Many conservatives who believe that the 2020 election will be inevitably overturned and Trump returned to office explicitly or implicitly refer to this post. You might hear them saying “fraud vitiates everything” as if it were a magical incantation. I was curious about the foundation of this argument, so I examined the case in question.
In 1878, Justice Samuel Miller wrote the majority opinion in the case of United States v. Throckmorton. Apparently a certain man, W. A. Richardson, had petitioned for a land deed in California, and in doing so had presented documentation from a Mexican bureaucrat who had administered California prior to the Mexican-American War. It was later discovered that these documents were not authentic, rather they had been created after Mr. Richardson had applied for the US title.
In his opinion, Justice Miller refers to several other cases where fraud was alleged after a judgment. He is very careful to not overstep the doctrine of rex adjudicata which says that a judgment once made should not be re-litigated. This is the civil version of the double jeopardy rule in criminal cases – once a defendant is exonerated, the government cannot charge him again for the same crime. The purpose of rex adjudicata is to prevent people from wasting the court’s time by suing and counter-suing the same issue over and over again.
Justice Miller cites a “Mr. Wells” who wrote on the subject of rex adjudicata. In the citation he quotes this Mr. Wells writing:
“Fraud vitiates every thing, and a judgment equally with a contract; that is, a judgment obtained directly by fraud, and not merely a judgment founded on a fraudulent instrument; for, in general, the court will not go again into the merits of an action for the purpose of detecting and annulling the fraud.’ . . . ‘Likewise, there are few exceptions to the rule that equity will not go behind the judgment to interpose in the cause itself, but only when there was some hindrance besides the negligence of the defendant, in presenting the defence in the legal action. There is an old case in South Carolina to the effect that fraud in obtaining a bill of sale would justify equitable interference as to the judgment obtained thereon. But I judge it stands almost or quite alone, and has no weight as a precedent.”
United States v. Throckmorton, Paragraph 16
Let us take a moment to define our terms. According to Merriam-Webster, the word “vitiate” means to make faulty or defective, to debase in a moral or aesthetic sense, or to make ineffective. The legal usage of the words seems to be the third definition, to make ineffective. Therefore according to Wells, fraud (once proven, of course) in a contract or a judgment renders the whole thing moot. However, in that same citation, Wells says that only a specific kind of fraud will invalidate a contract or judgment – if the judgment was simply “founded on a fraudulent instrument” then the courts would not reopen the case.
Later in his judgment, Justice Miller refers to a Massachusetts court decision regarding a divorce case that involved fraudulent testimony. He quotes Massachusetts Chief Justice Shaw who wrote:
The maxim that fraud vitiates every proceeding must be taken, like other general maxims, to apply to cases where proof of fraud is admissible. But where the same matter has been actually tried, or so in issue that it might have been tried, it is not again admissible; the party is estopped to set up such fraud, because the judgment is the highest evidence, and cannot be contradicted.”
United States v. Throckmorton, Paragraph 22
Do you see yet what is going on here? The blogger at State of the Nation quoted Throckmorton and claimed that the SCOTUS “categorically” asserted that “fraud vitiates every thing.” However, the case itself shows these words to be quotations by Justice Miller of previous cases whose outcomes were contrary to what the State of the Nation author is suggesting. Both the Wells and Shaw citations are essentially saying “fraud vitiates everything, but…”
Indeed, the Shaw citation works against the claim that United States v. Throckmorton means that Trump will be reinstated. In that case, Chief Justice Shaw specifically wrote that the fraud in question was not admissible because the decision had already been made. He did not allow the divorce case to be re-litigated. Throckmorton itself was dismissed by Justice Miller for lack of jurisdiction. What does that mean for Donald Trump in 2020?
First, in Throckmorton Justice Miller is only dealing with contracts and judgments. The case had zero to do with elections. This is a basic category error made by the bloggers at State of the Nation, and perpetuated by people sharing the screenshot or repeating the phrase. (I suspect that most people do not bother going back to the source.) The blogger at State of the Nation attempts to fit a square peg into a round hole:
“The same U.S. Supreme Court ruling also determined that fraud vitiates contracts. An election is essentially a binding contract between the electorate and the elected. This indispensable social contract is irreparably broken through voter fraud and election cyber-crimes as the public trust is profoundly violated.”
Ironically, just two years prior to Throckmorton there was an actual disputed presidential election. Democrat Samuel Tilden of New York apparently defeated Republican Rutherford Hayes of Ohio, but three southern states remained up in the air months after the election. Allegations of fraud were made on both sides. In the end, a congressional committee came to a compromise wherein Hayes would receive the disputed electoral votes, but he would then as president withdraw federal troops from the South and end the era of Reconstruction. This election provided the template for a suggested commission that might have been created had the 2020 election not been so successfully stolen.
While not going as far as these conservative activists want, Throckmorton seems to allow for re-litigation in some cases, while not setting any hard precedents. However, electoral law is its own beast. The office of President of the United States is established in Article II of the US Constitution, and the method for electing the president is laid out in Section 1:
“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”
US Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 2
Election Day is also established by the Constitution:
“The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”
US Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 4
This is one place where the unilateral changes made to election law by governors and state bureaucrats should be reasonably challenged. The Constitution says that the Electors shall be chosen on “a day” not “multiple days”. Early voting is clearly unconstitutional.
The method for electing the president is that each state chooses Electors, who then convene in December to cast their votes. Those votes are counted and certified by a Joint Session of the new Congress the following January. The winning candidate is then sworn in on January 20th. There is nothing in the US Constitution that compels states to choose their Electors in any specific fashion. In the early days of the Republic, state legislatures simply selected Electors. Today, all fifty states and the District of Columbia choose their electors with popular elections. (Remember, when you vote for president, you are not really voting for the president directly, but for the Electors who will cast their votes on your behalf.) Two states – Maine and Nebraska – split their electors somewhat proportionally, while the others are winner-take-all.
Unfortunately for those who are hanging on to hope of Donald Trump being reinstated after audits prove electoral fraud, there is no constitutional mechanism for this. No matter what fraud or illegal activities took place in the lead-up to the 2020 election, constitutional mandates were followed. Every state certified their own presidential elections, and the Joint Session certified the Electoral College votes. I am not aware of a time when Electors have been “recalled” after the fact. Even if a state such as Arizona voted to recall their Electors, I do not believe it would have any practical effect.
The time for investigating and dealing with the fraud was in November and December of 2020, before certification took place in the state legislatures and the Joint Session of Congress. Yes, those legislators, congressmen, and senators who certified those votes knowing that fraud had taken place were spineless. The January 6th protest was used as an excuse to ignore the fraud entirely. The Republican Party should have fought harder, but they rubber stamped this thing because they were afraid of what would happen if they took a controversial stand.
As for the audits themselves, even the “general doctrine” that “fraud vitiates everything” requires proof of that fraud. I am afraid that we will never get the proof we want. Too much time has passed, and the ballots and voting machines have been touched by too many hands. As they say on TV, the crime scene has been hopelessly contaminated. We will likely see a lot of evidence of fraud, but outright proof? I doubt it. Besides, there is nothing will convince CNN and the left that this was anything less than the most secure election in history. We are beyond the point where truth and facts matter.
President Trump will not be reinstated next month, or at any other time before Inauguration Day 2025. Anyone saying so is either misinformed or selling hopium to desperate conservatives. We should definitely push for more secure elections, but I believe the most positive outcome of the audits is to convince rank-and-file conservatives how broken the system really is. Our elections have been fraudulent for many years, as both sides utilize underhanded tricks to get their guy across the finish line. Recall that the 1960 presidential election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon was decided by a few probably-fraudulent votes in a handful of corrupt counties in Texas and Illinois. The votes we cast have little relation to the numbers that appear on the screen at the end of the day, and these audits are only going to confirm that sad fact.
America will not be saved by putting Donald Trump back into office. Magic words and incantations do not change the fact that we are living in an occupied country. We must fearlessly face the truth at all times. The way forward is to build local communities of like-minded people who will weather the storm to come. Whether it is totalitarianism, secession, or civil war, having a tribe of men at your back is the only way to preserve and defend the remnants of Western Civilization.
As protests erupt this month in Cuba, many Americans are wondering how we should respond. Should we intervene, oust the Communists, and restore democratic rule? Or should we leave them alone? How should the America First movement deal with Communist Cuba?
In this Thursday afternoon livestream I talk about my latest podcast and essay, why I do not focus on the minute details of politics, Malcolm X and nationalism, Christopher Caldwell’s essay on the Pilgrim Fathers, the tragedy of the American Indians, and all the chaos that is going on in the world today.
Watch here, listen here, or subscribe in your favorite podcast player.
Our founding fathers recognized their moment in history. After nearly two centuries of growth and development as English colonies, the settlers of the New World had developed into their own unique nations. After throwing off their allegiance to the British crown, they had a unique opportunity to create a new government from scratch. These men – John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and more – understood the gravity of the choices they would make. They carefully crafted a constitution that balanced the necessity of a strong central government with the desires of the states for sovereignty. The Bill of Rights codified protections against many of the infringements and injuries that governments had engaged in for all of human history.
For more than two centuries the Constitution has been the supreme law of this land, and it remains a source of pride for patriotic Americans. It was fit, as John Adams said, for the “moral and religious people” that our ancestors were.
The purpose of this Constitution, beyond simply the creation of a government, was to ensure that the liberties our Founding Fathers had fought and died for would endure. The Preamble to the Constitution explains it clearly:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The Constitution of the United States of America
Has the Constitution held up as a guarantor of our freedoms? Has it protected the liberties of the posterity of our Founding Fathers? Governments, courts, and even private companies have been slowly chipping away at the freedoms we once took for granted. America today is a multi-ethnic empire, home to many different groups of people, many of whom have no loyalty to our founders or their ideals.
Despite our Constitution, despite our laws, the historic American nation is losing its country.
The decline of the United States of America has been a slow process. At times it is so gradual that we do not realize it is happening at all. We become comfortable with the status quo, and we only notice the most recent outrage. Most Americans still believe in the Constitution. Conservatives trust it to protect us from the worst progressive indulgences. Even Marxist progressives pay lip service to the Constitution despite seeking to undermine it in service of their evil vision. However, I do not believe that the Constitution is the true supreme law of the land.
Author and journalist Christopher Caldwell argues persuasively in his book Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties that the civil cights acts of the 1960s inadvertently created a new constitution that is at odds with, and even supersedes our original Constitution. These laws gave the government a mandate to fix inequities in society, even if at the cost of our constitutional rights. Caldwell writes:
“The changes of the 1960s, with civil rights at their core, were not just a major new element in the Constitution. They were a rival constitution, with which the original one was frequently incompatible—and the incompatibility would worsen as the civil rights regime was built out.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
The reason that Caldwell calls civil rights a “rival constitution” is because any time there is a conflict between our constitutional rights and racial equity, courts rule in favor of equity. Whereas equality means that all people are treated the same before the law, equity means that all people must achieve the same outcome. This is, of course, nonsense. While we are indeed all equal before God and the laws of men, we are not equal in all ways. There are physical, mental, and emotional differences between all people. Furthermore, racial groups – being extended families writ large, as Steve Sailer puts it – have certain characteristic strengths and weaknesses as well. Yet the dogma of equity assumes that any difference of outcome between the races is prima facie evidence of racism and discrimination.
The word “racism” once meant prejudice against individuals based upon their ethnic background or skin color. It meant using the force of law to discriminate based on race. Today that definition has been expanded to mean any disparity between racial groups, or even so-called “microaggressions”. The charge of “racism” today does not even require ill intent. Critical Race Theory teaches that racism is systemic; that is, it is integrated into the very structure of Western Civilization and is all around us like water is to fish. There is no rational defense against this charge of racism, so there is no point in trying to argue.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 set in motion a chain of events that dramatically altered our country. Whereas the New Deal established that the government had a duty to take care of its citizens’ basic needs, Civil Rights gave the government a mandate to create equity between racial groups by any means necessary.
Conservative parents are making headway this year in the fight against the Marxist ideology of Critical Race Theory in public schools. Christopher Rufo has done great work exposing how schools and teachers’ unions are using this evil, racist, anti-white, anti-American ideology to indoctrinate millions of students. A common refrain from conservative activists is that CRT betrays the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. and the original Civil Rights Act. Caldwell argues, however, that CRT is merely the logical result of Civil Rights, and that the well was poisoned from the start.
I understand that for many conservatives, especially those who were around in the 1960s, criticizing civil rights is like criticizing America – it is beyond the pale. Only racists would have a problem with civil rights, no? Yet look at what civil rights have wrought – anger, strife, and more racial division than ever before. Polls consistently show that black Americans are more pessimistic about civil rights today than they were fifty years ago. Conservatives will try to square this circle by portraying affirmative action, CRT, and the so-called “racial awakening” of recent years as a betrayal of civil rights, but I believe this is just avoiding an unpleasant truth.
The iconoclast webcomic Stonetoss recently published a picture of a workman diligently breaking a small edifice labeled Critical Race Theory while ignoring the giant structure behind him labeled affirmative action. The implication is spot on, but the artist could have gone even further, showing a massive city-sized monument labeled civil rights.
