09 Sep 2016

The Great Alt-Right Essay in Claremont Review

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The Alt-Right rejects the conservative intellectual tradition and all serious ideas in favor of Populism, yet at the same time a number of its mouthpieces are prone to strike poses of learned Classicism, using pennames out of Livy like “Publius Decius Mus,” making reference to the strategic deficiencies of Hannibal, and throwing in a bit of Greek (thymos/θῡμός) for purposes of insult.

I’m afraid that trying to pretend to be Victor Davis Hanson, Donald Kagan, or Cato the Elder while trying to peddle a combination of the politics of Pat Buchanan and Millard Fillmore does not really impress anyone.

I am referring, of course, specifically to The Flight 93 Election, the latest grand Trumpkin manifesto, which Claremont Review ought to have been ashamed of publishing.

“Publish Decius Mus,” hereafter referred to as “Mousey,” inevitably commences with the most popular thesis in the Trumpshirt party line: the claim that this particular election is uniquely climactic and apocalyptic. Were Hillary to win, we are given to understand, her re-election is inevitable, the successful passage and implementation of heaven-only-knows-what next jolie cadeau de la Révolution française is inevitable, the Republic is doomed, and the war against the forces of darkness is lost forever.

Mousey’s thesis is, of course, arrant rubbish. Hillary is just another democrat, a democrat not even as leftist as the current 8-year inhabitant of the White House. Hillary isn’t nearly as ideological as Obama, nor is she nearly as slippery and competent as her spouse. Doubtless, were she to be elected, it would be a bad thing, and we could expect a re-play of the first Clinton presidential term. We should expect Hillary to try for One Big Leftwing Thing. If the Republicans in Congress turn back her assault, we again win the mid-term elections, Hillary pulls in her horns, and (blessed) governmental gridlock recurs. Hillary hasn’t got Bill’s gifts and there is no reason at all to assume that she would be a popular president or be likely to win re-election. On the contrary, I think there is an excellent chance that Hillary will screw the pooch, wind up buried in more scandals, and end her term putting the democrat party right behind the 8-ball for a long time to come.

Trump, on the other hand, is an extremely dangerous gamble. What might, or might not, an incredibly spoiled, willful, narcissistic 70-year-old millionaire, who may not be playing with a full deck, do? It is impossible to predict. That is the problem with making a geriatric Caligula president.


Ben Shapiro, at Daily Wire, did a fine job of demolishing Mousey’s nonsense.

What sort of “fundamental” change is Publius looking for, you ask? (“Interesting choice of phrase, that.” — Barack Obama) Not conservatism – that’s failed: “Decentralization and federalism are all well and good, and as a conservative, I endorse them both without reservation. But how are they going to save, or even meaningfully improve, the America that Continetti describes? What can they do against a tidal wave of dysfunction, immorality, and corruption?”

No conservative would actually write this. Decentralization and federalism, combined with a renewed societal focus on virtue implemented at a familial and communal level, are the solution to an encroaching federal government. They are the only solution.

But what is Publius’ solution? Why, Trump, of course! “[Matthew] Continetti trips over a more promising approach when he writes of “stress[ing] the ‘national interest abroad and national solidarity at home’ through foreign-policy retrenchment, ‘support to workers buffeted by globalization,’ and setting ‘tax rates and immigration levels’ to foster social cohesion.’ That sounds a lot like Trumpism,” writes our Roman hero.

So in other words, screw conservatism, let’s get the Big Government corporatist ad hoc blue dog Democrat in here. The guy who donated to Hillary Clinton will surely fix things better than founding ideals ever have.

From there, Publius moves on to blame. Why won’t conservatives just agree with him? Because they must be paid off! “Pecuniary reasons also suggest themselves, but let us foreswear recourse to this explanation until we have disproved all the others…. So what do we have to lose by fighting back? Only our Washington Generals jerseys—and paychecks.” This is the last refuge of the desperate Trump advocate – everyone with whom they disagree has been bribed. The system is rigged. Someone ought to ask Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham or Breitbart.com just how much money they’ve lost backing Trump with the ardently hot passion of a thousand smoldering suns. The answer: not a dime. And they’ve gained ratings and presumably, the massive money that comes along with such ratings. Some of us have actively foregone significant money not to worship at the Trumpian altar. It’s truly incredible how Trump supporters darkly suggest that Jonah Goldberg is somehow getting rich off of opposing Trump but simultaneously say National Review is going bankrupt. Which is it, dolts?

Read the whole thing.

