Among the Dissident Right, the CivNats (as they call them) are almost an epithet. Maybe not as despised as the NeoCons or the Libertarians but close behind. And in a way I see their point. The Civic Nationalists have allowed themselves to be gaslit by the Uniparty for the last fifty years. For pointing this out to me I will always be indebted to these merchants of hate. But as incisive as their thoughts are regarding the details of how the Uniparty uses identity politics against the white people of America I can’t come around to their idea that every ethnic and racial group is bound to face off against each other over the carcass of the United States of America. To my way of thinking, that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
I am not a descendant of the Mayflower pilgrims. And my people weren’t born within a thousand miles of England. Other than possible sentry duty on Hadrian’s Wall during the early centuries of the Christian era all of my people had spent their time in southern Italy for as far back as our family tree can show. But I don’t think any Standishes or Bradfords were ever brought up more patriotically American than my family was. And having grown up in New York City I met many immigrants who came to this country with the sole object of making their children as proudly American as was humanly possible. And this was in a city where the various ethnic groups treated each other with all the fondness that the various groups in Beirut currently do (well, short of RPG fire anyway).
I once met a man on the subway who had fled from China by swimming across the bay to Hong Kong. He and his two brothers attempted it together. One brother was dragged back, the other brother drowned. But this man made it. When he found out that Hong Kong would revert to China one day he decided to come to America. He was a lower working-class fellow but he invited me to his apartment for dinner. When he told me how he taught his children to revere America as the greatest country in the world because of its freedom and justice he sounded like a Frank Capra movie. I was amazed. This was back in the mid-eighties and New York had become a crime ridden hellhole with racial animosity at the boiling point. But here was this man who could barely speak English and struggling to make ends meet speaking with an almost religious fervor about his adopted country. It was kind of inspiring. To me it was a kindred spirit to how my family was raised. We believed that myth.
Now here we are in 2020. Antifa are the children of the Mayflower descendants, the top of the heap, and they don’t believe the myth. To them America is a hate filled racist death camp. Then you have BLM. They are the descendants of the black slaves, the bottom of the heap, and they believe the same thing. So that just leaves us, the middle of the heap. Some of us still believe. And I know the myth can work because I’ve seen it. But it only works for those who don’t want to destroy what’s here. My grandparents didn’t have a dream of turning America into Naples or anywhere else in Italy. That Chinese fellow didn’t want to resurrect Canton here. He wanted his children to speak English and watch the Mets play baseball on channel 9. My ancestors didn’t get here until long after the Civil War but I have no desire to pull down statues of confederate soldiers or Founding Fathers. That’s as bad as the Nazis burning books on relativistic physics just because Einstein was Jewish. This country has a history. It includes acts of great bravery and acts of down right cowardice. There has been burning hatred and great compassion. But that history is real. Revisionists are retelling it from one point of view and want nothing else to remain. But I’ll have none of that.
So, here’s my version of civic nationalism. If your idea of America is that it is a terrible place founded by evil white people who need to expiate the sins of their fathers copiously and endlessly, then you’re not an American. Even if you are Thomas Jefferson’s multi-great-grandson, you aren’t an American. You’re nothing. But if you believe that with all its warts and all its mistakes that the United States of America is the single greatest experiment in human governance since Adam and Eve were given the Garden then you are an American and my brother. I don’t particularly care if you are white, black, red, brown, yellow or even green. As long as you stand for the Star-Spangled Banner, Pledge Allegiance with your hand over your heart and love this country for what it has always been, then you’re an American. The main thing is you believe in the Bill of Rights and the rule of law. Don’t try to take away our guns just because your old country didn’t have them. Don’t try to stop people from speaking their minds just because it might hurt someone’s feelings. Don’t expect us to suspend our immigration laws just so a few more of your cousins can jump the border. Don’t try to erase our history or inflict guilt on us for being successful. Speak English and bring your children up to love this country and its history. And whatever you do don’t have anything to do with antifa, BLM or the Democrat party. They’re all Marxists. It would help if you like baseball instead of soccer or cricket but that is a minor thing.
So that is the coalition I want, true believers. But I won’t include anyone in who kowtows to the thugs who hate America. You’re either proud of this country or you’re just a freeloader looking to tear off a piece of its wealth. I’m guessing there are still millions of us. And having a common point of view gives us an identity and orients us politically and culturally. And that’s the only use of the words identity and orientation I’ll ever need.