“Republicans and others who may have been uneasy that the constitutional baby had been thrown out with the segregationist bathwater consoled themselves with a myth: The “good” civil rights movement that the martyred Martin Luther King, Jr., had pursued in the 1960s had, they said, been “hijacked” in the 1970s by a “radical” one of affirmative action, with its quotas and diktats. Once the country came to its senses and rejected this optional, radical regime, it could have the good civil rights regime back. None of that was true. Affirmative action and political correctness were the twin pillars of the second constitution. They were what civil rights was. They were not temporary.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
Mr. Caldwell’s book is worth reading in its entirety, but I will summarize some of his arguments here. Before I read the book myself, I had not considered the way in which civil rights superseded our Constitution. It was an epiphany that explains so much of what is going on in our country.
In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. This decision overrode a previous Supreme Court decision, Plessy v. Ferguson of 1896, in which the Court had ruled that segregation was not necessarily a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment so long as facilities were generally the same.
While we can generously assume that the Supreme Court had good intentions with Brown – segregated facilities for black students were often subpar – they opened a can of worms that is still vexing us today. The Court’s decision did not contain any suggestion as to how to rectify segregation, only that it must be fixed. Once the order for desegregation was applied to private facilities as well as public, there would be no limits on the power of government to fix any inequity, no matter how small. Caldwell writes:
“But in constitutional terms, the decision was arbitrary and open-ended. Brown granted the government the authority to put certain public bodies under surveillance for racism. Since the damage it aimed to mend consisted of “intangible considerations,” there was no obvious limit to this surveillance. And once the Civil Rights Act introduced into the private sector this assumption that all separation was prima facie evidence of inequality, desegregation implied a revocation of the old freedom of association altogether.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
As Caldwell explains it, the Civil Rights Act was designed to rectify certain injustices in a specific part of the country, but it instead opened the floodgates to various interest groups and communities who saw a way to bypass the Constitution. At first it was all about achieving racial equity between blacks and whites, then feminist groups began using the same process, then homosexuals, and now every group except white males has found in the language of civil rights a requirement for government action. The result is that the entire mechanism of government has been turned against white men, the very descendants of the people who created this country in the first place.
There are many who claim that it is racist to say that white men built America. After all, we are a “nation of immigrants,” right? I maintain that it is not racist to honor one’s own heritage. Nobody should be ashamed of their people, whether they are descended from Europeans, Africans, Asians, or Native Americans. Everyone should be proud of who they are. The people who are derided today as “white” are descended from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Norway, Bohemia, and a hundred more places. The people who founded the United States of America were of mostly English descent, who happen to have light-colored skin. While that is controversial today, it remains the truth.
Recall that even before the American War for Independence, the North and South developed very differently. The nascent Industrial Revolution took hold in the diverse North, while the South quickly grew prosperous due to a handful of cash crops, especially cotton. Spanish colonists in the 16th century had intended to use Native American Indians as forced labor, but humanitarian efforts by priests such as Bartholomew de las Casas convinced them to spare the natives this indignity. Unfortunately, plantation owners, still in need of labor, turned east, to Africa.
Slavery has been a part of the human condition since the dawn of time. When Roman legions conquered barbarian tribes, those they did not slaughter were brought back to Rome and sold in massive slave markets. African tribes would enslave their neighbors, and the Islamic empires of northern Africa enslaved native Africans. Slave traders looking to supply the New World with forced labor did not go to Africa because they hated dark-skinned people, rather it was because that was where slaves were for sale. The sadistic white slave hunters of Alex Haley’s Roots, who captured entire tribes of black men and boys, surely existed, but usually traders simply bought slaves at the existing markets.
Slave labor has always been a short-term solution to a long-term problem. While it certainly makes rich plantation owners richer, since they have no need to pay competitive wages, it depresses the prospects for poor whites in the same area. The antebellum south had no middle class to speak of. This is the same problem that broke the economy of the Roman Empire, and it is the same problem we see today as corporations prefer to import a servant class of migrant workers from south of the border rather than pay competitive wages to Americans.
With slavery becoming the backbone of the southern economy, but never taking hold in the industrial north, battle lines were naturally drawn according to geography. The Mason-Dixon Line became a metaphor for the social and political division between the North and the South. The American Revolution was an alliance between the industrial, Puritan, abolitionist north and the agrarian, rural, slave-owning south. The division between these peoples had existed prior to the migration to the New World. The ancestors of the northern Puritans had been on one side of the English Civil War in the mid-17th century, while the ancestors of the southern Anglicans had been on the other.
This alliance between North and South created a unique American nation, separate from the mother country of Great Britain, and the breakdown of that alliance resulted in the Civil War. The core of America, what we call the historic American nation, is descended from one side or the other, or both. My own ancestry is from both – I have ancestors on one side who fought to preserve the Union, ancestors on the other who fought for Southern independence, and many on both sides fought for America in 1776.
The issue of slavery was always contentious. Despite what children are being taught in public schools today, even southern slaveowners like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were troubled by the institution. In his Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson writes:
“…in a warm climate, no man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.”
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia
Modern historians and students have struggled to make sense of the inherent contradiction of a slaveowner declaring that slavery was evil. Most just wave it away by saying that Jefferson was a hypocrite, and that he should be unequivocally condemned in hindsight. But let us look at it rationally: Slavery existed, and one man was never going to end it singlehandedly. Thomas Jefferson owned a plantation, a plantation that needed labor to survive. Should he have freed all his slaves and hired workmen to replace them? Slavery was so embedded in southern culture that few white men would have been willing to do “Negro work”, and the costs would have put the plantation at a significant disadvantage. The same would have been the case if he had paid his slaves a living wage. In this situation, is not the most humanitarian course to treat your own slaves as well as possible, while laying the foundation for future abolition?
In any case, Jefferson so hated the institution of slavery that his original draft of the Declaration of Independence blamed King George III for its import into America. It was removed before the final version, so as not to antagonize the southern colonies. Yet the specter of slavery haunted the new nation. The slave trade itself was abolished in 1807, by which time about four million Africans were laboring in the American south. The question of what to do with this situation was one of the primary concerns of politicians and statesmen in the first half of the 19th century. Should slavery remain legal? Should new territories and states in the west be allowed to have slaves? What about slaves who escaped into the abolitionist North?
Finding compromises between the North and South was the chief aim of the early statesmen of the Republic. Men such as Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Stephen Douglas made their names in the debates over slavery. Despite numerous political compromises over the expansion of slavery into the territories and the status of fugitive slaves, the two sides only grew more polarized. Abolitionists, convinced of their own moral superiority, refused any compromise over what they considered a black and white issue, while the hardcore southern fire eaters drew a staunch line regarding their “peculiar institution” and refused to budge as well.
Great Britain had also abolished the slave trade in 1807 and had even tasked the Royal Navy with patrolling the west African coast to enforce that ban. In 1833 they abolished slavery entirely, mostly due to the efforts of Englishmen such as John Newton and William Wilberforce. There are several reasons why abolition was simpler in Britain than in the United States. For one, the British economy was not as dependent upon slave labor as the American South. Also, Britain paid slaveowners for their confiscated property. Whether slaves should be morally considered “property” is beside the point – for them it was a capital investment that was wiped out with the stroke of a pen. American abolitionists refused to countenance such a compromise, however, since they considered slavery a moral question, not an economic one. The fact that abolition would surely financially ruin the South was of no concern to the northern abolitionists.
It is ironic, considering how obsessed with race we are today, that American discourse in the first half of the 19th century was obsessed with the question of slavery. It was race that made American slavery so pernicious. As I have said, slavery has been a part of the human condition forever, but in America we associated forced labor with a certain race of people. The debate in America was not simply about the morality of slavery itself, but the standing of the African people. Were they human beings, entitled to the same rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution to white people? The peculiar institution of slavery brought an entire population to our shores, creating a permanent underclass in American society – of course there was going to be conflict. To a certain degree, I do not take issue with the idea of black solidarity today. I believe that the descendants of slaves here in America have a stake in this country. As Malcolm X said, “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.” The question is, can we have unity today? Is it possible for the descendants of slaves to share this nation with the descendants of the Founding Fathers?
Tribalism is the history of the world. Human beings have always felt a closer bond with kin than with strangers, and so we naturally form families, clans, tribes, and nations. The word “nation” comes from the Latin word natio which means “birth”. At its most basic level, a nation is really an extended family of people who are bound together by blood, by shared history, by shared beliefs, and by similar desires about how to organize society. This world is full of nations, and each one is unique, which is why it makes sense for each nation to have its own state. We call the belief that each nation should be allowed to rule itself “nationalism”.
The original form of nationalism from the 19th century was a belief that people of the same ethnicity, culture, and language should unite to rule themselves. In those days, Germans, French, and Italians were spread throughout various kingdoms and empires, but the nationalist movements of the mid-1800s inspired them to form nation-states, throwing off kings and emperors in a wave of revolution. Today, nationalism is about not wanting to be part of a multi-ethnic empire like the United States.
It is a conceit of both left and right that America is different from other nation-states in that it was based upon an idea, rather than a specific people group. Under this formulation, an immigrant who becomes a naturalized citizen is just as American as a descendant of 17th century pioneers, and it is racist to say otherwise.
We assumed that, in the inexorably march of history, tribalism had been replaced by universalism. The values that developed in Western Civilization had become so successful that we forget how unique they really were. We assumed that every culture, ever nation, every tribe desired the same sorts of lives that we had come to cherish. Yet one only must read the news to see how that is not the case.
Many of the values we consider to be universal are being derided by the woke Marxist left. The Museum of African American History and Culture, a division of the Smithsonian Institution, recently published an infographic describing the supposed ideas and habits that make up so-called “whiteness”. Among these pernicious things are rugged individualism, the nuclear family, an interest in history, a belief in hard work, a commitment to being on time, an appreciation for beauty, and a sense of justice. We make a grave mistake when we believe that our values are shared by every nation and people group on earth.
Practically speaking, it is obvious that America is home to many different nations today. Olympic finalist Gwen Berry made headlines last month when she pouted like a child on the podium while the national anthem was playing. She complained that she felt slighted, because our national anthem was racist toward “her people”. When an activist like Berry speaks of “her people,” she does not mean all American citizens, rather, she means black Americans. To the ears of white conservatives, with their universalist viewpoint, this sounds strange, even offensive. The modern media establishment encourages ethnic pride in every modern group, except for one. The historic American nation is not allowed to take any pride in our heritage lest we be slandered as white supremacists. Even though we are all labeled as “white,” we are supposed to keep pretending in universalism even as every tribe and nation around us are not ashamed to work for their own interests.
White America and black America are parallel nations within the same state. No matter how much we flagellate ourselves for the sins of slavery and racism, no matter how much we preach universal values, it does not change the facts. We are different peoples, with different beliefs, different cultures, and different ways of running a society.
Our forefathers did not see a future where black and white America lived together in harmony. In his autobiography, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
“Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.”
Thomas Jefferson, The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
Well, you might say, that sort of thinking is old-fashioned. We are more enlightened now. After all, many conservatives will say, America is unlike any other country on earth because it was founded upon an idea, not upon any particular race or culture. As long as you believe in the words of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, then you are just as American as anyone. Even if that were true, it requires that we all buy in to those words. What happens if that changes? What is America without the Constitution?
Christopher Caldwell tackles that very question in Age of Entitlement:
“Where a shared heritage is absent or unrecognized, as it is in the contemporary United States, all the eggs of national cohesion are placed in the basket of the constitution. Hence a paradox: With the dawn of the civil rights era, the U.S. Constitution—the very thing that made it possible for an ethnically varied nation to live together—came under stress.”
Christopher Caldwell, The Age of Entitlement
Civil rights were designed to heal the divide in our country and allow men and women of all races to achieve the American dream, but they deepened our divisions instead.
The Civil War brought an end to slavery, and threatened the unique culture of the American South. Radical Republicans such as Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania wanted to crush the defeated Confederacy, remaking it into a multiracial state. President Abraham Lincoln disagreed, wanting rather to bring the rebellious states back into the union as quickly and peacefully as possible. After Lincoln’s assassination, the Radical Republicans tried to bend President Andrew Johnson to their will, even impeaching him, but they were unsuccessful.
Nevertheless, Reconstruction was a time of great change in Dixie. The South had been destroyed by four years of war, and northern carpetbaggers were coming in to buy up land at bargain prices. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, which was good, but those four million ex-slaves now needed to find work and places to live. General William T. Sherman had famously promised former slaves “forty acres and a mule” to call their own, but this promise was disregarded by the federal government.
The 14th and 15th Amendments gave citizenship and the vote to freed slaves, and President Ulysses Grant used the power of government to enforce these new rights. Many areas in the South elected Republican for the first time ever as grateful African Americans cast votes for their benefactors. The former leaders of the Confederacy chafed under this new arrangement and conspired to regain power. The original Ku Klux Klan was formed at this time and fought both the freedmen and northern carpetbaggers. Many former Confederate soldiers continued fighting a guerrilla war against the north – Jesse James’ outlaw gang was one famous case.