9 Feedbacks on "The Great Alt-Right Essay in Claremont Review"


Your assessment of where Hillary lies politically is wrong. Hillary is to the left of Bill, essentially Barack Obama with a penchant for brandishing the American military.
She is as equally dangerous as BO domestically and equally damaging as BO internationally, though for different reasons.
This will me more like a third BO term, not a third BC term.


HC is Benghazi goes global. Including Mayberry, NC.

Margot darby

It don’t matter if Hillary is right of Bill or another hack or what. Nonwhite immigration has destroyed large parts of this country. Sanctifying the illegals by making them legal makes as much sense as pasting a Nehi label over the skull and crossbones on a jug of lye. You don’t get rid of poison by pretending it’s sassafras. You throw the poison out.


I think the admission of Muslims was ill-advised and unfortunate. Mexicans, in my own view, are not entirely un-white, and the Hispanic presence in California, Texas, and the Southwest is immemorial and older than our own. All waves of immigration to the USA have had mostly pluses but also inevitable minuses. You cannot have a large group of immigrants come on without getting a certain number of criminals, agitators, and bums. We all, however, descend from immigrants, and I’d say it behooves us to do as our ancestors were done by. The standard ought to be: Are they a public danger? and Are they assimilable? I’d say Hispanics are not that dangerous in general and are assimilable. I would also say that Muslims today are like Anarchists in 1900, a group associated with terrorist violence that you ought not to be allowing to enter.

margot darby

All comicality aside, here are a couple of corrective points from someone with roots in this country:

1) As a matter of simple fact, we do NOT all descend from immigrants, however much the Daily Worker and its neocon progeny push that useful lie. A goodly number of us were already here by 1776 and most of the remainder have only a handful of forebears who were, in the technical sense, immigrants.

2) The “Hispanic” (mestizo) incursion into the Southwest during the last generation has no connection to the handful of Californios, Tejanos, Franciscan padres and Spanish grandées who dwelt there two or three centuries ago. The sophistry that these groups are all the same, or that Mexicans historically “owned” the Southwest—when actually they held nominal title for about 25 years, after they took the land from Spain and then failed to administer it—is just another instance of programmed confusion, like the above “We nashun of immagrint” crap.

I won’t address the risible nonsense about percentages of Caucasian genes or whether some wetbacks can be good Amurricans. Brimelow, Coulter and others have already covered these subjects, far more extensively than my stomach will permit me.


Who the hell is Brimelow to talk? He’s a limey who just got off the boat himself.

I fail to see how you can separate Mexicans from pre-Mexican Revolution Spaniards.

The people arriving at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock were a mixed lot, too. There were Mayflower passengers who wound up hanged. The 13 colonies were a mixed lot even before the Revolution: Swedes, Dutch, Huguenot & Acadian French, Scots, Scots Irish, Puritans and Cavaliers, Catholics, Quakers, Anabaptists, Moravians, Swiss, Irish, Spanish and Africans. Myself, I have no ancestors who were here before the 1880s, and I’d bet that you have ancestors who arrived post-1776.

I assume you eat tomatoes. There is nobody who is going to do our agricultural labor, pick our crops, and do all the rest of the unskilled labor but the Beaners. You cannot afford to hire the American underclass to do jobs Americans won’t do, and if you paid those people like Wall Street Bankers, they’d still do a crappy job.

margot darby

I have post-1776 arrivals, pre-1776 arrivals, at least one ancestor in the Revolution (the American side).

I don’t much care for tomatoes, but I have grown them on occasion. The “we need beaners” argument has been well funded by ConAgra but it isn’t worth a hill of…beans. I had the good fortune of meeting Sen. Gene McCarthy, after he’d been red-pilled on the fallout of the disastrous 1965 Immigration Act. “Basically,” he said (I paraphrase from memory), “we traded national integrity in return for cheap tomatoes and Mother’s Day carnations.” I always liked that Mother’s Day swipe—shades of Philip Wylie!

Anyway the rodeo’s not over yet. I’m sure you’re quite familiar with it, but let me point you again to the wording of the 1790 immigration act. “Free white persons” of “good character.” Or read the decision of Our First Catholic Chief Justice, Roger B. Taney, in the matter of Dred Scott. Taney was a Constitutionalist, and I shall meet him in Constitutional Heaven.


Nice piece by another “republican” trying to get Hillary elected. The establishment GOP including author of this site would much prefer Hillary to Trump. At least she’s a pro politico and not someone who might break DC’s rules.

Let’s not forget the supposed Republican legislature has barely raised a finger to oppose Obama, why would they oppose Hillary?


Proving once again that Trump supporters are low-information voters. Republicans in Congress voted over 60 times to repeal Obamacare and brought two court cases against it all the way to the Supreme Court.


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