New York Times token conservative columnist David Brooks [Email him | Tweet him] think it’s time for conservatives to stop fighting multiculturalism and embrace it. Otherwise, the GOP is doomed. [The Coming G.O.P. Apocalypse, by David Brooks, The New York Times, June 3, 2019]
Brooks argues young people are less white and love diversity and immigration. He laments that the GOP under Donald Trump opposes all these wonderful things. He believes the party should offer a “conservative way to embrace pluralism and diversity” to counter the Left’s negative multiculturalism.
According to Brooks, the Left’s multiculturalism says “blacks and whites will never really understand each other; racism is endemic; the American project is fatally flawed; American structures are so oppressive, the only option is to burn them down.”
In contrast, conservatives’ multiculturalism would be more “optimistic”—“We can communicate across difference; the American creed is the right recipe for a thick and respectful pluralism; American structures are basically sound and can be realistically reformed.”
This, allegedly, is Brooks’ grand vision for how Republicans can survive in a multiracial America. Rather than try to stem the demographic tide that will crush the GOP, he claims the party can ride it out by offering a politer liberal agenda.
Of course, “optimistic” multiculturalism sounds no different from what George W. Bush and Paul Ryan (or for that matter Jack Kemp) articulated in years past. Non-whites and millennials did not gravitate to that message then, and there’s no indication they’ll change their minds today.
Indeed, it’s what Brooks himself has written on several earlier occasions. See, for example, here and here He seems to have the usual Jewish intellectual’s blind emotional commitment to immigration with a remarkably un-self-aware contempt for white Middle Americans.
Let me explain why Brooks’ prescription won’t work: The non-white masses prefer the “negative” vision that the Left offers because it 1) gives them more stuff and 2) satisfies their hatred for whites.
Yet, many conservative pundits delude themselves with the fantasy that the party can still thrive in this environment. Thus Brooks’ column was a partially a response to the Conservative Movement fight over “David French-ism.”
That term was coined by New York Post opinion editor Sohrab Ahmari to describe the weak-kneed Never Trump conservatism that insists on civility and the greatness of classical liberalism. [Against David French-ism, First Things, May 29, 2019] It’s a sarcastic bow to National Review’s appalling David French (who is so much a snowflake that he has blocked VDARE.com on Twitter, although we’ve never tweeted at him, or at anyone else for that matter).
Needless to say, this Establishment debate does not touch on immigration or the National Question. It’s primarily a dispute between self-proclaimed social conservatives, many motivated by the abortion issue. Ahmari, an Iranian immigrant, former neocon and Catholic convert, believe social conservatives must seize state and cultural power and impose their will on the nation. French and his defenders believe the old principles of liberalism must be upheld and it’s wrong to impose their will on non-believers i.e. they don’t want to rock the boat.
According to French and some of his supporters, conservatives can still win the culture war--so long as they remain polite:
“Yes, the Left wins many fights. No question. It has enormous cultural power,” French argued in a Tuesday column. “But the idea that the Right is weak — and that classical liberalism is a dead end, a source of that weakness — is pure fiction. How do we know? Because in the last 40 years, cultural conservatives have worked within classical liberalism to save lives, change the law, empower a new generation of young Christians, and create enduring institutions designed to protect liberty” [Against Conservative Cultural Defeatism, by David French, National Review, June 4, 2019]
French points to a few Red States passing abortion restrictions--which will likely be overturned in court--and a few First Amendment victories on campus (when the students could get their case in real courts) as reasons to be optimistic about the future. He claims:
We face a challenge, not a crisis, and there is no need to turn our back on our nation’s founding principles to overcome it. By staying the course, we can and will prevail in the marketplace of American ideas.
This is delusional. Social conservatism is on the retreat. Homosexual marriage is now legal throughout the country. Christian bakeries can see their businesses destroyed if they dare refuse service to a same-sex couple. Polls seem to show that most Americans oppose abortion restrictions. Support for free speech is on the decline. [40% of Millennials OK with limiting speech offensive to minorities, by Jacob Poushter, Pew Research Center, November 20, 2015]
Neutral cultural spaces and basic liberties have no future in a multiracial America. The majority of non-whites believe the government should criminalize “hate speech.” Fifty-six percent of blacks support “hate speech” laws and 58 percent of Hispanics do. Even larger majorities of both groups (75 percent of blacks and 72 percent of Hispanics) say “hate speech” is violence. Most non-whites also believe that standing up for the First Amendment rights of “hate speech” is just as bad as uttering it. [The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America, by Emily Ekins, Cato Institute, October 31, 2017]
In contrast, 66 percent of whites oppose hate speech laws and only 33 percent think they are a good idea.
And the number of non-whites who support “hate speech” laws will likely rise as younger minorities are more likely to support such measures.
Additionally, Non-whites are not fans of limited government. Seventy-five percent of Hispanics favor bigger government over smaller government. [Hispanics Favor Bigger Role for Government, by Russell Heimlich, Pew Research Center, April 20, 2012] Blacks and Asians also overwhelmingly support big government. Whites are the only group where the majority has the opposite view and prefers limited government.
On social issues, non-whites do occasionally demonstrate more conservative views than whites. Hispanics are more likely to support abortion restrictions than whites and blacks are less likely to support gay marriage than whites.
But neither of these views have translated into votes for the Republicans. The GOP still can’t manage to win 10 percent of the black vote in presidential elections.
And the polite Republicans who articulated a positive pluralism received hardly any non-white votes. In fact, Donald J. Trump received a higher share of the non-white vote than Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan did in 2012 [Trump Did Better With Blacks, Hispanics Than Romney in '12: Exit Polls, by Amanda Sakuma, NBC News, November 9, 2016]. Trump had double the amount of black voters that John McCain, the ultimate multicultural Republican, received in 2008. McCain, a huge immigration booster, only received 32 percent of the Hispanic vote compared to Trump’s 29 percent. [Inside Obama’s Sweeping Victory, by Tom Rosentiel, Pew Research Center, November 5, 2008]
This is why only way for Republicans to survive is to embrace immigration patriotism. Only whites support their policies and the GOP must work to keep them the majority. No one else is going to suddenly think free speech and smaller government are great.
In contrast to Brooks’ apparent belief, President Trump is not doing enough on immigration. He’s certainly better than his predecessors, but his new plan does not significantly reduce immigration and does nothing about birthright citizenship. The party must at least take up the RAISE Act--which would halve legal immigration--eliminate birthright citizenship, and curb illegal immigration—in order to have a future.
There is no other path. Every possible conservatism must address immigration first, whether it is the classical liberalism of David French, the Catholic integralism of Sohrab Ahmari, or the populist nationalism of Tucker Carlson.
The house-trained multiracial conservatism of David Brooks is dead on arrival. Only professional token conservatives trying to cling on to their toeholds in the Main Stream Media pretend to believe it.
Tucker Carlson does know immigration is the most important issue. When will the rest wake up?
Washington Watcher [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.