After watching a portion--but only a portion--of the Democratic "debate" last night (after twenty minutes, I had to go retch!), I discovered when listening to Elizabeth Warren that I was suffering from—Intestinal (Food) Racism! At last I KNOW what it is that is causing me such systemic problems in my stomach and lower tract! You see, now I know that historically the lighter colored food that I eat and attempt to digest has dominated and oppressed the darker hued food. Thus, those pieces of white bread and mashed potatoes have systemically oppressed those poor chocolate eclairs and that yummy chocolate pudding! The intestinal problems I have had and continue to have are clearly due to that white food supremacy! And, thus, all my intestinal discomfort and digestive issues can be resolved simply by an immense government program of restorative reparations!
Thus, I must now go on a strict regimen of drinking only black coffee and eating black beans, imposing alimentary affirmative action on my eating process. And, more, since this intestinal racism is apparently endemic and a product of historic European colonialism, I must begin to restrict and even penalize the lighter and white-colored foods I consume, in the name of equality and alimentary social justice.
And, of course, the major culprit in all of this racism is, you guessed it: milk, which of course is lily white. And the question must then be asked: is not lily white milk an inheritance of Neo-Confederate white supremacy and systemic racism and bigotry? Didn’t Morris Dees at the Southern Poverty Law Center write something about this years ago?
Oh Oh! what then must be the remedy? Well, for one, white milk must be subject to a new and heavily enforced civil rights bill which would require, as part of a new program of affirmative action, that 50 % of all white milk must now be colored by dark syrup. And to secure this goal chocolate syrup is not enough to solve the issue; no, it must be very black licorice syrup, carefully legislated by law.
And, of course, as all of this...these prescriptions...will require proper and ironclad implementation, a whole new agency of the Federal government must be created: the US Department of Alimentary Equality and Justice. And, certainly, there must be a new $500 million Federal building erected in Washington, plus new offices in all fifty states. And, to accomplish this necessary program--which is just as critical to our national well-being as our battle against climate change--my estimate is that it will take over 100,000 new very "woke" and socially-conscious government workers who all have graduated from our premiere universities with degrees in food science or social work, taught by suitably progressive professors.
Budgetarily, I estimate, based on a recent study completed by the Al Sharpton Studies in Historic Obesity and Lingering Emaciation [ASSHOLE] Institute, that a mere $100 trillion would provide for the first ten years of this program.
Obviously, given the pusillanimous, cowardly position of the Republicans, I do not anticipate strong opposition from the GOP, but rather they will on Fox and in Congress do what they usually do, appropriate this idea and soon make it their own, and thus normalize it as American as Lemon meringue pie....Oops! I mean CHOCOLATE PIE.
This piece was previously published at My Corner on July 31, 2019.
Those familiar with the over 300 installments in the MY CORNER series (and before that, with CONSERVATIVE CRACK-UP) will know that one of my primary objectives has been to distinguish historic and traditional “conservatism,” a conservativism that traces its roots back to the Founding and the intent of the Framers, from what is generally termed “Neoconservatism.”
Over the past several years, through excellent essays by various historians and authors such as Drs. Paul Gottfried, Clyde Wilson, and Jack Kerwick, and columnists such as Patrick J. Buchanan, Christopher DeGroot, Ilana Mercer, and "The Dissident Mama," I have attempted to examine the very real and stark differences both ideologically and historically between Neoconservatism and traditional conservatism. And going further back, I have cited commentary by the late Russell Kirk and Mel Bradford, plus detailed studies by scholars like Gary Dorrien (The Neoconservative Mind, 1993), and Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke (America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order,2004).
And of the Neoconservatives, I have taken a highly critical look at some of their leading propagandists, including Ben Shapiro, Jonah Goldberg, Victor Davis Hanson, Dinesh D’Souza, and Rich Lowry, and what these gentlemen propound.
One of the central differences between traditional conservatives—henceforth, I call them “traditionalists”—and the Neocons, is how they view the South, in particular, how they view the Confederacy and its important figures…how they view the public monuments to Confederate veterans…and what they think should happen to them in the face of the unrelenting and unhinged campaign by the lunatic social justice warriors of the left to topple them.
