Young America’s Foundation can promote serious conservatism or it can let grifters, shills, and bigots continue to dominate it. What’ll it be?
Earlier this month, Young America’s Foundation (YAF) fired far-right author and speaker Michelle Malkin over her support for the unrepentant anti-Semite and white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes.
But the purge shouldn’t stop there. YAF should take this opportunity to reevaluate their speaker list and consider who else, for the good of conservatism, should follow Malkin through the exit door.
Tier 1: The Bad
The winner of the greatest bigot on the list goes to the rock-n-roll artist Ted Nugent.
Anti-Semitism? Check! Racism against black Americans? Check! Defend the n-word? Check! Defending the apartheid regime in South Africa on the grounds that “all men are not created equal?” Check! Calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel?” Check!
Listen, I get it. Conservatives are desperate for celebrities. But let’s not lose our minds over it.
It’s hard to believe that Dinesh D’Souza used to be somebody conservatives respected. Nowadays, he is better known as a third-rate right-wing provocateur. His books and documentaries hardly rise above the level of propaganda, and his Twitter account is now fully given over to generic anti-Democrat ragebait.
He’s also retweeted the hashtags #BurnTheJews and #BringBackSlavery. He’d love for us to think he didn’t see them in the original tweets, but, um, we’re supposed to believe this happened to him twice? Recently, he’s compared teenager Greta Thunberg with Nazi propaganda postergirls.
For some unknown reason, organs of conservative thought (National Review) and conservative activism (YAF) continue to give this guy a platform.
He should be chucked. His contributions today amount to incendiary partisan shockslop.
He called Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor an anti-white racist and proposed Jim Crow-style literacy tests for voting. He also recommended that, in hypothetical retaliation for a future terrorist attack, we should be ready to bomb the Islamic holy site in Mecca. I guess we are fine with collective punishment of more than a billion innocent people?
Tancredo has written for the neo-Nazi site VDare. What do you think, YAF: Is that a good byline on one’s writing resume?
Any conversation about anti-Muslim bigotry has to begin with David Horowitz. The socialist turned right-winger is better categorized as an anti-left reactionary rather than a conservative. On Breitbart, he called Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew,” but I guess it’s okay because he’s Jewish himself, and loves his sufficiently Jewish friend, Stephen Miller, VDare’s ambassador to the White House.
He is also personal friends with alt-right patriarch Steve Bannon, who Horowitz has dubbed a “civil rights hero.” Just imagine the ingenuity of mind it requires to actually view Bannon as a champion of civil rights.
Perhaps one reason Horowitz has cozied up to these figures is due to their mutual distaste for Muslims. In 2007, Horowitz started the “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” campaign. Several respectable speakers participated on his panels, but it also featured empty-headed bomb-throwers like Ann Coulter.
Another hardcore anti-Muslim speaker is Townhall and Daily Wire columnist Mike Adams, who has treated us to insights such as: “If Islam were a religion of peace, more Muslims would have indoor plumbing.” He’s actually offered multiple variations of this thought-provoking take: “I’ll start respecting Islam when the majority of Islamic nations have running water.”
Robert Spencer is another thought-leader among the thoughtless Islamophobes. Spencer has based his career on attacking Islam. He has compared Muslims with Nazis and has also opposed immigration from Muslim-majority countries. I grew up in Iran, so this one I take a little personally.
Spencer is the founder of the website “Jihad Watch,” affiliated with Horowitz’s Freedom Center, itself an affiliate of noted anti-Muslim Pamela Geller.
What, exactly, does an audience gain by hearing Farage speak?
What about retired baseball player Curt Schilling? Let’s see. He used to have a podcast on the Breitbart network, inviting on the program such luminaries as former Wisconsin sheriff David Clarke and disgraced white nationalist politician Paul Nehlen.
So, should YAF continue to offer up Schilling as an avatar of conservatism? That depends on whether you think tweets like these are useful to the cause.
I, um, don’t.
How about Buzz Patterson? Who is Buzz Patterson? He’s a Republican politician running in California’s 7th District. He’s also a guy who came to Roseanne Barr’s defense when she called former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett an “ape.”
Patterson’s support for Barr included this very thought-provoking slippery slope argument:
Where does this stop? Do we close all of the zoos now because there are gorillas in zoos? Do we take down gorilla statues that are in and around zoos and schools and parks? I mean, what is the logical next step here?
Is this the level of thinking with which YAF wants to be associated?
YAF also promotes the right-wing pundit Bill Whittle. Who is he? He’s an “investigator” who looks into things like “radical Islam’s influence over our government and access to our national security secrets.”
Is that conservatism, YAF? Is conservatism now just conspiracy theories about a shadow Islamic government within our federal bureaucracy?
Just for good measure, let’s throw in his video interview with the IQ-and-race-obsessed Stefan Molyneux. Toward the beginning, Whittle registered his agreement with the host’s assessment that blacks are cognitively inferior to other races.
What do you think, YAF?