The news comes this morning that Congressman Walter Jones, Jr. has died [on Sunday, February 10]. He had suffered for some time from a very serious neurological condition, and had been placed in Hospice about a week ago in Greenville, North Carolina.
Representative Jones was one of--if not the--last of the old former Southern Democrat ("Jessecrat") traditionalist conservatives who left the corrupted Party of Jefferson after the Reagan-Bush years, but never was a good fit in the Neocon-directed Party of Lincoln. When his father Walter Sr, (the real last of the old Southern Democrats) passed away, Walter Jr. succeeded him in his congressional seat, and served for years as a stalwart naysayer to almost every form of American "exceptionalism" and foreign entanglement--from Iraq (he had originally supported American involvement, but then became a staunch opponent), to Afghanistan, to Syria, and opposed every every expansion of big government and affirmative action and "civil rights." He even found the "Freedom Caucus" in Congress a bit too liberal for his beliefs.
Like the late Senator Jesse Helms, whom he greatly admired, he was known as "Congressman No" to his colleagues; but his "no" votes were always predicated on firm and abiding principles of statecraft, grounded in the original Constitution and his traditionalist eastern North Carolina upbringing. And he was viewed by members of both parties as the finest and most gracious gentleman in Congress.
At every election the Establishment Republicans would run someone against Walter in the GOP primaries. For his stand against giving a blank check to Israel, Bill Kristol and AIPAC funded "conservative" candidates on various occasions and spent millions of dollars to defeat him. But each time Walter turned them back, and usually with massive support in his district.
As a young man Walter became a convert to the Catholic Church. Years ago when I encountered him in an elevator (he was then a state senator in the North Carolina General Assembly, representing Pitt County, and I dealt with members at that time), I mentioned my own Catholic faith. I recall clearly that he responded: "I became a Catholic because I believe it to be true; but I did not become one to see it destroyed by liberalism."
Walter Jones will be missed deeply by patriotic Americans and North Carolinians, and those who understand what this nation was intended to be. Of his like there are few left...and we are perishing because of that.
Watching NBC’s TODAY program on Tuesday, January 23, 2019, there was anchor Savannah Guthrie demanding to know if Covington, Kentucky, Catholic High School student, Nick Sandmann, wished to “apologize” for his “actions” in front of the Lincoln Memorial when confronted by Indian activist, Nathan Phillips, on January 19. The scarcely-concealed bias that characterized Guthrie’s question and the continuing media narrative—proven to be built on a lie but still perpetrated by the Progressivist Left, was compounded by her next question: was Sandman’s now famous smile in reality a disrespectful “smirk,” a kind of “racist dog-whistle,” a symbol of “white privilege”?
Something had snapped: this small, what probably should have been insignificant event, brought everything, all that is occurring in our sick society, into stark perspective as little else had.
Is America finished? Is the fragile “experiment in republicanism” begun in Philadelphia in 1787 finally over, or at the very least experiencing its noisy death throes?
Certainly, since the defeat of the American constitutional system in 1865 there has been a pernicious and seriously destructive trajectory in our history which, now reaching unimagined and unparalleled frenzy, seems to indicate so.
Are we not living in a geographical entity officially called the United States of America where verifiably there are TWO Americas, TWO conceptions of what is real and what is not real, TWO ideas of what is moral and what is not, TWO views about Truth and Error, TWO visions about using whatever means is available to reach a desired and posited end (which for one of these groups is the creation of a brutal, vicious and soulless “utopia” that would make Joe Stalin’s Communism seem like Disneyland in comparison)?
Words—“devil terms”—now pop up with amazing regularity and frequency: “racism,” “white privilege,” “sexism,” “toxic masculinity,” “equality,” “democracy,” and so on. And these terms have been weaponized and are now employed by those on the Left—but also by many elitist movement conservatives (“conservatism inc.”)—to disauthorize, condemn, and damn anyone who would actually oppose the rapid Leftward spiral of what remains of this nation.
Not just the wide-eyed unhinged talking heads on CNN and MSNBC and on Twitter, but such “respectable” conservative voices as Bill Kristol, Hew Hewitt, and National Review and various Republican types, have joined in with the baying mob. Their hardly-concealed hatred for “middle America,” for that lumpenproletariat of hard-working, gun-owning, church-going, underpaid folks who still try to raise a family morally on a shrinking salary, knows no bounds.
Perhaps as many as one half of our citizens, those who over the decades have become the identifiable elites and financial, political and cultural “upper crust,” look upon the rest of us as mere rubes, a servile class who are not supposed to have a voice—this, you see, is now “American democracy.”
Those folks—our folks—were not supposed to get restive, not supposed to get off the “reservation” assigned to us. But in 2016 we did, we did because instinctively we knew that the old promises of this nation had fallen by the wayside, that an unelected managerial class—an elite more connected globally and more loyal to its own class and more concerned about conserving its power and authority—guided our destiny and did not give a damn about us, despite the constant stream of vomited campaign promises and solemn avowals we hear every election season.
Many of us were stunned at the unleashed and vile hatred directed at us. All we had done was ask—in the normal way at the voting booth—that the long-forgotten promises of the Framers be fulfilled. All we had done was ask that our elected leaders in Congress and in government (and those elites) finally acknowledge our just requests.
But those elites—the media, the entertainment industry, almost the entirety of academia, and not just the Progressivist Democrat Left, but also those supposed defenders of our interests, “conservatism inc.”—responded not only with undisguised and unrestrained anger, but with disdain, contempt and condescension…and with a steady diet of what, charitably, can only be described as lies, fabrications, assaults on our character, attempts to suppress our guaranteed rights to speech and expression, shaming us, and efforts (many successful) to destroy our livelihoods or get us fired from our jobs or dismissed from our schools.
What happened to those Catholic high school students from Kentucky who had been to the March for Life, who wore those MAGA hats, is only the latest—and perhaps the most scandalous and searing—example of this climate of venom and unconcealed hatred. And it is not a hatred that emits from our folks, not from the “deplorables,” but from that “other America” that feels threatened by the “natives”—threatened by those of us on the giant fly-over plantation between the million dollar mansions surrounded by walls in Silicon Valley and the paneled million dollar board rooms on Wall Street where the international globalists gather to plot the future of the world: a world enmeshed in slogans about “the fruits of democracy” and “equal rights,” where “racism” and “sexism” will finally be banished….but where, in fact, the very contrary will exist, where democracy will have become a totalitarian dystopia a thousand times worse than what George Orwell envisioned in his phantasmagoric novel Nineteen Eighty Four.
Even if these two Americas still use the same language they are increasingly incapable of communicating with each other, as almost weekly words and terms are redefined beyond comprehension. The new “devil terms” are fierce and nearly unstoppable weapons used to destroy and humiliate; they are the modern version of hydrogen bombs deployed by the Progressivists. They illustrate what political theorist Paul Gottfried calls a “post-Marxist” praxis that has actually moved beyond the assaults of cultural Marxism towards a new imposed narrative and what German philosophers might call a “gestalt.”
You cannot dissent from it, you cannot deny it. If it demands you call black, white; then you must comply, or suffer the consequences. If your eyes tell you one thing, but the collective media and elites tells you something else, “who you gonna believe, them or your lying eyes”?
