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“White Nationalist” Is Just Another Word for “Poopyhead”

 

Recently, a member of the Progressive Left called Mike Rowe a “white nationalist.” This greatly clarified for me what “white nationalist” and its cousins “alt-right,” “white supremacist” and “Nazi” mean in contemporary parlance.

They mean nothing. They signify that a Progressive leftist hates you, but the words themselves have no intrinsic meaning. Leftists argue at the level of schoolchildren. Name-calling is their primary technique, and when a leftist (a word with a defined meaning) calls someone a “white nationalist” or “Nazi” it means no more than a six-year-old calling a grown-up a “poopyhead.”

And yet, their childish name-calling is curiously effective. It immediately compels many Republicans and conservatives to insist “I am not an alt-right nationalist.” They may as well be proclaiming “I am not a poopyhead” for all its worth. Worse, they think the way to prove they’re not a poopyhead is to concede some ground to the person calling them a poopyhead. (“And I strongly denounce poopyheads and their divisive culture of hate.”)

I don’t really get this reaction. “Oh, no! Someone who despises me, hates everything I value, and is utterly incapable of reasonable debate just called me a name. I must immediately deny that I am this name she called me and furthermore prove that I am not by conceding some of my beliefs in favor of hers.”

When a child throws a tantrum in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart, nobody wins by conceding to the tantrum. The mother can buy temporary piece by purchasing the colorful piece of formed plastic that the child demands, but that only teaches the child that tantrums are effective. The mother can walk out of the store dragging the screaming brat behind her, but not if she is afraid that the other people of Wal-Mart will think her cruel.

It’s a waste of time debating who’s a “white nationalist” or what is meant by “alt-right.” Those are just the left’s current epithets of choice. By the time their opponents have exhausted their energies defending themselves of the charge of “White Nationalism,” the left will have moved on to a new epithet. Any response other than, “Yeah, whatever you say, idiot with a bad dye-job” is wasted energy.

There are 37 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    Victor Tango Kilo: Recently, a member of the Progressive Left called Mike Rowe a “white nationalist.” This greatly clarified for me what “white nationalist” and its cousins “alt-right,” “white supremacist” and “Nazi” mean in contemporary parlance

    For those interested, I’ve found Mike Rowe’s podcast to be similar to Paul Harvey and Will Rodgers:

    http://mikerowe.com/podcast/

    Even though Will Rogers leaned left, he wasn’t as stupid as modern leftists.

    • #1
    • August 24, 2017 at 10:05 am
    • 5 likes
  2. Member

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: Recently, a member of the Progressive Left called Mike Rowe a “white nationalist.” This greatly clarified for me what “white nationalist” and its cousins “alt-right,” “white supremacist” and “Nazi” mean in contemporary parlance

    For those interested, I’ve found Mike Rowe’s podcast to be similar to Paul Harvey and Will Rodgers:

    http://mikerowe.com/podcast/

    Even though Will Rogers leaned left, he wasn’t as stupid as modern leftists.

    Think Rowe leans left? I don’t know much about the man… I’m inclined to say the more “celebrities” who aren’t knee jerk liberals (I just saw something about George Clooney donating a million dollars to SPLC – an organization full of bigotry and left wing hatred- to “combat hatred.”), the better.

    yes these words are meaningless. I’m seeing lawn signs around town that say “reject hate.” Ok… what the hell is that even supposed to mean?

    • #2
    • August 24, 2017 at 10:22 am
    • 3 likes
  3. Member

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    yes these words are meaningless. I’m seeing lawn signs around town that say “reject hate.” Ok… what the hell is that even supposed to mean?

    It means you are supposed to hate hate, and not realize the structural disconnect in doing so.

    Seawriter

    • #3
    • August 24, 2017 at 10:31 am
    • 9 likes
  4. Moderator

    Victor Tango Kilo: It’s a waste of time debating who’s a “white nationalist” or what is meant by “alt-right.”

    I concede that those who really do self-identify as alt-righters or as sympathizing with white nationalism might be wasting their time even if they didn’t have endless internecine debates on who’s truly alt-white or alt-right, and who’s merely alt-lite or just posing. They do waste their time debating it, though, so I guess we agree. True, their numbers are puny, but some of these folks really do have fans among, say, the Ricochetoise, VoxDay perhaps being the most prominent example.

    • #4
    • August 24, 2017 at 10:50 am
    • 2 likes
  5. Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    yes these words are meaningless. I’m seeing lawn signs around town that say “reject hate.” Ok… what the hell is that even supposed to mean?

    It means you are supposed to hate hate, and not realize the structural disconnect in doing so.

