Tackling Blood Libel

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Raoul Peck has a new documentary on HBO this year, in which he trots out every cliched Marxist libel in the books to portray white European Christians as uniquely responsible for genocides of minorities and indigenous people. The purpose of media such as this documentary, or of the New York Times’ “1619 Project” are to lay the foundation for a twisted view of our own history, and to teach our children that they are guilty of an original sin that can only be atoned for with Marxist revolution.

It is our responsibility to push back at works like this. I appreciate Raheem Kassam asking me to write a review of this documentary for The National Pulse, though it meant I had to watch every excruciating minute. I did it so you do not have to.

The conclusion of Exterminate All the Brutes is an extremely twisted vision of history, one in which white Europeans and their descendants are uniquely evil, with few if any redeeming values. In making this documentary, Raoul Peck engages in precisely the same dehumanization of a group of people for which he condemns the eugenicists, scientific racists, and Nazis of a century ago.

Read the whole thing, and while you are there check out all the great work that Raheem and Natalie Winters are doing to expose our duplicitous bureaucrats and elected officials.

Moldbug’s American Monarchy

Last week, former Trump security advisor Michael Anton, who published the hugely influential essay The Flight 93 Election under a pseudonym in 2016, spoke with programmer and political philosopher Curtis Yarvin, who under his own pseudonym Mencius Moldbug wrote some of the most influential works of the early 21st century.

I was interested to hear Yarvin echoing some of my own thoughts on the inevitable rise of an American Caesar, but he went even further by suggesting that President Franklin Roosevelt was a Caesar, as were Lincoln and Washington before them. He defines a “Caesar” as a leader who uses the existing political framework to inaugurate a new type of government, consolidating power in just a single man. Unlike the original Caesar, who bequeathed that power to his successors, Roosevelt instead bequeathed it to a permanent bureaucracy within the Executive Branch of government, what was now call the Deep State.

In any case, Yarvin suggests that this Caesarian revolution occurs about every 75 years, so we are due for another. Like me, he believes that our Caesar is a teenager right now, and he predicts that this future monarch will gain power by promising to transcend and end the red/blue divide in America, just as Caesar transcended the class divide in Rome.

I recommend you listen to the whole thing. Two hours will go by quickly as these two brilliant men ruminate on the fate of our own Republic.

Livestream 14: Realignment

In my 14th livestream I talk about the political realignment that is occurring before our eyes, the need for the nationalist right to confront hard truths, and talk about what we can do to stay safe from encroaching tyranny.

Watch here, or listen to the audio below or in your favorite podcast player.

Can It Happen Here?

Imagine for a moment that you are watching the news, or reading a history textbook, and you learn about a particular nation at a particular point in time.

This nation has become increasingly controlled by powerful oligarchs who, rather than being loyal to their homeland, continuously sell it out in exchange for power and profit.

The oligarchs of this nation use the justice system to engage in personal vendettas against political opponents. Conversely, family and friends of the regime get away with nearly anything – including murder.

Journalists and activists who expose embarrassing secrets about the regime are either arrested and held without bail or forced into exile.

State media makes up the most absurd lies about the previous leader, while engaging in obvious propaganda in favor of the current regime, whom they favor.

The most recent election for leader of this regime was riddled with problems. Various localities, under the leadership of the victorious party, altered voting rules on the fly, without legislative oversight. However, state media denounced all accusations of fraud, and social media censored anyone who tried to bring attention to these irregularities.

Millions of people who supported the incumbent leader came out to protest in provincial capitals, finally culminating in a large demonstration at the national capitol building. State media claimed that this was an “insurrection”.

State media promoted false narratives of this “insurrection,” claiming that violent protestors assaulted and murdered police officers. Independent investigations found these claims to be false, but the incoming regime maintained their narrative.

The regime used the so-called “insurrection” as cover for arresting many dissidents, holding them without bail in solitary confinement. Those who were not arrested found themselves blacklisted from social media. The ousted president was also banned from social media at the behest of the ruling party.

Ask yourself what you would think about such a country if it turned out to be Russia, or China, or a third-world banana republic. Then ask yourself what it means that this is America in 2021. The United States of America censors journalists, rigs elections, and imprisons dissidents. We have become the very sort of authoritarian regime that we have spent the last 75 years mocking and denouncing. Can it happen here? It already did.

How then shall we live?

The Chauvin Verdict

(I posted this on Locals the day of the verdict. Reposting here for posterity.)

Quick thoughts on the Chauvin verdict:

The rule of law in America is dead. Let the rule of the mob begin. Street thugs threatened violence, a sitting Congresswoman threatened violence, and the supposed President of the United States implicitly urged the jury to make the “correct” choice.

Patriotic Americans are learning that they cannot count on the police, the law, or the justice system to protect them and their natural rights. It is time to leave the cities, stock up on guns and ammo, and prepare to do what is necessary to ensure the safety of your families.

Move to red states, and to rural areas, but do not let down your guard. Leftists spend every waking moment plotting to turn cities like Bozeman, St. Louis, Tulsa, and Boise into Minneapolis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Portland. It is not enough to simply ask that we be left alone. We have to fight to maintain what we have, and begin to take back lost ground.

We say “the mob influenced the jury to vote the way they did” and mean that this was a travesty of justice. The leftists say the same thing, but with pride – communists have always used mob violence to achieve their political aims. Their aim right now is the complete destruction of Western Civilization.

Concepts such as the trial by jury, the common law, and the presumption of innocence are part of America’s Anglo-Saxon heritage. The woke mob says that is “racist” and “white supremacist” and must be abolished. They would replace it with a legal system based on skin color and other intersectional values.

Weak men like Greg Gutfield celebrated the verdict because they think they can sacrifice Derek Chauvin to the woke mob in exchange for a return to normalcy. They misread the situation. There is no going back. This verdict will only encourage the woke mob to get more violent, and to try and take more ground. They are already saying tonight that this verdict is not enough. The Cultural Marxists will not rest until every acre of this country either bends the knee or is burned to the ground.

As for the police, this verdict shows that big city politicians do not have your backs. You can do everything you were trained to do and still be hung out to dry as a sacrifice to the woke mob. Every police officer in America should resign tonight. Leave the cities and move to red communities that appreciate and support patriotic law enforcement personnel.

Hopefully today’s events convince more normal conservatives that they cannot simply shut these things out and return to their football games and barbecue grills. The future of our nation, our people, rests in our hands, and we are running out of time to save it.

Trump / Nixon

Allow me to tell you the story of a man who became President of the United States. This man was considered by many to be a political outsider, and he ran on a platform of ending foreign wars and reigning in an out-of-control federal bureaucracy. This President had a very contentious relationship with the media – in fact, they despised him, and used any excuse to attack him. The deep state bureaucracy fought him, the media slandered him, and the Democratic Party sought his impeachment. Leftist demonstrators rioted at the very mention of his name. In the end, they destroyed him, and his plans to drain the swamp were left unfinished.

The man of whom I am speaking is Richard Milhouse Nixon.

President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)

For most Americans of this generation, knowledge of President Richard Nixon begins and ends with Watergate. Most people know that he resigned in disgrace and assume that he must have been an especially bad man, and bad president, in order to do so. Yet a look at the presidency of Richard Nixon shows a series of remarkable victories and achievements in the face of some of the harshest opposition in American history. As I studied the man and his life, I began to wonder how history will treat another DC establishment iconoclast, President Donald Trump. As he left the White House for the last time as President, Nixon’s closest friend and confidant Henry Kissinger remarked that history would judge Nixon as one of the great Presidents, despite the scandal. Nixon replied, “That depends, Henry, on who writes the history.” Today I would like to write some history of a man who served as President, who fought the good fight against the Deep State, and who should remain an inspiration to patriotic Americans for ages to come, no matter what slant our history books put on him. Pay close attention and hear how the Nixon Administration compares with the now-completed Trump Administration. Pay attention to the tactics the Deep State used to destroy the former, and how they used the same tactics against the latter as well.

Unless otherwise noted, all quotations in this essay are from President Nixon’s memoirs.

Richard Nixon was not born into a rich and powerful family like his erstwhile friend and rival John F. Kennedy. The Nixons were a relatively poor Quaker family in California, before that state was known for wealth and glamor. Nixon’s father worked many jobs, including lemon farmer, rancher, and grocer. What savings the family had was depleted as two of Nixon’s brothers fought long and losing battles against tuberculosis. After high school, Nixon turned down a scholarship to Harvard and enrolled instead at nearby Whittier College so he could still help the family. After graduating at the top of his class with a degree in history, Nixon went to the East Coast to study law at Duke University. He worked his way through school, sharing a cramped dorm cabin that lacked running water.

Nixon played football at Whittier College

Nixon returned home to practice law in California and married Thelma Ryan, who went by Pat, in 1940. The following year the couple went to Washington DC where Richard worked in the Office of Price Administration. Both his government service and Quaker background ensured that he need not worry about being drafted into the military after Pearl Harbor, nevertheless Nixon sought and received a naval commission and was eventually assigned to sea duty in the Pacific.

Commander Richard Nixon, USN

Richard Nixon served honorably for several years, working mostly in logistics. After his retirement from the Naval Reserve in 1946 he once more returned home to California, this time to begin his political career. The ambitious young man was a skilled debater and campaigner. He defeated the Democratic incumbent in California’s 12th congressional district and returned to Washington in 1947 as a freshman Congressman. Fittingly, another World War II naval veteran joining the House of Representatives that year was none other than John Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Congressmen John Kennedy of Massachusetts and Richard Nixon of California

Nixon quickly gained influence in the political world. He was the youngest member of the Herter Committee, which traveled to Europe in 1947 and recommended that President Truman implement the Marshall Plan to save Europe from both starvation and Communism. Nixon also distinguished himself on the House Un-American Activities Committee with his dogged investigation of Alger Hiss, a university professor who lied about his past associations with Communist groups in America. In just two terms in Congress, Nixon had gained enough renown to not only win a Senate seat in 1950, but also to be placed on the Republican presidential ticket in 1952 as General Dwight Eisenhower’s running mate.

President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon

Nixon faced the greatest test of his young career late in the 1952 campaign. After winning his Senate race, Nixon faced the challenge of paying for his constant travel and communication with supporters. Rather than try to pay for it from public funds, Nixon put together a committee to manage a donor fund, taking care not to allow any appearance of quid pro quo. However, the media, already irritated with Nixon for his strong anti-communist views, used it as a vehicle to attack him, demanding that Eisenhower boot him from the ticket. Ike’s advisors would have preferred that Nixon quietly withdraw, but he instead went on live television – still a very new medium – and gave a detailed account of his finances, successfully defending himself against accusations of quid pro quo or a personal slush fund. Nixon explained that the only personal gift he had received from his supporters was a dog named Checkers, already beloved by his two daughters. Public reaction to the “Checkers speech” was overwhelmingly positive. Eisenhower kept Nixon on the ticket, and they won a resounding victory in November.

At just forty years of age, Richard Nixon was one of the youngest Vice Presidents in American history. President Eisenhower utilized Nixon much more than previous administrations, sending him around the world on diplomatic missions. When Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in 1955, Nixon informally took on the duties of President. The 25th Amendment had not yet been passed, so there was no clear direction as to how much a Vice President should take over when a President became incapacitated. Richard Nixon walked a fine line between doing what was necessary to ensure the smooth operation of the executive branch of the government while not appearing to be overly ambitious as Eisenhower recovered. The two men drafted a memorandum defining his role, which later served as the basis for the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

President Eisenhower after his heart attack

In 1958, Richard and Pat Nixon visited South America, where their motorcade was attacked by violent mobs in Peru and in Venezuela. Nixon was convinced that the mob violence was engineered by radical Communists. He later said, “The only way to deal with Communists is to stand up to them. Otherwise, they will exploit your politeness as weakness. They will try to make you afraid and then take advantage of your fears. Fear is the primary weapon of Communists.” Later, recalling the violent riots in South America, he said that “…the greatest danger a non-Communist nation faced was from a handful of activists and infiltrators who could impose their will on the whole society.” Anyone who paid attention to the summer of hate in 2020 will recognize that left-wing tactics have not changed.

Rioters attack the Nixon motorcade in Venezuela

Richard Nixon minced no words when talking about the threat of international Communism. Today, that threat has cloaked itself under different names such as antifa, Black Lives Matter, racial solidarity, environmentalism, feminism, and more. Yet their purpose remains the same: to dismantle Western Civilization in favor of their Marxist-Leninist utopia. In his memoirs, Nixon quotes John Foster Dulles, who served as President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, saying, “Communism is stubborn for the wrong; let us be steadfast for the right. A capacity to change is indispensable. Equally indispensable is the capacity to hold fast to that which is good.” No matter what names they call themselves, the forces that seek to destroy our civilization must be opposed. We cannot give an inch to those who want to erase our history and steal our posterity.

