The Alt-Right Rabbi

Well, I don’t know if he is a rabbi, but his Twitter handle says he is. Without a doubt, he is interesting.

Here are some of his recent tweets:

* Non-observance among Jews proves to be the cause rather than the cure for anti-Semitism.

* Jews should be as inconspicuous as possible and require no special representation in the various nations to which they have been scattered.

* The Jews cannot be absorbed by the State. The Jews are a problem which political wisdom affords no solution. #AssimilationForDummies

* You may be a #cuckservative if Trump’s language scares you more than Hillary Clinton’s borderless world, endless wars & amnesty for invaders [a retweet of Counter-Currents]

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Bruce Bialovsky: ‘My Experience with the Alt-Right’

Bruce Bialovsky started and led the Los Angeles chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition for many years.

He writes for Townhall:

Jon is Jewish and works for Breitbart which has been accused of being anti-Semitic. Jon is a pretty knowledgeable guy — doing his own publication and working for Breitbart — but was totally ignorant about the Alt-Right. I asked him what he knew about Richard Spencer (someone who has gotten recent publicity as supposedly a leader of the Alt-Right) and he said “Who is he?” He then told me that Breitbart has an intercompany communication system called a Slack Network where they exchange ideas about columns and items to be published at Breitbart. He stated “I have never seen once anything indicating any racist or anti-Semitic attitudes, not once.”

I did have an extended email conversation with a gentleman, who said he was a member of the Alt-Right. His name is John Preston though he told me that was a pseudonym. He is with the Council of Conservative Citizens. He stated he used a pseudonym (as most of the people he knows do) because a lot of people who are members of the Alt-Right are afraid of employment discrimination and other factors. John was very forthcoming and seemingly intelligent. He wrote in a very lucid manner and stated he has been part of this movement for 15 years. He also made clear he has no idea how many people are in the Alt-Right because so much of it is underground.

When I asked Preston why he believes his viewpoints are controversial and not just anti-PC, he answered with this statement: “We stick up for white people. We believe white people have interests, too. It’s a big taboo to hold that position in our society. Jewish people can advocate for Jewish interests like a pro-Israel foreign policy. Black people can advocate for black interests. There is an LGBT community now with its interests and public policy agenda. White people though … that’s where the line is drawn. It’s *racist* to identify as white, to have a positive sense of white identity, and to advocate on behalf of white interests like reduced immigration or, say, law and order. There are groups like the SPLC which exist to get people fired from their jobs for holding our views. That’s why our cause is controversial and our movement has been driven underground. I’m not sure how much longer that can continue though.”

When I asked him about immigration he replied, “It’s not because we *hate* foreigners – if they stay in their own countries and act like good neighbors, we are fine with them. I don’t have a problem with Mexicans in Mexico. I don’t mind foreigners coming here and studying at our universities. Personally, I admire Japan more than any other country in the world.”

“It is because we want to maintain the white majority. We don’t want to be overwhelmed in our own countries. The cultural, economic and political consequences of mass immigration are disastrous for us. The Left has told us for 20 years now that White Christian America is being overthrown and washed away by their ‘ascendant majority.’ We take them at their word, believe that it is not in our interests to allow this to happen, and we are determined to stop it.”

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THE ALT-RIGHT’S JEWISH GODFATHER – How Paul Gottfried—willing or reluctant—became the mentor of Richard Spencer and a philosophical lodestone for white nationalists

I was pleasantly surprised by this article, by how fair and insightful it was. There are few slurs used for non-conforming views and only the minimum amount of virtue signaling needed to retain membership in the Inner Party.

Jacob Siegel writes for Tabletmag:

The night America elected Donald J. Trump president, 38-year-old Richard B. Spencer, who fancies himself the “Karl Marx of the alt-right” and envisions a “white homeland,” crowed, “we’re the establishment now.” If so, then the architect of the new establishment is Spencer’s former mentor, Paul Gottfried, a retired Jewish academic who lives, not quite contently, in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, on the east bank of the Susquehanna River. It’s the kind of town that reporters visit in an election season to divine the political faith of “real Americans.” A division of candy company Mars Inc. makes its home there, along with a Masonic retirement community, and the college where Gottfried taught before a school official encouraged his early exit.

