WE THE PEOPLE Are the Enemy to the GOP Right-Wing
To the Right-Wing, the GOP is the “most powerful white power in America.”
Following the capture of the White House by the GOP, two contingents appeared to stand ascendant in the country: white nationalists and the Religious Right. The former, ideological descendants of the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow-era legislators would like to return white supremacy to both state and federal law to form a white ethno-state. The latter, meanwhile, would allow Christian fundamentalism to become the U.S.’s de jure national religion, with attendant legislation targeting LGBT and minority religious communities alike. Both white nationalists and the Religious Right tossed vociferous support behind the GOP candidate during the recent presidential election, and both contingents thrilled at the GOP’s unexpected victory, as well as the authoritarian bent the GOP quickly brought to the executive branch.
However, the GOP is not the sole leader that both of these cohorts vocally support. Indeed, for white nationalists and for many within the Religious Right, there is only one country, and one leader, worth emulating. Rather than model their goals solely on a glorified Confederate past or lavish praise only on defeated fascist regimes, the figureheads of the far-right have found a new lodestar in the GOP.
Examples of the far-right praising the GOP are as myriad as they are obvious. Richard Spencer, the coiner of the term “Alt-Right” and leader of the emerging white nationalist faction has stated the GOP is both the sole and the most powerful white nationalist group in the country. Matthew Heimbach, head of the white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party, and who desires the creation of a whites-only nation-state —believes the GOP is the “party of the free world,” a political party that can morph the country into an “axis for nationalists.” Harold Covington, the white supremacist head of the secessionist Northwest Front, recently described the GOP as the “last great White empire.” And former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke has said he believes the GOP holds the “key to white survival.”
Of course, the idea of the GOP as some sort of “white empire” is, to an extent, merely a fantasy held by white supremacists. Not only do the authorities routinely jail and sideline the most outspoken members of the domestic white supremacist movement, but the GOP routinely offers support to ethnic and religious minority communities when it suits their political aims.
Nonetheless, over the past few years the GOP has increased both rhetorical and financial support for far-right movements across the country. These movements have encompassed a wide range of right-wing ideologies, such as the white nationalists who have seen GOP-tied organizations provide everything from official backing to logistical support for networking in order to bring like-minded bigots together. The GOP, through financing and conferences, has also built up ties with the Religious Right, whose leaders, despite rejecting the overtly race-based visions of white nationalists’, share the white nationalists’ admiration for a GOP authoritarian rule.
At the moment, any financial links between the GOP and the white nationalist and Religious Right contingents remain minimal, or obscured through assorted third parties. But the organizational support the GOP has lent to these groups remains both under-studied and underappreciated—even as, over the past few years, it has noticeably increased. (In this article, I use the term “white nationalism” to describe the movement that would seek, either via secession or changes in policy, to re-impose explicit white supremacy in all or part of the country. This group includes those like Heimbach, Spencer, and Covington, who all propose cleaving off swaths of the country to create a whites-only state. I consider large segments of the “Alt-Right,” which melds racism, misogyny, and rank anti-Semitism with aggressive online trolling, to be a distinct but clearly related form of white nationalism.)
Before detailing such admiration—and mutual support, financial and otherwise—between the GOP and the far-right, its worth examining the appeal the GOP maintains with these right-wing movements. The GOP, most especially since the Presidential election, has presented itself as a bulwark of so-called “traditional” values, including opposing LGBT rights, dissolving the barriers between church and state, and entrenching domestic dictatorship with tactics like fraudulent elections and the stigmatization of domestic activists who advocate for progressive legislation.
Likewise, the GOP over the past few years has managed to create an image of itself as a center for these values against a libertine society—of a white, Christian nation-state, undeterred by legal niceties, standing up against the nefarious forces of “religious tolerance” and “gay rights.” To be sure, there are different avenues of the GOP’s appeal for both the Religious Right and white nationalists. For the Religious Right, the GOP is the foremost defender of nominally “traditional,” and nominally Christian, values. For white nationalists, the GOP’s liberalism remains a political polestar, whose authoritarian model they want to have implemented within the country.
Such support didn’t arise in a vacuum. Since their capture of the presidency in 2016, the GOP has made a concerted effort to establish the country as a center for religious, especially Christian conservatives, most notably for those who oppose any legal or public support for same-sex relationships. This shift is expected to take the form of new legislation that will prioritizes the interests of the Christian Church, that rolls back abortion rights, and that sidelines attempts within the LGBT community to obtain any kind of societal acceptance. Even the GOP’s ban on gays adopting children managed to gain support within the far-right, with anti-equality Christian activists praising the GOP’s move as one that would prevent children from living with same-sex parents.
