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Paul Nehlen’s Wage the Battle: A Review

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Paul Nehlen
Wage the Battle: Putting America First in the Fight to Stop Globalist Politicians and Secure the Borders
Washington, DC: WND Books, 2017

It’s amazing the changes a year makes.

Paul Nehlen’s book, Wage the Battle: Putting America First in the Fight to Stop Globalist Politicians and Secure the Borders (published in July 2017), chronicles Nehlen’s remarkable story as a Trumpian economic nationalist who unsuccessfully challenged Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for his Congressional seat in Wisconsin in 2016. In this slender volume, Nehlen leads by example and shows other politically-minded members of the Dissident Right how to run for public office, how to handle the media, how to put America first, and, most importantly, how to fight. Nehlen focuses primarily on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, protecting the border, Obamacare, and all the reasons why Paul Ryan is a traitor to America and the Right. But most strikingly (and perhaps unintentionally), Wage the Battle crystallizes Nehlen’s progress as a public figure and candidate by allowing us to compare how he was less than a year ago to what he has become today.

Like I said, the difference is amazing.

Anyone who wishes to learn why TPP would have been a disaster for the United States need look no further than Waging the Battle. Early on, Nehlen discusses how the anti-TPP pressure he applied on Paul Ryan during their 2016 race is what helped cause the United States to withdraw from the agreement. Hence, he sees his loss to Ryan as a victory, and his concession speech as a call to action. TPP, Nehlen states, “gives up U.S. sovereignty” and would force the United States to become “the United States of Asia.” After giving a basic overview, Nehlen goes over some of the more insidious aspects of the agreement, such as how the GDP and population disparities between the United States and nearly all the other signatories would lead to greater trade imbalances, greater Asian (and Muslim) immigration into the United States, greater profits for foreigners, greater American unemployment, and reduced control in the United States over its own affairs. In Nehlen’s words:

TPP would have forced local and state laws to be harmonized with the treaty. This trade deal would have brought unlimited foreign workers to replace Americans in our jobs here at home. It would have been a deal made with countries that essentially use slave labor and who do not protect their workers. It was a deal made with countries that do not have the same environmental protections or food standards that we have in America.

It was NAFTA on steroids. And Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Speaker Ryan pushed TPP because they value globalism over America.

It was Paul Ryan’s willingness to abide by this abomination that first inspired Nehlen to run against Ryan. And this decision will define him—and hopefully the future of whites in America—from now on.

One of the places Nehlen visited while campaigning against Ryan was, of course, our southern border. After connecting with the Remembrance Project (an organization which “advocates for families whose loved ones were killed by illegal aliens”), Nehlen saw for himself the state of the Mexican invasion in Laredo, Texas, and how the Obama administration was doing so very little to help overburdened border patrol agents control the problem of illegal immigration. Nehlen worked with some of these agents personally and witnessed the remains of inner tubes and other trash strewn about the American side of the border. Illegals use these inner tubes to keep from drowning while crossing the Rio Grande. While in Hudspeth County, agents showed him footage of a firefight between agents and the Mexican military. And this is in a county which receives less than $42,000 per year to keep illegals out.

Here is Nehlen describing the pure depravity of the Mexican cartels:

You can find these films yourself if you go to Breitbart.com/cartel-chronicles. Even while writing this, I just searched the site and was greeted with Mexican street amputations, shootouts with rival cartels and military, abductions, kidnappings of doctors, cops turned robbers, cops turned murderers, and so many other crimes and tragedies. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a strong stomach. You’Il see some of the most despicable acts imaginable. But it is important to see these acts and understand that they are coming to our country unless we secure our border and get control of our immigration policy. It’s another reason I’m so grateful Breitbart News is living up to the standards the late Andrew Breitbart established.

But the most vicious videos I saw in Laredo are not on Breitbart. They are too graphic. They were films of cartel members slitting the throats of victims and then finishing the decapitation with a long-handled ax. You would have thought this was an ISIS video if you didn’t see the faces of the Mexican cartel members and their victims. The murderers then put the heads of their victims in the middle of their backs for the camera to show their last expression. What a depraved soul in each of these barbarians.