Gottfried settled in Elizabethtown after his first wife died, when he decided to put family concerns ahead of professional ambitions and then set out to wage a low-level civil war against the Republican establishment. The so-called alt-right—identified variously with anti-globalist and anti-immigrant stances, cartoon frogs, white nationalists, pick-up artists, anti-Semites, and a rising tide of right-wing populism—is partly Gottfried’s creation; he invented the term in 2008, with his protégé Spencer.

The intellectual historian doesn’t have the look of a consigliere. Gottfried’s round face is covered by a trim white beard and crowned by a nearly bald head. Something about his appearance, maybe the beady, bespectacled eyes and the way his already small frame hunches forward at podiums, makes him look both timid and cantankerous. His voice has a squeaky register but his speeches, which are easy to find on the internet, are erudite and measured, ranging fluently from the legacy of fascism to the ills of multiculturalism and the “therapeutic welfare state.”

Gottfried doesn’t resolve the alt-right’s contradictions so much as he embodies them. He’s a sniffy traditionalist, a self-described “Robert Taft Republican,” with a classical liberal bent, and a Nietzschean American nationalist who goes out of his way to exaggerate his European affect. He opposes both the Civil Rights Act and white nationalism. He’s a bone-deep elitist and the oracle of what’s billed as a populist revolt. “If someone were to ask me what distinguishes the right from the left,” Gottfried wrote in 2008, “the difference that comes to mind most readily centers on equality. The left favors that principle, while the right regards it as an unhealthy obsession.”

Inequality is the alt-right’s foundational belief. In this view, there are inherent, irreducible differences not only between individuals but between groups of people—races, genders, religions, nations; all of the above. These groups each have their own distinctive characteristics and competitive advantages; accordingly, inequality is natural and good, while equality is unnatural and therefore bad and can only be imposed by force. In practice, it is typically a belief in white supremacy and a rejection of universalism.

To the ancient idea that the world is ordered by natural hierarchies the alt-right adds new wrinkles. It shows a nerdish enthusiasm for data-driven attempts to classify group cognitive abilities, an update on the social Darwinist “race science” popular before WWII that often resolves into a genes-are-destiny outlook. It also embraces concepts from the controversial field of evolutionary psychology, which attempts to explain the behavior of groups in terms of Darwinian natural selection. Because equality is both impossible and a kind of civic religion as Gottfried sees it, government attempts to enforce it are only pretexts for the state to increase its power and reach.

Railing against meddling bureaucracies and the threats they pose to liberty is a staple of conservative politics, but Gottfried’s arguments are more esoteric and more radical than anything you’d hear at a tea-party convention. Condensed, Gottfried’s theory holds that America is no longer a republic or a liberal democracy—categories that lost their meaning after the postindustrial explosion of bureaucratic apparatuses transformed the country into a “therapeutic managerial state.” Today, we are ruled by a class of managers who dress like bureaucrats but act like priests. This technocratic clerisy justifies its status by enforcing Progressive precepts like multiculturalism and political correctness, which pit different groups against each other as if they were religious edicts. As Gottfried tells it he was banished from the mainstream of political discourse for rejecting this liberal catechism. Now, versions of the same ideas that Gottfried says got him banished will be gospel in Trump’s White House.

“I view it as a partial vindication,” he told me just over a month before the presidential election, about the rise of the alt-right. “Much would depend on what Trump would do if he became president.”

***

Paul Edward Gottfried was born in 1941 in the Bronx, seven years after his father, Andrew, immigrated to America. Andrew Gottfried, a successful furrier in Budapest, fled Hungary shortly after Austria’s Chancellor Dollfuss was assassinated by Nazi agents in the “July putsch.” He had sensed that Central Europe would be squeezed in a vise between the Nazis and the Soviets and decided to take his chances in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the family moved shortly after Paul was born. Andrew Gottfried opened a fur business in Bridgeport and became a prominent member of that city’s large expatriate Hungarian Jewish community.

The elder Gottfried was a man who “held grudges with extraordinary tenacity,” Paul recounts in his memoir, Encounters. His father had “fiery courage,” and a natural authority that impressed his son. He was a lifelong Republican who nevertheless admired FDR for beating the Nazis. But that was as far as his liberalism went; he had no time for “specious” attempts to draw universal lessons from Nazism about the American civil-rights movement or immigration policy. In all of this it seems, he was a model for his son’s intellectual life.

Though he wasn’t very religious, the younger Gottfried attended Yeshiva University in New York as an undergrad. On the plus side for the pudgy teenager, the school was full of “nonthreatening geeks,” who couldn’t bully him. But Gottfried was put off by his “bright” but “clannish” outerborough Orthodox Jewish classmates. New York was farther from Connecticut than he’d imagined. His fellow students “seemed to carry with them the social gracelessness of having grown up in a transported Eastern European ghetto.”