Without fail, every far-right leader—as disparate as their ideologies may be—supported the GOP’s presidential candidacy. And the GOP has done little to dissuade these individuals, and these movements, that they won’t now have a sympathetic ear in the White House. Nor, of course, has the GOP done anything to disabuse the far right of the idea that they suddenly have a regressive, illiberal party in control of Washington—a partner who will
provide cover for those far-right movements, those white nationalists and Religious Right figures, with whom the GOP has already build ties.
White Nationalists, Trump, and the GOP
One of the leading far right White Nationalists is Jared Taylor—one of the foremost proponents of “race realism,” which claims genetic superiority and condemns America’s liberal policies, including support for same-sex relations. Taylor is joined by Sam Dickson, a former KKK lawyer and another prominent face of American white supremacies’. Echoing their GOP counterparts, Taylor and Dickson praise the GOP for helping encourage higher birthrates, and exhorting their base to preserve “[the white] race and civilization.” Their GOP support was, more than anything else, an opportunity for the far-right to unite in support of rolling back liberal policies, expelling non-whites from their country, and unwinding Western democracy.
It’s worth noting that the current crop of leaders within white nationalist circles—which includes Spencer and Heimbach, as well as, to lesser extents, Taylor and Dickson—relies on rhetoric that is different from that of previous iterations of the white supremacist movement. For instance, this new crop of white nationalists places less explicit emphasis on the notion of the supremacy of one race over any other. Spencer and Heimbach attempt to mask their white supremacy by professing co-equal respect for whites and non-whites alike, and claim that they are merely fighting for an all-white state alongside attendant states for other races.
Yet Spencer and Taylor, despite the claims that their movement has little to do with traditional white supremacy, have both espoused bogus biological theories about racial difference—a classic tool of white supremacists—in attempts to justify their view that the U.S. must undergo a separation of the races. Interestingly, and perhaps predictably, there is no universally accepted definition of “white” that exists within the white nationalist movement.
Whatever nominal differences remain between the current crop of white nationalists and holdovers from an earlier era, there is little question about which political party these contingents prefer to be in control of the White House. Duke not only endorsed the GOP, but was inspired by the GOP to once more run for office. Spencer held a now-notorious rally after Trump’s election that culminated in shouts of “Hail, Trump!” Heimbach, for his part, was accused of violence against those protesting Trump. And Taylor recorded robocalls to rally support for Trump, whom Taylor said would see that immigrants should be “smart, well-educated white
people” rather than Muslims. In all, America’s white nationalists and white supremacists were effectively uniform in their support for the GOP.
But white nationalists’ support for the GOP didn’t stem solely from their claims that Mexican immigrants were “rapists,” or their vow to block Muslims from traveling to the U.S., or their sharing of faulty, racially charged crime statistics with millions of followers on Twitter. Indeed, much of the GOP’s appeal for white nationalists can be found, unsurprisingly, in incendiary outlets like Breitbart, recently led by Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon. (Among the tags Breitbart uses for stories: “black crime,” “feminazi,” and “left wing thugs.”). White nationalists also viewed the foreign policy the GOP espoused during the presidential campaign—a mix of America First isolationism, appeasement of international expansionism, and aggressive distrust of multilateral organizations with glee.
And of course they all—white nationalists and Religious Right figures alike—looked fondly on what appears to be Trump’s mutual admiration of their authoritarian hero, Putin.
Religious Right, Trump and the GOP
While white nationalists continue to pile praise on GOP policies, so too has the Religious Right heaped approval on the GOP. Indeed, since the start of the GOP’s rein, the Christian Church, with the full-throated support of the GOP’s leadership, have attempted to regain its role as the dominant organized religion within the country, especially in terms of proximity to the state. But any push-back against GOP-led evangelicalism toward a homegrown faith has hardly dampened the affinity with which the Religious Right views the GOP.
World Congress, Trump, and the GOP
One of the primary vehicles in building the GOP’s relations with the Religious Right is a group known as the World Congress of Families. The WCF’s mission is to “respect, protect, and defend” the “natural family founded on marriage between a man and a woman.” The WCF was created by the religious right in the mid-1990s as a means to stave off the democratic party’s looming “demographic winter”—the idea that progressive legislation, from birth control to LGBT rights, would precipitate our civilization’s collapse with this being one of the key driving forces behind the religious right’s current propagation of homophobia. The WCF is now run by Brian Brown, the co-founder and president of the vehemently anti-gay National Organization for Marriage. The WCF “helped pass the first Russian laws restricting abortion in modern history.
