’s not clear that the Israelis really wanted America to invade Iraq. It was the American neocons who wanted it. They have a very grandiose view of what is in Israel’s national interest, which is much more grandiose that what the Israelis themselves have.
I wrote a book, over 20 years ago, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster. At that time, I was deeply involved in the conservative movement in New York as a journalist. I knew all of these neoconservatives. I actually thought they would listen. I knew why they wanted a strong defense, a strong military, as this was during the Cold War. But I didn’t see why they would want this enormous influx of non-traditional immigration.
But that, it turned out, was very important to them. They didn’t fess up to it, but it was very important. You can see from the Wall Street Journal’s editorial this morning—the Wall Street Journal is controlled by neoconservatives [The Trump Reality, May 5, 2016]. They’re trying to figure out what to say about Trump. But they continue to say they hate Trump’s anti-immigration stance—and they blame poor Ted Cruz for stirring up anti-immigration sentiment and creating Trump!
So I don’t understand why the neoconservatives are so fanatical about immigration, but they are.
I’m sure the Israelis don’t care. Look at their immigration policy! They built a wall. They have thrown out the illegals. They are very careful about who comes in legally. Why can’t we have their immigration policy?
Well, the neocons won’t let us.
Curtis: I’ve always suspected this love for Israel is pretty phony. I think it’s a chance to always dump money and arms into the Middle East.
Peter: Well, Eisenhower was right. There is a military-industrial complex. There is a tendency for these things to take on a momentum of their own. People get used to spending money on weapons, and there’s a whole lobbying industry that is based around it.
And I think that Trump is aware of that, of course. He’s made it clear that he’s very pro-military, but he doesn’t like the idea of indefinite overseas involvement. He’s concerned about the national interest.
When I was last on with you, Steve, I said that, after his loss in Wisconsin, Trump has to up the ante, he has to say something that’s going to get people’s attention.
He actually didn’t really do that. He just continued as he was. And it turned out that there was enough people want to support him anyway, and he won these stunning victories in the North East and so on.
But he did make this remarkable foreign policy speech. Basically, he called for a more prudent assessment of America’s overseas interests.
But, in the middle of it, Trump actually got into immigration—which very few people noticed. He said that we have to control who comes in—specifically Muslim immigration. We don’t know who these people are. That’s an aspect of immigration that is completely missing from the conventional political class discussion, which is really focused on what the economic benefits to their donors are.
Curtis: It’s clear if you watch the Sunday morning TV shows by looking at who the sponsors of those shows are. That’s the only time in the week on national television that you’re going to see Northrop Grumman and the other national defense contractors advertising.
They want non-stop interventionism in the Middle East—creating a flood of immigrants, millions of people displaced because we are bombing their cities constantly. They have no other place to go.
Peter: Well, they do have other places to go, The Syrian refugees were being housed in refugee camps in Eastern Turkey. For that matter, the Arab world has taken none of them.
So I think there is another agenda that comes into play here. It’s what Daniel Webster called a “fearful concatenation of circumstances.” These refugee contractors in the U.S., which are basically taxpayer-funded, are determined to get in as many refugees as possible. They’re trying to get them into Montana, Nebraska, and so on. I think there is a real agenda here. From Obama’s point of view, he wants to build up garrisons of Democratic voters in these deeply red states.
Curtis: Peter let’s talk about the security risk in the U.S. The fact is that even, after 9/11, we just have not gotten serious about starting to build a wall.
Peter: Actually, what happened was the Bush administration after 9/11 made a deal with the Saudis to allow a massive increase in Saudi students studying in the U.S., even though those are the precisely the people who perpetrated 9/11—people who allegedly came here to study.
We talked about, earlier, the Military-Industrial Complex. But there’s also the Ed Complex—these university bureaucrats want foreign students in the country because they generally pay the full freight. It’s a completely self-interested thing by the universities. They don’t care about the national interest.
The real problem is that it’s not simply a question of people sneaking in who consciously intend to be terrorists, though I’m sure there are people like that. It’s people who when they get here are profoundly alienated by the society.
