“Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest,
Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ,
So many times among “The Band” – to wit,
The Knights who to the Dark Tower’s search addressed
Their steps – that just to fail as they, seemed best,
And all the doubt was now – should I be fit?” ~ Browning
There was some doubt as to whether I’d be allowed into the CPAC this year. Matthew Heimbach and I made national news during the 2013 conference because of a few simple questions we asked during a break-out session; why was it, we wondered, establishment Republicans weren’t more interested in reaching out to their white, blue-collar constituents? Instead, they seemed obsessed with courting the black, mestizo, and homosexual vote; why?
That my question also included a healthy dose of Southern pride, roused the ire of the national, left-wing media machine, prompting Chris Matthews to call me a “stupid redneck” and even John Stewart to sling a few barbs my way (via his tired “news” show). Heimbach’s attire, which featured a George Wallace campaign button, and a t-shirt with the damnable Confederate Flag, also drew fire from the media.
So, in light of last year’s outrage, I expected no warm reception this go-round.
There was no discrimination in my registration though, so I trudged my way through the metropolitan wastelands of Northern Virginia and approached the conference as an optimist.
I immediately noticed a different “feel” to CPAC. As many of you know, the Republican party has been splintered since (roughly) 2005, when rumors of a “Ron Paul” grass-roots-type movement began circulating around dem interwebz.(1). But unlike past conferences, there was far less splintering this year; instead, there was a discernible feel of “unity”. For better or worse, it seems the CPAC establishment (and the Republican Party at large) have made a reluctant peace with the libertarian and grass roots elements in attendance.
Further – it seems these blue-blood establishment types have recognized the need for a conservative “identity” and are trying to manufacture one through the use of over-the-top patriotic imagery and symbolism. A lot of conference time was spent on movie screenings, especially Dinesh D’souza’s new “America” project, which has a stalwart-looking George Washington staring down hoards of British troops, while patriotic music plays triumphantly in the ether. But lest we fall into any WASP-pride, sound clips of the so-called “Dr.” Martin Luther King Jr, quickly followed images of soaring eagles. This is a self-consciously raceless, multicultural identity being forged. “We have no king but Caesar!” cry the people…and we might add: “no race but “American”!
As a Kinist, and as an unabashed traditionalist, I recognize the importance of forging identity groups; they must not be imposed from the top down, though! They need to emerge organically, in the context of a “place” and a people (and within the context of a Godly propriety). Otherwise, they wont be taken seriously or granted legitimacy. The young hipsters in the CPAC crowd, for instance, weren’t buying this generic Americana. It’s only elderly white men or hired performers prancing around dressed as Uncle Sam or Revolutionary patriots. The youngins were walking around in bow-ties, suits, and all manner of formal wear. On the whole, they seemed far more concerned with brown-nosing their way into internship positions than with the pseudo-narrative being promoted by the establishment.
And this is precisely why I have hope for the indoctrinated flock of Republican youth.
If we could stretch their indifference towards establishment myths, while subtly teaching a different meta-narrative, we might reconcile them (albeit gently, and with baby-steps), to a more alternative-right worldview. With the onset of the internet and its fueling of alternative movements like the so-called “Dark Enlightenment”, this sort of co-opting might be possible.
Towards this end, Richard Spencer and the guys at the National Policy Institute decided to take advantage by holding a counter-conference in the area. The infamous Jared Taylor spoke, and hopefully a few CPAC attendees had their horizons expanded.
I left CPAC early – too many people were recognizing me from last year’s performance, and were recoiling in horror. There were even new signs this year, posted all around the lobby, making it very clear what behavior would be allowed, and what would not. (I like to think I had something to do with them). I’ve never been a conformist, brown-nosing type anyway, and since I’d heard all the neo-conservative rhetoric I could stand, I called it quits.
As I drove home, I thought of how difficult it is to reject “in-group” acceptance. We dissident rightists, however, are bound by our consciences to do so, even in light of great personal loss. Thus, we’ll never feel at home in a crowd of Republicans. They make it their business to sustain the herd, even as it stampedes off the cliffs of modernity, and we alt-righters are no mindless bovines. We’ll never be accepted by the myriad of beautiful (though, plastic) Republican ladies, prowling the halls, seeking a man to ride to success; and we’ll never be content to kowtow to perceived superiors, while scoffing at those from whom we can gain no advantage…
…we will, however, sleep soundly at night, our dreams nursed by clear consciences and the courage of our convictions.
1. It’s often difficult to categorize contemporary events, especially if they’re controversial. It may be the “split” among Republicans is either more, or maybe less pronounced than I’ve presented it. Its roots may even run further back than 2005. Whatever the case, there is a sense of vying factions – libertarians, social conservatives, neo-cons, and tea partiers – within the movement. If you disagree with my brief comments here, or with how I’ve sliced up the pie, supplement your own commentary, and continue reading…