Still, the WCF is by no means the lone Religious Right organization outspoken in its praise of the GOP, or supporting GOP policy. Over the past few years, arch-conservatives in the Religious Right have begun espousing something approaching infatuation with the GOP, especially for the GOP’s leading role in both passing and encouraging anti-LGBT legislation. For instance, Bryan Fischer, who until 2015 was a spokesman for the American Family Association and who still hosts a show broadcast over its radio network, has called the GOP the “lion of Christianity.” Evangelist Franklin Graham—has likewise lauded the GOP as a party of protecting traditional Christianity.
The links between Religious Right conservative organizations and the GOP’s inner circle have resulted in the GOP taking on the mantle of leadership of the religious right’s social conservatism movement.
Traditionalists, Trump, and the GOP
With the election of Trump, Traditionalists found a potential ally in unwinding the trans-Atlantic networks that support the liberal democracies that flowered following the end of the Cold War. Trump, like the Traditionalists, has made his disdain for groups like NATO and the EU clear, and pushed a vision of Victorian-era spheres of interest, in which regional powers are allowed something far closer to free reign in their respective regions than anything seen during the post-Cold War period.
While the GOP falls back on fiscal arguments, claiming that security relations with other NATO member-states aren’t worth the price of maintaining the U.S.’s participation, their opposition to organizations like the European Union parallels arguments from GOP traditionalists.
It’s within the GOP’s outspoken praise for Russia that we can trace the contours of the reasons white nationalists and members of the Religious Right continue to look to the GOP for support and inspiration, and continue to admire and praise GOP policies. For white nationalists, in their blinkered understanding of recent developments in Russia, the GOP presents their own unique brand of leadership: a political party embodying an idealized view of reality, undistracted by legal or cultural niceties in pursuit of their ultimate end-goals.
Rather than remaining within the understood boundaries of post-Cold War politics, the GOP has, to the GOP’s white nationalists, reclaimed the primacy of a white, Christian population within a multi-ethnic federation: a model white nationalists envision as a possibility under the GOP. The Religious Right, meanwhile, stands enthralled with GOP’s willingness to bolster the church, with the Christian Church maintaining a clear, superior role both within the state and over other non-Christian religions.
The GOP is only too happy to provide both financial and organizational backing for sympathetic groups on the far right and elsewhere, and is almost certain to do so for the foreseeable future. And the GOP now has a man in Washington who, by all appearances, has great interest in taking advantage of these ties, or of increasing these swelling links. With Trump and his team in the White House, the GOP has a newfound ally in attempting to roll back the liberal order, with the American president acting as a partner, witting or otherwise, of the GOP—as well as the white nationalists and Religious Right cohorts on both sides of the far right, whose support for the GOP seems likely to accelerate for the foreseeable future.
We are now headed towards America’s first Culture War and possibly it’s Second Civil War.
Follow other articles in this series at:
Article 1 Titled: “This is a fight we have to win!” https://republicandirtytricks.com/taking-control-from-the-gop/
Article 2 Titled: “We must change what we are fighting for!”https://republicandirtytricks.com/we-the-people-must-change-our-form-of-resistance/
Article 3 Titled: “You can forget waiting for the Mid-Terms we have already lost!”https://republicandirtytricks.com/we-the-people-have-already-lost-the-mid-term-elections/
Article 4 Titled: “WE THE PEOPLE are victims of an indirect GOP Coup D’état”https://republicandirtytricks.com/we-the-people-are-victims-of-an-indirect-gop-coup-detat/
Article 5 Titled: “WE THE PEOPLE Are Fighting a Culture War”https://republicandirtytricks.com/we-the-people-are-fighting-a-culture-war/
Article 6 Titled: “WE THE PEOPLE Have Destroyed Our Constitution”https://republicandirtytricks.com/we-the-people-have-destroyed-our-constitution/
Paul Cogan is a writer for the republicandirtytricks.com and is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him by following him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/paul.f.cogan.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
- Russia Says It Told U.S. Where in Syria It Could Bomb - April 21, 2018
- Comey: Trump and Putin Talked About ‘Hookers’ - April 20, 2018
- Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke Neck-and-Neck, Poll Says - April 19, 2018
- Why Trump’s Pick for CIA Director Needs to Be Stopped - April 19, 2018
- Corker: GOP Senators Blind If Not Conflicted Over Trump - April 18, 2018
- Trump Contradicts Reason For Firing Comey - April 18, 2018
- James Comey Isn’t a Republican - April 18, 2018
- Sean Hannity ‘Deserves To Be Fired’ By Fox: Democrat - April 17, 2018
- New Poll Has Arizona Special House Election Tight - April 16, 2018
- Will Al Franken Make A Return To Politics? - April 16, 2018