It used to be common even among assimilated Americans Jews from Central European backgrounds to look down on what they saw as the poorer, more provincial Jews from the Russian empire. You can see this prejudice in Hannah Arendt’s work, another author who blended “Teutonic pedantry and Jewish moral righteousness,” as a friend of Gottfried’s once described him. His classmates are clever but harried, whereas he has the aristocratic equanimity of Germanic high culture, which allows him true insight. It’s important to note not because this particular prejudice is more disqualifying than his others, but because of how deeply it informs his later writing. When Gottfried goes after the mostly Eastern-European-originating Jewish “neocons” and “New York intellectuals” he blames for kneecapping his career and refusing to give him his intellectual due, it’s not just the actual injury that wounds him, but the indignity of being laid low by his inferiors.

After graduation, Gottfried returned to Connecticut to attend Yale as a doctoral student, where he studied under Herbert Marcuse. A chapter of his memoir is devoted to Marcuse, one of the seminal intellectuals of the Frankfurt school whose critique of mass democracy profoundly shaped the new-left. Though he belonged to the Yale Political Union’s Party of the Right at the time, Gottfried “studied under Marcuse as a rapt, indulgent disciple.” In later years, one reviewer called Gottfried a “right-wing proponent of the Frankfurt school.” That description, while not strictly accurate, gives a sense of the overlap between Gottfried’s radical criticism of modern liberalism and a certain left-wing line of attack.

After graduating from Yale, Gottfried began his work as an academic and embarked on a prolific writing career, which he maintains. Over the course of 13 books and countless speeches and articles, he developed his major themes: the nature and force of history; the meaning and forms of conservatism; and in his “Marxism Trilogy,” an account of liberal democracy and the therapeutic managerial state as the hegemons of the modern world. While admiring aspects of Marx’s analysis of capitalism, Gottfried argues that Marxism was discredited by socialism’s economic failure. In the wake of this failure, Marx’s economic critique metastasized from an analysis of material conditions into a morality play. For the new post-Marxists, leftist politics were repurposed as a never-ending struggle to defeat fascism. Acting out this universalist crusade, Gottfried argues, the left became the afterlife of Christianity. “A Christian civilization created the moral and eschatological framework that leftist anti-Christians have taken over and adapted,” he wrote. “It is the fascists, not the Communists or multiculturalists, who were the sideshow in modern Western history.”

At the heart of the alt-right is a project, carried out by Gottfried and others, to revise the historical record of WWII. If there has been a left-wing political impulse to expand the meaning of fascism far beyond its original context, part of the right responds by making it so particular to interwar Europe that it defies any historical analogy.

In his book Fascism: The Career of a Concept, Gottfried argues that Spanish and Italian “generic fascism” belonged to a different genus than German Nazism. Hitler, the argument goes, was not really a fascist in the generic sense, but a far-right counter-revolutionary response to Stalin. A few years ago this might all have been interesting enough, grounds for contentious but seemingly abstract historical debates. Today, it’s clear that it also serves a political purpose. It takes away the power of “fascist” to stigmatize far-right politics. At the same time, it also helps to rescue a whole host of concepts tainted by association with fascism, like ethnic nationalism and “race science,” making it safe again for the right to openly advocate them.

***

The alt-right is the direct heir of the paleoconservatives, a first-draft attempt at a conservative insurgency in America that appeared to peak in the 1990s. The name “paleoconservative” was coined by Gottfried himself in 1986, which means he is batting a thousand when it comes to naming right-wing opposition movements.

In the decade before Gottfried arrived at Yale, postwar conservatism was born in a “fusionism” that brought together southern and religious traditionalists, Libertarians, and other disparate groups who shared a commitment to aggressive anti-Communist policies. It evolved as “a series of movements rather than the orderly unfolding of a single force,” Gottfried wrote in his 1986 history, The Conservative Movement. Not all the movements got along, and not long after they came together, the conservative establishment, led by the influential magazine National Review and its editor, William F. Buckley, started kicking people out. The so-called purges started with the John Birch society, radical right-wing anti-Communists and conspiracy theorists—think Alex Jones followers—whom Buckley excommunicated from the movement in 1962. After the Birchers, conservatives, again led by National Review, eventually pushed out white supremacists and anti-Semites, including some of Gottfried’s friends. These are major events in the official conservative history that showed the movement grappling with the legacy of WWII and the right’s own history of racism and bigotry.

