As painful as it is to admit, Tim Wise was right. The day after the November 2010 midterm elections, Wise penned an infamous rant in which he said the following to white Americans:
You have won a small battle in a larger war the meaning of which you do not remotely understand.
You thought you had secured your position permanently after the overthrow of reconstruction in the wake of the civil war, after the elimination of the New Deal, after the Reagan revolution, after the Republican electoral victory of 1994. And yet, those you thought you had cowed and defeated are still here.
Because those who have lived on the margins, who have been abused, maligned, targeted by austerity measures and budget cuts, subjected to racism, classism, sexism, straight supremacy and every other form of oppression always know more about their abusers than the abusers know about their victims.
On his website, Wise posted a childish ALL-CAPS disclaimer in which he said that he’s only talking to white conservatives, but his own rants contradicts him: “[T]he folks of color, and even a decent size minority of us white folks will be able to crush you, election after election, from the Presidency on down to the 8th grade student council.”
By “decent size minority” of white folks he means the 39 percent of white Americans who two years later would vote for Barack Obama. This group of white Americans is both a minority relative to the white community as a whole, and it’s also very much a decent size. By referring to white conservatives, Wise was thus referring to the majority of white Americans.
But while Wise wimped out like a coward when his feet were held to the fire, he was nonetheless spot on with his analysis about the 2010 midterms. Conservatism is not only losing the war, it’s unfortunately getting crushed. 2012 offered more damning proof of this. Let’s examine it:
As everyone who’s not been living under a rock knows, Obama was reelected President by over 100 electoral votes on November 6. This happened despite the rise of the Tea Party movement and despite Obama’s horrendous economic record. One of the reasons Obama won is because his opponent, Mitt Romney, was a feckless phony who didn’t even want to win anyway. Despite having three whole years to prepare, the conservative movement was unable to put a conservative candidate on the Republican ticket.
While it’s easy to blame this on GOP operatives like Karl Rove, the truth is that they identified their man early on whereas the conservative movement was shuffling through its various flavors of the month: First Michelle Bachmann, then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain, and finally Rick Santorum when he stayed in longer than anyone expected.
As it turned out, more is less. The Tea Party and all the conservative grassroots organizations should have gotten behind a single candidate and should have run with him or her. But that didn’t happen, thus further proving that progressivism is united whereas conservatism is divided.
But while Obama’s reelection was the most devastating blow to conservatism, there were several other nuclear blows with abominable long-term consequences. I’m talking about the two Supreme Court decisions last summer, one of which upheld Obamacare (most importantly the individual mandate), the other of which struck down SB 1070 – Arizona’s patriotic immigration reform law.
By upholding the individual mandate, the Supreme Court reduced the Constitution to a blank check. Already able to tell us what we cannot buy, the government may now tell us what we must buy. And by striking down SB 1070, the Supreme Court one again viciously attacked the long-standing American tradition of federalism. More importantly, the fall of SB 1070 means that America’s high court doesn’t think states have the right to protect themselves from the hordes of illegal invaders – the far majority of whom are Mexican and/or Hispanic.
Supreme Court decisions have everlasting consequences until such time as they are overturned, and over the last 50 years the only Court decisions that have been overturned are ones that liberals don’t like. Conservatives rarely have the luxury of judicial victories. In fact, conservatives rarely have the luxury of any victories. As liberal bombthrower Christine Wicker gleefully observed back in 2008:
The truth is that evangelical Christianity has had almost no influence on the country at large. Fifty years ago, the moral stances taken by evangelicals that now seem so reactionary were then commonly accepted. Abortion was abhorred. Children were rarely born out of wedlock. Homosexual behavior was hidden and considered not only morally wrong but also an indication of mental illness. Unmarried couples rarely lived together.
All that has changed.
The truth is that after more than 20 years of political action and many electoral victories, the so-called religious right has achieved few of its objectives. Abortion is still legal. The idea that gays and lesbians are normal people, behaving normally and entitled to equal rights is widely accepted.
She’s specifically calling out Evangelical Christians here, but she might as well be calling out conservatism as a whole. For it is undeniably true that in 2012 and over the last 50 years, the conservative movement resulted in a lot of bark and not much bite. If success is measured in results, then progressivism is winning whereas conservatism is losing. As the execrable Wise said:
[I]n the pantheon of American history, conservative old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.
Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter.
Because you’re on the endangered list.
And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving.
Because in about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it.
That last line by Wise is striking, for it warns white Americans of the non-existent future of conservatism in a majority non-white country. But as National Review demonstrated this past April by purging John Derbyshire, race is not something conservatives are allowed to talk about honestly.
In fact, one of the primary reasons conservatism keeps on losing key battles is because conservative leaders refuse to fight them. In some cases, like Bill Kristol, they aren’t even “conservative” to begin with. Conservatism needs the brilliance of men like Derbyshire, Peter Brimelow, Steve Sailer, Charles Murray, and for that matter, John Tait:
As America becomes more diverse, our representatives are asked to fulfill the expectations of various people with contradictory requests. Privileges for one group always come at the expense of another. Therefore, it is impossible to represent everyone properly in a racially diverse society.
From the purging of Derbyshire in April, to the Obamacare and SB 1070 decisions in June, to the jarring failure of the Romney campaign and the consequent reelection of Barack Obama, conservatism had an awful year in 2012. A recovery is perfectly possible if conservatism unites as a movement by casting out the bad fruit and nurturing the good fruit. Whether that will happen largely depends on when white Americans will finally internalize the words of anti-white crusaders like Wise:
“Do you hear it? The sound of your empire dying? Your nation, as you knew it, ending, permanently? Because I do, and the sound of its demise is beautiful.”