Monuments, flags, and markers are inanimate symbols, but they represent something far more palpable and real: who we honor in our history, how we do it, and the importance of remembering who we are as a people. And on these questions the Neocons have essentially been on the side of the frenzied Neo-Marxist iconoclasts, or, at least, silent in the face of the fierce campaign to erase and deconstruct a critical part of our history.
And that is very significant.
Of course, a major reason for this has been the Neocon genealogy which can be traced to a universalist mid-twentieth century Marxism and their embrace of the Lincolnian idea of the nature of the American union (for them unitary and expansive), and their ahistorical positing of the idea of equality as fundamental in and to the American Founding, that is, an “equality” of individuals basically across the board. And, of course, that egalitarianism is carried forward not just in their domestic propositions, but also in their intense desire to “make the world safe for democracy” and “impose equality” on the rest of the globe.
During the 1970s into the 1990s the Neoconservatives displaced the once more significant voice of the traditionalists in “conservative” media and foundations. Journals that once featured the writings of Southerner Mel Bradford and traditionalist Russell Kirk, magazines and foundations that once heralded the participation of Paul Gottfried and Joseph Sobran and Sam Francis, now withdrew the welcome mat. And to replace these writers and academics came the likes of Goldberg, Lowry, Shapiro, and others of their ilk.
The differences were startling, for not only did the entire focus of the old “conservative movement” become altered, but the quality of writing declined perceptibly. And the heritage and traditions of the Southland and the profound appreciation for the heroes of the Confederacy—a sure characteristic of the traditionalists of the Older Right—were met with, at best, silence and ignored, or more commonly with the Neocons joining in with the hysterical progressivists and decrying the “racism” and “white supremacy” of the South.
Thus, the shameful praxis of a Ben Shapiro during the Virginia gubernatorial race in 2018, or the outright condemnations of Confederate heritage byNational Review editors and writers Rich Lowry andVictor Davis Hanson. And these are just a few examples of the stridently anti-Confederate, anti-Southern bias of leading Neoconservatives. Watch Fox News most any day to see this on full display….
It is quite ironic to see the fatuous and historically ignorant (the best that can be said of him) Dinesh D’Souza pontificate on Fox News about American history, and in particular, about how today’s current Democratic Party is essentially the same as the old Democratic Party of the post-War Between the States period, or how—somehow—the current crop of Democratic presidential wannabees are just like, in the same mold as the old “segregationist” (AKA states’ rights) Democrats like Senators Richard Russell of Georgia or John Stennis of Mississippi. (Witness the recent hullabaloo over Joe Biden’s reference to Stennis and the late Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia.)
In other words, for D’Souza the Democratic Party is the “racist” party, while the GOP represents the enlightened, egalitarian and anti-racist heritage of the post-War Republican Party. And thus, the Republican Party, representing as it does “equality” for all, expansive “democracy” and “true anti-racism,” stands at counter-purposes to Democratic Party…. You know, which opposed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Bills of the 1960s and objected to the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision (1954): legislation and a legal decision that fatally weakened what remained of the constitutionally-enshrined rights of the states over education, accommodations, and voting.
This, we are told by the Necons, is what “conservatism” is all about; and since we are the “exceptional nation,” chosen by God to spread this egalitarian notion all around the globe, then it is our “moral” duty to do so.
But the so-called “conservatism” heralded, propagated and defended by these individuals is nothing more than a warmed-over, slightly less toxic mix of the same venom served up by those further to their left. Indeed, given their own Trotskyite origins and genealogy, this is only logical. And in so many ways it helps normalize the leftward trajectory that this nation has been on for the past 150 years.
Perhaps even more significantly, this intellectual fervor among the Neocons has had significant repercussions and effects politically. For Neoconservatism in practice is the dominant narrative of most “conservative” Republican politicians in 2019, in contradistinction to, say, the views of the late Republican Senator Robert Taft, or the first couple of terms of the late Senator Jesse Helms, whose understanding of America was in accord with the older traditional vision.