Those pushed out the door saw it differently. If the purges are an important chapter for establishment conservatives, they are a foundational myth for the putative victims. These parties dismissed the charges of racism and anti-Semitism on the right as trumped up, or alternately waved them away as mere individual prejudice; the real threat, they argued, was from the purges themselves. By trying to prosecute intolerance, the conservative establishment was carrying out its own version of Soviet show trials while adopting the language and principles of their enemies on the left. Of course, the purged weren’t killed but “anathematized,” to use the victims’ preferred language, which could mean the difference between a faculty chair with a view of the Hudson and one overlooking the Susquehanna. Not trivial, but less gruesome than you’d gather from some partisan histories.

Neoconservatives emerged in the 1970s. They were a group of mostly Jewish and Catholic former leftists who moved right in reaction to the illiberalism of the 1960s’ new-left and out of its conviction that the failure of Great Society social programs proved that culture influenced behavior more than state policy. The original neocons included a number of former Trotskyites and Socialists but were staunch anti-Communists. This led them to advocate an interventionist role for the military, first as a bulwark against the Soviet Union and later as a guarantor of the postwar U.S.-led global democratic order. As the neocons rose through the conservative ranks, intellectual and institutional warfare ensued among them and the movement’s harder-right and traditionalist wings. The anti-neocons, like Gottfried, accused their enemies of being impostors—Wilsonian internationalists and Social Democrats in wolf’s clothing.

Paleoconservatives was the name Gottfried gave to the small group of anti-neocons who formed the internal opposition after the conservatives’ “fusion” coalition broke apart in the late 1980s. In The Conservative Movement, Gottfried voices the paleos’ heroic self-conception: “[They] raise issues that the neoconservatives and the left would both seek to keep closed … about the desirability of political and social equality, the functionality of human-rights thinking, and the genetic basis of intelligence … like Nietzsche, they go after democratic idols, driven by disdain for what they believe dehumanizes.”

In practice, paleoconservatives took some esoteric positions, like an embrace of Serbian nationalism that had little hope of catching on in the heartland or anywhere but the Marriott conference rooms where the paleos kept their fire burning. Because the neocons were disproportionately Jewish and the paleos keenly interested in proportions of Jews in the political establishment, there was allegations and evidence of anti-Semitism in their disputes. Gottfried complained regularly in his writing about “ill-mannered, touchy Jews and their groveling or adulatory Christian assistants,” his phrase for neocons who he claimed had hijacked the Republican Party and American policy. This belief that Jews were cultural and political saboteurs was common among some paleos, but Gottfried liked to put it in language he got away with as an indulgence of his own Jewishness. For their part, the neocons regarded the paleos as wannabe-European aristocrats with no real place in America’s democratic tradition. At worst, they were high-toned racists and anti-Semites; tweedy authoritarians who had come to hate their own country.

Like most political infighting, the conflict had a personal element, as Gottfried admits in a passage characteristic of his wounded self-awareness: “My understanding of neoconservatives, it might be argued, is insufficiently generous or insufficiently nuanced, but if that is the case, I would like to hear the neoconservatives’ response. Until now they have not replied to me, except by treating me as a liar or a lunatic.” This assessment seems fair enough. In a long article on the eve of the Iraq war that denounced the paleos as “unpatriotic conservatives,” leading neocon and Bush speechwriter David Frum mentions Gottfried only once, when he describes him as “the most relentlessly solipsistic of the disgruntled paleos, who has published an endless series of articles about his professional rebuffs.”

It is true that the paleos’ ranks included a fair number of cranks, racists, and anti-Semites whose prejudices were essential to their politics. But this exists uncomfortably alongside another aspect of the paleos—they were capable of some trenchant ideas about modernity and the American century. Where establishment liberalism went in for sentimental pieties and movement conservatism offered platitudes in place of wisdom, the paleos could be incisive and unsparing. They were relentless critics, for instance, of the Bush-era bromide that Iraq was only an invasion away from successful democracy—and, more generally, of preventive wars carried out in the name of democratic universalism. The paleos were also attuned to the costs of global trade—not only the loss in jobs but in community and self-worth—in a way that neoliberals and neoconservatives often were not.

