President Donald Trump’s inaugural address was the speech that tens of millions of Baby Boomers have waited decades to hear. His populist, protectionist, nationalist themes such as “America First. America First,” “we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People,” and “the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public,” encapsulated what voters felt when they elected him Nov. 8, 2016 — and when they elected Andrew Jackson Nov. 2, 1828. Electing Trump was a way voters tried, for the umpteenth time, to take back their country.
In taking back their country, neither Trump nor most of his “deplorable” supporters embraced ethnonationalism as a means to that end. White nationalism is a political non-entity. The United States has not one single elected official, at any level of government, who advocates for white ethnic identity or self-determination. Nonetheless, the spectre of ethnonationalism hung over the Trump inauguration. Why?
Progressives fear white ethnonationalism for several reasons. First and foremost, they know that it could, if mobilized into an effective political force, completely topple the status quo they’ve established. Second, some of them believe their own “everyone I disagree with is Hitler” rhetoric. As an aside, I pray that we do not fall victim to the same self-delusion as to see our doom under every rock and tree. That fictitious threat has made the left seem idiotic in the past few days, and if unchecked will make the left continue to seem idiotic to middle America for years to come. By desensitizing average, colorblind, white Americans to the threat of white nationalism, leftists may actually be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy — as is typical of people caught up in their own fearmongering, whether hypochondriacs or germophobes.
But the most powerful reason why leftists push the “Trump is literally Hitler” narrative is because they know that every time they do so they force white Americans to react. We are being psychologically conditioned to perform an action that the left desires us to perform. Every time white people hear allegations of racism — no matter how preposterous — they react by either embracing ethnonationalism or disavowing it. Even saying “whatever” is a disavowal of it. Or am I wrong to equate blowing off allegations of “racism” with passivity and inactivity? Saying “what they do in their bedroom is no big deal” certainly never led to pro-heterosexual social norms. Neither has saying “I’m not a racist” led to a positive white identitarian movement.
Since most white Americans see little reason to embrace ethnonationalism, they keep getting conditioned to reject it. Which brings us to Trump.
Objective observers of the Trump phenomenon would not have been surprised to hear him speak ill of prejudices and divisions, or to posture before the Lincoln Memorial the night before and to take his oath of office on the Bible that “the Great Emancipator” Abraham Lincoln used. Not only as a Republican standard-bearer, but as a civic nationalist, Trump positioned himself as the great unifier in contrast to the divisive white nationalist progressives have made him out to be.
A disavowal and condemnation of ethnonationalism permeated his civic nationalist inaugural address.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. . . .
It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.
Trump is a heartfelt racial egalitarian who personally has no taste for any kind of white identity that runs counter to the sense of decency and fair play which he, and millions of our Baby Boomer elders, have written into their moral code since the 1950s. He is also a showman who doesn’t hesitate to make his enemies — in this case, the “you’re literally Hitler” progressives — look foolish. What better way to do that than to have Jews, blacks, and women play prominent roles in his inauguration, and to explicitly declare himself unprejudiced?
Above all, though, he disavowed ethnonationalism in his inaugural address because he represents a voter bloc that cannot stomach ethnonationalism. They know that non-white groups practice identity politics, and they’ve felt the pain of failing to stop their incessant demands and seeing their civilization ripped away from them. But their minds have been so seared with the alleged immoralities, inconsistencies, and failures of white ethnic identity movements — from the Klan to the Third Reich to the White Citizens Councils to, now, the Alt Right — that they would rather pretend as if a colorblind society might somehow be possible and desirable, even though their objective experiences tell them otherwise. In this they are simply acting like ordinary people who practice selective hearing to affirm and justify their beliefs and behaviors. The imagined pain of becoming a racist is worse to them than the actual pains they suffer in an anti-white society.
Without making the simpleton argument that “if we’re morally good enough we’ll win them over,” it is important to note that the reason President Donald J. Trump objected to pro-white ethnonationalism is because he and his constituents are trying to do the right thing. Morality may not be the only thing needed, but without it white ethnonationalism will never succeed. For what it’s worth, much that parades under the banner of ethnonationalism is, in fact, morally repugnant, and thus self-destructive.
If we ever wish to win them over, we must show them that our movement is made up of very moral, very logical, very humane people with self-evidently righteous goals. We must show them how it will benefit them more than the status quo does. We must show them how we can attain those goals and deliver those benefits in a manner that does not violate their sense of decency and fair play.
Then when confronted with accusations of racism and other alleged moral failings, our folk will not just dismiss the allegations as the ravings of hippies and lesbians, and thus implicitly resign themselves to a powerless and anti-white lifestyle, but turn around and confront them with the question, “Why aren’t you fighting to save these innocent people?”
And then someday, with the support of a principled, mobilized nation, maybe a future American president will deliver an ethnonationalist inaugural address we can all be proud of.