I told you earlier, Steve, that I was very active in New York journalism in the 1980s. I know the guy who wrote the famous editorial for the Wall Street Journal calling for a constitutional amendment enacting Open Borders—they used to run it every July Fourth. And the other day, he told me he’d rethought this, he thought there ought to be Open Borders—except for potential terrorists.
I said to him: “Well, the problem is that they don’t actually identify themselves as potential terrorists when they show up at the consulate to be interviewed.”
And they may not be potential terrorists at that point. What we’ve seen with these terrorists in Britain and France and America is that people come here from relatively normal, Muslim, middle-class families, and then the children are radicalized because of something to do with the clash between Islam and Western society. That’s been the case for all of the major terrorist atrocities—except San Bernardino, where they actually were immigrants—the kids were actually born in the U.S., France, or Britain, but they still become more radical than the parents.
And this is not just a problem with terrorists, it’s a problem with all immigrants. For example, the Hispanic influx: the parents are relatively hard-working and not interested in politics, but the children become radicalized. There’s a whole industry of activists who are radicalizing these people, and it works.
So, we are basically creating hostile, anti-American islands in the country through immigration policy.
Curtis: Well, we saw a great example of that in Los Angeles, California, when Donald Trump was up there last week to give a speech to his supporters.
Peter: I think this is a serious threat to Trump, because it’s going ahead with the connivance of the Ruling Class, the government. There were 17 people arrested in Costa Mesa, and only one of them has been indicted for anything, and even that’s almost a misdemeanor.(Felony Vandalism—damaging a police car.)
The great strength of the Trump rallies was the carnival-like atmosphere. There were families, there were people with children, babes in their arms. It was a huge party. Now people are not going to do that—they’re not going to bring their children to these rallies due to the threat of violence.
The same thing happened in Chicago. We ran an item by a non-white immigrant who said he was deeply shocked by performance in Chicago—these people were threatening and screaming at obscenities families with children, Trump supporters.
And these were Sanders supporters. You would have thought that the Main Stream Media and the Ruling Class in general, and Ted Cruz in particular, would have denounced these people and said that we can’t have the supporters of one presidential candidate harassing the supporters of another presidential candidate and suppressing his meeting.
It’s what the late Sam Francis called “anarcho-tyranny.” On the one hand, you get these mobs threatening people at Trump rallies. On the other hand, the law enforcement people don’t do anything about it.
Curtis: It was the last straw for me. Ted Cruz went along with the idea that you can throw frozen bottles of soda at people and hit them in the head and cut them wide open, you can burn the American flag while simultaneously waving the Mexican flag on American soil, and that’s OK—so long as you are doing it to my enemy. This just wasn’t a great campaign for him.
Peter: Well, I think you’re a bit hard on Cruz! I think he showed very poor instincts on Chicago. But of course, the entire MSM was on his side so he was saying what he thought was popular.
But he did come a long way with immigration issue. His answers on the issue in Wisconsin, when he was asked by that farmer who wanted to employ illegal aliens, he immediately started talking about the possibility of mechanization and the impact of immigration on wages. His answer was actually better than Trump’s, because Trump doesn’t bother studying these things, he just shoots from the hip.
So I think we ought to celebrate the fact that the two who were left standing at the end were, in some sense, both immigration patriots.
And the same with Rand Paul. I think he’s a more tragic figure than Jeb Bush because I think Paul did experiment with some immigration patriot noises at some point, and then he just backed off when he was confronted by the donors and the Libertarian ideologues.
All of these people were totally destroyed. The only ones that were left at the end were Cruz and Trump and they were both very good on immigration. And this a revolution compared to four years ago.
Curtis: I guess I can meet you halfway and say that Ted Cruz ran a brilliant second place campaign. [Laughter]
Peter: I was interested in Trump choosing Cruz as vice president because there are people who are devoted to Cruz and would not continue with Trump if Cruz were not on the ticket. But maybe there is just too much bad blood. Trump said that he wants someone who can help him on Capitol Hill, and, of course, Cruz is notoriously unpopular on Capitol Hill.