Trumpism has revived a longstanding disagreement between the paleos and neocons over the basis of nationhood. Where neocons subscribed to the “propositional” nation, in which national identity is a function of political principles and creed, the paleos took a different view. They argued that nations were defined by the specific cultural and historical heritage of their founders. So “Americanness,” for instance, is not established by political ideals as much as by the legacy of Protestant English settlers from whose characters and milieu those ideals emerged naturally. The implications for immigration policy are clear—the more new immigrants’ backgrounds differ from the culture and belief of the original English settlers, the more they will transform Americanness. Some paleos like Gottfried framed this idea in cultural and civilizational terms, while others, like the influential Samuel Francis, advocated explicitly for white nationalism.

In 1986’s The Conservative Movement, Gottfried also devotes a section to “the new sociobiology” that emerged in the 1960s and its influence on the right. The book describes the field’s struggle to distinguish its social Darwinism from the “corrupted version” that was “exploited by the Nazis.” It concluded that “a biological reconstruction of sociology was unlikely to win many conservative adherents (apart from racialists).” Four years after that essay was published, Jared Taylor, now one of the most prominent alt-right figureheads, founded the white nationalist, racialist American Renaissance.

Taylor succeeded because he “avoided the obsessions and crankiness that have, unfortunately, characterized much of American racialism,” wrote erstwhile Gottfried disciple Richard Spencer. “With Jared and AmRen,” he noted, “there is a certain radicalness in mainstreaming, in presenting ideas that have world-changing consequences in packages that seem mellow and respectable.”

Though it wasn’t clear at the time, the paleos’ influence crested with Pat Buchanan’s failed run to be the Republican presidential nominee in 1992. Gottfried served as an adviser for the campaign, which scored an impressive win in the New Hampshire primary and effectively foreshadowed Trump’s strategy. Buchanan was too stiff and socially conservative to make Trump’s stylized alpha-male sales pitch, but he ran on a similar nationalist platform, promising to restrict immigration while opposing globalism and multiculturalism. A key architect of the Buchanan strategy and Gottfried’s friend, Samuel Francis, articulated in passing the spirit that animated their movement and that they would pass on to their heirs in the alt-right. “I am not a conservative,” Francis said, “but a man of the right, perhaps of the far-right.”

The War on Terror and invasion of Iraq meant that the paleocons were marginalized. Always self-critical, Gottfried recognized when his movement had become moribund, and along with a small group of fellow travelers on the far right—or the dissident right, as they then called it—Gottfried began plotting what would come next. He observed that the paleos had not appealed to young people. Also, they were missing an overriding principle to unite them. The original conservative fusionists had anti-Communism. What would the postpaleos have?

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The Jewish Fear Of Populism

Only about 25% of American Jews voted for Donald Trump. A big part of the reason is that Jews instinctively fear gentile populism and nationalism. Jews have usually been ruled by an elite, and the more traditional you go in Jewish life, the more hierarchical it becomes.

The idea of everyone doing what is right in his own eyes is frightening from a Jewish perspective. There needs to law and order and a ruling class.

I picked up a 2016 Chayenu on Shabbos that articulated this fear. It was for the parsha of Korach. The “Parsha Snapshot with Perspective” was headlined, “The Need For The Elite.”

Inasmuch as the chief instrument God has given us for accomplishing this goal [sanctifying reality] is His commandments, and all Jews fulfill the commandments incumbent upon them in the same way, Korach concluded that all Jews are equally valuable and there is [no] purpose served by having an elite group of spiritual professionals, such as a leader like Moses or the priestly caste of Aaron and his descendants…

Moses realized that Korach had raised the stakes and was now jot just advocating the abolishment of the priestly caste but contesting Moses’ own leadership. He therefore asked God not to punish the rebels as aspirants to the priesthood…but to simply ignore their incense and punish them instead in some way that would demonstrate their error of challenging God’s appointed leader.

God agreed with Moses’ request, and after the incense offering in the morning, had Moses instruct everyone to distance themselves physically from Korach and his party. After the vast majority of the people had done this, a chasm opened in the earth and swallowed up Korach and the rest of the rebels.

Some of the people (over 14,700) then accused Moses of causing the murder of innocents; this accusation proved that these people still subscribed to Korach’s views, despite the miraculous demonstration of their incorrectness. God therefore caused an outbreak of an epidemic that started killing the guilty parties instantly…

Having conclusively endorsed Moses as the leader and Aaron as the high priest, God then demonstrated to the people that Aaron truly deserved his position…

The rest of the parsha is devoted [to] the laws that were pronounced in response to Korach’s mutiny and its aftermath: First, the Levites were made responsible for keeping lay Israelites away from those sacred precincts into which they were not allowed to enter. Next follows a list of all the donations the lay populace was required to give to the priests and Levites, as well as a list of what the non-priestly Levites had to give to the priests.

