On Nov. 18, the Rupert Murdoch-financed New York Post ran an opinion-piece by its star columnist, Karol Markowicz, on left-wing anti-Semitism. Like the rest of the Post editorial staff, Markowicz is upset that at least part of the Jewish left has turned emphatically against the Israeli Likud government and is demanding the return of the West Bank to Palestinian control. Without getting into this complicated dispute (about whether the Jewish left is really anti-Jewish) let us turn to a statement in Markowicz’s broadside that would especially interest readers of Chronicles. This is her lavish praise of an LGBT and climate-change activist who is now suffering a “torrent of abuse” at the university where he teaches because “he is a ‘Zionist.’” This defiant fellow also apparently shares Markowicz’s concern that “campus rallies about fair wages for custodial staff turn into Israel-hate fests.”
Might we ask why Blake Flayton’s position on Middle Eastern politics should render “a self-described ‘gay-abortion advocate and environmentalist,’” a fitting object of praise in what intermittently pretends to be a conservative newspaper? I do happen to know the answer, but for those who don’t, Cornell University Press will publish my critical anthology about the conservative establishment in late spring, 2020, which may provide clarification. Suffice it to say, for decades now, Conservative, Inc., which is mostly a media phenomenon, has pursued a strategic course of building bridges to the left, particularly with those leftists who agree with it on certain core issues. These would include support for the Israeli right, an essentially neoconservative foreign policy, and protecting those corporate interests which fund conservative media enterprises, such as the defense industry. The same establishment has also built a close working relationship with the Republican Party, while trying to bring it into line with its policy priorities.
This last item, however, posed special difficulties when Donald Trump, a stranger to D.C. politics, was elected to the presidency in 2016. But except for obstinate Never Trumpers (most of whom never lost their conservative celebrity status), the conservative establishment proved up to the challenge. More often than not, Trump has taken over establishment conservative positions that are parroted on Fox News nonstop.
The other strategy relentlessly pursued by movement conservatives has been to expel and smear conservative dissenters on the right. This has involved lots of work. Since conservative elites have by now almost totally adopted the left’s positions on social issues, they have had an embarrassingly unprincipled past to shove under the rug. Conservative movement leaders like William F. Buckley, according to former National Review editor Jonah Goldberg, have had to “throw friends and allies off the bus from time to time.” These were supposedly bad people like “anti-Semites” and “Rothbardian anarchists and isolationists,” and Goldberg cheered these expulsions in a 2005 commentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of National Review’s founding.
But one may have to quibble with the modifying phrase “from time to time.” Goldberg was discussing not an occasional practice but a repeated ritual, indeed one that helped shape the present conservative movement. It is vital to the understanding of this movement that its leaders have never hesitated to destroy the reputations and careers of those who move too boldly to the right. By contrast, those who venture in the direction of the left on such seemingly insignificant matters as immigration, abortion, gay marriage, or transgendered restrooms are left alone, provided they’re cool with Israel and defense spending. Those who are expelled and demeaned may even in some cases be actual “anti-Semites” or “racists,” but on the basis of my research it seems more often than not we are talking about poor devils whom the “movement” decides to go after.
A recent object of such vilification is the feisty Michelle Malkin, who in November 2019 was supposedly exposed as the companion of “Holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, and racists,” according to a statement by the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) announcing her firing. YAF and other mainstays of Conservative, Inc., have rushed to dissociate themselves from Malkin, who has been an outspoken critic of uncontrolled immigration. The new purge victim is alleged to have brought trouble on herself because of her friendly feelings toward even more caustic immigration critics, Nicholas Fuentes and his “Groyper” followers. Although I have found statements by the 21-year-old Fuentes that I disagree with, a question that needs to be asked is, “Why are Fuentes and his groupies more disreputable than the leftist websites that post anti-white, anti-male, and anti-Christian screeds?” Or, “Why is Fuentes more reprehensible than The New York Times, that promoted to its editorial board tech writer Sarah Jeong, even after it was discovered that Jeong had sent around tweets full of hateful racial slurs?”
As Douglas Murray explains in his book The Madness of Crowds, internet muckraking, in Jeong’s case, “turned up tweets with a particular focus—which was a sustained and pretty crude abuse of white people.” Murray may understate the sheer brutishness of Jeong’s venting, which should be quoted for shock value. Here’s a sample: “I dare you to get on Wikipedia and play ‘Things white people can definitely take credit for,’ it’s really hard”; “white men are bullshit”; and “#CancelWhitePeople”. Needless to say, Jeong’s fellow leftist, Vox Editor-at-Large Ezra Klein, hastened to her defense and explained that when Jeong issued the command #KillAllMen, she was only targeting “the dominant power structure and culture.” Apparently only a fool would mistake the author of the controversial tweets, who went on to be promoted to the Times editorial board, for a bigot.
And let us ask what Conservative, Inc., which excoriated Malkin for standing by strong immigration critics, did to show its disapproval of Sarah Jeong’s patron, The New York Times. Since Jeong’s comments were infinitely cruder and more venomously bigoted than anything I’ve heard from Groypers, presumably the conservatives who are now lashing out at Malkin have dealt with the Times’ staff at least as harshly. Guess again! Strange as it may seem, one continues to behold the Times’ dignitaries on Fox News and other conservative movement media outlets. Moreover, the visiting nabobs are usually treated with gushing reverence, perhaps out of fear that they won’t come back to lend respectability to televised “conservative” discussions.
As Carl Horowitz notes in his biography Sharpton: A Demagogue’s Rise, Reverend Al was once a regular guest on the Fox News programs of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, many years after Sharpton was well-known for inciting black rioters against Jewish shopkeepers in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and colluding in the Tawana Brawley rape hoax (back in 1987). Say what you want about Klein and other leftists, but they do stand by their own people, and even tell blatant lies to protect them. Those are the friends who watch your back, unlike those gutless careerists on the right who accommodate the left by, among other actions, purging courageous, independent commentators.
Who with half a brain really believes Malkin, a lady of Filipino ancestry with a Jewish husband, consorts with Nazis and white supremacists? One might in fact suspect that those on the bogus right who are running with this charge know it’s a lie. It’s just the kind of thing one says in order to show the left that one wants to be friends. But the left is implacable and won’t give Conservative, Inc., the time of day for turning against Malkin, the alleged ally of “internet racists.” The Moloch monster will expect further human sacrifices, which the conservative establishment will desperately grant. Malkin commented after her firing by YAF that the Southern Poverty Law Center “is cheering.” I say, welcome to reality! Some of us learned decades ago the bitter truth she is now discovering.