The disputed election of 1876 ended in a compromise wherein Republican candidate Rutherford Hayes carried the South in exchange for ending Reconstruction and withdrawing federal troops. Once done, the new South quickly returned to the status quo. Former Confederate officials regained political office, and they set about crafting laws to maintain their own power. Freed black slaves had been guaranteed citizenship and the right to vote, so the southern leaders came up with workarounds such as the grandfather clause and poll taxes to prevent them from exercising those rights. Segregation was enforced by government fiat, from hotels and restaurants to schools and even train cars. These laws were collectively known as “Jim Crow”.
It was this two-tiered society that Civil Rights was supposed to repair. The rest of America looked at the apartheid system in the South and said it had to go. Southerners resisted – Governor George Wallace of Alabama proclaimed, “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” – but the ball was rolling. Brown v. Board of Education ordered the desegregation of public schools, but enforcing that decision was another matter. In 1957, Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas ordered his National Guard to block admittance of black students at Central High School in Little Rock, but President Dwight Eisenhower responded by federalizing the Guard and allowing the students to enter the school.
According to Christopher Caldwell, there were two perspectives on the fight for civil rights in the 1950s and 60s. These perspectives were classified by sociologist Alan David Freeman as those of outsiders and insiders, or perpetrators and victims. To the white majority – the perpetrators – civil rights meant removing barriers to success for blacks and other minorities. To the black minority – the victims – the promise of civil rights was not equality under the law but equity – they wanted the government to use the full force of its power to make them as rich, prosperous, powerful, and satisfied as everyone else. If the former perspective was correct, then it was done, accomplished with the stroke of a pen. The latter, however, required ever-increasing government involvement in our daily lives, and the abrogation of many of our constitutional rights. Caldwell writes:
“The legislation of the mid-1960s made legal equality a fact of American life. To the surprise of much of the country, though, legal equality was now deemed insufficient by both civil rights leaders and the government. Once its ostensible demands had been met, the civil rights movement did not disband. It grew. It turned into a lobby or political bloc seeking to remedy the problem according to what Freeman would call the victims’ view: “lack of jobs, lack of money, lack of housing.” The federal government made it a central part of its mission to procure those things for blacks. The results were disappointing on almost every front—naturally, since the country had never signed up for such a wide-ranging project.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
Natural rights such as the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, property rights, and freedom of association have long been recognized by liberal statesmen as inalienable, protected – implicitly and explicitly – by the Bill of Rights. In our new society, however, the desire for racial equity trumps any of these rights. We can speak freely, so long as it is not so-called “hate speech”. We have the right to our own property, but we cannot deny services based upon race or other protected characteristics. We have the right to associate with whomever we choose, so long as there is no appearance of racial disparity. Do you see how this works? As Christopher Caldwell said, “The problem is that rights cannot simply be “added” to a social contract without changing it. To establish new liberties is to extinguish others.”
The problem with the Civil Rights Act and subsequent laws was that they were incredibly open-ended and vague. In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in Griggs v. Duke Power Company that private businesses were prohibited from using aptitude tests on potential employees because they resulted in disparate outcomes between whites and blacks. Even though the Civil Rights Act itself had specifically allowed for aptitude tests, Chief Justice Warren Burger ruled that any disparity of outcome meant that they ran afoul of the government’s new mandate to enforce racial equity. Caldwell writes:
“Government could now disrupt and steer interactions that had been considered the private affairs of private citizens—their roles as businessmen or landlords or members of college admissions boards. It could interfere in matters of personal discretion. Yes, this was for a special purpose—to fight racism—but the Griggs decision made clear that the government was now authorized to act against racism even if there was no evidence of any racist intent. This was an opening to arbitrary power. And once arbitrary power is conferred, it matters little what it was conferred for.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
Civil rights opened the door to all sorts of rent-seeking by various interest groups. The fact that civil rights came about at the very time that our government opened our borders to the world with the 1965 Immigration Act led to many unforeseen consequences. Laws designed to rectify past wrongs were seized upon by people who had no connection to slavery or Jim Crow. Caldwell says, “Reforms conceived for a country that was provincial, dutiful, and 4 percent immigrant are not necessarily well suited to a country that is cosmopolitan, hedonistic, and 15 percent immigrant.”
Today, every possible intersectional group uses that door to extract resources from the American government, at the expense of the historic American nation. Yet it is still in the area of race relations that we see the greatest changes occurring in our society. Everything is viewed through an intersectional lens. If Rip Van Winkle had gone to sleep in 1921 and awoken today, a quick glance at news headlines would have him wondering why 21st century America is so obsessed with race in general, and the black race in particular.
It is true: Events and ideas are all viewed through a racial lens. Last summer, Time Magazine published their infamous cover story on the Great Reset, as several writers laid out their vision for a post-covid world. Several of the essays were about how the new world would better serve the interests of “diversity” and “people of color”. Even coverage of the covid pandemic itself has a racial component – every time I open YouTube, I am prompted to watch a video about how covid has affected so-called “communities of color”. The Democratic Party recently introduced a bill to enforce health equity, claiming that systemic racism has left minorities in a more vulnerable position regarding their health than white citizens. The text of that bill, House Resolution 666, is straight out of Critical Race Theory handbooks. Its introduction refers to the Museum of African American History’s description of so-called structural racism. You will recall that this museum’s publications said that everything we take for granted in a civilized society, such as a good work ethic and the nuclear family, are representative of “whiteness” and therefore racist.
A few years ago, conservative media had fun with a story that asked if peanut butter and jam sandwiches were racist. Today that kind of thinking is normal in media. Nothing is allowed to exist without questioning its relationship with racism and the black community, even outside the borders of the United States. These attacks on the historic American nation are just a part of a worldwide assault on Western Civilization itself. In Britain, the BBC recently tweeted, “Rural racism in Dorset: Why is our countryside 98% white?” to which Steve Sailer innocently replied, “Because whites are indigenous to rural Dorsetshire and nonwhites are not?” The article attached to the BBC’s tweet quotes several minority residents in Dorset who complain about “subtle racism” such as people looking at them while they are out and about. Sailer continues, “The project of the 21st Century is to dispossess whites of the very nice countries they have built, so the fact that whites are indigenous to rural England seems like a racist conspiracy to the dispossessors. The slightest resistance, such as staring, must be crushed.” This “dispossessionist mindset”, as Sailer calls it, is the reason why the historic American nation is being driven out of the country our fathers created. Marxists view society as a zero-sum game – for black Americans to succeed, white Americans must be forcibly diminished.
This obsession with race has created a class of black journalists and activists who believe the world revolves around them. Gwen Berry’s over the top tantrum upon hearing The Star-Spangled Banner on an Olympic podium, as if she had just been told that the ice cream machine at McDonalds was broken, is just the beginning. The New York Times editorial staff is filled with black female writers who complain in the paper of record that someone asked to touch their hair twenty years ago. Not to be outdone, Asian writers complain about being stereotyped in elementary school. The fact that Asians actually have higher average wealth and income than white people makes their chase for victim clout all the more pathetic.
One would be forgiven for believing that the demographics of America were similar to South Africa, where black Africans are a large majority. The constant focus by media on black issues has certainly skewed our perspectives – recent polls show that the average American believes that our country is 33% black, while a sixth of Americans believe that blacks are an outright majority. The truth is that only 12-13% of Americans are black.
Nevertheless, nothing is safe from the demands by black activists to make it all about them. Even though the NFL is 70% black, activists complain that there are not enough black coaches. The NFL has long had something called the “Rooney Rule” that says that teams are required to interview a black coach for any available vacancy. For a while in the late 90s and early 2000s, Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Leslie Frazier was the token minority interview.
Movies, music, and even advertising are overwhelmingly focused on African Americans. If you can stand to watch commercials, try to count the number of white men – there are not many. Couples are often mixed-race, if not entirely black. Any time a black actor is snubbed for an Oscar nomination, activists complain on social media, accusing the Academy of being racist. This year, everyone expected the late Chadwick Boseman to win Best Actor, so much so that the Academy rearranged the schedule of events to put that category last, so they could end the program on a tribute to the Black Panther actor. Journalists were shocked and surprised when Anthony Hopkins won the award instead, and the program ended awkwardly.
Perhaps the biggest area of black egocentrism is the insertion of Africans into every area of history and culture. On the fringes of the internet, you will find websites claiming that Cleopatra was black, or that Beethoven was actually black. In more respected publications you will hear that America was entirely built by African slaves. Besides being patently false, this claim erases the work of millions of American pioneers. Sure, slavery was the foundation of the southern economy, but what of northern industrialism? What of the railroads, roads, and bridges that crisscrossed the continent? What of the brave families who packed everything they owned into a Conestoga wagon and crossed the wide prairies for Oregon and California? What of the men who fought and died in the War of Independence, and every American conflict since then? What of the more than six hundred thousand men – mostly white – who died to free black Americans from slavery itself? This libel is a deliberate erasure of the historic American nation, more dispossession in the name of racial equity.
The recent establishment of Juneteenth as a federal holiday is another nail in the coffin of white America. While its proponents claim that it is a “long overdue” recognition of the abolition of slavery, and that it will not detract from other American holidays, both premises are false. The purpose of elevating Juneteenth – an obscure holiday celebrated in a small region of Texas – is to keep the idea of slavery and racism at the fore of public consciousness. It is yet another reminder to white Americans that we are irredeemably racist, and that we must sacrifice our property, our money, and our heritage as penance. Both Scott Greer and Tim Pool, from two different perspectives, have argued that the rise of Juneteenth will necessarily diminish July 4th, our true Independence Day. If a municipality has scarce resources, for example, will they put them toward a citywide celebration of Independence Day, thus incurring the wrath of woke activists, or will they give the squeaky wheel grease by celebrating Juneteenth instead? This is not just academic – the city of Evanston, Illinois recently canceled their 4th of July parade (citing covid) but sponsored a pride parade and a Juneteenth parade last month.
Remember that modern discourse sees everything through the lens of race. What is Independence Day but a celebration of hypocritical white slaveowners? Indeed, just last week the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets spent the holiday weekend trashing the idea of Independence Day, specifically the American flag itself, claiming that it represented whiteness and conservatism rather than America as a whole. I would not be surprised to see serious calls from influential people in the next few years to do away with both the flag and the 4th of July altogether.
In fact, we are already seeing the first signs of this disavowal of old-fashioned patriotism. Mara Gay, a black woman who writes for the New York Times, spoke about how “uncomfortable” she felt seeing trucks flying the American flag. The New York Times itself followed up those statements with a long article about how the flag is becoming identified with white people, and that patriotism makes minorities (aka the New York Times editorial staff) feel unwelcome. The American people have loved their country for centuries, but now that pride is demonized by ivory tower journalists because it hurts the feelings of a few nonwhite people. The Marxist left is much more comfortable with the various rainbow flags of homosexuality and transgenderism, or of the “Black Lives Matter” flag. The woke commissars who run our State Department even sent out a memo recently allowing embassies to fly the BLM flag. Is that not a fitting display of the conquest of this country and the dispossession of the historic American nation?
An obsession with race, and with African Americans specifically, is also evident in news coverage. Not only does every story have a racial component, but all of the major news outlets decided last year to start capitalizing “black”. They claim this is because “black” refers to a specific culture, a specific group of people. Obviously, they are not capitalizing “white” as that would be racist. There is a song going around that is being called the “black national anthem,” and it has even been played at NFL games in tandem with The Star-Spangled Banner. Would it be fair to call the latter the “white” national anthem? Of course not, that too would be racist. You see, however, how the black community is recognized as its own nation within the borders of the United States of America. This is encouraged by our elites, while any unity of white Americans is discouraged, or even criminalized. In our Orwellian times, black nationalism is good but white nationalism is bad. As I said, I have no problem with black nationalism – more power to them – I simply believe that all ethnic groups, including white people, should have the same right of association.
Education is another area that has been completely taken over by black egoism. In the 1960s, violent black supremacists occupied college offices and demanded more money for black student unions and for black studies curricula. Today, public schools, colleges, and universities have entire departments dedicated to so-called “diversity” and spend millions of dollars on diversity endeavors. Ethnic studies, as well as feminist studies, queer studies, and other classes devoted to intersectional interest groups, are more common than STEM. James Lindsay recently acquired a complete list of books used in the social studies program at Albuquerque Public Schools, and every single title is about race or other intersectional identities. I am heartened that the public is waking up to the pervasive spread of Critical Race Theory in public schools, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Christopher Caldwell points out that this has been the case for a long time. He writes:
“It was fair to say that ethnic studies had taken over not just college curricula but even primary and secondary school history teaching. In 2008, education professors from Stanford and the University of Maryland asked 2,000 eleventh and twelfth graders to name the ten most significant Americans who had never been president. Three standbys of Black History Month—Martin Luther King, the anti-segregationist protester Rosa Parks, and the escaped slave Harriet Tubman—ranked 1, 2, and 3.”
