From the Ground Up

Throughout the month of June 2020, a motley group of black activists, antifa rioters, and lazy bums occupied half a dozen city blocks in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. This Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or Capitol Hill Occupy Protest, depending on who you ask, stood for weeks as a symbol of inspiration for the socialist left and of derisive mockery for those on the right. The day after protesters claimed the streets and put up barricades, Seattle’s extreme left-wing mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted, “The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone is not a lawless wasteland of anarchist insurrection – it is a peaceful expression of our community’s collective grief and their desire to build a better world.” A month later, after several people were murdered in street fights in the CHAZ and the protesters made their way to her house, Durkan began singing a different tune. Finally allowed to do their jobs, the Seattle Police Department quickly cleared the occupation.

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The CHAZ was an example of left-wing localism, and like most left-wing attempts at community autonomy it failed spectacularly. Some people in the CHAZ started a garden, but it was clear from most of the pictures that they had no clue as to what they were doing. If not for the pizzas delivered from a nearby Dominos, the denizens of the CHAZ might well have starved long ago. These people had absolutely no plan for self-sufficiency. The city of Seattle generously provided them with portable toilets – I hate to think about what it would have smelled like without them, much less with them. The modern socialist conception of community is a bunch of activists holding hands, singing songs, speaking truth to power, spraying graffiti on other peoples’ property, and marching for some vague and undefined concept of justice. However, they have no plan for food, water, waste, electricity, or the other things that separate humanity from the animal kingdom. Many of us on the right at least share the desire to escape the system. We envy our forefathers who left Old Europe for the New World, and then left the crowded east coast for the Old West. Many of us dream of escaping the rat race and building a cabin in the woods or a ranch in the prairie.

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The socialist believes that human nature can be changed, with greed and ambition able to be removed from ourselves so that we can live in perfect cooperation. Left-wing communities are built upon this idea, relying on the cooperation of its members to survive. We all know that human nature is in fact unchangeable, which is why these experiments inevitably fail. Conservatives know that mankind is greedy and ambitious, and so our communities are based on the idea that we all contribute to society by doing what is best for ourselves and our families. Most right-wing experiments in self-sufficiency are never heard of because they quietly succeed. Only in cases where something goes horribly wrong, such as at Ruby Ridge or Waco, do they make the news. On the other hand, left-wing experiments usually fail, as the CHAZ did. The Oneida community in New York was a proto-socialist commune that existed for a few decades in the mid-19th century, which was still more successful than the hippy communes that have been tried ever since. It is ironic that, for all their socialist pretensions, the people of the CHAZ developed social structures such as walls and barricades, armed security, and strict vetting of visitors – the same things for which they call President Trump “fascist”.

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The left-wing socialist worldview is of a nation built from the top down. They believe that the ideal government is one where all the smartest people are in charge, micromanaging the entire country from a distant capital. This sort of central planning means that government bureaucrats will decide how much money you earn, what goods and services will cost, what your children must learn in school, and how the land in your city or town is used. Government officials will decide what is allowed on television or YouTube, and what you can say on social media, in print, and even in person. Many leftist pundits and politicians in America look longingly at Communist China, where the government can decide to raze a village to put up a new factory, run freeways across any piece of land they please, or force millions of people to move across the country, all in the name of industrial progress. Here in the United States we have pesky things like property rights that get in the way of these utopian dreams. Many leftist pundits also envy the ability of the Chinese Communist Party to censor speech and control thought, and want to bring that to America as well.

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It was this very idea of a distant tyranny that our founding fathers rebelled against in 1776. King George III and his Parliament had tried to micromanage the colonies from across the Atlantic Ocean. Many of these colonies had developed from the ground up – creating their own charters and representative governments – and they naturally resented the control exerted by their faraway monarch. They declared their independence, not only from Great Britain, but eventually from the idea of monarchy altogether. The new United States government would be one in which power ultimately resided with the people, growing from the ground up rather than the top down. The very words of the Declaration of Independence speak to this idea: “…to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” This was indeed a revolution against the idea that kings were chosen by God to rule a people, or even that kings derived their powers from the consent of their lords. America was a populist nation from the very beginning.

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The original thirteen states met together as sovereign bodies to form a confederation, joining themselves together under one flag for the purposes of defense and organization. The question of whether these sovereign states had the right to ever leave this confederation was not firmly answered until the Civil War. For the first century of the United States, the government in Washington DC was not interested in micromanaging the lives of its citizens, but instead remained focused on big picture issues. It was not until the progressive revolution of the early 20th century and the enormous expansions of federal power through the New Deal and Great Society that the federal government became interested in your personal life.