And that brings me to the latest emanation of what I would call the Neoconservative “Neo-Reconstructionism” regarding the South and Southern tradition. And it brings me to that “conservative voice,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
A number of my friends supported Cruz in the GOP primaries in 2016; he was, we were informed, a “true conservative” and not a rabble-rousing, bull-in-the-china shop like Donald Trump. And many of those friends were good Southern men who love our Southern and Confederate heritage. And Ted Cruz, certainly, good conservative that he was, would not oppose it, would he?
Cruz is just like the other timorous, historically inept politicians infected with the intellectually poisonous Neocon virus which manifests both its ignorance of and disdain for Southern heritage and the symbols of that heritage, which are, in effect, the symbols of the older America and its Founding.
Cruz considers General Nathan Bedford Forrest a horrible racist; his statues should come down, and under no circumstances should he be memorialized by the State of Tennessee. Rather, Cruz celebrates zealous Abolitionist and supporter of women’s suffrage, Frederick Douglass, whose extra-marital relationship with German Marxist revolutionary,Ottilie Assing, may have shaped his thinking.
This piece was originally published on My Corner on July 13, 2019.
We celebrate July 4th each year as the anniversary of America’s declaration of independence from Great Britain. For many Americans, the day has become little more than another holiday, a day off from work, and a time to barbecue with family and friends.
The Declaration of Independence and the day we set aside to commemorate it should make us reflect on the sacrifices of the men who signed it. Representatives from thirteen colonies came together to take a momentous step that they knew might land them on the scaffold or suspended by the hangman’s noose. They were protesting that their traditional rights as Englishmen had been violated, and that those violations had forced them into a supreme act of rebellion.
For many Americans, woefully unversed in our country’s history, the Declaration of Independence is a fundamental text that tells the world who we are as a people. It is a distillation of American belief and purpose. Pundits and commentators, left and right, never cease reminding us that America is a new nation, “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Almost as important as a symbol of American belief is Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It is not incorrect to see a link between these two documents, as Lincoln intentionally placed his short peroration in the context of a particular reading of the Declaration.
Lincoln bases his concept of the creation of the American nation in philosophical principles he sees enunciated in 1776, and in particular on an emphasis on the idea of “equality.” The problem is that this interpretation, which forms the philosophical base of both the dominant “movement conservatism” today - neoconservatism - and the neo-Marxist multicultural Left, is basically false.
Lincoln’s opens his address, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth …” There is a critical problem with this assertion. It was not the Declaration that “created” the new nation; the Declaration was a statement of thirteen colonies, announcing their respective independence from the mother country, binding themselves together in a military and political alliance. It was the Constitution, drafted eleven years later (1787), after the successful conclusion of the War for Independence, that established a new nation. And, as any number of historians and scholars have pointed out, the American Framers never intended to cobble together a country based on the proposition that “all men are created equal.”
A brief survey of the writings of such distinguished historians and researchers as Barry Alan Shain, Forrest McDonald, M. E. Bradford, George W. Carey, and others, plus a detailed reading of the commentaries and writings of those men who established the nation, give the lie to the claim (See for example, Elliott’s Debates, a compilation of the debates over the new Constitution).
The Framers of the Constitution were horrified by “egalitarianism” and “democracy,” and they made it clear that what they were establishing was a confederated, stratified republic, in which most of the “rights” were reserved to the authority of the respective states (with their own particular arrangements), and in which serious restrictions and limitations on voting and participation in government were considered fundamental. Indeed, several states also had religious tests, and others had established churches, none of which were directly touched by the First Amendment, added to insure that a national religious establishment would not be effected. A quick review of The Federalist Papers confirms this thinking; and a survey of the correspondence and the debates over the Constitution add support to this anti-egalitarianism.