“Diversity” has become the code word for black representation – I recall news media claiming that the nearly all black cast of Marvel’s Black Panther was “diverse”. Every institution in America is required to bend the knee to this new god. Caldwell writes:
“’Chief diversity officers’ and ‘diversity compliance officers,’ working inside companies, carried out functions that resembled those of twentieth-century commissars. They would be consulted about whether a board meeting or a company picnic was sufficiently diverse.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
Once you see how race-obsessed our modern discourse has become it is impossible to un-see. Diversity has indeed become a new god in American secular religion. Caldwell again writes:
“After the Army medic and self-taught Muslim fanatic Nidal Hasan killed 13 people at Fort Hood in Obama’s first year in office, Army chief of staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., said, ‘Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.’ For Casey, to be accused of racism was literally a fate worse than death.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
The status of our national capital is an ongoing and controversial issue, and of course race plays a part. According to the Constitution, an area was to be set aside, distinct from any particular state, as the site for the capital. The New Deal and World War II massively expanded the federal bureaucracy, and those bureaucrats had to live somewhere. Many moved in to the swampy land of the District of Columbia, and soon those people clamored for the same voting rights as state residents. Congress and the states passed the 23rd Amendment in 1961 which gave residents of DC the right to vote in presidential elections. Congress also devolved their own constitutional authority over the District to an elected mayor.
Right now, the Democratic Party is demanding statehood for DC, which would reallocate at least three representatives and add two more senators to our Congress. The District, home to nearly a million people, is approximately 48% black and 45% white, and has voted overwhelmingly Democrat in every presidential election since the passage of the 23rd Amendment. We all know which party stands to gain from DC statehood. Yet the Constitution stands in the way of simply declaring it so by an act of Congress… or does it? I would not be surprised to see an activist judge, ruling according to our new constitution of civil rights, declare that DC must be granted statehood because to withhold it would be racist to a place with large black population.
Sometimes courts still forget that our Constitution has been superseded by civil rights. The New York Times recently complained that the Constitution stands in the way of the Biden regime’s plan to award covid relief money exclusively to people of color. The article quotes Syovata Edari, who owns a chocolate shop in Wisconsin, complaining that she did not get the $50,000 from the government that she expected. She said, “It doesn’t surprise me that once again these laws that we fought and died for, that were intended to benefit us — to even the playing field a bit more — are being used against us.” Steve Sailer facetiously replied, “I mean, sure, the 14th Amendment sounds like the part about “the equal protection of the laws” applies to everybody, but we all know that it’s good for the government to discriminate against whites.”
Where to begin? Ms. Edari claims that “her people” fought and died for rights that were intended to benefit them. Who died to free the slaves? The historic American nation made a massive sacrifice of its own blood to free Ms. Edari’s people from servitude, but there is no gratitude for that today. While she made sure to mention that the 14th amendment was meant to “level the playing field,” the rest of her quote shows that she thinks the purpose of the amendment was really to give special privileges to blacks.
The fact that some judges are following the “old” Constitution by writing injunctions against the regime’s plan to increase “equity” by showering money on minorities is considered a problem by our elite media. What does this portend for the most coveted racial prize of them all: reparations?
Black activists have been increasing their demands for reparations for slavery, even as the actual time of slavery recedes further and further into the past. Black intellectual Ta-Nehisi Coates famously called for reparations several years ago, and many leftists have jumped on the train behind him. The website Vice published an article a few weeks ago with the headline “America’s First Black Billionaire Wants His Reparations Check, Now.” Yet if you ask any of these people how much they are owed, how much to consider the supposed debt paid, you will not get an answer. They will always demand “more”. It will never end. In their eyes, the blood of six hundred thousand American soldiers was not enough to pay this debt. More than fifty years of welfare and affirmative action was not enough either. Not even the higher standard of living for the descendants of American slaves compared to their free cousins in Africa is considered a worthwhile recompense. No amount of money will stop the demands for more, more, more.
The Vice article claims that $14 trillion would be enough to “close the black / white wealth gap,” but this is short sighted. Despite what Marxists believe, wealth is not distributed from the top down, but created from the bottom up. The millionaire next door has wealth because he worked for it, making sacrifices and wise investments for many years, not because he was given a check from the American taxpayer. You could shower $14 trillion on black America and in ten years most of that money would be gone, and then what? We would hear yet more demands for reparations and affirmative action.
In the name of racial equity, we have essentially repealed our Constitution, spent trillions upon trillions of dollars, and now we are in the process of erasing our very history because it offends the sensibilities of black Americans. One of the unspoken conditions of reconciliation after the Civil War was that the South could honor their heroes. Charles Francis Adams Jr., scion of the great Adams family of American mythos, wrote after the war that, “…The essential and distinctive feature of the American Civil War, as contrasted with all previous struggles of a similar character, was the acceptance of results by the defeated party at its close.” The South, for the most part, gave up their dreams of independence, and in exchange, the North allowed the South to retain their heroes and unique culture.
The Battle Flag was incorporated into the designs of many southern state flags. Statues of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and many other Confederate leaders were erected throughout the South. Southern writers wrote glowingly of the so-called “lost cause” and romanticized antebellum Dixie. For one hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, this was accepted as a reasonable expression of southern pride.
But this pride cannot continue to exist in a world where everything revolves around black sensibilities. Rather than being a symbol of rebellion and southern pride, the Battle Flag has been recast as a deliberate racist insult toward black Americans. Reframing it in this way caused many Republicans to feel like they had to join in calls for its removal. Nikki Haley, then Governor of South Carolina, ordered it taken down from the State House in Columbia. The fact that Haley, a second-generation immigrant who had no stake in the heritage of the state she led, was the one to remove the flag was especially galling to many proud southerners. A fear of taking a controversial stand was another rotten fruit of civil rights. Christopher Caldwell said:
“Plainly the civil rights acts had wrought a change in the country’s constitutional culture. The innovations of the 1960s had given progressives control over the most important levers of government, control that would endure for as long as the public was afraid of being called racist.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
All the media and political establishment must do to get Republicans to obey is to threaten to call them racist. The GOP gave in on the Battle Flag because they were afraid of the association it now had with racism, slavery, and Jim Crow. Save for a few brave people on the fringes, most of us are still afraid of being called racist. Those on the fringes who are not afraid are tarred as white supremacist by both the left and the right, are banned from social media, fired from their jobs, and essentially exiled from polite society. The rest of us go along with absurdities, lies, and the erasure of our heritage in exchange for being allowed to make a living and support our families.
Few Republicans were willing to defend either the Battle Flag or Confederate statues. At the time of this writing, the House of Representatives has just passed a bill that would remove not only Confederate statues from federal offices in Washington, DC, but also those of antebellum leaders such as Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, who supported slavery and secession. Military bases which carry the names of Confederate generals are in the process of being renamed, as the GOP joined Democrats to override President Trump’s lame duck veto late last year.
Throughout the country, memorials to Confederate heroes are being torn down, often with municipal support. The cities that raised these monuments in the first place have come under the control of Marxist whites as well as radical black activists. In Memphis last month, the body of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was literally dug out of the ground to be moved to an obscure museum hundreds of miles away. One might have thought that digging up the bones of your enemies was something that went out of style hundreds of years ago. Apparently not.
The case of Robert E. Lee is emblematic of this destruction of the past. Once considered the epitome of the southern gentlemen by South and North alike, Lee has now become the symbol of evil white men. Both Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower considered Lee to be one of the greatest Americans in history, but that is not enough for the woke iconoclasts. Hundreds of schools, roads, and parks have been renamed in the past few years in the quest to erase the name of Lee from history. Christopher Caldwell recently wrote an essay for the Claremont Review of Books on the ongoing reevaluation of Robert E. Lee, which you can read here. In that essay he writes:
“…as the present generation has radicalized around race ideologies, opinion on Lee has become more frenzied and passionate than it has been since the height of the Civil War. He has suddenly become an object of hatred. The reputation for decency and honor that has clung to Lee since his death, even among the historians most critical toward the Confederacy, has not softened this new hatred but stoked it—as if the reputation itself were an insult launched across the centuries.”
Christopher Caldwell, “There Goes Robert E. Lee”
Robert Edward Lee was the quintessential southern gentleman. Far from being antithetical to the American spirit, he was in the very heart of it. His home in Arlington, Virginia overlooked the Potomac River, about thirty miles upstream from George Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation. The two families were linked in several ways, actually. Lee’s father, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, was a Revolutionary War hero, and had been the man who famously eulogized Washington as “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Robert E. Lee himself married Mary Custis, the granddaughter of George Washington’s stepson. When Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865, he carried George Washington’s sword at his side. After the war, Lee served as president of Washington University in Lexington, Virginia, which was renamed Washington and Lee University after his death.
Modern historiography of the Civil War paints the Confederates as rebels, of course, but we must remember that they saw themselves as the true successors to the Revolution and the Spirit of 1776. Four of the first six presidents were Virginians, and men such as Robert E. Lee saw themselves as the successors to those great heroes. Had the Confederacy won independence, it would have looked to the same Declaration of Independence as its own heritage.
Even as late as the 1970s, already in the age of civil rights, Robert E. Lee remained a figure of reverence in American discourse. In 1975, Congress voted to posthumously restore Lee’s citizenship; only ten representatives voted against the measure. It was really in the last ten years, during the so-called “racial reckoning,” that Lee has been cast as evil. Because race is now the primary concern for media figures and historians alike, the very fact that Lee owned slaves has become the only thing worth knowing about the man. The details about Lee’s life and his relationship with the institution of slavery are not important to modern eyes. Yet like Thomas Jefferson, Lee had a complex relationship with the peculiar institution. There are stories about how he taught his slaves to read and write, and about how he took the Eucharist side by side with a black man. Like Jefferson, Lee seemed to find slavery itself distasteful, and treated his own slaves as well as he could. He fought for the Confederacy not because he supported slavery, or even secession, but because he believed it was his duty as a Virginian.
Christopher Caldwell points out in his essay that the museum at Appomattox Courthouse downplays Lee and Grant in favor of a narrative that is once again all about race. “Appomattox is about Grant and Lee,” he writes. “Lee cannot be offered a different role in the story of the Civil War without altering the meaning of what Grant did, what Appomattox meant, what the Civil War settled, and what the United States stands for. If Lee is a racist scoundrel, then Grant is either a gullible man or an accomplice.” Yet this is exactly what the woke mobs believe. They have declared that we must not only erase Lee, Jackson, Davis, and Forrest, but also Grant, Lincoln, and even Theodore Roosevelt. I do not doubt that we will soon see serious calls to blast away the faces of our American heroes on Mt. Rushmore.
Contrary to what people such as the 1619 Project’s Nicole Hannah-Jones believes, there has never been a time in American history when slavery was not controversial. It has been an institution that Americans have struggled with since the very first African slaves stepped foot in the New World. Yet as Christopher Caldwell notes, whereas our fathers struggled with slavery as a matter of liberty, today we only look at it through the lens of race. The abolition of slavery was once considered the moral imperative for the historic American nation who had founded their country in the name of freedom and equality before God, but today it is considered the achievement of black Americans despite the obstacles of white supremacy and racism. The role of white Christians in abolishing slavery has been erased, because it is inconvenient to a narrative that says whites are irredeemably evil.
A few months ago, Haitian documentary filmmaker Raoul Peck published a four-hour miniseries on HBO called Exterminate All the Brutes with the premise that white Europeans are uniquely responsible for the very concept of genocide. Amidst overly dramatic reenactments of evil white men torturing poor blacks and American Indians, Peck weaves a story of brutal men who conquered the world, exterminating darker-skinned peoples wherever they were found. Not mentioned once in the documentary were the names Lincoln, Wilberforce, or Ulysses Grant. It is one thing to discuss a peoples’ sins, but it is quite another to do so while ignoring their virtues.
The reason why race has been injected into American discourse in this manner is nothing less than to erase the historic American nation. Our fathers built the greatest country in the history of the world – the shining city on a hill – and the fact that we, their posterity, are still here is unacceptable to the dozens of other ethnic and interest groups who want a piece of the pie. Civil rights remade our Constitution, reorienting our government away from protecting our natural rights and toward rectifying every possible complaint by ethnic minorities. The Democratic Party has become a coalition of all these groups, each of whom seeks to lay claim to the United States of America, and each one united in their hated of white people. While the Republican Party is resisting the pull to become explicitly identified with white Americans, that is their inevitable destiny. Christopher Caldwell writes:
“American politics had re-sorted itself around that question—which came down to the question of whether one had benefited from or lost by the transfers of rights, goods, and privileges carried out under the new constitutional dispensation that began in 1964. The Democrats were the party of those who benefited: not just racial minorities but sexual minorities, immigrants, women, government employees, lawyers—and all people sophisticated enough to be in a position to design, run, or analyze new systems. This collection of minorities could, with discipline, be bundled into an electoral majority, but that was not, strictly speaking, necessary. The hierarchies of government, the judiciary, and the corporate world were Democratic in their orientations. Sympathetic regulators, judges, and attorneys took up the task of transferring as many prerogatives as possible from the majority to various minorities. Republicans were the party, as we have noted, of yesteryear’s entire political spectrum, of New Deal supporters and New Deal foes, of the people who would have voted for Richard Nixon in 1960 and the people who would have voted for John F. Kennedy. The lost world of that period seemed an idyll to many Americans. The parties represented two different constitutions, two different eras of history, even two different technological platforms. And increasingly, two different racial groups.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
The divide between Democrats and Republicans has been growing starker every year. Today, the gulf between the two parties is greater than at any time since the secession winter of 1860. While there have always been disagreements between the parties, until recently one could admit that both sides believed in America. Today, the Democratic Party is a coalition of nations who are united in their desire to tear down the United States as well as Western Civilization as a whole. The Republicans, for all their spinelessness, for all their fecklessness, are the only major party standing up for the historic American nation. Again, Caldwell writes:
“Those who lost most from the new rights-based politics were white men. The laws of the 1960s may not have been designed explicitly to harm them, but they were gradually altered to help everyone but them, which is the same thing. Whites suffered because they occupied this uniquely disadvantaged status under the civil rights laws, because their strongest asset in the constitutional system—their overwhelming preponderance in the electorate—was slowly shrinking, because their electoral victories could be overruled in courtrooms and by regulatory boards where necessary, and because the moral narrative of civil rights required that they be cast as the villains of their country’s history. They fell asleep thinking of themselves as the people who had built this country and woke up to find themselves occupying the bottom rung of an official hierarchy of races.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
Caldwell goes on to say that by recasting America as an idea, rather than the inheritance of its founders, we dispossess ourselves. The right believes that the “idea” of America consists of liberty and equality, but the left has redefined those terms to mean welfare and equity, at the expense of America’s white majority.