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Today we find ourselves in an essentially totalitarian society, where a central government influences almost everything in our lives, and there is no way to escape its reach. The federal government has become an invisible yet ever-present third party to nearly every interaction and transaction within our communities. Every industry has mountains of federal regulations that businessmen must navigate lest they be fined out of existence, and that is on top of regulations at the state and city levels. Because our national bureaucracy has grown so powerful, activists on all sides spend a lot of time, energy, and cash to take control of that beast of a federal government. More than two billion dollars was spent in the 2016 presidential race, while more than ten billion was spent in House and Senate races in each of the last two election years. Every two and four years we fight like mad to see who controls the whole thing, while mostly ignoring what is happening at the local level. Too few Americans can name the president, vice-president, and their state’s senators and congressman. Of those who can, how many can name their own mayor and city council, or county commissioners? This is surely not how our founding fathers intended for this country to work.

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The strongest civilizations in world history were always built from the ground up. The Roman orator Cicero summed it up over two thousand years ago: “The first bond of society is marriage; the next, our children; then the whole family and all things in common.” A man and a woman join themselves in marriage, which is the lowest and strongest bond in society. From that marriage come children, a family. These families join with people of the same background, the same beliefs, and the same common heritage to form communities. These communities form cities, and then states, and then a nation. Former House Speaker Tip O’Neil was fond of saying that “all politics is local.” The place where you can exert the most influence as at the lowest level – first in your own family, and then in your community, and then in your state.

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A community is a group of people who trust each other. When a group of people shares a common culture and heritage, trust is high. There are still small towns in America where people do not feel the need to lock their doors at night, and where a man’s word is still his bond. A community where everyone knows everyone else, speaks the same language, goes to the same church, and trusts each other is one in which people do not fear being taken advantage of, or accosted by strangers and criminals. These are small remnants of what once made America great in the first place. Think about life before telecommunications were invented: A man’s community was everything to him. The life of a solitary mountain man was not for most people. A man and his neighbors shared and traded with each other, often went to the same church, and belonged to the same fraternal organizations. If there was a war to be fought, all the men of the community would join up together, and even fight together. For the pioneer and the city-dweller alike, community was life, but solitude was death.

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Telephones and automobiles began the process of scattering communities across the country, while jet airplanes made it possible to go anywhere in the USA in less time than it took a man on foot to walk to the nearest town. Today, the internet enables a man to live in a cabin in the woods and still make a decent living working from home. The modern world has dissolved our old communities, leaving more than three hundred million Americans each with our own individual connections to the central government rather than to each other. Whereas atomization and solitude were deadly in the old days, now it is almost encouraged. Turn on the news, or social media, and you can join with millions of other spectators in watching the daily life of politicians, celebrities, actors, and musicians, while remaining blissfully unaware of what is going on in your own neighborhood. Such an atomized society is in danger of becoming entirely dependent on a central government to meet their needs, rather than trusting our own local communities. As our connections with the rest of the country have grown, we have gone from being a high trust society to a low trust society. We have become familiar with the national news stories and personalities while fearing the unknown in our own neighborhoods. Hence, we lock our doors.

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While many conservatives were focused at the top – the White House, the Senate, the Supreme Court – the left slowly and surely took over our communities. Over the past few years, various left-wing groups – many of whom are funded by George Soros – have been spending a great deal of money to get their candidates elected to local positions such as District Attorney and Secretary of State. What the right realized perhaps too late is that people in these positions have much more opportunity to influence or even ruin our lives and our communities than do the people in Washington DC. We have all seen the stories about rioters being released from jail with no charges filed by Democratic prosecutors while law-abiding people who host a church service or open a hair salon in violation of the coronavirus lockdown face prison time. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, a black man running for reelection amid his own scandals, charged the police officer who killed Rayshard Brooks last month with felony murder, even though the officer was just doing his job. Just this week, a California couple was charged with a hate crime for painting over a giant “Black Lives Matter” mural that was stenciled into a city street. The District Attorney charging the couple is Diana Becton, who was elected in 2018 with support from a George Soros-funded political action committee. Elections matter; local elections matter!

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I often lament the anarcho-tyranny that is going on throughout our society, but in a way, we have let this happen. While we were distracted by the national stories and the political horse races, the left just walked in and took control of our cities and towns. We tend to grow complacent during good times, taking for granted our local elective offices and figuring that they will continue to operate as they always have. We look at the presidential election map, see that our state has been red for the last fifty years, and figure everything will be okay. Then one day we wake up and see our local prosecutor is charging a driver for failing to allow themselves to be beaten by an angry mob. We see our local elections officials certifying obviously fraudulent votes. We see our local Republican leadership suddenly full of progressives who took over the party because they were willing to spend the time and energy to do it while we sat at home posting on Twitter. We look at the electoral map and suddenly realize we are living in a blue state.

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to represent my community as an alternate delegate at my state’s Republican Convention. Political conventions are one of the few remaining expressions of pure American tradition, along with county fairs, rodeos, and high school football games. (Is it any wonder that these are the things are being canceled by extreme left-wing governors?) It was at this event that the state party platform was finalized, that party officers were elected, and that measures were drafted to be sent to the GOP representatives in the legislature. This is where the direction of the ship of our state was decided. Over the next few months, the engine of that ship will be revved as party volunteers work hard to get out the vote for Republican candidates.

