Whose Fight for Civilization?
The radical right has removed its mask, revealing that they have abandoned democratic values in their increasingly global quest for white Christian rule
You might have thought after the horrific massacre in Buffalo that the white supremacist contingent of the GOP would cool its heels for a while. But the facts of an 18-year-old mass murderer espousing belief in replacement theory—the racist fantasy that white Americans are being deliberately replaced by immigrants and other people of color—did not discourage them from holding the latest Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Hungary with the imprimatur of nationalist cheerleader Viktor Orbán. Quite the contrary.
“I see the great European population exchange as a suicidal attempt to replace the lack of European, Christian children with adults from other civilizations—migrants,” Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister and cozy friend of Tucker Carlson, said last week. CPAC’s organizers say they chose the comfort zone of Hungary because it’s “one of the bastions of the conservative resistance to the ultra-progressive ‘woke’ revolution.”
Orbán gave his American friends what they wanted to hear, railing against critical race theory, gay rights and cancel culture, in addition to advocating for the “great replacement.” And he focused on the shared goal of fomenting a global takeover “to take back the institutions in Washington and Brussels…to coordinate the movement of our troops.”
While it may sound like Orbán was tailoring his words for his visitors, he’s been pushing his nationalist, white Christian, anti-immigrant views for years, attracting Fox News’ Carlson and others on the right. “I think there are many people who would like to see the end of Christian Europe,” he said in 2018. “They believe that if they replace its cultural subsoil, if they bring in millions of people from new ethnic groups which are not rooted in Christian culture, then they will transform Europe according to their conception.”
“Migrants are treated cruelly at the border, while the government casts LGBTQ minorities as a threat to Hungarian birthrates and pushes a message to convince women to take up ‘traditional’ roles as homemakers and mothers. Advocates for immigration and immigrant rights, like the Hungarian American Jewish philanthropist George Soros, are described as enemies of the state and attacked accordingly.”
Make no mistake: The conference in Budapest is no mere flirtation from the CPAC crowd, which included addresses by Carlson, Trump and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows. They have abandoned the democratic model as they pursue their assertion that “we” are in a fight for our civilization—what I’d suggest is the tail end of the 500-year, European-led project to colonize the globe for the interests of the white population, dating back to at least 1493.
From the days when the white nationalist, theocratic advocates were lingering at the fringe, increasingly they have entered the mainstream, spreading their views with the conviction that American values, like equality, and principles, like the separation of church and state, are no longer binding or obligatory.
Perhaps it’s the impending overturning of Roe v. Wade by an aggressively ideological Supreme Court. Perhaps it’s the flagrantly anti-gay, anti-democratic agenda of GOP governors like Ron DeSantis. Maybe it’s the inevitable outgrowth of four years of Trumpism, insurrectionism, QAnon and the cancerous spread of the Big Lie of election fraud. But in recent days, we can point to a growing number of examples representing the unbridled abandonment of American ideals by Republican elected officials and candidates.
Usually, I choose to not amplify these virulent views. But these should not be dismissed simply as unserious rants from a radical religious fringe. Consider a few:
“So we need to make a plain statement of fact, which is, the reason why the West is great is because Western civilization’s underpinning is Christianity. You cannot have a successful society outside of the Christian moral order.” This is from an interview given last week by Jacky Eubanks, a Trump-endorsed candidate for Michigan’s state senate, who describes herself as 100 % pro-life, 100% pro-gun, says she’d outlaw contraceptives, and can be seen on her website clutching an automatic rifle painted with stars and stripes.
“We’re gonna do a political rally and we’re gonna honor Jesus…They’re not gonna tell us ‘separation of church and state.’ We are the church! And we run this state!” This speech is from Kandiss Taylor, a candidate for Georgia governor. On her website, she talks about the need for a forensic audit of the 2020 election and an executive order to “demolish the Satanic agenda” of a “global Luciferian regime” in order to save Georgia. Her endorsers include Roger Stone and Mike Lindell.
“Thank you, father God, that these Justices have wisdom and revelation and knowledge of you…God bless our Justices, and I plead the blood of Jesus over this town and over this nation!” This screaming is Rep. Lauren Boebert at a “Rally for Life” rally this week in front of the Supreme Court.
Yes, there have always been extremists in our midst. It’s not news—or new in our history—to say that there are white Christian candidates who support trampling Constitutional rights and values to make their religious faith the one and only in America. But whether you primarily think they are unhinged or within their rights of free speech, the fact is they are feeling encouraged and empowered.
At a time when the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor talks about his state legislature reasserting “our authority to pick the electors for president,” when 26 states are “certain or likely” to ban abortion without Roe and some even support the prosecution of women who end a pregnancy for homicide, and when ideas like replacement theory are not quieted even following mass murder, the results of the coming midterms are critical to pushing these dangers back toward the fringes and away from the center of our public life.
Find value in this writing? I hope you’ll consider becoming a paid subscriber to sustain it.