    Seawriter

    I have a dislike for the use of the word. I avoid it, not to say I’ve never uttered it, and I’ve tried to teach my children and grandchildren to use it sparingly if at all, simply because I consider it a very strong word.

    What I have seen of Mike Rowe does not tell me a lot about whether he leans right or left politically but he seems to advocate a productive lifestyle filled with individual effort.

    • #5
    • August 24, 2017 at 10:59 am
    • 6 likes
  6. Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    . . .

    What I have seen of Mike Rowe does not tell me a lot about whether he leans right or left politically but he seems to advocate a productive lifestyle filled with individual effort.

    That would seem to put him at odds with at least a significant portion of the left. :-)

    • #6
    • August 24, 2017 at 11:34 am
    • 6 likes
  7. Member

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    yes these words are meaningless. I’m seeing lawn signs around town that say “reject hate.” Ok… what the hell is that even supposed to mean?

    It means to reject Democrats and to reject the media.

    • #7
    • August 24, 2017 at 12:04 pm
    • 1 like
  8. Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I have a dislike for the use of the word. I avoid it, not to say I’ve never uttered it, and I’ve tried to teach my children and grandchildren to use it sparingly if at all, simply because I consider it a very strong word.

    When the left comes up with a word like that I use it against them, just as I now use the word intersectionality against them. I don’t let my likes or dislikes get in the way of serving my country. I have been following this practice since the early 80s. Back then I explained that one of the few joys in life is to use the cliches of the left against the left.

    • #8
    • August 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    • 4 likes
  9. Member

    Afternoon Victor,

    I agree that the words thrown at us the “wacko birds”, or “crazies” have no specific meaning or historical meaning, but in a sense that makes them even more effective. Look how many folks including here on Ricochet have gotten all “wee weeded up” about what Trump said about this or that, pick the topic, from immigration, to Charlottesville. By using a charge like Nazi, which has been used against every Republican since Dewey, you build on a foundation. Get folks on the web to comment on the controversy about Rowe’s views or history (real or made up does not matter), plant some op-eds this charge, have some friendly reporter (get Podesta’s list) to slide in some comments about haw there are questions concerning Rowe’s beliefs, and maybe one can find a person to relate a personal incident (does not have to be true) and then you have the echo chamber of doubt about Rowe’s ethics. To say that Rowe should address the charges, or apologize for any offense he may have accidentally caused, is to play the game the way your opponents want you to play it. The modern use of gossip denunciation using orchestrated slander, fake news, astro-turf has proved to be very powerful, few politicians stand against the intimidation or have effective replies.

    • #9
    • August 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    • 5 likes
  10. Member

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    Even though Will Rogers leaned left, he wasn’t as stupid as modern leftists.

    Is it even possible to match the stupidity of modern leftists?

    • #10
    • August 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    • 4 likes
  11. Member

    So far with all the ink spilled on this topic from every possible angle, this is the best.

    • #11
    • August 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm
    • 1 like
  12. Member

    The difference is that everyone recognizes “poopyhead” as meaningless. When someone is labeled racist it tends to stick.

    • #12
    • August 24, 2017 at 5:50 pm
    • 2 likes
  13. Member

    Karen Straughan interviews self-described white nationalist, Christopher Cantwell. So some do exist.

    • #13
    • August 24, 2017 at 8:15 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Member

    The only reasonable and proper response to their diatribes is laughter. They should be quite literally laughed to scorn, then ignored. However two problems present themselves. First, the media is mostly either in full sympathy or just too lazy to research let alone do a reasoned expose of their overblown rhetoric. Or else they just want to sell papers, ads and such at any cost. The other difficulty is that Americans, being overgenerous, have largely accepted the idiotic notion that those whose feelings are too fragile to ever be exposed to any opinion other than their own have the right to have those feeling elevated far beyond others right to even have divergent opinions let alone express them. Most of these TenderFelts do hold opinions associated with Leftism but I view them as merely belonging to that cadre of Statists, both of Left and Right, that desire to use the power of the “Govment’ to impose their opinions and values on those ignorant enough to dare to disagree. All such are the ultimate danger to Liberty. Until sufficient Americans somehow come to recognize them as such we will continue to see our freedoms erode.

    • #14
    • August 25, 2017 at 3:51 am
    • 1 like
  15. Contributor

    …who wins an argument with a liberal

    • #15
    • August 25, 2017 at 4:04 am
    • 11 likes
  16. Member

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Karen Straughan interviews self-described white nationalist, Christopher Cantwell. So some do exist.

    Okay, some do exist. Please allow me three questions.