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I know that the Republican Party is far from perfect. They tend to pander for minority votes, they are far too quick to apologize, and they often attack our own side with much more vigor than they spend fighting the left. However, elections in America are usually a binary choice, and the Republican candidate is almost always going to be the better option for liberty and freedom. Third parties in America simply do not work. At the presidential level, a third party has not won a single electoral vote since 1968, when Governor George Wallace carried the South. Libertarians and Greens sometimes gain ground at the local level, but like most of us their attention is usually diverted by the national elections. Whatever political capital the Libertarians gain at the local level is always wasted on quixotic campaigns by candidates like Gary Johnson or Jo Jorgenson. The best way for American patriots to fight for the cause of liberty is to work within your local Republican Party. Local politics are important, but 99% of people simply go to the polls for the big elections and assume that everything else is in good hands. It is up to you to be those hands.

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A great example of this is the 2012 Republican presidential primary. Mitt Romney became the nominee, while outspoken libertarian Ron Paul came in a distant third. However, many young people were inspired by Paul’s stance on liberty and so made the time to gain influence in their local parties. They pushed for more liberty-minded positions in the party platform and took over many party officers’ seats. Actions like these are not as exciting as presidential rallies, but they make a difference over time. One could argue that the groundwork for President Trump in 2016 was at least partly laid by the Ron Paul faction in 2012. We tend to think about party leadership being comprised of a brahman class of Ivy Leaguers sitting around making rules in distant smoky rooms, but like America herself, the parties are built from the ground up. One day you go to a local party meeting, the next you are at the convention, you volunteer to knock on some doors, and in a few years you are a Precinct Committee Officer, or a District Chairman, or even the State Chairman. The future belongs to those who show up.

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In general, the Right wants to be left alone, while the Left wants to impose a totalitarian socialist state. This puts us at a disadvantage right off the bat. Many on our side did not even realize we were under attack until it was too late. Astoundingly, there are some who still do not take the left’s war on America seriously. Some on the right still give the left the benefit of the doubt, assuming that we can all peacefully disagree over policy. Some still believe that we can vote our way out of this mess, or that the courts are going to save us. Many on the right assume that when the shooting starts, our side will easily win. None of these things are guaranteed. The left is organized, while we are not. The left has a vision of what their America could be, while we cling to rose-colored memories of the America that was.

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No man is an island. As much as we all fantasize about retreating to our wilderness redoubts and holing up in our guarded compounds to wait out the coming storm, that is not realistic for most people. Security will not be found in mountain hideouts but in your local community. We must regain the sense of community that our forefathers took for granted, before telephones, the internet, and 24/7 cable news directed our attention elsewhere. As the entropy of our nation increases, the importance of maintaining close ties with your neighbors grows. When the federal government finally collapses under its own weight, then it will be up to governors and legislatures to lead their sovereign states again, as it was before the Civil War. If the socialist left completes their revolution and takes over Washington DC, then the strongest resistance will be from solid red states such as Oklahoma, Wyoming, South Dakota, Idaho, and West Virginia. In states that have already fallen to the progressive revolution such as New York or California, remember that many counties in these states remain solidly conservative. Once secession starts happening – and mark my words, it will, one way or another – these red counties will find themselves united as lines on the map are redrawn.

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As the decline and fall of the United States continues accelerating in the coming years it is important to know who will have your back. All politics is local, and America is built from the ground up. The time to start building community is today. You can find allies all around you: in your local political party, your local Chamber of Commerce, gun clubs, homeschool groups, and even neighborhood associations. If you look around and find that you are the only conservative in your city, then perhaps it is time to move. Remember, though, that our media has a vested interest in convincing us that we stand alone. They fear a united conservative citizenry in America. Even in blue states and blue cities, there might be more on our side than you think. Perhaps they are waiting for you to reach out and build the bonds that will form a new community. Just as it was three hundred years ago, solitude means death, but the tribe, the community, will live. The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Build your pack today so you can survive what is coming tomorrow.

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Banned From Twitter

I assumed that I would eventually be banned from Twitter. They eventually come for all truth-tellers: Milo Yiannopoulos, Zerohedge, Laura Loomer, Katie Hopkins… they will surely ban President Trump the moment they think they can get away with it. This week, the priestly censors came for me.

Oddly enough, it was not for my viral tweet suggesting that, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, that President Trump should rule like a king. It was not for my habitual use of the “drooling retard” meme. It was not even for my retweets of notorious thought criminals like Nick Fuentes, Ann Coulter, or Jon Del Arroz. No, it was for an entirely innocuous tweet reminiscing about the boxes of food that graced my kitchen counter as a child:

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Perhaps an algorithm went overboard looking for any mention of Aunt Jemima, after the Quaker Oats company inexplicably bowed to mob pressure to remove the character from their artificial syrup products. Rather than deleting the tweet and serving my twelve hour sentence, I appealed, because this ban was capricious and absurd.