In 1959, Vice President Nixon traveled to Moscow on a goodwill visit. Premier Nikita Khrushchev took Nixon on a tour of an exhibition showing the Russian people what life was like in America. By the time they arrived at the model kitchen, their friendly discussion had turned into a somewhat heated debate about the merits of capitalist free markets versus Communist central planning. At one point, Khrushchev predicted that Nixon’s children would someday live under Communism, to which Nixon retorted that Khrushchev’s grandchildren would live in freedom. In hindsight, perhaps both men were correct. Russia threw off Marxism-Leninism in 1991, and, though still autocratic, now have much more freedom than they did sixty years ago. America, on the other hand, is quickly embracing the same failed socialist philosophies that the people of Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela once came to here to flee.

Premier Khrushchev and Vice President Nixon in Moscow

Richard Nixon’s extensive foreign policy experience made him the natural choice to succeed President Eisenhower in 1960. He had the support of a united Republican Party, while the Democrats soon coalesced around Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. There were many similarities between the two men: both had come to Congress in 1947, both served in the Navy in World War II, and both represented the torch being passed to a new generation. However, the media clearly had a favorite dog in this fight. In his memoirs, Nixon describes “…the way so many reporters in 1960 became caught up in the excitement of Kennedy’s campaign and infected with his personal sense of mission.” This sounds familiar to anyone who has watched the way the press has covered Democratic politicians in the last half century. Remember Chris Matthews of MSNBC exclaiming that Barack Obama’s speech sent a “thrill” up his leg?

The media’s favorite angle to photograph President Obama

We like to think that our press reports the news objectively and allows the American people to decide how to interpret it, but that is obviously not the case. It is not true now, and it was not true in 1960 either. While journalists ask their favored politicians such as Obama the sorts of questions that teenage fangirls ask their boy band crushes, they treat Republicans with disdain. No matter how many times Donald Trump repudiated so-called white nationalists, white supremacists, or the KKK, journalists demanded he do it again. If he did not respond on cue, they published hysterical headlines about how he had yet again refused to disavow racism and hate. This tactic is not new. Richard Nixon received the same treatment, remarking once that “Reporters never tired of asking if I had repudiated the John Birch Society.”

With Joe Biden now in the White House, our supposedly objective press has gone into overdrive in their hagiography of the new administration. Slavish devotion on the part of our media was bad enough during the Obama years, but they now go out of their way to be as positive toward Biden as they were negative toward Trump. Journalists tend to see themselves as partners with Democratic politicians in their aim of changing the world, while Republican politicians are their enemies. At least today we have alternative channels of information, although they are quickly being censored by Big Tech. In 1960, there were no alternative channels – the big three TV networks told you the news the way it was. The media presented JFK as the golden boy, while Nixon, despite being of similar age and with more executive experience, was portrayed as stodgy and old-fashioned.

The famous TV debate between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy perfectly illustrates this point. According to some historians, radio listeners believed that Nixon had easily won the debate, while television viewers, who saw the photogenic Kennedy matched up against the recently ill Nixon, thought that JFK had won. The advent of television was the beginning of the end for well-spoken statesmen who were masters of rhetoric. Their kind would soon be eclipsed by good looking men skilled in the art of pithy one-liners and viral slogans. Image is everything now. It is no surprise that America has not elected a bald president since Dwight Eisenhower. The media anointed John Kennedy as the torchbearer of the new generation, and they have continued writing the history ever since. Nixon himself did not believe that televised debates were good for the political process. He wrote, “I doubt that they can ever serve a responsible role in defining the issues of a presidential campaign. Because of the nature of the medium, there will inevitably be a greater premium on showmanship than on statesmanship.” In the 1968 campaign, Nixon pointedly refused to debate his opponent on TV.

Vice President Nixon and Senator Kennedy in the first televised debate in 1960

In any case, the election of 1960 was incredibly close. Kennedy won by razor-thin margins in both Texas and Illinois, and many at the time believed that there were shenanigans afoot in both states. Richard Nixon declined to challenge the results, believing that he could better serve his country by gracefully conceding than by engaging in a long challenge. We will probably never know the real truth of the election. Nixon’s concession did nothing to improve his image with the media, however. They still hated him, and when he ran for governor of California, they continued to attack him mercilessly.

Many on the left and right suggested that President Trump should have gracefully conceded in 2020, despite the obvious evidence of fraud and other election malfeasance. However, the example of Richard Nixon shows that he would have been damned if he did, and damned if he did not. Nixon chose to concede, while Trump chose to fight, yet both were savagely attacked by our media. If anything, Trump learned the lesson of 1960 that he might as well fight since they would destroy his reputation either way.

A cardboard cutout of President Trump at a “Stop the Steal” rally in 2020

After losing the California governor’s race in 1962, Nixon told the press they would not have him to kick around anymore. He returned to private life after a decade and a half in politics, and it seemed that his story was over. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that there are no second acts in American life, but that often proves not to be the case. Donald Trump has had at least three acts – developer and tabloid staple in the 80s and 90s, reality TV host in the aughts, and then President of the United States after that. So it was with Richard Nixon. For many people, a biography consisting of a high-profile time in Congress, two terms as Vice President, and then a close and contested presidential campaign would have been enough to call it a day and ride off into the sunset. As much as his wife might have wished for a quiet retirement, Nixon could not sit back and watch his country fall to pieces.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b7/1a/d9/b71ad9bbd9e92689e8c783664ef84250.jpg
Nixon with his characteristic “V for Victory” sign

After sitting out the disastrous Republican presidential campaign of 1964, Nixon returned to politics in the midst of one of the most eventful years in American history. 1968 saw the escalation of the Vietnam War with the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy, race riots, and the violent protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The situation had gotten so bad that incumbent President Lyndon Johnson declined to run for reelection despite having won a massive landslide just four years earlier. While the Democratic Party was in disarray, Nixon quickly emerged as the consensus Republican nominee. “Nixon’s the One” was the rallying cry.

The 1968 presidential campaign was tumultuous. While the Democrats bore much of the ire of the antiwar protests, Nixon was not spared their vile rhetoric and dangerous threats. He saw a connection between the American protestors and the violent thugs who attacked him in South America just a few years before. “These were anarchistic mobs. As soon as the speeches began, they would start shouting, chanting simplistic and often obscene slogans, less to be heard themselves than to prevent the speaker from being heard. It was not an exercise in debate but a descent into hate.” As we have seen in the last few years, the tactics of socialists, communists, and anti-American activists have not changed. The same breed of angry communists that shouted down Richard Nixon also shouted down Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannapoulos on college campuses throughout the 2010s. They demanded free speech in the 1960s as a tactic to gain power, but now that they control our culture, they are quite happy to shut down our freedom of speech because it is a threat to their hegemony.

The 1960s taught the left that they could accomplish more social change in the streets than in the halls of Congress. The elder statesmen of the modern left are the very street thugs who committed violence and even murder in the name of their ideals back then. Bill Ayers, who set bombs in the 1960s, later became a respected college professor and even sponsored Barack Obama’s political career. Angela Davis was an accessory to the assassination of a judge, but now draws adoring crowds in college classrooms and is treated like a religious saint by the extreme left. Today, leftist politicians respond to leftist violence by agreeing with their aims and demanding social and political change. Senator Kamala Harris raised money to bail out rioters in the summer of 2020, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised their kinetic action. Even Republicans gave in – Senator Tim Scott introduced a bill to reform the supposedly racist police force in the wake of the George Floyd riots. Richard Nixon, on the other hand, understood the danger of allowing street thugs to direct our national conversation. “If a President—any President—allowed his course to be set by those who demonstrate, he would betray the trust of all the rest. Whatever the issue, to allow government policy to be made in the streets would destroy the democratic process. It would give the decision, not to the majority, and not to those with the strongest arguments, but to those with the loudest voices.”

Antifa rioters ready for battle

Nixon was indeed the one in 1968, though the election ended up closer than it had seemed during the summer. He had campaigned on peace abroad and law and order at home, but soon found reigning in the federal bureaucracy to be almost as difficult as achieving peace in Vietnam. The federal government had been massively expanded by FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society, and nearly all these executive employees were hardcore progressives. They did their best to stymie Nixon’s domestic policies and his desire to reform the bureaucracy. Like Donald Trump, Nixon found the business of governing a lot more difficult than simply giving orders and seeing them carried out.

https://i0.wp.com/cdn.history.com/sites/2/2013/12/nixon-oath-P.jpeg
Chief Justice Earl Warren swears in President Richard Nixon in 1969

Unlike Donald Trump, who was a true outsider to DC politics, Richard Nixon had been in government for more than two decades by the time he took the oath of office in 1969. However, he saw himself as an outsider of sorts:

“I won the 1968 election as a Washington insider, but with an outsider’s prejudices. The behind-the-scenes power structure in Washington is often called the “iron triangle”: a three-sided set of relationships composed of congressional lobbyists, congressional committee and subcommittee members and their staffs, and the bureaucrats in the various federal departments and agencies. These people tend to work with each other year after year regardless of changes in administrations; they form personal and professional associations and generally act in concert. I felt that one of the reasons I had been elected was my promise to break the hammerlock Washington holds over the money and decisions that affect American lives. I wanted to break open the iron triangle and start turning money and power back to the states and cities, and I wanted to throw the red tape out the window. But Washington is a city run primarily by Democrats and liberals, dominated by like-minded newspapers and other media, convinced of its superiority to other cities and other points of view; from the beginning I knew my chances of succeeding with the kinds of domestic reforms I had in mind were slim.”

What President Nixon described here is the Deep State, though not in those exact terms. It is the permanent bureaucracy that remains entrenched in Washington DC no matter who we elect as President or send to Congress. These bureaucrats think that they, not our elected officials, actually run our government. Nixon grew frustrated with his inability to expel the hardcore leftists in the bureaucracy: “If we don’t get rid of those people, they will either sabotage us from within, or they’ll just sit back on their well-paid asses and wait for the next election to bring back their old bosses.”

President Trump also came into office with plans to wrest control of our country from the permanent bureaucracy. In his Inaugural Address, he said, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” Once in the White House, however, Trump found it difficult to fight the Deep State, especially once the leadership of his own party refused to back him up. The GOP establishment had grown comfortable with the way things were, and did not take kindly to an outsider who wanted to shake things up.

Richard Nixon also grew impatient with how even Republican leaders did not take the problem of the Deep State seriously:

“Week after week I watched and listened while even the Cabinet members who had been in politics long enough to know better justified retaining Democrats in important positions in their departments for reasons of “morale” or in order to avoid controversy or unfavorable publicity. Looking back, I think that Eisenhower, because of his many years of experience with the Army, understood that the combination of human nature and the inertia of institutions will generally override even the most determined attempts to change them. Once the opportunity had passed, it was too late to correct this failure during my first term. I could only console myself with the determination that, if I were re-elected in 1972, I would not make the same mistake of leaving the initiative to individual Cabinet members.”

Donald Trump also saw too late that he had failed to do what was necessary to drain the swamp. After four years of leaks, insubordination, and dishonesty from his own Executive Branch staff, Trump planned to crack down harder in his second term, but it was not to be. The Deep State struck back hard, and stole the White House from this outsider that threatened their power.

It is difficult to run a government, much less reform it, when your own staffers are loyal to the other side. Imagine trying to fight a war when every enlisted man is fighting for the enemy. Both Nixon and Trump faced the issue of trying to control anonymous leaks from within the bureaucracy. Congressional and executive staffers were constantly leaking information to the press, in a selective manner that was meant to paint their side in a good light while attacking their opponents. LBJ had warned Nixon that this would happen. “The leaks began almost with the start of my administration, and before long I experienced firsthand the anger, worry, and frustration that Johnson had described. In the first five months of my presidency, at least twenty-one major stories based on leaks from materials in the NSC files appeared in New York and Washington newspapers.”

Leftist media will promote some leakers while condemning others, depending on who the leaks are intended to harm. Daniel Ellsburg, who published leaked files regarding the Vietnam War, has been portrayed as a saint by the press and Hollywood for fifty years. When Julian Assange of Wikileaks published information that embarrassed the Bush Administration’s prosecution of the Iraq War, the press similarly lionized him, but when he published stolen emails from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, they turned on him, accusing him of being a Russian stooge, and celebrating his imprisonment without bail.

Julian Assange was arrested and is currently being held indefinitely

Nixon had worried that allowing Ellsburg to get away with publishing the so-called Pentagon Papers would be a green light to “every disgruntled bureaucrat in the government that he could leak anything he pleased while the government stood by.” The moment Donald Trump came into office in 2017, the members of the permanent bureaucracy began selective leaks intended to damage his ability to lead.

Not a month into the Trump Administration, anonymous leaks accused incoming National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn of lying about his contact with the Russian ambassador. A few months later, someone leaked that President Trump had used vulgar slang to refer to African nations in an off-the-record conversation. Newspapers later published leaked information about alleged collusion between President Trump and Russia, and FBI Director James Comey later admitted that he himself had leaked this in order to create demand for a Special Prosecutor – an endeavor in which he was successful.

The purpose of these leaks was to damage the Trump Administration as much as possible – both to sully its reputation in the eyes of the media and the American people, and to create the impression that Trump and his cabinet were engaged in criminal dishonesty.

