The Globalist Party and the Middle East

The announcement this week by President Trump that the US would begin withdrawing troops from Syria has set off a firestorm in response. Secretary of Defense James Mattis submitted his resignation. Republicans and Democrats in Congress united to express their displeasure. Talking heads in media registered their outrage and disbelief.  To hear some of these reactions you might think that the president was doing something truly horrific, like suspending habeas corpus, invading a peaceful neighbor, or abrogating the Constitution. However, the reaction outside the DC/NY bubble is likely very different. If you ask a stranger on the street how many troops we have in Syria or what they are doing there you are going to get a lot of blank looks. Indeed, even those who are furiously attacking the president for this order do not agree on exactly why we should be in Syria, or for that matter the Middle East in general, in the first place.

A proper war must have specifically-defined victory conditions. When the United States entered World War II, we established total unconditional surrender of the Axis Powers as the only condition for victory. On the other hand, our military adventures in the Middle East since 9/11 have only had the most vague victory conditions, if they have them at all. What does victory look like in Afghanistan? What about Iraq or Syria? At what point can we say “We have accomplished our mission, time to go home?” Oubai Shahbandar wrote a long piece at The Federalist this week sharing his own views on Syria as one who has spent a lot of time there. He is not optimistic, and does not believe any good will be done by continued US presence in the region:

“So how can this current war-without-end be ever properly concluded? For starters, fresh thinking and a new approach in Syria is long overdue. The Pentagon-sponsored media tours of the Syrian cities that have been liberated from daesh and the local USAID funded projects that are meant to project a sense of progress, are in actuality more of a hollow chimera. Let’s face it, there would likely never have been a condition sufficient enough for Pentagon brass where they would have recommended withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The “metrics” for success are dutifully repeated by the public affairs officers — but the basic elements of the forever war remain in place: namely, the total dependence on the presence of U.S. forces.”

It is worth recounting how we got here in the first place. Syria has been a war zone for many years now. In 1971 the socialist Ba’ath Party took power in Syria alongside their counterparts in Iraq. Hafez al-Assad ruled until his death in 2000 at which time he was succeeded by his son Bashar. At first seen as a liberal reformer, Bashar al-Assad’s reputation was tarnished by his response to the Arab Spring revolts of 2011. Protests and revolutions had begun in Tunisia the previous December, toppling their government and spreading throughout the Middle East. The governments of Egypt and Libya fell and serious rebellions broke out in many other nations. A coalition of Sunni rebels rose up against the Shia Alawite Assad regime, supported in part by the CIA and other US government organizations. The Syrian government, meanwhile, was supported by Russia and Iran. Russia especially has had a longstanding alliance with Syria and leases a naval base on its Mediterranean coast. Assad and his government fought back fiercely, allegedly using chemical weapons against the rebels.

In 2013 President Barack Obama considered military action to punish Assad for crossing the “red line” that Obama had laid down regarding the use of chemical weapons. He admirably consulted Congress first and backed down from his desire to send in ground troops when they refused to authorize the plan. However, he did order small numbers of special forces – about 2,000 total – into Syria to assist the Syrian rebels. They have been there ever since, though their mission has changed since 2013. When Assad, with Russian assistance, gained the upper hand against the rebels, the US special forces were redirected toward helping Kurdish militia groups fight ISIS, which had captured territory in eastern Syria during the chaos. With ISIS militarily defeated, however, the continued purpose of these troops is unclear. Reading the news the past few days has yielded several rationales: Some wish for them to stay to assist the Kurds against Assad’s government. Others believe they should act as a deterrent to Turkey, which many fear has nefarious plans for the Kurds in Syria as well as within their own borders. Still others believe we need troops in Syria to counter Russian influence in the region.

Why are so many voices so outraged that President Trump would withdraw 2,000 special forces from Syria? What is it about indefinite foreign war that is so important to the globalist cause? It seems very few are asking the central question – why should we be engaged in the Middle East in the first place?

Lost in all of this discussion is a clear take on what is really going on in the Middle East. Our media and politicians often distill the situation over there into a binary hero and villain narrative, discarding context in favor of a simple story that can be used to convince Americans to support intervention. In this narrative, Bashar al-Assad of Syria is a villain, along with his evil friends in Russia and Iran. The heroes are the Sunni rebels in Syria, fighting against the evil Assad and his chemical attacks. Other regional heroes include Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. This narrative is complicated by the fact that ISIS, another villain in the story, overlaps significantly with the Sunni rebels. On the other hand, some in the Globalist Party have flipped the script, portraying Saudi Arabia and its crown prince Mohammad bin Salman as the villain of the story because of their murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as their war in Yemen. Many of these voices are the same bureaucrats who worked with President Obama to pay off the Iranian government and end worldwide sanctions against that country. While they condemn Saudi Arabia’s part in the Yemen war, they often fail to admit that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are supported by Iran. Clearly the situation is more complicated than the simple story we are often told.

What I see here is a multifaceted situation in the Middle East that is just the latest iteration of centuries of conflict between ethnic and religious groups. Sunnis and Shi’ites have been fighting for over a thousand years, and battles between Arabs, Turks, and Persians have been going on even longer. It is extremely disingenuous for media and politicians to pretend that this is a simple hero/villain story in order to justify participation in this ongoing conflict by American soldiers. Not everything is black and white. Bashar al-Assad might be a ruthless dictator, but that does not mean the groups rebelling against his rule are unabashed good guys. The Assad regime is Shia Alawite, a minority sect in Islam, while many of the rebels are Sunni extremists who are far less tolerant of other sects, much less other faiths such as Christianity and Judaism. The real world is far more complex than the Globalist Party seems to believe. They seem to enjoy playing a real-life game of RISK on a global scale with no thought to the lives lost and nations wrecked in their wake.

Secretary Mattis, for all his virtues, is clearly a member of the Globalist Party. In his resignation letter Mattis explained what he believes is America’s role in the world:

“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies.”

Mattis and others lament that our withdrawal from Syria will leave our Kurdish allies vulnerable to Turkish and Syrian aggression. Remember that the mission of the 2,000 special forces in Syria had evolved to working with the Kurds against ISIS. However, the Kurds are a stateless people, living in parts of the nations of Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. On the other hand, we have ratified treaties that say Turkey is our ally because of their membership in NATO. When one of our allies conflicts with another, whom do we support? I believe this is exactly why the Founders of our country warned against entangling ourselves in alliances with foreign nations. In his Farewell Address in 1796, President Washington said:

“Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?”

A few years later, President Jefferson echoed these thoughts in his first inaugural address, laying out the priorities of his administration:

“Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”

As Secretary of State in 1821, future-President John Quincy Adams agreed with this principle as well:

“Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her [the United States’] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

These sentiments stand in stark contrast to the prevailing wisdom since World War II that the United States has a duty to entangle itself in foreign alliances and to use its military and economic power to promote a certain ideology throughout the world. Washington, Jefferson, and Adams would surely be aghast had they known that the United States would spend so much blood and treasure on foreign shores. How did we get to this point? Why is US involvement in Middle-Eastern wars considered so normal that withdrawing a mere 2,000 troops provokes such outrage?

To get a handle on the Middle-Eastern conflicts, we have to go back in time at least a century. World War I was a tremendous turning point in the history of the world. The old empires of Europe were collapsing and the various ethnic groups they ruled were seizing sovereignty for themselves. The Ottoman Empire had ruled the Middle East for more than half a millennium but they were barely holding on at the start of the 20th century. World War I finished them, as a secular rebellion in Turkey ended the Empire shortly after the war. Diverse tribes of Arabs which had been ruled by the Ottoman Turks for centuries took this opportunity to throw off the imperial sultanate and establish their own nations. They could not accomplish this alone, however, as Great Britain and France supported them with money and material during the war. British soldier T.E. Lawrence was able to unite these tribes for a time, but once the Turks were overthrown their tribal divisions flared up once more. The British and the French created several nations out of nothing, with borders drawn not for the benefit of the Arabs and their neighbors but for the benefit of the British and the French themselves. The borders of Iraq, for example, encompassed Shi’ite Arabs, Sunni Arabs, and ethnic Kurds. Rather than creating an independent Kurdistan, the Europeans instead left them divided between Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

The ensuing conflicts in the Middle East might have gone unnoticed by the rest of the world had oil not been discovered soon after. Suddenly this backwater became supremely important, as Middle-Eastern oil was needed to power the industry and militaries of the rest of the world. During the Cold War both the United States and the Soviet Union sought to gain supremacy among the Middle-Eastern nations. The creation of the nation of Israel in 1948 proved a flash-point for the ongoing conflict. The existence of Israel provided a unifying issue for the Arab nations. Arab alliances tried to destroy Israel several times, but with support from western powers Israel not only successfully defended her borders but expanded them as well. Gamal Abdel Nasser, the soldier-turned-president of Egypt who overthrew the British-backed king, attempted to create a pan-Arab state to stand as a third power against the United States and the Soviet Union. Egypt and Syria were briefly united under one government, but a coup in Syria put that idea to an end in 1963.

Since the end of World War II the United States involved itself in various Middle-Eastern disputes, but usually without committing ground troops. In 1979 the US lent money and material to the Afghan tribes fighting against the recent Soviet invasion. Also that year the US-backed Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran was overthrown by Shi’ite extremists led by Ayatollah Khomeini. The new Iranian regime declared that the US was their enemy and took hostages from the embassy in Tehran. When war broke out a few years later between Iraq and Iran, the US naturally lent money and material to Iraq. However, when President Saddam Hussein of Iraq attempted to annex Kuwait, the United States led an international coalition to the region to drive him out. President George H.W. Bush was careful not to exceed the congressional mandate for the invasion, deciding to stop short of attempting to overthrow Saddam himself. The Bush Administration did encourage the ethnic Kurds to rise up in rebellion, but Saddam crushed them easily.

Operation Desert Storm allowed the United States to establish a permanent military presence in the region. President Bill Clinton used these troops to enforce UN resolutions against Iraq, including a no-fly zone in the north that was supposed to protect the Kurds from further reprisals by Saddam’s government. Like our deployments to Germany, Italy, and Japan during World War II, a limited engagement had become indefinite. The rationale for keeping these bases and troops was to protect Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Israel from a belligerent Iraq. Terrorist attacks by a nascent al-Qaeda were used as further justification.