Thirty-six hours later, no response. Sure, it would have been quicker in retrospect to simply give in. But that is what they want us all to do. They want us to simply accept their arbitrary and capricious rules, granting them the moral authority to determine what speech is acceptable in the public square. I do not wish to grant them that legitimacy. Twitter, Facebook, and Google have captured a near-monopoly of social media discourse, and are now using their power to decide what we are allowed to discuss. It is long past time for the government to treat these companies as common carriers. The phone company is not allowed to disconnect you because you said something they disagreed with; so it should be with social media.

I am just a small person in the grand scheme of things; a writer and thinker with a few hundred followers. This (hopefully temporary) ban does not impact my ability to pay the bills or provide for my family. What if it did, though? What if I had a business that relied on Twitter or other social media outlets to gain and maintain clients? What if I sold books or other content through social media? Social media companies should not have the power to ruin someone’s livelihood on the whim of some low-level social justice warrior employee. I know of many content creators on YouTube who were making a good living, only for the company to suddenly demonetize their entire library without explanation. This is wrong, but this is also a warning that we should be careful about relying on companies that hate us.

I have learned a few things from this short vacation from Twitter. First, I did not realize how much I had come to rely on Twitter to keep up on breaking news. I do not watch TV, and I generally stay away from big news websites. I follow a wide enough variety of people on Twitter that if something important or interesting happens, I hear about it fairly quickly. For the past two days I have felt like I am living in a bubble, blissfully unaware of what is going on in the wider world.

Second, there exists an entire alternate universe of people who have been banned by mainstream social media. The problem with finding free speech replacements for Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube is that there are so many options. The reason Twitter is the modern day public square is because that is where the public is. No other platform has as many people, from President Trump himself to CEOs, journalists, professors, authors, movie producers, and millions of regular people like me. Every alternative platform bills itself as the new and better Twitter, but how do you choose? One exile might choose Gab, another chooses Parler, another chooses Minds, and another chooses Mastadon. Scott Adams recently promoted Locals, while Ramzpaul has moved over to Slug. If you want to keep in touch with them all, you have to sign up for half a dozen new services. Nobody has time for that.

In any case, I signed up for Parler and followed a few people. It looks like Twitter, but many of the people who post there are exiles from Twitter. Conservative activist Laura Loomer, for example, was banned from all the mainstream social media sites years ago, but she has a prominent presence on Parler. She is currently running for Congress in Florida and seems to be the frontrunner. Yet she is not allowed to speak on most social media platforms. That sounds like election interference to me.

Finally, with so much happening in the world I was hoping to do another livestream soon, but I realized that most of the people who would be interested in watching are on… Twitter. That is where most of my audience is. Streaming without Twitter would be like talking to myself in an empty room. Clearly I need to diversify my presence on the web.

Again, I am just small potatoes here. I doubt I was targeted in any way; most likely an algorithm was too aggressive and Twitter just drags their feet on appeals as a matter of policy. My story, as well as those of the much more prominent writers and thinkers who have been summarily banned, shows that we need regulation of this new public square in order to ensure our speech remains free. Libertarians can argue all they want about how Twitter, Facebook, and Google are “private companies” but the simple truth remains that these companies have enormous power over what can and cannot be discussed in public. In an age when schoolchildren are being doxxed for not sufficiently supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and where public figures are being fired and blacklisted for holding beliefs that run counter to the social justice zeitgeist, the need for free speech is greater than ever. We, who hold truth as a virtue, must fight for the right to speak that truth in public. The alternative is to give in to the persecution; to become an underground resistance to the totalitarian thought police.

I hope to have my Twitter account back soon. I will not give in, unless they force it, but I will wait out the appeal. In the meantime, find me on Gab and Parler, and maybe a few more alternative platforms soon. I also encourage you to visit and subscribe to the blog’s Telegram channel for updates and discussion.

Barack Obama, Not Donald Trump, Broke American Politics

Dan Carlin is one of the best podcasters in the business. While it takes him six months to put together just a single episode of the Hardcore History podcast, it is always worth the wait. He tells the story of what happened in history like few others can. In addition to Hardcore History, he has another podcast called Common Sense where he discusses current events within the context of history, sort of like the one published here. He presents himself as a centrist, which works well for teaching history, but listening to Common Sense makes it clear that he has a left-wing worldview. On a recent episode, Carlin was talking about why he thought President Trump was different than his predecessors, pointing out his Twitter account, exaggerated rhetoric, and executive orders as things that were not normal for the office of the Chief Executive. His point seemed to be that the unprecedented resistance to President Trump – from news media, both the Democratic and Republican party establishments, and even from within the federal government itself – was fomented, even justified, by Trump’s apparent perversion of normal politics.