President Nixon thought he could plug the leaks before they crippled his administration. He hired a team of young hotshot lawyers, including G. Gordon Liddy, to use clandestine methods to determine who was leaking secrets to the press. Many of these so-called “Plumbers” would end up indicted over the Watergate affair. In his memoirs, Nixon says that he authorized wiretaps on suspected leakers after being told by longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that this was standard procedure under the Johnson Administration. LBJ’s staffers later denied engaging in any such operations during their time in power, but I assume that every presidential administration bends the rules as much as possible. The lesson of Watergate was not that Nixon was an especially criminal president, but that the Deep State took a minor matter that was not vastly different from past administrations to destroy one that they despised.

G. Gordon Liddy passed away in March 2020

One of biggest the reasons that the left hated Nixon was because he spoke plainly regarding their motives. Too many Republicans pretend that the disagreements between right and left are minor, and that most Democrats are good people operating in good faith. Nixon knew this was not the case:

“The extremists on the right of the Goldwater type would rather lose fighting for principle than to win by compromising principle. The extremists on the left, on the other hand, have usually shown that when the chips are down they will compromise principle in order to get power. This is why the communists usually beat the right-wingers, because the right-wingers are always fighting for principle, and the communists are willing to compromise principle until they get into power and then they, of course, crush out their opposition.”

The highest principle of the left is power. They will say anything, do anything, and even be anything to anyone in order to gain the power they seek. As the counterculture in the 1960s, the left demanded free speech and a seat at the table. Now that they have won the culture war, they reject the principles of freedom of speech and equal access to power. They have no problem censoring us and marginalizing us. Calling them hypocrites does no good because they do not care. They hold us to our own standards despite holding themselves to none. If conservatives are ever to win the battle of conserving our culture, they will need to stop pretending that the left acts in good faith. Nixon recognized this, perhaps too late, and Trump underestimated the willingness of the left to destroy the legitimacy of the government in order to oust him from power.

My friend Raheem Kassam of the National Pulse recently pointed out that despite screaming for four years about how the Trump Administration was breaking norms and precedents, they have been silent through two months of a regime that is anything but normal. Joe Biden is an obvious figurehead, completely removed from press access as well as the actual levers of power. As of this writing, he has yet to address Congress as most newly inaugurated presidents do. He finally gave a so-called press conference, more than two months into his term, and even that was a carefully choreographed affair with only the most pliable of media figures present. Our media assisted with a massive coup, one that involved misinformation, illegally changing voting procedures, and outright censorship, in order to get their party into office. Now they are covering the new regime with more slavish devotion than we ever saw with the Russian Pravda. This is the heart of left-wing political action – power at all costs.

Richard Nixon threatened that power. He had won a close election in 1968, but like Donald Trump at the beginning of 2020 he was cruising to a landslide in 1972 with plans to break the leftist stranglehold over our government and society.

“At the beginning of my second term, Congress, the bureaucracy, and the media were still working in concert to maintain the ideas and ideology of the traditional Eastern liberal establishment that had come down to 1973 through the New Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society. Now I planned to give expression to the more conservative values and beliefs of the New Majority throughout the country and use my power to put some teeth into my New American Revolution.”

Nixon wrote in his diary at the time that he feared this would be the last chance to reign in the permanent bureaucracy before it became too large to control. I think the events of the last five years have sadly proven President Nixon correct.

Nixon’s attempts to reform the bureaucracy in his first term were stymied by the very entrenched interests he threatened, so he hoped that the overwhelming mandate of the American people that was seen in his 49-state landslide in 1972 would give him the political capital to take on these interests. Nixon recognized that the expansion of federal power in the New Deal and the Great Society only made the permanent bureaucracy stronger. “We finally moved to reorganize, reduce, or abolish the remaining behemoths of the Great Society that had done little to aid the poor, and which were now primarily serving the interests of the federal bureaucrats who administered them.”

Nixon grew frustrated with the seeming apathy in his own party regarding the permanent bureaucracy. “It was one thing for the Democrats to hold all four aces in Washington—the Congress, the bureaucracy, the majority of the media, and the formidable group of lawyers and power-brokers who operate behind the scenes in the city. It was another thing to give them the fifth ace of a timid opposition party.”

Nixon wrote in his memoirs that he had briefly considered creating a new party rather than deal with the spineless Republican leadership. This too sounds familiar, as many on the right have loudly condemned the Republican establishment for their own apathy regarding the contested 2020 election and proclaimed a desire to start a third party based on national populist principles. The story of Richard Nixon reminds us that we have been dealing with quislings on our own side for many years now.

Unfortunately, we all know what happened after the 1972 election. Rather than allowing President Nixon to eviscerate them, the Deep State turned on him, using the Watergate affair to destroy his administration. Most Americans know the basics of Watergate. Members of President Nixon’s reelection team broke into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. The Nixon White House attempted to cover up the burglary, and two years of investigations and hearings resulted in the resignation of the President of the United States. Yet the truth of the matter is much more complex than how it is portrayed in popular culture. The same journalists and Hollywood movie-makers who have told the story of the crooked Richard Nixon want us to believe that Donald Trump was a fascist white supremacist who nearly destroyed our country, and that all good people stood up to oppose him, narrowly saving America from his evil. As Nixon said, it depends on who writes the history.

https://declineandfallusa.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/3de2b-dimg3.png

Both Nixon and Trump are reminders of how complicated the life of a president really is. Unlike pundits, podcasters, or journalists, the President of the United States does not have the luxury of unlimited time to follow the news or research current events. His job is to oversee the executive branch of our government, to command our armed forces, to carry out diplomatic functions as head of state, and to act as leader of his political party. An effective president must delegate work to his staff, which means that whoever he picks as Chief of Staff will wield enormous power in his administration. For President Trump, men such as General John Kelly and his son-in-law Jared Kushner were able to control and filter the information that the president received. Knowing absolutely everything that goes on in the White House is simply impossible for one man. Conservatives quickly learned that the best way to get a message directly to President Trump was for Tucker Carlson to say it on his show.

Tucker Carlson, host of Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News

So it was in the Nixon White House as well. President Nixon had appointed his friend and law partner John Mitchell as Attorney General, and then later the head of his reelection committee. Special advisor John Ehrlichman and Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman also had enormous power to shape Nixon’s perspective on events. When the Watergate burglary occurred, Nixon trusted his staff’s assurances that it had nothing to do with anyone in the White House itself, and that it could be easily taken care of. When the scandal started growing, Nixon asked White House Counsel John Dean to get to the bottom of it, not knowing that Dean, Ehrlichman, Haldeman, and Mitchell were already up to their ears in the coverup. By the time Nixon himself realized how deep the problem went, his own words could already be used to implicate him in the coverup as well.

President Nixon meeting with his advisors in the Oval Office

“We kept thinking that if we could only establish all the facts, then we could construct a way out of the situation that would minimize if not foreclose any possible criminal liability for the people involved. But we never felt confident of the facts, and every alternative course of action, from wholesale appearances before the grand jury to Special Prosecutors to presidential commissions, met with objections from one or the other of my aides and friends who suddenly found himself in a vulnerable position.”

The way Nixon tells it, he was just as adamant as the American people about figuring out the truth of the matter, but he seemed to have far too much faith in his own people. He trusted that Mitchell, Dean, Ehrlichman, and Haldeman were being honest and upfront with him, and probably waited too long to ask for their resignations. By protecting his men, Nixon would end up looking just as guilty as they were in the eyes of the American people. This perception gave the media and the Democratic Party just the excuse they were looking for. They could not beat Nixon in the election, they could not beat him in the polls, they could not beat him in the hearts of the silent majority, but they could beat him with Watergate.

“It was my belief then, and it is still my belief today, that the Democratic majority in Congress used the Watergate scandal as an excuse for indulging in a purposeful policy of ignoring and actually overriding the landslide mandate that my programs and philosophy had received in the 1972 election. Unfortunately, by the way I handled Watergate, I helped them do it.”

President Nixon eventually realized that the Watergate affair was not going to go away. His attempts to regain control of the country from what we now call the deep state bureaucracy had made him many enemies, and the press hated him with a passion not seen before or since – at least until the presidency of Donald Trump. Nixon saw that his enemies were going to use the Watergate scandal to utterly destroy him.

“And the instincts of twenty-five years in politics told me that I was up against no ordinary opposition. In this second term I had thrown down a gauntlet to Congress, the bureaucracy, the media, and the Washington establishment and challenged them to engage in epic battle.”

A DC judge convened a grand jury. The Democratic Senate began to hold hearings. White House Counsel John Dean stabbed Nixon in the back by testifying before Congress that the whole coverup had been masterminded by the president. The Department of Justice appointed a Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox, who turned the investigation into a fishing expedition.

“No White House in history could have survived the kind of operation Cox was planning. If he were determined to get me, as I was certain that he and his staff were, then given the terms of their charter it would be only a matter of time until they had bored like termites through the whole executive branch. The frustrating thing was that while I saw them as partisan zealots abusing the power I had given them in order to destroy me unfairly, the media presented them and the public largely perceived them as the keepers of the sacred flame of American justice against a wicked President and his corrupt administration.”

The press seized upon the Watergate affair as proof that their hated rival Nixon was a crook, and they ran with that narrative. The Senate hearings and Archibald Cox’s investigation turned the affair into a national circus as they desperately tried to find anything with which to destroy the president. They did not care about collateral damage.

Someone in the IRS leaked Nixon’s tax returns to the newspapers, and they published them without hesitation, implying all sorts of financial malfeasance that was later proven to be untrue. The IRS continues to be used as a political weapon today; recall that President Obama used the IRS to target right-wing groups during the Tea Party era. An IRS staffer later leaked some of President Trump’s tax returns to the left-wing Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, and the rest of the mainstream media predictably called it heroic.

https://www.towleroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/taxes_maddow-1024x568.jpeg
Nobody was prosecuted for this leak

The use of the IRS as a political tool frustrated Nixon: “The Democrats, while in office, had made little effort to camouflage their political pressure on the key government agencies. It seemed that even when they were out of power their supporters—particularly among the bureaucrats in the IRS—continued to do the job for them. I heard numerous reports—clearly too frequent to be coincidental—of close personal and political friends who had been subjected to constant and, in my view, vindictive, investigation by the IRS since the time I lost to Kennedy in 1960.”

The Deep State bureaucracy was mobilized not only against Nixon and Trump themselves, but against their families, their friends, and their supporters. President Nixon’s friend Bebe Rebozo faced hours of interrogation and testimony into his personal dealings, even those that had nothing to do with Nixon himself. It was as if the bureaucracy wanted to make examples out of the supporters of disfavored presidents, to warn the American people not to associate with them. President Trump’s son Eric recently spoke about the way the system came after them and their families. “I don’t think people realize what the Democrats tried to do to us. The way they weaponized the system. I got hundreds, hundreds, and hundreds of subpoenas. Every single day. The way they weaponized the legal system against us, the way they still do it. The way they are just out for blood. Anything they could do to take down our family, our friends. Anybody who came close to us.”

Nixon realized that Cox and his team were determined to destroy him by hook or by crook. He made the decision to fire the Special Prosecutor on Saturday, October 20, 1973. Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigned in protest rather than carry out the order, and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus did the same. The number three man in the Department of Justice, Solicitor General Robert Bork, disagreed with Nixon’s decision but believed he had the constitutional authority to do so, and so he carried out the order and fired Archibald Cox. Bork, of course, would later be nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1987, but Senators Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden would torpedo the nomination rather than allow a conservative constitutional scholar on the bench.

Judge Robert Bork at his Senate confirmation hearings in 1987

“Although I had been prepared for a major and adverse reaction to Cox’s firing, I was taken by surprise by the ferocious intensity of the reaction that actually occurred. For the first time I recognized the depth of the impact Watergate had been having on America; I suddenly realized how deeply its acid had eaten into the nation’s grain. As I learned of the almost hysterical reactions of otherwise sensible and responsible people to this Saturday night’s events, I realized how few people were able to see things from my perspective, how badly frayed the nerves of the American public had become. To the extent that I had not been aware of this situation, my actions were the result of serious miscalculation. But to the extent that it was simply intolerable to continue with Cox as Special Prosecutor, I felt I had no other option than to act as I did.”

Many historians believe that firing the Special Prosecutor sealed Richard Nixon’s fate. Of course, by the time Nixon fired Cox, he was already politically dead. Had he allowed him to continue eviscerating the White House in the name of finding the truth, he eventually would have come up with some crime with which to hang the president. It was a witch hunt, a fishing expedition, an attempt to fulfil the narrative that the president was a criminal. Compare and contrast Nixon’s experience with a Special Prosecutor with that of President Trump. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration in 2017, the Democrats and their media allies took action to cripple the new administration before it got off the ground. Crooked FBI agents used a perjury trap to oust Trump’s National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn. New Attorney General Jeff Sessions, still a southern gentleman who played by the rules and assumed his opponents were acting in good faith, recused himself from the investigation into Trump’s alleged connections with Russia. His deputy, Rod Rosenstein, appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a Special Prosecutor. Mueller would spend the next two years working with a team of anti-Trump partisans on a witch hunt not too different from that of Archibald Cox. Mueller’s appointment had been prompted after President Trump fired corrupt FBI Director James Comey, who as you remember had admitted to leaking information intended to damage the president. The media treated this firing as if it were Trump’s own Saturday Night Massacre, and warned that he would just end up firing Mueller as well. A bipartisan group in Congress even introduced legislation that would prevent Trump from exercising such control over an executive branch employee.

