It occurred to me this morning that, when I play political “word association,” the results are interesting. The game is to think of big events in America, past or present, and then associate a political party name with them, whether because the party was in power at the time or is associated with the ideology. Here goes:
Happy Fourth of July.
On this day, in 1776, our Founders passed The Declaration of Independence, severing ties with Great Britain and announcing the birth of a new nation. The American colonists were then in the midst of a war that would see battles in all thirteen colonies, with the outcome of the war very much in doubt right up until victory came in the aftermath of British General Cornwallis’s Surrender at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. From the British perspective, the American Revolution ignited aworld war with France, Spain and Holland that would not end until 1782.
The American Revolution began in 1761, when British officials began a corrupt, concerted and heavy handed effort to end smuggling and increase revenues in the colonies, with these efforts falling hardest in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first overt act of war did not take place until 1774, when Britain, bent on punishing all of Boston for the Boston Tea Party, established a complete naval blockade of Boston’s harbor. The actual shooting war began in April, 1775, when the British tried to disarm the patriots at Concord, Massachusetts. A second battle had taken place in June, 1775 when the colonists pre-empted a British attack by occupying Breeds Hill overlooking Boston, in what would later be called, incorrectly, the Battle of Bunker Hill.
And yet, it was by no means clear, until July 2, 1776 that the colonists would declare themselves independent of Britain. When the Second Continental Congress convened in May, 1775, the colonists still saw themselves as loyal citizens of Britain and their individual colonies. They had no desire to permanently join together the thirteen colonies. The colonies united simply for defense; the clear goal otherwise was not independence, but a return to the pre-1761 relationship that the individual colonies enjoyed with Britain.
In the end, it was not the colonists who declared war on Britain and started a revolution in the lead-up to 4 July, 1776; it was the other way around. For over a decade, Britain had been passing ever more draconian laws and taxes which would have had the effect, if meekly accepted, of stripping from the colonists all of the rights enjoyed by British citizens living in Britain proper. Then, in the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, it was King George himself who decided that “blows should decide the issue.” It was the King of Britain who declared the colonies to be in a state of rebellion, who sent the largest expeditionary force of the 18th century to the colonies to establish military rule, who authorized a naval war on the colonies, and who resolutely refused all formal entreaties from the colonists to engage in peaceful discussions. It was Britain’s forces in the colonies that, by July 1776, had started the shooting war by forcing the colonist’s hand at Lexington and Concord and had committed acts of pure terrorism in the attacks on civilian targets, including the burning of Falmouth. It was the British officials in the colonies who had allied with the Indians to attack the colonists from the west, and it was these same officials that sought to use slaves as a military force against the colonies.
I am very grateful to George Will for clarifying something for me. As you’ve no doubt heard, after a lifetime as a Republican, he’s leaving the GOP because it appears that the GOP will yield to the voter’s will and accept Donald Trump as the Republican party candidate for president in 2016. George Will now says something similar to what Ronald Reagan once said of the Democrat party:
Will said he changed his voter registration this month from Republican to “unaffiliated” in the state of Maryland.
“This is not my party,” Will said during his speech at the event.
I can respect that. Since I left behind my Democrat past, I’ve always considered myself more of a conservative than a Republican. To me, the Republican party has always been the “go along to get along” party. It’s the party that does whatever the Democrat party does, except cries more loudly about the cost.
What I can’t respect is Will’s willingness to hand the White House over to Hillary:
With my old-fashioned mindset, if I were to go back to college to major in “American Studies” I would expect to find the curriculum filled with classes about the Constitution, the development of political parties, the immigrant experience, the opening of the West, changes in Congress, etc. Boy, would I be wrong. Here is the roster of American Studies classes being taught at one of the innumerable (and expensive) “liberal arts” colleges dotted throughout America’s Midwest. As you read it, keep in mind the theory that Asians and Jews are Democrats even when it’s against their own best interests because they are the groups most likely to send their kids to these indoctrination factories:
I’ll be away all day tomorrow, first doing an activity with the kids, and then listening to this year’s best a cappella groups (although this wonderful group from Israel won’t be there). I therefore hope that this post gives you lots of interesting stuff to read on Saturday.