Thus, the egregiously false and unspeakably evil reportage concerning those Catholic students in Washington this past weekend, the foul, even satanic attacks upon them…and upon that “smirk” that so provoked Susannah Guthrie. It was just a relatively small incident in the overall scheme of things, yet it became on nearly every news channel, on Twitter, on Facebook, everywhere, an archetypal case of “racism,” “sexism,” “white privilege,” “toxic masculinity.” Those boys were white, Christian, wearing those MAGA hats, and from a Southern state—obviously, they were guilty, no need to examine the facts.
The incident rapidly became a major cudgel not just for the Progressivists but also for the mainline conservative movement types, who are little more than eager foot soldiers doing the bidding of their bedfellows on the farther Left, and who see such opportunities as a chance to eagerly “virtue-signal” to their Progressivist buddies that, “hey, look, we aren’t like those bad uncouth right wing racists—we actually share your essential premises about America!” Hello Ben Shapiro, Jonah Goldberg, National Review, Bill Kristol, and company.
The immediate condemnations of those students came quickly and in the thousands via social media—death threats, demands to publish names and addresses, appeals to have them expelled from their school, encouragement to kill them, and worse…And all based on a totally and blatantly fake narrative, and the openly false statement of a Native American activist and revolutionary. No matter—it served the template, it served the created “gestalt,” it projected the vision and the thinking of that one half of America that is living in a counter-reality, lunatics who have turned much of this country into their own private asylum. But where the rest of us are now seen as the crazies. Is this not G. K. Chesterton’s definition of lunacy in all its aching misery, of being truly outside the realm of reality itself?
Back in 2015 ago I published an essay at Communities Digital News [“Pat Buchanan and the End of America,” in which I suggested, echoing on from writer Patrick Buchanan’s warning from the 1990s, that America—the American nation—was on the brink of fracturing irredeemably, broken apart on the then-still-not-clearly-seen rocks of political correctness, extreme multiculturalism, and the Hydra-headed monsters from Hell, accusations of racism (AKA, “white supremacy”) and sexism (AKA, “toxic masculinity”).
At the time I had a couple of friends whom I would call “regular” or establishment conservatives who approached me and informed me that I was simply exaggerating, that Buchanan was the extremist and fear monger. Later, when I began to write favorably of Donald Trump’s presidential run, and its potentially profound meaning for American (and international) politics and culture, some of these same friends again just shook their collective heads and, with deep concern, wondered how I could “deviate” from what they termed “conservative orthodoxy.”
I was not exaggerating; indeed, what I wrote back then was far too timid, far too mild.
In fact, I have come to the conclusion, fitfully and uncomfortably, and after witnessing the far, far greater meaning revealed by what occurred with those Kentucky pro-life students, that America in 2019 faces three choices for its future:
(1) Either there must be some large mass conversion of one side or the other (a “Road to Damascus” conversion?), probably occasioned by some immense and earth-shaking event, war, depression, disaster; (2) the secession of large portions of what is presently geographically the United States, including possibly enclaves within some states that would basically exit those jurisdictions—this secession could be peaceable, although increasingly I think it would not be; or lastly, and worst, (3) the devolution of this country into open and vicious civil and guerrilla war.
I am not at all comforted by this vision, but, frankly, given the present state of this nation, is there any other possibility? After all, despite the pious pinning of the Neoconservative publicists that America is the world’s “exceptional” nation, the new Utopia, God did not grant us national eternity, did not guarantee our future. And our leaders and many of our citizens have done their damnedest to undo and undermine all those original hopes and promises.
At present the last scenario looks like the one that is coming, and it will not most likely be what any of us expect. Our enemies, the Progressivists and their allies it is true, are growing in number and have demographics on their side. But we do have one advantage: they believe in gun control. We don’t.
This piece was originally published on My Corner on January 22, 2019.
The news came Thursday, November 15, that country music legend Roy Clark had passed away at age 85. For those either too young to know who Clark was, or who perhaps never cottoned to “country” music, for a whole generation, for twenty-four years, he was in many ways the heart and soul of the popular country music variety television program “Hee Haw.” Beginning in 1969, along with co-host Buck Owens, he emceed and performed regularly on that popular extravaganza, and also demonstrated a finely-honed sense of superbly shaped humor.
For its first season, 1969-1970, “Hee Haw” was a staple of CBS’s Sunday night line-up. But CBS had begun to kill off its “rural” programming, including such popular offerings as “Petticoat Junction” (with the inimitable Edgar Buchanan and former Gene Autry side-kick “Smiley” Burnette) in 1970, and most notably later on the long-running “Gunsmoke” series in 1975 (despite consistently high ratings). Corporate bosses decided they would shift their focus to more urban, “socially-conscious” and more contemporary themes, as exemplified in the sit-com “Maude” (one is tempted to see the roots of our present cultural putrefaction in those decisions, just as the killing off of “higher brow” programs dedicated to classical music and art forms, “The Voice of Firestone” and “The Bell Telephone Hour,” had a similarly deleterious effect at the other of the viewing spectrum).
By 1971 “Hee Haw” went into syndication where it remained popular until its demise in 1993.
As anyone who has read installments of MY CORNER knows, I was trained in classical music, grew up with it, and I’ve written about it admiringly—and lovingly—on various occasions. But I also grew up with an appreciation of my traditions in rural North Carolina and the South and its historic musical inheritance, incorporating superb ballads and songs, many of which derive from ancient Scots-Irish or English sources, and many of which found a New World home in Appalachia and in Tennessee and the Carolinas, and eventually in other Southern states, and, finally, on the advancing American frontier in the mid to late 19th century.
I never believed there was anything strange about that. After all, historically, classical music, certainly in Europe was in many cases deeply influenced by the music of the “folk,” by the traditional songs, chorales of the local peoples, as well as by the music of the Church, which itself oftentimes incorporated popular melodies and song into worship. The music of the country folk fed the classical masterworks of Bach and so many other composers.
Anyone who has ever heard Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “Christmas Eve Mass,” with its popular French peasant tunes will know what I’m talking about.
And in the United States, perhaps the most “popular” classical orchestral piece, Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” (1944), uses as its base the old Shaker tune “ ‘Tis the Gift to be Simple.” Carlisle Floyd’s noted “American” opera, “Susannah” (1955) uses folk melodies. And not to forget George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” with themes based in jazz and American Negro musical traditions.
A major success of what I would call revolutionary cultural modernism in our time has been to sever, in large part, the essential connection between what we call popular music and historical European-inherited classical culture. The creation of and inspiration for “classical” music appears increasingly limited to a small group of incestuous intellectuals and academics who essentially write for each other and for a self-consciously limited audience, and, despite the efforts of classical music groups to effect “cross overs,” with classical and rock musicians and artists appearing jointly, the general audience for classical has decreased considerably since the 1960s.
By the late 1960s, in place of coloratura soprano Joan Sutherland on the Sunday night “Ed Sullivan Show,” we had “The Beatles.” Indeed, while my mother and grandmother could tune in on Monday nights on radio in the 1950s and hear the New York Philharmonic, or on Saturday, and hear the Metropolitan Opera—and on the major network stations—now such performances are restricted to PBS and have become rarer by the year.
This same bifurcation has occurred, if not as marked, with country and blue grass music. Indeed, country music has managed to survive and, in fact, prosper, despite the lack of the kind of major television programming that existed a half century ago. I can still recall when Johnny Cash had a prime-time television program. Today we have "niche" programming. There are televised “specials” from Nashville, and major country artists are covered regularly by the major media. And, what’s more, country artists sell and have a steady audience for their work.