With respect and trepidation, I must disagree with Mr. Carlin. I suggest that it was Barack Obama, not Donald Trump, that broke presidential politics.

Let us go back to the beginning. The peaceful transfer of power is one of the defining characteristics of American governance. Throughout world history, succession has always been a flash point for conflict. Medieval societies codified the rules of monarchy and primogeniture precisely to avoid a civil war every time the old ruler died. You can see that kind of chaos in 3rd century Rome, where a new emperor rose every couple of years in the midst of nearly constant conflict. Even with these rules, conflict still arose at the margins. When King Henry I of England died, he had no sons (his son and heir Henry the Young King had died in a shipwreck.) He had named his daughter Matilda as his heir, but a woman succeeding to the throne was not one of the commonly agreed upon rules, so conflict followed. The lords of England supported a cousin of the royal family, Stephen, and this led to decades of conflict called the Anarchy. This is also why King Henry VIII was so obsessed with producing a son: his dynasty would fall into chaos if he did not ensure the succession.

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In 1788, George Washington won a unanimous vote of the electors to become the first President of the United States. He was reelected in 1792 but chose not to run for a third term in 1796. This is important: had he run, he would have easily won again, and likely would have died in office. This would have established the precedent that the presidency was a life term, and future presidents would also have stayed in office until they died. Instead, Washington stepped down, establishing the precedent that presidents should not seek more than two terms in office. His successor was his Vice President, John Adams. When Adams ran for reelection in 1800, something remarkable happened: he lost. Adams was challenged by his Vice President Thomas Jefferson, a one-time friend who was now a fierce rival. In many nations throughout history, even to this day, when an incumbent leader loses an election he does not go quietly into retirement, but instead uses his remaining power to invalidate the election and remain in office. Sometimes he uses the military to arrest his opponent. Yet Adams did none of these things. Though stung by the rejection of his country and the ascendance of his rival, he did not throw a national tantrum but instead simply packed his things and went home to his farm in Massachusetts.

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This too established a precedent. Every four years, the American people had an opportunity to replace their leader with someone else. In 1824, when no candidate received a majority of electors, the House of Representatives selected John Quincy Adams, despite the fact that General Andrew Jackson had received the most popular votes. Rather than raising an army and marching on Washington, as a jilted Roman general might have done, Jackson instead traveled the country speaking out against what he called the corrupt bargain made between President Adams and Congress. Four years later, Jackson was overwhelmingly elected to the presidency, and continued his populist campaign for two terms.

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Even election 1860 was not a departure from the doctrine of a peaceful transfer of power. When Abraham Lincoln was elected president, the southern states who feared his abolitionist aims did not raise their militias and set out to stop him from occupying the White House. Instead, they voted to leave the union. While northerners considered this an act of insurrection, it was not violent – they simply chose to leave rather than trying to work with a leader that they detested. It was Lincoln who raised troops and invaded the South.

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Franklin Roosevelt was the first to break the two-term precedent. He was first elected in 1932, taking power early the following year. Little did the American people know that they had just elected a president-for-life. By 1940, the Depression was nearly over, but war loomed on the horizon. Hitler had invaded Poland in September 1939 and was threatening France and Britain. President Roosevelt was committed to supporting the Allies, but isolationist sentiment in the United States prevented him from too much outright support. As the election of 1940 approached, Roosevelt decided that he himself was the indispensable man in America, and that nobody else could possibly have the knowledge and experience to handle the coming crisis. Note that this is the same rationale used by every dictator throughout history.

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Roosevelt won a third term in convincing fashion, partly by campaigning as an opponent of American involvement in the escalating war. Pearl Harbor changed that, and Roosevelt led America into World War II. With the war going well and Roosevelt’s popularity sky-high in 1944, Roosevelt saw no reason to step down, easily winning a fourth term. Party insiders were well aware of the president’s ill health, but rather than admitting this to the American people, they instead made sure that Vice President Henry Wallace was replaced on the ticket by their preferred man, Senator Harry Truman of Missouri. Roosevelt would die just weeks after being sworn in for his fourth term, and Harry Truman would be forced to deal with the ramifications of the war, including having to make the decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan.

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In his hubris, Franklin Roosevelt had given in to the temptation that George Washington had wisely resisted. George Washington was called “the American Cincinattus” for following in the footsteps of the famous Roman dictator who laid down his power when the crisis was over. Roosevelt, on the other hand, could rightly be called the American Caesar. Many dictators throughout history start off as democratically elected leaders, only to consolidate their power and remain in office until they are deposed or die in office. Adolf Hitler, in fact, became Chancellor of Germany the same year that Roosevelt became President, and died just a few weeks after Roosevelt did. There will always some new crisis or problem that necessitates the suspension of the normal precedents and rules. Roosevelt cited the ongoing Depression and the outbreak of war in Europe as reasons to abandon the old norms. Hitler had used the Reichstag fire as an excuse to grant himself emergency powers. Just this year we have had governors and mayors using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to exercise invasive powers at every level of society, while the civil unrest of the past few weeks will surely lead to ever more expanded government powers. It is the same playbook every time.