    Do you believe there are “white nationalists” who are members of Ricochet?

    Do you believe that there have been Rico members who have been inferred to be at least sympathetic to “white nationalists”, if not one themselves?

    Do you believe that the Left will label almost all opposition to their worldview with the slur “white nationalist”, even if they are nothing remotely close to Christopher Cantwell?

    • #16
    • August 25, 2017 at 4:18 am
    • 2 likes
  17. Member

    John Walker (View Comment):
    …who wins an argument with a liberal

    So, tell us what you really think about liberals.

    Seawriter

    • #17
    • August 25, 2017 at 4:35 am
    • Like
  18. Member

    Morning Zafar,

    I did not watch the video. I am not sure what your point was.

    • #18
    • August 25, 2017 at 4:45 am
    • Like
  19. Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Karen Straughan interviews self-described white nationalist, Christopher Cantwell. So some do exist.

    Okay, some do exist. Please allow me three questions.

    Do you believe there are “white nationalists” who are members of Ricochet?

    I have no idea, but I would be surprised if there weren’t. It’s a very diverse group.

    Do you believe that there have been Rico members who have been inferred to be at least sympathetic to “white nationalists”, if not one themselves?

    Sure. I’m sympathetic to some of their concerns, and I’m not even white. I’m sure other Ricochetti are too.

    People don’t wake up one day and just decide to be white nationalists. It happens because they don’t see the current system working for them – in fact they might see it as working against them.

    I may not agree with their conclusions, but it would be pretty arrogant of me to just dismiss their concerns about how their own lives are going as irrelevant.

    Do you believe that the Left will label almost all opposition to their worldview with the slur “white nationalist”, even if they are nothing remotely close to Christopher Cantwell?

    A lot of them might. I believe that the Right and the Left caricature each other to make rhetorical points in order to shut down debate – which is a great pity.

    • #19
    • August 25, 2017 at 4:50 am
    • 5 likes
  20. Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Karen Straughan interviews self-described white nationalist, Christopher Cantwell. So some do exist.

    Okay, some do exist. Please allow me three questions.

    Do you believe there are “white nationalists” who are members of Ricochet?

    I have no idea, but I would be surprised if there weren’t. It’s a very diverse group.

    Do you believe that there have been Rico members who have been inferred to be at least sympathetic to “white nationalists”, if not one themselves?

    Sure. I’m sympathetic to some of their concerns, and I’m not even white. I’m sure other Ricochetti are too.

    People don’t wake up one day and just decide to be white nationalists. It happens because they don’t see the current system working for them – in fact they might see it as working against them.

    I may not agree with their conclusions, but it would be pretty arrogant of me to just dismiss their concerns about how their own lives are going as irrelevant.

    Do you believe that the Left will label almost all opposition to their worldview with the slur “white nationalist”, even if they are nothing remotely close to Christopher Cantwell?

    A lot of them might. I believe that the Right and the Left caricature each other to make rhetorical points in order to shut down debate – which is a great pity.

    You are assuming that these racists are of the right. What do they have in common with what Right means in the US? They are decedents of Democrats, populism, and intrusive non constitutional big government. The left caricatures itself far more effectively and consistently than we ever could. We tend to lean over backwards to be civilized about them as you have done here. There is nothing the right likes more than debate, unfortunately that’s about all we do, but the left won’t debate. I think your wrong on all points. Am I just making rhetorical points to avoid debate?

    • #20
    • August 25, 2017 at 5:31 am
    • 4 likes
  21. Member

    Are Islamists to be associated with the Right or the Left?

    • #21
    • August 25, 2017 at 6:12 am
    • 1 like
  22. Coolidge

    “White Nationalist” is a meaningless term for labeling others. I find it pretty useful when people wear the badge proudly.

    • #22
    • August 25, 2017 at 6:48 am
    • 2 likes
  23. Moderator

    There’s little point in supposing there are actual white nationalists on Ricochet. But regarding,

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Do you believe that there have been Rico members who have been inferred to be at least sympathetic to “white nationalists”, if not one themselves?

    Sure. I’m sympathetic to some of their concerns, and I’m not even white. I’m sure other Ricochetti are too.

    Sure, some are sympathetic, sometimes for motives beyond what Zafar described. In one particularly memorable thread, it became evident that a very few members were defending “white culture” while also equivocating between race and culture. Every once in a while, a member expresses a worry about “white genocide”.

