Category Archives: Constitution

McCain, Bush And Obama Renew Attacks On Deplorables

Barack Obama, Bush, Constitution, Foreign Policy, Founding Fathers, Government, John McCain, Neoconservatism

John McCain issued a jeremiad, just the other day, in which he decried nationalism,  or America Firstism, in favor on internationalism and neoconservatism. He had the chutzpah to cloak this decidedly un-American baffle gab in the raiment of constitutionalism—the address was at the behest of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Has the Center read the Constitution? McCain sounds like a French Jacobin, not like an American Founding Father:

“We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil,” McCain intoned. “We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”

As it turns out, two former presidents of the UniParty joined McCain in an anti-Trump  message. Barack Obama first (10/19):

“Instead of our politics reflecting our values, we’ve got politics infecting our communities. Instead of looking for ways to work together and get things done in a practical way, we’ve got folks who are deliberately trying to make folks angry, to demonize people who have different ideas, to get the base all riled up because it provides a short-term tactical advantage.”

… if you believe in that better vision not just of our politics, but of our common life, of our democracy, of who we are; if you want that reflected in our government, if you want our kids to see our government and feel good about it, and feel like they’re represented and if you want those values that you are teaching your children reinforced … then you’ve got to go out there.”

Then it was George Bush’s turn. More so than Obama did Bush, a Gold Star neoconservative, trash the elemental idea that a government by the people is for THAT PEOPLE ALONE.

We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, [and] forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America.

Bush’s version of McCain’s propositionalism: “Our identity as a nation, and unlike many other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility.”

Contra MSNBC bobble-heads who commented, the successor, President Donald Trump, is not taking the country down a road the internationalists abhor; what remains of The People is trying to take the country back.

Has John McCain Heard Of ‘We The People’?

Constitution, Foreign Policy, John McCain, Neoconservatism

The ironically named National Constitution Center in Philadelphia has honored Sen. John McCain who cares not at all for the Constitution. In his acceptance address, the man dishonors voters who voted to be done with advancing John McCain’s ideas around the globe.

That’s how faithful McCain is to the unique constitutional principle of a government by the people, and not a government by a cabal of elites bent on advancing ideas with The People’s blood and treasure. A government by The People, not by one John McCain, is a bedrock of the US Constitution.

McCain on Monday cautioned against the US turning toward “half-baked, spurious nationalism” during an event honoring the war hero’s contributions.
Reflecting on his decades-long political history, McCain warned that to “fear” the world the US has led for the better part of a century, “abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe” and “refuse the obligations of international leadership … for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems” is unpatriotic.
“As unpatriotic,” he continued, “as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

MORE: “Sen. John McCain warns against ‘spurious nationalism’ in Liberty Medal speech.”

‘Conservatives’ Fail Litmus Test As Defenders Of ‘Western & Christian Tradition

America, Britain, Christianity, Communism, Conservatism, Constitution, History, Left-Liberalism, Neoconservatism, States' Rights

By Dr. Boyd Cathey (who, as is his wont, has covered it all—except for one other defining issue on which conservatives have failed miserably: Their gushing support for Mandela and his ANC).

You can tell a lot about a person by the friends he cherishes, and you can intuit much about how a writer thinks on one topic by how he thinks on another, related topic. This surmise is not always true in every case, but, I think it applies in a great majority of situations. Tell me what a person—a distinguished author, a political leader, a cultural icon—believes, his perspective, on this or that significant historical event, and you can usually gather a valid impression of his world view and overarching philosophy.

A few years back I created my own measure, my own test, as it were, to determine on which side of immense and fundamentally unbridgeable divides various writers and authors, politicians, and others come down. It seemed to me that we could take, historically, several major conflicts and wars, that fundamentally shaped not only subsequent history, but also, indelibly, the consciousness, thinking and cultural outlook of succeeding generations, and utilize them as markers.

I came up with the following five:

1)     The  English Civil War, 1642-1651;

2)     The French Revolution, 1789-1799, also including the Napoleonic Period, 1799-1815;

3)     The War Between the States, 1861-1865;

4)     The Communist Revolution, 1917-1920; and

5)     The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.

