Anger in White America

Sarah Palin emerged in the presidential campaign of 2008 as the candidate of the Republican base — the people the globalist elites in the party pander to every four years so that if everything breaks right, they may have a chance of winning. Palin is the very image of White fertility and small town Americana — all that the globalist Republican elite despises. ‘Despises’ is  much too mild a word for how the Democrats see her.

Palin resigned her position as governor of Alaska, so the media indulged itself with yet another hate-fest. Frank Rich’s op-ed in the New York Times was more interesting than most because he sees the big picture. And he is very happy with what he sees:

[Sarah Palin] is not just the party’s biggest star and most charismatic television performer; she is its only star and charismatic performer. Most important, she stands for a genuine movement: a dwindling white nonurban America that is aflame with grievances and awash in self-pity as the country hurtles into the 21st century and leaves it behind. …

[Nonurban Whites are] a constituency that feels disenfranchised — by the powerful and the well-educated who gamed the housing bubble, by a news media it keeps being told is hateful, by the immigrants who have taken some of their jobs, by the African-American who has ended a white monopoly on the White House. Palin is their born avatar. She puts a happy, sexy face on ugly emotions, and she can solidify her followers’ hold on a G.O.P. that has no leaders with the guts or alternative vision to stand up to them or to her.

My Translation: The elites in the financial sector with the blessings (or at least the naiveté of the political class) created this wonderful housing bubble that created a lot of illusory wealth. The collapse after the bubble burst has cost the US trillions of dollars, has cost millions of people their jobs, and has resulted in a deep recession. Nonurban Whites — the people who support Palin — were so stupid and uneducated that they actually trusted these elites, and now they are paying the price while the folks who got us into this mess are still collecting their bonuses — often with the help of government bailout money. These rubes should have been smart enough to game the system, but they weren’t.

These country bumpkins are also upset because they are losing political power and are being pushed aside by millions of non-White immigrants. They hate the media even though the mainstream media — as personified by Frank Rich — is a fount of wisdom and rationality — immune to the ugly emotions of the losers.

The end game in the long campaign against nonurban Whites is near. Rich writes that “The Palinist ‘real America’ is demographically doomed to keep shrinking.”

And of course that’s the bottom line. Never before in American history has it seemed so obvious that demography is destiny. Whites were 77% of the electorate in 2004, but slipped to 74% in 2008, and the percentage will continue to decline. If Whites are 71% of the electorate in 2012, then the Republicans would have to attract around 63% of Whites to get a majority (assuming Whites continue to represent 90% of the Republican vote). This is quite a bit higher than Bush in 2004 (58%) or McCain in 2008 (55%).

I recently heard Rush Limbaugh say confidently and soothingly to his listeners that politics is cyclical and the Republicans will be back in power soon. But the reality is that they won’t come back without some dramatic changes in voting patterns. And if the dramatic change is an increase in Black or Latino votes — as quite a few influential Republicans advocate, the result certainly won’t be good for nonurban  Whites.

This in turn means that a great many White voters will feel that they are in a permanent position of powerlessness if present trends continue, and that will lead to anger and a sense of political desperation.

Rich’s comments are partially fueled by an article in Politico describing the rage of a lot of ordinary White people — a rage that has led to a surge in conservative media:  “The emotions fueling this media boomlet sometimes border on a barely suppressed rage.” This hostility is driven by “a sense of frustration and anger among the Republican Party’s core conservative base — and a power vacuum at the top of the party that lacks a national leader to set its course.”


“I CANT SLEEP SEEING this country being destroyed DAMM IT OVER my dead body i will let this happen/THESE BASTARDS HAVE GOT TO BE STOPPED IMMEDIATELY.”

“Bottomline, do you know of any way we can remove these idiots before this country goes down the crapper? I WILL HELP!!! Should I buy a gun? Should I store produce, etc?”

“Another American revolution will have to be fought — there will be blood.”

Some of the commentary on the Sonia Sotomayor hearings also brought up charges that the real subtext was angry White people — in this case Republican senators:

The GOP senators “were playing to the angry white male voter. Some of the remarks were clearly about saying that ‘you’ can say things that ‘we’ can’t,” said Julian  Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.