President Trump and FBI Director James Comey

President Trump surely knew his history; he had seen the fallout that occurred when Nixon fired Archibald Cox, so he refrained from firing Mueller and let him complete his investigation. The crooked, senile old man let his staff continue investigating for months after he determined that there was no evidence of collusion with Russia. They managed to get indictments against tertiary officials such as Paul Manafort and Roger Stone for things that had nothing to do with President Trump. Mueller and his team deliberately withheld their findings until after the 2018 midterm elections, knowing that the uncertainty would help Democrats in close races. It worked, and the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies in Congress in 2019

Despite this apparent exoneration, the media and their Democratic allies continued the witch hunt by any means necessary. Deep state toadies Eric Ciaramella and Alexander Vindman leaked information suggesting that Trump engaged in political quid pro quo in a phone call with the President of Ukraine. Despite Trump quickly releasing the official transcripts of the call that completely refuted these accusations, the Democratic House nevertheless impeached the president in one of the most insane farces our government has ever engaged in. President Trump was exonerated by the GOP Senate, but the years of investigations and attacks severely curtailed his ability to lead the nation. While Trump had some successes in foreign policy, namely détente with North Korea and peace in the Middle East, his bold plan to drain the deep state swamp was handicapped, just as Nixon’s was. The lesson here is that once the deep state decides to attack a president, there is little he can do to stop them. Once a Special Prosecutor is appointed, a Republican president does not have many viable options. He either allows him to waste time and resources on a witch hunt that will eventually turn up something the media can turn into a scandal, or he fires him and brings down the wrath of the media for supposedly interfering in a nonpartisan investigation.

https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/timegoggles.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/53/153b80f4-7327-11e9-a8b6-9bc9c7f9ef4e/5cdeff04f35d5.preview.jpg?resize=750%2C498
Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox at a press conference

In the leadup to his inauguration, President Trump had denounced the deep state, saying that the so-called intelligence community was out of control. Powerful Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York mocked him, saying “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Indeed, they did.

The final shoe to drop in the Watergate scandal was the White House tapes. According to Nixon, President Johnson had used a secret taping system, as had Kennedy before him, to record certain conversations in the White House for the benefit of posterity. JFK, for example, had secretly recorded Air Force General Curtis LeMay and others speaking candidly about their disappointment with Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Nixon thought this was a great idea. Not only would he have access to unaltered records of what was actually said, perhaps as a way to counter selective leaks to the press, but future historians would have access to those records as well. Unfortunately, a staffer let slip the existence of the taping system during Senate hearings on Watergate, and the race was on to subpoena those tapes. In his memoirs, Nixon wonders if he should have destroyed the tapes before a subpoena was issued, but that would probably have been just as harmful to his cause as the tapes themselves. The president fought all the way to the Supreme Court, citing privacy and executive privilege, but the Court was in no mood to defer to a president in his situation. They demanded he turn over the tapes, and once he did, they revealed that Nixon had been working to mitigate the political fallout from Watergate far earlier than he had admitted to the public. The press called it the “smoking gun”.

Richard Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974, preferring to spare the country the trauma of enduring a presidential impeachment. He spent the remaining twenty years of his life reforming his image as an elder statesman of the Republican Party and as one of the leading diplomatic minds in America. Hollywood and news media continue to treat him as the ultimate American villain, however, and continue making movies and stories about the brave reporters who took him down. John Dean, the White House attorney who took part in the coverup, then stabbed Nixon in the back, spent the Bush years as mainstream media’s favorite “Republican” who could always be counted on to trash conservatives.

There is a striking similarity between Nixon and Trump, and that is in their foreign policy successes. President Nixon oversaw an end to the Vietnam War, the beginning of détente with the Soviet Union, and the opening of relations with China after more than twenty years of isolation. President Trump was the first American president to meet with the leader of North Korea, successfully challenged China on trade, and had more success with peace in the Middle East than any US president in generations. Yet neither man received credit for these victories. The deep state and international globalist elites do not want peace, because they gain more power and influence through endless low-level war. Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for absolutely no reason, and then continued our military adventures in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya, using unmanned drones to kill hundreds if not thousands of people. Nixon too did not get much respect for his foreign policy. Despite opposition to the Vietnam War being the motivating factor for a decade of left-wing protests, the moment the war ended the same protestors continued to use any excuse to attack the president. The specter of Watergate has drowned out Nixon’s foreign policy in the annals of history.

https://compote.slate.com/images/ba9c19b7-2a9d-4ddd-9ffd-f05b4ad34e0f.jpg
National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger signing the Paris Peace Accords

Time will tell how history will treat Donald J. Trump. As Nixon said, it depends on who writes the history. Trump did not resign, rather he had his presidency stolen in a series of coups over the course of the fateful year of 2020. None of the scandals dreamed up by our hostile media managed to land on him, and he survived an unprecedented two impeachments. Unlike Nixon, who was on tape saying things that were contrary to what he said the American people, the Democrats and their media allies were never able to find a “smoking gun” against Trump. Their much-vaunted dossier turned out to be fiction and innuendo, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation with no evidence that Trump had done anything wrong or illegal.

Nevertheless, the media painted President Trump’s departure from the White House as if they had successfully defeated the worst fascist Nazi in American history. They are writing their skewed history as we speak. When the border wall is inevitably torn down, our media will treat it like the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. When the Southern District of New York indicts Trump for whatever nonsense they conjure up, media will treat it like the Nuremburg Trials. They have already decided on their narrative. They will not allow Trump to present himself as an elder statesman as Nixon did. They will do their best to put him in jail, or worse, and they will do their best to brand as criminal insurrectionists anyone who supported him. They have already made their lists.

Richard Nixon’s biggest regret was watching his friends and family endure horrific treatment by the media and the Democrats simply for the crime of being his friends and family. The constant drumbeat of accusations from the media and the left, along with the ability of the Special Counsel and the Senate committees to subpoena anything and everything had a chilling effect on Nixon’s relationships. “Too many who had tried to defend me in the past had been burned, and many no longer felt sufficiently confident or motivated to take further risks for me.”

See again how the left uses this same tactic today. They used every lever of power at their disposal to make life miserable not only for President Trump, but for anyone who supported or even associated with him. Robert Mueller threw Paul Manafort in prison for the same crimes that John Podesta got away with. The FBI sent swat teams and CNN cameramen to Roger Stone’s house in an early-morning raid, as if a man near seventy years old was going to resist arrest. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski threatened to dox a random young man who made a meme of Trump punching the CNN logo. These are not the actions of an objective media, but one that considers itself an omnipotent ruling class.

Not only has American news media has appointed itself the fourth branch of government, but they also seem to think they rule the other three. According to Nixon’s memoirs, one of the Congressmen who was most outspoken in favor of impeachment later said that Nixon would never have been forced from office if the press did not desire it. Nixon also pointed out that after months of leaks, innuendo, and hysterical headlines, the media needed to destroy him to save their own credibility. Rumors about Nixon’s complicity in the scandal were front page above-the-fold headlines, while vindication was always buried on page thirty-nine. When we see the media use this same play today, remember that it is the same playbook they have been using for more than fifty years.

I suggest that there are three lessons to take away from the stories of Richard Nixon and Donald Trump:

The first lesson is that this war for the soul of America has been going on for far longer than we like to think. The deep state did not suddenly spring to life during the Obama Administration, and globalist control of American government is not a recent development. Nixon saw it, tried to stop it, and they destroyed him. The relative success of the Reagan Administration might have lulled us into a false sense of security regarding the danger posed by the permanent bureaucracy. The Deep State is content to work with any president, Republican or Democrat, so long as he carries out their will and does not threaten their power.

The second lesson is that the deep state will absolutely destroy anyone who threatens their power. Republican voters and pundits who think a kinder, gentler Trump might have had more success are fooling themselves – Trump’s fighting instinct is the only reason he had as much success as he did. Every political figure has potential scandals that can be turned into crises anytime the deep state and media want to – look at how the knives are coming out for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo now that they have decided to replace him with someone more compliant to their globalist aims. We should not look at the media narratives about Nixon and Trump and come away believing that they were crooks, rather that they were taking fire because they were over the target.

Finally, the most important lesson to take away from Nixon and Trump is that the right president will not necessarily save us. The problems of America have grown too large for one man to fix on his own. Repairing the damage done to the American soul by globalism and the deep state must start at the ground up, not the top down. Already I see people on the right debating who should run for president in 2024. Will Trump come back? What about Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida or Kristi Noem of South Dakota? Maybe a media personality like Tucker Carlson, or a billionaire like Peter Thiel. In my opinion, this is all an exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. America is a sinking ship, and Trump – for all his passion, all his instincts, all his accomplishments – only delayed the inevitable, and was in the end outmaneuvered by the very deep state swamp he promised to drain. What else can we expect from a president?

Despite the bully pulpit, executive orders, and the biggest megaphone in the world, the office of President of the United States is not all-powerful. Many on the right were disappointed that President Trump did not do more to stop the steal in 2020, such as declaring martial law or invoking the Insurrection Act. However, who knows what would have happened if he had tried? Would his staff have obeyed his orders? Would the military have carried out his commands? Would the Congress have allowed him to proceed, or would they have immediately impeached and convicted him?

Richard Nixon came into office in 1968, determined to dismantle the permanent bureaucracy that had grown through thirty-five years of depression, war, and tumult, yet rather than draining that swamp, he was consumed by it. Donald Trump came into office in 2016, when the deep state had been in power for the better part of a century, and he too fell short. Trump, like Nixon before him, did the best he could with the information and tools he had available to him, and it still was not enough.

History shows that no empire lasts forever, and America’s time is almost up. We cannot escape the fate of the Romans, the Mongols, the Ottomans, or the British. Like Rome in the 5th century, the real power is not the titular emperor – or president – but instead the shadows behind the scenes who have the power to raise a man to high office, or to destroy him. We must stop looking for rescue from the White House, or from the DC establishment. Our temporal salvation will not come from the right person moving in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but when each and every one of us steps up to protect our families, our communities, and our states from the tyranny emanating out of Washington DC. You will do a lot more good for your country and your posterity by getting involved in local politics than you will by donating to a Trump 2024 campaign fund. Nobody is coming to save us. Your future is in your hands.

Episode 60: Nixon and Trump

The same media that tells us that Donald Trump is a fascist told us that Richard Nixon was a crook. Yet that media had a vested interest in seeing both men destroyed. What happened to Richard Nixon, and how can it help explain what happened to Donald Trump?

Listen here, or listen, subscribe, and review on iTunes. You can also listen to every episode on Spotify.

Note: Twice in the podcast I say that Joe Biden has been in power for “three months”. While it feels like it has been that long, it has actually been slightly longer than two months since the inauguration. We regret the error.

The Vacant Oval Office

On January 20th, 2021, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. took the oath of office as the 46th President of the United States.

However, all evidence shows that he is not the actual leader of this country:

Vice President Kamala Harris is taking calls with foreign heads of state.

White House staffers have cut video feeds to prevent Mr. Biden from facing unscripted questions.

First Lady Jill Biden is always standing by to make sure her husband sticks to the talking points.

Even prior to the election, many on both the right and the left worried about Mr. Biden’s apparent cognitive decline. Yet the Democratic Party cleared the field and presented Mr. Biden as the only alternative to a second term for President Donald Trump.

This issue transcends politics. Whether they agree with his policies are not, the American people deserve to know that the person who swore to protect and defend the Constitution is actually the person who is making the high-level decisions that affect millions of lives throughout the world. The President of the United States is supposed to be a leader, not only of the government but of his party, but the Democratic Party is treating Joe Biden as a figurehead.

President Harry Truman famously had a sign on the oval office desk that said, “The buck stops here.” Today, we have no idea where the buck stops. Who is making decisions about policy in the White House? Who is reviewing the dozens of executive orders that Mr. Biden has signed since his inauguration? Who is briefing Press Secretary Jen Psaki before her daily press conferences? Is it Vice President Harris? Secretary of State Anthony Blinken? Chief of Staff Ron Klain? Perhaps First Lady Dr. Jill Biden?

If, God forbid, America should face invasion or some other major catastrophe, who will make the ultimate decision about how to react? In the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton released an ad claiming that she would be prepared to take an emergency call at 3:00 am. Today, we cannot be sure that Mr. Biden is prepared to take emergency calls at 3:00 pm.

On Jesse Kelly‘s radio show last week, Newsmax correspondent Emerald Robinson suggested not only that Psaki had almost zero access to Mr. Biden, but that former Obama Administration official Susan Rice was running the show behind the scenes. I do not remember Rice placing herself before the American people as a candidate for the highest office in the land, do you?

