Ann Coulter has been making the rounds of conservative media over the past couple of weeks promoting her new book, “Adios America! The Left’s Plan To Turn Our Country Into A Third World Hellhole,” which is about as subtle an anti-immigrant polemic as it sounds.
As the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out when Coulter’s book came out, Coulter remains a reliable presence in right-wing media and politics, despite the fact that her comments on race in America are pretty much indistinguishable from those of the white nationalist leaders who have largely been ostracized from the conservative mainstream.
This is not just a coincidence. In fact, Coulter revealed this weekend in an interview with Chronicles, a magazine published by the conservative Rockford Institute, that she was inspired to become involved in the anti-immigrant movement after reading a 1992 National Review article by Peter Brimelow, who is now the editor of the white nationalist website VDARE.
Although Brimelow’s ideas continue to fuel anti-immigrant politics, his explicit promotion of white nationalist concepts has put him in an uneasy place in the conservative movement. In 2012, he was given a slot on a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) panel on “the failure of multiculturalism” alongside Rep. Steve King. But the next year, he reported that the conservative conspiracy theory clearinghouse WorldNetDaily had rejected one of his columns as “too extreme.” Earlier this year, Brimelow spoke at the white nationalist American Renaissance conference, where he recommended the new slogan “whites have rights.”
In the article that inspired Coulter, Brimelow (himself an immigrant from England) lamented high levels of non-white immigration, writing, “Just as when you leave Park Avenue and descend into the subway, on entering the INS waiting rooms you find yourself in an underworld that is almost entirely colored.” He went on to warn National Review readers of the impending non-white majority in the United States:
Above all, the American ethnic mix has been upset. In 1960, the U.S. population was 88.6 per cent white; in 1990, it was only 75.6 per cent white—a drop of 13 percentage points in thirty years. (Indeed, the proportion of “European-Americans” is probably a couple of percentage points lower than that, because the Census Bureau counts all Middle Easterners as “white.”) The demographer Leon Bouvier has projected that by 2020—that is, easily within the lifetimes of many NATIONAL REVIEW readers—the proportion of whites could fall as low as 61 per cent. Among children under 15, minorities could be approaching the point of becoming the majority.
Coulter told Chronicles’ Tom Patiak that she has continued to discuss her work on immigration with Brimelow, who followed his National Review article with the bestselling anti-immigrant book “Alien Nation”:
TP: How did you first become interested in immigration?
A: Peter Brimelow’s front page article in National Review. [But] then I never wrote about it. I was practicing law then, and you know you live in a bubble in college and law school. I suppose I believed all the Jack Kemp nonsense. I read that cover story in National Review and realized I’d been had. I’ve been lied to. Oh my gosh! It was the only time I remember completely changing my mind about something. Of course there wasn’t that much to change because immigration wasn’t something I had ever thought about. I was like a lot of Americans to this day, you just go along: We’re a nation of immigrants, immigration is a wonderful thing, aren’t they hard workers, blah, blah, blah. And since I became a writer, Peter has been haranguing me, demanding to know why I haven’t written about immigration. I kept telling him, because you said it all. I’ve nothing new to say. So I am pleased that with this book—you have to get to chapter 7 and you start hitting things that, I think, surprised even Peter. He wanted me to start the book at chapter 7: Just skip everything before, everybody knows that first stuff, Ann. But I had to stay: If only everybody did know that stuff.
Earlier in the interview, when Patiak asked her to list her “intellectual influences” on immigration, she responded, “Well, obviously Peter Brimelow, who is the one who started it all, God bless him.”
Brimelow’s VDARE has excitedly promoted Coulter’s Chronicles interview, perhaps because its writers don’t always get credit when their ideas get absorbed into the conservative mainstream. For instance, VDARE has been seeking credit from the GOP for the increasing popularity of an idea put forward by its contributor Steve Sailer, who was the first to outline in detail a supposed path to victory for Republicans that relies solely on white voters. Ann Coulter, incidentally, has credited Sailer for the “Sailer strategy” and continues to heartily endorse it. Last year, Coulter cited Sailer's work in a speech from the mainstage at CPAC.