This section reveals not only that Paul Nehlen has a realistic understanding of what we are up against. It also reveals his place on the roadmap of the Right two or three years ago. I wonder if Nehlen has such a high opinion of Breibart News today. And while I am grateful he refers to these cartel members as “barbarians,” I might have to quibble with him over the notion that they even have souls.

Nehlen does not often mention race in Wage the Battle, but in the chapter on Obamacare he does mention that older white people would be disproportionately hurt by these plans. But this is just the beginning. Nehlen rips into Obamacare, claiming it’s nothing more than a “giant handout to the insurance companies” which increases healthcare costs in many states across the country. Its protégé, the American Health Care Act (which Nehlen dubs “Ryancare”), is worse, he says, leaving fewer people insured than Obamacare. Not only does it phase out tax credits, it also prevents people from purchasing health insurance across state lines. What’s worse, Ryancare does not offer a provision to check an enrollee’s immigration status, which could open the door for taxpayer-subsidized healthcare for illegal immigrants. Nehlen even suspects that this Act was concocted by Ryan in part to destroy the Trump coalition.

No book by Paul Nehlen would be complete without a dissertation on economic nationalism, which he provides in Chapter Five. While he is not against trade per se, Nehlen, like Trump, is not above some protectionism when necessary. First, he offers a concise history of US tariffs, beginning with Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers. Nationalist measures such as the Tariff Act of 1789, the “American System” under Senator Henry Clay, and the Morrill Tariff of 1861 all get prominent mentions. Such measures allowed American industry to develop while preventing the United States from becoming a vassal to more powerful economies across the Atlantic. Nehlen also notes that in the late nineteenth century, once tariffs became reduced, the government made up for it with the income tax. After this, Nehlen dives into wonkish detail when recounting twentieth-century American tax history. Included are bits on RTAA, GATT, and of course, NAFTA. Congruent with the America First theme of Waging the Battle, Nehlen remarks on how NAFTA allows for an unelected Free Trade Commission plus a secretariat which could impinge upon US sovereignty.

I felt that this particular paragraph was especially nice:

America wasn’t built by free trade. It was built by the American system of developmental capitalism, which puts American workers, manufacturers, and products first. That’s the kind of tradition I want to return to. I don’t think American politicians should be forcing us in a global race to the bottom. Our workers should not have to compete with everyone in Asia in a contest of who can survive on the lowest possible salary.

So, in Wage the Battle, we have a Paul Nehlen who comes off as a staunch American patriot and nationalist. He is brutally frank, unapologetically conservative, almost vindictively Right-wing, and completely on board the Trump train. Nehlen might even be somewhat more pugnacious than the God Emperor himself. It makes sense that this book was published by WND, since the July 2017 Paul Nehlen seems perfectly in line with the viewpoints of many of the writers there. I’m sure there is very little in this book with which Ann Coulter or Kurt Schlichter could find fault. As mentioned above, he speaks highly of Breitbart News. He also has nothing but praise for Steve Bannon and Michelle Malkin. He speaks of the “Judeo-Christian West” and quotes David Horowitz approvingly. In the big scheme of things, Paul Nehlen 1.0 was most likely pressing his shoulder against the rightward edge of the Overton Window along with a lot of others who could potentially show up for an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Ah, but that was almost eight whole months ago, a veritable epoch in Nehlen-years. Basically, Nehlen today does not seem like the same guy who wrote Wage the Battle. Either he was seriously red-pilled during this interlude or had been red-pilled all along, and just did a good job of keeping it under wraps. I know this is not the intended way to read Wage the Battle, but when a work promotes vigorous change within a framework (i.e., the Trumpian populist Right), and then months later its author begins to signal that he is operating almost wholly outside that framework, people are bound to start asking why.