“These kinds of comments attacking ethnic pride and the benefits of diversity in any institution — which is really what her remark was about — combined with the Ricci case looked like backlash politics, pure and simple.”

Such ugly emotions! Or at least that’s what Rich labels them. For intellectuals like Rich and Zelizer, the value of diversity trumps the legitimate interests of Whites every time. Any protest is “backlash politics” or mindless emoting by angry White males.

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But of course such emotions are absolutely normal for people who are seeing their country taken away from them. The fact that only certain people are allowed to have ethnic pride or a sense of ethnic interests makes no logical sense and clearly tramples on legitimate interests of Whites. Bloody revolutions have been motivated by far less grievance — legitimate and well-founded grievance — than ordinary Whites have right now. Certainly the behavior of the British government prior to the Revolutionary War was far less dispossessive of the colonists than the behavior of the contemporary American elites is to ordinary White Americans.

The fact is that elites in politics, the media, and the financial sector have completely abandoned ordinary White folks in America, and particularly the “nonurban Whites” who are the focus of Rich’s article. The only thing that’s surprising and perhaps depressing is that the main outlet for this anger is to purchase mainstream conservative media, the vast majority of which does little more than redirect this anger into harmless and ineffective sideshows like libertarianism or small government. If it doesn’t talk about stopping and reversing the effects of immigration and developing an explicit sense of White identity and interests, it’s not worth talking about.

The Republicans seem bent on committing suicide rather than abandoning their principled hostility to ethnic identity politics for Whites. But, as Peter Brimelow notes, if that is the policy of the Republican Party, another party must and will be formed that do exactly that.

So how did normal anger about being dispossessed come to be an “ugly” emotion to the point that a third-rate mind like Frank Rich can confidently describe it that way in a prestigious publication like the New York Times? The paper trail can be traced to the Frankfurt School and their allies and publicists among the New York Intellectuals.  These intellectuals developed theories based ultimately on psychoanalysis in which hostility about being displaced by other groups was attributed to all sorts of repressions and anxieties. People who opposed their own displacement were described as irrational and as suffering from psychopathology. (Tell that to the Palestinians.)

And if professors connected to Harvard and the University of Chicago can call such emotions “ugly,” certainly Frank Rich can. It’s all about controlling the moral high ground via control of the most prestigious academic and media institutions. Intellectually insecure Whites, including a great many who are well-educated, will silently nod their heads in agreement and think that they are very moral indeed for having the same attitudes as Frank Rich.

The only difference is that Frank Rich’s attitudes are entirely congruent with his ethnic interests, while the silently nodding, morally uplifted White folks are agreeing with attitudes that are entirely opposed to their ethnic interests.

An interesting feature of the literature produced by the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals is hostility toward lower middle class Whites. Historically, this was motivated by the realization among many Jewish intellectuals that the lower middle class in Germany in the end opted for National Socialism instead of communism at a time when sympathetic views of communism dominated the mainstream among Jewish intellectuals. The behavior of the German lower middle class violates Marxist dogma because Marxists believe that class interest should be stronger than racial allegiances. The response of these intellectuals was to develop theories in which the lower middle class was the root of all evil.

Translated to America, these intellectuals were quite wary of American populism because of its tendency to be responsive to the demands of ordinary Americans rather than elites on issues such as immigration policy. Throughout the 20th century non-urban Whites —”the common people of the South and West,” as John Higham called them — were steadfastly against liberal immigration policies and they remain opposed to such policies today.

This intellectual elite represented by Frank Rich despises these people. As Chrisopher Lasch noted some time ago, from the perspective of these intellectuals, this class

clung to outworn folkways—conventional religiosity, hearth and home, the sentimental cult of motherhood—and obsolete modes of production. It looked back to a mythical golden age in the past. …  Lacking liberal culture, it fell easy prey to all sorts of nostrums and political fads.

Frank Rich is happy because he thinks these people are in irreversible demographic decline brought on by massive non-White immigration. He may be right. But by the looks of things, they are pretty upset about the way things are going, and that is bound to have political repercussions.

Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach. Email him.