I personally would like Trump to choose Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State in Kansas. He’s won state-wide election twice, which is a good thing, he’s been the lead litigator for the various desperate acts by states and local governments to stave off illegal immigration, he’s litigated it on the national level. He’s a Yale Law School graduate and a Professor of Law in Kansas He’s my dark horse candidate. He could really argue the issue very well. And he’s about two inches taller than Donald Trump, so that would be interesting to see on the podium!
Curtis: [laughter] It sure would be!
But I thought Cruz was conservative on the immigration issue more out of necessity than belief.
Peter: I’ll take that! Michael Kinsley once said that insincere flattery is even better than sincere flattery because it means that they actually fear you. So I will take that Cruz was insincerely in favor of patriotic immigration reform—as opposed to Jeb Bush or John Kasich who were completely boneheaded about Amnesty.
There was an interesting moment when Ben Carson was in the debates, when he was confused as to when he was supposed to go on, which is very easy to do in that kind of a situation. And Trump stood back to help him. Trump didn’t go on stage when he was supposed to. But Cruz just barged ahead and went on. Those small human touches—I guess they do mean a lot to voters.
I was reading articles this morning discussing this moment when Carly Fiorina fell off the stage and Cruz didn’t even look around to help her—he just continued talking and shaking hands. He saw it, but he looked away and continued on with what he was doing. I mean, you can understand it, he’s revved up, he’s full of adrenalin, he’s very focused. But it makes people think that if he doesn’t care about his Vice Presidential candidate, he’s not going to care about anybody.
Curtis: Well, that’s just the feeling I kinda got.
The bottom line is that Donald Trump is the GOP’s nominee. It’s going to be Trump or Clinton. As we head toward November, Peter, let’s size up Hillary vs Trump on the issue of immigration.
Peter: Well, to begin at the beginning: I think Hillary has a Ted Cruz problem, frankly. She’s basically a seriously unlikeable person.
And this goes right to the immigration issue because Dick Morris, who knows the Clintons very well, has said that Hillary is so overbearing, so vicious with her staff, that they’re afraid to tell her things. And this is a big problem because they won’t tell her that Trump’s a problem for her.
And the evidence is that she’s recently let it be known that she intends to run on the issues of gun control, on the one hand, and “immigration reform,” which of course means Amnesty/ Immigration surge, on the other.
Now, I’m sure that in D.C. inside the Beltway, that looks just great because no-one owns guns there anyway and they’re all in favor of a massive increase in immigration because that’s what the donors want and it’s what the Left wants, But I just don’t think that’s going to play in the country. How is that going to work in Colorado—gun control and Amnesty?
I think Trump will kill her on this issue—and he is going to raise it. Whereas Romney, of course, although he did mutter about self-deportation—which is what immigration patriots call “attrition through enforcement,” if you enforce the laws, most of these people will actually go away—he muttered about that in Arizona during the primary, but after the primaries he completely flipped and went to the other side, with a massive increase in H1B visas, and totally stopped talking about illegal immigration.
And when he was asked about Kris Kobach, who was the architect of this policy, and had discussed it at considerable length in the places you are allowed to discuss immigration patriotism, Romney denied knowing him—even though he did know him! And had met with him! I have complete contempt for Romney, I think he’s a total coward.
But, in any case, Trump’s not going to do that. This is a guy who has a concealed carry permit in New York City!
I think Hillary is out of touch; he’s in touch; he will kill her.
Curtis: I’m glad he has a concealed carry permit. As I watch the vitriol coming from the Left and what is supposed to be the Right in this race, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if somebody does try to take him out of this race.
Peter: It’s not an insignificant threat. If you remember, this is what happened in Holland. There was a charismatic, anti-immigration political leader called Pim Fortuyn, who happened to be openly homosexual, but still, he was against immigrants, specifically Muslim immigrants. He was shot on the eve of the election, and his party collapsed. It turned out that he was shot by an immigration enthusiast. But there was almost no comeback. The attitude of the European Main Stream Media was that he had it coming.