The only place we can be absolutely sure the buck is not stopping is at the desk of President Joe Biden himself.

  • Last week, Mr. Biden seemingly forgot both the name of his Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as well as that of the Pentagon.
  • During the campaign, Mr. Biden famously forgot the words to the Declaration of Independence – or, as he called it, “you know, the thing.”

Mr. Biden has been in office for nearly two months but has yet to face the media in a press conference. His predecessor, on the other hand, routinely spent hours answering questions from hostile reporters One naturally wonders if the Biden Administration fears that he is simply not capable of conducting a press conference on his own. If Joe Biden is not running the show, then who is?

When President Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981, Secretary of State Alexander Haig caused a minor media tempest when he told reporters that he was “in control” at the White House, pending the return of Vice President Bush. Today, however, even in the face of tremendous evidence that President Biden is most assuredly not in control of his White House, the administration and their media allies continue to pretend that he is. Every day, Press Secretary Jen Psaki explains that the president is monitoring this situation or reviewing that one, as if everything is normal. Yet it is clearly not normal.

A figurehead president is not entirely unprecedented. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive stroke after returning home from negotiations to end World War I. Mr. Wilson spent several months in bed, being seen only by a handful of trusted officials as well as his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson. Many believe that Mrs. Wilson was actually running the White House at this time, as she carried messages back and forth to her bedridden husband.

Vice President Thomas Marshall refused to declare President Wilson incapacitated, which would have allowed him to assume the duties of Acting President, perhaps for fear of appearing overambitious.

The presidency has changed greatly since 1919. In addition to his duties as Head of State, the President sits atop a vast federal bureaucracy that has immense influence over the daily lives of the American people. More importantly, however, every president since Harry Truman has carried the awesome responsibility for choosing if and when to use nuclear weapons. Cognizant of this, the Democratic Congress recently urged the White House to consider removing sole responsibility for America’s nuclear arsenal from the president. According to Politico, nearly three dozen Democrats wrote a letter suggesting that “…vesting one person with this authority entails real risks.” This has been true ever since the invention of atomic weapons – why bring it up now?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a bill last autumn that would establish a committee that would have the authority to declare a president incapacitated and incapable of performing his duties, allowing the Vice President to assume the role of Acting President. Many in the media assumed that this was proposal was an attack on President Trump, who had recently been diagnosed with Covid-19, but in reality, this was laying the groundwork for a Joe Biden administration. “This is not about President Trump,” Pelosi stated at the time.

President Joe Biden is clearly not able to perform the duties required of his office. Everyone knows it, but the Democrats and the media continue to engage in a dubious charade. The American people deserve to know who is making decisions that will set the course of our country for the next four years, and more. The American people deserve a leader who is accountable to the voters, and that leader is the duly inaugurated President of the United States, not a shadowy group of staffers and bureaucrats who have propped up Mr. Biden like a puppet. It is time to tell the American people the truth about where the buck is stopping in the White House.

The balance of power in the American government has shifted over the course of history between an imperial presidency and an all-powerful Congress. Yet today we have an Executive Branch that is all-powerful, as Congress has abdicated its lawmaking responsibilities, but the head of that branch, the President of the United States, is a mere figurehead for the deep state bureaucracy. The Oval Office is vacant, and the decline and fall of America continues to accelerate.

The Conservative Movement is a Failure

Millions of conservatives throughout America are feeling disappointed, dismayed, and even demoralized in the wake of President Trump’s loss in the 2020 election. I say “loss,” of course, but we all know the truth: it was a coup, from beginning to end. Everyone wants to know what we can do now. Many on the right are already trying to figure out how to get our guy back in the White House in 2024, whether it is Donald Trump himself, or someone else. If we can elect a true conservative, they say, then we still have a chance to save our country. However, I suggest that the lesson we must learned from the presidency of Donald Trump is that our nation has already fallen too far for one man to fix. Furthermore, the so-called conservative movement shoulders much of the blame for the decline and fall of our nation.

Many on the right have long complained that the Republican Party does not know how to win. In October 2016, when Republican leaders began turning on Donald Trump after the Access Hollywood tapes were leaked, Trump tweeted, “Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!” And teach them he did, winning a victory nobody thought possible. Even then, however, the Republican Party wasted another chance to fix our country.

While the Democrats use electoral victories to increase their own power, Republicans seem to have no idea what to do once they are in office. Sure, they speak boldly while they are in the minority – calling for term limits, repealing Obamacare, and challenging the progressive assumptions that guide our government. Yet the moment they are in power, they find themselves unable to put their money where their mouths are. A charitable explanation might be that as a small-government party, the GOP is naturally averse to anything that increases the power of government. But government power has grown inexorably no matter which party holds the reigns. The GOP seems to have little problem with government power for its own sake, they are just afraid to use it. For example, Senator John McCain campaigned for years on repealing Obamacare, but once the GOP controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress in 2017, he joined with his Democrat friends to kill that very repeal. Why?

I contend that half a century in the political wilderness killed the fighting spirit of the Republican Party. Before the Great Depression, the GOP was stalwart and confident. Afterward, they became so focused on militarism and the Cold War that they allowed the left to run roughshod through our culture. By the 1990s, Republicans had fully adopted the globalist agenda, and after 9/11 they replaced Cold War militarism with the Great War on Terror.

Even worse, they adopted the very premise of the left: that history is naturally progressive. Consider the language used by progressive leftists. They often accuse us of being on “the wrong side of history,” they warn that our policies will “turn back the clock,” and that we impede social progress. This language reveals their worldview. They believe that history naturally trends toward their preferred positions and that we must simply keep up with the times. For decades, the GOP has allowed the Democrats to set the terms of every discussion and set the limits of every debate. The Republican Party of today is unable to articulate any reason for its own existence, preferring to slow the spread of progressivism rather than return us to a point in history before leftist gains. It is as if they see so-called progress as inevitable, so they do their best to manage it rather than to oppose it outright.

Such so-called progress has led to enormous social changes in a very short period of time. Consider how quickly we lost the debate over gay marriage. In the late 1990s, even the most outspoken homosexual activists were claiming that they did not want to force their view of marriage on the country, they merely wanted the same economic and social benefits that our laws accorded to married couples. In 2008, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton claimed that they wanted marriage to remain defined as being between a man and a woman. Yet just seven years later, the Supreme Court imposed gay marriage on the entire country, and President Obama celebrated by lighting up the White House in the colors of the gay pride flag. Once the battle over gay marriage had been won, the left immediately moved to the next battle, and are now working hard to normalize transgenderism.

Rather than trying to return society to a place of sanity, conservatives instead simply defend the progressive gains of the previous generation. The same conservatives who once protested gay marriage now defend it. Charlie Kirk’s TP USA celebrated when the Trump Administration convinced the government of Botswana to decriminalize homosexuality. Some conservative organizations have proudly promoted a Trump-supporting drag queen, as if that is a sign of victory over the degenerate left. Herein lies the fatal flaw of conservatism: they can only defend the status quo. They have little will or ability to advocate for a return to a better time, because they agree with the left that the past was racist, sexist, exclusionary, and bigoted. By adopting the premises of the left, conservatism failed before it ever began.

In 1955, William F. Buckley founded the conservative newsmagazine National Review with the intention to “stand athwart history, yelling stop.” One can argue that the modern conservative movement began at this moment. The Cold War was in full swing and the world, as well as our country, was being divided between free market capitalists on one side and Marxist-Leninist Communism on the other. Buckley defined conservatism as opposition to Communism, belief in small government, and resistance to world government.

However, neither National Review nor the conservative movement in general have done a particularly good job of standing athwart history and yelling stop. Instead, they stand athwart history and speak of compromise, slowing down, and not changing society too fast. They try to manage our leftward slide, rather than stop it, much less reverse it.

By the 1960s, few Republicans were willing to criticize the New Deal, nor suggest that we should roll back its programs. By the 1980s, even Ronald Reagan was unwilling or unable to reverse the Great Society programs of the 1960s. One could argue that he was constrained by a Democratic Congress, but that only supports my point that the Republican Party had forgotten how to win. Conservatives tend to speak boldly while in the minority – they even suggested erasing several cabinet positions during the 1980s – but once in power they are unwilling to rock the boat. The GOP has had control of both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency only four times since the Great Depression: They had a very slim majority during President Eisenhower’s first term, but they frittered away their political capital on Senator Joseph McCarthy’s hunt for Communist agents in the government. (While McCarthy has, in my opinion, been proven largely right about Communist infiltration, the way he went about his investigation alienated his fellow Senators as well as many Americans.)

The GOP would not control both houses of Congress again until 1994 during the Clinton administration, when they won a surprise victory on the back of Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America. They briefly lost the Senate in 2000, despite winning the presidency, when Jim Jeffords of Vermont switched his party affiliation. However, President Bush was able to count on GOP control of Congress from 2003 to 2007. During this time, he just passed one piece of major legislation, a tax cut, but was unable to make any progress on other campaign promises such as Social Security reform or school choice, as the Great War on Terror took up all of the GOP’s political capital. Besides, the federal bureaucracy had grown far too large and resistant to reform, and the American people had come to count on entitlements such as Social Security. The Republican Party was completely unwilling to touch anything related to the Great Society, much less the New Deal. These things that had once been correctly seen as examples of tremendous government overreach were now taken for granted as part of the fabric of American life.

Finally, the Republican Party controlled the House, the Senate, and the presidency one last time in 2017. President Trump had a Republican majority in Congress, but he faced a party leadership that was unwilling to work for his agenda. By now, the GOP had evolved into the right-hand side of the globalist uniparty, and so they fought his attempts to secure the southern border, limit refugees and immigration, fight a trade war with China, and withdraw our troops from Afghanistan and Syria. The Republican Congress could not even agree to repeal Obamacare, an issue upon which many of them had campaigned. Instead, they passed another tax cut, and promptly lost the House in 2018, and then the Senate in 2020.

The Democrats now control both houses of Congress and the presidency, and I predict that they will not be so hesitant to use their power. Everything on their agenda for the next two years is designed to consolidate their control of our society. HR1, currently being debated in Congress, would bring control of our elections under the federal government, preventing states from instituting voter ID or other systems to prevent fraud. Many in the Democratic Party advocate for packing the Supreme Court and the District Courts, greatly expanding their power over the interpretation of our laws. They also plan to extend statehood to Washington DC and Puerto Rico, which would give the Democrats four more Senators, ensuring their permanent majority.

The Democrats are used to winning and consider themselves to be the rightful lords of our nation – they see power as their birthright. If they happen to lose an election, Democrats and their friends in the media operate on the assumption that the Republicans must have cheated. To them, “democracy” means “Democrats winning”. Recall that leftists in Wisconsin attempted to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2012, only to see the governor actually increase his vote count from two years before. Rather than accepting the fact that they had been outvoted, leftist activists cried foul. One young man told a reporter that, “democracy died tonight!”

Much hay was made in the media over some Republican Congressmen and Senators objecting to the electoral vote count this year, but the Democrats had objected to every Republican presidential victory since the year 2000 with barely a peep from our media. The last Republican president that the left accepted as legitimate was George H.W. Bush, who was elected in 1988.

Why do elected officials on both sides of the aisle seem to think that the natural order of things is for the Democrats to be in the majority while the GOP remains principled losers? Why have conservatives implicitly adopted the premise of the left that history is naturally progressive?

Many of us on the right who study history consider Woodrow Wilson to be one of our worst presidents. I suggest that many problems America faces today were built upon the foundation of Wilson’s administration. The income tax, direct election of Senators, and the Federal Reserve all came about during his first term. He involved us in a European war, not because our own interests were at stake but because he saw it as an opportunity to shape a new world order. Wilson was the first American president to leave our country during his administration when he went to France to take part in negotiation for the Treaty of Versailles. He proclaimed that his goal was to “make the world safe for democracy.” He issued a statement containing the fourteen points upon which he intended to build his new world order, including the creation of a League of Nations that would have the ability to maintain peace in the world.

The Republican Congress back home saw things differently, however. Led by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, the GOP prevented ratification of the treaty and refused to allow the United States to enter the League of Nations. For all of Wilson’s high-minded talk, the Congress still saw themselves as American patriots, not citizens of the world. Their job was to protect and nurture the American people, not use their position to try to maintain peace in a world gone mad. Subordinating American sovereignty to any international body, no matter how well-intentioned, was unthinkable.

On the domestic side, Wilson indulged in every depraved characteristic that we have come to identify with authoritarian progressives. Using the war as an excuse, he censored the mail, imprisoned dissidents and journalists, and compelled private industry to shift production to military material. However, the Republican Party would not allow this tyranny to continue indefinitely. In the 1920 presidential campaign, Ohio Senator Warren Harding won a landslide victory after campaigning on a “return to normalcy”. This marked the first of three consecutive Republican victories, a record that has only been equaled once since. Under the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations, America returned to normalcy. The overreaches of the Wilson administration were erased, political prisoners were released, and the government stopped meddling in the economy. We even passed the 1924 Immigration Act, severely curtailing the number of foreigners allowed to enter to the United States. This pause allowed the previous three generations of immigrants to fully assimilate into a strong American culture that would persist for decades afterward.

