The pattern for modern American politics was set by Lincoln and his cronies in the 1850s—1870s, although it took an immense war against other Americans to make it stick. The pattern involved making the federal government (not the “Union” or the Constitution) the center of power and the fount of good (and goods). This meant, in everyday terms, that the victory of Lincoln’s Republicans established control by those who regard the government as a machine to make money for themselves, covered by a blasphemous religion of Americans as the chosen people who are to lead all mankind into what a later Republican would call “global democracy.”
Until Lincoln there had been a strong Jeffersonian/Jacksonian counter-current: preference for low tariff, avoidance of public debt, limited government expenditure, dispersed power, distrust of moralistic movements, and patriotic but non-entanglement sentiment in regard to affairs beyond the continent. There was some sense, not always dominant but understood and sometimes prevailing, of a “public good.”
You will find in Confederate statements appeals to this former good faith of peaceful preservation of the larger good as previously understood. In Union statements you will find appeals to power and righteousness that would have made no sense to Americans before the 1848 revolutions in Europe.
Lincoln’s unseemly combination of control of the government by big capital in alliance with occasional irresponsible “reform” crusades is where we are now. It is the Deep State and it is the Deep State that is sovereign. We find the ever-increasing control of great capital joined at the hip with the revolutionary crusade of antifa and Black Lives Matter.
Under the old dispensation we would not have entered into international imperialism in the late 19th century or the senseless bloodshed of World War I “to make the world safe for democracy.” We would not have allowed the government to permanently deform natural American society by the “Great Society.” We would not have to listen to Joe Biden blithely promise that with him the government will soon make us all equal, prosperous, and happy while his minions kill and loot. Donald Trump disagreed only marginally.
Under the Lincoln regime American issues never have been and never can be decided on the basis of “the public good.” The genuine thing does not exist in American discourse.
Many are rightly concerned about threats to the environment. But in addressing this matter we are confined to debates within the regime---on the one hand the power of capital and on the other the irresponsible and revolutionary tree-huggers. It is theoretically possible that a “public good” approach of responsible stewardship, not controlled by this division, might be found. It cannot happen in the regime that governs.
Medical care is a continuing concern for all. The costs of drugs and insurance threaten most of us. The quality of care is often marvelous and always potentially so, but it declines in the nightmare of government bureaucracy of a semi-socialised system and the bottomless expense of serving millions of wastrels and aliens. The Covid fraud should have convinced any awake American of the corruption of the federal medical bureaucracy. Once again we have the collaboration of the money interests that can easily buy Congress with claims for universal control and benevolence without regard to cost.
In regard to foreign affairs we have the same dilemma. We are governed by a combination of vast vested interests that will never freely give up their immense purchase on the public purse, combined, as in the Lincoln regime, with fervid delusions that the U.S. government must and can punish all in the world who refuse to obey their good and right. It is theoretically possible to devise a prudent policy of “national interest” in regard to the world (such as is outlined by Srjda Trikovic) but it will never happen and our country will plunge forward to the disaster that always awaits the deluded.
The two sides of the national character that I have described are dominant. The rest of us don’t count and haven’t for a very long time. The two are really one, the same Puritan penchant for money-grubbing and moral imperialism that was implanted in Massachusetts in the earliest days, amplified by European socialism and minority demands. It is said that character is fate and this national character will in the long run, decide our fate.
It is reported that one of the first acts of “President” Biden will be to forbid all 331 million of us to leave our homes unless adorned with a mask.
I am pretty sure the Founding Fathers did not intend to give such a power to the President. I am not sure that I will even be breaking any law if I refuse to obey. It seems to be just an order not unlike a diktat by Stalin or Hitler. Even if it is a law it is an unjust and tyrannical one. Will I be punished? Of course, enforcement of this silly order will be impossible. However, it will be easy for the government to pick out a few dissidents to punish harshly in order to frighten the rest of us into obedience, and there will be a mass supply of Christless puritans to report wrongdoers.
So, are we all to go about masked? It might look like we are all pretending to be bandits. No, that won’t work because the real bandits are pets of the regime and will not be held to any diktat. It will be more like a bad science fiction movie.
The last time I willingly wore a mask was about 70 years ago when I played the Lone Ranger. Even then one had to be careful because there were laws against masks to discourage robbers and Klansmen. When I played the Lone Ranger I also carried two (toy) pistols. If the President can force us to wear masks and be vaccinated for our health, then what is there to prevent him from taking our firearms, which, after all, are a potential threat to our health?
There has never been in America such a degree of regimentation and such an assault on personal liberty, even in wartime. And all based on a government-created delusion on the dangers of Covid and the reliability of masks.
Now we have the prospect of being vaccinated by the Army, whether we like it or not. It would be farcical if it were not so gravely evil and if it would not be obeyed by so many who do not deserve the once honourable title of “citizen.”
It is reported that Donald Trump, while his supporters were having the “million MAGA march” in Washington, rode in his armoured car to play golf. What would a man and a real leader have done? He would have gone out among the people who were making an effort and putting something on the line for him. And he would have made his sissy son-in-law go with him and meet some real Americans. And he would have made sure, with military police or whatever could be used, that his supporters were not beaten up by the thugs of antifa and BLM.
