Category Archives: Founding Fathers

Has Trump Awakened John C. Calhoun’s Concurrent Majority?

America, Constitution, Democracy, Donald Trump, Federalism, Founding Fathers

“Has Trump Awakened John C. Calhoun’s Concurrent Majority?” is the current column, now on An excerpt:

In his August 20 rally in Fredericksburg, Va., Donald Trump continued to say things surprisingly basic. Or, “insubstantial,” if you believe the presstitutes (with apologies to prostitutes, who do an honest day’s work and whom I respect). I paraphrase:

We are going to take our country back.

It is going to be a new day in America. It is going to be a great day in America.

Government will listen to the people again. The voters, not the special interests, will be in charge. Ours will be a government of, by, and for the people.

Our economy will grow. Jobs will come back. New factories will stretch all across the nation.

Families will be safe and secure. Crime will go down. Law and order will be restored to these United States of America.

In Charlotte, NC, on August 18, Trump spoke of embracing weeping parents whose kids were killed by illegal immigrants. Immigration laws will be enforced, he promised. Make every city a Sanctuary City for Americans, not their killers (OK, the last line is mine).

We’re going to reject globalism and put America first. The era of national building is over.

And again: It’s going to be America first from now on; we’re going to put country first, our American workers first, our people first. Trade deals will protect the American worker again, roared Trump.

It’s hard to keep up with all the impassioned addresses the high-energy Mr. Trump has given in the last week. However, his law-and-order speech in Charlotte was especially phenomenal, because so very basic:

One thing I’ll promise you, I will always tell you the truth. I will speak on behalf of the voiceless, return the government to the people; give the people their voice back. I will never let you down.

Let our kids be Dreamers too, suggested Trump. He was alluding to the affectionate legislation and terminology developed by the New York-Washington axis of power for its young, illegal-alien protégés.

In Trump you have a political outsider, despised by the media-congressional-donor complex, talking to the multitudes living in Rome’s provinces and groaning under the burden of its policies. To this voiceless Common American is Trump vowing to give a voice.

Also in Charlotte, Trump said he’d never put special interests before American interests, pointing out that none controlled him. “My only interest is the American people.”

And from West Bend, Wisconsin, where Trump materialized on August 16, he declared: “I’m with you, the American People. We’ll once again be a country of law-and-order and unparalleled successes. I’m with you; I’ll fight for you; I’ll win for you.”

The American scheme of government was meant to be pretty basic—more about what government was to refrain from doing to its people than what it was to do for them. America’s Silent Majority is hankering for pitifully fundamental things from a government that has forgotten this.

As I argue in “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Reconstructed,” Trump is no “visionary vis-à-vis government.” If anything, “he is practical and pragmatic. He wants a fix for Americans, not a fantasy.”

In “The Trump Revolution,” I attempted to place this hankering for things simple and universal within a uniquely American framework. This led me to posit a thesis invoking a concept developed by one of America’s greatest political thinkers, in the estimation of historian Clyde N. Wilson. The concept is that of the concurrent majority. The thinker is John C. Calhoun. …

Read the rest. “Has Trump Awakened John C. Calhoun’s Concurrent Majority?” is the current column, now on

A July 4th Toast To Thomas Jefferson, Author of The Declaration

America, Constitution, Founding Fathers, History, IMMIGRATION

For most, Independence Day means firecrackers and cookouts. “The Declaration of Independence—whose proclamation, on July 4, 1776, we celebrate—doesn’t feature. To be fair to the liberal establishment, ordinary Americans are not entirely blameless. In fact, contemporary Americans are less likely to read it now that it is easily available on the Internet, than when it relied on horseback riders for its distribution.”

Back in 1776, gallopers carried the Declaration through the country. Printer John Dunlap had worked ‘through the night’ to set the full text on ‘a handsome folio sheet,’ recounts historian David Hackett Fischer in Liberty And Freedom. And President (of the Continental Congress) John Hancock urged that the “people be universally informed.”

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, called it ‘an expression of the American Mind.’ An examination of Jefferson’s constitutional thought makes plain that he would no longer consider the mind of a Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, or the collective mentality of the liberal establishment, ‘American’ in any meaningful way. For the Jeffersonian mind was that of an avowed Whig—an American Whig whose roots were in the English Whig political philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. …

… Jefferson’s muse for the ‘American Mind’ is even older.

The Whig tradition is undeniably Anglo-Saxon. Our founding fathers’ political philosophy originated with their Saxon forefathers, and the ancient rights guaranteed by the Saxon constitution. With the Declaration, Jefferson told Henry Lee in 1825, he was also protesting England’s violation of her own ancient tradition of natural rights. As Jefferson saw it, the Colonies were upholding a tradition the Crown had abrogated. …

Naturally, Jefferson never entertained the folly that he was of immigrant stock. He considered the English settlers of America courageous conquerors, much like his Saxon forebears, to whom he compared them. To Jefferson, early Americans were the contemporary carriers of the Anglo-Saxon project.”

