Category: Mike Scruggs' Column

Misinformed Virtue Signaling Gone Too Far

On Sunday, January 11, on the popular Sunday TV show “Face the Nation,” House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the opportunity to condemn the remarks made by Republican Representative Steve King in a New York Times interview on January 10, in which King questioned the appropriateness of condemning the use of the terms “white supremacy” and “white nationalist.”

The New York Times article entitled '"Before Trump, Steve King set the agenda for the wall and anti-immigrant politics” contained this quote from King:

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King clarified the next day that he is not an advocate for “white supremacy” or  “white nationalism”, but he is a nationalist and defends his support of “Western Civilization’s values,” also adding:

“I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define.”

In my opinion, the leftist media, especially the New York Times and the Washington Post, is largely responsible for escalating the use of the terms “white nationalism” and “white supremacy” as attack terms to shout down any dissent with the irresponsible Democrat and establishment Republican agenda for swamping the American labor market with cheaper foreign labor, including illegal immigrant labor, and for transforming American culture for their political and economic advantage. This is very similar to the Muslim’s Brotherhood’s creation and propaganda use of the term “Islamo-Phobia.”

A key strategy for Cultural Marxist subversion and propaganda is to manufacture, prohibit, and redefine language. This is exactly what Steve King was attempting to address. Cultural Marxists still make extensive use of the old Stalinist techniques of marginalization, character assassination, and demonization. They also attempt historical suppression and revision to replace a nation’s full and true history with politically correct false narratives.  The Democrat Party has almost entirely succumbed to Cultural Marxism. It is disappointing to see key Republican House leaders join them.

The Republican establishment especially needs to understand that there are millions of conservative voters, who are not “white nationalists” or “white supremacists” by any honest measure, who are legitimately concerned with the economic, fiscal, cultural, national security, and public safety consequences of massive and largely uncontrolled immigration. Very few adhere to any doctrine of racial or ethnic superiority, but they correctly perceive that their interests are being shoved aside and marginalized by political correctness and powerful special interests.  Ordinary Americans are beginning to see through dishonest and coercive virtue-signaling, because they are suffering from its consequences. They are nearing the end of their political tolerance.  

Surveying the follow-up articles by the New York Times and its like-minded allies ought to convince any informed and rational person that the Times, Washington Post, and other “liberal” media have become extremist examples of what used to be called “yellow journalism,” known for its outrageous bias and distortion. Get on the internet and read them yourself! Much of the U.S. media has adapted the Cultural Marxist trend of shaping language to its agendas by means of political correctness and shouting down dissent.

During McCarthy’s condemnation of Iowa conservative King on “Face the Nation,” he used this virtue-signaling loaded statement;

“That language has no place in America. That is not the America I know, and it's most definitely not the party of Lincoln,"

On the evening of Monday, January 14, a panel of Republican House leaders voted to punish King by stripping him of all his House Committee assignments. McCarthy gave King the punitive verdict in his office that night, sitting beneath an eight-foot painting of Abraham Lincoln.

McCarthy and too many other Republicans—ironically like the New York Times and Washington Post—embrace a false and white-washed narrative of much of American history. This is especially true of the era between 1850 and 1880.  Abraham Lincoln is probably the most popular of historical U.S. presidents, but his virtues have been more exaggerated and his errors more white-washed than any other U.S. President—dangerously so, for a false image of Lincoln is now being used as a politically correct weapon to shout down political discussion and cut off analytical deliberation on important issues. Few people know the real Lincoln these days, and to uncover the truth frequently causes hysteria reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials. Before Republican leaders launch a Soviet-style purge of conservatives from the Party based on Lincoln’s supposed words and actions, I would recommend purchasing a copy of Roy P. Basler’s Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings. Here are some Abraham Lincoln quotes, which should limit excessive virtue-signaling.

In the September 1858 debate with Stephen Douglas in Ottawa, Illinois, Lincoln insisted vigorously that:

“I will say that I am favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people…Anything that argues me into his [Douglas’s] idea of a perfect social and political equality with the Negro is but a specious and fantastic arrangement of words, by which a man can prove a horse chestnut to be a chestnut horse.”

Lincoln was for gradual, slave-owner compensated emancipation of slaves, a common sentiment in both North and South.  But he did not believe the black and white races could coexist in the same country.  He favored deporting them and colonizing them to the Caribbean, Central America, or Africa. Lincoln was a very strong admirer of Henry Clay, a slave owner and one of the founding members of the American Colonization Society.  In his 1852 eulogy of Clay, Lincoln quoted Clay’s words on colonization of blacks back to Africa approvingly:

“There is a moral fitness in the idea of returning to Africa her children…they will carry back to their native soil the rich fruits of religion, civilization, law, and liberty.”

In his famous Cooper Union speech on February 27, 1860, Lincoln advocated the peaceful “deportation” of blacks so that “their places “be…filled up by free white laborers.”

In 1862, Lincoln met with a deputation of free blacks in the White House intending to persuade them of the benefits of colonization. His words, severely criticized by Horace Greeley in the New York Tribune, are astonishing in the light of his near deification by civil rights groups and most political leaders today:

“You and we are of different races. Your race suffers very greatly by living among us while ours suffers from your presence.  Even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being on equality with the white man…Go where you are treated the best, and the ban is still upon you. I do not propose to discuss this, but to present it as fact.  It is better for us, therefore, to be separated.”

According to Lerone Bennett, Jr. (1928-2018) former Editor of Ebony Magazine, African-American scholar, and author of Forced into Glory (2000):

“On at least fourteen occasions between 1854 and 1860 Lincoln said unambiguously that he believed the Negro race was inferior to the White race.”

Lincoln’s opinion moderated a bit toward the end of the Civil War. He suggested to the Union occupation Governor of Louisiana regarding the right to vote that some blacks, the very intelligent and those who had served in the Union Army, “be let in.”

While Lincoln was not the paragon of civil rights claimed by both establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans, I am not for removing his face from the five-dollar bill nor tearing down the Lincoln Monument. Such Cultural Marxist fanaticism—presently rampant in attacking Southern monuments and symbols on the basis of ignorance and false historical narratives—ought to be abhorrent to every American. I would like to see the Republican Party and especially its Congressional leadership drop the hypocrisy, smug virtue-signaling and unjust smearing and political bullying tactics that the severity of their discipline of Steve King strongly suggests. They may be congratulating themselves now and basking in the praise of a left-dominated media that may devour them next without regard to truth or decency, but they have made a serious mistake. Above all, it signals to the American people and especially to millions of conservative voters that Republicans do not take their concerns about illegal immigration, excess legal immigration, and the decline and displacement of traditional American culture seriously. Republicans need to stop caving to the liberal media and every whim of political correctness whenever some dishonest journalist or leftist political demagogue can maneuver “racism” into the discussion. They need to learn to sort the history, facts, and logic for themselves and decide on the basis of truth, freedom, equity, and the good of all the people. “Wisdom is proved right by all her children.”—Luke 7:35.  [Wisdom is proved by its consequences.]

Kevin McCarthy was part of the leadership team of both Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan. Neither favored Trump’s immigration agenda. Ryan was essentially the obstacle that blocked Republicans from getting a border wall and other important immigration reforms passed even with a significant House Republican majority.  McCarthy’s recent immigration grade by Numbers USA was 69 percent, a B-. Steve King’s was 99 percent and A+.  I appreciate that McCarthy seems to be lining up more with President Trump lately, but I have become more skeptical. 

Kevin McCarthy doesn’t know enough about the real Lincoln, and he is seriously wrong on Steve King.  He needs to quit the virtue-signaling and PC bullying and correct to a true course.

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