The post-Trump right is disorganized right now but a Trumpian policy set seems to be forming. The economic nationalism and populism he pitched seems here to stay. A deeper shift is occurring that has gone unnoticed. The pundit class has begun to call things anti-white.
This is a noticeable shift that has occurred with no real change from the left. The right calls the rhetoric and messaging from the left anti-white. Even the softest of pundits, Rod Dreher, has joined the chorus. These same media figures avoided this in 2020 during the BLM rioting, which was chock full of anti-white signs and chants. That was called anti-American.
Anyone prior to this trying to point out the melange of government enforced policies, judicial decisions and bureaucratic regulations that actively suppressed whites was a conspiracy theorist. It was beyond the pale to make an argument that the American system actively constructed rules that were anti-white. The meritocracy myth worked really well, despite easily measured disparities of the quality of different ethnic or racial groups selected for universities, med school programs, et cetera.
What changed? The change may be that Critical Race Theory became an explicit expression of the Civil Rights infrastructure laced with language scapegoating whites, and the desire to implement it in schools for children. This was all woven into our universities though. Why didn’t they care? The right has or had a false impression that the university system was a self-contained ecosystem with little effect on broader culture. Universities are insane was what they could say as cope.
Critical Race Theory is an easy target because it is so explicit in its anti-white messaging. It is another step in the scapegoating that leads to ethnic conflict or targeting by authorities. Finally, the loose conspiracy theory that could string together a lot of policies that were implicit has a tangible, explicit target. It’s simple and can be a catch all for the left’s broader mood. The left knows this so is falling back on obfuscation, denial and calling the right hysterical.
The left also made an error of going explicit. The American victim culture makes our political battles ridiculous by the framing always being more difficult for the supposed aggressors. America’s old culture war was the left aggressively trying to upend American traditions and norms. This changed in the ‘90s with the right being seen as aggressors trying to change the status quo. This can be tied back to Pat Buchanan’s famous 1992 RNC speech.
Buchanan was merely saying that all the weird things the left pushed had to be fought. We had to defend our norms and fight back. What this speech did was allow the media to frame the right as the aggressors and disruptive force in the culture war. It is a frame that sticks even today. The left continually ends the status quo to create a new protected class for the central power to use, but the right is the force seen as the aggressor.
This move to explicitly calling calls for equity and policy change as salves to racial grievance exposes mainstream America to the insanity on campuses. It now creates a reaction. This is why the left is trying to obfuscate what CRT is, just as the New York Times attacked Trump’s anti-CRT executive order as banning sensitivity training and never quoting the training materials. The left knows it is caught and its word can be used against them. They still hold all the cards, but states can make moves to fight this.
A danger to the left is red state governments go after grievance study funding at universities and curriculum there at the root of the problem. The real danger for the status quo is that identity politics becomes a white thing and that more whites see that the left is full on eliminationist now. As an object of discussion, CRT allows all those insane peer review published papers to see sunlight. The academics that write those papers staff NGOs and bureaucracies. There can be no happy compromise. Going after this insanity can make a backbencher leap to prominence at the state level. There is now a name for the poison that regular people have felt but never quite understood for years. There is no going back.