Rod Dreher has a bad habit of posting these poorly researched takes about the Alt-Right on his blog. Normally, I just roll my eyes and laugh, but in this case I feel insulted:
“The ideologies of the parties are rotten. The churches have nothing to offer but platitudes. The “opposition” from leftists is a totalitarian farce. And then, you hear from manospherians and right-wingers what is obvious, that no one else will say: that this system is obviously falling apart, and that we need new principles to organize this nation.
Rod, I read your blog because you share this premise with both me and the alt-Right, and because I want your Christianity to be true. But I do not believe the Benedict option will work, simply because I do not believe that young people will be able to build the relationship skills to form families. This seems like an abrupt pivot, but it’s very related. The alt-right is fundamentally a movement created by rootless, lonely people who have nothing to believe in and are looking for roots. In some, the desire for community is strong, so they gravitate towards white identity politics. In others, the desire for love is stronger, so they go towards inceldom, PUA, and the manosphere. Both they and the Tumblr Trannies are symptoms of isolation, as you’ve said before. Moreover, this is directly connected with the replacing of procedural norms with identity politics: lonely people without narratives in which to frame their lives will try to force everyone into their frame. This is totalitarianism.”
Do I sound like a rootless, isolated, lonely person who has nothing to believe in to you?
I’m a White Southern Christian. I’m a happily married father. I have a great relationship with my parents and family. I am surrounded by friends who share my values. I love my community. I love my neighbors. I am motivated by what I perceive as the ongoing collapse of my civilization. I feel like I have, you know, a moral duty to future generations to resist this because our country is a sacred trust which was created by the toil of all the generations who came before us.
I take great offense at being described as “rootless” because nothing could be further from the truth. I named my son after his grandfather who was named his father who was named after my great-great grandfather. My wife’s family are Germans from Missouri who have exhaustively traced every generation of their lineage back to their arrival in Pennsylvania from Alsace in the 17th century.
My family has lived in this part of Alabama since arriving in 1840 where they began carving our civilization out of the wilderness here. I grew up on what had previously been a plantation in the Black Belt where my ancestors have lived since the Reconstruction era. The town where I grew up is named after Braxton Bragg Comer who was the 33rd Governor of Alabama and who redeemed my county with the White League in 1874. Not only did all of my ancestors fight for the Confederacy on both fronts of the War Between the States, but the people in my community were the vanguard of secession and volunteered to fight for the South in Bleeding Kansas and later led Alabama into the Confederacy.
In the 1890s, this part of Alabama was a hotbed of populism. In the 1900s, it produced Alabama’s first progressive governor. In the 1940s and 1950s, it produced Gov. Chauncey Sparks and Gov. John Patterson both of whom opposed the Civil Rights Movement and fought to defend segregation. Then in the 1960s it produced Gov. George Wallace who dominated Alabama for decades and whose four presidential campaigns transformed American politics. My father-in-law and mother-in-law were both members of the Citizens’ Councils who literally met working for George Wallace.
I’m not the one who is alienated from my roots. On the contrary, I am the one who is well adjusted, who has embraced our traditional Southern identity and values and who has an encyclopedic knowledge of our history and heritage, which I am happy to share with my audience, not Rod Dreher. There is nothing on this blog which would have been unfamiliar to any Southerner before the 1970s. I would have been a moderate Democrat who could have supported Sen. Lister Hill or Sen. John Sparkman in the 1950s. It is Rod who they would have found weird for describing having a positive sense of White identity as a “demon.” Virtually no one in the South shared Rod’s beliefs until his generation.
It is true that there is a deracination crisis. It is true that angry, alienated and deracinated young White men who resent political correctness are gravitating toward the Alt-Right. I would argue, however, that the ultimate cause of that is mainstream conservatism. It is mainstream conservatism which is alienated from the American past, which holds that our White ancestors are illegitimate because of “racism” and “white supremacy,” which caved to the Left’s historical narrative and moral values, which regards Martin Luther King, Jr. as a hero, which condemns “identity politics” and represses White identity while simultaneously appealing to non-Whites on the basis of race, which surrendered to feminism, gay marriage and political correctness and the dissolution of our borders. It is abstract libertarian nonsense peddled by bimbos like Tomi Lahren on FOX News or grifters like Diamond and Silk.
If young White men are radicalizing, it is because they are rightly concluding that mainstream conservatism is a spent force populated by losers and cowards who offer nothing but token resistance to the Left and that its values have brought about the present crisis. It’s unfortunate that Rod’s grandfather doesn’t have a blog because he probably made more sense on this subject.
Note: The White working class guy who recently encountered Rod and saw his problem glasses and concluded that he is probably a liberal who listens to NPR and reads The New York Times and Ta-Nehisi Coates and doesn’t get it had a point.