According to the United States Constitution, the power to declare war rests with Congress, while the actual leadership of the military is in the hands of the president in his capacity of Commander-in-Chief. The last time Congress exercised its war power was in 1941 in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan and the subsequent declaration of war by Germany. Yet the United States has been involved in many conflicts in the 77 years since then without actually declaring war. American troops were in active combat for three years in Korea, ten in Vietnam, nine in Iraq, seventeen and counting in Afghanistan, not to mention dozens of smaller skirmishes throughout those years. How? In most cases Congress granted the president authorization to use force, while falling short of actually declaring war. In 1973 Congress passed the War Powers Act which sought to restrict a president’s ability to use the military without congressional oversight. Despite every president since Nixon has maintaining that they are not constitutionally bound to seek such authorization, they have usually done so out of a courtesy for the opinion of Congress.

This situation changed dramatically in 2001, however. Three days after the 9/11 terror attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. This act granted the president wide latitude in the use of the military to destroy the terrorists who precipitated the 9/11 attacks as well as to prevent any further attacks in the future. California Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee was the only representative to vote against the resolution, calling it a “blank check” for military action. Yet in those hectic days after 9/11 there was strong fervor for retaliating against the terrorists and tremendous fear of another attack. However, unlike previous authorizations for which the use of force was constrained to specific nations and places, the 2001 AUMF has been interpreted liberally to apply to any terrorists in any nation or place in the world. Since 2001, Presidents Bush and Obama have used the AUMF as justification for ongoing military operations in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It seems Congresswoman Lee’s concern about a blank check has been proven true. It was this AUMF that President Obama cited when he deployed special forces to Syria after failing to get specific authorization from Congress in 2013.

In the 17 years since the AUMF was passed, American soldiers have established a near-permanent presence across the Middle East. US forces have ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Only Bashar al-Assad was able to remain standing. Regional chaos only increases with every intervention. One of the reasons given for our continued presence in the Middle East is to fight the terrorists “over there” so they don’t come “over here”. Despite this rhetoric, our national defense remains extremely porous. More Muslim refugees have been admitted to the United States since 9/11 than there were beforehand. So many Muslims have migrated to the United States that they make up the constituency of several congressional districts. Somali immigrant Ilhan Omar, for example, won election to represent Minnesota’s fifth district in Congress despite likely committing immigration fraud and saying things about Jews that would destroy the career of anyone else. Half of our country thinks that enforcing our southern border is simply racist and should not be attempted at all. When President Trump deployed troops to the southern border to help repel a large migrant caravan threatening to cross illegally, more than one pundit criticized the move, outright claiming that the purpose of our military is to fight in the Middle East. In the wake of President Trump’s order to withdraw, mainstream news quoted an anonymous Republican as saying “Syria is crumbling and we’re talking about a [expletive] wall.” That statement clearly demonstrates the priority of the Globalist Party. Imagine if after 9/11 that the resources of the United States had been used for border security and immigration controls rather than foreign adventures. Would our country not be in a better place? Yet the globalist Right demands we invade the world and the globalist Left demands we invite the world, so we end up doing both.

There are as many reasons given to keep our troops in the Middle East as commentators with keyboards. Tiana Lowe of the Washington Examiner tweeted yesterday:

She says that accusations of “endless war” are dishonest, but also says that we should only leave when “Putin and Iran are no longer at large.” What does that mean? Must we wait for President Vladimir Putin of Russia to die or be overthrown before we withdraw from Syria? Do we need to invade Iran and depose the ayatollahs before our mission there is finished? If this is not a desire for endless war then I don’t know what is.

Former Governor of Vermont and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean tweeted:

Many commentators pointed out the irony of Dean’s statement. As a presidential candidate in 2004, Dean based his entire campaign on his opposition to President George W. Bush’s Iraq War, despite Bush and his administration rationalizing the invasion partly upon humanitarian grounds. The fact that we have been unable to completely defeat the Afghan Taliban is to our shame, and at some point we must cut our losses and come home from the Graveyard of Empires. If we accept Dean’s reasoning here, then what keeps us from invading every other nation on earth that mistreats its citizens? Why not deploy troops to Mexico to take out the brutal drug cartels? Saudi Arabia executes people for things we do not consider crimes, should we invade and occupy that nation too? Even peaceful nations such as Japan and Singapore have different standards of human rights. Should we remake them in our own image?

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a committed member of the Globalist Party, tweeted:

Surely Senator Graham has not forgotten that Congress debated sending troops to Syria in 2013 and rejected the idea. President Obama sent them anyway; perhaps a smaller contingent than he might have preferred, but they went nonetheless. President Trump’s withdrawal can be seen as fulfilling the wishes of Congress back in 2013 which wanted to stay out of Syria in the first place. It would be better if Congress reaffirmed its war powers and held hearings and debates about sending troops abroad before any invasions. In any case, Senator Graham clearly just wants to keep our troops deployed, despite the wishes of President Trump and a large number of Americans. Like Secretary Mattis, Senator Graham believes that America must be constantly projecting strength outward. The globalist worldview is one where the world is a giant RISK board, and if the United States is not dominating then it is losing.

One of the more hysterical takes comes from Dana Milbank at the Washington Post, who claims that by withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan we have officially lost the Cold War to Putin’s Russia. Perhaps accusations that some pundits are still living in the world of 1988 are not so far from the mark:

“The TV series “The Man in the High Castle” imagines a world in which Nazis won World War II. But we don’t need an alternative-history show to imagine a Soviet victory in the Cold War. We have Trump.”

Perhaps the most absurd take came from longtime globalist conservative commentator Mona Charen at National Review: That withdrawing 2,000 troops from Syria is a shameful betrayal akin to withdrawing from South Vietnam:

In June of 1973, with Richard Nixon wounded by Watergate, the Democratic-dominated Congress passed the Case-Church amendment, which forbade any further military action in Southeast Asia. We had withdrawn most of our troops the previous March. South Vietnam was attempting to fight the Viet Cong and North Vietnam (both backed by the Soviet Union and China) by itself. Congress liked to tell itself that this was “Nixon’s war,” conveniently airbrushing out John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, not to mention that the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which passed the House with a vote of 416-0, and the Senate by 88-2. For 10 years, Congress had authorized the war through funding.

By 1973, however, most Democrats were endorsing a revisionist history that suggested that they had no role in the decision to fight; that it was forced on the nation by presidents. They passed the War Powers Resolution and cut funds for our ally, South Vietnam.

There are many lessons we can draw from the Vietnam War. Perhaps we should never have gotten involved. After all, history shows that victory for Communist North Vietnam did not lead to the rest of the dominoes falling in East Asia. Vietnam today is a relatively peaceful and prosperous country on good terms with the United States. Alternatively, we could have left sooner, perhaps after fighting a more focused war. I am not a military strategist, but there are surely many books that have been written about what our strategy should have been. It is hard to fathom looking back at the Vietnam War nearly fifty years after the fact and concluding that we should have stayed in 1973. The American people were tired of war. The media had turned against it. Our soldiers were dying in a foreign jungle for no apparent reason. Does Mona Charen think our young men and women should continue dying in the Middle East for no apparent reason too?

To National Review’s credit they also published a piece by Michael Brendan Dougherty titled “Let’s Leave Syria:”

“When the U.S. embarked on its bid to transform Iraq, it did so while touting a “democratic domino theory.” A free Iraq would be an example that weakens the grip of authoritarians and despots across the Arab and Muslim world. So we were told.

And we did set the dominos in motion. But instead of stable democracies, what spread was chaos, Sunni radicalism, and an intensifying of the Sunni–Shia conflict across the Islamic world. Knocking over Iraq’s government put Baghdad in the grasp of Iran-sympathetic Shia, whose misgovernance encouraged a revolt across Iraq’s Sunni triangle and eventually in Syria. Similar Sunni radicalisms swept over Libya and Egypt. The results have been the destruction of minority religious communities of Christians and Yezidis and an ongoing refugee and migration crisis that has destabilized politics across almost the entirety of Europe.

We were told that we have to fight them over there, so that we do not have to fight them at home. But instead, we went to fight them over there, and find we are fighting them everywhere.

America has been conducting its terrorism fight according to the logic that obtains in imperial orders, where the great power at the center maintains an expansive, world-bestriding reign and tries to pick its fights along the permeable periphery of that order. Christmas markets and major public buildings at the centers of that order are reinforced and protected by concrete barriers.”

Finally, Victor Davis Hanson wonders why there is such hysteria about this withdrawal. Writing in National Review, Hanson (who would personally rather we did not withdraw) lists five reasons why this is not the end of the world. He closes with a cogent question:

“…on matters of entering or leaving the Middle East, U.S. strategists in the cases of Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq must develop a more coherent rationale to justify long-term occupations — to convince Americans that these increasingly numerous and optional interventions (whether six months or 18 years) enhance U.S. strategic advantages, and in cost/benefit analyses are worth the human and material costs of maintaining them. So far, we rarely receive any real information on what the actual ends are, and whether the means to obtain them are sufficient or justifiable, at a time of $21 trillion in national debt and a seeming absence of gratitude from those we seek to help.”

The Globalist Party relentlessly pushes foreign military adventures. Whether it is to rush in and save an oppressed population, or to deploy troops on the other side of the world to defend American freedom, their stated reasons rarely seem concrete and achievable. Many of the deployments over the last two decades seem to have less to do with protecting American citizens than with simply maintaining American supremacy in the world. Our ruling class adopted the postwar paradigm of the United States being the leader of the free world. Despite the Cold War being over for more than 25 years, we are still told that Russia is our implacable enemy. We are taught to take it for granted that American troops should be deployed all across the world. The sun never sets on the American military, but we are not supposed to ask how it benefits the American people to perpetuate this system. Professor Hanson’s questions are legitimate. However, all of this commentary ignores the largest question of them all: Should the United States continue to maintain a global empire?

Cold War media was black and white: The USA good, the Soviet Union bad. Now that the Cold War is over, the US remains the “good” superpower followed by an ambitious second tier. We are told that American foreign policy and military interventions are a force for good. Yet even as our forces are stretched across the globe, even as our blood and treasure emptied for nebulous causes, our nation back home is in trouble. As Professor Hanson said our national debt is over $21 trillion. Unfunded liabilities threaten to destabilize the economy in the near future. The opioid epidemic is claiming tens of thousands of lives. Automation threatens to outpace employment, leaving millions with no hope of supporting themselves or their families. Insidious propaganda is destroying the family and the traditional American community. Unfettered migration is changing the character of American culture. How can we hope to control the destiny of the world while our own country is falling apart? Like the Ottoman Empire of 1914, the United States is a civilization in decline. Can we find a way back from the precipice, or will we join the countless empires of the past on the trash heap of history?

There is no law of the universe that says the United States must be a global empire. We are told that we must maintain troops in Syria to keep Russia from gaining a stronghold in the region. Yet Syria is over 5,000 miles away from the United States while the Russian border is within 400 miles. Russia and Syria are allies, and Russian involvement in the region is based upon requests from the legitimate Syrian government. Our part in the matter began with clandestine support for the rebels trying to overthrow that government. One can make a moral case for trying to overthrow this or that dictator but it is hard to see how it relates to the national security of the American people. The Globalist Party agenda requires ever-increasing frontiers; invading the world and inviting the world.

The nationalist plan is straightforward: America first. No more nation-building in the Middle East or anywhere else on the globe. Control our borders. Use American money to help American citizens first, before doling out foreign aid to half the nations of the world. Quit playing RISK on a global scale. The battle between globalism and nationalism is a battle for the soul of America. The Globalist Party reaction to President Trump’s long-promised withdrawal from Syria is nothing short of astounding in its hysteria. For the first time in decades, the globalists find themselves on the defensive. I pray that President Trump continues to fulfill his promises to bring our troops home and to put America first.

Stephen Davies on the Great Realignment

Stephen Davies at Cato Unbound has a good essay on the political realignment that the United States and the rest of the world is currently going through. He makes some of the same points I did in my recent essay on the subject, but also takes some new positions. Read the whole thing.

For many it seems as though we are living through a time of political breakdown and chaos. In many democracies, established parties are losing votes and declining as political forces. This particularly affects the social democratic center-left but has started to affect the mainstream center-right as well. Everywhere there is success for new insurgent forces and parties, usually described as “populist.”

John Derbyshire on Nationalism

Nationalism is a dirty word according to mainstream media and academia. As globalism expanded in the wake of World War II, its antithesis – nationalism – was lumped in with Nazism and Fascism as evils that must never again be countenanced. Globalism became the de facto position of anyone in public discourse. Anyone who criticized the globalist program risked being identified as a Nazi or Fascist, which could be disastrous. Communism, on the other hand, despite having a body count that dwarfed the Nazi regimes was still acceptable in elite company. Perhaps this is because communism was started as a globalist enterprise – Marx and Lenin dreamed of a worldwide revolution of the proletariat. Or perhaps it is because many globalist elites also have communist sympathies. Nobody defends Nazism by saying “It just hasn’t been properly implemented.”

In any case, the taboo placed upon the idea of nationalism is quickly eroding. The United States elected a president who proudly claims the title of nationalist, for which the globalist bureaucrats will never forgive him. A majority of British voters declared their desire to leave the globalist European Union and reclaim their national sovereignty. The globalist media continues to label any nationalist sentiment in the US and Europe as “far right” and “extremist” but their power to influence appears to be waning. Nationalist parties are gaining power throughout Europe and protesters are taking to the streets in France, the UK, Belgium, and other countries still in the globalist yoke. The Globalist Party still thinks they can crush this uprising and return to the postwar New World Order, but I believe nationalism is inevitable. Globalism requires pounding too many square pegs into round holes for it to be successful in the long term.

John Derbyshire is an author and podcaster who has been championing nationalism in the US for nearly twenty years. He does not fear being slandered by mainstream media for his views. In 2012 he published an article at Takimag titled “The Talk: Nonblack Version.” In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, police shootings of young black men was a national issue. Black commentators and journalists wrote articles explaining “the talk” they would have with their children about how to avoid being shot during encounters with police. Absent in the national discussion was any mention of young black men committing crimes that brought them into contact with police in the first place, though objective crime statistics have always been readily available. Derbyshire sought to provide that missing perspective, explaining how he warns his children to stay away from certain places and groups that might be dangerous. He was, of course, labeled as a racist not only by mainstream media but by Globalist Party conservatives as well. He was fired from National Review and his work relegated to fringe publications like Takimag and Neither the fact that he made it clear he bore no prejudice toward individuals, nor the fact that his children are half-Chinese, made any difference. Noticing things is simply racist.

Yet like Steve Sailer (another exile from the conservative movement), Derbyshire writes astutely and transparently about current events. Freed from the self-censorship that mainstream figures must endure in order to avoid such exile, Derbyshire is able to simply tell it as it is. In addition to his work at Takimag and, Derbyshire posts a podcast every Saturday morning with his comments on the weekly news. It was on this podcast a few weeks ago that Derbyshire made one of the clearest explanations of the rise of nationalism that I have ever heard. I hope he will not mind if I excerpt the entire segment from the transcript, because he explains better than I can why nationalism is rising and why it is inevitable. I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast.

Nationalism was much discussed this week. It was at the front of the minds of all sorts of people, for all sorts of reasons.

A few of those reasons at random:

    • At a pre-election campaign rally in Texas, October 22nd, President Trump had declared himself a proud nationalist. Apparently in response to this, at a ceremony in Paris last Sunday to commemorate the Armistice that ended World War One a hundred years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron laid in to nationalism, quote from him: “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.” End quote.
    • That Armistice Day, November 11th, is also, as it happens, Poland’s National Independence Day, a public holiday — the Polish July Fourth, as it were. This year is the centenary not only of the Armistice, but also of modern Polish independence, which Poles seized as the empires of Russia, Germany, and Austria were disintegrating all around them in 1918.
    • In Britain, the most significant nationalist event of the past few decades was the 2016 vote by referendum to leave the European Union — Brexit. Negotiations between the British government and the EU on the terms of departure have dragged on for two and a half years, but the matter now seems at last to be coming to a head.
    • Also in Europe, and also with Emmanuel Macron to the fore, there is talk of building a new European Army independent of NATO. German Chancellor Angela Merkel chimed in with agreement. We American nationalists would like nothing better than for the U.S.A. to withdraw from NATO. That would be a great boost to our nationalism, American nationalism. Our nationalist President inexplicably disagrees: he scoffed at Macron’s idea.

There have been some lesser manifestations of interest — both positive and negative — in nationalism; I’ll squinch some of them in as occasion allows.

Nationalism is definitely a Thing right now, though; so much so that National Public Radio on November 14th declared “nationalist” to be theWord of the Year for 2018.

There is of course a very great deal to be said about nationalism — far more than I can say in a podcast. The topic is highly relevant to our mission here at, though, which is to promote thoughtful, well-informed discussion of the U.S.A.’s National Question, with special attention to issues of demographics and foreign settlement.

I am therefore going to give over most of this week’s podcast to poking and prodding the nationalism issue in hopes of uncovering new insights.

Let’s start with Emmanuel Macron.

I’m not a close follower of French politics, but I have to say I find Macron deeply unimpressive. None of his recorded remarks has struck me as very intelligent or memorable.

Working from a limited base of knowledge as I am, I could of course be wrong. I note, however, that the French people themselves seem to agree with me. At any rate, Macron’s party is polling poorly, below twenty percent — behind Marine Le Pen’s nationalists.

It’s characteristic of people like that — of mediocrities, I mean, if I’ve got Macron right — it’s characteristic of mediocrities to be in thrall to the shallow clichés of the generation that came before them. For Macron in particular to be in thrall to the generation before him would actually be less surprising than the average, as he is married to a member of that generation.

Mrs Macron’s generation is also mine, more or less — she is eight years younger than I am — so I can speak with authority about those shallow clichés that were in the air during the decades after WW2. One of those clichés was that while patriotism was good, nationalism was bad.

Patriotism, the talking heads all told us in 1960 and 1970, was the warm, loving feeling you have for your country, with no malice or prejudice against anyone else’s country. Where there was such malice — or disdain, or contempt, or aggressive intentions — that was nationalism. So nationalism was patriotism with attitude.

That was what all good-thinking people believed through my young adulthood, and Mrs Macron’s. It’s not hard to figure why we believed that. The aggressor powers in WW2, Germany and Japan, had state ideologies of militaristic imperialism, of which nationalism was undeniably a component. Setting out to conquer Europe and Asia, the Germans and Japanese felt justified in doing so because their nations were best.

Nationalism-wise, there’s a contradiction in there, though. As militaristic imperialists, the Germans and the Japanese had no time for anyone else’snationalism. They both knew, as imperialists have known since civilization began, that nationalism is the bane of imperialism.

The Germans and Japanese who fought WW2 were not fans of Polish nationalism or Korean nationalism. They strove very mightily and brutally to extinguish those nationalisms. They were imperialists. Nationalist impulses may be harnessed by imperialism, but imperialism is fundamentally anti-nationalist. Ask a Tibetan.

That nationalism can be harnessed to the service of militaristic imperialism is not an argument against nationalism; it’s an argument against militaristic imperialism. The bonds of family loyalty and affection can be harnessed to the service of organized crime, as we see with the Mafia. That’s not an argument against family loyalty and affection.

So the conventional wisdom of 1970 — patriotism good, nationalism bad — while it was understandable after the mid-century horrors, left much unsaid. Now the things then left unsaid are being said. Here am I saying some of them. It’s going to take me a couple more segments.

So what does distinguish patriotism from nationalism?

One answer going around is: nothing. The words “patriotism” and “nationalism” are synonyms.

If true, that’s kind of annoying. Why cumber ourselves with two words for the same thing? I am anyway resistant to it. Cyril Mortimer taught my primary-school class back around 1955 that there are no true synonyms; that even words closely related in meaning have different shades of color, different usages and connotations. Mr Mortimer was right.

But then, if — contra President Macron — if there is a healthy and harmless style of nationalism, with nothing negative in it towards other nations, how does such a nationalism distinguish itself from attitude-free patriotism?

I would seek the answer in the complexity of our feelings about our nation and others. Let me offer some literary references.

    • In 1783 James Boswell said, of his hero Samuel Johnson, that he was, quote: “a stern true-born Englishman, and fully prejudiced against all other nations,” end quote. So was Dr. Johnson a nationalist, or a patriot? (Yes, yes, Johnson was also the man who said, quote: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” His target there was scoundrels, though, not patriots.)
    • In 1805 Sir Walter Scott wrote, quote: “Breathes there the man with soul so dead, / Who never to himself hath said, / This is my own, my native land!” End quote. Definitely patriotic, right? No attitude there, right? We-ell … Read the whole poem. There’s a depth of feeling there that I think goes beyond once-a-year salute-the-flag bland patriotism.
  • Frank Richards told George Orwell in 1940 that, quote: “I have lived in many countries, and talked in several languages: and found something to esteem in every country I have visited. But I have never seen any nation the equal of my own.” End quote. Patriot or nationalist?

Discussing this topic with a learned friend, she told me something about the situation here in the U.S. that I hadn’t heard before, though it may be a commonplace among people better steeped in U.S. culture than I am. In the names of organizations, she said, the word “national” has generally been preferred by the political left, while the right favors the word “American.”

So on the left you have the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Organization of Women, while on the right you have the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

When I raised that in discussion with a different friend, he observed that two of this country’s leading political magazines both have “nation” in the title: The Nation on the left but National Review on the right!

(As a sidebar to that, I note that Britain’s leading left-wing weekly has, since a merger in 1931, carried the full title The New Statesman and Nation. It used to be, and for all I know still is, known affectionately around Fleet Street as “The Staggers and Naggers.”)

Patriotism; nationalism; left; right; at this point my head’s beginning to spin. Let me just step back and see if I can extract some final sense from all this.

First let me express some skepticism towards the idea of a bland, harmless patriotism, with malice towards none and charity for all.

Human nature just isn’t like that. To ask that I have a strong love for my country with no negativity whatsoever towards other countries, is to ask too much. We’re not wired that way.

In the vapid dualism of today’s ruling ideology, according to which if you don’t approve something whole-heartedly you must hate, hate, hate it, this understanding has been lost. All the intermediate emotions between swooning love and seething hate are no longer fit subjects for discussion. Mild disapproval; amused mockery; grudging tolerance; good old utter indifference; nobody has such feelings any more, according to the guardians of our state ideology. If you don’t love Big Brother, you must hate him.

Back in 1940, or 1805, or 1783, we had a better understanding of our nature. When Boswell wrote that Johnson was “fully prejudiced against all other nations,” nobody would have understood it to mean that Johnson wanted to invade and occupy those other nations, or persecute their citizens. He just didn’t like their ways much, because they differed from the English ways he was accustomed to.

In the same letter in which Frank Richards expressed his patriotism to George Orwell, Richards also wrote the following thing, quote:

As for foreigners being funny, I must shock Mr Orwell by telling him that foreigners are funny. They lack the sense of humor that is the special gift of our own chosen nation.

End quote. That’s patriotism, but it’s not blandly neutral towards foreigners. Richards thinks they’re funny. It’s not neutral, but it’s not aggressive. He doesn’t hate foreigners, or want to enslave them. He just wants to laugh at them.

This is human nature in all its convolutions and anfractuosities. If you try to encompass it with the infantile simplicities of Cultural Marxism, you will fail.

At last I think it comes down to this: that the word “nationalism,” whatever anyone thought it meant in 1970, has a new currency now because it is a handy way to refer to the opposite of globalism.

Globalism has been the grand theme of the past few decades. For one thing, globalist organizations came up after the World Wars. Some of them came up in reaction to the horrors of those wars; the United Nations most obviously. Some were products of the Cold War, like NATO. Some were originally mercantile leagues, like the EU.

For another thing, it’s just gotten much easier to move around the world, and there are way more people who want to do the moving. So mass immigration from poor countries to rich ones has been rising steeply. There have been winners and losers from this, and the winners have naturally taken up a globalist outlook.

The rise of globalism has generated a reaction. Those big globalist organizations have exhibited bureaucratic arrogance, not to mention corruption. Mass immigration has depressed wages and left many people feeling like strangers in their own countries. This reaction needs a name, and the word “nationalism” is lying around, not much used, so we’ve taken it up as a name for the anti-globalist outlook.

The word “nationalism” wasn’t taken up at random. Public discourse in the civilized world is controlled by globalists. They naturally want to put resistance to globalism in as bad a light as possible.

To people who don’t think much, people like Emmanuel Macron, the word “nationalism” has that tinge of darkness, that frisson of Hitlery-Hitlery-Hitler that commends it to the globalists for purposes of vituperation.

There are some contradictions here that globalists would much rather you didn’t think about. There is, for example, the tricky matter of Israel.

Back near the beginning of the podcast I mentioned Yoram Hazony’s book The Virtue of Nationalism. Hazony is an Israeli scholar, President of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem. He makes the point that Israeli nationalism is in a way the archetypal nationalism, forged over long centuries in opposition to great empires: the Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Roman, Ottoman, and, yes, British.

It’s not very surprising that Israel today is a beacon of nationalism, or that a best-selling book titled The Virtue of Nationalism should have an Israeli author.

It is, though, hard to square with those Hitlery-Hitlery-Hitler connotations of the word “nationalism” that are so dear to globalists like President Macron. If “nationalism” is a Hitlery-Hitlery-Hitler sort of word, what sense does it make to talk of Israeli nationalism?

Israel’s intense nationalism is also a problem for Jewish immigration romantics in the U.S.A.: people like Max Boot, John Podhoretz, David Brooks, Bret Stephens, Michelle Goldberg.

Reading these pundits, you sometimes get the impression they were happier with the older situation, before the modern state of Israel came up, when Jews were, in the Soviet phrase, “rootless cosmopolitans.” Boot, Podhoretz, Brooks, & Co. are not really against nationalism, you find yourself thinking; they’re just against goy nationalism.

Well, the Jewish immigration romantics will have to find their own way out of that maze. It’s their problem, not mine. I’m happy that nationalism has settled in as a Thing, that the word “nationalism” has been anointed as Word of the Year even by a CultMarx outfit like National Public Radio, and that books praising nationalism are finding a good market.

Globalism is not a contemptible idea. Of course civilized nations should strive to get along with each other, to avoid wars, and to contain, as best they can, the non-civilized. Probably there need to be some transnational organizations to help all that along. And yes, we should try, like Frank Richards, to find something to esteem in other countries we visit.

The nations of the world are our natural homes, though. They are not, in my lifetime or yours, going to merge into a caramel-colored uniformity, speaking the same tongue, eating the same food, worshipping the same gods, laughing at the same jokes. That’s a fantasy, and not a benign one.

Let’s cherish our nations. Let’s be nationalists!

Links to the Radio Derb podcasts can be found here:

Transcripts for each podcast can be found here:

Vox Day and 2033

As I have written over these past two weeks, I have come to believe that we are living in the last days of the American Republic. In my recent post, I explained how globalist ambitions and demographic change have already caused the United States to enter its decline phase. The purpose of this blog is to chronicle this decline as it happens, evaluate current social and political events within a historical context, and provide knowledge and inspiration for how to weather the storms to come. I believe that the end of America as we know it is inevitable, but the method of that end is still to be determined. Peaceful dissolution is the optimistic option, but civil war remains a possibility.

One commentator who has long been predicting a dissolution of the United States is Vox Day. Vox has led a busy life. In the 1990s he was in a techno band as well as a hardware and game design company and wrote a few fantasy novels on the side. He went on to write several non-fiction books on economics, religion, immigration, and the convergence of American corporations by social justice warrior activists as well as an epic high fantasy series. For a while he wrote a syndicated video game column and then had a weekly political column at WorldNetDaily alongside other commentators such as Ann Coulter and Ben Shapiro. He has founded his own imprints, editing and publishing fiction, non-fiction, and several successful graphic novels. For about fifteen years Vox has maintained a blog that he updates multiple times each day. Vox has consistently predicted that the United States will no longer exist in its present form by the year 2033. Not only that, but he took his prediction seriously enough to move his family out of the country. I will be about fifty years old in 2033 and my oldest child will be on the cusp of adulthood. The question of what nation my children and their children will inherit is not just academic.

As a longtime reader of Vox’s blog and other writings I know that his predictions can be hit-or-miss. He famously predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the 2008 election, and strongly believed that Barack Obama would refuse to run in 2012. On the other hand, Vox correctly predicted the recession that began in 2008 as a result of the housing market crash as well as Donald Trump’s improbable victory in 2016. The 2033 prediction is different, however. The fortunes of specific political figures are not the same as observing where long-term trends inevitably lead. Like Steve Sailer, Vox has a habit of noticing things that remain dangerous to say in public. Vox will often be ruthless with his observations, explaining what he sees without sugar-coating it or holding back. This rubs many people the wrong way, as they mistake description for prescription. That is, Vox is like a doctor making a cancer diagnosis: just because we do not like cancer, nor do we want it to spread, does not mean we should pretend it does not exist.

Vox Day’s prediction of dissolution by 2033 is based upon his observations of two parts of American society: economics and demographics. Many economists agree that we are headed for a reckoning, as our massive deficit spending and upcoming unfunded liabilities simply cannot be sustained. When a national debt becomes overwhelming, nations usually have two choices: print more money or repudiate the debt. The first option leads to inflation, such as what plagued Weimar Germany in the early 1930s, Argentina in the 2000s, or Venezuela today. The latter option would destroy any remaining trust in the US government. Remember that what we call the national debt is owed on treasury bonds and other government-backed financial instruments. I recently traded in some small US Savings Bonds that I had been given as a child. Imagine if the bank teller handed them back and said that they were no good. Imagine all the 401k and IRA accounts that are invested in treasury bonds suddenly becoming worthless. Either situation would be catastrophic for the economy. Yet our government just keeps spending as if tomorrow will never come. As we speak, the US National Debt is nearly $22 trillion, a number so large as to be inconceivable. A third of a trillion dollars each year is spend simply servicing the interest on that debt, and that number continues to grow as a percentage of total spending. Even the most fiscally conservative politicians have no real plan to tackle this elephant. President Trump has allegedly said that the debt is not his problem, as it will blow up after he is out of office. Whether those were his actual words or not (neither the Daily Beast nor the anonymous sources it quotes are reliable) does not matter, as this is the unspoken opinion of nearly everyone in government. Yet something that cannot go on forever won’t.

The other factor in Vox’s prediction is demographics. Demographic change is happening in America as we speak. Many on the right are called racist by mainstream news for pointing out that the European-American heritage of America is in danger of being eclipsed by a new citizenry whose heritage is Hispanic or African. Yet those same mainstream journalists will happily write articles about the coming demographic change, excited that evil white men are going to soon be in the minority. After a relatively brief open period (the Ellis Island days), immigration was tightly controlled for much of the 20th century. In 1965, however, Congress passed the Hart-Celler Immigration and Nationality Act which completely overhauled our immigration laws. Instead of taking a small number of immigrants with demonstrable skills, the Hart-Celler Act made family unification a priority, which enabled today’s chain migration. Immigration quotas were doubled, with new preferences given to immigrants from the Western Hemisphere rather than western Europe. Senator Ted Kennedy, one of the chief proponents of the Act, reassured Americans that these new laws were not revolutionary:

“The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

Time has proven the late senator wrong on all four counts. In 1995, the Center for Immigration Studies published a retrospective on the Act, conclusively demonstrating how radically it changed immigration patterns into the United States. According to the CIS article, the impetus for the bill was a concern for equality in the wake of the Civil Rights Act. Supporters believed that the immigration controls that had existed since 1924 were racist and exclusionary and sought to open American residence and citizenship to everyone. Note that among the supporters of the Act were prominent Republicans as well as Democrats, including 1996 GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole. This aligns with my observation that the Globalist Party of the last two generations transcends party labels.

In the 23 years since the CIS report, immigration has only increased. Tens of millions of migrants from impoverished regions have crossed our borders, in both legal and illegal manners. This massive migration is driving demographic changes in nearly every state in the union, despite assurances from Kennedy and his ilk that this would not be the case. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have any motivation to solve this issue, rather they continue to push more openness and amnesty for illegal aliens rather than any sort of enforcement of our borders. Wealthy Republican donors are content with ever-increasing immigration as it drives down wages for their businesses. Democrats can safely assume that millions of new citizens from quasi-socialist nations will be reliable voters for generations to come. The push for amnesty (followed by enforcement, of course) is especially ironic considering there are still many in Congress who must surely remember President Reagan’s 1986 amnesty, attached to which was a promise to enforce the borders henceforth. That promise remains largely unfulfilled.

Many pundits claim that current migration levels are the same as they were more than a century ago when the poor of Europe passed under the Statue of Liberty to Ellis Island. However, a look at the numbers shows this not to be the case. If you include illegal aliens, then the migrations to the United States since the 1965 act are an invasion unprecedented in American history. Some would balk at referring to this as an invasion, since the migrants are not carrying arms, but a look at history shows that you do not always need an army to take over a country. The Angles and Saxons began their migration to the British Isles with scattered raiding, which grew into permanent settlements. After a century or so, much of modern-day England was ruled by Saxons. The same pattern has occurred throughout history.

According to Vox Day, the 1965 immigration act and the subsequent amnesty were nothing short of existential disasters for the United States. He recently wrote about the consequences of the Act:

“The post-1965 mass immigration policy was entirely based on lies and misrepresentations, and 50 years on it is clear that global migration has destroyed America, the largest invasion in human history has severely weakened the United States, and if a significant portion of the post-1965 immigrants and their descendants are not repatriated in the next decade, they will cause the complete collapse of the Union, violent ethnic conflict, and a civil war of unprecedented magnitude.”

Vox wrote a long post last year about Representative Emanuel Celler, the primary author of the 1965 act. He suggests that as a third-generation immigrant, Celler was blind to the inevitable consequences of increased migration. Many dismiss Vox as a racist because he observes the actions and consequences of different ethnic groups, but they rarely engage with those observations themselves. It should be obvious that the descendants of the pioneers who fought the American Revolution will have different worldviews than the descendants of Ellis Island immigrants. Many of the most vocal proponents of increased migration are descendants of immigrants themselves. The notion that America is a “nation of immigrants” is a mantra repeated by the descendants of immigrants.

Early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Vox responded to Globalist Party Republican John Kasich’s call for amnesty for illegal aliens:

“The dirt is not magic. The USA is not magically exempt from the same rules of power, politics, and war that have stricken nearly every other multiethnic society in history at one time or another. There is absolutely nothing preventing what has happened many times elsewhere from happening on US soil.”

I believe it was Steve Sailer who coined the term “magic dirt” to refer to the belief that migrants from diverse nations and cultures can suddenly become just as American as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson when they set foot on American soil. Despite globalist media doing their best to label any such discussion as racist, the debate about exactly what it means to be American is a necessary one to have. Is America a place? Is it an idea? Or is it a people, the descendants of its founders? This question is easier with mono-ethnic nations. Ethiopia is a place inhabited by Ethiopians. Japan is a nation inhabited by the Japanese. But who decides who is American?

To the descendants of the founders, “Americans” are those whose ancestors came to a sparsely-inhabited wilderness to build a new civilization. Their founding documents are the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which promise to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

To the descendants of the Ellis Island immigrants, “Americans” are those whose ancestors traveled to America on steamships in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their founding document is Emma Lazarus’ poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore…”

To 21st century globalist media, “Americans” are anyone who happen to walk across our borders. Perhaps their founding document will be the UN Compact on Migration, which is being debated as I write this. Though the UN itself claims this compact is non-binding, like so many globalist designs it is merely the initial attack on national sovereignty. Writing in Breitbart last week, James Delingpole examined the insidious nature of the Compact:

“Why would any country on earth sign up to a deal so very obviously against the interests of its nationals?

It’s very simple: the globalist political elite doesn’t respect nation-states, nor does it give a damn about the views of ordinary people. Indeed, it despises them so much that it would much rather make their views illegal than listen to what they have to say.”

As President Trump has said many times, if we do not have borders then we do not have a country. Borders define a place: inside the border is America; outside the border is not America. The same dichotomy exists regarding the definition of an American. Whomever meets that definition is American, whomever does not is not an American. Yet the Globalist Party is working hard to erase both distinctions.

It is these two issues – economics and demographics – that have convinced Vox Day that by 2033 the US will have ceased to exist as it does today. It is the interplay of these two ticking time bombs that is going to result in the dissolution of this country. Two years ago, Vox wrote about historical cycles of clutter and cleaning:

“The nation is already broken and divided. What is now being done to the nations of Europe was already done to the USA back in 1965. There is no longer an Anglo-American nation with a moderate admixture of other European nations, now it is a merely a political entity with dozens of rival ethnic and religious interest groups jockeying for power and a share of the income redistribution.

As with Yugoslavia, the structure will hold so long as it doesn’t come under excessive financial stress. This is why I have long predicted the 2033 timeframe, as I thought that’s about when the US dollar will fail as the global reserve currency. Considering the current state of China, it’s possible that timeframe is too optimistic, but regardless, there is still time to prepare for the Yugoslavication and dissolution of the USA.

Choose your location carefully, and with an eye to the future, as who and what you are is likely to matter with regards to your ability to remain there. I can assure you that the idea of ethnic cleansing and forced relocations on the North American continent is neither a new nor an unthinkable idea. Just ask any American Indian.”

History shows that multi-ethnic empires rarely last for long. This is one reason why I believe in self-determination for all. Peoples of different cultures often have different ideas about how society should be ordered. In a multi-ethnic empire, these different groups compete for the power to impose their preferences on the nation at large. Dissolution means we once again have the right and the ability to govern ourselves. This is why we should not fear the end of America, but welcome it and prepare for what comes next. If Vox is correct and the end of America will be reality by 2033, then we are better served being prepared rather than simply hoping it will not happen in our time.

The Decline of America as Illustrated By TIME Magazine

Just as I was putting the finishing touches on yesterday’s long post, I saw an article by Raheem Kassam at the Daily Caller that is relevant to the theme of this blog. In this piece titled “TIME’S FAILING ‘PERSON OF THE YEAR’ LIST A PRODUCT OF CULTURAL DECLINE”, Kassam makes the case that TIME’s recent choices for its “Person of the Year” are but a shadow of the newsmakers that it has highlighted in the past. Some excerpts:

“What the poor shape of the shortlist speaks to… is that the editors of Time Magazine are pretty devoid of meaningful geopolitical analysis today. I suppose you might argue that it was ever thus, given they called Yasser Arafat a “peacemaker” in 1993.”

“But a broader point is that actually, we have such a fast paced media cycle now that it is almost impossible for one person to claim such a title over the course of a whole year. Too much happens, across too many subject areas, and most of it is forgotten.”

“The nature of Time’s list also reveals what a poor period we are going through politically and culturally. I mean I’m sorry but Meghan Markle just doesn’t cut it. Actually, I’m not sorry. And why is there a movie director of a Marvel Comics film on there?”

This is all not to mention the fact that TIME chose to honor “journalists” (in a transparently self-congratulatory manner) as a rebuke to President Trump’s increasingly accurate accusation that they are “enemies of the people”.

As a lifelong lover of history, I once enjoyed TIME Magazine. I still enjoy browsing the archives of TIME’s covers as a way of watching history unfold. It is fun to go back to the classic covers of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, to see how contemporary journalists saw the cultural and political events of the day as they happened. Yet it is obvious that the magazine, like the country it has chronicled, has been in severe decline for a long time. Inspired by Raheem Kassam’s piece last night I decided to look back at the decline of America through the eyes of TIME Magazine.

Every December since 1927 TIME has designated someone as their “Man of the Year” (later changed to the more PC “Person of the Year”). According to TIME, this designation is given to the man who, for better or for worse, has done the most to influence events in that particular year. This statement is upheld well in their inaugural selection of Charles Lindbergh in 1927:


Lindbergh would have been an easy choice. When he became the first man to fly across the Atlantic Ocean nonstop and alone, he became an international celebrity overnight. Indeed, Lindbergh was perhaps the first celebrity superstar, and his story dominated headlines for the entire year. Five years later he would make headlines again, this time in tragic circumstances, as his young son was kidnapped and murdered. Lindbergh opposed US entry into World War II, drawing the ire of President Roosevelt, nevertheless when war was declared he flew over fifty combat missions over the Pacific Ocean despite having resigned his Army Air Corps Reserve commission.

Throughout the 1930s TIME chose as its prime newsmakers such world leaders as Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Chiang Kai-Shek of China, Franklin Roosevelt of the US, and even Adolf Hitler of Germany and Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union. The latter two demonstrate TIME’s commitment to its statement regarding choosing the most influential person, whether for good or ill. These days they seem to have backed off from that commitment, most obviously demonstrated in 2001 when they chose New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as Man of the Year rather than the obvious (though dubious) choice of Osama bin Laden.

The Men of the Year in the 1940s were often chosen from the victorious allies of World War II. These included UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt again, President Truman, General (later President) Dwight Eisenhower, General (later Secretary of State) George Marshall, and even TIME’s first group selection, the American Fighting Man.


The 1950s and early 1960s saw more world leaders such as Queen Elizabeth II of the UK, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, Presidents Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson of the US, President Charles de Gaulle of France, Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union, as well as Pope John XXIII. Signs of decline are becoming evident, however. In 1966 TIME chose as their Man of the Year “People 25 And Under”. I have long believed that the deification of youth that started in the 60s has been counterproductive to our culture. As teenagers, the Baby Boomers proclaimed “never trust anyone over 30”, yet now that they are at retirement age they say “60 is the new 20”. Charles Lindbergh was only 25 when he made his famous flight, but he had obviously accomplished something. The worship of youth that began in the 60s was less about accomplishment and more about blank slate potential.


The high-water mark for Man of the Year might have been 1968. After a tumultuous year that saw worsening conditions in Vietnam, riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, people around the world watched in wonder as Apollo 8 lifted off for the moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Bill Anders, and Jim Lovell became the first men to travel to the moon, completing their journey with a Christmas Eve broadcast back to the world they left behind. One commentator declared that these men had saved 1968.


In 1969, rather than honoring astronauts again (despite Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first men to set foot on the moon) TIME chose another amorphous group, “The Middle Americans”, as their newsmakers of the year. In 1975 TIME chose “American Women” as their People of the Year. A series of world leaders followed, with Man of the Year designations for President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Chinese Premier Deng Xiaopang, Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini and President Ronald Reagan. It is typical for TIME to choose the victorious US president during election years, as whomever this man is would obviously have dominated headlines that year.

Perhaps the most controversial cover came in 1993 when TIME honored “The Peacemakers:” Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat, former South African President F.W. De Klerk, and his successor Nelson Mandela. It is interesting to look at the dynamic at work in this selection. Rabin and De Klerk are honored for compromise; Rabin for agreeing to the Oslo Accords and De Klerk for ending apartheid. Meanwhile, Mandela and Arafat were terrorists who orchestrated thousands of deaths in pursuit of their political ends. This cover also shows how short-sighted TIME had become. Arafat would go on to launch another wave of terror attacks a few years later, while South Africa today is on the verge of seizing white-owned farms, contrary to the lofty ideals associated with Mandela’s ascension.


A look at the last twenty years of covers demonstrates Kassam’s claim that we really don’t have dominating newsmakers like we once did. In 21st century America, everyone is famous for a few moments. Our news media also takes a more obvious role in steering public discussion, rather than documenting it. The bias of news is not so much in how they report events but in which events they report and which events they ignore. President Trump’s middling approval rating is made headline news every week, while President Obama’s middling approval rating was mostly ignored. Tear gas against migrant invaders on the southern border is portrayed as a crime against humanity while tear gas against French protesters is ignored. If mainstream media doesn’t report something, it may as well not have happened. In 2002, TIME honored “The Whistleblowers”. In 2003, it was “The American Soldier”. 2005 was “The Good Samaritans” while 2006 brought us a new level of absurdity when “You” was named Person of the Year for creating content on the web. “The Protester” was Person of the Year in 2011, “Ebola Fighters” in 2014, “Silence Breakers” in 2017, and finally “The Guardians” of 2018. The latter refers to journalists who are supposed to be the guardians of truth in our society, as self-serving a statement as I have ever seen.


Like so much of our mainstream media, TIME Magazine once aspired to be an objective scribe of world affairs. Its job was not to make the news, but to simply report it. Times have changed. Looking through TIME’s covers for the past decade shows glowing portraits of Democrats while Republicans are made to look demonic and evil. TIME suggests we avoid having more children in order to save the planet, but also that we should welcome millions of migrants into our countries to replace the current populace. Like most of our mainstream media, TIME has clearly aligned itself with the Globalist Party in undermining American heritage in favor of radical social justice activism and demographic replacement.


Flipping through the last century of TIME Magazine covers is a visual depiction of the decline and fall of the United States of America.

The Coming Nationalist Realignment

Every couple of decades, the United States has what is called a “realigning election”, where conventional wisdom about regional and demographic politics is turned upside-down. For example, the South was solidly Democratic from the Civil War through the 1950s but shifted to the Republican candidate Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, the only region he won outside his home state of Arizona. Since then, the South has been a Republican stronghold. California was a solidly Republican state for most of its history until demographic change and the growing influence of liberal Silicon Valley flipped it blue in 1996. No Republican has come close to winning California ever since.

Future historians will record 2016 as yet another realigning election. Since 1945, and even more explicitly since 1991, the leaders of both parties in the United States have bought into the globalist philosophy. Adherents of globalism consider themselves citizens of the world rather than of any specific country. They often believe that national borders should be weakened if not erased entirely, and work to build international organizations that have precedence over national sovereignty. Globalists often advocate for military interventions in situations that do not threaten their home country. Above all, globalists see all the people of the world as interchangeable cogs in a great machine, whose heritage, culture, and ethnicity are simply meaningless flairs. As Steve Sailer says, the globalist position is one of “invade the world, invite the world”.

This globalist ideology has dominated American government for decades. The Truman Doctrine stated that the United States would oppose the spread of Communism anywhere in the world, setting up our country’s role as world policeman. Prior to 1945, the United States rarely intervened in affairs outside our borders, or at least outside of our hemisphere. It was after 1945 that the United States took a leading role in the creation of international organizations such as the United Nations, NATO, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and many others. Our government contributed vast sums of money to these organizations and entered into many treaties and contracts that chipped away at our national sovereignty. The more powerful these international organizations become, the more power they desire. As I write this, the United Nations is pushing compacts on migration and refugees that would criminalize speech critical of illegal immigration.

After the end of the Cold War this embrace of globalism became more explicit, rather than less. Without an external existential foe, the United States dove headlong into President George H.W. Bush’s “new world order”. Foreign military adventures, illegal immigration, and resettlement of refugees increased, while more and more national sovereignty was traded to international governing bodies. This trend was not just in the United States, of course. Over the last few decades the European Union grew from a simple free trade zone to a free movement zone with a unified currency and calls for a supranational European army.

The globalist agenda was not confined to just one of the two major parties. It was the Democrats who launched our military adventures in Korea, Vietnam, Syria, and Libya, while the Republicans invaded Grenada, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The Democrats have endorsed unlimited immigration, both legal and illegal, with the knowledge that the new citizens this generates will expand their voting base and keep them in power. Meanwhile the leaders of the Republican Party and their wealthy donors favor increased migration in order to keep wages low and profits high. Finally, both parties have advocated for increased financial aid to foreign nations and international organizations, even as the national debt grows ever larger.

For many years, the media has been able to control criticism of the globalist agenda by equating any dissent as racism. As globalism rose after World War II, nationalism was made taboo by associating it with the worst evils of Nazi Germany. William F. Buckley, founder of National Review, led the effort to expel conservative nationalists such as the John Birch Society from the public square. Even today, the conservative establishment attempts to square the circle by holding up patriotism as a high American ideal while condemning nationalism as beyond the bounds of respectable discourse. Conservatives are taught to believe in what might be called “civic nationalism,” a belief in America as an idea rather than a people. In response a to a misandrist tweet by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted:

“Our future is:


An identity based not on gender, race, ethnicity or religion. But on the powerful truth that all people are created equal with a God given right to life,liberty & the pursuit of happiness.”

It sounds nice, but if you dig into this philosophy you will find it is mostly meaningless. If America is nothing more than an idea, then what is it? What do our borders contain? What is the value of citizenship? If being a true American means holding to these ideas, then should we institute some sort of purity test for citizenship? If a man born to American parents in the United States declares that he no longer believes in these ideas, should he be deported? Once you dig deeper into the idea that “American” is simply a state of mind the less it makes any sense at all. We should take the Founders of our nation seriously when they declared that the purpose of the Constitution was to secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity. The American nation is the posterity of its creators. According to mainstream media, however, noticing this is just as “racist” as any other criticism of globalism.

So, what happened in 2016? Donald Trump shocked the world by winning the presidential election, a contest that nearly every journalist and pundit assumed was in the bag for Hillary Clinton. The most obvious reason for Trump’s victory was the defection of the so-called Rust Belt states to the Republican ticket. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin had been solidly Democratic since the Reagan era and their white blue-collar workers had been reliably Democratic voters. Why the unexpected switch? It is this blue-collar world that has been most impacted by globalism. The factories that once allowed a man to make a good living and support a family in postwar America had closed, as free trade made it more profitable to pay workers in third-world countries pennies a day. Sons and daughters of these factory workers enlisted in the military and fought in our endless wars in the Middle East, coming home with PTSD and missing limbs, facing depression, unemployment, and drug addiction. The opioid epidemic spread like wildfire in these communities, as millions turned to cheap and deadly drugs imported from Mexico and China. Yet instead of being offered sympathy and a helping hand from our government, these communities were excoriated for the crime of being white and male. Elite bureaucrats and journalists gloated about the coming demographic changes in America, and mockingly told unemployed blue-collar workers to “learn to code”. Is it any wonder they turned to the one candidate who promised to help them?

Whether President Trump will keep his promises to his blue-collar voters remains to be seen. As I write this, Trump has been in office for two years yet there is still no wall and no effort to rebuild our infrastructure or end the military adventures in the Middle East. We can at least take heart that no more wars have been started in that time. But the realignment that began in 2016 is less about Donald Trump personally and more about the constituency that he discovered. While our leaders have wholeheartedly embraced globalism, many of our citizens desire a nationalist approach. “America First” resonated with people because it stood in stark contrast to the implicit aim of globalism, which is for America to be used for the benefit of the rest of the world in the same way that an animal carcass is used by scavengers, carrion eaters, and parasites.

The magnitude of this realignment was noticeable during the campaign, as globalist Republicans turned against Trump even after he had won the nomination. National Review, long considered the standard bearer of the conservative movement, published an entire issue denouncing Trump in January of 2016. When a tape of some of Trump’s crude comments was leaked to the media in September, many prominent Republicans urged him to step down. As Election Day approached, some Republican commentators and politicians even publicly stated that they would vote for Hillary Clinton, despite spending the last two decades building her up as the ultimate bogeyman opponent. What was so dangerous about a potential Trump presidency that it would cause Republican leaders to so egregiously defect? Was it simply his personal life? I doubt it. President Ronald Reagan had divorced and remarried, though he was obviously not as flamboyant and crude as Trump. Senator John McCain was unfaithful to his first wife, was involved in a major congressional scandal, and was caught on tape making all sorts of crude remarks, yet the Republican elites had no problem urging us to vote for him in 2008. Yet McCain was always a committed globalist, while Trump was a self-identified nationalist. Donald Trump promised to end free trade and impose tariffs, build a wall to stem illegal immigration, reduce the number of refugees that entered the US, and to end our military interventions in foreign countries. I believe these were the unforgivable sins that caused the Republican establishment so much fear and consternation.

For two years the so-called NeverTrump Republicans have been building alliances with the globalist left against their common enemy. Mainstream media published article after article highlighting Republicans against Trump, implying that he must be pretty bad if his own party hates him to much. But here is the rub: the NeverTrump Republicans were always globalists first and Republicans second. When the late Senator McCain took to the Senate floor to denounce Trump, remember that he was always a globalist. When George W. Bush basked in his newfound respect from left-wing media and canoodled with Barack and Michelle Obama, remember that the Bushes and the Obamas have always been members of the Globalist Party, despite their own party labels. When Jeff Flake or John Kasich are given sympathetic airtime on CNN or MSNBC, remember that both men (and both networks) have always been part of the Globalist Party. During this realignment phase the old party labels are still sticking, but not for long. Media still calls these men “Republicans” because it serves their purpose to attempt to divide people. However, I believe that once this realignment is complete, we will have an explicitly Nationalist Party and an explicitly Globalist Party competing for the soul of America.

Some Democrats can be considered part of the Nationalist Party, even if they might still run from that label because of the way the media associates it with racism and Nazism. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, for example, has long spoken out against the globalist military agenda of the United States. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, before he was co-opted by the Democratic establishment, advocated for socialist positions for America, rather than spending blood and treasure on the rest of the world. (Just don’t call him a National Socialist.) The explicitly Nationalist Party of the next decade will begin to include Republicans and Democrats, who might disagree about economic systems or moral values but who all agree that the purpose of the American government should be to serve the American people.

The reaction by the Globalist Party against President Trump for the past two years is just the beginning. Expect a strong push by the globalists to retain their stranglehold on American culture and politics. They were overconfident in 2016, believing that they had won a final victory over the forces of reaction and nationalism and that a Star Trek-style one-world government utopia was just around the corner. Brexit and President Trump might have been shocking to their psyches, but this was only a setback for the globalists, not a defeat. They have spent the better part of a century amassing power and influence, and will not be so easily destroyed.

It is still dangerous to self-identify as a nationalist. The globalists who control our media and culture will not hesitate to censor, deplatform, and destroy those who challenge their rule. Globalist elites control Hollywood, academia, advertising, journalism, public schools, and much of the federal bureaucracy. They like to present the idea that globalism is an unmitigated good, and only evil racist Nazis could oppose it. They propagandize from one side and censor from the other. Yet nationalism is rising all around the world. As I write this today, massive protests are occurring in France against the globalist elite’s attempt to turn that country into a minor province of a European empire. Two years after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, agitation rises as the globalist Parliament does its best to subvert the will of its constituents and keep Britain enthralled to the EU. Nationalist leaders have risen in Italy, Poland, Hungary, and many other nations. The fiercest resistance to the globalist agenda appears to come from Eastern Europe, which spent two generations under the thumb of the totalitarian Soviet Union and has no desire to substitute one tyrannical regime for another. Even if the globalist cabal in the United States succeeds in destroying or marginalizing President Trump, the zeitgeist that carried him to victory will not soon abate.

Sometimes a globalist movement can wear a nationalist mask. For example, the Scottish National Party seems nationalist on its face as it advocates for complete independence from the UK. However, the SNP advocates for a closer relationship of Scotland and the European Union, and heavily opposed Brexit. Their contention with London is not that they want more freedom, but that London has not ceded enough authority to the EU. They desire independence in order to become more subsumed into the globalist empire. That is not to say that American nationalists should oppose the SNP and other organizations like it. To be a nationalist is not to be a supremacist. Nationalists believe in sovereign national borders and the right of citizens to govern themselves as they see fit. The founding documents of the United States make clear the right of a people to establish their own government. I believe in self-determination for all people, whether Scottish, Catalan, French, Russian, Sudanese, or Texan.

The war between the Globalist Party and the Nationalist Party in the United States is just beginning. The lasting value of the Trump victory in 2016 might well be to simply define the battle lines and clarify the combatants. As you watch current events unfold for the next few years keep in mind who is who. When you see a Republican criticizing the Trump Administration on cable news, ask yourself if this person is a globalist or a nationalist. Does he or she believe that all cultures are equal and people just replaceable cogs in a machine? Does he or she advocate for military intervention in foreign nations that has nothing to do with protecting American citizens? Does he or she say that America is simply an idea with no inherent culture or heritage? If so, then this person is a member of the Globalist Party, despite whatever label is on the chyron. Keep this paradigm in mind when watching politicians, journalists, celebrities, and anyone else that our media presents as an authority regarding our culture. Ask yourself what they are trying to accomplish. Don’t let the globalist media tell you what people and beliefs are off-limits. Nationalism is rising and it is inevitable.

Patrick Buchanan on George H.W. Bush

Patrick Buchanan’s column tonight tracks along the same themes as my post earlier this week:

“The establishment won the great political battles before 2016. But how did the democracy crusaders, globalists, open borders progressives and interventionists do by their country in these decades?

Did the former presidents who sat beside Trump at National Cathedral, and the establishment seated in the pews behind them, realize that it was their policies, their failures, that gave birth to the new America that rose up to throw them out, and put in Donald Trump?”

Interestingly, it was Buchanan, political commentator and advisor for President Nixon who challenged President Bush in the 1992 Republican primary. As we all know, President Bush would eventually be defeated by Bill Clinton in a race that saw a strong independent showing by businessman Ross Perot.

From today’s vantage point both Buchanan and Perot appear to foreshadow President Trump. Buchanan was the paleo-conservative nationalist, warning of the dangers of unchecked immigration and globalism. Perot was the businessman warning of the dangers of free trade and the global economy. Both were ignored, and our nation suffered for it. After twenty-five years of decline brought on by our embrace of globalism, America finally turned to a man who promised to make things right again. How much better would we have been had we listened to Pat Buchanan in 1992?

The Last Days of the American Republic

Adam Smith said that there is a lot of ruin in a nation. Yet despite the conservative mantra that the United States remains the greatest nation on earth, I believe its days are numbered. Not only that, but I think a close look at history shows that we have been in decline for some time. However, acknowledging this fact need not lead to despair. Great powers have been rising and falling for all human history. As we face the end of the American Republic, we are best served in preparing ourselves and our communities for the inevitable future rather than burying our heads in the sand and hoping it all works out.

Voltaire said that “History is only the pattern of silken slippers descending the stairs to the thunder of hobnailed boots climbing upward from below.” That is, civilizations in their youth are hard and ambitious, but are soft and decadent in their decline. In 500 BC, Rome was a city-state surrounded by larger kingdoms on the Italian peninsula. By the time of Christ, they ruled much of Europe, North Africa, and the Levant. Yet by A.D. 500 they ceased to exist in the west, and the city of Rome itself became little more than an ignored village. Seven centuries ago, the Ottomans were a tribe of nomads migrating west. In 1453 they toppled the remnants of the Eastern Roman Empire and captured Constantinople, the “Queen of Cities”. By the 20th century, however, the Ottoman Empire was in severe decline. Their defeat in World War I led to a revolution that ended the sultanate and created the modern nation of Turkey. Great Britain was a disunited collection of English, Saxon, and Gaelic kingdoms in A.D. 500. By 1850 they controlled a quarter of the world, but by 1950 their empire had disintegrated despite being on the winning side of World War II. History is the graveyard of empires.

Of the many empires that have risen and fallen throughout history, I believe Rome is the closest analogue to the modern United States. Rome’s fall was quite gradual, and hardly noticeable at the time. Many historians place the fall of the western Roman Empire in the year A.D. 476. However, if you talked to a Tuscan landowner in 475, and then again in 477, he would likely not have noticed much of a change. 476 is a convenient place to draw a line in history, because that was the year that the last official Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by the barbarian general Odoacer. The emperors of this era had long been puppets of barbarian generals, though. The only difference in 476 was that Odoacer did not set up another emperor in Romulus’ place, he merely did away with the office and continued ruling Italy as he had before. It is only many years later that one could look back and see that something had changed.

I believe that future historians will debate when the United States fell. What might it look like? Perhaps when the Constitution is abrogated, or the capital moved from Washington, DC. Perhaps it will be when a critical mass of states has seceded. The only thing that is clear now is that our once great country is in decline. I believe history will show that the United States peaked between 1941 and 1969, an era in time when our country won a world war, developed the atomic bomb, and landed a man on the moon. While there might be technological advances and military victories yet in our future, our energies are now being diffused into partisan fighting, identity politics, and enervating globalist endeavors.

Allow me to pause for a moment to define a difference between America the place, America the country, and America the people. America the place is a geographical location in the center of the North American continent. This place has been inhabited by many peoples throughout history, from the Native American Indians to the English, French, Spanish, and German settlers, and now to new groups of immigrants coming here en masse. America the country is a political entity, comprised of several states, created in 1788 at the adoption of the US Constitution, which evolved through various events such as the Civil War and the New Deal to become the thing it is today. On the other hand, the American people are the descendants of pioneers who tamed a wild land and built the greatest nation the world had ever seen. America the land might become home to different people. America the country might dissolve, as empires do. But America the people will survive, and that is what this blog is all about.