I am afraid that civil rights were a mistake. Perhaps it was necessary at the time to find some way of rectifying the racial issues in the Jim Crow South, but the Civil Rights Act opened Pandora’s Box, leading to many of the issues that plague this country today. Until we on the right admit this, we will never fix the problem. Unfortunately, it is difficult to speak any form of truth these days. At the end of his book, Caldwell correctly notes that the establishment of civil rights as a superior constitution necessitates extreme censorship. If we were allowed to openly speak the truth about what has been going on for the past fifty years, then we might have a chance of undoing it. Our ruling regime cannot take that chance. The Bill of Rights says we have freedom of speech, but that freedom does not extend to criticizing the new constitution built upon civil rights, nor the interest groups that benefit from it. Everything from anti-black racial slurs to factual FBI crime statistics are entirely verboten under our woke censors. We mock the Chinese government for cracking down on people who make fun of Premier Xi Jinping but try making fun of George Floyd over here in the land of the free. Caldwell writes, finally:
“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was, as we have noted, a legislative repeal of the First Amendment’s implied right to freedom of association. Over decades it polarized the political parties and turned them into something like secret societies, each of them loyal to a different constitutional understanding. Democrats, loyal to the post-1964 constitution, could not acknowledge (or even see) that they owed their ascendancy to a rollback of the basic constitutional freedoms Americans cherished most. Republicans, loyal to the pre-1964 constitution, could not acknowledge (or even see) that the only way back to the free country of their ideals was through the repeal of the civil rights laws. The combination was a terrible one—rising tensions along with a society-wide inability to talk or think straight about anything.”
Christopher Caldwell, Age of Entitlement
It is not racist to desire a homeland for your people. Our ancestors fled Europe for many reasons – religious liberty, escape from the constraints of a strict class structure, a chance to become wealthy, or even just a desire for adventure in the New World. We should not be ashamed of our forefathers, but celebrate them, warts and all. We are their heritage; we are the posterity for whom they wrote the Constitution in the first place.
The dispossession of America began with the best of intentions in the 1960s. The fruits of civil rights are not only the loss of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, but also the extreme censorship necessary to maintain that dispossession. Everything I have written in this essay is enough to make me persona non grata in polite society. I am already banned from Twitter, and I cannot be fired from my job, but there are millions of Americans who are not in such a fortunate position. They are forced to keep their mouths shut, to silently acquiesce to the loss of their own country. This is a tragedy.
The nation is not the state; the nation is the people. It is time for our people to take back our country. Stop apologizing for historical wrongs. Stop compromising on things like Juneteenth, hoping that it will buy you some good will. Stop hoping for an easy return to the America you once knew. We have an opportunity to build a new homeland out of the ashes of the old, to fulfill our Founding Fathers’ promise to protect the blessings of liberty for their posterity.
The only way through this time of crisis is forward. The historic American nation – the last and greatest outpost of Western Civilization – must survive. As long as you and I are still here, raising families, teaching our children our history, our stories, and our faith, then, by the grace of God, it will.
Nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, the Founding Fathers of the United States created a Constitution to protect the hard-won freedoms for themselves and their posterity. Today, that posterity finds themselves being pushed out of the country their forefathers bequeathed to them. What can we do to reclaim and protect our homeland?
America is supposed to be a republic, ruled by the people. But our elected leaders and cultural elites look for ways to push us toward the choices they think best. How can we reclaim our sovereignty in this totalitarian age?
Not only do would-be dictators take advantage of social crises; they often create the very problems that their dictatorships aim to solve. The Democratic Party is using crisis after crisis to increase their power, but things are about to spiral out of control.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Raoul Peck has a new documentary on HBO this year, in which he trots out every cliched Marxist libel in the books to portray white European Christians as uniquely responsible for genocides of minorities and indigenous people. The purpose of media such as this documentary, or of the New York Times’ “1619 Project” are to lay the foundation for a twisted view of our own history, and to teach our children that they are guilty of an original sin that can only be atoned for with Marxist revolution.
It is our responsibility to push back at works like this. I appreciate Raheem Kassam asking me to write a review of this documentary for The National Pulse, though it meant I had to watch every excruciating minute. I did it so you do not have to.
The conclusion of Exterminate All the Brutes is an extremely twisted vision of history, one in which white Europeans and their descendants are uniquely evil, with few if any redeeming values. In making this documentary, Raoul Peck engages in precisely the same dehumanization of a group of people for which he condemns the eugenicists, scientific racists, and Nazis of a century ago.
Last week, former Trump security advisor Michael Anton, who published the hugely influential essay The Flight 93 Election under a pseudonym in 2016, spoke with programmer and political philosopher Curtis Yarvin, who under his own pseudonym Mencius Moldbug wrote some of the most influential works of the early 21st century.
I was interested to hear Yarvin echoing some of my own thoughts on the inevitable rise of an American Caesar, but he went even further by suggesting that President Franklin Roosevelt was a Caesar, as were Lincoln and Washington before them. He defines a “Caesar” as a leader who uses the existing political framework to inaugurate a new type of government, consolidating power in just a single man. Unlike the original Caesar, who bequeathed that power to his successors, Roosevelt instead bequeathed it to a permanent bureaucracy within the Executive Branch of government, what was now call the Deep State.
In any case, Yarvin suggests that this Caesarian revolution occurs about every 75 years, so we are due for another. Like me, he believes that our Caesar is a teenager right now, and he predicts that this future monarch will gain power by promising to transcend and end the red/blue divide in America, just as Caesar transcended the class divide in Rome.
I recommend you listen to the whole thing. Two hours will go by quickly as these two brilliant men ruminate on the fate of our own Republic.
In my 14th livestream I talk about the political realignment that is occurring before our eyes, the need for the nationalist right to confront hard truths, and talk about what we can do to stay safe from encroaching tyranny.
Watch here, or listen to the audio below or in your favorite podcast player.
Imagine for a moment that you are watching the news, or reading a history textbook, and you learn about a particular nation at a particular point in time.
This nation has become increasingly controlled by powerful oligarchs who, rather than being loyal to their homeland, continuously sell it out in exchange for power and profit.
The oligarchs of this nation use the justice system to engage in personal vendettas against political opponents. Conversely, family and friends of the regime get away with nearly anything – including murder.
Journalists and activists who expose embarrassing secrets about the regime are either arrested and held without bail or forced into exile.
State media makes up the most absurd lies about the previous leader, while engaging in obvious propaganda in favor of the current regime, whom they favor.
The most recent election for leader of this regime was riddled with problems. Various localities, under the leadership of the victorious party, altered voting rules on the fly, without legislative oversight. However, state media denounced all accusations of fraud, and social media censored anyone who tried to bring attention to these irregularities.
Millions of people who supported the incumbent leader came out to protest in provincial capitals, finally culminating in a large demonstration at the national capitol building. State media claimed that this was an “insurrection”.
State media promoted false narratives of this “insurrection,” claiming that violent protestors assaulted and murdered police officers. Independent investigations found these claims to be false, but the incoming regime maintained their narrative.
The regime used the so-called “insurrection” as cover for arresting many dissidents, holding them without bail in solitary confinement. Those who were not arrested found themselves blacklisted from social media. The ousted president was also banned from social media at the behest of the ruling party.
Ask yourself what you would think about such a country if it turned out to be Russia, or China, or a third-world banana republic. Then ask yourself what it means that this is America in 2021. The United States of America censors journalists, rigs elections, and imprisons dissidents. We have become the very sort of authoritarian regime that we have spent the last 75 years mocking and denouncing. Can it happen here? It already did.
(I posted this on Locals the day of the verdict. Reposting here for posterity.)
Quick thoughts on the Chauvin verdict:
The rule of law in America is dead. Let the rule of the mob begin. Street thugs threatened violence, a sitting Congresswoman threatened violence, and the supposed President of the United States implicitly urged the jury to make the “correct” choice.
Patriotic Americans are learning that they cannot count on the police, the law, or the justice system to protect them and their natural rights. It is time to leave the cities, stock up on guns and ammo, and prepare to do what is necessary to ensure the safety of your families.
Move to red states, and to rural areas, but do not let down your guard. Leftists spend every waking moment plotting to turn cities like Bozeman, St. Louis, Tulsa, and Boise into Minneapolis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Portland. It is not enough to simply ask that we be left alone. We have to fight to maintain what we have, and begin to take back lost ground.
We say “the mob influenced the jury to vote the way they did” and mean that this was a travesty of justice. The leftists say the same thing, but with pride – communists have always used mob violence to achieve their political aims. Their aim right now is the complete destruction of Western Civilization.
Concepts such as the trial by jury, the common law, and the presumption of innocence are part of America’s Anglo-Saxon heritage. The woke mob says that is “racist” and “white supremacist” and must be abolished. They would replace it with a legal system based on skin color and other intersectional values.
Weak men like Greg Gutfield celebrated the verdict because they think they can sacrifice Derek Chauvin to the woke mob in exchange for a return to normalcy. They misread the situation. There is no going back. This verdict will only encourage the woke mob to get more violent, and to try and take more ground. They are already saying tonight that this verdict is not enough. The Cultural Marxists will not rest until every acre of this country either bends the knee or is burned to the ground.
As for the police, this verdict shows that big city politicians do not have your backs. You can do everything you were trained to do and still be hung out to dry as a sacrifice to the woke mob. Every police officer in America should resign tonight. Leave the cities and move to red communities that appreciate and support patriotic law enforcement personnel.
Hopefully today’s events convince more normal conservatives that they cannot simply shut these things out and return to their football games and barbecue grills. The future of our nation, our people, rests in our hands, and we are running out of time to save it.
Allow me to tell you the story of a man who became President of the United States. This man was considered by many to be a political outsider, and he ran on a platform of ending foreign wars and reigning in an out-of-control federal bureaucracy. This President had a very contentious relationship with the media – in fact, they despised him, and used any excuse to attack him. The deep state bureaucracy fought him, the media slandered him, and the Democratic Party sought his impeachment. Leftist demonstrators rioted at the very mention of his name. In the end, they destroyed him, and his plans to drain the swamp were left unfinished.
The man of whom I am speaking is Richard Milhouse Nixon.
For most Americans of this generation, knowledge of President Richard Nixon begins and ends with Watergate. Most people know that he resigned in disgrace and assume that he must have been an especially bad man, and bad president, in order to do so. Yet a look at the presidency of Richard Nixon shows a series of remarkable victories and achievements in the face of some of the harshest opposition in American history. As I studied the man and his life, I began to wonder how history will treat another DC establishment iconoclast, President Donald Trump. As he left the White House for the last time as President, Nixon’s closest friend and confidant Henry Kissinger remarked that history would judge Nixon as one of the great Presidents, despite the scandal. Nixon replied, “That depends, Henry, on who writes the history.” Today I would like to write some history of a man who served as President, who fought the good fight against the Deep State, and who should remain an inspiration to patriotic Americans for ages to come, no matter what slant our history books put on him. Pay close attention and hear how the Nixon Administration compares with the now-completed Trump Administration. Pay attention to the tactics the Deep State used to destroy the former, and how they used the same tactics against the latter as well.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotations in this essay are from President Nixon’s memoirs.
Richard Nixon was not born into a rich and powerful family like his erstwhile friend and rival John F. Kennedy. The Nixons were a relatively poor Quaker family in California, before that state was known for wealth and glamor. Nixon’s father worked many jobs, including lemon farmer, rancher, and grocer. What savings the family had was depleted as two of Nixon’s brothers fought long and losing battles against tuberculosis. After high school, Nixon turned down a scholarship to Harvard and enrolled instead at nearby Whittier College so he could still help the family. After graduating at the top of his class with a degree in history, Nixon went to the East Coast to study law at Duke University. He worked his way through school, sharing a cramped dorm cabin that lacked running water.
Nixon returned home to practice law in California and married Thelma Ryan, who went by Pat, in 1940. The following year the couple went to Washington DC where Richard worked in the Office of Price Administration. Both his government service and Quaker background ensured that he need not worry about being drafted into the military after Pearl Harbor, nevertheless Nixon sought and received a naval commission and was eventually assigned to sea duty in the Pacific.