Pro-Trump? Anti-Trump? Pro-GOP? Anti-GOP? Pro-Conservative? Anti-Conservative? Who the heck knows anymore? Trump’s ascendancy has caused normally staid, solid, and scholarly conservatives to become wildly partisan for or against Trump.
I was listening to someone explain a seizure yesterday, and he described it as all the neurons firing simultaneously and randomly. American conservatives are having a seizure.
Anyway, I thought I’d consolidate in one place some of the differing viewpoints about Trump and about how best to serve America over the long haul. As you know, my hot buttons are the Supreme Court; the Second Amendment; Israel’s security, because it’s the right thing to do and because Israel is the world’s “canary in a coal mine”; and naming and then fighting the evil that is fundamentalist, radical Islam. With those hot buttons front and center, I’ve switched from #NeverTrump, which was my position when the primaries were contested, to #NeverHillary.
My dream candidate is, and has been since 2013, Ted Cruz, but that dream is dashed. Here, in reality-land, I believe that the Republican party is dead whether or not Trump wins, and that conservativism needs to be re-taught to Americans from the ground up, just as they were taught Leftism from the ground up over the past 40 years, with the Leftist takeover of American education, news, and entertainment. If Hillary gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, destroy the Second Amendment, abandon Israel, and take policy advice from the Muslim Brotherhood figures who surround her (and even sleep with her for alleged health reasons) I think America will be too destroyed ever to rebuild.
I’ve assembled here a good collection of pro and con posts about Trump’s candidacy. I have no idea if reading all of them will clarify things for you or further confuse you, but they are all interesting:
This post’s title, of course, is facetious. Dennis Prager is entirely unaware of my blog (and, no, I’m not complaining about that fact). I have noticed over the years, though, that Prager will often write a post that says what I had earlier blogged about, although he always says it better than I did (which is why he gets paid the biggish bucks). The latest example is Prager’s article stating that the scariest aspect of Donald Trump’s elevation in the Republican Party reflects the fact that Americans no longer understand either the nature of America or the nature of conservativism. They have hot-button issues, but no broad conservative principles.
Allow me to quote myself to the same effect:
Someone sent me a photo of a very apt bumper sticker:
I think that bumper sticker goes a long way to explaining Trump’s initial and still growing success. Voters, especially those on both the Left and the Right who haven’t bought into the Democrat Party’s deep dive into hardcore socialism and who are dismayed by just about everything the Obama administration has done at home and abroad, look at Washington D.C. and the nation at large, and this is what they see (it’s a long list):
This fascinating video is not for any candidate or any party. It is a pure and perfect homage to the American dream and the American people.
Captain Clay Higgins reminds us that we are and always have been a people “driven by imperfect men with perfect intent.” We’ve fought wars for freedom the world over, fed the hungry, and raised people out of poverty.
The Washington establishment, however, has driven us so deep into debt that it will take generations to put the nation on a sound financial footing, something that weakens us in every regard. Fear not, though. America is more than her politicians and her debt; she is her people.
Clearly, this is an inspiring video and one worth watching as we head into the most bizarre political season ever. On the Democrat side, we see an incompetent, corrupt and self-serving career Leftist battling it out with an old dangerously naive (or truly) evil career communist. And on the Republican side, as of yesterday evening, a brilliant constitutionalist was forced aside by a man who is, like Alice’s Red Queen, the personification of rage.
As the world seems so deranged that the earth appears to wobble on its axis, it’s increasingly hard to look at the news, let alone contemplate it deeply. However, I have two articles to recommend. If you read only one thing today this is the one to read:
As of tonight, we might know whether Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential candidate. And barring unforeseeable events, it is certain that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Those are two reasons (of many, unfortunately) why — other than the first years of the Civil War, when the survival of the United States as one country was in jeopardy — there was never a darker time in American history.
The various major wars — the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars — were worse in terms of American lives lost.
The Great Depression was worse in economic terms.
There were more riots during the Vietnam War era.
But at no other time was there as much pessimism — valid pessimism, moreover — about America’s future as there is today.
Among the reasons are:
Every distinctive value on which America was founded is in jeopardy.
According to Pew Research, more and more young Americans do not believe in freedom of speech for what they deem “hate speech.” Forty percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 said they agreed that offensive statements could be outlawed.
