I used to think that what Trump’s opponents — Hillary, the Democratic Party, the Left, and fake conservatives like Bill Kristol — don’t get is that Trump won because he alone listened to and stood for America’s working class (see “2016 Revolt of the Deplorables: The Forgotten Working Class“). But I now take that back:
THEY DO KNOW, BUT THEY JUST DON’T CARE.
Last Tuesday night, February 7, 2017, Bill Kristolfinally stripped away whatever deceptive mask he still wore when he called white working Americans “decadent, lazy and spoiled,” and applauded their replacement by immigrants.
The occasion was the American Enterprise Institute’s “It Came Apart: What’s Next for a Fractured Culture” — a panel discussion on how Donald Trump’s rise relates to the white working class’s record low levels of labor-force participation, religiosity, and family formation, which panel participant Dr. Charles Murray had described in his 2012 book Coming Apart: The State of White America.
At one point in the discussion, Dr. Murray observed that the 2016 election revealed “a very strong disaffection by the white working class toward the new upper class, fueled in substantial part by the open contempt and disdain that the new upper class has for the working class and especially for the white working class.” That is why although Murray had never warmed to Donald Trump, the election did lead him to favor a restrictionist policy on low-skilled immigration — that people with low skills should be restricted from immigrating to the United States.
To that, Bill Kristol replied that he’d “actually sort of gone the opposite way on immigration,” meaning he favors unrestricted immigration for the low-skilled. Admitting that he is telling a truth about himself which he expects will make him a pariah, Kristol said:
“Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in? Seriously, you can make the case—this is going on too long and this is too crazy, probably, and I hope this thing isn’t being videotaped or ever shown anywhere [because] whatever tiny, pathetic future I have is going to totally collapse.“
After some awkward laughter from the audience, Kristol continued:
“You can make a case that America has been great because every—I think John Adams said this—basically if you’re a free society, a capitalist society, after two or three generations of hard work everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled—whatever. Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico, who really want to work hard and really want to succeed and really want their kids to live better lives than them and aren’t sort of clipping coupons or hoping that they can hang on and meanwhile grew up as spoiled kids and so forth. In that respect, I don’t know how this moment is that different from the early 20th century.”
You can see and hear Kristol for yourself in this extended video of the American Enterprise Institute event. The video is set to begin at the 54:15 mark when Kristol began his controversial remarks:
In contrast, Dr. Murray was sympathetic to the white working class.
As Henry Wolff of American Renaissance points out, Murray reminded the panel that since immigrants concentrate in working-class areas, working-class Americans “bore the brunt of that kind of unasked-for ethnic heterogeneity,” while America’s elites “live in neighborhoods that are exactly the way they want them to be.” This disparity was the source of a “great deal of the anger” in the 2016 election. That is why, unlike Bill Kristol, Charles Murray supports limiting low-skilled immigration because:
“We as Americans owe an obligation to our fellow Americans . . . that should take priority over our obligation to the world’s population and globalization.”
“We as Americans owe an obligation to our fellow Americans” is, of course, precisely Donald Trump’s America First.