It is no secret by now that president-elect Donald Trump has surrounded himself with a cast of reprehensible characters, and is still being supported by people who are demonstrably worse. One such person, William S. Lind, made few if any headlines when he met with Trump informally earlier this year and gifted him with a copy of his 2009 book The Next Conservatism.
Co-written by religious right leader and Heritage Foundation co-founder Paul Weyrich (1942-2008), the book posits, among other things, that the “decay” of American culture didn’t “just happen,” but was “deliberate, the work of the poisonous ideology of cultural Marxism, AKA ‘Political Correctness.’”
Political correctness, you will recall, is a favorite punching bag of the president-elect, having denounced “this politically correct crap” in front of a group of South Carolina business leaders last year. It was his go-to defense when grilled by Megyn Kelly on his history of misogynist remarks in the first primary debate. He even invoked it when all but calling Kelly a “bimbo” in a subsequent interview.
A 2007 article written by Weyrich and Lind for The American Conservative could have served as a blueprint for their book. The article, entitled “The Next Conservatism,” called for “rejecting ideology” and “embracing ‘retroculture.’” Of conservatism circa 2007, Weyrich and Lind wrote:
Conservatism has become so weak in ideas that during the presidency of George W. Bush, the word “conservative” could be and was applied with scant objection to policies that were starkly anti-conservative. Americans witnessed “conservative” Wilsonianism, if not Jacobinism, in foreign policy and an unnecessary foreign war; record “conservative” trade and federal budget deficits; major “conservative” expansions of the power of the federal government at the expense of traditional liberties; and nonchalant “conservative” de-industrialization and dispossession of the middle class in the name of Ricardian free trade and Benthamite utilitarianism.
Here one begins to see some of the underpinnings of Trump’s presidential campaign: the criticism of unnecessary wars, the condemnation of “free trade” policies (As the authors put it, “When everything for sale is labeled ‘Made in China,’ Heaven decrees fair trade instead of free trade.”), and concern for the “dispossess[ed]” white middle class.
The pair explicitly advocated “lead[ing] growing numbers of Americans to secede from the rotten pop culture of materialism, consumerism, hyper-sexualization, and political correctness and return to the old ways of living.” This “retroculture,” as Weyrich and Lind dubbed this desire for a bygone era, could just as easily be summed up with the slogan “Make America Great Again.”
“What sort of specifics might the next conservative agenda include?” they asked. The “next conservatism” would still include opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, and would certainly still advocate tax and spending cuts. However, it would also demand “effective control of our borders, elimination of illegal immigration, a reduction in legal immigration, and effective acculturation of recent immigrants.”
In addition to cultural and political issues, the “next conservatism” must also tackle “aesthetics.” Weyrich and Lind noted that America “may be the richest nation in history” but this does not necessarily make it “the most beautiful.” After all, our country is full of “[s]trip malls, suburban sprawl, and hollowed-out cities.” Or, put a different way, one could fly to Qatar or China and “see these incredible airports,” while ours “are like from a third world country.”
Clearly the ideas of Weyrich and Lind overlap with those of Donald Trump in several respects, even if Trump is quite inarticulate in discussing them. What makes this all the more sinister is the fact that Lind and Trump have met on at least one occasion, as noted above. In an April, 2016 post on his personal blog, traditionalRIGHT, Lind shared a photo of himself standing next to Trump – who grinned and gave his usual thumbs up pose – and wrote:
At the beginning of this column you will find a photograph of me giving a copy of The Next Conservatism to presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump’s views on avoidable foreign wars, free trade, political correctness and a number of other subjects have much in common with The Next Conservatism. If he reads it, our book might be helpful to him in fleshing out his agenda. And no one can say Paul Weyrich was not a conservative.
For years, Lind has trumpeted the often anti-Semitic idea that “cultural Marxists” are working to degrade white, Western culture by promoting feminism, abortion, homosexuality, non-Christian religions, etc. As noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the theory of “cultural Marxism” “posits that a tiny group of Jewish philosophers who fled Germany in the 1930s and set up shop at Columbia University in New York City devised an unorthodox form of ‘Marxism’ that took aim at American society’s culture, rather than its economic system.”
The SPLC made special mention of Lind and Weyrich in their article addressing the spread of the “cultural Marxist” theory, crediting the pair with having “done the most to define the enemies who make up the so-called ‘cultural Marxists.’” These enemies naturally include “a whole host of Lind’s bête noires — feminists, LGBT people, secular humanists, multiculturalists, sex educators, environmentalists, immigrants, black nationalists, the ACLU and the hated Frankfurt School philosophers.”
Lest one get the wrong impression – that Lind and Weyrich’s conception of “cultural Marxism” is not an anti-Semitic one – in 2002, Lind informed a crowd at a Holocaust denial conference hosted by the Barnes Review that, “These guys were all Jewish.” As for Weyrich, in 2001 he wrote matter-of-factly that “Christ was cruficied by the Jews,” and, according to Salon columnist Joe Conason, had a “habit of flirting with racists and anti-Semites” that dated “back to his early involvement with George Wallace’s American Independent Party.”
In addition to his remarks on Jews, Lind also published a novel, under the pseudonym “Thomas Hobbes,” that depicted the dissolution of the United States as well as the near-expulsion of blacks by the book’s protagonists – a group of Christian militiamen.
