January 12, 2008

In his latest blog, John Zmirak raised an interesting question while criticizing Ron Paul for not paying sufficient attention to the occasionally questionable contents of his newsletter. According to John, there are necessary limits to what a public figure on the right should tolerate in his publications and, more generally, in those alliances that he proceeds to form. Obviously, the decent Right wouldn”€™t want any part of David Duke, who is nuts on the Jewish question and on many other topics. Besides, Duke had an unsavory past as both a Nazi-sympathizer and a Klansman. I for one wouldn”€™t show the slightest irritation if Duke were never invited to join any political group with which I were associated.

Then there are the more difficult questions, at least for me. Do we extend the ban to all white nationalists, even to those who are known advocates of small-government? If not all, then which members of this category should fall under the ban? What about those who express sympathy for the Confederacy? Such types typically come up for criticism in the neocon and liberal press as being indistinguishable from the Nazi sympathizers, whom we would agree to stay clear of. Even more importantly, do we take our cue about keeping suitable company by looking at our enemies”€™ classifications? I”€™ve already been through this before with another group, and my reaction at that time was to say “€œthe Hell with those totalitarians on the other side!”€ But perhaps I was reacting too hastily. Perhaps we should be concerned with what our enemies at the New York Times and The Weekly Standard say. After all, as I was told during my last dispute over whose company to shun, “€œthe totalitarians wield a lot of power.”€ And that is certainly true.

One final question may be in order. Should we play by different rules from those practiced by our enemies? For example, a prominent Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Obama, belongs to a black-nationalist church in Chicago, one whose pastor holds racialist views that he freely vents. This fact has been generally kept out of public attention, together with the anti-white outbursts of Obama’s wife Michelle. Can anyone imagine the inevitable response of our media elite if it were learned that a white Republican presidential contender belonged to the Christian Aryan Church, or to some other equally silly white supremacist congregation? Such a hypothetical candidate would be driven forever from public life, and he would likely have the IRS on his trail for the rest of his life, with trumped-up charges of tax evasion. During the Clinton administration I myself was subject to an audit and was made to pay for something that my accountant (who was a professor of economics) did not think was owed to the government. During the audit, I was reminded to my utter surprise of the fact that I had written for “€œrightwing-libertarian publications.”€ One could only imagine what might befall our hypothetical member of a white supremacist church. The attacks on Tent Lott for indulging the elderly Strom Thurmond a few years back would be as nothing compared to what would await Obama’s white counterpart.

But should we accept this double standard? We only do so by accepting the Left’s view of history, one in which there are victims and victimizers and different rules for each. If one believes, however, that such divisions are simplistic and that they tell us exceedingly little about actual human relations, which have always been in any case hierarchical, then one cannot honestly embrace what the Left teaches. Unfortunately, there is no way that one can acquiesce in the Left’s double standard without conceding its larger points about the need for thought control and selective reconstructions of the past. In my view, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. If the Left likes racists as long as they”€™re anti-white and sexists providing they”€™re anti-patriarchal, I see no reason why our side has to bend over backward not to give offense to its antagonists. Perhaps we should stop caring about what these hypocrites would tolerate and be true to ourselves.


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