It’s not that they love Rubio. It’s that they hate us.
Marco Rubio is a forced meme. The lightweight junior Senator has no accomplishments to his name, nor any signs of even average intelligence or insight. His sole qualification for his office, besides being a mascot for Hispanic outreach, is a notable skill for reciting lines other people write, a talent that fails him under pressure. The main argument for his candidacy is that he is “electable” … a strange boast for a man who thus far has failed to win a single primary.
Like Obama, he is a blank screen upon which his supporters project their own fantasies. Like Obama, one gets the feeling the he has a personal history that would have rendered him ineligible for public life had smartphones existed two decades ago… Unlike Obama, Rubio does not represent “change,” even symbolic change. Instead, he is simply the latest front man for the “long con” that is the conservative movement; Rubio’s a sweaty salesman for the status quo.
Rubio ran for the Florida Senate as a Tea Party firebrand, promising to oppose efforts to increase illegal immigration. Seemingly within moments of entering the upper chamber, Rubio enthusiastically championed the Gang of Eight amnesty bill alongside Chuck Schumer, which, if passed, would have rendered American “conservatism” (at least in his current iteration) irrelevant in national elections.
Rubio failed those who voted for him—and even failed to betray them competently. Nonetheless, he has been anointed as the great “true conservative™” following his third place finish in South Carolina.
To use a term from our (((Greatest Allies))), seeing Rubio now campaigning against Trump as a “con man” can only be described as chutzpah of the highest degree. But what is more revealing is how the conservative movement has, predictably, rallied behind Rubio as their last best hope of stumping the Trump, even after evidence of Rubio’s perfidy has surfaced.
Cruz endorsed Rubio as preferable to Trump during the last debate. The #NeverTrump movement, generated by Erick Erickson and others, demonstrates that the Beltway Right’s opposition to amnesty was for show.
Rubio’s past efforts to try deliberately to deceive conservatives do not even seem to trouble those who claim to speak for “the movement.” One would expect that even the most odious political hacks would at least be offended by Rubio having to be shamed into attending CPAC 2016. As CPAC is the Beltway Right’s equivalent of Louis XIV’s Versailles, where effeminate courtiers are summoned to pay homage and compete for status, Rubio’s refusal to make the conference a priority shows he holds movement conservatives in as much contempt as Jews hold evangelical Christians. And, much as with evangelicals and Jews, conservatives still worship Rubio.
Part of what explains this is the Protective Stupidity needed for the conservative movement to survive. As Michael Brendan Dougherty observed, if Rubio is nominated, the Republican Party can tell itself nothing is wrong. Furthermore, by advancing a token minority as the mouthpiece of the George W. Bush platform, conservatives can tell themselves they are being “transformative,” without actually having to change anything.
Matt Lewis enthuses:
Rubio (as a young, eloquent, charismatic, Hispanic conservative) poses a serious [sic] threat to liberalism… This is why Rubio’s embodiment of the American Dream, coupled with his ability to speak eloquently about it isn’t just rhetoric—it means he has the tools to _potentially_ inspire and lead. This is why he could potentially be a transformational political figure.
Lewis sees the “American Dream” embodied by a man unfit to manage a Pizza Hut.
We are told Rubio, as a Cuban, has the power to transform the entire political conversation simply by existing. It’s Jack Kemp conservatism, only instead of cucking for non-Whites, now we put a (sort of) non-White guy in charge, call him our leader, and assert that America is fundamentally Okay.
Besides being stupid, this is far more racist and condescending than anything you are going to hear at a National Policy Institute conference. It assumes all one has to do to win over non-Whites is put up a guy whose name ends in a Z or O. It ignores entirely the empirical reality that Hispanics support “big government” by larger margins than they favor amnesty for illegal immigrants, and that Hispanics don’t actually gain anything from conservative policies. It refuses to confront the Narratives about White privilege, Chicano history, or American imperialism, which any half-educated Latino has been trained to repeat. And Rubio isn’t even part of the Raza anyway, as Mexicans and Central Americans do not like Cubans because of their privileged legal status in immigration policy. But Lewis doesn’t know any of that because every token Hispanic he works with is being paid to say he shares Lewis’s opinion.
It’s only the “racist” Alt Right that recognizes that other groups have collective interests and preferences just like we do. These interests and preferences do not fit into some mindlessly optimistic theory about the American Dream. They represent an existential conflict over power and resources, the same political reality that exists in every country. Lewis is currently hawking a book arguing the Republican Party has been dumbed down. But he doesn’t actually have a “serous” argument. (And if Matt objects that nitpicking spelling is a trivial tactic, well, it’s the heart of his candidate’s campaign right now, along with pee jokes.)
