It's hard to fathom that a small journal like the Occidental
Quarterly, which publishes articles defending
the science of eugenics, claiming
that "neoconservatism is indeed a Jewish intellectual
and political movement," contending that Abraham
a white supremacist pressured into "an unnecessary
war," and saying that the United States made a grave
error in declaring war on Nazi Germany, could have had
much of an impact on American politics.
Yet as the premier voice of the white-nationalist
movement, the Occidental Quarterly acts as a
roundtable for some of the far right's most
influential figures. And with election day only eight
weeks away, many of the activists and intellectuals on
the Quarterly's board are campaigning -- from Western
swing states to backrooms at the Republican national
convention -- to reshape the Republican Party in their ideological mold.
Sitting on the Occidental's advisory board is a who's
who of the national anti-immigration movement,
including Virginia Abernathy, a Vanderbilt University
professor and self-avowed "separationist" who is
directing a contentious anti-immigrant Arizona ballot
measure, Protect Arizona Now. Also on the board is
Brent Nelson of the American Immigration Control
Foundation. He's working with a coalition of
anti-immigrant groups to support the congressional
campaigns of Republican candidates who have opposed
more lenient immigration policies. The Occidental's
publisher is William Regnery II, a white nationalist
and heir to the fortune of Regnery Publishing Inc.,
which recently published Unfit for Command: Swift Boat
Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.
The anti-immigrant activists on the Occidental board
have united behind Representative Tom Tancredo, a
virulently anti-immigrant Republican from Littleton,
Colorado (home of Columbine High School). As the
Republican convention opens with the Republican
National Committee endorsing George W. Bush's
guest-worker proposal for undocumented immigrants,
Tancredo is working behind the scenes to make sure
that the convention plank supports his anti-immigrant
politics. He's vowing "to raise hell" if he's
Tancredo's frustration is echoed by Jared Taylor,
Occidental Quarterly board member and editor of American Renaissance, a magazine that he says approaches issues of race and culture "from a white perspective."
Says Taylor: "The amazing thing about Republicans is
they keep saying, 'If we could only get 12 percent
instead of 2 percent of Hispanics to vote for us, we'd
be in fat city.' All they need to do is raise their
percentage of the white vote one-half a percent and
that would make much more difference than all of this
futile pandering to minorities. Clearly Bush is going
to have sacrificed votes all over the country,
although how many is hard to say."
According to Devin Burghart, director of the Center for New Community, a Chicago-based group that monitors the far right, rising anger against the Bush administration's immigration policy within the GOP could provide a prime opportunity for the white nationalist and anti-immigrant movements to incorporate their ideologies into the party.
"There is a huge backlash right now, and, quite
frankly, if Bush loses, there's going to be quite a bloodletting within the GOP,” Burghart says. “If the anti-immigrant folks can demonstrate that ‘compassionate conservatism' was somehow responsible for turning away the Republican base and losing the election, they can move their politics from the fringes into the mainstream.”
The Regnery family has hovered over the country's
conservative movement for three generations. In 1941,
William Regnery I helped found the isolationist
America First Committee to oppose U.S. involvement in
World War II. As the war progressed, the group's
rhetoric came to closely mirror Nazi propaganda and
its membership roll was filled by former members of
defunct American fascist organizations covertly funded
by the Nazis throughout the 1930s.
In 1947, William's son, Henry Regnery, launched the
Regnery publishing house and published such
conservative classics as William F. Buckley's God and
Man at Yale, Whittaker Chambers' Witness, and Barry
Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative. In 1986,
Henry's grandson, Alfred, took over the family publishing
business. In the 1990s, he spawned a cottage industry
of conspiratorial, salacious exposés that spun tales
portraying the Clintons as drug runners,
double-dealers, and sex maniacs. One of the most
notorious titles in Regnery's anti-Clinton series was
ex-FBI agent Gary Aldrich's Unlimited Access, which
painted images of Hillary Clinton hanging crack pipes
on the White House Christmas tree and claimed to
expose lesbian affairs in the White House basement.
While Alfred Regnery has confined himself to the
parameters of the Republican Party, his brother
William II seems to have inherited his grandfather's
ultra-rightist bent. According to a report
by the Southern Poverty Law Center (and as reported on
August 9 in Newsweek's “Periscope” column), William II
is seeking investors to start a dating service for "heterosexual whites of Christian cultural heritage" and hoping to establish summer schools, conferences, and a speaker's bureau to promote his view that the white race is headed toward extinction. William II's views on race dovetail with those of Jared Taylor, his close associate.
According to Taylor, "It's a perfectly legitimate idea
for people who live in what is an effectively European
society to want that society to continue. It's a
natural, normal feeling, and when people move in from
different cultures and different religions, things
change, and nobody likes that. America and Europe are
the only societies in the world who are being told
that committing to that kind of change is somehow
virtuous. … Suddenly we're trying to institute some
kind of kibbutz policy where we're supposed to rear
And while the Occidental Quarterly's anti-Semitic
views are well-documented, both in its pages and
elsewhere, the attention that board members have paid
to immigration policy is not widely known. In short,
they view Bush's immigration policy as a dire problem
and as a potential wedge issue that they can use to
bolster their influence on the GOP.
