William H. Regnery II, 80, dies; Financing the rise of the Alt-Droite

Mr. Regnery attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied political science and joined the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a conservative student organization co-founded by Mr. Buckley. He left before graduating to work on Senator Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign.

In the 2017 interview with Buzzfeed, one of the few times he spoke to the media, he claimed that his efforts on behalf of Mr Goldwater included what he called ‘Operation Dewdrop’, in which he tried to dissuade Philadelphia Democratic voters from hiring a plane to seed the sky with dry ice, in the hope of making it rain. He failed – however, he recalls, he burned his fingers on the ultra-cold dry ice containers.

Mr. Regnery then returned to Chicago, where he worked for Joanna-Western Mills. He became president of the company in 1980, but was ousted a year later after several quarters of poor financial results. According to his own account, he spent the rest of his career in various companies, while engaging in Illinois politics.

In his memoir, he recounted how he began to turn against the Republican Party after listening to a speech in 1993 in which economist Milton Friedman said that the end of the Cold War meant that free market economic doctrines of the Reagan era had won. In an early sign of this rupture, according to a 2017 profile in Mother Jones, Mr. Regnery ran unsuccessfully for Illinois Secretary of State in 1994 on the Party’s ticket Term Limits and Tax Limits

Five years later, he summoned a Who’s Who of white supremacists for a conference in Florida, where he gave a speech, “For the Children of Our Children,” in which he said the only way to save identity America’s white was to break it up into several small countries, one each for the country’s various ethnic groups.

His racism has become more explicit. He announced his intention in 2004 to launch a white dating site. This never happened, but he continued to fear that whites were in danger of extinction: in 2006, he gave a speech in Chicago in which he said: “The white race can go from master to l universe to an anthropological curiosity.

By then, he had severed most of his ties with mainstream Republicans, and them with him. That same year, the management of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which he had joined at the university, withdrew him from its board.


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