According to Peter Brimelow, the most important issues in the presidential election were not the war in Iraq and the economic crisis, but immigration and race. Those issues are why John McCain lost, he said in a keynote address at the first meeting of the H.L. Mencken Club in Baltimore. "The way to win is to get white votes," said Brimelow, an English immigrant, former senior editor at Forbes magazine, author, and founder of the white nationalist hate website VDARE.com. "If [Republicans] did that, even without actually cutting off immigration, they could continue to win national elections for quite a long time."
Many Republican strategists said after the election that the results showed that the party needs to court Latino and other minority voters. Not Brimelow. McCain should have portrayed Obama as the affirmative-action candidate, he said. "It would have been so easy. All he had to do is get up and say it."
Brimelow had a receptive audience for his message. About 60 mostly male, entirely white people attended the inaugural weekend gathering of the Mencken club at a Baltimore hotel in November. The club's leaders and some of those attending are among the luminaries in the academic racist movement. Jared Taylor, editor of the white nationalist magazine American Renaissance was among those who showed up to hear talks on topics that included "Equality: The Elusive Ideal" and "Descent of Liberalism into Madness."
Mencken club president Paul Gottfried, a speaker at past American Renaissance conferences, said the new organization would provide a forum for the "intellectual right." His vice president, E. Christian Kopff, has written for The Occidental Quarterly, a far-right race journal, and Social Contract, an anti-immigrant hate publication. Club treasurer William Regnery, a member of the famous publishing family, is the founder of two white nationalist hate groups, the National Policy Institute and the Charles Martel Society. The latter publishes The Occidental Quarterly.
In the aftermath of the election, many of the Mencken club members were morose about the future. Brimelow advised them to keep the faith, predicting that Obama will do something "that will start to shock people right away. I think that whites - that is to say, Americans - will organize. ... I think immigration will become an issue and it will become an important part of that organization process."