I typically do not respond to criticisms of my writing, yet after my “Nationalism, Not Conservatism” article received some commentary over at Slantable, I felt inclined to formulate a refutation of sorts out of respect for The Virginia Advocate. Although the author (Nicole Bailey) does write eloquently, emotion quickly overtakes her thesis and causes the Leftist labels which I brought up in my original piece to emerge. Because her counterargument is so flimsy, she relies heavily on selective omission of what I wrote and in some instances completely shifts the meaning in order to succeed in generating the juicy rhetorical loins which passive Conservative (but mostly Liberal) readers will devour without question.
In the interest of clarity, I will not structure this article in the usual format, but rather respond to her attacks and misrepresentations point-by-point.
First, Vogt characterizes Romney 2012 and Cuccinelli 2013 as similar manifestations of the same underlying problem: a fundamental disconnect between the conservative movement and successful politics. Problems with this analysis include but are not limited to the following:
The only specifics the two have in common are that they are failed white male Republican candidates.
With very similar platforms, advantages, disliked opponents, big families, and a penchant for destroying themselves as candidates through “civil discussion.”
The “flaws of the Conservative perspective” in the context of the elections are never enumerated.
Mostly wrong. I discuss the flaws of Conservatism as an ideology throughout the piece. In regard to elections, Conservatives fail because they insist on “civil discussion,” which Leftists use against them. For example, the “war on women” being hammered away along with accusations that Ken Cuccinelli wants to take away birth control, even in the face of birth control’s legal status, Cuccinelli’s record, and his denial of such a position. Cuccinelli’s response was to calmly reject the claims and focus on policy to the detriment of his image as a candidate and the success of his Conservative campaign. This commitment to civil debate is the overarching flaw of Conservatism, and helps explain the losses in Virginia and nationally.
It is not clear that Romney is a conservative – many would argue he is not.
Some people would argue that Communist China is not communist. Others say Barack Obama is an honest person. At any rate, Romney’s platform was undeniably Conservative.
The GOP in general is not necessarily conservative and vice versa.
I refuse to play the “elusive philosophy” game in the context of this discussion. From the start of my article I address the problems of American Conservatism, as defined by the modern Republican Party and the platforms of the two candidates discussed. Nicole may disagree with my definition, but it would be more helpful to have her alternative explanation rather than a political via negativa to represent what Conservatism is.
Throughout the piece, it is clear that the only way for Vogt to make his argument work is to egregiously misrepresent conservatism. He condemns conservatives’ “cult of individualism,” affinity for “unbridled markets,” and “fetishization of racial minorities” among other things. Any reasonable American can see this argument for the straw man that it is: conservatives simply do not fit his mold.
Note to the reader: Nicole never establishes what Conservatism is, only what she claims it is not, without explaining why. Conversely, I both provide a model of Conservatism and explain why it is failing.
At its core, nationalism is based on an idea – national interest – that is so amorphous and manipulable that Vogt’s attempts to distinguish it from a “petty ideology” are baffling.
I do not subscribe to nationalism (with a little “n”), so the preceding summary is irrelevant. “National interest” is an idea peddled by National Conservatives, Republicans, and Libertarians to gain votes. My cause is that of the Nation, not an electoral interest.
Next, Nicole launches into a series of emotionally charged and unsupported attacks to compensate for the feebleness of her counterargument:
Below are some of the most appalling parts of nationalism that Vogt actually endorses:
All non-heterosexuals are socially degenerate, and we should somehow retaliate with the coercive power of the state.
This constitutes a 100 percent lie from concentrate by Nicole. To begin, in the section on social degeneracy I link to multiple stories and a video to illustrate the decline of morality in our current liberal society. The first story details how a lesbian couple from California is giving their 11-year-old son hormone blocker treatment to aid in his transformation into a girl. I further link to the CNN story on California’s new law, which allows transgender students to use the public bathrooms of the gender they feel more like. I consider both to be child abuse, yet in our wonderfully progressive society they receive the stamp of approval in the public, and, in the case of the latter story, a state legislature.
Furthermore, the second-to-last story is about a Texas father defending his high school-aged daughter’s “Jesus isn’t a DICK; so keep him out of my vagina!” sign at an abortion protest. But according to Nicole, I believe ONLY non-heterosexuals are social degenerates.
Nicole should know however that many transsexuals consider themselves heterosexual, so her massing them into a one “non-heterosexual ” group could be seen as bigotry.
I do link to one video that does not concern child abuse, but is rather a a message by an individual (I will not say male or female, as both are bigoted terms) who calls cisgender people “scum” and says they should die.