According to a series of Harvard polls, 47 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 believe that food, shelter, and health care “are a right that government should provide to those unable to afford them.” That means that nearly half of our young believe they have a legitimate claim on the labor and earnings of others for life’s basic necessities.
More than half of young Americans do not support capitalism — the source of the prosperity they enjoy and the only economic system that has ever lifted mass numbers of people out of poverty.
When young Americans see pictures of the Founders, they do not see the great men that most Americans have seen throughout American history. They see white males who were affluent (now derisively labeled “privileged”) and owned slaves.
The belief that certain fundamental rights are God-based — a view held by every American Founder and nearly all Americans throughout its history — is reviled outside of conservative religious circles and held by fewer and fewer Americans.
The view that male and female are distinctive identities — one of the few unquestioned foundational views of every society in history — is being obliterated. One is deemed “a hater” just for saying that one believes that, all things being equal, a child does best starting out life with a married father and mother.
The ideas that America should be a “melting pot” or that all Americans should identify as American are now unutterable in educated company. Indeed, many college campuses do not have an American flag on their campus because some students regard it as “offensive” — representing imperialism and capitalism.
In addition, virtually every major institution is in decay or disarray.
Read the rest here. Dennis Prager warns that we can’t give up. You’re not really fighting if you’re already winning. You’re only fighting when there’s something at stake and you think you might lose irrevocably if you don’t give it your all.
And if you have the time to read two things today, read Victor Davis Hanson on the fact that Donald Trump is the true post-modern candidate:
Sometimes we’re lucky to end up with a super brilliant friend who has the gift of making complex information accessible (sort of like Thomas Sowell). My brilliant friend is Wolf Howling, who has spent the last few years delving deeply into the American Revolution and its causes. He wrote here before about the Writs of Assistance that helped drive the Revolution. Today, he’s shared with me an essay he wrote about how inextricably intertwined religion and revolution were in 18th Century North America:
While the Writs of Assistance controversy may have lit the fuse for the Revolution in 1756, it was on January 30, 1750, that the soil in which the Revolution would grow was first tilled. On that day, a young Congregationalist minister, Jonathan Mayhew, but three years out of Harvard Divinity School, would take to the pulpit at Boston’s Old West Church and, for his sermon, read from a document he had labored upon for several months, A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers.
In the sermon, Mayhew was responding to the fact that Anglican clergy in Britain were working to rehabilitate and glorify King Charles I, the tyrannical and hapless King who was beheaded on January 30, 1649 during England’s Civil War. Given that the English Civil War ended up pitting mostly Puritans (by 1750, known as Congregationalists) and Presbyterians (Dissenters, as they were then called collectively) on one side and against a largely Anglican force on the King’s side, it is not surprising that any attempt to rehabilitate Charles and demonize those who fought against him would draw a heated response from a Congregationalist Minister.
Little marked for whatever reason today – perhaps because of the left’s efforts to rewrite our Revolution as wholly secular – the sermon, which Mayhew had printed and distributed throughout the colonies and Britain, was at the time a very influential document. In his discourse, Rev. Mayhew explained that religion justified resisting a tyrant generally and Charles I specifically. Moreover, he argued that British liberties sprang forth from the natural rights God had bestowed on man, so that fighting to protect those rights from a sovereign’s encroachment was more than a secular option, it was a religious obligation. Mayhew, in one of his sermons, in 1750, also was the first on American soil to utter the words “no taxation without representation.”
In the television show
My long-time readers know that I do not believe that people are born naturally nice or good. Indeed I’ve written before about the fact that when Anne Frank, in her last diary entry before being taken to Auschwitz, said that she believes all people are really good at heart, or something like that, she was whistling in the dark. People are not naturally good. They have to be taught to be good.
Fortunately, most people in America are still taught to be good. Indeed, at Disneyland, being good is corporate policy. Whatever else Disney may do in terms of movies and TV shows, it knows how to make sure that Disneyland is always “the happiest place on earth.” The employees smile, they are helpful, the facilities are immaculate, and everything runs very, very well. It is of course a testament to the wonders of the free market, since this is a perfect way both to keep and grow a paying customer base, but that’s not where I’m going in this post.