The original Independence-Day column in its entirety is “A July 4th Toast To Thomas Jefferson And The Anglo-Saxon Tradition.”

Certain Americans will never own the founding history of this country and one of perhaps three just wars Americans have fought.

In 2012, the foul-mouthed Chris Rock called July 4th “Happy white peoples independence day.”

Iowa Caucuses Would Be Remarkable Athenian Democracy, If ONLY

Democracy, Elections, Federalism, Founding Fathers

James Madison was not a democrat. He denounced popular rule as “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” Democracy, he observed, must be confined to a “small spot” (like Athens). That’s why what’s underway in Iowa is so remarkable for its local impetus, “a gathering of neighbors,” really. Where an Iowa-like process loses any semblance of legitimate self-government is once campaigns expand and local voices become fainter and fainter. The Iowa Caucuses would be remarkable Athenian Democracy, but for the fact that by the time candidates get to Washington, they forget about Iowans (or the people of any other state). When it leaves the locality, Democracy, like water ripples, never comes back.

Right now, this “gathering of neighbors” is impressive:

In Iowa, groups of voters will meet in 1,681 precincts throughout the state beginning at 7 p.m. local time Monday. “It’s basically a gathering of neighbors, so it’s the folks on your street or in your neighborhood or at your church who vote at the same place where you vote, coming together to discuss politics,” said David Redlawsk, a political science professor at Rutgers University currently serving as a fellow at Iowa’s Drake University. The caucuses will take place at schools, fire stations, city halls and sometimes churches — any easily accessible public location. … There’s a similar theme voters in both states should remember: Love thy neighbor. It just might help your candidate become the next president. … “The caucuses are really about community and neighborhood gatherings and talking politics. But in the end, the campaign in New Hampshire is very similar to the campaign in Iowa — it’s very personal, it’s very oriented around town halls and one-on-ones,” Redlawsk said.

Schooling Sanders On ‘Inequality Of Condition’ As Essential To Progress & Liberty

Constitution, Democracy, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Liberty, Socialism, Taxation

In his spectacular “Disquisition on Government,” John C. Calhoun, one of America’s greatest political thinkers, outlines why it is so dangerous to depict liberty as meaningless without equality, when the opposite is the truth. From A Disquisition on Government:

… There is another error, not less great and dangerous, usually associated with the one which has just been considered. I refer to the opinion, that liberty and equality are so intimately united, that liberty cannot be perfect without perfect equality.

That they are united to a certain extent — and that equality of citizens, in the eyes of the law, is essential to liberty in a popular government, is conceded. But to go further, and make equality of condition essential to liberty, would be to destroy both liberty and progress. The reason is, that inequality of condition, while it is a necessary consequence of liberty, is, at the same time, indispensable to progress. In order to understand why this is so, it is necessary to bear in mind, that the main spring to progress is, the desire of individuals to better their condition; and that the strongest impulse which can be given to it is, to leave individuals free to exert themselves in the manner they may deem best for that purpose, as far at least as it can be done consistently with the ends for which government is ordained — and to secure to all the fruits of their exertions.

Now, as individuals differ greatly from each other, in intelligence, sagacity, energy, perseverance, skill, habit of industry and economy, physical power, position and opportunity — the necessary effect of leaving all free to exert themselves to better their condition, must be a corresponding inequality between those who may possess these qualities and advantages in a high degree, and those who may be deficient in them. The only means by which this result can be prevented are, either to impose such restrictions on the exertions of those who may possess them in a high degree, as will place them on a level with those who do not; or to deprive them of the fruits of their exertions.

But to impose such restrictions on them would be destructive of liberty — while, to deprive them of the fruits of their exertions, could be to destroy the desire of bettering their condition. It is, indeed, his inequality of condition between the front and rear ranks, in the march of progress, which gives so strong an impulse to the former to maintain their position, and to the latter to press forward into their files. This gives to progress its greatest impulse. To force the front rank back to the rear, or attempt to push forward the rear into line with the front, by the interposition of the government, would put an end to the impulse, and effectually arrest the march of progress.

These great and dangerous errors have their origin in the prevalent opinion that all men are born free and equal — than which nothing can be more unfounded and false. It rests upon the assumption of a fact, which is contrary to universal observation, in whatever light it may be regarded. It is, indeed, difficult to explain how an opinion so destitute of all sound season, ever could have been so extensively entertained, unless we regard it as being confounded with another, which has some semblance of truth — but which, when properly understood, is not less false and dangerous. …

MORE Disquisition on Government.