“Say Wally, What’s a Redneck?”


I take offense to those “Gary Johnson” libertarians who make obnoxious comments about Republican volunteers passing out pamphlets to NASCAR and WWF fans.  Those of us with Trump-Pence signs in our yards are not interested in setting up some “redneck” scene.   Can we tone it down?

Moreover, they paint with a broad brush when it comes to the motivations of people, like myself, who oppose illegal immigration. They try to dance around it by saying that though we may not be racist, we are acting in association with those who are and therefore we are tainted accordingly. Furthermore, they make the unsourced claims that opposition to illegal immigration is really motivated by a desire to return America to some sort of “Leave It to Beaver” alternate  universe.
Talk about making broad and unfounded assumptions. I am not denying that there are David Dukes out there who, in their hearts, want to return to the lily white, segregated, and moralistic America of the 1950s (though, in fact, even that “America” had been largely confined to the historic Confederate States for that time). Nevertheless, as the actual proponent some years ago of a statewide initiative against illegal immigration, I know a lot about the real voters who oppose it. I am not just speaking from anecdotal experience. I have studied the nationwide surveys over the years that trace the social and political preference of voters on this issue.

I can say, for example, that opposition to illegal immigration crosses all partisan lines. I can say that most people who oppose illegal immigration are college educated or higher. I can say that opposition to illegal immigration increases as people get older (millennials being the most “global” in their orientation, thanks to successful Marxist indoctrination in their schools against the very idea of the nation state). I can say that the strongest opposition to illegal immigration is to be found among African Americans, who suffer economically the most from illegal immigrant labor. I can say that the opposition to illegal immigration within border areas is primarily because of fear of rampant crime related to drug cartel activity. The rancher whose land has been overtaken by illegal migrants and drug runners is not staying up all night with his rifle in hand fantasizing about the return of an “Ozzie and Harriet” White America.

The larger point is that we simply disagree as to what it means to be a conservative. This disagreement has been in place since the beginning.

Regardless, as I have said before, the unity of conservative thought that centered on Reagan was unique to the time in which Reagan led the conservative movement (mid 1960s through the 1980s). We were all unified by opposition to the Soviet Union and opposed unilateral disarmament (the nuclear freeze). We were all unified by the excesses of the New Left (college campus and street riots well into the 1970s). We were all unified by the excesses of the many social revolutions that erupted in the 1960s and that undermined the values of the past (Sexual Revolution, Gay Pride, and Cultural Marxism, generally). We were all unified by the excesses of the Civil Rights Movement, which after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. turned much more violent and Marxist in its tactics and its objectives.

That unity no longer exists, because the historical circumstances surrounding the Reagan Revolution are gone, for the most part. There is no longer a Cold War, notwithstanding Putin’s belligerent behavior. There is no longer any “culture war,” for the Cultural Marxists have won, and the traditionalists are in retreat from the public square. New Left cultural goals are won today through corporate boardroom sponsorships, so that the New Left agitators of yesteryear are now wearing ties and carrying briefcases. Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street are throwbacks to the street protests of the past, but most Americans do not see them as serious threats to our way of life.

Thus, the Reagan coalition has fractured, because of the change in historical circumstance. The preexisting division among conservatives has returned to the surface. Paleo Conservatism (Nonintervention, Protectionism, and American Nationalism) can be freed from its former political marriage with the Goldwater Libertarians (Paul Ryan, WSJ, the OP).

This divorce was going to happen, even if Trump had not run for President. Indeed, it largely had happened already by 2012, as I suspect this divorce accounts for why Romney received millions of votes less than McCain did in 2008. The Paleo Conservatives you castigate as “rednecks” and “WWF fans” realized correctly that Romney did not share their worldview, and this time they were unmoved by social conservative issues to pull the lever for an Outsourcer in Chief and his Ayn Randian running mate. They would have stayed home again in 2016, if the GOP had nominated for President and Vice President another McCain or another Romney.

Michael Sean Erickson is a political consultant, film producer, an essayist, an Anglican Catholic Priest, a stage actor, and a husband, He is also the author of The Lost Sombrero, Beautiful Catrina, and Dream Time. Originally from San Jose, California, he had lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, before moving more recently to Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, Sharon, and their Shih Tzu, Shansi.


  1. I would agree that the opposition to illegal immigration is the mostly universal (even libertarians), what is objectionable by many people is the demonstration of of those immigrants and people of other cultures.

    Trump: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

    Honestly, that is outrageous. The vast majority of of people immigrating illegally are the hard working people our country wants and needs. As a country, we have essentially been inviting the illegal immigration to occur for more than 50 years. We have over 700 military bases overseas projecting military power outwards, but we choose not to protect out own boarder. We have the resources to stop the crossing any time of our choosing, so demonizing people when we have the power to stop it is immoral.

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