The Littlest Chickenhawk declares himself in the Jewish Journal. It’s a pretty good article, but perhaps revealed more than he intended.
Even the revolt against political correctness wouldn’t be enough to put Trump in position to break apart the Republican Party, however. Republicans have railed against political correctness for years — Trump isn’t anything new in that, although he’s certainly more vulgar and blunt than others. No, what truly separates Trump from the rest of the Republican crowd is that he’s a European-style nationalist.
Republicans are American exceptionalists. We believe that America is a unique place in human history, founded upon a unique philosophy of government and liberty. That’s why we’re special and why we have succeeded. In his own way, Trump believes in American exceptionalism much like Barack Obama does — as a term to describe parochial patriotism. Obama infamously remarked in 2009, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Obama meant that dismissively — American exceptionalism is just something we do because we’re American, not because we’re actually special. But Trump means it proudly. His nationalism is a reaction to Obama’s anti-nationalism. It says: “Barack Obama may think America isn’t worthy of special protection because we’re not special. Well, we’re America, damn it, even if we don’t know what makes us special.” According to Trump, we ought to operate off of the assumption that Americans deserve better lives not because they live out better principles or represent a better system, but because they’re here.
This sort of nationalism resembles far more the right-wing parties of Europe than the historical Republican Party. The Republican Party has stood for embrace of anyone who will embrace American values; extreme European right-wing parties tend to embrace people out of ethnic allegiance rather than ideological allegiance. Trump uncomfortably straddles that divide. His talk about limiting immigration has little to do with embrace of American values and much more to do with “protecting” Americans from foreigners — even highly educated foreigners willing to work in the United States without taking benefits from the tax system. It’s one thing to object to an influx of people who disagree with basic constitutional values. But Trump doesn’t care about basic constitutional values. He simply opposes people coming in who aren’t us. There’s a reason so many of his supporters occupy the #altright portion of the Internet, which traffics in anti-Semitism and racism.
It’s not an accident that Ben Shapiro sounded like an SJW when he said that racists should be hunted down and their careers destroyed. Shapiro is no friend to the right. He’s as cuckservative and anti-right as anyone at National Review. He’s not stupid, and he’s not on our side. At the end of the day, he’ll line up with the globalists in the bifactional ruling party and against the American nationalists.
I never thought much about his columns at WorldNetDaily back when we were both writing for them; my readership there was literally ten times his own. But they were harmless, little more than parroting whatever the received wisdom of the conservative movement happened to be at the time. If they weren’t the best columns there, they weren’t the worst either. I was mildly amused when they were picked up by Creators Syndicate for syndication.
Since then, Shapiro has observably raised his game. He’s not bad, either in print or on television. But he isn’t genuinely of the right at all. He’s actually part of the Fake Right, the Neoconservatives, the self-appointed heirs to William F. Buckley, who have appointed themselves Republican “opinion leaders” in order to keep the respectable right from departing too far from what they deem to be acceptable. If he is correct, and the Republican Party is dying, he’s not going to join the American nationalist successor party.
An ally does not attack you. An ally praises your good points and remains silent in public about what he perceives as your defects. An ally always looks to benefit you rather than harm you. An ally comes to your defense even when he believes you are wrong. An ally takes shots for you that he knows he can withstand more readily than you.
And that is how we know that Ben Shapiro, for all his legitimate merits, is neither a friend nor an ally of the Alt Right.