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After the death of President Roosevelt, things mostly returned to normal in the White House. American voters, concerned about the another FDR coming along someday, gave the Republicans a large majority in both the House and the Senate who proceeded to pass the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution which prohibited future presidents from serving more than two terms. While President Truman decried this as an unconstitutional constraint upon the will of the voters, he retired in 1952, his prosecution of the Korean War leaving him deeply unpopular. Every president thereafter left office and entered a quiet retirement. Rather than continuing to fight political battles, former presidents instead worked on cementing their legacy, building their libraries, and engaging in non-partisan work for various charities. In the latter half of the 20th century, former presidents rarely criticized their successors. We resumed the tradition of the peaceful transfer of power. For example, after a contentious election in 1960, the losing candidate Vice President Richard Nixon dutifully attended the inauguration of the incoming President John Kennedy. In 1976, Jimmy Carter defeated President Gerald Ford, yet Ford graciously attended Carter’s inauguration as well. It is important for the American people to see their leaders, who might have viciously attacked each other on the campaign trail, come together and engage in the same rituals that have accompanied our presidential transitions ever since the time of George Washington.

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The contested presidential election of 2000 was the last great stress test of our political system. When the ballots were counted, Governor George W. Bush of Texas had defeated Vice President Al Gore by a few hundred votes in Florida, giving Bush just enough electoral votes to win the presidency. A general recount in Florida confirmed this victory. The Gore campaign sued in order to keep counting past the deadline, as well as to do extra hand recounts in pro-Democratic counties. The Supreme Court voted 7-2 that recounting only blue counties violated the equal protection clause, and 5-4 that Florida could not continue counting past the deadline. George W. Bush was duly inaugurated president on January 20, 2001. To his credit, Al Gore did not raise an army and march on Washington, though some of his supporters surely wished he had. The Democrats complained and stewed for the next four years, but they allowed the system to work. I am not so sure that this same situation would have had the same outcome if it occurred in the contentious time we live in today.

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When Donald Trump was inaugurated president in January of 2017, President Barack Obama sat nearby, as is tradition. What appeared to be the usual peaceful transfer of power was actually cover for a secret coup that had already been set in motion. Nobody knew at the time that Obama had been secretly working with the FBI and the Justice Department to spy on the campaign and transition team of President-Elect Trump. Nobody knew that Obama, Susan Rice, Sally Yates, James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and even Vice President Joe Biden were all involved in a plot to wiretap the Trump campaign and to fabricate evidence that they were somehow colluding with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election and subvert American democracy. This conspiracy makes President Nixon’s coverup of the Watergate burglary look petty by comparison. While not quite on the level of using the military to prevent an opposing leader from coming to power, this was darned close. A president who abuses his authority over the law-enforcement and counter-espionage entities within his government to covertly attack his successor has absolutely no precedent in American history.

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The purpose of this investigation was to prevent President Trump from having authority over the Justice Department, to winnow away his supporters from political positions, and to eventually oust the president himself, whether through impeachment or by forcing him to resign. Trump had appointed General Michael Flynn, a thirty-year veteran of military intelligence, to the post of National Security Advisor, which would have had authority over the very investigation that the Obama Administration was secretly conducting. Rather than allow this to happen, the conspirators fabricated a charge of lying against General Flynn which forced him to leave office and spend the next three years fighting bogus charges. With Flynn out of the way, the conspiracy was allowed to continue unchecked, leading to the Mueller investigation, the so-called whistleblower report about the Ukraine phone call, and more. This is exactly the sort of behavior you expect from a banana republic, not the Executive Branch of the United States of America.

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Anyone who paid attention to President Obama’s tenure in office should not be surprised that he would engage in such deceitful actions. People like Dan Carlin, well-meaning but invariably left leaning, do not see the many ways in which Obama broke presidential norms because they generally agree with the outcomes. When a president is pushing an agenda that you believe in, you are less likely to call out the ways in which he is bending the rules, cutting corners, taking advantage of loopholes, or ignoring precedent. You are just happy to see “progress”. Nevertheless, Barack Obama was unprecedented in many ways. Let me be clear, however, that his skin color has absolutely nothing to do with any of the following points.

