“When he is stripped of the Christian tunic and the classical toga, there is nothing left of the European but a pale-skinned barbarian.”
— Nicolás Gómez Dávila
For some time I have contemplated about how we, at Constitution.com in particular and Liberty Alliance media in general, should respond to the rise of the “alt-right.” For the last six months or so we have been connected to the movement through stories in the mainstream media and attacks from the left. However, we ourselves have never agreed to the idea that we are in any way, shape, or form connected to the alt-right. In fact, we at Liberty Alliance would go much further and say that we repudiate the alt-right and their rhetoric, methods, and some of their philosophy.
First, you won’t find us using the rhetoric of the bomb-throwers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer. There is something to be said about the old mantra that “how you win, is as important as winning.” We still believe that the best path forward is one that seeks to use winsome conversation filled with persuasive argument in order to advance our cause. As such, you won’t see us hurling epithets, name calling (often), or using gross, mean-spirited rhetoric to tear down our opponents.
Secondly, we don’t believe that looking for dangerous physical confrontations is ever the best path forward. While we believe that our message should be broadcast far and wide, and that we should be carrying our narratives into the hallowed halls of academia on both of the liberal coasts, you won’t find us looking for crowds of angry liberals to shout at or egg on. Instead, we’ll continue to use rhetoric that is not enflamed with personal attacks and invective to persuade others to our cause. There is a massive difference between Ben Shapiro’s attempts to engage the left in reasoned debate on college campuses and Milo Yiannopoulos’ “Dangerous Faggot” tour.
Shapiro looks for a respectable, reasoned debate of ideas. Milo searches for buttons to push and people to anger in an attempt to show just how unreasonable our opponents are (and he’s not all wrong).
We also break with the alt-right in terms of philosophy. We are conservatives; they are populists who use a conservative cloak to push their agenda. We are for free trade, legal immigration, lower taxes, lower spending, fewer regulations, and reasonable involvement in the world around us. The alt-right has become synonymous with “fair trade” as opposed to free trade, they’ve embraced economic protectionism and abandoned the principles of conservative economic theory. The alt-right has also embraced a type of populist nationalism that would see our federal government pour trillions of dollars into our infrastructure without first finding where to cut corresponding government spending first. Many in the alt-right would also see immigration halted altogether in their quest to preserve a sense of “white nationalism.” (Let me step in here and say that Milo Yiannopoulos and many in the alt-right are NOT white nationalists, but they have allowed themselves to become infiltrated and overrun by white nationalist philosophies of Richard Spencer, Steve Sailer, Vox Day, and Alymer Fisher.)
This last area leads us to the point of greatest diversion between Liberty Alliance and the alt-right. We are NOT in any way shape or form anti-immigrant or white nationalist.
We believe that Western Civilization is superior to other cultures but that has nothing to do with the race of “white people.” No, Western Civilization is superior because of Christianity and its effect on our culture over the last 1,000+ years of history.
Polemicist Tim Dukeman may have put it best when he recently remarked on the folly of white nationalism and the failures of the alt-right:
The White Nationalists are correct: Western Civilization isn’t only superior to other cultures; it’s not even close. Western Civilization doesn’t need to be more like other cultures, but the other way around. Western Culture obviously isn’t perfect. Not by a long shot. But its critics should consider removing the telephone pole from their own eye before they complain about the comparative specks afflicting Western culture.
The folly of White Nationalism is that they think this obvious cultural superiority is derived from inherent racial characteristics. This is hilarious to those who understand history. Centuries ago, Europe was populated by violent barbarians, human-sacrificing Celts, and the Rape-and-Pillage Vikings.
The West has better culture because it is much more influenced by Christianity. Without Christianity, the West will return to its barbarian roots. The White Nationalists show their breathtaking foolishness when they look down their noses at savage, brutish cultures.
But for the Grace of God, America would be just like Somalia.
The strength of Western Civilization has nothing to do with the color of the skin of European people; it has everything to do with the beauty that is Christianity and its effect on our culture.
In fact, in a rare moment of humility and thoughtfulness, Milo Yiannopoulos himself explained that white nationalism and identity politics is not the answer. “The way to go is reminding them and yourselves that you should be aspiring to values, to ideas. You should be focusing on what unites people, not drives them apart. And you shouldn’t give a sh** about skin color, you shouldn’t give a sh** about sexuality, you shouldn’t give a sh** about gender, and you should be deeply suspicious of people who do.”
For all of these reasons, and several more that we have not covered, we at Constitution.com and the Liberty Alliance consider ourselves wholly cut off from the “alt-right” movement.
We are conservatives and we believe that we can win the fight and defend our nation by promoting our ideas and our values without belittling, disrespecting, or tearing down our fellow Americans. With that thought in mind we will continue to operate as steadfastly as we can in as positive, edifying, and unifying a manner as we can.