Richard Nixon served honorably for several years, working mostly in logistics. After his retirement from the Naval Reserve in 1946 he once more returned home to California, this time to begin his political career. The ambitious young man was a skilled debater and campaigner. He defeated the Democratic incumbent in California’s 12th congressional district and returned to Washington in 1947 as a freshman Congressman. Fittingly, another World War II naval veteran joining the House of Representatives that year was none other than John Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Nixon quickly gained influence in the political world. He was the youngest member of the Herter Committee, which traveled to Europe in 1947 and recommended that President Truman implement the Marshall Plan to save Europe from both starvation and Communism. Nixon also distinguished himself on the House Un-American Activities Committee with his dogged investigation of Alger Hiss, a university professor who lied about his past associations with Communist groups in America. In just two terms in Congress, Nixon had gained enough renown to not only win a Senate seat in 1950, but also to be placed on the Republican presidential ticket in 1952 as General Dwight Eisenhower’s running mate.
Nixon faced the greatest test of his young career late in the 1952 campaign. After winning his Senate race, Nixon faced the challenge of paying for his constant travel and communication with supporters. Rather than try to pay for it from public funds, Nixon put together a committee to manage a donor fund, taking care not to allow any appearance of quid pro quo. However, the media, already irritated with Nixon for his strong anti-communist views, used it as a vehicle to attack him, demanding that Eisenhower boot him from the ticket. Ike’s advisors would have preferred that Nixon quietly withdraw, but he instead went on live television – still a very new medium – and gave a detailed account of his finances, successfully defending himself against accusations of quid pro quo or a personal slush fund. Nixon explained that the only personal gift he had received from his supporters was a dog named Checkers, already beloved by his two daughters. Public reaction to the “Checkers speech” was overwhelmingly positive. Eisenhower kept Nixon on the ticket, and they won a resounding victory in November.
At just forty years of age, Richard Nixon was one of the youngest Vice Presidents in American history. President Eisenhower utilized Nixon much more than previous administrations, sending him around the world on diplomatic missions. When Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in 1955, Nixon informally took on the duties of President. The 25th Amendment had not yet been passed, so there was no clear direction as to how much a Vice President should take over when a President became incapacitated. Richard Nixon walked a fine line between doing what was necessary to ensure the smooth operation of the executive branch of the government while not appearing to be overly ambitious as Eisenhower recovered. The two men drafted a memorandum defining his role, which later served as the basis for the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
In 1958, Richard and Pat Nixon visited South America, where their motorcade was attacked by violent mobs in Peru and in Venezuela. Nixon was convinced that the mob violence was engineered by radical Communists. He later said, “The only way to deal with Communists is to stand up to them. Otherwise, they will exploit your politeness as weakness. They will try to make you afraid and then take advantage of your fears. Fear is the primary weapon of Communists.” Later, recalling the violent riots in South America, he said that “…the greatest danger a non-Communist nation faced was from a handful of activists and infiltrators who could impose their will on the whole society.” Anyone who paid attention to the summer of hate in 2020 will recognize that left-wing tactics have not changed.
Richard Nixon minced no words when talking about the threat of international Communism. Today, that threat has cloaked itself under different names such as antifa, Black Lives Matter, racial solidarity, environmentalism, feminism, and more. Yet their purpose remains the same: to dismantle Western Civilization in favor of their Marxist-Leninist utopia. In his memoirs, Nixon quotes John Foster Dulles, who served as President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, saying, “Communism is stubborn for the wrong; let us be steadfast for the right. A capacity to change is indispensable. Equally indispensable is the capacity to hold fast to that which is good.” No matter what names they call themselves, the forces that seek to destroy our civilization must be opposed. We cannot give an inch to those who want to erase our history and steal our posterity.
In 1959, Vice President Nixon traveled to Moscow on a goodwill visit. Premier Nikita Khrushchev took Nixon on a tour of an exhibition showing the Russian people what life was like in America. By the time they arrived at the model kitchen, their friendly discussion had turned into a somewhat heated debate about the merits of capitalist free markets versus Communist central planning. At one point, Khrushchev predicted that Nixon’s children would someday live under Communism, to which Nixon retorted that Khrushchev’s grandchildren would live in freedom. In hindsight, perhaps both men were correct. Russia threw off Marxism-Leninism in 1991, and, though still autocratic, now have much more freedom than they did sixty years ago. America, on the other hand, is quickly embracing the same failed socialist philosophies that the people of Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela once came to here to flee.
Richard Nixon’s extensive foreign policy experience made him the natural choice to succeed President Eisenhower in 1960. He had the support of a united Republican Party, while the Democrats soon coalesced around Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. There were many similarities between the two men: both had come to Congress in 1947, both served in the Navy in World War II, and both represented the torch being passed to a new generation. However, the media clearly had a favorite dog in this fight. In his memoirs, Nixon describes “…the way so many reporters in 1960 became caught up in the excitement of Kennedy’s campaign and infected with his personal sense of mission.” This sounds familiar to anyone who has watched the way the press has covered Democratic politicians in the last half century. Remember Chris Matthews of MSNBC exclaiming that Barack Obama’s speech sent a “thrill” up his leg?
We like to think that our press reports the news objectively and allows the American people to decide how to interpret it, but that is obviously not the case. It is not true now, and it was not true in 1960 either. While journalists ask their favored politicians such as Obama the sorts of questions that teenage fangirls ask their boy band crushes, they treat Republicans with disdain. No matter how many times Donald Trump repudiated so-called white nationalists, white supremacists, or the KKK, journalists demanded he do it again. If he did not respond on cue, they published hysterical headlines about how he had yet again refused to disavow racism and hate. This tactic is not new. Richard Nixon received the same treatment, remarking once that “Reporters never tired of asking if I had repudiated the John Birch Society.”
With Joe Biden now in the White House, our supposedly objective press has gone into overdrive in their hagiography of the new administration. Slavish devotion on the part of our media was bad enough during the Obama years, but they now go out of their way to be as positive toward Biden as they were negative toward Trump. Journalists tend to see themselves as partners with Democratic politicians in their aim of changing the world, while Republican politicians are their enemies. At least today we have alternative channels of information, although they are quickly being censored by Big Tech. In 1960, there were no alternative channels – the big three TV networks told you the news the way it was. The media presented JFK as the golden boy, while Nixon, despite being of similar age and with more executive experience, was portrayed as stodgy and old-fashioned.
The famous TV debate between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy perfectly illustrates this point. According to some historians, radio listeners believed that Nixon had easily won the debate, while television viewers, who saw the photogenic Kennedy matched up against the recently ill Nixon, thought that JFK had won. The advent of television was the beginning of the end for well-spoken statesmen who were masters of rhetoric. Their kind would soon be eclipsed by good looking men skilled in the art of pithy one-liners and viral slogans. Image is everything now. It is no surprise that America has not elected a bald president since Dwight Eisenhower. The media anointed John Kennedy as the torchbearer of the new generation, and they have continued writing the history ever since. Nixon himself did not believe that televised debates were good for the political process. He wrote, “I doubt that they can ever serve a responsible role in defining the issues of a presidential campaign. Because of the nature of the medium, there will inevitably be a greater premium on showmanship than on statesmanship.” In the 1968 campaign, Nixon pointedly refused to debate his opponent on TV.
In any case, the election of 1960 was incredibly close. Kennedy won by razor-thin margins in both Texas and Illinois, and many at the time believed that there were shenanigans afoot in both states. Richard Nixon declined to challenge the results, believing that he could better serve his country by gracefully conceding than by engaging in a long challenge. We will probably never know the real truth of the election. Nixon’s concession did nothing to improve his image with the media, however. They still hated him, and when he ran for governor of California, they continued to attack him mercilessly.
Many on the left and right suggested that President Trump should have gracefully conceded in 2020, despite the obvious evidence of fraud and other election malfeasance. However, the example of Richard Nixon shows that he would have been damned if he did, and damned if he did not. Nixon chose to concede, while Trump chose to fight, yet both were savagely attacked by our media. If anything, Trump learned the lesson of 1960 that he might as well fight since they would destroy his reputation either way.
After losing the California governor’s race in 1962, Nixon told the press they would not have him to kick around anymore. He returned to private life after a decade and a half in politics, and it seemed that his story was over. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that there are no second acts in American life, but that often proves not to be the case. Donald Trump has had at least three acts – developer and tabloid staple in the 80s and 90s, reality TV host in the aughts, and then President of the United States after that. So it was with Richard Nixon. For many people, a biography consisting of a high-profile time in Congress, two terms as Vice President, and then a close and contested presidential campaign would have been enough to call it a day and ride off into the sunset. As much as his wife might have wished for a quiet retirement, Nixon could not sit back and watch his country fall to pieces.
After sitting out the disastrous Republican presidential campaign of 1964, Nixon returned to politics in the midst of one of the most eventful years in American history. 1968 saw the escalation of the Vietnam War with the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy, race riots, and the violent protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The situation had gotten so bad that incumbent President Lyndon Johnson declined to run for reelection despite having won a massive landslide just four years earlier. While the Democratic Party was in disarray, Nixon quickly emerged as the consensus Republican nominee. “Nixon’s the One” was the rallying cry.
The 1968 presidential campaign was tumultuous. While the Democrats bore much of the ire of the antiwar protests, Nixon was not spared their vile rhetoric and dangerous threats. He saw a connection between the American protestors and the violent thugs who attacked him in South America just a few years before. “These were anarchistic mobs. As soon as the speeches began, they would start shouting, chanting simplistic and often obscene slogans, less to be heard themselves than to prevent the speaker from being heard. It was not an exercise in debate but a descent into hate.” As we have seen in the last few years, the tactics of socialists, communists, and anti-American activists have not changed. The same breed of angry communists that shouted down Richard Nixon also shouted down Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannapoulos on college campuses throughout the 2010s. They demanded free speech in the 1960s as a tactic to gain power, but now that they control our culture, they are quite happy to shut down our freedom of speech because it is a threat to their hegemony.
The 1960s taught the left that they could accomplish more social change in the streets than in the halls of Congress. The elder statesmen of the modern left are the very street thugs who committed violence and even murder in the name of their ideals back then. Bill Ayers, who set bombs in the 1960s, later became a respected college professor and even sponsored Barack Obama’s political career. Angela Davis was an accessory to the assassination of a judge, but now draws adoring crowds in college classrooms and is treated like a religious saint by the extreme left. Today, leftist politicians respond to leftist violence by agreeing with their aims and demanding social and political change. Senator Kamala Harris raised money to bail out rioters in the summer of 2020, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised their kinetic action. Even Republicans gave in – Senator Tim Scott introduced a bill to reform the supposedly racist police force in the wake of the George Floyd riots. Richard Nixon, on the other hand, understood the danger of allowing street thugs to direct our national conversation. “If a President—any President—allowed his course to be set by those who demonstrate, he would betray the trust of all the rest. Whatever the issue, to allow government policy to be made in the streets would destroy the democratic process. It would give the decision, not to the majority, and not to those with the strongest arguments, but to those with the loudest voices.”
Nixon was indeed the one in 1968, though the election ended up closer than it had seemed during the summer. He had campaigned on peace abroad and law and order at home, but soon found reigning in the federal bureaucracy to be almost as difficult as achieving peace in Vietnam. The federal government had been massively expanded by FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society, and nearly all these executive employees were hardcore progressives. They did their best to stymie Nixon’s domestic policies and his desire to reform the bureaucracy. Like Donald Trump, Nixon found the business of governing a lot more difficult than simply giving orders and seeing them carried out.
Unlike Donald Trump, who was a true outsider to DC politics, Richard Nixon had been in government for more than two decades by the time he took the oath of office in 1969. However, he saw himself as an outsider of sorts:
“I won the 1968 election as a Washington insider, but with an outsider’s prejudices. The behind-the-scenes power structure in Washington is often called the “iron triangle”: a three-sided set of relationships composed of congressional lobbyists, congressional committee and subcommittee members and their staffs, and the bureaucrats in the various federal departments and agencies. These people tend to work with each other year after year regardless of changes in administrations; they form personal and professional associations and generally act in concert. I felt that one of the reasons I had been elected was my promise to break the hammerlock Washington holds over the money and decisions that affect American lives. I wanted to break open the iron triangle and start turning money and power back to the states and cities, and I wanted to throw the red tape out the window. But Washington is a city run primarily by Democrats and liberals, dominated by like-minded newspapers and other media, convinced of its superiority to other cities and other points of view; from the beginning I knew my chances of succeeding with the kinds of domestic reforms I had in mind were slim.”
What President Nixon described here is the Deep State, though not in those exact terms. It is the permanent bureaucracy that remains entrenched in Washington DC no matter who we elect as President or send to Congress. These bureaucrats think that they, not our elected officials, actually run our government. Nixon grew frustrated with his inability to expel the hardcore leftists in the bureaucracy: “If we don’t get rid of those people, they will either sabotage us from within, or they’ll just sit back on their well-paid asses and wait for the next election to bring back their old bosses.”
President Trump also came into office with plans to wrest control of our country from the permanent bureaucracy. In his Inaugural Address, he said, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” Once in the White House, however, Trump found it difficult to fight the Deep State, especially once the leadership of his own party refused to back him up. The GOP establishment had grown comfortable with the way things were, and did not take kindly to an outsider who wanted to shake things up.
Richard Nixon also grew impatient with how even Republican leaders did not take the problem of the Deep State seriously:
“Week after week I watched and listened while even the Cabinet members who had been in politics long enough to know better justified retaining Democrats in important positions in their departments for reasons of “morale” or in order to avoid controversy or unfavorable publicity. Looking back, I think that Eisenhower, because of his many years of experience with the Army, understood that the combination of human nature and the inertia of institutions will generally override even the most determined attempts to change them. Once the opportunity had passed, it was too late to correct this failure during my first term. I could only console myself with the determination that, if I were re-elected in 1972, I would not make the same mistake of leaving the initiative to individual Cabinet members.”
Donald Trump also saw too late that he had failed to do what was necessary to drain the swamp. After four years of leaks, insubordination, and dishonesty from his own Executive Branch staff, Trump planned to crack down harder in his second term, but it was not to be. The Deep State struck back hard, and stole the White House from this outsider that threatened their power.
It is difficult to run a government, much less reform it, when your own staffers are loyal to the other side. Imagine trying to fight a war when every enlisted man is fighting for the enemy. Both Nixon and Trump faced the issue of trying to control anonymous leaks from within the bureaucracy. Congressional and executive staffers were constantly leaking information to the press, in a selective manner that was meant to paint their side in a good light while attacking their opponents. LBJ had warned Nixon that this would happen. “The leaks began almost with the start of my administration, and before long I experienced firsthand the anger, worry, and frustration that Johnson had described. In the first five months of my presidency, at least twenty-one major stories based on leaks from materials in the NSC files appeared in New York and Washington newspapers.”
Leftist media will promote some leakers while condemning others, depending on who the leaks are intended to harm. Daniel Ellsburg, who published leaked files regarding the Vietnam War, has been portrayed as a saint by the press and Hollywood for fifty years. When Julian Assange of Wikileaks published information that embarrassed the Bush Administration’s prosecution of the Iraq War, the press similarly lionized him, but when he published stolen emails from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, they turned on him, accusing him of being a Russian stooge, and celebrating his imprisonment without bail.
Nixon had worried that allowing Ellsburg to get away with publishing the so-called Pentagon Papers would be a green light to “every disgruntled bureaucrat in the government that he could leak anything he pleased while the government stood by.” The moment Donald Trump came into office in 2017, the members of the permanent bureaucracy began selective leaks intended to damage his ability to lead.
Not a month into the Trump Administration, anonymous leaks accused incoming National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn of lying about his contact with the Russian ambassador. A few months later, someone leaked that President Trump had used vulgar slang to refer to African nations in an off-the-record conversation. Newspapers later published leaked information about alleged collusion between President Trump and Russia, and FBI Director James Comey later admitted that he himself had leaked this in order to create demand for a Special Prosecutor – an endeavor in which he was successful.
The purpose of these leaks was to damage the Trump Administration as much as possible – both to sully its reputation in the eyes of the media and the American people, and to create the impression that Trump and his cabinet were engaged in criminal dishonesty.
President Nixon thought he could plug the leaks before they crippled his administration. He hired a team of young hotshot lawyers, including G. Gordon Liddy, to use clandestine methods to determine who was leaking secrets to the press. Many of these so-called “Plumbers” would end up indicted over the Watergate affair. In his memoirs, Nixon says that he authorized wiretaps on suspected leakers after being told by longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that this was standard procedure under the Johnson Administration. LBJ’s staffers later denied engaging in any such operations during their time in power, but I assume that every presidential administration bends the rules as much as possible. The lesson of Watergate was not that Nixon was an especially criminal president, but that the Deep State took a minor matter that was not vastly different from past administrations to destroy one that they despised.
One of biggest the reasons that the left hated Nixon was because he spoke plainly regarding their motives. Too many Republicans pretend that the disagreements between right and left are minor, and that most Democrats are good people operating in good faith. Nixon knew this was not the case:
“The extremists on the right of the Goldwater type would rather lose fighting for principle than to win by compromising principle. The extremists on the left, on the other hand, have usually shown that when the chips are down they will compromise principle in order to get power. This is why the communists usually beat the right-wingers, because the right-wingers are always fighting for principle, and the communists are willing to compromise principle until they get into power and then they, of course, crush out their opposition.”
The highest principle of the left is power. They will say anything, do anything, and even be anything to anyone in order to gain the power they seek. As the counterculture in the 1960s, the left demanded free speech and a seat at the table. Now that they have won the culture war, they reject the principles of freedom of speech and equal access to power. They have no problem censoring us and marginalizing us. Calling them hypocrites does no good because they do not care. They hold us to our own standards despite holding themselves to none. If conservatives are ever to win the battle of conserving our culture, they will need to stop pretending that the left acts in good faith. Nixon recognized this, perhaps too late, and Trump underestimated the willingness of the left to destroy the legitimacy of the government in order to oust him from power.
My friend Raheem Kassam of the National Pulse recently pointed out that despite screaming for four years about how the Trump Administration was breaking norms and precedents, they have been silent through two months of a regime that is anything but normal. Joe Biden is an obvious figurehead, completely removed from press access as well as the actual levers of power. As of this writing, he has yet to address Congress as most newly inaugurated presidents do. He finally gave a so-called press conference, more than two months into his term, and even that was a carefully choreographed affair with only the most pliable of media figures present. Our media assisted with a massive coup, one that involved misinformation, illegally changing voting procedures, and outright censorship, in order to get their party into office. Now they are covering the new regime with more slavish devotion than we ever saw with the Russian Pravda. This is the heart of left-wing political action – power at all costs.
Richard Nixon threatened that power. He had won a close election in 1968, but like Donald Trump at the beginning of 2020 he was cruising to a landslide in 1972 with plans to break the leftist stranglehold over our government and society.
“At the beginning of my second term, Congress, the bureaucracy, and the media were still working in concert to maintain the ideas and ideology of the traditional Eastern liberal establishment that had come down to 1973 through the New Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society. Now I planned to give expression to the more conservative values and beliefs of the New Majority throughout the country and use my power to put some teeth into my New American Revolution.”
Nixon wrote in his diary at the time that he feared this would be the last chance to reign in the permanent bureaucracy before it became too large to control. I think the events of the last five years have sadly proven President Nixon correct.
Nixon’s attempts to reform the bureaucracy in his first term were stymied by the very entrenched interests he threatened, so he hoped that the overwhelming mandate of the American people that was seen in his 49-state landslide in 1972 would give him the political capital to take on these interests. Nixon recognized that the expansion of federal power in the New Deal and the Great Society only made the permanent bureaucracy stronger. “We finally moved to reorganize, reduce, or abolish the remaining behemoths of the Great Society that had done little to aid the poor, and which were now primarily serving the interests of the federal bureaucrats who administered them.”
Nixon grew frustrated with the seeming apathy in his own party regarding the permanent bureaucracy. “It was one thing for the Democrats to hold all four aces in Washington—the Congress, the bureaucracy, the majority of the media, and the formidable group of lawyers and power-brokers who operate behind the scenes in the city. It was another thing to give them the fifth ace of a timid opposition party.”
Nixon wrote in his memoirs that he had briefly considered creating a new party rather than deal with the spineless Republican leadership. This too sounds familiar, as many on the right have loudly condemned the Republican establishment for their own apathy regarding the contested 2020 election and proclaimed a desire to start a third party based on national populist principles. The story of Richard Nixon reminds us that we have been dealing with quislings on our own side for many years now.
Unfortunately, we all know what happened after the 1972 election. Rather than allowing President Nixon to eviscerate them, the Deep State turned on him, using the Watergate affair to destroy his administration. Most Americans know the basics of Watergate. Members of President Nixon’s reelection team broke into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. The Nixon White House attempted to cover up the burglary, and two years of investigations and hearings resulted in the resignation of the President of the United States. Yet the truth of the matter is much more complex than how it is portrayed in popular culture. The same journalists and Hollywood movie-makers who have told the story of the crooked Richard Nixon want us to believe that Donald Trump was a fascist white supremacist who nearly destroyed our country, and that all good people stood up to oppose him, narrowly saving America from his evil. As Nixon said, it depends on who writes the history.
Both Nixon and Trump are reminders of how complicated the life of a president really is. Unlike pundits, podcasters, or journalists, the President of the United States does not have the luxury of unlimited time to follow the news or research current events. His job is to oversee the executive branch of our government, to command our armed forces, to carry out diplomatic functions as head of state, and to act as leader of his political party. An effective president must delegate work to his staff, which means that whoever he picks as Chief of Staff will wield enormous power in his administration. For President Trump, men such as General John Kelly and his son-in-law Jared Kushner were able to control and filter the information that the president received. Knowing absolutely everything that goes on in the White House is simply impossible for one man. Conservatives quickly learned that the best way to get a message directly to President Trump was for Tucker Carlson to say it on his show.
So it was in the Nixon White House as well. President Nixon had appointed his friend and law partner John Mitchell as Attorney General, and then later the head of his reelection committee. Special advisor John Ehrlichman and Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman also had enormous power to shape Nixon’s perspective on events. When the Watergate burglary occurred, Nixon trusted his staff’s assurances that it had nothing to do with anyone in the White House itself, and that it could be easily taken care of. When the scandal started growing, Nixon asked White House Counsel John Dean to get to the bottom of it, not knowing that Dean, Ehrlichman, Haldeman, and Mitchell were already up to their ears in the coverup. By the time Nixon himself realized how deep the problem went, his own words could already be used to implicate him in the coverup as well.
“We kept thinking that if we could only establish all the facts, then we could construct a way out of the situation that would minimize if not foreclose any possible criminal liability for the people involved. But we never felt confident of the facts, and every alternative course of action, from wholesale appearances before the grand jury to Special Prosecutors to presidential commissions, met with objections from one or the other of my aides and friends who suddenly found himself in a vulnerable position.”
The way Nixon tells it, he was just as adamant as the American people about figuring out the truth of the matter, but he seemed to have far too much faith in his own people. He trusted that Mitchell, Dean, Ehrlichman, and Haldeman were being honest and upfront with him, and probably waited too long to ask for their resignations. By protecting his men, Nixon would end up looking just as guilty as they were in the eyes of the American people. This perception gave the media and the Democratic Party just the excuse they were looking for. They could not beat Nixon in the election, they could not beat him in the polls, they could not beat him in the hearts of the silent majority, but they could beat him with Watergate.
“It was my belief then, and it is still my belief today, that the Democratic majority in Congress used the Watergate scandal as an excuse for indulging in a purposeful policy of ignoring and actually overriding the landslide mandate that my programs and philosophy had received in the 1972 election. Unfortunately, by the way I handled Watergate, I helped them do it.”
President Nixon eventually realized that the Watergate affair was not going to go away. His attempts to regain control of the country from what we now call the deep state bureaucracy had made him many enemies, and the press hated him with a passion not seen before or since – at least until the presidency of Donald Trump. Nixon saw that his enemies were going to use the Watergate scandal to utterly destroy him.
“And the instincts of twenty-five years in politics told me that I was up against no ordinary opposition. In this second term I had thrown down a gauntlet to Congress, the bureaucracy, the media, and the Washington establishment and challenged them to engage in epic battle.”
A DC judge convened a grand jury. The Democratic Senate began to hold hearings. White House Counsel John Dean stabbed Nixon in the back by testifying before Congress that the whole coverup had been masterminded by the president. The Department of Justice appointed a Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox, who turned the investigation into a fishing expedition.
“No White House in history could have survived the kind of operation Cox was planning. If he were determined to get me, as I was certain that he and his staff were, then given the terms of their charter it would be only a matter of time until they had bored like termites through the whole executive branch. The frustrating thing was that while I saw them as partisan zealots abusing the power I had given them in order to destroy me unfairly, the media presented them and the public largely perceived them as the keepers of the sacred flame of American justice against a wicked President and his corrupt administration.”
The press seized upon the Watergate affair as proof that their hated rival Nixon was a crook, and they ran with that narrative. The Senate hearings and Archibald Cox’s investigation turned the affair into a national circus as they desperately tried to find anything with which to destroy the president. They did not care about collateral damage.
Someone in the IRS leaked Nixon’s tax returns to the newspapers, and they published them without hesitation, implying all sorts of financial malfeasance that was later proven to be untrue. The IRS continues to be used as a political weapon today; recall that President Obama used the IRS to target right-wing groups during the Tea Party era. An IRS staffer later leaked some of President Trump’s tax returns to the left-wing Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, and the rest of the mainstream media predictably called it heroic.
The use of the IRS as a political tool frustrated Nixon: “The Democrats, while in office, had made little effort to camouflage their political pressure on the key government agencies. It seemed that even when they were out of power their supporters—particularly among the bureaucrats in the IRS—continued to do the job for them. I heard numerous reports—clearly too frequent to be coincidental—of close personal and political friends who had been subjected to constant and, in my view, vindictive, investigation by the IRS since the time I lost to Kennedy in 1960.”
