Bret Stephens (Credit Image: Jason Smith / University of Chicago)
Bret Stephens, the newest token “rightist” at the New York Times, sparked outrage across the Right last month with a column called, “Only Mass Deportations Can Save America.” He wrote about American citizens who have children out of wedlock, are dependent on welfare, don’t have jobs, and commit crime, and argued that they should be deported—not the allegedly hardworking, upstanding Catholics pouring in across our southern border.
As Steve Sailer noted, if you didn’t know better, you would think Mr. Stephens was complaining about blacks, who have the highest rates of criminality, bastardy, and welfare use. Alas, Mr. Stephens was clearly talking about poor whites in Appalachia and the Rust Belt, a group that he, like all “Never Trump” Republicans, despises. Indeed, if the New York Times editors had the slightest suspicion that Mr. Stephens was talking about blacks, they would not have published the column.
The most prestigious newspaper in the country thinks it’s fine to “joke” about deporting citizens they don’t like. It also publish opinion pieces by illegal aliens demanding we let them stay.
This column was repugnant enough, but Mr. Stevens wrote a piece two weeks earlier that makes it even worse. In a column on the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, he wrote solemnly of Israel’s courage, and the importance of its victory. Savaging Israel’s critics, Mr. Stephens wrote, “For the crime of self-preservation, Israel remains a nation unforgiven.”
In a void, I take no issue with this. I harbor no animus towards Israel. It is a distinct nation, with a distinct people, culture, religion, language, etc. that it is determined to preserve. I admire that. I would rather live in Israel than in any of its antagonistic neighbors. Israel is at a civilizational level well above that of the Arab world surrounding it. I do not begrudge Israel actions it finds necessary for survival.
Mr. Stephens does not apply the same logic to the United States. In fact, he applies the reverse logic. His column on “deportations” assumed that America is just an economic zone, with no people, culture, religion, or language to preserve. If “citizens” of this country are not productive enough, they should be replaced with more productive imports. But Mr. Stephens would never accept this purely economic view of Israelis. Israel has surprisingly high levels of corruption for a developed country. Why not deport corrupt Israelis and replace them with people from less corrupt nations such as Japan, Uruguay, or the United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Stephens, I am confident, would not consider this even as a joke. Corruption is bad, but Israel with corruption is still Israel. Israel with no corruption, but composed of equal parts Arabs, Jews, Hispanics, and Japanese, is not Israel; it’s just an economy.
The same is true of the United States. America has always been a white country. It was founded by whites for whites. That history is utterly unambiguous. When America stops being white, it loses its essence, something intangible but vital. On some level, Mr. Stephens probably knows this. I suspect that when he chooses his co-workers, friends, and neighbors they are a ratio of white-to-non-white similar to America as a whole—America of the 1950s.
Since Mr. Stephens wants to preserve the essence of Israel, why does he not want to preserve the essence of his own country?
He calls himself a “conservative” but what does he want to conserve? Certainly not the founding stock nor the Europeans who came later. Our culture, language, religion, values and essence arise from a certain people. That is true of every country—certainly of Israel—as Mr. Stephens would surely agree.
For America, Mr. Stephens wants to “conserve” abstractions such as free markets and civility in the media. An issue of strange importance to him is stopping government intervention intended to slow climate change. A question for Mr. Stephens: Would he prefer an Israel that adopted his laissez faire approach to climate change—but was 60 percent Hispanic—or a majority-Jewish Israel that meddled in the economy to slow global warming? We know which he would choose, and he is not wrong for making that choice.
Mr. Stephens puts the essence of Israel ahead of everything else, as he should. Why can’t he treat America with the same respect?