(note: this post covers a few of the salient points from my recent report which details the staggering implications of Donald Trump’s meeting with William S. Lind, who claims to have inspired al-Qaeda, has demonstrably inspired a major act of rightwing terrorism, and promotes the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory that’s taken the racist right by storm.
What’s more, Trump’s campaign positions come straight from Lind’s paleoconservative political tendency, so much that Lind might as well be Trump’s secret campaign strategist.)
“ ‘Trump’ is Shorthand For White Supremacy”, asserts Daily Kos contributor Mark Sumner, and I tend to agree. But to put a finer point on it, ‘Trump’ is really shorthand for William S. Lind — and all Lind represents.
Yes, Lind is the author of a 2014 novel that depicts racist white Christian militia insurgents toppling the U.S. government, carrying out ethnic cleansing of cities and forcing African-American families into a life of sharecropping on white-owned land in the countryside.
(You can access the first ½ of Lind’s novel here: The ethnic cleansing of African-Americans is described in chapter 27. “Victoria” is written under the pseudonym “Thomas Hobbes” but Lind has publicly stated that he is the real author.)
But Bill Lind is so much more than that.
To be specific, he’s the architect of the theory of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW), which formalizes what the American hard right has been doing to America and federal and state government since the 1980s — gradually tearing them down through relentless rhetorical attacks, defunding, delegitimizing, and monkey-wrenching tactics.
William Lind’s close working associate Paul Weyrich, the most important architect of the contemporary religious right, laid it out over a decade and a half ago — like Mao’s Red Army, the movement would carry out a strategic retreat to well-defended redoubts in the hinterlands, from which it would wage relentless guerrilla warfare to tear down existing societal institutions :
- which is what has been going on, from the behavior of Tea Party Republicans in Congress all the way over to the rise of the militia movement. It’s all part of one grand strategic vision.
William S. Lind is also the most important exponent of a new conspiracy theory that in a few short years has taken deep root in the U.S. right but also the right in a number of countries around the world, from Russia to Brazil :
“cultural Marxism” — a conspiracy theory that depicts most of the great social movements of the latter 20th Century in America, from the Civil Rights Movement, to feminism, to the LGBTQ rights movement, environmentalism, on and on, as part of a unitary conspiracy launched in the 1920s and 1930s by Jewish Marxists.
The alleged goal is the destruction of America, Western Civilization, and Christianity.
The chief weapons of the alleged conspirators have been 1) flooding the U.S. with Hispanic and Muslim immigrants, 2) multiculturalism, 3) “political correctness”.
Lind’s writing on “cultural Marxism” has inspired at least one major act of rightwing terrorism, and he claims his 4GW theory may have been the inspiration for al-Qaeda’s 2001 terrorist attacks.
But William Lind and his fellow paleoconservatives have also created Trump as a political phenomenon — Donald Trump’s campaign positions closely track the established paleocon plank.
This Spring, Lind met Trump and gave him the 2009 book The Next Conservatism that Lind co-authored with Paul Weyrich. The book discusses the “cultural Marxism” conspiracy theory and 4GW too.
But it also reads as if it had been specifically commissioned as a strategic template for Trump’s presidential campaign :
The Next Conservatism calls for stopping illegal immigration, controlling the U.S.-Mexico border, the ethnic and religious profiling of legal immigrants, making English the official national language (a less noticed Trump suggestion), protective tariffs, rebuilding American industry – to bring back well-paying jobs, investing in infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and public transit (another less-noticed Trump suggestion), and pulling back from interventionist American foreign policies.
Did Donald Trump read The Next Conservatism prior to launching his devastatingly effective campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination ?
We’ll probably never know, but Trump could have derived most of his 2016 primary positions from a two-hour session with Lind’s and Weyrich’s book, by simply dog-earing pages and underlining key bits of text with his signature golden Sharpie.
And that would have been quite smart, on Trump’s part, given the importance of who Lind’s co-author was — the late Paul Weyrich, a key movement architect who coached and brokered the entrance of religious right into national politics, a man known for being typically a few years ahead of his time.
William S. Lind has himself noted the close resonance between Donald Trump’s positions and the ideas laid out in The Next Conservatism. After meeting Trump and giving him the book, Lind wrote,
“Trump’s views on avoidable foreign wars, free trade, political correctness and a number of other subjects have much in common with The Next Conservatism. If he reads it, our book might be helpful to him in fleshing out his agenda.”
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