TAC v. Commentary

In boomer, CivNat journals like TAC, things like this are routine. First, in Commentary, Noah Rothman writes a derisive piece against ‘nationalists’, expressing his latent fear that ‘blood and soil’ nationalism is a real threat in both Europe and the U.S. In other words, it is a prototypical piece displaying Jewish angst and paranoia about white ethnonationalisms, as well as globalist neoconservatism, a perspective that is dominated by Jews. (I have little doubt that Rothman has a quite different take on Israel as an ethnonationalist state.)

Then, in TAC, Robert Merry writes a piece highly critical of Rothman, but nowhere is the word “Jewish” used. The closet we get is the use of the term ‘neoconservative’ in the byline, a term I fully expect SPLC will soon designate as an anti-Semitic dog whistle, if they haven’t already done so:

One writer for the neoconservative magazine says globalism’s losers are outnumbered, and now it’s time to “overwhelm” them.

As for Rothman’s piece, he talks of ‘hard power calculations’ to defeat and destroy the sorts of nationalist sentiments that lead to tariffs, and (more importantly) the sense of nationalism that is informed by ethnic identity. Rothman then throws in this rather creepy passage:

If populist nationalism is to be contained, it cannot be subsumed into greater liberalism and its malcontents mollified by social welfare programs. The very idea of populist nationalism will have to be overwhelmed. As soon as advocates of unfettered freedom and commerce come to that conclusion, that necessary work can begin.

What is this mysterious ‘necessary work’?

To which Merry responds appropriately:

The audacity here is breathtaking. This is the kind of talk that leaves one wondering whether the looming civic battle over the definition of America—the globalist vision versus the nationalist one—can be adjudicated through peaceful democratic means. Rothman’s “unfinished work” emanates from a perception that populist nationalism cannot be accommodated; it will have to be eradicated. And those poor folk who have been disadvantaged by the globalist onslaught, as Rothman acknowledges they have been, will just have to be marginalized until they no longer have a voice in civic affairs. This may be unfortunate, but it’s necessitated by the globalist vision of welcoming to America ever more foreigners to displace those benighted populists whose civic influence will have to be curtailed.

Still no use of the word “Jewish”.

Unbeknownst to Rothman, however, populism is part and parcel of any democratic regime. It remains largely quiescent when times are good and civic waters are calm. It raises its head in times of turbulence or difficulty, when major economic dislocations hit large segments of the populace and lay them low. It emerges when significant numbers of citizens see the elites remaking their society without so much as a by-your-leave from the people and while displaying unconcealed contempt.

Still no use of the word “Jewish”.

Rothman doesn’t want to accept that there is a legitimate debate about all this in America today. Instead he conjures up the specter of a mortal threat to the republic from people who are every bit as much a part of the American tradition as he is.

Still no use of the word “Jewish”.

Indeed, in projecting his abstractionist view of America, Rothman distorts the picture. He suggests that the open-borders sensibility he reveres has been an integral part of the American experience from the beginning. This is false. Throughout its history, the United States has calibrated immigration policies based on the realities of the time. The last time America reached a proportion of foreign-born residents close to the current percentage, a political reaction set in and major curtailments were instituted. As recently as the 1970s, that number was half what it is today.

Still no use of the word “Jewish”.

And so the writers at TAC continue to ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the room.

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