Voters Punished Eric Cantor's Anti-Citizen Leanings
Last night, Dave Brat achieved something very significant politically and culturally as well. USA Today reports, “It is likely to go down as one of the most stunning primary defeats in congressional history.”
Politically, by demolishing Eric Cantor -the House majority leader- by a 56%-44% margin, Brat sent a shockwave through the PC Republican establishment. Culturally, Brat accomplished something equally important: he, and the voters who chose him, rebuked a leading member of our disloyal elite.
Politically, the message was plain: the establishment will suffer for betraying American citizens and promoting the interests of non-citizens. It’s been 20 years since a Congressman of Cantor’s stature was taken down. The voters demanded law and order, and punished Eric Cantor for signaling that he would reward illegal conduct.
The election was widely acknowledged to have been a “referendum” on “immigration reform,” which means amnesty. The National Journal writes that Brat was “a political unknown who focused his campaign on Cantor's support for a path to citizenship for the children of immigrants.” Now, Cantor’s loss is “likely to be interpreted as a major defeat for the faint hopes of passing immigration reform in the House.”
Culturally, Brat delivered a rare and much-needed rebuke of a leading member of our disloyal elite. Namely, Brat rejected the conformity of false compassion, which permeates so many aspects of American life. Also, he took the side of the law-abiding citizen, who has been forced to bear the various costs of our lawless immigration system. Brat stands for what I call a “pro-citizen” approach to politics. Usually called “anti-immigrant,” “populist,” or “far-right,” the pro-citizen approach places the interests of the nation above the interests of the multicultural, “transnational” elite.
Samuel Huntington, author of the classic Clash of Civilizations, wrote about this transnational elite, calling them “dead souls” because they seemed to lack attachment to their fellow countrymen and homeland. Huntington wrote that the elite “have little need for national loyalty” and they “view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing.” Cantor made clear, in word and deed, that our border was an obstacle to his political ambitions, and that by degrading the border he could pander to favored ethnic and national groups that fall under the rubric “Hispanic.”
Cantor was a key drafter of the GOP immigration principles, and he can take credit for the most manipulative and dishonest of the so-called-principles, which reads: “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents.”
That line comes verbatim from a Cantor speech in February 2013, and reappeared as one of the GOP immigration principles. Brat, in response, said that it “dishonors the Founders to invoke the founding principles as a battering ram to fight for crony capitalists.”
Brat will inevitably be known, for some time, as the man who beat Eric Cantor. Yet, he also represents, in his own right, a very promising style of public leadership. In my interview with him, and in his speaking engagements, Brat carries himself as a sober and erudite man. He is exactly the kind of candidate who can best deliver the strike that an increasingly “dissatisfied” and even “angry” public demands.
Over the last several years, after bailouts, deeper debt, and amnesty proposals, the conservative base learned that the establishment would only listen if one of their own is tarred and feathered, out in the open. Make them fear for their jobs the way so many Americans fear for theirs. Remind the establishment that they are only a few thousand votes away from becoming another name in a pile of resumes. Show them that their false compassion for illegal aliens will cost them their careers. That’s the only signal that the establishment will respond to, and Brat sent the message in grand fashion.
John Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences '07) is a writer whose work has appeared in The Daily Caller, Townhall.com, World Net Daily, Human Events, Liberty Unyielding, Accuracy in Media, and FrontPage Magazine, among others. He has been a featured guest on the Laura Ingraham, Jerry Doyle, and Lars Larson programs. Follow @Jthomasbennett