Yet, I think it can also be argued that, just as in classical music but more successfully, there has been some homogenization and over-the-top commercialization in country music that has enabled this to happen. Many country artists and performers, and their songs, sound far more “rock” than they once would have. “Cross over” is the apparent key in attracting listeners and to eventual success, including monetary success.
I remember four or five decades ago sitting down with my father on Saturday night to watch “Gunsmoke” and then on Sunday, “Hee Haw.” There was the inimitable “Grandpa” Jones on banjo with some of the best Kentucky “blue grass,” and, of course, Roy Clark with his mellifluous voice, and, our favorite, “The Barbershop,” usually with Clark playing off as a foil to Archie Campbell’s hilarious word-twisting comedic skill! Was anything ever more humorous than “Cinderfella and her three suggly blisters”? Or, Junior Sample’s profound philosophical comment: “I don’t know much, but I suspect lots of things?”
My classically-oriented mother, however, also had her way, and when the long-running “Friends of the College” classical concert series functioned at North Carolina State University, she and I always went (when I was not away at university); and on such occasions I was privileged to see and hear Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, Birgit Nilsson, Richard Tucker, as well as Karl Bohm and Vienna Philharmonic, and Yevgeny Mravinsky and the Leningrad Symphony, among others. And when the Royal Marines Tattoo came, with their massed Scottish pipes and British bands, my father eagerly accompanied us.
Nixon was president, Vietnam was still going on, and the old America I had grown up in was still visible, still palpable, although we did not perhaps realize at the time that in a few short decades those of us who cherished that old America and its traditions would find ourselves excoriated as “deplorables” and “irremediables,” looked down on with scorn and disdain by the media, by Hollywood, and by academia as boobs and rednecks, who probably kept our racist KKK sheets secreted away in a closet for use on Saturday night.
Roy Clark was an indelible symbol of a cultural legacy; he made people smile using the best elements of traditional country artistry and entertained millions of viewers for nearly a quarter century. Today we live in—we swim in—a deeply divided and feculent society, an America where cultural anarchy and decay reign. In such times, I look back to Roy Clark, to Archie Campbell, to Grandpa Jones—as well as to the familiar voice of Milton Cross announcing over national radio as he had done since 1931 (until his death in 1975) the Metropolitan Opera, proudly broadcast by the major station then in Raleigh, NC, WPTF, every Saturday. Thank goodness Cross did not have to witness what we are surrounded with and call “kulchur” in 2018.
Today, as Roy use to say, “I’m-a-picking, and I’m-a-grinning,” as I remember him and those days, those good days, but also those days when too many fateful and terrifying choices were made (or left unmade), intellectually, academically, and culturally. We did not then recognize or see what that would mean. And now America is dying, in part, for the lack of a Roy Clark and a Milton Cross.
This piece was previously published on My Corner on November 16, 2018.
I did not spend that much time watching the Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It seemed to me, barring some late night bombshell or revelation, that the judge would be confirmed, with all Republicans and perhaps a handful of Democrats voting in favor, while the mass of Democrats would be violently opposed.
Like, I suppose, most of you, I did catch the programmed outbursts of dozens of planned (the night before) protests by Senate Democrats, and then, the staged “I am Spartacus” moment acted out by New Jersey Senator Corey Booker (D), who is desperately seeking publicity to fuel his probable 2020 presidential campaign. His complaint about non-released emails and his solemn announcement that he was—drum roll please—momentously breaking storied Senate rules, fell on deaf ears when it was discovered that the night before his outburst it had been decided to go ahead and release the emails in question.
Ah, but then, why spoil a publicity stunt by an aspiring munchkin, after all he must prove himself to those raging lunatics in his increasingly Left-leaning political party. The fact that his staged stunt fell flat will be ignored by the cultural Marxist social justice warriors, who, despite its theater of the absurd nature, will nevertheless “eat it up” and see it as an example of courageous opposition not so much to the Kavanaugh or the Senate rules, as to the hated and despised President Trump. After all, they say, “Kavanaugh is his man,” and therefore, he cannot be good.
But the Kavanaugh hearing was just one story dominating headlines this past week. The other major story concerned a “senior member” of the Trump administration authoring and publishing, anonymously in the far Left New York Times, an attack on the president personally and boasting that he—and a “few mainline and reasonable Republicans within the administration,” that is, what I call “semi-Never Trumpers”—had managed to deflect and, in a sense, undermine portions of the president’s Make American Great Again agenda.
The author takes pride that he and a few others have been able to worm their way into the administration, pledging their loyalty to the president and his program, while at the very same time doing their damnedest to derail his policies, or, as they call it, “to protect the country against this man who would upset everything.” Trump for them, you see, is irrational, a bull-in-a-china shop who is overturning the tried and tested ways of doing things in Washington and, who, they say, “acts on his instincts and on impulse.” And for them the not so hidden message is that they are “saving the country from him.”
Of course, this is exactly what the sixty-one million plus voters who opted for Donald Trump wanted when they cast their ballots for him in November 2016: they—we—wanted a bull-in-a-china shop who would radically shake up things and overturn the status quo, most especially within the ossified and whorish Republican Party. For it is a party that acts too often like a “kept woman” always pining away and waiting for her latest assignment from her “john,” those leading personages, political and cultural, on the Farther Left who are always moving as the Italians say, “a la siniestra,” to the left, and who control the dialogue and discussion, and decide what can and what cannot be said.
And like those “women of the night” establishment conservatives in the GOP—“conservatism inc.”—when summoned to jump and embrace the latest leftist nonsense, they respond only, even if times a bit begrudgingly, “how high”?
Back in late 2016/early 2017 there were those of us who raised the alarm about those suddenly-converted Never Trumpers, those Neoconservatives, who had all of a sudden “found religion” and who came hat-in-hand to visit with the new president in Trump Tower, offering to “love, honor and obey ‘til death do us part.” There was the former Waffle House waitress Nikki Haley, who had cursed Donald Trump to high heaven a year earlier, all kissy-kissy—Lindsey Graham’s peace offering to the President Trump and Graham’s eyes-and-ears spy within the administration. Haley got named to the UN ambassadorship where ever since she has beat the war drums at every possible opportunity—against Russia, against Syria, against whomever her bloodthirsty Neocon handlers direct (she is, let us suggest, incapable of actually formulating her own developed ideas, but does the job of the “war hawks” on the outside of the administration).
Almost singularly the stalwart Elliott Abrams, another Never Trump firebrand, actually got shot down by the president as Rex Tillerson’s candidate for Deputy Secretary of State, but only through strenuous activity on the part of certain friends I know and those who fully comprehended the danger to the Trump agenda with Abrams within the administration.
And we all might remember that the president interviewed perennial nemesis Mitt Romney as a possible choice for…his Secretary of State! Of course, that fell through, thank the gods on Mount Olympus for small favors.
But those early signs indicated several situations that would, unless understood, continue to bedevil the Trump administration:
First, Donald Trump was a self-made businessman whose word was his bond: what you see is what you get. If a man, even someone who had been in opposition previously, now pledges loyalty and fealty, “the Donald” is apt to take him at his word.