As for the State, I believe it should employ its coercive power to combat child abuse and open threats of violence. I understand that taking such a position makes me a hateful bigot, but so what?
A person’s worth is solely tied to his or her agreement with nationalist ideology.
Their worth is visible in their service to the Nation. I have a worldview, not an ideology.
Humans are not created equal, apparently as a result of (A) “nature and history”
No refutation of the brazen evidence in nature and history against human equality. Nicole does not even attempt to prove that humans are created equally, and I suspect she cannot.
and (B) a complete disrespect for the Declaration of Independence.
Couple of problems with this:
- Apart from Lincoln’s questionable use of the Declaration to justify aggression towards the South, the document does not have much historical legal standing, particularly before the Supreme Court.
- Nicole and I both know the signers of the Declaration did not follow through on the document’s stipulations that all are created equal and endowed by God with rights. In fact, those God-given rights only applied to wealthy white men while excluding poor whites, women, and racial minorities. We have to completely ignore history in order to accept that the Declaration represents a universal Founding principle of equality.
Civil discourse is bad.
Civil discourse is destined to become corrupted, and quickly legitimizes perfectly immoral or useless positions with the justification that the person professing them deserves respect and no individual can be absolutely right about an issue.
Normally I would laugh at the label, but Nicole has no basis to accuse me of racism in my article. In two instances I mention race; first, as part of a rejection of Conservative cowardice vis-à-vis Liberal insults; and secondly, when I explain how the Nationalist condemns the fetishization of racial minorities propagated by white Conservatives and Liberals. This practice is clearly shown by Newt Gingrich in the video I link to, in which he attacks the Republican Party for not reaching out to “Hispanic small business owners,” and other categorized or otherwise titled racial minorities.
Gingrich’s treatment of minorities is degrading to them as human beings because it suggests a common identity and interest tied to little more than skin color. Based on that group association created by white elites they are expected to think, act, and vote the same way (e.g. all Hispanics should be for illegal immigration because many illegal immigrants happen to be Hispanic).
As a Nationalist I believe the worth of an individual emerges in “their attitude to the Nation as an American, not through the furthering of some hyphenated designation of group thought and action.” In other words, I am devoid of racism philosophically, and given the growing evidence that race does not exist genetically in humans, my position is rather scientific.
What is truly unfortunate about Nicole’s accusation is how it reveals her categorical hypocrisy on the issue. For one, she seems to support Conservatism, an ideology that is frequently defending itself against Leftist claims of racism, yet because it is convenient she uses the same tactic in hopes of marginalizing my perspective, which is not racist at all. Additionally, she has a track record of publicly exposing a study’s attempt to wrongfully portray American gun owners as racist, but still sees nothing inconsistent about using dishonesty to deceive people into believing that I endorse racism. If anything, she is the one obsessed with race.
…bigotry, and intolerance are not bad.
I must also be a hatemonger, fascist, totalitarian, misogynist, supporter of the patriarchy, etc. (sarcasm).
Patriotism should be “all-consuming and spiritual,” Exodus 20:3 notwithstanding.
For some bizarre reason Nicole follows up her condemnation of my supposed bigotry by appealing to the Old Testament as a moral authority. Unfortunately, the Old Testament also includes this verse: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads” (Leviticus 20:13). Just for the record: I do NOT agree with the passage from Leviticus.
That aside, the sentence she quotes does not forcibly suggest polytheism or a rejection of the one God. As I note later on in the article: “The Nationalist understands that God steers the Nation, and will never accept the separation of faith from the State.”
There is nothing of worth outside of America. Nothing.
Oh my. Completely disregards the following sentence: “The Nationalist supports the independence of all countries from the grip of international financial institutions (such as the EU), and is willing to aid them in that cause.” I want every country to be sovereign and independent.
The reality is that a first-generation American is not going to think his family back home is “worthless” just because he is now a U.S. citizen.
What if he hates his family?
A true patriot is not going to look down on a fellow American for no other reason than not adopting his own ideology.
Nationalism is not an ideology, but a worldview and way of life. It would also be nice to have a definition of “true patriot,” given that the liberal system which Nicole seems to support makes such a descriptor quite subjective.
Someone who loves America is not going to turn around and reject a Founding principle as essential as the idea that all are created equal.
A Founding principle that applied to wealthy white men and took over 100 years and a civil war to extend to women and racial minorities. In other words, equality for all at birth was not a Founding principle.
Also, Nicole cannot prove humans are created equal.
In conclusion, I fully expected to get some heated responses to my piece, and I appreciate Nicole’s version. While it is riddled with mistruths and selective omission, she should be commended for the excellent quality of her writing.
By Gabriele Vogt, Managing Editor