The United States was able to survive the upheavals brought about by Wilson’s entry into World War I and his domestic tyranny because the Republican Party still had enough courage and political will to fight back. However, the seeds had been planted for many of the problems our nation faced over the next century. The 16th and 17th amendments and the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 had given the government tremendous power that could easily be abused during the next economic or political crisis. The 1930s provided both.

High school history textbooks like to contrast Herbert Hoover’s response to the onset of the Great Depression with Franklin Roosevelt’s by saying that Hoover adopted a so-called laissez-faire attitude of leaving the economy alone to fix itself while FDR used the power of government to fix the problem and save the American people. Reality was not so black and white.

Herbert Hoover was an engineer by trade. He had risen to prominence as a businessman during the Great War when he led a commission to provide food for millions of civilians left destitute by the ravages of war. He served as Wilson’s so-called Food Czar, then Secretary of Commerce under Harding and Coolidge. His background was not laissez-faire, rather he was one who thought that every problem had a solution. Contrary to what textbooks now say, FDR actually criticized Hoover in the 1932 presidential campaign for interfering too much in the economy.

The die was cast, however, and FDR won the White House in a landslide. The new president was determined not to let a crisis go to waste. Roosevelt’s New Deal completely redefined the role of the American government. The central planning that Woodrow Wilson got away with during World War I become the norm. The federal government went from being distant and rarely important to our daily lives to an ever-present help in our time of trouble. New technology assisted this transformation, as radio allowed President Roosevelt to speak directly to the American people. Despite the Depression continuing into 1936, he was able to convince the American people that he remained the only man who could possibly fix the problem and so won a second term with an even greater landslide.

The role of government was redefined from simply protecting our natural rights to taking care of our every need. FDR himself explained this new role when he spoke of the so-called “four freedoms” in 1941. The first two, freedom of speech and freedom of worship, were already guaranteed by the 1st amendment, but the other two, freedom from want and freedom from fear, required a government that had nearly unlimited power and authority to achieve. As many conservative commentators have pointed out through the years, a government large enough to give you whatever you need is large enough to take everything away.

The second great crisis of FDR’s administration was, of course, World War II. The American people strongly favored isolationism, and Congress passed a Neutrality Act in 1937 as war loomed ever closer on the European horizon. After Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, President Roosevelt convinced Congress to amend the Act for what he called “Cash and Carry,” which allowed the US to sell military equipment to the Allies. By 1941, with France on the brink of defeat, Roosevelt and his Democratic Party wanted to amend the Act even further, proposing something called “Lend-Lease” which would allow the US to “lend” military equipment, even warships, to Britain without payment. Republicans in Congress strongly opposed this measure, warning that it would inevitably drag the nation into the war, but after ten years of the New Deal the GOP was very much a minority party. Lend-Lease passed along party lines, and the US was drawn further toward an apocalyptic war.

Unfortunately for the American people, we never experienced a return to normalcy after the massive reorganization of our society due to the New Deal and World War II. The GOP took control of Congress in 1946, but their majority was short-lived. They won the White House in 1952 behind General Dwight Eisenhower, but by then the redefinition of government was etched in stone. At home, the government was now a benevolent caretaker for the American people, and in foreign affairs, the United States was the guardian of the new world order born out of World War II.

From 1932 through 1948, the Democratic Party won the White House five consecutive times. Even during President Eisenhower’s eight years in office during the 1950s he often had to contend with Democratic control of the House, the Senate, or both. I suggest that these long decades of being in the minority left a lasting mark on the psyche of the Republican Party. In 1937, for example, the Democratic majority in the Senate was an astounding 75 to 17. By the 1950s, few Republicans, if any, remained from the caucus that was willing to stand up to Woodrow Wilson’s globalist ideas. Few Republicans during the Eisenhower administration were willing to criticize the New Deal or suggest that it should be dismantled, nor were they were willing to stop the militarization of America and the new focus on maintaining the postwar world order. Ike himself warned of the growing power of the military/industrial complex in his farewell address in 1961, but both his would-be successors had campaigned on expanding the use of American blood and treasure to save the world from Communism. This position inexorably drew Presidents Kennedy and Johnson into the quagmire that was Vietnam.

The Vietnam War is where our current ideological battle lines were drawn, and the decisions we made then continue to echo more than half a century later. Whereas World War II remains the “good war” in popular culture, Vietnam is seen as unnecessary at best, and even by some as outright villainy by the United States. The Baby Boomers had grown up in the relative peace of the late 1940s and 1950s, hearing tales told of the great things their fathers had done fighting in France, Italy, and the Pacific, as well as the high ideals for which they fought. Many enlisted in the military out of sense of patriotism, of honor, and of loyalty, both to their heritage and to their country. What they found in Indochina was not the heroism of their fathers, and if they were lucky enough to come home, they were not given the heroes’ welcome of their fathers either. The reaction to the Vietnam War throughout the 1960s and 70s created the modern divide between conservatives and progressives.

During the Cold War, both political parties believed it necessary for the United States to intervene in nations such as Korea and Vietnam in order to stop Communism from spreading throughout the world. President Eisenhower did not want to get involved in another war, so he sent millions of dollars of foreign aid to the South Vietnamese government instead. Despite privately believing that involvement in Vietnam was bad news, President Kennedy continued sending aid, along with sixteen thousand American military advisors, hoping to bolster the South Vietnamese military and political leadership. After all, the Soviet Union and Communist China were sending money, arms, and advisors to the North Vietnamese and their Viet Cong guerillas, so what other choice did we have? The idea of simply leaving Vietnam to fall to Communism was considered unthinkable. The domino theory, which was the prevailing view of politicians and pundits on both sides, predicted that if South Vietnam fell to Communism, then they would continue into Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, and eventually to Burma, Pakistan, and perhaps even India. Eventually, they warned, the forces of Communist revolution would be landing on our own shores. “We must fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here,” they said. Does that sound familiar?

Battle lines were being drawn throughout our society. As American casualties mounted in the mid-1960s, an anti-war movement developed. However, that movement became strongly identified with other social movements of the time, encompassing ideas such as free love, drug use, and socialism. Richard Nixon won the White House in 1968 by promising to win victory with honor. To accomplish that, Nixon actually expanded the war, bombing targets in Cambodia and Hanoi even as he withdrew US ground troops. Thus, the conflict started by Democrats JFK and LBJ became associated with the Republican Nixon, and the antiwar movement became associated with the far left.

There was division within the antiwar movement. Some were truly pacifist, believing that war was wrong no matter what. Some loved America but believed that involvement in Vietnam was against our interests. However, many in the movement were outright anti-American, believing that our country was evil to the core, racist, sexist, imperialist, and capitalist. These were the protestors who did not just want the US to withdraw her troops, but actively supported North Vietnam and hoped for a Communist victory not only in East Asia, but in the United States itself. The most outspoken of the antiwar protestors often took this position, and terrorism by groups such as the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers made sure to keep these extremists on the front page of the newspaper. Many celebrities seemed to identify with the far left; recall Jane Fonda traveling to Hanoi and posing with North Vietnamese soldiers.

While most musicians supported the antiwar movement and wrote songs protesting the war, a few took the opposite position. In 1969, country singer Merle Haggard recorded two of his most famous hits. In “Okie From Muskogee” he contrasted the humble and hardworking people of America’s heartlands with the crazy hippies in San Francisco who did drugs and burned their draft cards. In “The Fightin’ Side of Me” he complained about protestors who criticized the Vietnam War, lumping them in with the extremists who sought to overthrow the US government and impose Communism in America. The political situation of the late 60s and early 70s demanded that you choose between those two sides. If you loved America, you had to support the troops, which meant you had to support the Vietnam War.

As the 1972 election approached, the divide in our country became even more stark. South Dakota Senator George McGovern ran for president on an explicitly antiwar platform, promising to immediately withdraw the troops if he was elected. It is interesting to look back on this era through the lens of popular culture, because so many of the people who create our culture were on the antiwar side back then. Movies, music, and popular history tend to emphasize the antiwar protests, and the unpopularity of Richard Nixon personally. 1972 was the first presidential election in which 18, 19, and 20-year-olds could vote, after the passage of the 26th amendment a year prior. Clearly this age group, who were at risk of being drafted and sent to fight in Vietnam, would oppose the president who was prosecuting the war, right?

Yet that is not what happened. President Richard Nixon had earlier appealed to what he called the “silent majority” of Americans who were still conservative and traditional, who did not support the drug use, free love, socialism, and everything else associated with the hippies and the antiwar movement.  In 1972, that silent majority made their voices heard as Nixon won a 49-state landslide, one of the largest electoral victories in American history. Just a few days after his second inauguration, Nixon announced the Paris Peace Accords, and the end of the Vietnam War. Soon his own fortunes would be tied up with the fallout from the Watergate break-in, and Vietnam would quickly fade into the past.

Yet the scars from that era persisted for a long time in American politics. The 1992 presidential election was a contrast between the incumbent President George H.W. Bush, who was a World War II hero, and Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas, who had avoided fighting in Vietnam by getting draft deferments in his youth. Republicans naturally made an issue out of this since they had long ago associated support for the Vietnam War with support for America in general. Yet Clinton won the election. The same thing happened in 1996, when the draft-dodging Clinton ran for reelection against Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, another bona fide war hero. Clinton won in a landslide.

Whether or not someone fought in Vietnam remained a campaign issue in the next three elections as well. In 2000, Vice President Al Gore claimed to be a better veteran than Governor George W. Bush of Texas, but both had fairly flimsy war records. Both Gore and Bush were scions of powerful political families, and both their fathers used their connections to keep their sons safe. Gore had indeed been to Vietnam, but as a journalist, and was somewhat safe from the harshest combat. Bush never went to Vietnam, completing his tour with the Texas Air National Guard. At least he served, however, which is more than could be said for Bill Clinton. Nevertheless, Governor Bush won a very close and contested election.

In 2004, the Democrats nominated Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. In contrast with the incumbent President Bush who spent the war stateside in the National Guard, Kerry had been decorated for his tour on a swift boat with the Navy. When he returned home, however, he joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War and accused his comrades of horrific war crimes. The Democrats tried to play both sides during the campaign, presenting Kerry to the far left as a principled antiwar protestor, while presenting him to moderates as a faithful soldier who did his duty. Some other swift boat veterans who served alongside Kerry in Vietnam collaborated on a book claiming to expose his shameless hypocrisy, accusing him of inflating his service record, even while he was in Vietnam, for future political gain. In any case, Kerry lost a close election and President Bush won a second term.

2008 saw the last time Vietnam arose as a presidential campaign issue, thirty-five years after the last combat troops withdrew. The Republicans nominated Senator John McCain of Arizona, who had not only served in Vietnam but had famously been shot down and captured, enduring torture as a prisoner of war in Hanoi. The Democrats, on the other hand, nominated Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, who was only a child during the Vietnam War and had absolutely no military service. Obama won, if not a landslide, at least a comfortable victory.

Considering the extent to which support for our troops has become equated with support for America on the conservative right, it is striking that in all five elections from 1992 to 2008, the “least veteran” candidate won all five times.

The Vietnam War faded from public discourse by the second decade of the 21st century. The 2012, 2016, and 2020 elections each featured candidates who had no military service. Today, the youngest Vietnam veterans are at retirement age, and for most voters, Vietnam is ancient history. But the dividing lines in our culture remain the same. After the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, President Bush declared that American military policy would be to preemptively strike any nation that could possibly threaten the United States or her interests abroad. He sent the military to Afghanistan to topple the Taliban, the Islamic extremists who had harbored Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Two years later, he ordered the invasion of Iraq, which had allegedly been developing weapons of mass destruction. Iraq, along with Iran and North Korea, formed what President Bush called an Axis of Evil.

Once again, our leaders told us that we must fight our enemy “over there” to prevent them from coming to fight us over here. Conservative Republicans by this point had firmly fused the ideas of patriotism and love of country with unconditional support for military adventurism. Support for the war became the biggest characteristic of the conservative movement. Three decades of pop culture taught us how badly our troops had been treated during and after Vietnam, so conservatives made sure to loudly and publicly express support for our troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. I recall patriotic conservatives decorating freeway bridges with yellow ribbons in support of our troops. Support for the troops became synonymous with support for the wars, and so criticism of the wars was considered by many on the right to be unpatriotic at best, and treasonous at worst. In retrospect, this proved to be a major distraction from the conservative charge to stand athwart history and yell stop.

I believe that something changed with the conservative movement in the decades after William Buckley founded National Review in 1955. A cadre of men and women who were once leftist, and even socialist, immigrated to this country and made common cause with American conservatives to take down international Communism. For many of these new conservatives (or neo-conservatives, if you want to be fancy) the social issues that motivated conservative Christians were not so important as defending the free market and free trade. They recognized that issues such as abortion and gun rights were important to their would-be allies, and so publicly adopted those positions, but I do not believe their hearts were ever in those battles. They wanted to harness American conservatism to defeat Communism, and in this they were extraordinarily successful.

The Reagan era, beloved by Republicans for the past thirty years, was all about defeating Communism. Unlike his predecessor, Jimmy Carter, President Reagan drew a hard line against Marxism-Leninism, calling the Soviet Union an “Evil Empire”. Reagan increased military spending, forcing the Soviet Union to bankrupt themselves to keep up. At the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Reagan implored the Soviet Premier Mikael Gorbachev to come there and personally tear down the Berlin Wall.

On the economic front, the energy of the neoconservative leadership was directed toward tax cuts and deregulation. President Reagan’s economic team of Paul Volcker, Art Laffer, and Alan Greenspan unleashed the stagnant economy they inherited from President Carter and created the greatest period of American prosperity since the 1950s. Despite a couple of short recessions, momentum from the Reagan economy propelled America into the 21st century.

Despite success in foreign policy and economics, however, little progress was made on social issues. For all his greatness, President Reagan did nothing to roll back the New Deal or the Great Society. In fact, like the rest of the GOP he simply tried to slow the progressive takeover of our country. As governor of California, he signed one of the first no-fault divorce laws in American history. As president, he signed an amnesty act in 1986 that allowed millions of illegal aliens to remain in the country. The Democratic Congress had promised to work on immigration enforcement in exchange for the amnesty, but we all know how that game is played.

George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, despite representing opposite parties, both worked to transition the United States out of the Cold War and into an explicitly globalist future. Both supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, both supported increasing foreign aid, both wanted more openness with China, and both used the American military in foreign adventures – Bush in Iraq, and Clinton in the former Yugoslavia. The differences between the two on social issues, as well as between George W. Bush and Barack Obama, were merely window dressing in the end. Bill Clinton supported legalized abortion, while George W. Bush opposed it, yet abortion remained legal throughout their combined terms. Bill Clinton banned semi-automatic rifles, and while Bush allowed the ban to lapse, he did not reclaim any ground in the gun rights sphere.

In truth, the leaders of both parties had adopted the globalist perspective. Ever since the early 2000s, our presidential elections have presented a false binary choice. Parents and teachers know that a good trick for ensuring compliance by children is to present them with a false choice. For example, instead of telling your child to brush their teeth before bed, offer them a choice – do you want to brush your teeth now or after your book? If you want them to play quietly, ask if they want to play with the cars or the trains. By giving them the appearance of a choice, you get them to buy into what you want them to do in a way that simply commanding them will not. Our leaders treat us like small children. Every four years they give us the choice of a red globalist or a blue globalist. We argue over the margins, while the endless wars, free trade, and open borders continue to sap America’s soul.

There were few politicians willing to call for a return to nationalism and cultural conservatism. Former Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan was one of them, and he gained a loyal following in the early 1990s. After challenging President George H.W. Bush in the 1992 Republican presidential primary, Buchanan spoke at the Republican National Convention in Houston, Texas. In a speech that became famous, or infamous depending on who you ask, Buchanan exposed the social changes that were being engineered by the Democratic Party. Buchanan boldly warned that the left-wing agenda would bring about radical feminism, normalization of homosexuality, pornography, and abortion, indoctrination in public schools, pushing women into combat roles in the military, and environmental extremism that would “put birds and rats and insects ahead of families, workers, and jobs.” Buchanan said, “there is a religious war going on in this country. It is a culture war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America.”

Over the years the left has lambasted Buchanan for this speech, calling him sexist, racist, and homophobic. Many on the right, especially the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, find themselves embarrassed by this sort of rhetoric. They would much rather ignore social issues entirely and focus on military adventures and the economy. It is obvious, however, that Buchanan’s warnings have all come true. Everything he told us would happen has happened. One can certainly blame eight years of Bill Clinton in the White House for the moral and spiritual decline that followed, but the truth is that our culture was already on the downslope by the 1990s. America was no longer Christian in any real sense, though organizations like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition still had some political power back then.

In the early 2000s, the neoconservative establishment began trying to wean American conservatives away from social issues. They had successfully replaced the fight against Communism with a new fight against Islamic terrorism as the primary characteristic of conservatism and seemed embarrassed that many in the Republican Party still held to old fashioned beliefs about abortion, gay marriage, and other tenets of Christianity. Whereas the conservative movement once championed free markets as the moral alternative to godless Communism, capitalism had now become a god unto itself, with GDP the only measure of morality. Mitch Daniels, who preceded future Vice President Mike Pence as governor of Indiana, famously tried to move the GOP away from social issues and focus entirely on the economy. After all, “It’s the economy, stupid!” had been the slogan of Bill Clinton’s successful campaign in 1992.

The danger of focusing entirely on the economy and foreign affairs is that it becomes easy to take the American people for granted. Globalists, sipping champagne in their ivory towers, look down and see no difference between American citizens and everyone else in the world. We are all just interchangeable cogs in a vast economic machine to them. Once you abandon the moral framework of Christianity that this country was founded upon, how can you make a moral argument against outsourcing thousands of jobs from Detroit to China? Patrick Buchanan warned us not to forget the American people. Referring to Americans who were losing their jobs in the early 90s, he said, “These people are our people. They don’t read Adam Smith or Edmund Burke, but they come from the same schoolyards and the same playgrounds and towns we come from. They share our beliefs and convictions, our hopes and our dreams. They are conservatives of the heart.”

The conservative movement, however, did not heed his warning. When Donald Trump offered a hand to the downtrodden white working class in 2016, the leaders of the conservative movement scoffed at him. These people had seen their jobs exported to foreign countries, their communities gutted by the opioid epidemic, and their young men scarred by endless wars halfway around the world. Rather than showing compassion for these destitute people, writers like Kevin Williamson of National Review derided them. In March of 2016, Williamson wrote, “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible.” Basing your moral worldview entirely upon GDP numbers is sociopathic, but that is exactly what our conservative leadership did over the course of thirty years.

In 2008, Senator John McCain of Arizona was running for president to succeed George W. Bush. McCain had built his political career on the image of a maverick, someone who was willing to break with the Republican Party if his principles demanded it. He was very pro-war, supporting intervention all around the world, yet as a survivor of torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese he opposed the harsh interrogation methods that had been approved by President Bush for use on Islamic terrorists. The mainstream media had promoted him for many years for these reasons, but in 2008 they savaged him as a far-right extremist in comparison to their golden boy Barack Obama. Now McCain was of course a globalist like Bush and Obama, but he still surely wanted to win. So, he decided to do something crazy, and picked a woman as his running mate. Former Vice President Walter Mondale had tried the same gimmick in 1984, when he knew he had no chance to defeat President Reagan. McCain’s campaign searched for a woman that would make the ticket look good without rocking the boat. Unfortunately for them, they picked Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska.

In the first Rocky movie, Apollo Creed’s trainer warns him that Rocky “…doesn’t know it’s a show. He thinks it’s a fight!” So it was with Governor Palin. She did not seem to understand that her place on the ticket was a gimmick. She did not seem to understand that the Republican leadership did not really believe in the social issues they sold to their voters. She thought she was really campaigning against a crypto-socialist in Barack Obama, so she attacked him. She boldly proclaimed her belief in the nuclear family, in the right to life for the unborn, and in an unabashed belief in the reality of Jesus Christ.

This was embarrassing the McCain campaign. Despite the fact that they were leading in the polls after Palin’s convention speech, campaign staffers sabotaged her, setting her up to look bad in interviews and leaking unflattering stories about her to the media. When McCain lost the election, the GOP establishment was quick to place all the blame on Palin, despite the fact that McCain was a terrible candidate himself. Steve Schmidt, McCain’s campaign manager, apparently absolutely despised Palin. It was no surprise when he reappeared as one of the leaders of the NeverTrump movement.

The campaign and presidency of Donald Trump exposed many of the neo-conservatives for the grifters they always were. For three decades they had led the conservative movement by paying lip service on social issues in exchange for our support for military adventures, free trade, and open borders. They grudgingly allowed Republican leaders like George W. Bush to make small efforts to restrict abortion in exchange for unleashing the military-industrial complex. Trump was the first president in many years who seemed to not only genuinely believe in the socially conservative positions he advocated during his campaign, but also to come out against the very things that the neo-conservatives valued the most.

Suddenly, all their lip service to social conservatism went out the window. They had demanded that we support politicians such as John McCain and Mitt Romney, even if we did not agree with them on much, because they would appoint conservative judges and promote small government, tax cuts, and cut regulations. When the tables were turned in 2016, and we demanded they support Trump despite their disagreements on militarism and free trade, because he too would appoint conservative judges, they took their ball and went home. Many conservative pundits and politicians openly denounced Trump, even after he officially became the Republican nominee. Some of them even went as far as to endorse his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Ironically, many of those pundits, chief among them Jonah Goldberg of National Review, had spent the last decade warning about the peril to our country of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

The NeverTrump wing surely believed that Trump himself had no chance of victory. They expected that we would all come crawling back to them on hands and knees after Hillary’s inevitable landslide, begging them to take us back into the conservative movement. That did not happen. Donald Trump shocked the world and won the White House in 2016. Some of the NeverTrumpers saw which way the wind was blowing and jumped on the Trump train – see Ben Shapiro, Matt Walsh, Charlie Kirk, and even Glenn Beck. Yet many more refused to support a man who promised to bring our troops home, enforce immigration laws, and put the American people first.

To the globalists, there is nothing special about the American people. The purpose of the United States, in their eyes, is to service the international order and to provide blood and treasure for their various schemes. Working-class Americans were just part of the international GDP machine. President Trump was having none of that. He proudly called himself a nationalist. He said, as you hear in every podcast intro, “We will no longer surrender ourselves or our people to the false song of globalism.” This was completely unacceptable to the neoconservative globalist establishment, so they did everything within their power – legal or not – to destroy him.

The same neoconservatives who once demanded we stop worrying about social issues and focus entirely on foreign affairs and the economy loudly proclaimed that their principles demanded they work to effect President Trump’s defeat. Men such as Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, David French, Justin Amash, and George Will found wealthy donors to finance new publications and political organizations that were dedicated to taking down Trump at all costs. The Dispatch, the Bulwark, and the Lincoln Project joined existing GOP establishment media like National Review in attacking the president, and even in endorsing his Democratic opponents.

As I record this, the Lincoln Project is on the verge of collapse in the wake of sexual harassment and assault allegations against one of its founders, John Weaver. Weaver was a top advisor to John McCain and helped manage his presidential campaign in 2008. It had been long rumored that Weaver would sexually harass young men in politics, hoping to trade them jobs in exchange for sexual favors. Ryan Girdusky broke the story, and when mainstream media picked it up, the other members of the Lincoln Project disassociated themselves from Weaver. Despite his predilections being an open secret for nearly twenty years, his colleagues feigned ignorance. These are the sorts of people who once led the conservative movement. These are the sorts of people who failed to conserve anything. These are the sorts of people who would be embarrassed by Patrick Buchanan’s culture war speech, and demand that we focus on the economy. These are the sorts of people who lost our country.

In 1992, Patrick Buchanan called upon the Republican Party to fight back: “…we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country.” Rather than fighting back, we continued to surrender ground, to fall back. Despite the election of President Trump in 2016, the truth is that we had already lost the culture war. Every major corporation is firmly in the leftist globalist camp. Most major newspapers and other news outlets are left-wing. Schools, colleges, and universities are all engaged in left-wing indoctrination. Entertainment is rabidly socialist. Even many of our churches are bending the knee to the new woke religion – the Southern Baptist Convention, once the bastion of Christian conservatism, has now gone all-in on identity politics and Critical Race Theory. How was one man supposed to fix this? Maybe a Pat Buchanan White House in 1992 or 96 could have stopped our decline, but we were undoubtedly too far gone by 2016. For all his strengths, for all his populist and nationalist instincts, not even President Trump was willing to fight the culture war. He supported gay marriage, was ambivalent on transgenderism, and while he made a big deal of saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” his Christianity seemed to be cultural rather than heartfelt. Trump did not share Pat Buchanan’s strong beliefs about the nature of American culture. In fact, in 1999 Trump strongly denounced Buchanan, saying:

“Look, he’s a Hitler lover. I guess he’s an anti-Semite. He doesn’t like the blacks. He doesn’t like the gays. It’s just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy.”

Donald Trump was basically 1990s Bill Clinton, albeit one who was pro-life. The absolute hysteria with which our globalist elites reacted to Trump’s administration shows how far our country has collapsed since the Clinton era. We are not the same people we were in the 1990s, much less the 1960s.

Speaking about the effect of the Vietnam War on American culture, historian James White said, “I think it demonstrated both some of the delusions of a postwar world that there was a sense that it was somehow our responsibility to deal with every problem everywhere, but also did represent a real strength and commitment on the part of a lot of Americans. We’re asked to serve our country, and we’ll do it.”

