RNC Leadership Rejects Middle American Supporters

By Samuel Francis, Syndicated Columnist
Tuesday, January 26, 1999

For at least a month, the nation's media have been on a rampage against the Council of Conservative Citizens, a nationwide grassroots conservative activist group of which I am proud to be a member. The charge against the CCC is that it is (take your pick) "racist," "white supremacist," "anti-Semitic," "neo-Nazi," and/or all of the above.

In fact, it is none of them. As CCC chief executive officer Gordon Lee Baum wrote in a letter to The Washington Post -- which to date has carried no fewer than five news articles, at least four opinion pieces and one major Style section article on the Council - - the group "speaks out for white European Americans, their civilization, faith and form of government, but we do not advocate or support the oppression or exploitation of other races or ethnic groups."

I understand that these days "speaking out for white European Americans" is considered by many to be indistinguishable from "racism," etc., though whenever other racial and ethnic groups "speak out" for their own people, that's OK. Be that as it may, the onslaught against the CCC, initiated by the left and by left- wing law professor Allan Dershowitz in particular, has now penetrated the bottomless cranial cavity of the Republican Party, where any hope of grasping fine and subtle distinctions is forlorn.

In a statement released last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson demanded that Republicans who are members of the CCC resign from the latter. "It appears that this group does hold racist views," Mr. Nicholson pronounced. "The Republican Party rejects and condemns such views forcefully and without hesitation or equivocation."

One particular national committeeman from South Carolina who is a member of the CCC was cordially invited to resign (from the CCC, not yet as far as I know from the RNC, though you can bet your bedsheet that will come soon enough). "I will continue to use my good offices," beamed Mr. Nicholson, to persuade the committeeman "that a member of the party of Lincoln should not belong to such an organization."

Of course, since Lincoln endorsed deporting blacks to Africa and actually proposed a constitutional amendment to expedite their return, he might have been quite comfortable in the CCC if it were the sort of group Mr. Nicholson has been led to believe it is. Even so, if Mr. Nicholson thinks he or his party will get very far in South Carolina by boosting Honest Abe, they probably have another think coming.

It was in South Carolina last year that the CCC helped rid the governor's mansion of the incumbent Republican governor, David Beasley. Mr. Beasley had earned the wrath of the increasingly powerful CCC by proposing, contrary to his campaign promises made some years before, to remove the Confederate Flag from the state Capitol. In the event, and thanks to the CCC, it was Mr. Beasley who was removed, not the flag.

As for purging CCC members from the GOP, the CCC's leader, Mr. Baum, has this to say: "The Wallace-Reagan Democrats are the ones who made the Republicans have enough votes to win. Without the Wallace-Reagan Democrats, the Republicans aren't going to have near the voting strength" they now have. Mr. Baum has a point, and it too needs to penetrate the Republican cranial cavity.

The CCC is mainly composed of just such "Wallace-Reagan Democrats" as Mr. Baum mentions. It is a working-class and middle class group, and without these voters, the GOP would not be in a majority in either House. Every successful Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon has understood this.

But today, the party's leaders are obsessed with attracting black and Hispanic voters, and hence they neglect, ignore, take for granted and not infrequently just plain insult what has become the backbone of the party -- namely, the Wallace-Reagan Democrats, also known as Middle Americans, who also happen to be mainly white and who regularly see themselves, their heritage and their future threatened and insulted. Mr. Beasley imagined that by taking down the Confederate Flag he would win black votes. He didn't, but he did lose the middle-class white votes that put him in office.

And as South Carolina goes, so goes the nation, if Mr. Nicholson has his way. Should the Republicans really and truly purge themselves of the CCC and the kind of voters the group represents and mobilizes, Mr. Nicholson will soon find himself a committee of one and in a political party of even fewer. But perhaps he believes all the black and Hispanic voters he's going to attract to the GOP will bail the party out and keep it in the majority? If that's what he's counting on, maybe he should ask ex-Gov. Beasley what he thinks about that strategy.