I won’t dwell at length on my reasons for selecting these conflicts as measures—I will save that discussion for another time. But I will say I believe how we think about them clearly illustrates where a person stands in relation to the accumulated inheritance—that great continuum—of Western and Christian tradition. Respond correctly on all five (as I see it), and you are a staunch defender of that heritage and most probably have been able, in some fashion, to understand the fundamental connection those conflicts have in the context of our civilization and our willingness to defend it.

Obviously, for most self-described “conservatives,” there are at least two “giveaways” in my list, that is, two of the five questions they would very likely answer correctly: about the French Revolution and the Communist Revolution. Most “conservatives,” if queried, would have certainly opposed them.

It becomes harder after that, and, I suggest, even more critical to a determination. Not that many current “conservative” writers or politicians are intimately familiar with the history, causes, and issues surrounding the English Civil War.  Yet, I would state most vigorously that issues debated then were, in microcosm and incipiently, some of the issues we continue to debate today, and that a faithful and thinking defender of the continuity of Western tradition must, necessarily, come down on the side of the Royalists, as opposed to Oliver Cromwell’s authoritarian experiment in democracy. King Charles, for all his mistakes and bad decisions, nevertheless, represented the traditions of his country and, as he stated at his famous trial, represented “more the people of England” than the rump “democratic” dictatorship of the Cromwellians and Roundheads.

Back in the 1960s, back when William F. Buckley’s magazine, National Review and Russell Kirk’s journal, Modern Age, were arguably truly conservative, the question concerning the Spanish Civil War would have, likewise, been a giveaway. Almost all conservatives would have viewed that conflict in the light of a much larger, universal conflict between international Communism and those forces opposed to it, and this despite the fact that the anti-Republican Nationalist forces led by Francisco Franco did receive some support from Fascist Italy and Hitler’s Germany (while the Soviet Union not only supported the Republic, but eventually via the Spanish Communist Party eliminated most of its opposition in Spanish Republican ranks). But not today; indeed,  many of the dominant “conservatives” of 2017—the Neoconservatives—come down passionately on the side of the socialist Republic, and, employing the linguistic armor of the Left, they attack the Nationalist, Catholic and traditionalist forces that fought against the Republic, as “fascists.”

Finally, there is the War Between the States, and it is here, in this case, where we indeed can separate the true traditionalist conservatives who comprehend and accept the continuum of Western Christian civilization, its virtues, and its authority, and those who have, in reality and to varying degrees, severed themselves from that continuity. It is here that we can range on one side those who accept and participate in that “great chain of being”—that fundamentally religious and hierarchical structure of all matter and life, decreed by God, Himself, and present in our historical consciousness, and those who do not accept it. For support, in some form, of the Confederacy becomes that crucial measure that determines not just a political outlook about states’ rights and the original meaning of the American Constitution. It also demonstrates a vision of reality and of our existence as human beings created  by and subservient to God as part of an organic whole, a Creation which must continually be protected and defended against those who would seek to puncture it,  or distort its meaning, if not, eventually, to subvert or destroy it.

Certainly, there are those of good will and, let us call it, “invincible ignorance” who have been educated to think that the primary issue in 1861 was slavery, and that Abraham Lincoln was simply reacting to those “rebels” who wished to destroy “the sacred bonds” of Union, while advancing the great humanitarian cause of “freedom.” So much for the caliber and character of our contemporary educational system, not to mention Hollywood’s ideologically tendentious (and mostly successful) attempts to influence us. Yet, that mythology surrounding the Southern Iliad of 1861-1865 will not stand serious cross-examination.

Consider these popular myths and shibboleths:

The War was about slavery!” Not really accurate: the war aims cited repeatedly by Lincoln and Northern publicists were that the War was to “preserve the Union.” Indeed, if abolition of slavery had been declared as the principle war aim in 1861, most likely a great majority of Union political leaders, not to mention Union soldiers, would have recoiled, and the Northern war effort would most likely have collapsed. It was difficult enough to gain wide support in the North, as it was. Remember, Lincoln was elected with less than 40% of the vote in 1860, and barely gained pluralities in most Northern states.