From all this, we learn that despite Korach’s correct emphasis on the primacy of action in Judaism, it is still crucial that there be a hierarchy of spiritual leadership, in order that those higher up on the spiritual ladder be able to inspire those lower on it…

Kevin MacDonald wrote July 23, 2016:

Going into Donald Trump’s acceptance speech I thought he would pivot, as they say, from some of the positions that most annoy the New York Times et al. Far from it. It was all there. Build the Wall, no immigration from countries associated with terrorism (okay, he didn’t say ‘Muslims’, but it was an obvious proxy), immigration for the benefit of Americans (rather than, it is implied, as a moral imperative — which almost automatically implies a drastic decrease in legal immigration), crime by illegal immigrants (complete with poignant stories about the victims), the insanity of US refugee policy given the problem of Muslim terrorism and the inability to vet refugees — and in particular Hillary’s proposal to vastly increase the numbers. And that’s just immigration.

I also loved that he didn’t back away from detailing Hillary’s crimes—the email scandal, the lying about the email scandal, the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments associated with terrorism and human rights abuses while she was Secretary of State, with the crowd chanting “Lock her up.” The mainstream media is particularly piqued to think that the RNC delegates would act so uncharitably toward their darling (the LATimes called it a “lynch mob.” But just how much politeness does someone who has taken corruption at the highest levels of government to heights never seen in my lifetime (and I’m an old guy) deserve?

Another great issue that he pounded home was “law and order” which is on everyone’s mind because of BLM, the recent killings of police officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and elsewhere, and memories of rioting in Ferguson and Baltimore. There are obvious racial overtones to this theme — it’s really an implicit appeal to Whites fed up with political correctness and blaming White America for the ills of Black urban communities. Contrary to the left’s message, BLM is inextricably linked to the Democrats given Obama’s rhetoric and his many White House invitations to BLM leaders. Giving the numbers on recent increases in murders and shooting victims —clearly the result of less proactive policing in Black inner-city communities — was very effective. Combining that with mention of the terrorist events here and in France, the clear message is that the country is falling apart — Make America Safe Again.

But of course, these are themes that immediately provoke a knee-jerk reaction on the left-leaning media, and especially the Jewish left-leaning media (but I repeat myself), that Trump is clearly a harbinger of fascism. All those rabidly cheering White people chanting “USA, USA,” “Lock her up,” and “America First” are terrifying to those who do not identify with the traditional people and culture of America. Going into the speech I was sure Trump would refrain from using “America First” given that the ADL has condemned his using it since it reminds Jews of the America First movement of the 1930s which opposed going to war with Hitler and is therefore seen as “anti-Semitic” (particularly America First leader Charles Lindbergh’s calling attention to the role of Jews in promoting the war). Instead, Trump repeated it during his speech in a least two places, and at one point he said it several times, prompting the crowd to join in. This was the sort of unabashed nationalism for countries that are not Israel that terrifies activist Jews.

Max Boot, who is nothing if not a Jewish ethnic activist, certainly felt that way:

To which I responded:

I tuned in to MSNBC just in time to hear Rachel Maddow express her worst fears:

Overall, I sensed deep concern at MSNBC and Trump haters generally that the speech could propel Trump to the presidency. #NeverTrump leader Bill Kristol seemed quite concerned:

The theme of incipient fascism was apparent, if understated, in much of the media. Here the code word was ‘dark’, as in the New York Times headline “His Tone Dark, Donald Trump Takes G.O.P. Mantle.”

Donald John Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday night with an unusually vehement appeal to Americans who feel that their country is spiraling out of control and yearn for a leader who will take aggressive, even extreme, actions to protect them. …

With dark imagery and an almost angry tone, Mr. Trump portrayed the United States as a diminished and even humiliated nation, and offered himself as an all-powerful savior who could resurrect the country’s standing in the eyes of both enemies and law-abiding Americans. …

In promoting his hard-line views on crime, immigration and hostile nations, Mr. Trump was wagering that voters would embrace his style of populism and his promises of safety if they feel even less secure by Election Day. (my emphasis)

This obviously invokes a fear on the left that Trump will inaugurate a right-wing police state under the banners of “Law and Order,” and “Make America Safe Again.” Just as the National Socialists portrayed Germany as a humiliated nation needing a strong leader who would take “aggressive, even extreme actions” in their rise to power in the 1930s, the Times emphasized Trump’s portrayal of the US as “humiliated” (“Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they have lived through one international humiliation after another.”)

