A Strange People
There seems to be a lot of uproar lately about the threat of “white nationalists.” I am not sure that I know what that is. But it is exceedingly strange that the people most alarmed seem to be the same people who think of Abe Lincoln as the greatest American of all times. Lincoln was a White Nationalist to the core. He made his career as the champion of “free white men” and all his life wanted to get rid of black people. (Lincoln was really the champion of rich free white men but that is another story.)
“White nationalism” also describes Lincoln’s supporters and henchmen. Like General Sherman, a thoroughgoing white nationalist who advocated extermination of the Indians among other atrocious acts and opinions. But since he waged war against Southern women and children he is excused and still ranks as a great American and great general..
I have been wasting time and happiness observing politics for 60 years. I can remember 1960 when many people were concerned whether a Catholic should be President. And 1980 when many wondered whether a divorced man was worthy of the office.
How the times have changed. The country could not have changed more if it had been invaded by space aliens or by the Chinese. Look at the travelling menagerie of Democratic presidential wannabes. An unrepentant communist, a rampant sodomite, at least three billionaires who want to lead the party of the working man, a corrupt, doddering old politician who has never done anything for anybody except himself, a gallery of racial minorities running mostly on their skin colour and victimhood.
Change is always with us, but the Founding Fathers would react in rage and disappointment could they see what their land of liberty has become.
The most important thing about this, however, is that none of the candidates have ever done anything distinguished or worthwhile for the public. We used to elect Washingtons and Jacksons and Eisenhowers. None of these candidates have ever done anything showing real accomplishment or genuine patriotism. They are mostly empty suits. The absence of any credentials other than celebrity is now the standard criteria for being President. It was started by Kennedy and is well-established after Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama.
Come to think of it, the same could be said of almost all of the dozen Republican presidential wannabes that Trump eliminated in 2016.
Speaking of The Donald. He is far from alone in believing that a rising stock market is the measure of American health. He does not seem to have noticed that the position of the middle and working classes has been deteriorating since the 1970s. And he still thinks that we need more brilliant Hindus to replace incompetent American IT workers.
Considered soberly and without hysterical enthusiasm or deluded hope, it is fact that Trump has done nothing of what he promised as a candidate. Immigration is as high or higher than ever. The troops are still spread around the world. The Deep State still reigns in every aspect of the federal government and is still full to the brim of Trump haters and enemies of us powerless “deplorables.” Crimes of the left go unpunished. Trump has proven to be just one more Republican. Promising to get out of foreign entanglements, his only interest seems to be to be the best President Israel ever had.
Americans are indeed a strange contradictory people. Presidents don’t sometimes fail to keep their promises. Take it from an old codger who has been watching for a long time: Presidents always fail to keep their promises and they are always forgiven. A controlling fact is what is called “rational indifference.” Most people are too busy living to pay more than trivial attention to politics. The psychopaths who seek power have an almost free field, especially when the media and the education system are their loyal serfs.
What a country.
Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews