No, the Claremont Institute Has Not Turned a Corner

I’m just now getting the chance to look at my colleague Ben Kleinerman’s recent comments on the Claremont Insitute from earlier in the week (partly in response to this post of mine). I think Ben is wrong to see the new Claremont Institute/Milikh project as a “turn” away from Trumpism. All I see is a thinly-veiled doubling-down and a continuation. Ben suggests that it is good to see a more serious articulation of what the the new right stands for, but the actual substance of those principles matters, a lot. The Flight 93 essay was full of concepts and ideas, in addition to being full of fear-mongering and moral panic. The difference between Milikh et. al., and Anton’s original piece is that the former have managed to put a slightly more genteel spin on things, all the better to fool you with.

I find the fact that Claremont.Org has found the funds to open up a new thing in DC is discouraging. You can see how they’ve been building towards this over the last few years (in links below). They are trying to redefine “The American Way of Life,” as something singular and exclusive, and the new object of their divisive hate is “Multiculturalism” (Here’s Claremont.Org’s chairman-of-the-board Thomas Klingenstein: “During the 2016 campaign, Trump exposed multiculturalism as the revolutionary movement it is. He showed us that multiculturalism, like slavery in the 1850s, is an existential threat.”) They posit an existential struggle between their own world and a liberal opposition that they think wants to destroy America. They say things like “multiculturalism” is about destroying the family (“The multiculturalists, on the other hand, seek to destroy the family as it traditionally has been understood.”). They’ve decided that they get to be sole arbiters of what counts as “The American Way of Life.” The thinking is close-minded, and the rhetoric is consistently simple-minded and divisive, sometimes genuinely repulsive. The fact that they’ve chosen “multiculturalism” as their scapegoating object/concept of choice should be alarming.

I won’t go on here. When Claremont.Org when all-in on Trump, and Anton, they demonstrated as clearly as can be that they do not care about moral or political guardrails.

2018: Our House Divided: Multiculturalism vs. America

2019: Winning the New Irrepressible Conflict 

2019: Multiculturalism vs. America Project 

2020: Preserving the American Way of Life

2021: A New Conservatism Must Emerge (Milikh’s recent announcement for the new center)

The Claremont Institute Center for the American Way of Life Home Page

List of Scholarly Affiliates for the new CI Institute

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