Yesterday Tablet Magazine published an interview that David Samuels did with Kevin MacDonald, a racist and anti-semitic conspiracy theorist whose writing has apparently inspires a number of modern-day anti-semitic movements, including the infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. The interview is fascinating for many reasons, one of which is how banal and poorly-thought-through MacDonald’s racial theories are.
Take this bit about MacDonald’s assertion that Jewish neoconservatives pushed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, duping Bush, Cheney and Rumsefeld into doing something they wouldn’t have wanted to do otherwise (Samuels’s comments are in bold, MacDonald’s responses not):
I’ve never met Paul Wolfowitz, so I have no idea. But I’ve interviewed Donald Rumsfeld at length. If I had to pick an outstanding personality trait of Donald Rumsfeld, from what I observed, I would say that he was one of the most supremely confident human beings I’ve ever met—
—with a very low tolerance for listening to other people’s stupidity, or listening to other people at all. He ran the Nixon White House when he was 30. Before that, he was a wrestler who flew fighter planes. Then he ran Searle, which was a huge drug company, and he became incredibly wealthy.
So the idea that Paul Wolfowitz or anybody else was telling Donald Rumsfeld what to do, and that Rumsfeld then robotically obeyed them, or was mesmerized by them, seems ridiculous.
Dick Cheney—also not a person who seems especially malleable, from what I can tell. Colin Powell—I interviewed him once. A very strong-minded guy. Those were the people who along with the president and Condoleezza Rice collectively decided to invade Iraq and impose their stupid Freedom Agenda. Not Paul Wolfowitz or Richard Perle. They were pikers.
That’s interesting. You know, I certainly didn’t take account of that, in my little section on Wolfowitz. I know he was a hero to the neocons, who was being idolized like some kind of a rockstar.
Or this, about just how powerful the Anti-Defamation League really is:
Compared to the American Association of Trial Lawyers or ATT? They don’t have much power.
Right, right. I get it. Well, two things. One is about the ADL, on things like immigration policy and refugees. I can’t think of any significant group of Jews that opposes the ADL’s position—
Stephen Miller is Jewish.
He’s a good example, yes.
The whole interview is interesting, though MacDonald’s poorly-constructed notions get increasingly boring and sophomoric the more he talks. It’s a strong counterexample of de-platforming. In this case, the more platform this guy has, the flimsier and more absurd his ideas look.