As with Trump, it seems that social media outlets such as Twitter and Gab have taken the filters off Nehlen, allowing him to reveal his true self to the world. And that true self is nothing less than a Dissident Right hero and paladin for the white race [2]. For example, in December 2017 Nehlen tweeted that he was reading Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique. He has gotten in a few spats with prominent Jews in which his counter-Semitism becomes quite explicit. He resorts to echo-signalling. When a Jew does something especially obnoxious – again – he’ll state, “Every. Single. Time.” He’s been interviewed by Jazzhands McFeels and Baked Alaska, two powerful counter-Semitic entities on the Internet. All of this and more has gotten him unpersoned by Steve Bannon as well as Breitbart News, despite how he sang their praises in Wage the Battle.

He’s also vicious towards the Alt Lite, for example Paul Joseph Watson and Kurth Schlichter, whom he feels are in the pay of Jews and therefore are too scared to jump the Overton Window like he did. He has also signaled support for race-realism and stated that we need white advocates like Jared Taylor. And this is all great. But let’s look at the language he uses. In a recent post on Gab, he wrote the following to Watson: “It’s cosmic justice that you are threatened, and yet, I’ll fight to the death to keep you fucking alt-lite huckster fags on your shekel platforms.”

He’s got a way with words, doesn’t he? Almost Heartistian, I would say. Yes, he drops the F-bomb. He drops the other F-bomb. He engages in all sorts of profanity, and when something sets him off, there is no end to his contempt, it seems.

Again, I don’t have a problem with this because I know Paul Nehlen is a serious Christian who is righteous for white people. As a fellow white person, I know he has my back during these troubling times, which means a lot. Further, without exception, the people he spars with on social media seem to deserve his scorn. He’s consistent that way and is guilty only of fighting as hard for white people as many LDJs (Liberal Diaspora Jews) fight against white people. Further, when a Jew bucks this trend, such as Stephen Miller, Nehlen takes it easy on him.

Basically, Paul Nehlen is like a fighter who’s getting tired of being hit in the balls. In Wage the Battle he seems confident the rules will protect him. Today, however, he seems to have discovered there are no rules, and so isn’t getting bent out of shape if some of his shots stray low as well.

And this is awesome. However, he is campaigning against Paul Ryan for his congressional seat. This is his second try, and the election takes place in August. Will the new Freewheelin’ Nehlen have a better shot at victory than the more restrained and polite man who penned Wage the Battle? Has anyone who uses the words “fucking” and “fag,” and resorts to explicit counter-Semitism in public, ever been elected to federal office? How exactly does Nehlen believe his choice of language will increase his chances for victory? Will he be the first “Alt Right Congressman [3],” like many of us hope? Or will David Cole’s dismissive prediction [4] about him come true?

I ask because I do not know.

I also do not know how many Republican or conservative public voices are actually in the Nehlen camp, or close to it, but are afraid to “come out,” so to speak. We have Representative Steve King of Iowa. We have Tom Kawczynski of Maine. Perhaps with the constant red-pilling efforts of people like these two and Nehlen, more will make their voices heard. But in the meantime, it seems that most of our leadership remains content to keep the most important things unsaid. No one can accuse Paul Nehlen of doing that.

This fascinating dichotomy is as old as the Book of Esther. Do you sell a little bit of your soul for power and work for good as best you can within a corrupt system? Or do you let it all hang out in an attempt to one day tear that system down? The former carries less risk and less reward. The latter, well, gambles pretty much everything. I really don’t know which is better for the Dissident Right and for White Nationalism in general. We need our sleeper agents, but at the same time we need our heroes. Since writing Wage the Battle, Paul Nehlen seems to have taken it upon himself to become a hero.

Whether this was the right decision, only time will tell. But we have to give Paul Nehlen credit for being all in with his decision. But what “all in” meant to him a year ago seems not to be what it means to him today. For his sake, I will end by giving him the last word. In the Epilogue to Wage the Battle, Nehlen quotes a line from the Declaration of Independence in which the Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for their fledgling nation. After this, he writes:

And with that line your birthright was cast in history. The nation hadn’t yet been won. But at that moment, the men who bravely signed the Declaration of Independence were letting the world know they were all in.

Are you all in?

Spencer J. Quinn is a frequent contributor to Counter-Currents and the author of the novel White Like You [5].