In a 2015 review of the novel (Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation War) on the anti-immigrant website VDARE, far-right author Paul Gottfried – the man who coined the term “alternative right” – wrote glowingly that Lind “never misses his target when he describes his particular enemies, who are exactly what you would expect: Jewish liberals, brain-dead WASP patricians, loud-mouthed feminists, homosexual activists, the Open Borders lobby, and anti-White racial minorities.” Most of these “enemies” “get their comeuppance” at the hands of “the novel’s hero, Captain John Rumford, formerly of the USMC.”
In fact, one of Gottfried’s favorite scenes, he wrote, was when “all the participants at a gathering of Leftist professors at Dartmouth have been summarily shot dead.”
While Victoria is certainly no Turner Diaries, it may still be a close second considering the copious amounts of gore and grotesquely racist dialogue. In one chapter, the protagonists of the “Northern Confederation” are in the midst of defeating an army of “Islamics” who invaded Boston – crucifying white Christians and selling black Christians into slavery in the process – when Rumford found a group of black Muslim Americans, and informed them that they had been “conned”:
“Captain Ross, I’ve got two things to say to you and your men,” I said. “First, you’ve been had. You’ve been conned, you’ve been swindled. This “Islam” stuff is crap. You’re not Muslims. And the whole Black Muslim bit itself is just Father Divine and the Reverend Ike and the Kingfish all over again – a few folks who get rich by selling you their shit.”
“Most of you, maybe all of you, became Black Muslims not because you believed it as a religion, but as one more way to ‘get Whitey.’ Well, it’s been a long time since Whitey sold you as slaves, as your Islamic ‘friends’ have done with your real friends and family members. In your hearts you know that what your mother or grandmother taught you is true; Jesus Christ is Lord. He’s the One sitting up there, the One we’ll all meet some day. It’s not some damn camel-driver who sits at the right hand of God.”
“We all get conned on occasion. I got conned by a car company once. I bought a Saab, which is what you do when you own one. You got conned by Mr. Farrakhan and a bunch of rug merchants, and you bought a false religion. Once you realize that and dump this Black Muslim garbage, we have no quarrel with you, nor you with us.”
In the very next chapter, Rumford describes a meeting with Gunny Matthews, a black Christian Marine who assisted in liberating the victims of Islamic slavery in Boston. Matthews opined that the “biggest problem I see facing the black community is bad blacks.” Matthews went on, claiming “It’s the bad blacks. It’s gang leaders and drug dealers and drug users. It’s muggers and car-jackers and burglars. It’s pimps and prostitutes, beggars and plain-ol’ bums. It’s people who just won’t work for an honest living.”
Matthews said that the Northern Confederation “won’t tolerate having little pieces of Africa all over the place” before declaring, “I’m thankful for that slave ship that brought my ancestors over here, cause otherwise I’d be livin’ in Africa, and I don’t think there’s a worse place on earth.”
So, to prevent the violent expulsion of “every black” from the Confederation’s territory, the “Council Of Responsible Negroes” or “CORN” was formed. The governors of the Northern Confederation states met with CORN’s leaders to go over their proposal to end “black crime,” and this is where Lind’s lack of knowledge of the black community – does he even know a single black person on a first-name basis? – really shows.
Gunny Matthews, as it turned out, had become the organization’s president, and addressed the governors personally. Here’s Matthews’ opening remarks:
“Gentlemen, thank you for this opportunity to speak,” the Gunny said. “As the leader of the Council Of Responsible Negroes, I do not dispute anything the governor of New York has said, because it is true. As a whole, the black community did become a burden on and a threat to the rest of society, starting sometime in the 1960s.”
Matthews pined for the 1950s, when “any of you could have walked safely, alone, through the black neighborhoods in your cities,” and when white people would have found “intact families, with married fathers and mothers, who supported themselves and contributed by their work to society” and whose “hearts were as white as yours.” Then, Matthews reveals his proposal to stop the scourge of “black crime”:
“Here is our proposal: First, we will put an end to black crime. Any negro who commits a crime involving violence or threat of violence, or breaks into a home or business, or steals a car, will hang. Any negro accused of such a crime will be tried within 48 hours, the jurors will be picked from the residents, black or white, of the street where the crime was committed, the trial will be over in 24 hours, and the sentence will be carried out within three days. We’ll build gallows in every park. We’ll gibbet the hanged corpses on every street corner. And negroes will do the hanging.”
“Not only will we hang every drug dealer, we’ll hang every hard drug user. Anyone, black or white, on the street in black neighborhoods will be subject to random drug testing. Anyone who fails the test will be dragged to the nearest gallows and hanged. The drug test itself will count as the trial.”
Then, the “negroes” who wanted to work would be put to work, often being “resettled on a farm.” He knew that blacks were capable of farming for a living because “most negroes used to farm.” You know, in the good old days. And if they weren’t capable of straightening themselves out in 90 days, Matthews would “lead our people back to Africa.” And, as Rumford put it, Matthews’ proposal was “serious,” and “meant no more shuckin’ and jivin’.” Just as a reminder, these are Lind’s protagonists. Rumford is Lind’s narrator, the character who channels the author’s voice.
That these ideas and this dialogue are so repugnant and fraught with racial stereotypes reveals much about Lind’s state of mind. When he writes dialogue for black characters, he believes black Americans refer to themselves and one another as “negroes.” He believes the “responsible” ones are ones who are thankful for the slave ships that brought their ancestors to America, and who want to work as modern-day sharecroppers.
His main protagonist believes, as does the author, in “retroculture,” and finds it acceptable to berate Muslims into converting to Christianity. And, more than anything else, he wants the president-elect’s ear.