Unlike every previous president, Obama grew up outside of traditional American culture. I am not a birther – I believe he was born in Hawaii – but he was raised in a much more international manner than our previous chief executives. The Bushes and the Kennedys were born into American wealth. Bill Clinton grew up in a poor family in Arkansas. Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer in Georgia. Yet Barack Obama was born in Hawaii to a globe-trotting mother who had studied at the East-West Center in Honolulu. His father was a Kenyan nationalist that he would barely know. His mother moved to Indonesia and married Lolo Soetero, an Indonesian Muslim who worked for the government. Obama’s childhood then was somewhat chaotic, being spent in Hawaii, Indonesia, and sometimes with his grandmother in Kansas. He did his undergraduate studies at Occidental College before moving on to Columbia and Harvard. While in college he alternated between portraying himself as a regular American named Barry and an exotic foreigner named Barack. He entered politics in the Illinois legislature, but his first attempt to attain higher office was thwarted by longtime Democrat powerbroker Bobby Rush. When Obama challenged him for his House seat in 2000, Congressman Rush accused Obama of not truly representing the African American community. This accusation was undoubtedly true: Obama was not descended from slaves, and he was born just as Jim Crow was ending. Neither he nor his family had the same experiences as the African American families that had come out of the south to cities such as Chicago.

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Steve Sailer suggests that Obama was raised and groomed to be a diplomat or State Department bureaucrat, someone who could bridge the divide between the United States and other cultures. After all, his mother was educated at the East-West Center in Hawaii, which was explicitly created to find common ground between the United States and  Asia. This is what brought Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, into contact with foreign men such as Barack Obama Senior and Lolo Soetero. Yet something strange happened. Rather than shuffling off to an unremarkable career in bureaucracy, Obama rocketed to the White House with breakneck speed. How? Why?

Obama’s rise to power was in part due to his skin color. While conventional wisdom about the United States suggests that we are biased against non-white people, the very fact that Obama was half black meant that he could step into the role of “first black president”. A white Barry Dunham who followed the same career path would probably never have made it to the US Senate, much less the White House. As the first serious black presidential candidate (Jesse Jackson’s 1988 primary run notwithstanding), Obama was a blank slate upon which all of America could paint their aspirations of achieving the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. The fact that he had very little political experience, and absolutely no executive experience, actually helped him here, as he could become whatever people wanted to see.

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Barack Obama has never been shy about playing underhanded if it helps him win. In 1996, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners invalidated the signature submissions of every other Democratic candidate except for Obama, who then won the primary unopposed. In the 2004 Senate race, his cronies got a court to unseal divorce records for his Republican opponent Jack Ryan, which caused him to withdraw, allowing Obama to win once again essentially unopposed. (The GOP flew in Alan Keyes to run in Ryan’s place, but that carpetbagging attempt failed spectacularly.) Before he had even won his Senate race, Obama gave a speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that had media figures tingling. He was immediately anointed as a future president, despite having nearly zero real accomplishments to his name.

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During his long campaign for the presidency, Obama always portrayed himself as a uniter, someone who could bridge the divide between blue states and red states, blacks and whites, liberals and conservatives. Once in office, however, his tone changed drastically. He used his filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to pass Obamacare, making promises he could not keep to moderate Democratic Senators in exchange for their support, and then ramming the bill through reconciliation without regard for congressional rules. This naked partisanship resulted in a huge Republican victory in the 2010 midterms, regaining the House of Representatives only four years after losing it in the Democratic landslide of 2006. When President Clinton faced this same situation in 1994, he engaged in political triangulation – moving to the right on some issues in order to compromise with the new Republican majority. Obama, however, chose the opposite tactic. He simply ignored the Republican House, proclaiming that he had a pen and a phone, and did not need to work with Congress to enact his agenda. And enact it he did. Just after the 2012 election, he issued an executive order to cease prosecution of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens.

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Despite campaigning as a uniter, Obama was most definitely a partisan fighter. He told a crowd of Hispanic activists that they could punish their enemies by voting for him. His first Attorney General, Eric Holder, proclaimed himself “the president’s wingman” and promised to use his position to help “our people,” meaning African Americans, not Americans in general. While media today would have you believe that President Trump is controlled by Putin, it was Obama in 2012 who was secretly working with the Russians. At a conference with Putin’s right-hand man Dmitri Medvedev, Obama was caught unawares by a hot microphone saying,

On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space. This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

Imagine such a hot-mic moment like this for President Trump.

The fact that Obama used his authority to spy on the Trump campaign should not have been a surprise. This is the same President Obama that weaponized the IRS to attack conservative non-profit organizations, while lavishly distributing federal grant money to progressive organizations. This is the same President Obama that surreptitiously wiretapped reporter Sheryl Atkinson’s computers because she was working on stories that the administration did not like. Like third-world dictators, Obama was never shy about using his powers to elevate his friends while attacking his enemies. Only in the west is that behavior universally condemned. In many cultures, the entire point of political power is to reward your friends and attack your enemies.

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Obama has not followed the traditional path of a former president either. Rather than sitting back and tending to his legacy and finding charitable projects, Obama has led the charge in criticizing President Trump and his Administration. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Obama set up a new office in Washington DC where he could continue to coordinate resistance against the new president. Again, this is not like American politics as usual; this is like a banana republic.