Second, as a long-time businessman not that involved with or aware of the Lady Macbeth-style, stiletto-wielding, backstabbing environment known as our nation’s capital, Donald Trump did not fathom the political and factional intricacies and intrigues that dominate the cesspool along the Potomac. “Neocon vs. Old Right,” “Interventionist vs. Non-Interventionist.” Center for the National Interest vs. American Enterprise Institute. What was all that to him…as long as the candidate for a position (1) pledged loyalty and (2) appeared experienced and capable of doing the job?
Third, many in the Never Trump opposition after Trump’s nomination and unexpected election success had one of those “come to Jesus” moments: they could remain outside the administration, continuing as its bitter critics and foreswearing cooperation—and some have done that: Bill Kristol, Max Boot, George Will, and others, even to the point of suggesting that they will vote Democratic in the future, anything to rid them of the hated Donald.
Or, they could take their own “Road to Canossa”—in the style of 11th century Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV’s pilgrimage to Pope Gregory VII, after battling him, to make their amends and recognize his authority. The only problem is that many of those newly-minted Trumpistas have continued to profess, at least in their heart of hearts, their previous views and their determination to, as it were, bring the policies of the Trump administration “into line” with those views. And like the anonymous op-ed writer in the Times, they see it as their “moral” duty to correct the “errors” (according to them) that the president might make.
Already these Neoconservative munchkins within the White House plot another incursion into Syria, supposedly at the behest of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Idlib province in the northeastern region of that country. It is the last area of the country controlled by ISIS and allied Islamic terrorist groups, and its pacification is the goal of President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies. Yet, despite the presence of an estimated 10,000 ISIS types, we beheld this week Neocon satrap Nikki Haley at the UN, almost foaming at the mouth, threatening the Syrian government and Russia with “dire consequences” if they proceed to reduce and defeat the Islamist rebels!
This was not the foreign policy that candidate Donald Trump advocated, yet it is what his appointed minions—those cooing and double-faced prior Trump-haters now in his administration--are pushing: a possibly major enlargement of the war in Syria, a war that the Syrian government has all but won, but which blood-thirsty Russophobes like Lindsey Graham hunger for, like rats after fetid cheese.
There is, of course, an even larger semi-Never Trump contingent outside the administration. There are such personalities as “little Ben” Shapiro and Jonah Goldberg, those much vaunted commentators on Fox who see it as their solemn duty to continually attack anyone to the right of them, in order to please the dominant opinion deciders on the Farther Left.
I’ve written about Shapiro, in particular, in the past: he’s the youngish semi-Never Trumper who appears most eager to climb the greasy pole of success, whatever it takes. And his praxis has been to vigorously attack anyone more traditional than he as a way to demonstrate his “anti-racist and anti-bigoted” credentials to his Farther Left friends and just how good a bloke he really is.
A superb example of this comes in recent attacks on Corey Stewart as the Republican candidate for US Senate in Virginia. You see Stewart accepted support from those who support Confederate statues and monuments—a definite no-no in Shapiro’s politically-correct book and an assured sign of “racism.” Shapiro is a “conservative” that Leftists truly like. Indeed, leftie Seth Stevenson in Slate magazine (January 24, 2018, “The Many Faces of Ben Shapiro,” literally loves the guy, loves his discordance with President Trump, his pro-same sex stand on gay marriage and his amenable positions on other social issues:
“…Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Shapiro is among a dwindling cadre of Trump-averse conservatives at a time when the mainstream GOP and its media apparatus are following (and sometimes leading) our cretinous president straight into the muck. Shapiro is ascendant, with a growing media empire and a large audience who adores him. Should there arise a constitutional crisis in which this president attempts to roll his tanks (metaphorical or otherwise) over the ramparts of American democracy, I will be relying on influential right-wing figures like Ben Shapiro to help America hold the line. The question I keep asking myself is: Will he?”
And then there is National Review Senior Editor Kevin Williamson attacking Southerners (and others) who in any way stand up for their heritage. Many of us, alas, can remember many years ago when NR defended with intelligence and verve the South and when its writers wrote articles that identified with American traditions and the inherited legacy of Western Christendom, writers who demonstrated a willingness to defend those traditions.
But here is Williamson writing recently in the National Review:
“I am never quite sure whether I am really a Southerner. Texas was in the Confederacy, but West Texas is a lot more Albuquerque than it is like Birmingham. I have never felt any sympathy for the Lost Cause. If I were building monuments to figures from that era, I’d choose Frederick Douglass, Thaddeus Stevens, or, if I’m in a mood, John Brown.
I wanted to quote Williamson at length because I think his admission and declaration is a clear indication not just of his mindset about monuments honoring Confederate veterans, nor even of his brand of “conservatism,” but more, one of the deeper ideological characteristics of Neoconservatives—and, yes, many of whom have now declared like the Protestant King Henry of Navarra, that “Paris is worth a mass,” and conveniently and deceptively, have changed their spots from diehard Never Trumpers to gushing and oily “supporters” of the president…and, as inveterate globalists, are quite willing to get this nation into a shooting war in Syria, if possible, and to overturn or derail the president’s campaign promises, on which he was elected, if they can do so.
And they have their agents—agents of the Deep State—within his administration. It has been the biggest disappointment for those of us who were his stalwart supporters from the beginning. But we did understand that a larger-than-life figure like Trump, unblemished largely by the putrid muck of DC, also would be largely bereft of those sensitized political antennae that one really needs to have when going against the elites. We would have to depend on his instincts overcoming those cloying sycophants who had gotten to him and promised eternal fealty (with their fingers crossed behind their backs).
Now, as always, that has been our hope—that Donald Trump’s sound instincts, his intuitions as he expressed them on the campaign trail, would somehow triumph over the advisors that he, himself, brought in…yes, brought in honestly as he believed their professions of faith and their resumes.
And that is where I—and probably you —remain, and hope. For it may be the only current political hope we really have.
This piece was originally published on My Corner on September 8, 2018.
Yesterday while riding in the car to meet some former co-workers for lunch, I happened to catch a bit of the Glenn Beck radio program.
That, probably, was my first mistake, but I made myself listen nevertheless. Beck, of course, was a virulent Never Trumper who seldom missed an opportunity to malign and attack candidate Trump during the 2016 election season. Of course, like many—but certainly not all—Never Trumpers he has slightly modified his take since November 2016, going so far as to state that he has been “favorably surprised, even shocked” by the “conservative things” President Trump has accomplished in two short years.
Yet, recently, while absent from the microphone he invited that motor-mouthed windbag Ben Shapiro—a “big boy” wannabe, greasy pole climber in the “conservative movement”—to substitute host for him. “Little Ben” is another reformed Never Trumper who, despite his similar “surprise” and satisfaction with some of the president’s first two years, managed to find plenty of negatives things to say about Donald Trump.
And as I reflected and recalled what both Shapiro and Beck had uttered, about their criticisms, which centered on Trump’s style, his demeanor, his refusal to go along with the conservative “establishment,” and his opposition to the infectious globalism that has ruled the Western world since the end of World War II, incarnated in such creaky worn-out frameworks as NATO and, more ominously, in the EU, or in such trade deals as NAFTA—as I vividly remembered all that, my thoughts turned again to the Kavanaugh nomination and the increasingly apparent reality that those frenzied and unhinged voices opposing him—the “#MeToo movement, the Democrats, academia and Hollywood, and the media—know exactly what they are doing. They have a carefully thought-out and choreographed strategy, and a fanatical no-holds-barred, no tactic excluded determination to pursue it, even if it should completely destroy whatever is left of the constitutional rights once guaranteed to us and inflict untold damage and hurt on innocent lives in the process.
