When I started blogging six years or so ago, I wrote a lot about the new right wing, trying to describe what I was seeing and hoping to understand what had happened to the mainstream conservatism I had grown up with and thought I knew. Until I came across Dave Neiwert’s blog Orcinus, I didn’t even know there was a word for it. Once I read his long posts called “Rush, Newspeak and Fascism,” I did. It’s called “eliminationism,” which Neiwert defines as “a politics and a culture that shuns dialogue and the democratic exchange of ideas in favor of the pursuit of outright elimination of the opposing side, either through suppression, exile, and ejection, or extermination.”
This new strain of conservatism, then, wasn’t actually conservatism at all, but a hearkening back to old radical strains of American tribalism and some very unpleasant 20th century European political movements —which all focused on completely annihilating perceived internal enemies. One would have thought that notions of expelling racial groups or committing genocide had been purged from the American body politic sometime around the turn of the last century. But here it was again, all mixed in with white supremacy, fundamantalist religion, nationalism, chauvanism and paranoia — and it was being absorbed into the mainstream of one of the two American political parties.