"My magazine [American Renaissance] has frequently
been accused of being a tool for the Jews because
we're far more interested in the question of the
demographic future of the country," Taylor said. "The
idea of the problems of immigration being solved, then
moving on to something else -- that would be very
pleasant if we had that opportunity, but the
immigration problem won't be solved for a long time."
America's leading organization pushing a eugenics-cum-biological-determinist agenda, The Pioneer Fund, has apparently arrived at a similar conclusion. Its founders openly sympathized with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, and in the 1980s, it shifted its focus toward supporting the anti-immigrant movement. Between 1988 and 1994, The Pioneer Fund granted $1.3 million to America's premier anti-immigrant pressure group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and from 2000 to 2002, it granted a total of $25,000 to Project USA, an anti-immigrant group that works closely with FAIR.
FAIR is now focusing the bulk of its efforts in
Arizona, a flash point of the immigration conflict.
According to the Center for New Community, FAIR spent
nearly $500,000 this year on its successful effort to
get Protect Arizona Now, a draconian anti-immigrant
initiative that would restrict public services to
undocumented immigrants, on Arizona's November ballot.
A citizens' volunteer group that initiated Protect
Arizona Now has appointed Occidental board member
Abernathy to direct the campaign. Abernathy did not
mince words when she explained the motive behind
Protect Arizona Now to The Arizona Republic on August
7. "We're not saying anything about supremacy,” she
said. “Not at all. We're saying that each ethnic group
is often happier with its own kind."
If Protect Arizona Now passes -- and if polls
are to believed, that looks likely -- the
anti-immigrant movement is likely to translate its
momentum into more initiatives nationwide.
"Protect Arizona Now is being used by the
anti-immigrant groups as a bellwether," explained
Burghart. "If it succeeds in Arizona, that will send a
message to the national Republican Party that they
need to push more anti-immigrant politics at the
federal level. There's so much riding on this for the anti-immigrant groups because, if they're successful, it will put more pressure on the GOP to follow its base."
Meanwhile, FAIR, Project USA, and an assortment of
allied groups are backing
the campaigns of nine neophyte anti-immigrant
candidates running against incumbents with liberal
immigration policies. Most prominent among these
anti-immigrant candidates is Kris Kobach, a former general counsel in John Ashcroft's Justice Department who's running to unseat Democrat Dennis Moore in Kansas' 3rd District. Through its political action committee, FAIR has helped fill Kobach's campaign coffers; Project USA and Occidental Quarterly board member Brent Nelson's Americans for Immigration Control, meanwhile, has pitched in with a direct-mail campaign on the candidate's behalf.
What's more, Kobach's legal services have been
retained by FAIR to argue before a federal court that undocumented students in Kansas should be denied in-state tuition, an effort that earned him ringing endorsements from Tancredo and Alfred Regnery's weekly newspaper, Human
The anti-immigrant movement is not the only political
force propelling Kobach's campaign. He's been endorsed
by the Christian Coalition, James Dobson's FOCUS ON
THE FAMILY, and Vice President Dick Cheney. Last
April, he and right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin were
invited to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration. He also spoke at the Republican national convention on Monday -- despite the fact that his stance on immigration doesn't exactly mirror the president's. Yet somehow this detail seems to have eluded the national press corps.
"I would have thought that President Bush would have
been horrified to have a [immigration] restrictionist
take the platform," Taylor said. "That's going to make
his outreach to the Hispanic brothers seem a little
odd. But maybe Karl Rove and some of his boys are
taking some private soundings of Republicans on
Meanwhile, Tancredo has not been invited to
participate in the debate over the plank. As a result,
he's had to assert his influence through phone
conversations with right-wing activist Phyllis
Schlafly, who will be present.
"I have this feeling ... that anybody who says, 'I
don't agree with the president's views on immigration'
is not going to get [into the convention plank
subcommittee]. They are really taking great pains to
hush [dissent]," Tancredo told
the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Even if Tancredo's agenda is rejected, as it is
certain to be, he is determined that he will be heard
this week in New York City. He's planned a midtown
press conference to denounce Bush's immigration agenda
and has created a Web
site to promote that press conference. While
Tancredo's plans might seem to some like
self-promotion, they are consistent with a career
marked by PR
stunts calculated to keep the immigration debate
on the table and the anti-immigrant movement
energized. Tancredo knows that the bills he routinely introduces to curtail the rights of immigrants in the United States and to increase border security (through extreme measures like deploying the U.S. Army) will never make it out of committee; yet with every effort, his image as an authentic voice of the anti-immigrant movement in federal government is burnished, propelling him onto the national stage and galvanizing his followers, who, led
by Abernathy, have initiated a "Tancredo for
President" write-in campaign.
Tancredo's career may be a barometer for the
anti-immigrant movement. "The anti-immigrant folks
have definitely lost a lot of battles. But they
haven't lost the war," says Burghart. "They're gaining
support within the GOP and they just keep coming back
Max Blumenthal is a freelance writer based in Los