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Reviews

Nationalism for the Lukewarm

It seems that Rich Lowry has taken time off from castigating Donald Trump and calling for the prompt removal of Confederate memorial monuments to compose an entire book making “the case for nationalism.” A media launch was provided by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, who gave Lowry ample time on his widely watched program to expatiate on his most recent book.

Listening to Lowry on TV and then reading his book selectively, one might think that we are encountering a kindred spirit in the editor of National Review, for he almost ritualistically revisits the views and tags that have long been associated with the Old Right. Perhaps Lowry has changed his thinking in the last few months and no longer claims to be on the traditional right, while steadily virtue-signaling toward the left. Although those of our orientation are not invited on to TV (lest the heavens fall), Lowry, or so it appears, is doing our work for us.

For example, he claims loyalty to one’s native land cannot be reduced to adhering to abstract ideals, suggests attachment to one’s kin and ancestral ways is natural to human beings, and justifies immigration restrictions for the purpose of maintaining a settled national culture. Perhaps we should be grateful for the crumbs we are getting as we listen to our ideas being recycled on Tucker’s show.

A careful reading of Lowry’s book dispels any such illusion....

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