The generation of young men who volunteered to fight in Vietnam did so because they had inherited a love of country and trust in their government from their World War II veteran parents. Yet what of our society today? The war in Afghanistan is approaching its 20th anniversary later this year. Young men who signed up to fight after 9/11 completed their tours, came home, settled down, raised a family, and now watch their sons sign up to fight in the same place. Eight years of Vietnam was enough to break the psyche of America, but twenty years of endless war in the Middle East has become just a fact of life. Our military bases throughout the world are simply accepted as outposts of our Empire, as normal for our soldiers as basic training. A burgeoning antiwar movement during the Bush administration fizzled out once Obama came to power, and now both political parties and the mainstream media adamantly support the endless wars. Why is our Vietnam different than our grandfathers’?

For one thing, we no longer have a military draft. The armed forces have had no issues maintaining the troop levels necessary for their various missions, perhaps because of the high levels of benefits they offer to potential recruits. The draft was a hugely motivating force for the antiwar protests of the 1960s, as young people feared being forced to fight in the jungles of Indochina against their will. With no draft, there is less motivation to protest our current wars. Nobody is in Afghanistan against their will today – they all signed up, and they all presumably knew where they might be sent.

Second, our troop levels in Afghanistan and the other deployments of the Great War on Terror have never matched the numbers we sent to Vietnam. Half a million American fighting men were in Vietnam at the peak of the war, and we lost nearly sixty thousand of them over eight years. Twenty years in Afghanistan have resulted in a tiny fraction of that number – less than three thousand. As I record this, there has not been a combat death in Afghanistan in more than a year. While every death in these adventures is a needless tragedy, the relatively low number of casualties makes it easy to forget that these wars are still ongoing. World War II and Vietnam affected all Americans. Everyone had a son, a brother, a father, a neighbor, or a friend who served in those wars. Today, millions of Americans live their entire lives without any exposure to military families.

In the early 2000s, supporting the wars was synonymous with being conservative and patriotic. Division over the wars in the late 2010s was one of the major wedges between the old neoconservative leadership and the growing nationalist movement in the Republican Party. Representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas, who lost an eye in Afghanistan, has become one of the most outspoken supporters of the endless wars. Another supporter is Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House served to illustrate this growing division, as shown when Liz Cheney voted to impeach President Trump a second time, shortly before he left office on January 20th. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who ran for president in 2016, voted to convict Trump in his Senate trial, and also supports the endless wars. Do you see a pattern yet?

A civil war is brewing in the Republican Party. The same conservatives who conserved nothing are fighting to maintain control of the Republican Party and the conservative movement in America. The priorities of Christian conservatives are not the priorities of the neoconservatives. They want to define conservative principles to mean endless war, open borders, free trade, and low taxes. The writing is on the wall, however. More than seventy-five million Americans voted to re-elect Donald Trump not because he was an establishment conservative but because he was a populist nationalist who spoke for the forgotten men and women of America. These nationalists are not going away. Many of them recognize how useless the conservative movement has been. They hear pundits like Kevin Williamson telling them that they deserve to die, while populists like Donald Trump actually listen to them.

While our cultural dividing lines might have been drawn in the 1960s, today is a different time. The Baby Boomers grew up in the shadow of World War II and the subsequent American prosperity, but the following generations were not so lucky. Generation X grew up in the cynicism that followed Vietnam, Millennials grew up in the spiritually decadent 90s, and Generation Z is coming of age in the dumpster fire that American culture has become.

The anonymous blogger AntiDem recently wrote a great piece about how our society has changed since 1968. His premise is that America survived the turmoil of the 1960s because of a tremendous reserve of social capital that our country had stored away. However, that social capital has been depleted over the past half century. AntiDem defines “social capital” as “the bond that exists between people within a certain society; it is their sense of mutual trust, loyalty, obligation, and responsibility; it is what makes us say “We are one; we are all in this together”. These are the ties that bind a nation; that bind a people together. Once these bonds are severed – once the reserve of social capital reaches zero – then there is nothing that can hold things together but brute force. And this is where conflict begins.”

Americans of the 1960s still believed in themselves and believed in their country. They trusted their government, trusted the press, and trusted their neighbors. America remained bound by a common heritage, common beliefs, and common values. As Charles Murray explains in “Coming Apart,” the division between the upper and lower classes in America grew tremendously between 1960 and 2005. The two groups of people had once interacted, gone to the same churches, attended the same schools, belonged to the same fraternal organizations, and even served in the military together. Today, the lives of the rich and powerful bear no resemblance to the lives of the poor, or even of the middle class.

The divide between left and right has grown as well. Whereas most American politicians of the 1960s might have disagreed with each other on policy, they all believed in American exceptionalism and greatness. Today, the globalist left considers the United States to be a fundamentally racist and sexist country, whose supposed greatness was just white supremacist hagiography, which needs to be completely dismantled and rebuilt in a cultural Marxist image. Rank and file conservatives, on the other hand, believe that America remains the greatest nation in the world, and many are still convinced that it is not beyond saving.

The generation that fought in Vietnam grew up in a time of prosperity. They had heroes to look up to: presidents such as Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy; industrialists and philanthropists like the Fords and Rockefellers; classy celebrities like Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, and athletes like Joe DiMaggio and Willie Mays. Even when these heroes had less than heroic privates lives, as was the case with JFK, the press considered their job to be to sweep such unsavory things under the rug so as to keep the image of the president larger than life. Most people assumed that their president and congressional leaders were serious men who could be trusted to do what was best for the American people. Trust in the press was high as well; most Americans believed that Walter Cronkite and his colleagues were telling them the whole truth about what was going on in the world.

Contrast that with today. Every president is despised by at least half the country, and mercilessly criticized and mocked. Congress has even lower opinion ratings than the president, and trust in the press is at an all time low. Celebrity culture is a race to the bottom, as they seem to compete to see who can live the trashiest public lives. Americans are depressed, neurotic, and either perpetually angry, or simply tuned out. What changed?

Vietnam itself obviously disillusioned an entire generation. The young men who came back from those jungles had learned the hard way that war is not all honor and glory. Unlike their fathers who fought in World War II, they could not even tell themselves that they had fought for a great cause. When Saigon fell in 1975, it made all those years of fighting, all those lives lost and destroyed, seem for nothing. That is enough to turn anyone into a cynic.

Watergate was another stop on the road to disillusioned cynicism about our society. While President Nixon might not have done anything differently than his predecessors, the press decided he was guilty, and both parties moved in for the kill. The Watergate scandal did not just take down a president, it destroyed the integrity of the office in the eyes of millions of people. Rather than reflecting the best of America, our leaders seemed to reflect its worst.

In 1992, FBI agents raided the property of a man named Randy Weaver, who lived with his wife and children in rural Idaho. Depending on who you ask, Weaver was either a villainous white nationalist who was plotting violence against the government, or simply a man who wanted to be left alone. When Weaver did not show up for a court hearing on a weapons charge, agents besieged his property, and ended up killing Weaver’s wife Vicki and fourteen-year-old son Sammy. An FBI agent was also killed during the siege. For many Americans, the Ruby Ridge siege was a wakeup call that the government did not necessarily have their best interests at heart.

Less than one year later, FBI and ATF agents besieged a compound in Waco, Texas. The government suspected the Branch Davidian cult of stockpiling weapons and possibly holding people against their will. After several firefights, the siege ended on April 19 when government agents assaulted the compound. A fire started – some say it was due to the FBI tear gas canisters, while others say cult members set the fire deliberately. Either way, seventy-six people were killed, including twenty-five children.

While the 1990s were, on the surface, a time of relative prosperity and optimism, the American people were becoming more jaded and cynical than ever. What was the conservative answer to this cynicism? What did the conservative movement offer people who were losing their jobs, their families, and their faith in America? Tax cuts and broken promises.

The conservative movement fully accepted the premises of the left that America was progressing toward a more globalist utopian future. Rather than heeding the warnings of Patrick Buchanan, they instead accepted the premise that America was fundamentally racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic, and that it must not only change and progress, but forever apologize and atone for its past sins. In doing so, the conservative movement lost the ability to advocate for America itself. They cannot criticize anti-white racism; the most they can do is find a black person to speak out on behalf of white people. They cannot criticize the full-on assault on masculinity that our culture has engaged in. They have almost given up arguing social issues entirely, preferring to confine their discussions to “stopping socialism” in America, as if it was not already here. Conservatives could not even conserve the women’s restroom.

The conservative movement is a failure because it could never articulate a reason for its own existence. When the left is demanding we drive off the cliff at full speed, while the right meekly suggests that half speed might be more prudent, then of what purpose is the right wing? The left supports their extremists, while the right censures theirs. The left uses government to expand their own power, while the right uses it to constrict theirs. President Obama used his last day in office to pardon terrorists, while President Trump pardoned rappers who hate him. When Representative Maxine Waters of California urged her followers to harass Trump supporters in public, the media shrugged, and her party cheered her on. When Representative Steve King of Iowa urged us to preserve Western Civilization, the media attacked, and his party dutifully stripped him of his committee assignments and then supported a primary challenge against him.

The biggest example of the GOP’s failure to win was seen in the contrasting reactions to the Black Lives Matter and antifa protests of 2020 versus the MAGA protest at the Capitol on January 6th. All summer long, BLM and antifa rioters burned, looted, and even murdered their way through dozens of cities. They caused billions of dollars in property damage, and hundreds of small business owners lost their livelihoods. The response of the left? Celebration and promotion. Kamala Harris raised money to bail rioters out of jail. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the point of protests was to make people “uncomfortable”. Leftist media fell over themselves trying to be the first to repeat Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement that “riots are the language of the unheard.” Every corporation in America solemnly intoned that black lives matter, and they donated billions to far-left political organizations.

Republicans tried to thread the needle between denouncing the violence while not appearing to be racist in the eyes of the media. Many proclaimed their belief in the cause that the rioters were supposedly fighting for while also claiming that the violence was caused by a few outside agitators. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina sponsored a bill to reform the supposedly racist police. The truth that George Floyd died of a drug overdose, not from the actions of an allegedly racist policeman, was considered impolite, yet every Republican spoke his name.

Contrast that with the reaction to the Capitol protest last month. As I record this, the only death that we know of that was directly caused by the protest was that of Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran and Trump supporter who was murdered for no apparent reason by a member of law enforcement. Nevertheless, Democrats called this protest an “insurrection” promoted by “domestic terrorists” and instigated by President Trump himself. They impeached the president, announced a 9/11 style commission to investigate, and prepared a bill to crack down on supposed domestic terrorists – that is, Trump-supporting conservatives.

How did the Republican Party respond? By echoing every Democratic talking point. No Republican stood up for their own people who were caught up in the events of that day. No Republican politician spoke the name of Ashli Babbitt.

The Democratic Party supports the most extreme members of their own constituency, even when they tear down statues and burn down buildings. The GOP, on the other hand, is embarrassed by their base. In fact, I think many in the Republican leadership actively hate their own voters. They would rather lose than have to face constituents that they consider to be too uneducated, too religious, and too patriotic for their own sensibilities.

The Republican Party and the conservative movement have failed to save this country, and in many ways, they have abetted its decline. The lesson of Trump is that our country has declined too far for us to save it through political means. The burgeoning MAGA movement must avoid the mistakes of the past. It is not enough to simply conserve the previous generation’s progressive gains – the American right must become explicitly reactionary. We must be bold enough to say that we have to go back to a better time, that the progressive gains of the last twenty years, the last fifty years, even the last century, must be reversed if we are to have any hope of reclaiming our country. We must reject the premise that history moves in only one direction. Instead, we have to go back.

C.S. Lewis had some thoughts on this premise many years ago. “If you are on the wrong road progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. There is nothing progressive about being pig-headed and refusing to admit a mistake. And I think if you look at the present state of the world it’s pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistake. We’re on the wrong road. And if that is so we must go back.”

We have to go back, folks. America has been going the wrong way for a long time. We can return to an era where men were masculine, women were feminine, and children were innocent. We can return to a time when a man trusted his neighbor, and where our leaders and journalists told the truth. We can return to a time when the American people believed in American exceptionalism. The conservative movement has neither the intention nor the ability to take us to this promised land. We must reject the progressive view of history and recognize that our ancestors, for all their human faults, were good people who knew a thing or two about life. We must reject the temptations of modernity and return to time-tested tradition. The new society we create must be explicitly Christian, explicitly reactionary, and full of people who believe in its ideals, and who are willing and able to defend them.

In his inaugural address in 1961, President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Let us return to an era when we had a country worth preserving.

Episode 59: The Failure of Conservatism

The lesson of the Trump Era is that one man cannot save this country, not after the globalist left has completely taken over every institution. But where was the conservative movement when that takeover occurred? Why did they not stop the long march through our society? It is because they were operating from the same premise as the left, and thus failed to save our country.

Listen here, or listen, subscribe, and review on iTunes. You can also listen to every episode on Spotify.

Interview on The JJ Podcast

A few days ago, before the unauthorized tour of the Capitol Building this week, I had the privilege of chatting with John from Australia on The JJ Podcast. We talked for two hours about the general decline of Western Civilization and of the United States in particular, how we got here, and where we might be headed.

John divided the chat into two parts, so be sure to listen to them both:

Part 1

Part 2

Make sure to check out his other episodes while you’re there. I thank John and appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with his audience.