The Times noted that the speech was not “traditionally optimistic and personal, full of hope and revelations that cast candidates in the best possible light for voters.” Trump’s pessimism feeds into the very real anger of the White GOP base which is legitimately worried about a future where Whites will be a minority if things don’t change soon — BLM, Muslim terrorism and lack of assimilation (favoring Sharia law and jihad by large percentages of Muslims in the West), and the hatred against White America that is now routine on the left (e.g., the ubiquitous “America Was Never Great” signs among the Cleveland protesters).

Of course, the left would much prefer a traditional GOP candidate who painted a rosy picture of the future — if only abortion and gay marriage were banned, capital gains taxes cut, and prayer in public schools mandated. Instead, Trump said he would protect LGBTQ people, there was no mention of abortion, and only a brief thank-you for Evangelical support (noting humbly “I’m not sure I totally deserve it.”). GOP candidates are expected to complain about the state of the US in an election during a Democrat administration, but they completely get off the reservation when they highlight immigration and lawlessness as the problems.

The JTA also picked up the “dark” theme, headlining “Donald Trump, accepting nomination, paints dark picture in pledging to put ‘America first.’” As a Jewish publication, they emphasized Trump’s use of the phrase “America First” despite its anti-Jewish overtones, but they also focused on Israel-related issues. Trump expressed his opposition to the Iran deal and his statement that he would work with “our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel,” to much applause. Given that this, after all, is the GOP convention (his comment was warmly received), we should be thankful that this was the only mention of Israel. If one of the GOP cucks had won the nomination, Israel would likely have been a major theme.

Another Jewish voice noting incipient fascism was liberal Jonathan Chait: “Donald Trump Is Bidding to Transform the GOP Into a White-Identity-Politics Party“. Chait claims, without any evidence, that Trump is leading an explicitly White ethnonationalist movement. Would that it were so (although it’s vastly premature at this point).

Their orientation is nostalgic, rather than glitter-eyed about the future. Like traditional conservatives, they distrust federal power, but extend their circle of rhetorical enemies to include the corporate elite. Most important, unlike standard conservatives, who tend to disregard race, ethnonationalists have a deeply, explicitly, racialized view of the world. (my emphasis)

Although there is no evidence Trump is explicitly advocating a politics of White ethno-nationalism, his campaign certainly appeals to implicit Whiteness.

Chait notes that Trump is a major departure from GOP orthodoxy:

All those ideological markers [of race] appeared in Trump’s address. The speech focused on four issues: crime, trade, immigration, and terrorism. The first three are issues most Republicans have de-emphasized, or moved in the opposite direction advocated by Trump. The last, terrorism, he presented less as a foreign-policy problem — as Republicans usually do — than as an outgrowth of an immigration policy he believes should exclude Muslims. Virtually the entire speech was therefore consumed with what, from the standpoint of almost any traditional Republican leader, would be heresy.

And thank God for that! Obviously the link between terrorism and immigration is not about illegal immigration — the latter a topic that even cuck Republicans have been comfortable with. It’s about the reality that legal Muslim immigrants, even if only a small percentage of them, are likely to wreak havoc on America. For activist Jews, any singling out of a group as unacceptable immigrants is anathema, conjuring up images of the rhetoric and sentiments surrounding the 1924 immigration restriction law centered on the proneness of Jewish immigrants to radical leftist politics. In fact, Jewish immigrants from that period formed the backbone of the left into contemporary times and their descendants are the primary contributors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign (abetted now by money from prominent neocons [an offshoot of the Jewish left] like Seth Klarman who are switching from supporting cuckservative Romney in 2012).

The good news is that, as Richard Spencer noted in the immediate aftermath of the speech, the populist, nationalist, anti-globalist genie can’t be put back in the bottle. The Republican party is changed forever. The Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio types will never be able to go back to the old nostrums that worked so well for the party until the Trump revolution.

This has been a hostile takeover made possible because Trump appeals to so many who voted Republican but got absolutely nothing in return. These voters now realize their real interests are being articulated by Trump, and there’s no going back to a “principled conservative” like Cruz. One wonders what alternate universe Cruz is living in if he thinks that anything like a majority of Republicans, much less the country as a whole, will vote for his conservative principles. Trump voters won’t forget his treachery.

