Sunday, December 10, 2006

Williamson on the Election

Chronicles book editor Chilton Williamson writes a monthly column for Middle American News. In the December issue, Williamson dissects the recent mid-term elections. He writes:

What Democrats, and liberals generally, fail to recognize in their time of triumph this fall is that the vote against President Bush--his war, his deficit, his security state, his imperial presidency, his immigration policy--was in no sense a liberal, but rather a conservative, one. They are prevented from understanding this by their misunderstanding of American populism, which they-together with Republicans and movement conservatives-misconstrue as being of a leftist persuasion. The election of 2006 was, among other things, a vigorous protest against the global economy, free trade, the transfer of manufacturing plant and jobs overseas, outsourcing, corporate greed and corruption, and the unaffordability of health care. Had not liberals and "conservatives" long ago determined to ignore whatever paleoconservatives have to say, they would have recognized all of these concerns as, in fact, pedigreed conservative ones.

While Williamson and paleos generally have proven prophetic regarding Iraq, he argues forcefully that the nation faces a greater peril from unchecked immigration than the occasionally foolish foreign intervention:

The Iraq War is indisputably a disaster, yet it hardly amounts to national catastrophe on the scale of legalizing 20 million-and perhaps, according to revised estimates, many more than that-illegal immigrants, at the expense of an estimated $127 billion, assuming the official "count" of around 12 million. Wars, and rumors of wars, are perennial occurences, after all; the invasion, facilitated by its so-called leaders, of a sovereign nation by tens and scores of more or less hostile and poverty-stricken aliens by contrast is something new under the sun. A country that will not tolerate the deaths of less than 3000 of its volunteer combatants-hardly more than the toll of a skirmish in, say, the War Between the States-over a period of three and a half years probably has no business fielding an army at all. On the other hand, a nation that refuses to defend itself against hordes of aggressive invaders on a scale that dwarfs the invasion of the Roman Empire by the German barbarians no longer deserves to be called a country, in any acceptable sense of the word.


Blogger Eaglet said...

I disagree with Williamson's claim that the Bush administration's immigration policy was conservative.

It was liberal because it was anti-defense and a failure to exercise legitimate authority to repel borders from from invasion.

I do agree that the "imperial presidency" was liberal.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous mskee said...

NeoCons coopted the "conservative" mantle and duped the conservative electorate into voting for them. As the author says, they won't be fooled forever.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Adam, I think you misunderstand Williamson. He's the author of a small tome on immigration, called "The Immigration Mystique," and he certainly would endorse anything as "conservative" that emanates from the bowels of the current regime.

Mark, I would expect the NeoCons to grab hold of some other vehicle. They could certainly find a champion in Senator McCain, so they are far from being turned out of the corridors of power

12:25 PM  

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