No matter…just collateral damage.
But there was Glenn Beck, wringing his hands and wailing in “alta voz” that he supported the #MeToo movement and feminism, but, “it has now gone too far.” And in that he vividly symbolized the decadent and corrupt state of what passes for contemporary conservatism today, that is, establishment conservatism.
Ever notice on Fox News during the past few weeks that, save for Tucker Carlson on a few occasions, each time a defender of Kavanaugh is brought out to be interviewed or a Fox reporterette regales us with news, there is always a certain defensiveness? It’s like: “Hey, I REALLY do like feminism, and I REALLY favor ‘women’s liberation’ and complete equality,” but then follows the caveat: “But this has now gone too far.”
Those First Generation feminists and their male enablers tore down the “barriers” which supposedly—they tell us—“restrained” them or “hindered” their freedom and advancement. But what they in fact actually did was demolish those natural and time-tested arrangements and that Divinely-inspired order that had served to both protect them from the brutish aspects of the modern world and insure their God-given dignity and honor as mothers, wives, and governesses of Western civilization.
Once successful in that initial demolition, the floodgates were open. Just like the dedicated French Revolutionaries—or the Bolsheviks in Russia in October 1917—the logic of inevitable radical change, once implanted and in place, knew no limitations and had its own logic.
The French Royalist journalist, Jacques Mallet du Pan (d. 1800), watching the progress of the French Revolution, coined the phrase, “the Revolution devours its children” [“la révolution dévore ses enfants"] in 1793 at the height of the Terror. That is, once begun the incendiary fire and violence of revolution gains its own momentum, and those early “moderates” (such as the Girondistes in France) are soon bypassed by the rage and fervor and passion of the more exalted and more enraged (the “enragees”). And in the end their cries to halt at so-called “moderate reform” are drowned out and their voices silenced—and in France it was on the guillotine that they paid the price for their moderation.
And here in the United States with the Kavanaugh process, the “moderates” follow suit. In abject fear of being attacked by the Farther Left and the #MeToo lunatics, they protest: “Hey, look I have favored ‘women’s rights’—I favor equal rights, doing away with all those legal hindrances to women, the glass ceiling and all that,” but then they add quickly, watching both ways nervously to insure that no feminist should assail them for “sexist” or “anti-women” views: “But this is not the correct way to advance our goals,” or “these demands go too far.”
Thus those hate-possessed, Creation-denying Harpies, those vile bodies who believe abortion, the killing of children in the womb, is a newly-discovered Eighth Sacrament and that Donald Trump is a “new Hitler”—overwhelm their pitiful opposition.
And in the end the latter day “moderees” not only castrate real and effective opposition to the madness of #MeToo and feminism, they are eventually devoured by the logic of the ongoing Revolution, and made irrelevant. Their only role has been to enervate and poison that opposition…and enable the eventual triumph of the Terror.
This piece was originally published on My Corner on October 5, 2018.
The Kavanaugh hearings have riveted America, and literally hundreds of observers and commentators have weighed in. Watching some of the unleashed leftist fanatics and feminist #MeToo-ers foaming at the mouth, ranting and raving on CNN and MSNBC, and in the US Senate—with my fear of losing my lunch—I was tempted to just tune out: the Far Left attempted coup d’etat against not just President Trump but against the American citizenry and what is left of the American constitutional system was in full display.
Let me say that I have never been a zealous Kavanaugh supporter; he seems to be someone I would term a “moderate conservative,” a solid and decent jurist, but not a towering iconoclast who would take the Supreme Court and American jurisprudence back towards our “stolen” Constitution. Yet, the very idea that such a “moderate conservative” who might conceivably dare to vote against the ongoing slide of our nation into something that the Framers never in their worst nightmares envisaged—the idea that he might become a deciding vote, has so enraged the demons of the Deep State, from its Congressional minions to its asexual women in the streets who have rejected femininity outright, acted to pour gasoline on a madness that was already near the boiling point.
Very simply what millions of viewers, glued to their television sets, witnessed on September 27 in the all-day testimony of Dr. Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee was a very real, very palpable and very frightening reality: that we are living in a geographical entity called the United States with stark and unbridgeable differences that are as wide as those that existed in 1861, in fact, far wider. For at least in 1861 most Americans utilized a common and comprehensible language, a common means of expression; today that linguistic template, that commonality, no longer exists. It’s like perhaps 30% or 40% of our fellow citizens have arrived from Mars—or planet Mongo (remember Flash Gordon?)—and somehow we are all supposed live together in concord and harmony, and settle our spats using an inherited republican system which they not only do not recognize, but earnestly seek to overthrow and destroy.
I have never expressed any support for South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham; I find his globalism, his anti-Southern heritage views, and his support for immigration to be disastrous and despicable, and I have said so in various installments of My Corner. But I would be remiss if I did not admit that his vigorous comments made in the Thursday hearings were effective and well-spoken.
Yet, I do not believe Graham actually comprehends what is happening and has happened in the country, for, in large part, he has been an enabler for much of the rot.
I don’t much care for Abraham Lincoln, either; I consider him and his politics reasons why we have as a country reached this point. But one thing he declared is beyond dispute: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
My belief is that we are at that tipping point, and the Kavanaugh hearings, far and beyond the issue of whether the judge should sit on the Supreme Court, have opened a vista, a terrifying panorama that reveals as never before the dark and inherent evil, the outright malevolence of a large portion of our fellow citizens intent on extinguishing our beliefs…and us.
Their allegiance is, to continue the Flash Gordon analogy, to Ming the Merciless, ruler of planet Mongo, and not to the Christian God, the God of Israel, the Creator of heaven and earth, and that rocking Cradle in Bethlehem which 2,000 years ago brought redemption and salvation to the human race.
There can be no fiercer, no more severe a division than that. I may upset some readers by what I now write, but what we actually need today is a new Crusade and the gumption and boldness of the Cistercian Abbot Arnaud Amalric at the siege of Beziers (1209), during the Albigensian crusade, who supposedly (but probably apocryphally) said when asked about possible innocents who might lose their lives in the siege:
“Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” - “Kill them [all]. For Our Lord knows who are His own.”
At the very least those minions of Evil, whether accosting and screaming profanities at Ted Cruz and his family in a restaurant in Washington, or standing up like that vile chanteuse-cum-political whore Madonna, or feverishly concocting the most vicious and filthy of attacks on Brett Kavanaugh, need to be driven back to the lower reaches of hell…where they belong.
No easy task—but in the final analysis, is there any other way?
This piece was originally published at My Corner on September 28, 2018.
This morning watching a gaggle of garrulous women, all talking at the same time, all vacuous and empty headed, and all saying basically nothing—a so-called “panel” on Fox News discussing the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the last-minute and largely-unfounded accusations hurled against him by radical feminists—I finally had had enough.
There for anyone to see…and mostly excruciatingly, to hear…were five salient humanoid illustrations why the 19th Amendment, the women’s suffrage amendment, has not only been a disaster of historic proportions for our culture, but needs to be repealed, and the sooner, the better.
I quickly switched my television dial to the Sirius Symphony Hall channel (#76), there at least to find some solace! Anyone for Telemann or Vivaldi or Schubert? Ah, but I forget: they were white European Christian males (even if they and many others like them helped create and added to the richness of our Western culture).