But there’s something more important going on. The irony is that movement conservatives are far more realistic about politics when it comes to acting as the hall monitors of the Right. The aforementioned Lewis is warning movement types not to even think of going along with Trump, as it would lead to professional destruction. Pro-Trump conservatives are now labeled “Vichy Republicans.” You have the likes of Jennifer Rubin and Rick Wilson LARPing about taking revenge on everyone who sides with the “enemy,” by which they mean the frontrunner of their own party.
When it comes to media access, money, jobs, and perceived prestige in their social circle, movement conservatives are quite capable of understanding Carl Schmitt’s teachings about the Friend/Enemy distinction. It’s only when it comes to national politics that they suddenly devolve into nursery-school pabulum about everyone being a potential Republican. The only question is how many Beltway Right hacks truly believe their own propaganda and how many understand it is a weapon to be used against the Alt Right. Either way, if Trump does not win the nomination and the general election, another round of purges is on the way.
But this is different than what has come before. As George Hawley notes in his timely new book Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism, American conservatism is nearing an existential crisis because of changing demographics.
Whatever political consultants may say they believe publicly, campaigns are about identifying the constituencies that will vote for you and building a demographic coalition. And it’s hard to believe the Republican “strategists” who explain the world to us on Fox News every night don’t recognize that a majority non-White America simply will never vote Republican, unless the party completely abandons what it currently claims to stand for.
This is not to say a President Rubio is an impossibility in 2016 if he does well on Tuesday. Hillary Clinton is an exceptionally weak candidate. But we know that one of the first things a President Rubio would do would be to work with Paul Ryan to pass a bill much like the Gang of Eight amnesty. And as Rubio’s bromides about the American Dream are unlikely to win these millions of “new Americans,” the Republican Party would be decimated. The consultants would only be able to run the scam for a few more years. In other words, a Marco Rubio nomination is a crushing victory for the Democratic Party, regardless of who actually wins the next election.
Well, who gives a shit? No one on the Alt Right wants anything to do with the conservative movement. Ideologically sterile, and now reduced to repeating anti-racist slogans in an attempt to morally shame their own voters, American conservatism is a philosophy of mediocrity mixed with a religious cult. Even those involved in it know they are simply running out the clock on the country.
After all, the man whom the American Conservative Union has selected to give this year’s keynote address—defending “intellectual conservatism” no less!—is Glenn Beck.
Unfortunately, as the sheer existence of Marco Rubio shows, the Beltway Right has significance because it controls the access to major media platforms. The Beltway Right does not possess the ability or even the desire to confront the Left, but it does have power to control the Right. Those who have expressed sympathetic or even objective views of Trump will be cut off and the kind of explicit cooperation between cuckservatives and far-Left activists we have seen in the past is likely to increase.
What is shaping up is a conflict over resources between different constituencies rooted in class and ethnic differences. The high-minded rhetoric about a “thoughtful” and universally appealing American conservatism is simply a con to lull and shame angry right-wingers into begrudgingly accepting their self-proclaimed leaders. And as the desperate efforts to promote Rubio show, the Beltway Right isn’t even trying to hide its own embarrassment with the White voters and donors who support the entire sorry racket.
The politics of the American Right is gradually spreading to the emerging Third World America. And the rhetoric deployed by the defenders of the status quo are the same in both cases. Hillary Clinton is now defining her campaign as being the “anti-Trump,” arguing that we need to “break down barriers” instead of building walls and say America is still great and everything is fine. The Beltway Right, as exemplified by Rubio, accepts this narrative. Trump is uniting those who “accept the mantle of anger” and who implicitly understand that the American Dream is already dead.
We do not share a common interest with millions of our supposed fellow citizens. We do not have a stake in the survival of the current political system. We do not have any possibility of a future for ourselves or our people under the status quo.
The conservative movement is a giant scam designed to distract European-Americans from these harsh realities. But even that is secondary to the larger deception. The real fraud is the American Creed itself, the idea that deracinated individuals vaguely united under worthless abstractions like “equality” and “liberty” constitute a nation. This is the ultimate “long con,” which is playing out to its inevitable conclusion.
And “let’s dispel with this fiction” that those grassroots conservatives so desperate to keep it going are anything but suckers.
The other “true conservative,” Ted Cruz, has been all but rendered irrelevant, even though he will still most likely win Texas; this despite the fact that he is still essentially tied with Rubio in most national polls and will have a better than even chance at having more delegates than Rubio after Super Tuesday. ↩︎