“Lincoln freed the slaves!” Not so; Lincoln freed not one slave. His Emancipation Proclamation, issued first on September 22, 1862 and finalized on January 1, 1863, supposedly “freeing the slaves,” only applied to those areas not under Union military control or occupation, that is, territory of the independent Southern states. It did not apply to the “slave states” within the Union or controlled by the Union military, including Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. Thus, Lincoln’s proclamation “freed” slaves where his action had no effect, but left it untouched where he could have “freed” them. Not only that, exactly one month prior to his initial proclamation he had been interviewed by Horace Greeley, editor of The New York Tribune, where he forthrightly stated: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it… What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union….” [August 22, 1861] The amendments to end slavery came after the conclusion of the war and after the death of Lincoln.

And most recently this charge: “Robert E. Lee and other Confederate military leaders who had been in the US Army committed treason by violating their oaths to defend the Union, and Confederate leaders were in rebellion against the legitimately elected government of the United States.”

It is this accusation that has become the ultimate weapon of choice—the “ultima ratio”—for today’s fierce opponents of the various monuments that honor Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, P. G. T. Beauregard, and other Confederate military leaders, and for the belief that they should be taken down. And most especially, it is spewed forth as unassailable gospel by many Neoconservative writers, publicists, pundits, and their less distinguished camp followers in much of the NeverTrump elites of the Republican Party.

Most recently, we have witnessed the spectacle of Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, apparently “channeling” (!) Robert E. Lee and declaring that if Marse Robert were alive today he would gleefully join in the chorus to bring down those monuments honoring Confederate soldiers and leaders. Tell us, Rich, so the great general would be there right beside the “antifa” Marxists and Black Lives Matter vandals, that is, those “new” friends you have made over on the extreme left?

Even more obtuse views come from Mona Charen, a long time Neocon publicist and NeverTrumper, who fears that the GOP is “being taken over by Trumpists and Neo-Confederates”! Perish the thought, Mona!

But it is from the foul mouths of “conservatives” Andrew Bacevitch and Max Boot that the worst venom emits, and, fascinatingly, it could have just as well come from a member of the communist Workers’ World Party as from Bacevitch (who writes for The American Conservative, but voted for Obama twice) or Boot (who was John McCain’s foreign policy advisor during McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign).

Just a few quotes from Bacevitch:

“My complaint about Lee—I admit this to my everlasting shame—was not that he was a slaveholder who in joining the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery. It was that he had thereby engineered the killing of many thousands of American patriots who (whatever their views on slavery and race) wished simply to preserve the Union. At the beginning of the Civil War, Lee famously remarked that he could not bring himself to take up arms against his home state of Virginia. This obliged him to take up arms against the very nation that as a serving officer he had sworn to defend? No less than Benedict Arnold, Robert E. Lee was a traitor. This became, and remains, my firm conviction.”

And then this from Boot:

“…what is it that we are supposed to be grateful to the Confederates for? For seceding from the Union? For, in the case of former U.S. Army officers such as Lee and Jackson, violating their oaths to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”? For triggering the most bloody conflict in American history? For fighting to keep their fellow citizens in bondage?” 

Now, these individuals are, supposedly, well-educated, with valuable university degrees, writers of some (I would submit, undeserved) repute. I do not believe they fall into the category of invincible ignorance; I do not believe that will suffice as an explanation or excuse for the hatred-laced and furious animus they demonstrate against a Lee or any other faithful military leader of the Confederacy. Rather, they fall clearly on that other side of my unbridgeable divide—they implicitly, through this major indicator and precisely because they are educated, reject the continuum of Western Christian civilization. They may protest not, but, in effect and through their views, they effectively do so. And, as such, they are the enemies of those who do defend that great chain of being, that European inheritance of those who went before us, the legacy of Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. Thus, they must be called out and their vision denounced for what it is: the “Fifth Column” of the progressivist Revolution that seeks to radically remake the world and man…and that remade image is not one that comes from God.

