National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson “reached peak leftism” when he declared his sympathies were “more with John Brown than John Calhoun,” in an article titled “We Have Officially Reached Peak Leftism” (June 24, 2015). In 1856, Brown’s free-soil activists snatched five pro-slavery settlers near Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas and split the captives’ skulls with broadswords, in an act of biblical retribution gone mad.
— Ilana Mercer (@IlanaMercer) May 29, 2016
So it’s not that surprising that Williamson’s exquisite moral compass has led him to wish death upon white, working-class America. According to Breitbart.com, Williamson wrote this:
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.
This is not passionate writing; it’s plain hateful. Whatever merit there is in the indictment of working-class Americans—a case made well by political scientist Charles Murray, in “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010”—this ain’t it. Williamson writes in arrogance and contempt.
But, as further divulged by Breitbart, another National Review staff writer feels as Williamson does. He is David French (the object of my new column, “Someone Should Tell Bill Kristol Dwarf Tossing Is Cruel”). The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol’s candidate to run an independent presidential campaign is down with Williamson:
[French] described Williamson’s piece as “excellent” and said that Williamson’s words were “fundamentally true and important to say.”
French went on to dismiss the struggles white working class Americans endure.
“Citizens of the world’s most prosperous nation, they face challenges — of course — but no true calamities,” French wrote.
While French suggests that the decline of America’s middle class and manufacturing power is no true calamity, others could argue that the greater a nation or culture, the more sorrowful it is to witness its decline — much the same way that history would mourn the destruction of the Palace of Versailles more than the totaling of Justin Bieber’s car.
French insists that the devastation of the working-class’ livelihoods is unrelated to failed federal policies such as mass immigration …
I hate the, “Would he be saying this if … ” game. But I’ll indulge this once. It’s apposite. Would Williamson and French ever lay into the black underclass with the same degree of venom?
— Ilana Mercer (@IlanaMercer) June 5, 2016