As I attempted to chronicle in MY CORNER on September 19 (Brett Kavanaugh, Feminism, and Modern Witchcraft), the feminist movement has been and is, in effect, a rebellion against the laws of Nature and also against the very teachings and beliefs of historic Christianity. Whether it be the so-called “modest” reforms advocated in the 19th century—voting rights and property entailment and inheritance reform, or the more progressivist demands of the late twentieth century—military service, professional and job parity, unisex bathrooms, or the most recent insistence on same sex marriage, transgenderism, and gender fluidity, the movement is rubricked under the principle of “equality,” that is, its proclaimed objective is the complete equality of the sexes.
Yet, in fact, equality as envisaged by the feminists does not exist and has never existed in nature.
For feminism “equality” is a slogan, in reality an exercise in guile and subterfuge employed to shame weak-willed (and weak-brained) men and to eventually dissolve the traditional social bonds and inherited natural (and moral) laws that have governed our culture for two millennia.
Whether from the Prophets of the Old Testament, or from the incredibly rich inheritance of ancient philosophy, or from St. Paul and the consistent teachings of the Church, there has been an understanding that there are discernible “laws” in nature, the orderly functioning of which made society and social arrangements possible, even harmonious. What the Christian church did, following on the acute observations of the Ancients, was to confirm both spiritually and doctrinally the existence and appositeness of those laws, for they were integral to creation, itself.
Thus, it is no exaggeration to state that feminism is both a rebellion against not just the Divine Positive Law—the laws and teachings of God and His Church—but against Nature, that is, against the way things are and function naturally in our world, those workings and that usual consistency observed as laws for thousands of years.
The genie of feminism, of rampant egalitarianism, however, is out of the magic lamp. And it is an egalitarianism and demand for “equality” that will continue until it has completely subjected men to its will and expelled anything redolent of masculinity from our midst. For its actual objective is domination, and for the logical feminists, that men must not only become unmanly and weaklings acceding to every recent feminist demand, but in so many words, disappear, except as the selective objects for breeding purposes, or for the occasional fling, always understanding that it is the non-male who chooses the time, place, manner, initiation, and who sets all the “rules of amour and engagement” (and to ignore or violate them will bring down the wrath of feminist society and eventually the legal opprobrium of our newly feminized legal framework).
The destruction of masculinity and emasculation of men has been perhaps the most grievous and disastrous consequence of the “women’s movement.” For centuries—indeed, not that long ago—an inherited code of honor, deference and respect, how to treat women, prevailed in Western society. While, it is true, certain functions and roles were generally not open to women historically, that in no way dimmed or lessened their critical importance and paramount position in society. Indeed, as child bearers and mothers it was they most uniquely who governed the essential running of the family and palpably were the primary and substantial foundation of society.
The Church understood that women were not the same as men, that women were different and that they had unique God-given roles. Like the Blessed Virgin in Bethlehem who cared for the Cradle in the Stable and nourished the Son of God who would bring grace and salvation to the world, the primary special role of women was the nourishing of familial offspring and the continuation of the human race. There could be no more important role than this, and in that sense, women occupy in Christian teaching an exalted and unequalled position.
What folly then, to even discuss “equality” in a merely secular sense.
The potentially fatal error, the monstrous and infectious evil in our culture, is the Hydra-headed movement to extirpate “racism” and end “sexism.” As increasingly independent outgrowths of an historic cultural Marxism formulated decades ago and insinuated into our educational systems and entertainment industry, these demonic demiurges make the standards and praxis of the old Soviet Communists appear conservative. Josef Stalin would never have, and never did, put up with same sex marriage, transgenderism, or the kind of feminist domination we see around us today. True, the Soviets talked of equality and women occupied some professional positions, but for the Reds a strong family and observance of supposedly “outdated” traditional morality were still paramount. The Gulags contained dissenters.
Our present culture is filled with malignant Harpies—many political, many academic, many in entertainment, many in media. They feast on the entrails of our once noble culture and scream bloodcurdling screams against anyone who would dare oppose them.
As I have written before, in their unbridled frenzy loosed from any natural bounds and standards of behavior, they qualify as what the great English writer G. K. Chesterton called “lunatics.”
Here is what I wrote back on June 10, 2017:
“The Revolutionaries tell us that they strive for “equality,” “liberation from restraints.” But their program—their revolution—turns liberty on its head, inverts rationality, and enslaves millions in unrequited passions and desire, unbound and unreasoned, cocooned in a pseudo-reality. It is, to paraphrase the great English essayist and poet G. K. Chesterton, the definition of real lunacy.
In his fine volume, The Poet and the Lunatics (1929), Chesterton’s character Gale asks the question: “What exactly is liberty?” He responds, in part:
“First and foremost, surely, it is the power of a thing to be itself. In some ways the yellow bird was free in the cage…We are limited by our brains and bodies; and if we break out, we cease to be ourselves, and, perhaps, to be anything.
The nightmare scenario painted by Chesterton in society ninety years ago is with us today with a vengeance, it surrounds us, it cajoles us, it demands total subservience…especially if you are a man with the slightest inclination to think for yourself, to doubt the new dogmatic and constantly advancing template of feminism. What was perhaps tolerable five years ago is now met with demands for the application of a “social and political death sentence,” and what may be tolerable today will soon be seen as a sin against the triumphant and ever-evolving feminist mantra of truth.
That is, until men…and women, too…stand and forcefully oppose this lunacy, completely, honestly, rationally, and without hesitation.
This piece was originally published on My Corner on September 22, 2018.
“Silent Sam” and the Fetid Disaster Known as Public Education
Demonstrations by the unruly minions of cultural Marxism continue on the campus of the University of North Carolina.
While our television sets are filled with videos of scraggly, rough-bearded and unkempt Millenial men, and obese and definitely unattractive women, screaming profanities and shouting imprecations about racism, white supremacy, and the dangers of “fascism”—that is, demonstrating for “peace and justice”—there lurks behind those images a deeper, even scarier truth.
Many in the mob of August 20th who toppled the “Silent Sam” monument to University of North Carolina students who volunteered to become Confederate soldiers in 1861-1865—and many who came back on Saturday the 25th—were non-students, itinerant professional militants of various Marxist, Antifa, and Black Lives movements. But many also were students at that institution. And students who have absorbed supposedly the finest public education that money (and mommy and daddy) can buy at one of the most prestigious universities in the South.
There was, for example, student Margarita Sitterson, the granddaughter of former Chancellor of the university, J. Carlyle Sitterson, who boasted of her presence in the lawlessness of August 20th and her active participation in tearing down the monument:
“So basically what happened was there was four banners on each side – well actually one banner on each side, and they were all connected by sticks, and people wrapped rope around the sticks and we pulled back and forth and back and forth until it fell down.” [Peter Abrosca, “Granddaughter of Former UNC Chancellor Admits to Tearing Down Confederate Statue, ‘Silent Sam’,” Big League Politics, August 20, 2018.
Sitterson added: “My grandfather – he went here for college, then he became a professor, then he became a dean [inaudible], then he became chancellor.”
“Sitterson said she was ashamed and that she carried guilt because she is white, and white people owned slaves.”
Notice the narrative: it is an absorbed instructional template and standard that is employed in nearly all university courses about our history, our literature, our politics, and in most other courses taught to our children; it dominates almost totally the curricula of our universities and colleges, just as the University of Alabama Crimson Tide has dominated college football. It posits two measures by which all human history and experience, all human knowledge and expression, are evaluated and, then, (re)interpreted: racial oppression by the white race of black and brown people, and sexual oppression by men of women.