Two years ago, in 2015, in response to the hysteria (including the actions of the invincibly stupid Nikki Haley) concerning the display of Confederate flags after the criminal acts of Dylann Roof, I authored a long essay, first published in the Confederate Veteran magazine, and then picked up by the Abbeville Institute. Much of the ludicrous reasoning offered by Bacevitch, Boot, Lowry, and Charen (and other Neocons) I attempted to answer back then, in particular the utterly ridiculous charge that General Lee somehow violated his oath to defend the Constitution as a member of the US Army. Accordingly, I reproduce portions of that essay today.

Lastly, Dr. Lee Cheek has written a shorter, but fine, defense of General Lee, and I pass that on as well.

Once again, I ask your indulgence: there is much here, but in these critical times, it is incumbent upon us to be informed…and prepared for the battles ahead.

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~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

President Trump And The Racism And Anti-Semitism Obsession

Anti-Semitism, Constitution, Donald Trump, libertarianism, Morality, Paleolibertarianism, Race, Racism

A friend—a brilliant scholar of Objectivism—expressed concern over my support (albeit waning support) for Donald Trump. He pointed out in an email that the president was “slowly, but surely, abandoning that outsider stance and was becoming part of the very system he fought against.”

It’s hard to disagree.

However, I had hedged my words in the book, The Trump Revolution, which stands up quite well, since I supported Trump’s “creative destruction” or “process,” more than anything else.

My friend points to Trump sending more troops to Afghanistan (“well, at least he’s committed to no nation-building”). He laments that “it was like pulling teeth to get POTUS to condemn the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville; yes, they had the support of the ACLU, just as they had the support of the ACLU when similar groups marched on Skokie”:

I’d be the first to defend their rights to march. But his initial response seemed so tepid to me; he finally was able to utter the words Obama wouldn’t: “Islamic terrorist”, but he couldn’t seem to utter the phrase “neo-Nazi” in his condemnation of those brown-shirt nutjobs who were chanting “Jews will not replace us” and who thought he wasn’t racist enough because he gave his beautiful daughter to that “bastard Kushner”. The whole thing reminded me of the Nuremberg rallies. …
Now, don’t get me wrong: “Antifa” are not interested in freedom. They are like the Red Stalinists who were for Hitler when Stalin and Hitler were “allies” and then against Hitler when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union.

But I’m just puzzled that you’re not concerned by this scent of anti-Semitism that keeps emerging from some of Trump’s constituency; it seems like he doesn’t want to come down hard on them because he’s starting to act more and more like a politician: afraid of alienating a group of disaffected and disenfranchised voters who most obviously voted for him, and who he will need in any bid for re-election.

My response to the last is that I’ve never looked to the Leader to utter feel-good moral fatuities. A leader in the American tradition should stick to the Constitution. Moreover, the race meme and its use in American politics sickens me. Seriously, I support people’s right to hate me, even not to serve me. Maybe I
am that radical a propertarian. I want my president to shut up about race and uphold the Constitution, which he has failed miserably to do. I’m a minimalist gal.

My friend goes on to emphasize that he’s “a little puzzled not to have read much in [my] columns about this troubling issue. For me, a lot of it came out of the Bannon wing (despite Bannon’s valuable opposition to the neocons), but for me, there is no love lost with his ouster.”

My reply: I’ve never railed against anti-Semitism. So long as your mitts stop at my face, I don’t care if you hate me qua Jew. Maybe it’s naïve, but … I confess to hating the Left even more than caring about anti-Semitism.”

My friend was sadly right to have feared

that Trump would be absorbed by the very system he opposed, because it’s just in the nature of politics. Now with his amping up of the war in Afghanistan and his tepid responses to Jew haters, I’m extremely concerned. Help me out here.

Like my friend, my concern is more with War and the Deep State. I don’t see Jews becoming targets for more than verbal aggression. I certainly can no longer look up to Trump: His nepotism; his kids in the White House, his wars, no tax reform, no free market in medicine, no wall. All those issues consume me more than his reaction to the words of a fringe group.