There’s a powerful article over on the Atlantic’s website that everyone should read. In The White Nationalists Are Winning, Adam Serwer argues that White Nationalists are actually succeeding in setting the direction and tone of conservative politics today. While it may look as though they’ve been humiliated at their recent rallies, he says, the torch waving fools of Charlottesville have been able to drag the whole Republican Party into the murky waters of racial politics, now and perhaps for so long as the GOP remains among us.
The White Nationalists, argue Serwer, have acted a political, ideological vanguard which, by means of its energy and visibility, have proven to people like Trump that racialist politics have a potent appeal to a great many frightened American men and women. Thus, formerly mainstream, or at least mainstreamish political figures and political commentators are learning to ape the worst that the racialist right has to offer. As Serwer says, “While few sitting Republican legislators echo these sentiments publicly, Republican audiences are now being fed white-nationalist philosophy through mainstream conservative figures with national followings. Unless something changes, conservative constituencies will eventually begin to demand that their representatives adopt those views as well.”
The question is, what do we do about all this. The answer, probably, is in first, defeating the new, racialized GOP at the polls, and, second, in addressing the fears and concerns of the frightened men and women of America who have come to find something appealing in the White Nationalist position. After that, the White Nationalists themselves may decline into the obscurity they so richly deserve.