    Many members dismiss “alt-right” as a smear tactic, a fiction, but though it may be much less important than it thinks it is, it isn’t fictional. Alt-right views vary widely, but sympathies with what VoxDay calls the “alt-white” (white nationalism) remain a strong element (not surprising, maybe, considering that the white nationalist Spencer coined the term along with a mentor). There’s nothing about the manosphere that’s inherently white-nationalist, but through a quirk of fate, the proportion of manospherians with white-nationalist sympathies is pretty high. And Buchanan-style conservatism has always been vulnerable to that racialist element.

    What’s been mocked in the past few years as “Conservatism, Inc.” has in fact been strongly against white nationalism. But as the intrepid OP of the thread mentioned above put it, “The alt-right’s primary enemy is Conservatism, Inc., the desiccated off-spring of Buckleyite conservatism.” One of the hazards of rebelling against “Conservatism, Inc.” is making common cause with the racialist element the Buckleyites kicked out.

    We do have members with alt-right, Buchananite, and manospherian sympathies. None of those sympathies need entail white nationalism, but they are political milieus where sympathy to white nationalism disproportionately exists, and it takes skepticism to listen to several pundits in those milieus while filtering out the white-nationalist sympathies these pundits do in fact have. VoxDay is a good example here. Plenty of Ricochetians have considered themselves fans of his over the years – often admiring him because he’s a great sayer of unsayable things, not necessarily because they agree. But uncritical fandom in these instances would lead to white-nationalist sympathies – that is, sympathies beyond “These chuckleheads have come to wrong, even wicked, conclusions, but I understand their concerns, and even if I don’t, I don’t think they should face unlawful abuse for expressing them.”

    From VoxDay:

    [I]t is clear that there is an intrinsic tension within the Alt-Right, which is not necessarily a bad thing. On the one side is the Alt-White, which is pure white nationalist and predominantly pagan or atheist. This could be thought of as the NPI or Spencerian Alt-Right. On the other is the Alt-West, which is omni-nationalist and pro-Christian. I suspect Jared Taylor and RamZPaul are more of this persuasion, but I could be wrong. Regardless, it is the branch in which I would place myself. All of the 16 Points of the Alt-Right with which even Richard Spencer himself only has a few quibbles, can reasonably be considered an Alt-West perspective.

    But perhaps rather than thinking of them as branches, it is more helpful to think of them as roots, each being sustained by different pools, supporting the same glorious tree of Western Civilization. Because it is vital to understand that for the Alt-Right to be successful over time, Alt-White and Alt-West must continue to cooperate, refrain from internecine conflict, and continue to stand by each other in the face of the coming media assaults

    Cooperation, refraining from internecine conflict, standing by one another… that just might be sympathy beyond “These chuckleheads have come to wrong, even wicked, conclusions, but I understand their concerns, and even if I don’t, I don’t think they should face unlawful abuse for expressing them.”

    • #23
    • August 25, 2017 at 7:01 am
    • 2 likes
  24. Member

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Karen Straughan interviews self-described white nationalist, Christopher Cantwell. So some do exist.

    Some pedophiles exist. That does not give me the right to label anyone who disagrees with my politics, a “pedophile.”

    • #24
    • August 25, 2017 at 7:03 am
    • 4 likes
  25. Member

    I Walton (View Comment):
    You are assuming that these racists are of the right. What do they have in common with what Right means in the US?

    They are of the Right in the sense that they believe differences between people are intrinsic and spring from things like race or religion or culture (or heady mix of all three).

    If they believed that the differences stemmed from economic function, or class, and that race, religion and culture were basically expressions of economic relationships then they would be of the Left.

    (Judeaeo-Christian Civilisation is sort of a code here, because I don’t know any American that automatically means Ethiopia when they say that. Am I wrong?)

    They are decedents of Democrats, populism, and intrusive non constitutional big government. The left caricatures itself far more effectively and consistently than we ever could. We tend to lean over backwards to be civilized about them as you have done here. There is nothing the right likes more than debate, unfortunately that’s about all we do, but the left won’t debate. I think your wrong on all points. Am I just making rhetorical points to avoid debate?

    Well no, on the contrary – you seem to be inviting me to dialogue (yes?) – which is excellent – but you don’t seem to be making a coherent argument.

    Why am I wrong on all points?

    What do you mean by Right?

    Is that a standard definition, or narrower than the popular understanding?

    Are you using Right interchangeably with Conservative? Is this reasonable, in common understanding, or are Right and Conservative different though linked?

    • #25
    • August 25, 2017 at 8:27 am
    • Like
  26. Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Karen Straughan interviews self-described white nationalist, Christopher Cantwell. So some do exist.

    Some pedophiles exist. That does not give me the right to label anyone who disagrees with my politics, a “pedophile.”