The Deep State bureaucracy was mobilized not only against Nixon and Trump themselves, but against their families, their friends, and their supporters. President Nixon’s friend Bebe Rebozo faced hours of interrogation and testimony into his personal dealings, even those that had nothing to do with Nixon himself. It was as if the bureaucracy wanted to make examples out of the supporters of disfavored presidents, to warn the American people not to associate with them. President Trump’s son Eric recently spoke about the way the system came after them and their families. “I don’t think people realize what the Democrats tried to do to us. The way they weaponized the system. I got hundreds, hundreds, and hundreds of subpoenas. Every single day. The way they weaponized the legal system against us, the way they still do it. The way they are just out for blood. Anything they could do to take down our family, our friends. Anybody who came close to us.”
Nixon realized that Cox and his team were determined to destroy him by hook or by crook. He made the decision to fire the Special Prosecutor on Saturday, October 20, 1973. Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigned in protest rather than carry out the order, and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus did the same. The number three man in the Department of Justice, Solicitor General Robert Bork, disagreed with Nixon’s decision but believed he had the constitutional authority to do so, and so he carried out the order and fired Archibald Cox. Bork, of course, would later be nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1987, but Senators Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden would torpedo the nomination rather than allow a conservative constitutional scholar on the bench.
“Although I had been prepared for a major and adverse reaction to Cox’s firing, I was taken by surprise by the ferocious intensity of the reaction that actually occurred. For the first time I recognized the depth of the impact Watergate had been having on America; I suddenly realized how deeply its acid had eaten into the nation’s grain. As I learned of the almost hysterical reactions of otherwise sensible and responsible people to this Saturday night’s events, I realized how few people were able to see things from my perspective, how badly frayed the nerves of the American public had become. To the extent that I had not been aware of this situation, my actions were the result of serious miscalculation. But to the extent that it was simply intolerable to continue with Cox as Special Prosecutor, I felt I had no other option than to act as I did.”
Many historians believe that firing the Special Prosecutor sealed Richard Nixon’s fate. Of course, by the time Nixon fired Cox, he was already politically dead. Had he allowed him to continue eviscerating the White House in the name of finding the truth, he eventually would have come up with some crime with which to hang the president. It was a witch hunt, a fishing expedition, an attempt to fulfil the narrative that the president was a criminal. Compare and contrast Nixon’s experience with a Special Prosecutor with that of President Trump. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration in 2017, the Democrats and their media allies took action to cripple the new administration before it got off the ground. Crooked FBI agents used a perjury trap to oust Trump’s National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn. New Attorney General Jeff Sessions, still a southern gentleman who played by the rules and assumed his opponents were acting in good faith, recused himself from the investigation into Trump’s alleged connections with Russia. His deputy, Rod Rosenstein, appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a Special Prosecutor. Mueller would spend the next two years working with a team of anti-Trump partisans on a witch hunt not too different from that of Archibald Cox. Mueller’s appointment had been prompted after President Trump fired corrupt FBI Director James Comey, who as you remember had admitted to leaking information intended to damage the president. The media treated this firing as if it were Trump’s own Saturday Night Massacre, and warned that he would just end up firing Mueller as well. A bipartisan group in Congress even introduced legislation that would prevent Trump from exercising such control over an executive branch employee.
President Trump surely knew his history; he had seen the fallout that occurred when Nixon fired Archibald Cox, so he refrained from firing Mueller and let him complete his investigation. The crooked, senile old man let his staff continue investigating for months after he determined that there was no evidence of collusion with Russia. They managed to get indictments against tertiary officials such as Paul Manafort and Roger Stone for things that had nothing to do with President Trump. Mueller and his team deliberately withheld their findings until after the 2018 midterm elections, knowing that the uncertainty would help Democrats in close races. It worked, and the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010.
Despite this apparent exoneration, the media and their Democratic allies continued the witch hunt by any means necessary. Deep state toadies Eric Ciaramella and Alexander Vindman leaked information suggesting that Trump engaged in political quid pro quo in a phone call with the President of Ukraine. Despite Trump quickly releasing the official transcripts of the call that completely refuted these accusations, the Democratic House nevertheless impeached the president in one of the most insane farces our government has ever engaged in. President Trump was exonerated by the GOP Senate, but the years of investigations and attacks severely curtailed his ability to lead the nation. While Trump had some successes in foreign policy, namely détente with North Korea and peace in the Middle East, his bold plan to drain the deep state swamp was handicapped, just as Nixon’s was. The lesson here is that once the deep state decides to attack a president, there is little he can do to stop them. Once a Special Prosecutor is appointed, a Republican president does not have many viable options. He either allows him to waste time and resources on a witch hunt that will eventually turn up something the media can turn into a scandal, or he fires him and brings down the wrath of the media for supposedly interfering in a nonpartisan investigation.
In the leadup to his inauguration, President Trump had denounced the deep state, saying that the so-called intelligence community was out of control. Powerful Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York mocked him, saying “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Indeed, they did.
The final shoe to drop in the Watergate scandal was the White House tapes. According to Nixon, President Johnson had used a secret taping system, as had Kennedy before him, to record certain conversations in the White House for the benefit of posterity. JFK, for example, had secretly recorded Air Force General Curtis LeMay and others speaking candidly about their disappointment with Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Nixon thought this was a great idea. Not only would he have access to unaltered records of what was actually said, perhaps as a way to counter selective leaks to the press, but future historians would have access to those records as well. Unfortunately, a staffer let slip the existence of the taping system during Senate hearings on Watergate, and the race was on to subpoena those tapes. In his memoirs, Nixon wonders if he should have destroyed the tapes before a subpoena was issued, but that would probably have been just as harmful to his cause as the tapes themselves. The president fought all the way to the Supreme Court, citing privacy and executive privilege, but the Court was in no mood to defer to a president in his situation. They demanded he turn over the tapes, and once he did, they revealed that Nixon had been working to mitigate the political fallout from Watergate far earlier than he had admitted to the public. The press called it the “smoking gun”.
Richard Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974, preferring to spare the country the trauma of enduring a presidential impeachment. He spent the remaining twenty years of his life reforming his image as an elder statesman of the Republican Party and as one of the leading diplomatic minds in America. Hollywood and news media continue to treat him as the ultimate American villain, however, and continue making movies and stories about the brave reporters who took him down. John Dean, the White House attorney who took part in the coverup, then stabbed Nixon in the back, spent the Bush years as mainstream media’s favorite “Republican” who could always be counted on to trash conservatives.
There is a striking similarity between Nixon and Trump, and that is in their foreign policy successes. President Nixon oversaw an end to the Vietnam War, the beginning of détente with the Soviet Union, and the opening of relations with China after more than twenty years of isolation. President Trump was the first American president to meet with the leader of North Korea, successfully challenged China on trade, and had more success with peace in the Middle East than any US president in generations. Yet neither man received credit for these victories. The deep state and international globalist elites do not want peace, because they gain more power and influence through endless low-level war. Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for absolutely no reason, and then continued our military adventures in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya, using unmanned drones to kill hundreds if not thousands of people. Nixon too did not get much respect for his foreign policy. Despite opposition to the Vietnam War being the motivating factor for a decade of left-wing protests, the moment the war ended the same protestors continued to use any excuse to attack the president. The specter of Watergate has drowned out Nixon’s foreign policy in the annals of history.
Time will tell how history will treat Donald J. Trump. As Nixon said, it depends on who writes the history. Trump did not resign, rather he had his presidency stolen in a series of coups over the course of the fateful year of 2020. None of the scandals dreamed up by our hostile media managed to land on him, and he survived an unprecedented two impeachments. Unlike Nixon, who was on tape saying things that were contrary to what he said the American people, the Democrats and their media allies were never able to find a “smoking gun” against Trump. Their much-vaunted dossier turned out to be fiction and innuendo, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation with no evidence that Trump had done anything wrong or illegal.
Nevertheless, the media painted President Trump’s departure from the White House as if they had successfully defeated the worst fascist Nazi in American history. They are writing their skewed history as we speak. When the border wall is inevitably torn down, our media will treat it like the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. When the Southern District of New York indicts Trump for whatever nonsense they conjure up, media will treat it like the Nuremburg Trials. They have already decided on their narrative. They will not allow Trump to present himself as an elder statesman as Nixon did. They will do their best to put him in jail, or worse, and they will do their best to brand as criminal insurrectionists anyone who supported him. They have already made their lists.
Richard Nixon’s biggest regret was watching his friends and family endure horrific treatment by the media and the Democrats simply for the crime of being his friends and family. The constant drumbeat of accusations from the media and the left, along with the ability of the Special Counsel and the Senate committees to subpoena anything and everything had a chilling effect on Nixon’s relationships. “Too many who had tried to defend me in the past had been burned, and many no longer felt sufficiently confident or motivated to take further risks for me.”
See again how the left uses this same tactic today. They used every lever of power at their disposal to make life miserable not only for President Trump, but for anyone who supported or even associated with him. Robert Mueller threw Paul Manafort in prison for the same crimes that John Podesta got away with. The FBI sent swat teams and CNN cameramen to Roger Stone’s house in an early-morning raid, as if a man near seventy years old was going to resist arrest. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski threatened to dox a random young man who made a meme of Trump punching the CNN logo. These are not the actions of an objective media, but one that considers itself an omnipotent ruling class.
Not only has American news media has appointed itself the fourth branch of government, but they also seem to think they rule the other three. According to Nixon’s memoirs, one of the Congressmen who was most outspoken in favor of impeachment later said that Nixon would never have been forced from office if the press did not desire it. Nixon also pointed out that after months of leaks, innuendo, and hysterical headlines, the media needed to destroy him to save their own credibility. Rumors about Nixon’s complicity in the scandal were front page above-the-fold headlines, while vindication was always buried on page thirty-nine. When we see the media use this same play today, remember that it is the same playbook they have been using for more than fifty years.
I suggest that there are three lessons to take away from the stories of Richard Nixon and Donald Trump:
The first lesson is that this war for the soul of America has been going on for far longer than we like to think. The deep state did not suddenly spring to life during the Obama Administration, and globalist control of American government is not a recent development. Nixon saw it, tried to stop it, and they destroyed him. The relative success of the Reagan Administration might have lulled us into a false sense of security regarding the danger posed by the permanent bureaucracy. The Deep State is content to work with any president, Republican or Democrat, so long as he carries out their will and does not threaten their power.
The second lesson is that the deep state will absolutely destroy anyone who threatens their power. Republican voters and pundits who think a kinder, gentler Trump might have had more success are fooling themselves – Trump’s fighting instinct is the only reason he had as much success as he did. Every political figure has potential scandals that can be turned into crises anytime the deep state and media want to – look at how the knives are coming out for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo now that they have decided to replace him with someone more compliant to their globalist aims. We should not look at the media narratives about Nixon and Trump and come away believing that they were crooks, rather that they were taking fire because they were over the target.
Finally, the most important lesson to take away from Nixon and Trump is that the right president will not necessarily save us. The problems of America have grown too large for one man to fix on his own. Repairing the damage done to the American soul by globalism and the deep state must start at the ground up, not the top down. Already I see people on the right debating who should run for president in 2024. Will Trump come back? What about Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida or Kristi Noem of South Dakota? Maybe a media personality like Tucker Carlson, or a billionaire like Peter Thiel. In my opinion, this is all an exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. America is a sinking ship, and Trump – for all his passion, all his instincts, all his accomplishments – only delayed the inevitable, and was in the end outmaneuvered by the very deep state swamp he promised to drain. What else can we expect from a president?
Despite the bully pulpit, executive orders, and the biggest megaphone in the world, the office of President of the United States is not all-powerful. Many on the right were disappointed that President Trump did not do more to stop the steal in 2020, such as declaring martial law or invoking the Insurrection Act. However, who knows what would have happened if he had tried? Would his staff have obeyed his orders? Would the military have carried out his commands? Would the Congress have allowed him to proceed, or would they have immediately impeached and convicted him?
Richard Nixon came into office in 1968, determined to dismantle the permanent bureaucracy that had grown through thirty-five years of depression, war, and tumult, yet rather than draining that swamp, he was consumed by it. Donald Trump came into office in 2016, when the deep state had been in power for the better part of a century, and he too fell short. Trump, like Nixon before him, did the best he could with the information and tools he had available to him, and it still was not enough.
History shows that no empire lasts forever, and America’s time is almost up. We cannot escape the fate of the Romans, the Mongols, the Ottomans, or the British. Like Rome in the 5th century, the real power is not the titular emperor – or president – but instead the shadows behind the scenes who have the power to raise a man to high office, or to destroy him. We must stop looking for rescue from the White House, or from the DC establishment. Our temporal salvation will not come from the right person moving in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but when each and every one of us steps up to protect our families, our communities, and our states from the tyranny emanating out of Washington DC. You will do a lot more good for your country and your posterity by getting involved in local politics than you will by donating to a Trump 2024 campaign fund. Nobody is coming to save us. Your future is in your hands.
The same media that tells us that Donald Trump is a fascist told us that Richard Nixon was a crook. Yet that media had a vested interest in seeing both men destroyed. What happened to Richard Nixon, and how can it help explain what happened to Donald Trump?
Note: Twice in the podcast I say that Joe Biden has been in power for “three months”. While it feels like it has been that long, it has actually been slightly longer than two months since the inauguration. We regret the error.