For most of its history the United States was wearing Voltaire’s hobnail boots. From winning an improbable victory against Great Britain in the Revolution, to expanding westward across an entire continent, America was hungry and ambitious. In 1898, the US defeated the old and tired Spanish Empire, taking by force its Pacific and Caribbean possessions. By 1945 the United States was left as the last nation standing over the ashes of a world ruined by war, its industrial output energized by mobilization and possessing the deadliest weapon ever conceived by mankind. It was at this point that we traded our work boots for silk slippers. The postwar period was the most prosperous time in history, and Americans enjoyed a higher standard of living than any previous generation could have dreamed. Rather than seeing this period for the historical outlier it was, however, that generation of Americans believed it was the new normal, and that the gravy train would keep rolling forever.

Alas it was not so. Despite the unprecedented period of prosperity following World War II, the US began to struggle militarily, socially, and economically. After defeating mighty Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, the US fought tiny North Korea to a stalemate, wasted eight years in Vietnam only to withdraw and let Saigon fall, and began the 21st century by getting bogged down fighting insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq. These failures did not stem from a lack of technology or manpower, but from a lack of willpower. Meanwhile, American society fragmented into dozens of separate identity and interest groups, each clamoring for an ever-larger share of the public purse, while the economy became more and more dependent on commodity bubbles and endless debt.

The end of World War II also saw the United States begin to embrace a globalist position, as opposed to a strictly nationalist position as in the past. We founded the United Nations and NATO, dedicated to helping achieve world peace and protect the weak from the strong. We sent troops to Korea, Vietnam, and Kuwait not to protect America’s borders, but to defend the citizens of those regimes from would-be tyrants. A pre-WWII citizen would be horrified to learn that not only do we still have troops stations in Japan, Germany, and Italy 75 years after the end of the war, but we also have troops scattered around the world, in Syria, Yemen, Niger, Iraq, Afghanistan, and South Korea. The globalist position is self-contradictory: in doing our best to avoid looking like an imperial conqueror we end up mired in swamps of mediocrity for years on end. After the 9/11 terror attacks, support for invading Afghanistan and rooting out the Taliban and Al Qaeda was very strong among American citizens. Yet who would have supported that invasion had they known we would still be there more than seventeen years later?

While our soldiers are stuck in quagmires abroad, our government has become a quagmire of its own at home. The federal government was small and agile when the Constitution was adopted, but has today become a bloated swamp. Decades of legislation, mostly since the New Deal of the 1930s, have added countless departments and regulations. Whereas our constitutional government was once accountable to the people, now we have career bureaucrats operating outside of any oversight by the voters. Presidents and Congresses come and go, but the deep state bureaucracy remains. Leftist feminist professor Camille Paglia clearly sees the problem:

“I have been trying for decades to get my fellow Democrats to realize how unchecked bureaucracy, in government or academe, is inherently authoritarian and illiberal. A persistent characteristic of civilizations in decline throughout history has been their self-strangling by slow, swollen, and stupid bureaucracies.”

These, then, are the signs of the decline of the United States, and the last days of the Republic: We involve ourselves in foreign wars, and then are neither able to win nor to withdraw. Our economy coasts, built upon bubble after bubble. Our government has become bloated and corrupt, and entirely unaccountable to the voting public. We lack the will to enforce our own borders, with politicians on both sides having incentive to import millions of foreigners to replace American citizens. Our infrastructure is failing, and the costs for replacing it skyrocket while the jobs never get done. We outsource manufacturing to developing nations in exchange for cheap goods. Our politicians are so consumed with greed for power that they spend all their time attacking each other rather than doing anything for the sake of their country. A sizable percentage of our elite class sees themselves as globalist citizens of the world, whose loyalty is not to their community, state, or nation, but to some amorphous idea of humanity, which in practice usually means they are loyal only to their own bank accounts. For a sizable percentage of regular folks, what is on TV is more important than any larger questions of society. Men and women no longer marry, and children are not raised in stable nuclear families. Colleges no longer educate but indoctrinate. Snark has replaced gravitas in journalism and humor in entertainment.

Something that cannot go on forever won’t. President Trump promised to make America great again, but it will take more than a president to accomplish this. It will be painful and protracted, like a treatment for cancer. It will not come from the top down, but will come from individuals, families, and communities. The greatness of America was never in her government, her military, or even her constitution, but in her people. The decline of America has been slow thus far, but I believe there will come a time when things will happen quickly. Dissolution, secession, and perhaps even civil war are on the horizon. I say this not to depress you, but to give you hope, that by seeing the coming cataclysm we can survive it and thrive as we rebuild a great nation. What comes next will not be the same as what came before; a single nation comprised of fifty states with its capitol in Washington, DC. But the spirit of America can survive if its people survive.

At the end of the recent Marvel movie “Thor: Ragnorak”, the land of Asgard is annihilated. The people survive, though, and search for a new home. The characters recognize that the nation was not the land, but the people. I believe that is analogous to America in the 21st century. The United States of America, its flag, and its constitution might not survive, but the people will endure. The same strain of men who left old Europe for the New World, who carved a nation out of a savage wilderness, who built the greatest nation the world has yet seen, this strain will survive and grow again, building on the ashes of what was. Take heart, though we live in interesting times.

The Presidency of George H. W. Bush

Former President George Bush passed away last week at the ripe old age of 94. In retrospect, his presidency marked one of the great turning points in world history. He was the last president to have served in World War II, and was in fact the last president to be born before the end of WWII. Over the course of his term the Soviet Union would collapse and the Berlin Wall would fall, allowing the reunification of Germany. The threat of universal nuclear annihilation, which seemed real and imminent even as late as the mid-1980s, would quickly disappear and be replaced by a new optimism about mankind’s future.

I was merely a child at the time, and little understood the momentous changes that were happening in the world. It is hard to believe that nearly thirty years have passed since President Bush’s inauguration. I went back and watched some of his famous speeches in order to refresh my memory and see that era with new eyes. If you have twenty minutes to spare, go ahead and watch his inaugural address from 1989:

Doesn’t President Bush sound a lot like Mr. Rogers here? I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. Bush had a certain gravitas about him that later presidents lack, as if he was obviously noble born, yet still friendly and unassuming. Many people during this time seemed to feel that humanity had crossed a threshold and was preparing to live happily ever after. Francis Fukuyama was writing about the End of History, how mankind had created the most stable forms of government and society and would evolve no further. After the tension of the Cold War, the horror of Vietnam, and the tumult of the Civil Rights era, it was time for everyone to settle down and be nice, and start building the 21st century utopia we all dreamed about.

Unfortunately, the 1990s proved to be an aberration in American history, rather than the start of a utopia. For a brief moment in time, the United States stood alone on top of the world stage. The Soviet Union had collapsed and left Russia in disarray, Japan was entering a recession, and China was still years away from being a major world power. The United States ruled supreme, both economically and militarily. Wars were no longer existential fights like WWII, or quagmires like Vietnam. Grenada, Nicaragua, and Somalia were simply police actions. The Gulf War was a resounding success that demonstrated American invincibility. President Bush was in a position to determine the direction of not only the United States but the entire world for the next century. The choices he made then still echo today.

President Bush himself recognized that he was at a turning point in history. In several speeches throughout his presidency, Bush spoke of a “new world order” that was emerging from the ashes of the old. On the eve of Operation Desert Storm, President Bush spoke to a joint session of Congress:

“We have in this past year made great progress in ending the long era of conflict and cold war. We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order–a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful–and we will be–we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.’s founders…”

I tend to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt here. As we saw in his first inaugural address, he was optimistic about the goodness of mankind, almost to the point of naivete. Today, however, we have the benefit of hindsight. After nearly two decades of Islamic terrorism reshaping society, the loss of manufacturing jobs due to NAFTA and the growing global economy, and the lack of purpose felt by an entire generation, it seems easy to say that he made the wrong choices. In the late 2010s, the failures of globalism are apparent and are contributing to the rising tide of nationalism in countries all across the world. However, from the vantage point of January 1991, globalism seemed to be an unmitigated good: free trade, spreading prosperity, no more tyranny. So it was that President Bush set America on course for globalism, believing that utopia was just around the corner.

In a sense, then, President George Bush was America’s first globalist president. Those who followed – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama – can conceivably be called globalists as well. By that I mean that they saw their allegiance and mission as something higher than previous American leaders, who were only concerned about what was best for America alone. President Clinton signed NAFTA, which sought to erase North American borders with regard to trade. Like Bush, Clinton joined the United States to a coalition of nations to punish a tyrant for invading his neighbor. The younger President Bush began open-ended wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were less about the defense of the United States than they were about exporting democracy to the people of the Middle East. President Obama, raised by a Muslim stepfather in Indonesia, saw himself as a global citizen whose role as leader was to apologize for America’s past sins and to pull the United States back from its position of supremacy in the world. Obama trumpeted “soft power” and “leading from behind” yet still built the same coalitions as his predecessors in order to invade foreign countries and depose their tyrannical rulers.

The reaction of establishment politicians and journalists to the election of self-proclaimed nationalist Donald Trump in 2016 shows how far we have come from the end of the Cold War. Pundits and politicians have reacted to slogans such as “America First” and “Make America Great Again” with abject horror, as if they are relics of a past age of barbarism. The idea of putting your country first, ahead of global concerns, is considered absurd in elite circles. In marking the centennial of the end of World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron denounced nationalism, saying:

“By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values.”

Yet it is striking how quickly this change in conventional wisdom has occurred. If you watch President Trump’s inaugural address from 2017 and compare it to President Clinton’s first inaugural from 1993, you’ll find them very similar. Rather than being a radical extremist, President Trump is instead simply a moderate from thirty years ago. The “New World Order” of George Bush has become so normal to us that we forget how new it really is.

The presidency of George H. W. Bush lasted only four years, but those four years set the course of the nation as it entered a new era. In that brief interlude between the end of the Cold War and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Americans believed they had reached the plateau of history, and would indeed live happily ever after. This naivete left our nation unprepared for the turmoil that is growing ever more chaotic as we move deeper into the 21st century. It might have been a beautiful dream, but the idea of a global utopia was always doomed to fail. History never ends, but keeps repeating over and over again.