Not a candidate for Generation Tumblr
Jim Webb, decorated Marine who served in Vietnam, Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, and author of one of the greatest novels on the Vietnam War (and war in general) Fields of Fire, is officially running for President.
A former Republican, Webb switched to the Democrats over the issue of the Iraq War. Webb has shown great promise on the immigration issue in the past. However, his record as a Democratic Senator from Virginia left much to be desired.
As Jim Antle put it in his aptly titled Takimag article "What the Hell Happened to Jim Webb?":
Webb’s writings had distinguished him more clearly as a man of the right than [George] Allen the Republican presidential wannabe. If paleoconservatism is, as Chilton Williamson has written, “the expression of rootedness: a sense of place and of history, a sense of self derived from forebears, kin, and culture,” then Webb easily fits the bill—he was after all the author of books like Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.Webb has shown some courage as of late. He defended the Confederate flag when few others did in recent weeks. Not surprisingly, the self-parody Salon announced Webb's entry with:
So the question then becomes: Why has Jim Webb proved such a boringly conventional Democratic senator? Far from being some kind of right-leaning maverick, he has voted with his fellow Democrats in the Senate nearly 90 percent of the time.
[March 17, 2008]
Another Dem jumps in 2016 race: Confederate flag supporter Jim Webb launches presidential campaign http://t.co/X4WEdV1PPA— Salon.com (@Salon) July 2, 2015
And this is the heart of Webb's dilemma. Webb wants to talk about economic justice and raise the tattered banner of the Reagan Democrats. Indeed, he really is the personification of the Reagan Democrats. But as the Democratic base is now almost solely united by outright anti-White hatred, how can a Democrat who served in the Reagan Administration, defended the Confederate flag, and proudly written about the history of the Indian-fighting Scotch-Irish appeal to left-wing voters who are triggered every time they look at a $20 bill?
What's worse, Webb seems to be repeating the same old vague slogans when it comes to immigration and amnesty.
And let’s work toward bringing the complex issue of immigration reform to a solution that respects the integrity of our legal traditions while also recognizing the practical realities of a system that has been paralyzed by partisan debate. The holistic leadership approach I instituted nine years ago regarding criminal justice reform offers a prototype that can be used on the multifaceted challenges of immigration reform.Webb has a D+ from Numbers USA on immigration. He voted in favor of the DREAM act amnesty in 2010, backslid on E Verify, and voted for the 2007 McCain-Kennedy-Kyl amnesty before voting against it.
[Jim Webb Announces Candidacy for President, Jim Webb 2016, July 2, 2015]
So how seriously can we take any rhetoric about fighting inequality? If you care about stopping economic inequality and helping American workers, you have to oppose mass immigration and Amnesty. Full stop.
Will we see the interesting Jim Webb of old, or the conventional Democrat of the Senate? Paradoxically, if Webb wants to make an impact on this race as an underdog, he'll need to go rogue. It's not like Generation Tumblr is going to vote for him anyway.