Jeff Sessions wasn’t racist for using the term “Anglo-American heritage,” but the outrageous outrage over it is progressive politics at its most disgusting.
I am sure you have heard about this. A few days ago, CNN breathlessly highlighted in a report that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a speech to the National Sheriff’s Association, said
Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process. The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.
Our neo-Marxist proggies went nuts. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii wrote: “Do you know anyone who says “Anglo-American heritage” in a sentence? What could possibly be the purpose of saying that other than to pit Americans against each other? . . .” Others followed suit, the most obscene being California’s current Lt. Gov. and likely its next governor, Gavin Newsom. He wrote: “Reminder that our Attorney General is an outright racist who wants us all to acknowledge our ‘Anglo-American’ heritage.”
Referring to our “Anglo-American” heritage in respect to government and the law is not merely common, it is the norm. It is one of the fundamental truths of our nation. And while truth may sometimes be uncomfortable, it can never racist.
As Powerline points out, there are multiple examples of Con Law Professor turned President Obama referring to our “Anglo-American legal system.” And, as Powerline also points out, Lawrence Tribe, a well-known progressive attorney, in an act of supreme hypocrisy, tweeted his agreement with Sen. Schatz. Yet only a few years ago, Tribe, writing in the Washington Post used the same “Anglo-American” description to make the argument that British law of the 1600’s acted to limit the power of our President today. What a disingenuous putz.
What Schatz, Newsom, and Tribe are doing is all part and parcel of the progressive neo-Marxist’s project to fundamentally alter our nation without going through the democratic processes specified in Article V of the Constitution. Here is how it works: One, paint the Constitution as a racist, and thus make it a fundamentally illegitimate document undeserving of protection. Two, disconnect the Constitution from its historical roots — roots which are anything but racist. Three, because those roots are Anglo-Saxon, play the race card to delegitimize anyone (not a neo-Marxist proggie) who would refer to them.
If they succeed, then the progs get to cheer on Courts that fundamentally and unlawfully alter our Constitution. They get to cheer on a President who usurps the power of Congress and, acting in the best traditions of a despotic King, unilaterally makes new law and foreign treaties. They get to support regulatory bureaucracies eclipsing the power of Congress and narrowing the scope of our individual rights without the same ever being voted on by our elected representatives.
For all that to succeed, the neo-Marxist proggies are banking on ignorance of our Constitution and world history. Their claims will only resonate with those people — most likely products of a K-grad school social justice education — who do not understand the basics of the Constitution or its genesis, nor any sort of world history over the past two millennia. These are people who do not understand the importance of their rights or the protections of checks and balances to their freedom, and thus will not fight, let alone fight to the death, to protect them as they are stripped away. Moreover, the neo-Marxist proggies, sounding their outrage in terms of moral superiority, rightly expect that the sheeple they have so carefully nurtured in their ignorance through public education will then join the progs to excoriate the evil, racist wingnuts with the gall to call to mention our “Anglo Saxon heritage.” It is a gamble, though, as for everyone else, they will see the dishonesty and likely be repelled. Or as the saying goes, “you want more Trump, this is how you get more Trump.”
So let’s take a moment to look briefly at our Constitution and the Anglo-Saxon history behind it. Let’s begin with my favorite quote from William Pitt, the United Kingdom’s first Prime Minister. He was speaking in 1763 before Britain’s Parliament upon the Castle Doctrine — enshrined today in our Fourth Amendment.
The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter, the rain may enter,—but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.
Pitt’s speech came a little over a year after James Otis Jr., an American lawyer, spent six hours in a Boston court room arguing the same point, that the English right to be free from search and seizure except for probable cause was an Anglo-Saxon tradition that predated even the Magna Carta of 1215 by centuries. It was a right the English had fought wars over. And in a little over a decade, they would fight another war over this and other Anglo-Saxon rights — the Rights of Englishmen — on American shores.
The fact is our entire system of government and virtually all of our governing traditions are not merely adopted from Anglo-Saxon law, they are in many cases the truest continuation of them — far more so than in modern Britain. Our Constitution is, with but a few critical tweaks, nothing more than the laws, rights and governing systems of the United Kingdom as they existed in 1776.
Be very thankful it is so. Britain was then unique. Its system of individual rights and systems of governance gave critical protections to the individual — and not because of benign decisions from English monarchs, but because the individuals of England had, over the centuries, demanded those systems and rights. At various times, they fought and died for every single one of them. There are no rights in the Bill of Rights nor any protections guaranteed in our governing system with its exquisitely crafted system of checks and balances, that do not float on a historic lake of Anglo-Saxon blood (not to mention the disembodied head of at least one English King).
By the 17th century, there was no other sizable country in the world that came close affording to its people the freedoms and protections that British law and custom extended to British citizens. Significantly, the 17th century is also when Britain became an expansionist power, creating colonies all over the world — and exporting in toto British values, traditions and governing systems, something the neo-Marxists of Britain and America regularly damn them for today. When the Brits finally left, willingly or unwillingly, many of their former colonies retained British governing and bureaucratic systems. As I wrote a decade ago:
British Colonialism was Britain’s gift to the world. A sizable chunk, if not the majority of the most prosperous and free countries in the world today have emerged from Britain’s colonial empire – the US, Canada, India (which today boasts the world’s biggest democracy), Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand to name but a few.
The converse is also true. There is not a single sizable nation on earth that has adopted any other system of values and government that has, in the long run of history, prospered. Perhaps there are some smaller countries on the margins who developed similar systems independently, but if so, I am not aware of them. To continue from my old post:
Compare Britain’s former colonies today with those of France and Spain. The former are mostly functional, stable and economically viable states. The latter tend to be dysfunctional, corrupt and with lesser economic development.
For instance, compare the U.S. and Canada to Mexico, Argentina, or virtually any of the other South and Central American countries colonized and raped of their resources by Spain. Compare Nigeria – perhaps the most stable and prosperous of African states – with France’s Chad. They are mirror opposites. Compare any of Britain’s Caribbean Island colonies with France’s former slave colony of Haiti, the poorest and most dysfunctional country in the Western Hemisphere.
There have been three classes of locales where British colonialism did not work to leave strong, stable countries in its wake. These classes are Islamic countries, many African countries still mired in tribalism, and in those countries that have suffered coups or dictatorships in the wake of Britain’s withdrawal.
Yes, our nation is founded upon Anglo-American traditions. It is only fidelity to traditions that define us as a country. To claim that acknowledging this historic truth is racist is both moronic and obscene.
Lastly, on a related note, it is not only Britain to whom we owe a debt for their colonial legacy. Both we and the British owe a debt to the Romans. In all of history, Rome was the only other colonial power to have had a major positive impact on the world similar to Britain’s. As Rome expanded throughout Western Europe, it built up the infrastructure in each area to which it laid claim. Romans brought with them writing and a language that unlocked a rich store of knowledge. They brought advanced science, engineering, and sophisticated forms of government administration. And of course, even as the Roman Empire itself lay dying, it still had enough blood left in its veins to pump out the Judeo-Christian system to its former Empire. These things they left in their wake, allowing Western Europe to evolve much faster than those who did not benefit from Roman rule.
This Monty Python short from the Life of Brian perfectly captures that reality:
It should be no surprise that the same progressives who disdain our Anglo-Saxon legal and political heritage have also, for decades, been fighting fight tooth and nail against teaching Western Civilization, what with its Roman roots. Are you sensing a pattern?