Thus, re-interpreting our history and culture to discover sometimes deeply embedded examples of “racism” and “white supremacy,” and of “male exploitation” and “oppression of women,” has become the central characteristic of our college curricula, the marker and measure by which all academic disciplines now are analyzed and taught.
Analyze a Shakespeare play…say Richard III or The Merchant of Venice; then look for the abasement and “enslavement” of women, or a hidden “racist” reference or overtone—obviously, since Shakespeare was male and white. Or consider operas by Mozart (Abduction from the Seraglio) or Rossini (L’Italiana in Algeri), with their “overt racist hostility to Muslims and women,” such that now in Europe these works are either no longer presented or are banned outright, or their lyrics and action re-written. And, closer to our time, think of the attempts to ban The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, “Gone With the Wind,” and the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris.
And when these works are discussed in our universities, or portrayed publicly, increasingly it is done with re-interpretations, studied warnings about the implicit racism and misogyny that modern scholarship has discovered in them. Indeed, the very language and traditional expression used to analyze the history and the classic products, the art, and culture of our civilization, have been radically altered, with a whole new, made-up linguistics now employed which effectively cuts us off from the past, while furthering the goals of revolution.
Obviously, students like Margarita Sitterson—the descendant of a famed UNC educator—and thousands more like her, sitting in classes at the mercy of cultural Marxist ideologue professors who do little more than inculcate the theories of “critical race theory” and the “feminization of history”—have already, in most cases, suffered years of poor education and early indoctrination in our public high schools, that is, been “softened up” for this process before entering college.
These are the same students who, while able to describe in excruciating detail what they have been fed about the “racism” and “white oppression” supposedly existent in the United States circa 2018, and the onerous “exploitation of women,” cannot read basic texts or pass basic exams in math, or in English, or in history.
In late 2016 Dr. Walter Williams, the black educator, wrote that “a very large percentage of all incoming freshmen have no business being admitted to college.” On the major College Board test,
“Only 32 percent of white students scored at or above proficient in math, and just 7 percent of black students did. Forty-six percent of white test takers scored proficient in reading, and 17 percent of blacks did. The ACT, another test used for admission to college, produced similar results. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports, in an article titled "A Major Crisis in College Readiness for Black Students," that 34 percent of whites who took the ACT were deemed college-ready in all four areas — English, mathematics, reading and science. For blacks, it was only 6 percent.” [Dr. Walter E. Williams, “Cruelty to Black Students,” CNS News, September 20, 2016.]
As Professor Williams indicates, it is black students, most of whom are unprepared for college life, who suffered most by being boosted by affirmative action and entitlements. But the results for white high school graduates are equally appalling.
And these form the pool of students whose parents fork over anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 a year to our universities to educate them.
For broader confirmation, consider a parallel choice: a career in the United States military. Under President Trump and his signing of a new defense bill, the armed services are instructed to recruit new enlistees—the US Army alone, about 17,500 new recruits every year.
But there is a problem: in addition to the fact that many potential candidates are obese, as Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley states:
“…one in four cannot meet minimal educational standards (a high school diploma or GED equivalent), and one in 10 have a criminal history. In plain terms, about 71 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds (the military’s target pool of potential recruits) are disqualified from the minute they enter a recruiting station: that’s 24 million out of 34 million Americans… fully 30 percent of those who have the requisite high school diploma or GED equivalent fail to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test (the AFQT), which is used to determine math and reading skills….” [Mark Perry, “The Recruitment Problem the Military Doesn’t Want to Talk About,” The American Conservative, August 15, 2018.
It is any wonder that a rowdy mob, drenched in cultural Marxist gruel that passes for education—a mob turned into raving lunatics by teachers and college professors who are little more than fanatical ideological agents of continuing revolution—now seeks to destroy Confederate symbols and soon to obliterate anything reminding them or us of twenty centuries Western Christian, and yes, white and largely male, culture?
The administrators at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, like the administrators at most colleges throughout the land, have yet to understand this; indeed, many sympathize with the lunatics. And too many political and civic leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand, look the other way, or hope the “problem” will just go away.
But it won’t, for it is like a rapidly-spreading cancer that must be excised and removed…else it kill the host body.
The UNC Board of Governors meets soon to examine what happened at UNC. They must understand that we are in a multilevel cultural war, and on the outcome of this war depends the very existence of our culture and our identity as a civilization.
Note: This piece was originally published on My Corner on August 26, 2018.
In case you haven’t heard, there is a new “conservative” film out; it is titled “Death of a Nation: Can We Save America a Second Time?”
It’s director and screenwriter is Dinesh D’Souza, the somewhat pompous, word-measuring figure who occasionally shows up on Fox to talk in pious tones about “conservatism.” He is the movie producer who, by his own admission, has done as much as anyone to shape (in an almost ahistorical manner) perceptions about American history and the Founding Principles that have supposedly guided this country. And, in his latest cinematic adventure he stunningly compares the “triumph of America and its values” under that “great president and martyr” Abraham Lincoln to the crisis facing President Donald Trump. Like Lincoln, Trump is saving America “for a second time.”
Here is the film’s official blurb from D’Souza’s web site:
Thus, the president who refused all compromise (and torpedoed negotiations) with Southerners and Confederates (who were, as D-Souza assures us, no better than “racists” and “fascists”), the president responsible for the most egregious violations of habeas corpus and constitutional liberties in American history, the president who in effect unleashed a vicious conflict that took the lives of at least 620,000 Americans and maimed and handicapped for life hundreds of thousands more, the president who by military force radically altered the original American Constitution and set the stage for the growth of powerful and unchecked government, and the emergence of the managerial Deep State…that president is D’Souza’s model…and his analogy for Donald Trump.
And Lincoln, that noble opponent of “racism”? D’Souza omits Lincoln’s contradictory statements on American blacks and his repeated desire that blacks be sent back to Africa. And he conveniently fails to cite Lincoln’s declaration to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862, scarcely three months prior to the formal issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation:
The one very significant fact that becomes clear in his latest cinematic screed is that D’Souza is ignorant of American history, and that he is an ideological and historical fabricator who seeks, in the name of defending his adopted nation, to bend and mishandle its history to fit a preconceived narrative which satisfies his Neoconservative task masters. For him history becomes a cudgel, a weaponized arm to further the Neoconservative agenda of “equality” and “liberal democracy,” both against the “farther Left,” but also, very significantly, against the traditional Right and traditional conservatism…and, as well, against Southern conservatives who would dare defend their heritage and traditions.
His narrative is essentially a leftist one, and like other Neoconservatives, he partakes of the basic philosophical views of the post-Communist Left, emphasizing politicized constructs of race and gender, and equality and democracy, projecting them back to incorporate all of American history. Thus, so it goes, echoing Marxist historians like Eric Foner: “the South had slavery, therefore it was a racist society. Racism had to be opposed at all costs and by all means. And that is what Lincoln did.”
The equation says too much, and leaves out too much. Four slave states did not leave the union, and Lincoln’s reasons for attacking the Southern states were far more economic and power-driven than not, with his later appeals to abolitionism seen by most observers then, as well as by many historians since, as desperate propaganda appeals to war-weary Northerners, to gin up the sagging war effort.