So even though Trump painted a very depressing picture of America, we on the Alt Right have every reason to be optimistic. I can’t help but remember how I felt a year ago, before Trump was getting on everyone’s radar. I just couldn’t see any way forward and it looked like just another election in which we would get to choose between the execrable Clinton and a hopeless cuck like Jeb Bush. There was just no way to get our message out given the absolute blackout imposed by the media, from far left to neoconservative right.

All that’s changed now. The Alt Right is the only identifiable political perspective that provides an intellectual defense of the central themes of Trump’s campaign which really come down to defending the traditional people and culture of America. Nationalism, populism, much less White interests, have been eradicated by elite consensus to the far fringes of American political discourse. But with the rise of Trump, it’s inevitable that they edge toward the mainstream. The confident dismissals of any claim for the reality of race and racial interests, as in this article on Richard Spencer, will seem more and more hollow as they confront articulate, science-based arguments and the reality of racial conflict all around them. This is a great moment for the Alt Right — and for America.

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Jewish Journal: Pirkei Avot: A guidebook for the new administration

Isn’t this Jewish supremacist to argue that our traditional texts should guide the goyim? Yes, it is Jewish supremacist. I have no problem with Jewish supremacy. I believe Judaism is awesome. I believe in God and I believe this God gave the Jews His Torah and made them his Chosen People.

Because I have no problem with Jewish supremacy, I have peace with other groups asserting their supremacy. Much of sports and popular culture reflect black supremacy. There are a tiny number of whites who want to create whites-only countries. That’s fine with me too. If the Jews and the Torah designate that there can be no other religions in the Holy Land and no citizenship for non-Jews, I can allow the same exclusivity to others.

My main objection to Jewish supremacy is when we overreach and the goyim react badly. Every action precipitates a reaction. This is my same objection to other forms of racial and religious supremacy. There’s no problem feeling that your group is awesome, divinely chosen, but that does not make your group immune from consequences. If Hitler had stopped expanding in 1938, and then only concentrated on building up Germans in a peaceful manner, and presuming that Stalin and company did not invade him (unlikely due to Germany’s geography), he would have gone down as the greatest political leader of the first half of the 20th Century. Chutzpah is a common human affliction and when you over-step your boundaries, you might not like the repercussions.

By Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg:

The Bible instructs every Jewish king that he must have one book with him all the time: the Torah. He should read it every day so that he will know three things: that he is accountable to God for his behavior as ruler; that he is bound by the Torah, the Constitution of his people, and is not above the law; and that he must not become arrogant and carried away by his power.
Last week, in a Forbes magazine profile, we learned that Jared Kushner, President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, has one book prominently displayed in his company headquarters: Pirkei Avot, or “Ethics of the Fathers.”
Pirkei Avot is a collection of life wisdom sayings from the rabbis who wrote the Mishnah, the core of Judaism’s second most sacred text, the Talmud. What guidance or wisdom might he glean for his important role in the coming Trump administration if he reads the book every day?
As the author of “Sage Advice,” a translation and commentary of Pirkei Avot, I have more than a few thoughts on that question.
First, Kushner should be aware of when and why the book was written. The Mishnah/Talmud was written in the aftermath of the collapse of the ruling class of the Jewish state (Judea). The political/religious establishment was totally invested in the Temple-based religious system. When the Jews revolted, the Romans crushed the rebellion, destroyed the Temple and ended Jewish sovereignty. The establishment insisted that the Temple must be restored. To them, there was no other alternative but to repeat the past policies. They spent the next century trying to recover the Temple by military and political action — in vain. Exhausted, they disappeared from history.
The rabbis rose from obscurity, a marginal place in Jewish society. They brought with them a new policy option that saved the Jewish future. They would cut a deal with the Romans to accept Roman sovereignty in return for allowing the Jews to build an autonomous community, without a military or foreign policy. Within that society, Jewish values and religion would be rebalanced and revitalized. The people, led by the rabbis, would take greater power within the religion and build a better way of life — more local, more communal, more familial, more participatory, with more individual responsibility, religiously and socially. “Ethics of the Fathers” was edited to communicate to the masses this new religious and political path. The book consists of pithy wisdom statements from 66 rabbis, designed to guide people to live a more mature, more responsible, individual life and to build a better society.

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