    Unless they’re pedophiles.

    • #26
    • August 25, 2017 at 8:27 am
    • Like
  27. Moderator

    Zafar (View Comment):
    (Judeaeo-Christian Civilisation is sort of a code here, because I don’t know any American that automatically means Ethiopia when they say that. Am I wrong?)

    Some do, but it does seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Perhaps because specific knowledge about Ethiopia is just not that common. While getting to know an Ethiopian Christian or Ethiopian Jew is enlightening on this score, not everyone has close contact with Ethiopian immigrants.

    • #27
    • August 25, 2017 at 8:53 am
    • Like
  28. Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    In one particularly memorable thread, it became evident that a very few members were defending “white culture” while also equivocating between race and culture.

    What does ‘equivocating between race and culture’ mean in this statement?

    • #28
    • August 25, 2017 at 9:14 am
    • Like
  29. Moderator

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    In one particularly memorable thread, it became evident that a very few members were defending “white culture” while also equivocating between race and culture.

    What does ‘equivocating between race and culture’ mean in this statement?

    A lot of “when I say ‘race’ what I mean is culture, not the genetics you think of as race” coupled with assertions that the culture he means is in fact genetic, since a lot of behavior is genetic, or at least we cannot prove that culture isn’t strongly genetic, and so we should err on the side of caution and assume it is.

    One example of equivocation (which really happened on that thread) was making the rather extraordinary claim that, if you took genetically Japanese people with no knowledge of Japanese culture (perhaps they were kidnapped by pirates as embryos, then incubated) and put them on an isolated, unpopulated island similar to Japan in climate, you would, over the course of generations, get Japanese culture back. Whereas white people could never really assimilate to Japanese culture because they’re white, no matter how schooled in the culture they are. Japan is of course picked because its current (and historical) culture does have a strong ethos against assimilating foreigners, but you can see where this is going:

    By analogy, the excessively brown, Jewish, etc, could never really assimilate into “white culture”, either. It’s there in the bowels of the comments on that thread, should you wish to read through them, though I suspect many reasonable people would rather not waste their time doing that.

    I’m a member of a population, not delineated by race, that carries a mutation that affects the body pervasively. Not surprisingly, people with this mutation also tend to have altered behavior consistent with having to live with their altered bodies (especially, for many of us, consistent with having to live with a bodily alteration that for many years we did not know we had). I’d be the last person to deny that genetics can impact behavior, but the variation among individuals, even among those of the same race, is so great, and so much of culture is learned, not genetic, that I find such equivocations highly suspect.

    • #29
    • August 25, 2017 at 9:38 am
    • Like
  30. Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    In one particularly memorable thread, it became evident that a very few members were defending “white culture” while also equivocating between race and culture.

    What does ‘equivocating between race and culture’ mean in this statement?

    A lot of “when I say ‘race’ what I mean is culture, not the genetics you think of as race” coupled with assertions that the culture he means is in fact genetic, since a lot of behavior is genetic, or at least we cannot prove that culture isn’t strongly genetic, and so we should err on the side of caution and assume it is.

    One example of equivocation (which really happened on that thread) was making the rather extraordinary claim that, if you took genetically Japanese people with no knowledge of Japanese culture (perhaps they were kidnapped by pirates as embryos, then incubated) and put them on an isolated, unpopulated island similar to Japan in climate, you would, over the course of generations, get Japanese culture back. Whereas white people could never really assimilate to Japanese culture because they’re white, no matter how schooled in the culture they are. Japan is of course picked because its current (and historical) culture does have a strong ethos against assimilating foreigners, but you can see where this is going:

    By analogy, the excessively brown, Jewish, etc, could never really assimilate into “white culture”, either. It’s there in the bowels of the comments on that thread, should you wish to read through them, though I suspect many reasonable people would rather not waste their time doing that.

    I’m a member of a population, not delineated by race, that carries a mutation that affects the body pervasively. Not surprisingly, people with this mutation also tend to have altered behavior consistent with having to live with their altered bodies (especially, for many of us, consistent with having to live with a bodily alteration that for many years we did not know we had). I’d be the last person to deny that genetics can impact behavior, but the variation among individuals, even among those of the same race, is so great, and so much of culture is learned, not genetic, that I find such equivocations highly suspect.

    Okay, thanks. Yes, I read some of that thread and comments, which I missed when it was posted, I think, and I concur that it is trying. Yes, I think culture is influenced by genetics but I veer from most on that post and maybe even here and use one major premise coupled with a couple of minor premises to inform my views.

    • #30
    • August 25, 2017 at 10:37 am
    • 1 like
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