I am inclined to think that while he is letting his supporters struggle, Trump has decided to give up, despite all his bluster. When have his deeds ever matched his words? To protest the election would require more risk, innovation and determination than he has ever shown in office. Not to mention that the Republican leaders and spokesmen will without the least doubt show cowardice and desert him in any real fight. And the Democrats have the media, law enforcement, and the military under their complete control. Something that Trump might have changed if he had cared to try.
You have to understand that for Republican leaders, with a scant few exceptions, right and wrong, good and bad, true and false, are never in consideration. The only thing on their minds is keeping their comfortable places and being “respectable.” “Respectable” signifying what has been called “Midwestern nice”---never rock the boat or seem “extreme.” They will always surrender in a real showdown.
If Americans knew any history they would know that stealing elections is what Republicans did on a mass scale during Reconstruction. The only thing new is the possibilities of mail-in voting.
There are some good people who think that Trump is going to fight a crooked election and that his Presidency has somehow moved the country in a positive direction. How can anybody believe that when we face the coming years with a revolutionary regime that is likely permanent and that regards decent Americans as The Enemy? Like that second marriage, it is a triumph of hope over experience. The commissars rule the state and the mobs rule the streets.
What did we expect? A real estate speculator whose methods struck a lot of people as dubiously ethical? (Why did he not in the debates make the point that he made his money in the private sector while Biden got rich at the public trough?) A lifelong New Yorker. A TV star best known for “You’re fired!” A man with may leftwing ideas and associates in his earlier political gambits.
Think about all that he might have done to slow down our slide into degeneracy if he had used legitimate executive powers and the bully pulpit to rally the people against the revolution. The sum total is nothing except collaboration with the Establishment, just like every other Republican.
It seems likely that, one way or another, Biden and his handlers will invade and occupy the Executive Mansion in January. That will only be symbolic since they already possess most of the Executive branch of government. Conservative commentators, always wishful thinkers, are now telling us that it won’t be too bad---after all, Biden is weak and the Republicans have the Senate.
This happy talk is just another way to disarm us. Biden’s handlers don’t need Congress. They have the courts, the entire coercive power of law enforcement, and their controlled mobs in the streets. And pervasive mastery of the media that will justify all that they may do. They have already shown their disregard of law, their ability to punish those who don’t go along, and their proclivity for supra-constitutional “executive orders.”
Of course, the revolutionaries also have a vast population of cowardly and obedient subjects to do their will and fill their ubiquitous offices and chattering spots.
Many of those Republican Senators are closer in spirit to Biden than to Trump. And whoever heard of Republicans sacrificing their power and perks to oppose what appears in the media as popular? They will likely be allowed to hang on as a token “opposition.”
The coup will be completed quickly with the enfranchisement of uncounted Third World illegals and the seemingly unstoppable progress of “wokeness” among the young.
Any obstacle to the revolution will not be anything Republicans can or will do. The revolutionary cadre will be forced, in order to consolidate their power, to suppress the violent elements who think they are not radical enough and to stamp out the mobs when they get out of hand and actually threaten them.
Some of their measures may simply fall of their own foolishness and unenforceability –like universal mask wearing and vaccination. It is also likely that the blowback from the aggressive interventionism undertaken from their delusions of omnipotence will reveal their weaknesses and bring problems for them (and for us).
May we hope that the 2nd Amendment may survive? The revolution will do all in its power to disarm the law-abiding, indirectly if not directly. Anarcho-tyranny is here. In every Western country except the U.S., the citizens have tamely given up their arms to the government. Will Americans do the same? I would like to think that too many citizens are still free people in spirit and that universal “gun control” will not succeed. But can we be sure?
But, Oh!, say the Pollyannas, we have all those new Republican judges! Those Federalist Society nationalists love supreme national government power as much as the leftists. Their intent is to preserve an American constitutional system that no longer exists. If you believe they will do anything substantive to oppose the revolution, you are delusional and should see a shrink.
Republican judges will be an obstacle to our only real hope: that some of the red States before they are overwhelmed will develop bold and determined leaders who will confront federal power with the latent powers of the States. Devolution, true federalism, and the break-up of the evil empire are the only chance, and it is a slim one.
The “conservative Republicans,” who have never in the entire course of American history conserved anything except their money, will never acknowledge that they lost long ago and that we all face a new regime. And they lost because they never mounted any sincere and effective opposition to the ongoing revolution. It is too late for the formation of a genuine opposition party. The Deep State’s power to break up any opposition opinion and organisation is as strong as in any Communist state, although the machinery of suppression by prison and death is not yet fully in place.
The Republicans lament Kamala Harris, and AOC and, and Ilhan Omar. As usual, they are shortsighted and cowardly and looking for easy targets. It is they who voted for immigration expansion and refused to enforce the border laws. And now they complain about the consequences of their actions.
It is generally reported that Communism failed with the fall of the Soviet Union. Nazis were rightly punished for their crimes. Reflect that “communism” has fallen and that nobody has been punished for its crimes. They have merely moved on to other posts.
America is now a one-party, one-opinion regime based on leftwing resentment, power lust, and prophecies of Utopia when the last enemies are eliminated. The destruction of “systemic racism” will justify any deformation of natural society and any abuse and punishment of the unwoke.
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