As noted economist Frank Taussig has detailed in his classic study, Tariff History of the United States (1967 edition), tariffs were the chief revenue source for the Federal government. The Morrill Tariff more than doubled American tariffs and greatly expanded the list of taxable items. Abraham Lincoln had campaigned vigorously on a platform of strong support for the Morrill Tariff. While the South would be paying nearly 80 % of the tariff, most of the revenues would be spent in the North. With the Southern states seceding, such a loss of revenue would be devastating to the Federal treasury and could not be allowed to stand.
There is another major critique that must be made: despite D’Souza’s claims, it was the Republican Party in 1860 that was, by every measure, the radical party, the party intent on destroying the original Constitution and transforming the union, not the more conservative (at that time) Democrats. D’Souza projects a political genealogy that simply will not stand up to serious historical investigation. The outbreak of war in 1861 did not come about due to Democrats who “went to war to defeat [Lincoln].” As historian William Marvel, in his Mr. Lincoln Goes to War (2006), relates, the conflict must be laid squarely at the door of the Lincoln administration: “It was Lincoln, however, who finally eschewed diplomacy and sparked a confrontation. He backed himself into a corner from which he could escape only by mobilizing a national army, and thereby fanning the flames of Fort Sumter into full-scale conflagration.” (p. xvii) Thus, it was the intransigence of the Lincoln administration that literally provoked war.
Even D’Souza’s supposedly hated Marxists recognized that Lincoln and his actions furthered their program and ideals. In 1864 Karl Marx sent Lincoln a famous “Address” from his “workkingman’s group,” in which he declared that “victory for the North would be a turning point for nineteenth-century politics, an affirmation of free labor, and a defeat for the most reactionary capitalists who depended on slavery and racial oppression,” that is, one more critical step in the projected Marxist historical dialectic. The American ambassador in London, Charles Francis Adams, responded and “thanked them for their support and expressed his conviction that the defeat of the rebellion would indeed be a victory for the cause of humanity everywhere.”
Like his supposed enemies over on the farther Left, Dinesh D’Souza employs the same faulty historical template, and, even if his arguments appear, at times, attractive or useful to conservatives, the end result is certain: you do not triumph historically or argumentatively using the same essential propositions, albeit less outrageous, as your opponent. Once you accept his grounds for debate, the battle—the war—is over.
No: stay away from this cinematic fraud…like tasty ice cream infected with poisonous venom, it might taste good at first, but the poison is sure to work its effect.
Note: This piece was originally published at the Abbeville Institute Blog on August 6, 2018.
As we approach the one year anniversary of the events—the riot—that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, back on August 11-12, 2017, already government-funded PBS has weighed in with a special primetime edition of its television program “Frontline.” The feature, “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville,” is a blatantly tendentious cinematic attempt by the Leftist-funded, pro-Marxist group ProPublica which was broadcast nationally on August 6. It portrays what happened in Mr. Jefferson’s city as a “violent riot and massacre by Nazis and violent Alt-Right fascists.”
ProPublica, which pretends to be a center for “investigative journalism,” has in some ways taken over from the increasingly discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), as a self-proclaimed vehicle for “shining the light of publicity” (and launching personal attacks) on what it terms nefarious “right wing extremists.” Of course, a closer look at this tax exempt, non-profit research organization reveals that it is funded by some of the biggest “hitters”—the most affluent billionaires—on the far Left of the Democratic Party.
Here is what the Wikipedia says about ProPublica:
Notice what this paragraph says: Major Leftist Democratic donors—Wall Street billionaires—create this new “anti-hate” group, and then, hire the former managing editor of the—yes! supposedly “right wing”—Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox).
Connect the dots—connect the dots between the globalist Leftwing capitalists on Wall Street, the globalist capitalist Wall Street Journal, and the Democratic Left.
ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” uses as background President Trump’s “moral failure” over Charlottesville: he refused to blame only the Right—those Nazis—for the violence...But stated that there was enough culpability to go round on both sides. (Remember it was such high-profile minions of the “conservative movement inc.” like Ben Shapiro, Glenn Back, and Jonah Goldberg, all of whom had been Never Trumpers, who joined the Left and led the charge to condemn the president and imply that he was a “racist” for his “failure.”)
Indeed, Black Lives Matter and Antifa—who did not have a march/rally permit, while the Unite the Right demonstrators did—gathered specifically to challenge and engage in combat with the Rightists and, in effect, caused the riot.
Never mind; ProPublica’s narrative said not one word about that Leftist violence. From viewing their “Frontline” exposition you would only think it was just that dangerous and armed group of Nazis, who, we are also told, have infiltrated all facets of American life (including the military) who initiated and committed mayhem. And, of course, behind it all stood and stands the political figure who has legitimated the “climate of hate”—Donald J. Trump.
A larger question remains, and not just about the fate of the monument to Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, but about all the symbols of our history all across the Southland. It is a question that all Southerners who value and treasure their rich patrimony and inheritance should ask themselves: as the radical cultural Marxists engage in a concerted campaign—with the connivance of the news media (including Fox) and much of what passes for the establishment “conservative movement”—to wipe the horizon clear of all monuments to our history, our heritage, and our heroes, where are the thousands of Southern-born folks who should be turning out and demanding that those extreme Leftists leave our monuments and symbols alone?
At home watching the latest episode of “America’s Got Talent” or Steve Harvey? Out mowing the grass and drinking a cool one?
In other words, arranging the deck chairs on the RMS Titanic while the cultural Marxist ice berg does its work?
In other words: where are our fellow citizens when the local gang of professional Marxists, Black Lives Matter militants, and Antifa hooligans—with tacit okays from the leaders of both political parties, and with the nodding approval of the press—organize a loud, semi-violent demonstration against those monuments which, they say, are “symbols of racism” and “white supremacy,” and threaten to destroy them (just like they did in Durham, NC)?
Where are our fellow citizens when the local liberal and spineless Republican office-holders, afraid of being labeled “racists,” hold quickly-planned “public input sessions” to decide the fate of those symbols?
Where are our fellow citizens when the few heritage defense organizations that do exist hold public events, such as Lee Day, Confederate Flag Day, or Confederate Memorial Day observances? Sitting on their duffs while those elements who wish to extinguish not just our heritage, but us as well, continue on their cancerous destructive course in transforming our institutions and culture?
Back in 2007, as chairman of North Carolina’s annual Confederate Flag Day (sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans), I brought down nationally-known traditionalist conservative author, Dr. Paul Gottfried, to address our event. His speech was both a salute to Tar Heels who assembled to honor their heritage and a clarion call to Southerners to defend their heritage, and his presentation was reprinted later in the Confederate Veteran magazine.
In a more recent essay he asks the same question I ask of my fellow citizens now, and not only of my fellow Southerners: where are you? Here is part of what he writes (“Southern Cultural Cleansing: A Northern Perspective,” June 26, 2018):
As our vicious and unhinged enemies attempt to liquidate our past where are those thousands of sons and daughters of the South (and their allies from other parts of the nation) willing to stand up and say to the culture crazies: “Halt! No further: leave our symbols alone—go back to you filthy Leftist hovels—better yet, be true to your convictions and take the next boat to North Korea (about which your web sites wax admiringly). I’m sure the Fearless Leader Kim can find a use for your brains-dulled-by-drugs, unwashed selves!”
Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.