Obviously, then, Lincoln could not found his “new nation” in the U. S. Constitution; it was too aristocratic and decentralized, with non-enumerated powers maintained by the states, including the implicit right to secede. Indeed, slavery was explicitly sanctioned, even if most of the Framers believed that as an institution it would die a natural death, if left on its own. Lincoln thus went back to the Declaration of Independence and invested in it a meaning that supported his statist and wartime intentions. But even then, he verbally abused the language of the Declaration, interpreting the words in a form that its Signers never intended.
Although those authors employed the phrase “all men are created equal,” and certainly that is why Lincoln made direct reference to it, a careful analysis of the Declaration does not confirm the sense that Lincoln invests in those few words. Contextually, the authors at Philadelphia were asserting their historic — and equal — rights as Englishmen before the Crown, which had, they believed, been violated and usurped by the British government, and it was to parliament that the Declaration was primarily directed.
The Founders rejected egalitarianism. They understood that no one is, literally, “created equal” to anyone else. Certainly, each and every person is created with no less or no more dignity, measured by his or her own unique potential before God. But this is not what most contemporary writers mean today when they talk of “equality.”
Rather, from a traditionally-Christian viewpoint, each of us is born into this world with different levels of intelligence, in different areas of expertise; physically, some are stronger or heavier, others are slight and smaller; some learn foreign languages and write beautiful prose; others become fantastic athletes or scientists. Social customs and traditions, property holding, and individual initiative — each of these factors further discriminate as we continue in life.
None of this means that we are any less or more valued in the judgment of God, Who judges us based on our own, very unique capabilities. God measures us by ourselves, by our own maximum possibilities and potential, not by those of anyone else — that is, whether we use our own, individual talents to the very fullest (recall the Parable of the Talents in the Gospel of St. Matthew).
One hundred years later the great Southern philosopher and theologian Robert Lewis Dabney—much better read and better informed than many of his post-War contemporaries—understood this exactly:
The very axioms of American politics now are, that ‘all men are by nature equal,’ that all are inalienably ‘entitled to liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ and that ‘the only just foundation of government is in the consent of the governed.’… Our recent doctors of political science have retained these formularies of words as convenient masks under which to circulate a set of totally different, and indeed antagonistic notions; and they have succeeded perfectly. The new meanings of which the ‘Whigs’ of 1776 never dreamed are now the current ones.
The modern version is that there are no superiors or inferiors in society; that there is a mechanical equality; that all have specifically all the same rights; and that any other constitution is against natural justice. Next: when our wise fathers said that liberty is an inalienable, natural right, they meant by each one’s liberty the privilege to do such things as he, with his particular relations, ought to have a moral title to do; the particular things having righteous, natural limitations in every case, and much narrower limits in some cases than in others.
Radical America now means by natural liberty each one’s privilege to do what he chooses to do. By the consent of the governed our forefathers meant each Sovereign Commonwealth’s consenting to the constitution under which it should be governed: they meant that it was unjust for Britain to govern America without America’s consent. Which part of the human beings living in a given American State should constitute the State potentially, the populus whose franchise it was to express the will of the commonwealth for all—that was in their eyes wholly another question, to be wisely decided in different States according to the structure which Providence had given them. [Italics mine]
Dabney’s interpretation is the meaning the Founders intended, as their writings and speeches clearly indicate. Lincoln’s “new nation” would have certainly struck them as radical and revolutionary, a veritable “heresy.” Even more disturbing for them would be the specter of modern-day neoconservatives — that is, those who dominant the conservative movement and claim to rigorously defend the Constitutional republic against the abuses of the Marxist multiculturalist left — enshrining Lincoln’s address as a basic symbol of American political and social order.
They would have understood the radicalism implicit in such a pronouncement; they would have seen Lincoln’s interpretation as a contradiction of the “First Founding” of 1787 and a revolutionary denial of its intentions; and they would have understood in Lincoln’s language the content of a Christian and millennialist heresy, heralding a transformed nation where the Federal government would become the father and mother and absolute master of us all.
Thus, as we commemorate the declaring of American independence 243 years ago, we should lament the mythology about it created in 1863, and recall an older generation of 1787, a generation of noble men who comprehended fully well that a country based on egalitarianism is a nation where true liberties are imperiled.
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.