Conservatism Inc’s Mandela Problem

As Nelson Mandela enters a whitewashed cultural sainthood, video of Mandela singing “Shoot the Boer” (“Kill the Boer! Kill the farmer!”), a song about killing whites whose ancestors have been living in South Africa for over 400 years, will no doubt fade into oblivion, and the related phenomenon of the ongoing genocide against white South African farmers, where thousands are being systematically killed, will continue to be a criminally-ignored international news story.

As we go into the tail end of ‘Mandela Weekend’, the MSM’s predictable coverage is of course quite predictable and warrants no special comment.

We also have The Organizer, who, seeing every racial event in the world through the prism of his own ego, approaches levels of self-parody (“My first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics was a protest against apartheid… Like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set.”)

But perhaps the most fascinating cultural phenomenon, especially for race realists, is Conservatism Inc’s response to Mandela’s death. There is a sense of obligatory praise that is most awkward, especially when delivered within the same eulogy that tries to point out how Mandela really was a communist and a terrorist.

Hence, a WSJ editorial that contains “The bulk of his adult life, Nelson Mandela was a failed Marxist revolutionary and leftist icon, the Che Guevara of Africa…”, also contains, in the same editorial, “Mandela became the biggest of African men by refusing to act like a typical African ‘Big Man.’ He transcended his party’s history of Marxism, tribalism and violence. The continent and world were fortunate to have him.”


Here’s prostration from Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: “From prisoner to president, Mr. Mandela demonstrated a lifelong commitment to justice and human rights, and his legacy should serve as an example for all of us.”

Wait. What?

For white conservatives in the trenches, increasingly disenchanted with the GOP for all sorts of reasons, this is a teachable moment.

For what the current ‘Mandela Weekend’ demonstrates, as a microcosm of sorts, is how wide the gulf is between Conservatism, Inc and its largely silent but core supporters: whites.

It also demonstrates how, given how conservatives are still portrayed as racist by the Left, Conservative, Inc fails to properly leverage this situation to consolidate its base. In other words, if you’re gonna get called racist no matter what you do, you may as well exploit the political opportunities it presents.

Alexander Hart has an excellent piece in VDARE on “Conservatism Inc.’s Mandela Problem—The Grassroots Still Think It Was Right First Time. And It Was.”

Conservatives have a Mandela problem” runs the headline of a December 6 Salon post by Alex Halperin. Actually, according to Halperin, conservatives—by which he means what calls Conservatism Inc.— have not one but two Mandela problems, rooted in its current fawning praise of the late Nelson Mandela. (To give credit where it’s due, some  well-known conservatives such as Joseph Farah, David Swindle, Robert Stacy McCain, Diana West, Gateway Pundit  and Tim Graham of the Media Research Center have been critical of Mandela.)

Conservatism Inc.’s first problem: the grassroots of the movement appear stoutly unreconstructed. The comment sections at most of the Conservatism Inc. websites has been overwhelmingly anti-Mandela.

The Left seems particularly fascinated by Ted Cruz’s Facebook page. Cruz gave a typical gushing statement, calling Mandela “inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe.” But many of his supporters expressed skepticism. And these were not crazed “racist” ramblings, but the same criticisms that many Conservatism Inc. operatives themselves made in the 1980s.

Hart’s last point is historically true: many mainstream conservatives in the 1980s (the Conservatism, Inc of their day) did in fact oppose Mandela, a fact that Leftists today are playing up:

Conservatism Inc.’s second Mandela Problem: through the 1980s, the conservative movement—from Reagan to Thatcher to Buckley to George Will—really did oppose sanctions against South Africa, denounced Mandela as a terrorist and a communist, opposed his release from prison etc. So Joan Walsh of Salon calls Conservatism Inc.’s current stance the “right-washing of Nelson Mandela’s legacy” by pointing-‘n’-sputtering at the past GOP criticism of Mandela without acknowledging they were, well, right…

Had the Left admitted Mandela’s radical goals and tactics back in the 1980s, the international movement to free him would have received much less support from non-Leftists and he certainly would never have become a secular Saint. But now that he is sainted, the Left argues, we have to support his radical policies.

Are there lessons for America, any sort of parallels?

Knowingly or not, the Conservatism Inc. types who praise Mandela and South Africa’s transition are in effect saying they are willing to trade public safety, conservative governance and, ultimately, economic growth, for racial egalitarianism.

South Africa was forced to choose between disenfranchising the majority of their population or having a First-World government and economy.

But as whites in America are not yet in such a small minority, they do not have to make this choice. Instead, we can just stop mass immigration.

Of course, the GOP and Conservatism Inc. can’t get past its belief that praising Leftist black icons like Mandela instead of promoting patriotic immigration reform will keep them from being called “racist.”

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