Curtis: These immigration enthusiasts, as you just called them, are they terrorists? When I see the way they behaved in California last week, I certainly saw a mob of people that I certainly thought was capable of murder.
Peter: The archetype is that woman professor Melissa Click at the University of Missouri, who was caught on tape saying “I need some muscle here” to get rid of a journalist who was watching one of these Black Lives Matter demonstrations. She’s a white Cultural Marxist. She’s in favor of completely suppressing opposing points of view. And she knows that she has people who are willing to do that physically.
Curtis: I feel like as a nation we are limping toward the end of the Obama Administration. It’s hard to say “Oh, good, we made it,” because we didn’t make it intact.
Peter: Well, on the bright side, I don’t think the Democrats made it intact either. I don’t think they realize how serious their problems are.
If you look at this result in Indiana, Sanders carried it because of the white vote. He won the white Democratic vote in Indiana, two to one. But the blacks in Indiana voted two to one for Hillary.
Now, in Connecticut, the state I’m talking to you from, the exact opposite happened. The whites voted heavily for Sanders, but enough blacks voted for Hillary to put her over the top.
So, this is a deeply divided party. And you have to ask yourself what do these white Democrats—and some of them are not Leftists, they’re just union members, people who voted the way they’re parents voted—what do they actually think about this? I don’t think their coalition is stable.
Curtis: I guess they’re in trouble as well. But when it comes to racial politics, whites vs. colored people, whites are the minority.
Peter: Well, whites are not the minority yet. They will be in 2040 or so. But they’ll stay the majority of the electorate for quite some time after that.
The point is that Republicans have a window of opportunity here to rally their natural base, which is white Americans—which is America—and cut off immigration and save themselves.
The extraordinary thing about the past 40-50 years is that Democrats are essentially Electing A New People—and the Republicans are letting them do it.
The Democrats have given up on their historic base. They are no longer interested in the white working class. They want to create an alliance of minority interest groups and upper class Leftists.
Curtis: A quote this morning: “Our immigration policy should be driven by what is in the best interest of this great country and the American people. Comprehensive Immigration Reform will strengthen U.S. security and boost economic growth” That from Charlie Rangel. [Oscar For Valid Dreamers, by Rep. Charles Rangel, Huffington Post, March 6, 2014.]That could be Donald Trump, yet he would be criticized for saying exactly that, wouldn’t he?
Peter: Yes, in fact, that is what he does say. One of the interesting things about Trump is that when he was asked to define conservatism, instead of banging on about marginal taxes and the reducing the death tax, he said, “I view the word conservative as a derivative…of the word conserve. We want to conserve our country.”
I think this is the great definition. Conservatism is actually pre-modern, it existed before capitalism.
The really great thing about that quote you read me, Steve, is that you see the extent to which the immigration enthusiasts have to lie about what they’re doing. They have to try to steal the Trump theory about what is going here. They know that Americans don’t like the idea of immigration. The only way they can get it through, first of all, they have to lie about Amnesty—they no longer call it Amnesty which they did in ’86, now they call it “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” And secondly, they have to say it is America’s interest. But it’s easy to show it’s not in America’s interest. So really what they are doing is conceding the argument and just trying to trick voters, which is not a very strong position to be in.
Curtis: Trump is bringing the Republican Party back from the brink of going over the edge with Liberalism. He’s not there on the social issues, like abortion but he is there on guns, he’s not there on homosexuality, but he’s there on immigration. Is he the most conservative presidential nominee that we’ve seen in the last few decades?
Peter: He’s conservative in the fundamental sense, which is that he is interested in conserving the national community. As I say, that’s pre-capitalist and pre- all these issues. He’s a nationalist. That’s something that we have not seen since Reagan.
Honestly, those of us who were around during the Conservative Movement’s rise to power—and in spite of my accent I’ve been here a long time—we didn’t realize how fragile our coalition was. I always assumed that these neoconservatives and Libertarians were patriots and fundamentally interested in the national interest. But it turns out that they’re not. They’re interested in various chimeras. They’re actually hostile to the American nation-state.