I knew there was CPAC. And the Values Voters Summit. And the Stone Mountain Klanbakes. But this is one I'd never heard of until a couple days ago.
I will give them credit for this, though. At least they went ahead and held this in the ballroom of the Washington, DC Ritz Carlton. No feigning "common man" credentials. No pretending to be grassroots or representative of some anti-elite salt-of-the-earth plain folks. Nope, They went straight to the hotel chain most emblematic of decadent wealth, right in the heart of the nation's center of elite power. At least they're being honest.
But that is the ONLY credit they're going to get, because this conference presented a rogues gallery of some of the most despicable, depraved degenerates the right wing has to offer.
Okay, I don't know who Josh Hawley is, but the rest of these guys?
You've got John Bolton, the man who can only get erect watching videos of Iraqi bombing victims.
You've got Tucker Carlson, the pretty-much-official spokesman for white ethno-nationalism. And Peter Thiel, a man who made his fortune on the internet, which was created, developed, and paid for by the federal government, and now preaches libertarianism because he thinks that the government should just stay out of his business and not tax the money he made on a system FOR WHICH THE TAXPAYERS PAID!
There's a bunch of other speakers of whom I am glad not to have heard, but a few familiar names stand out. Like
A man who has made a career out of warning gullible bigots that Muslims will come to your country and totally do Sharia Law to you! Somehow!
Amity Shlaeswhom I really only know as the author of a ridiculous revisionist history of the Great Depression which posits that the Great Depression wouldn't have lasted so long had not FDR intervened. Which is kind of like saying that infection would have cleared up sooner if you hadn't used those damn antibiotics.
Oh, I found a quote from that book!
“The big question about the American depression is not whether war with Germany and Japan ended it. It is why the Depression lasted until that war. From 1929 to 1940, from Hoover to Roosevelt, government intervention helped to make the Depression Great.” ―
It's even stupider than I thought! Because, you know, if there's one thing that Herbert Hoover was known for, it was his policy of using the government to intervene in the economy!
There's the truly idiotic Salena Zito, whom we've discussed before: (here)
And someone of whom I had no knowledge until I saw her quote from the conference on Twitter the other day, Amy Wax.
that quote being:
“Let us be candid: Europe and the First World, to which the United States belongs, remains mostly white for now. And the Third World, although mixed, contains a lot of non-white people,” Wax said, according to a transcript posted by Vox’s Zack Beauchamp, who attended and reported on the conference. “Embracing cultural distance nationalism, means in effect taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer non-whites.”
Changing the name from "white nationalism" to "cultural distance nationalism" doesn't make it any better. It's like when Philip Morris changed its name to Altria. That didn't make their product any less toxic.
So why another right wing conference? What is different about this one? What is this one going to cover that the CPACs of the world have left out?
Well. let's let them explain.
Politics in America, Britain, and other Western nations have taken a sharp turn toward nationalism—a commitment to a world of independent nations.
Yeah, that's not really what nationalism means. But I assume you know that.
This has been disorienting to many, not least the American conservative movement, which has, since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, grown increasingly attached to a vision of a global “rules-based liberal order” that would bring peace and prosperity to the entire world while attenuating the independence of nations.
And by "peace and prosperity," we of course mean invading, nombing and overthrowing the governments of any country to whom we take a dislike.
The return of nationalism has created a much-discussed “crisis of conservatism” that may be unprecedented since modern Anglo-American conservatism was formulated by Russell Kirk, William Buckley, and their colleagues in the 1950s.
Yes, then as now, the crisis is over how much of the racist part to say out loud.
The conference on “National Conservatism” will bring together public figures, journalists, scholars, and students who understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation, to the principle of national independence, and to the revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing.
Or, to put it a bit more succinctly, Ein Volk, Ein Rich, Ein Fuhrer.
We see this public conference as the kick off for a protracted effort to recover and reconsolidate the rich tradition of national conservative thought as an intellectually serious alternative to the excesses of purist libertarianism, and in stark opposition to political theories grounded in race.
Okay. sure! American conservatism in opposition to theories grounded in race!
Oh, man! Good luck with that!