The intra-party war between conservative outside groups and Republican insiders has heated up over immigration reform. While the party knows it must attract minorities, their white, conservative base demands that Republicans oppose any reform at all. Where does this self-destructive streak come from? Well, consider the fact that white nationalist hate organization VDARE wants credit from prominent ‘outside’ Republicans who endorse a restated version of their immigration platform.
In a post on Friday, VDARE writer James Fulford highlights a recent study from the Center for Immigration Studies which argues that Republicans shouldn’t bother with immigration reform because immigrants will inevitably vote for Democrats. Fulford complains that neither the CIS report nor the conservative outlets covering it “manages to credit Peter Brimelow or VDARE.com for saying all this early and often, possibly because it they’re scared of Media Matters and the SPLC.” As he notes, VDARE has been pushing the argument since as early as 2001.
The CIS report solidifies what has become a common talking point among even relatively mainstream anti-immigrant groups. CIS spokespeople repeatedly argue that the country shouldn’t “ import more” immigrants because they’ll never vote Republican anyway. Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum has also been pushing this line of argument and released its own report on the subject. Schlafly probably put the argument the most succinctly when she said in February, “These immigrants, legal and illegal, coming in don’t really understand our country and will probably vote Democratic .” She also suggested that Latino immigrants “don’t understand” the Bill of Rights and reject American values.
VDARE runs a website featuring all manner of pseudoscientific gobbledygook meant to excuse racism, anti-Semitism, immigrant-bashing, etc. The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that elimination of ‘the other’ is always lurking just behind their excuses.
While acknowledging that his site hosts “white nationalists” like Taylor, Brimelow argues that they are merely people who “aim to defend the interests of American whites. They are not white supremacists. They do not advocate violence. They are rational and civil. They brush their teeth. But they unashamedly work for their people.” Brimelow goes on to say that as dark-skinned immigration from the Third World continues, “this type of interest-group ‘white nationalism’ will inexorably increase.” What Brimelow doesn’t mention is that VDARE.com also posts stories by one of the most important anti-Semites in America, Kevin MacDonald, a professor of psychology at the California State University, Long Beach. MacDonald believes Jews are genetically driven to undermine the power of whites by pushing such things as Third World immigration.
The Republican Party has a basic problem to solve: in order to remain a viable national party, the GOP needs to find new voters for national elections. But to win primary races, Republicans must mobilize white voters who actually believe that immigration reform is a conspiracy to oppress white people. One way the GOP has resolved this problem is by making it harder to vote in various ways, and tea party organizations like True the Vote drive that agenda from outside the party. But it is not enough to defeat demographic trends. So as the immigration reform issue affects the election, it will tend to reveal more examples of sublimated hate speech in the conservative movement, which sees this as their most existential fight since Obamacare — but prefers not to admit why.