My point with all of this is to say that it was really Barack Obama who changed things. President Trump is the natural Hegelian antithesis to the excessive partisanship of the Obama Administration. If Obama had governed from the left-center like Bill Clinton, or had stayed above the fray like George Bush, then the Republicans would probably have gotten away with nominating another milquetoast establishment figure like Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney. Instead, we saw the naked will to power on the part of the left in general and Obama in particular, and voted in someone who promised to fight for the forgotten men and women of America against the deep state bureaucracy that had taken over our government. Trump is not the outlier; he is the natural follow-up to a man like Obama.

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I believe that the 2008 election will go down in history as the last time America saw a peaceful transfer of power. Obama beat the feckless John McCain fair and square, and not a single Republican took to the streets, rioted, or tried to undo the results of the election. Even in 2012, after four years of recession and embarrassment, Obama was reelected, and again not a single Republican threw stones or tried to burn down buildings. Yet when Trump won in 2016, the left was unleashed. They rioted in the streets. They demanded recount after recount. They tried to pressure electors to change their votes. They used the last few moments of power in the Obama Administration to begin a bogus investigation that sought to hamstring and eventually oust the new president. They used impeachment. Now they have military leaders writing editorials denouncing the president, with some on the left demanding a military coup. Imagine what November of 2020 will look like. Imagine 2024, and 2028.

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If President Trump wins reelection this year, all hell will break loose. The Democrats did not accept the results of the 2016 election, and they surely will not accept them in 2020. The street fights and political battles will make the last four years look calm in comparison. On the other hand, if Trump loses, then few on the right will believe it was done without rampant fraud. Many states have already switched to mail-in ballots, using the pandemic as an excuse. We know Democrats cheat at the polls, and mail-in ballots only make their job easier. If the Democrats do win, however, they will immediately set to work making sure that they never lose again. Say goodbye to the electoral college. Say goodbye to the Supreme Court. Say goodbye to the separation of powers. Say goodbye to the integrity of our elections.

No matter what happens this year, hindsight will show that American democracy ended a long time ago. Our political process has been irrevocably broken; we just do not realize it yet. In their lust for power, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party set us on a course for chaos, and there are no brakes on this train.

Road to Perdition

No matter where you look, our society feels like it is rapidly spinning out of control:

  • The response to the coronavirus pandemic might well be worse than the virus itself, as our economic shutdown has now displaced thirty million American workers.
  • Supply chains have been disrupted, and some are predicting massive food shortages across the entire world.
  • The left is using the virus as an excuse to push their entire wish list from open borders to green energy to 1984-style surveillance.
  • China is ascendant in the world, using their military to bully their neighbors and their propaganda machine to cow Americans who question our relationship with them.
  • Migrants are still coming to civilized nations, crossing both the Mediterranean and Rio Grande at will.

The whole world is hurtling down the road like a runaway truck, with no way to hit the brakes. How can we disengage before we utterly crash? Where is the off-ramp from this highway to hell?

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Let us start with the economy, which was running at full steam just two months ago: Unemployment was below 3.5%. The stock market, which includes all our retirement accounts, was at record highs. The housing market was expanding, and new construction was happening everywhere. The response to the coronavirus pandemic has shattered that strong economy, yet the cracks were there for anyone to see. Unfunded state liabilities continued to increase, without hope of being fulfilled. Federal deficits continued to be more than a trillion dollars a year, and the growth of our national debt showed no signs of slowing. Much of our economic expansion had been driven by infinite debt, as the Fed continued printing nearly free money. The employment numbers masked some problems too, as many of the new jobs over the last decade went to temporary migrants rather than American citizens. Outsourcing has only increased over the last decade, and the massive spike in unemployment brought on by the pandemic response is unlikely to stem the tide. President Trump last week signed an executive order to limit immigration and work permits, but the big business interests that have an outsized voice in the Administration managed to carve out exceptions for foreign tech and farm workers.

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The time to patch these cracks was before a global emergency, not during one. Once we are in the middle of a crisis, corporations and elected officials feel the need to take drastic measures to “save” the economy. As soon as the crisis began every big business came to Congress hat in hand demanding a bailout. After all, when the market crashed in 2008, the government declared all these businesses “too big to fail” and bailed them out with taxpayer money. In a real free market economy, there is no such thing as “too big to fail”. Ideally, we would let airlines, banks, and other corporations go bankrupt in order to clear the deck of over-extended and inefficient corporations. Bankruptcy is not dirty word; rather it is a vital part of a free market. Over-extended businesses and diseconomies of scale need to be partitioned and sold off to satisfy their creditors, not given a cheque from the taxpayer that allows them to continue operating inefficiently. Yet there are few elected officials with the courage to do what is necessary to fix the fundamental problems of our economy. Anything that is worth doing will inevitably result in electoral losses. The American people, having been fed media propaganda for generations, will not accept a politician who takes these problems seriously. Instead, we demand pat answers to hard questions. Instead of fixing the problems, elected leaders just kick the can further down the road, hoping to have retired into a comfortable lobbying gig before the bill comes due.

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The pandemic is also showing the vulnerability of our supply chains in multiple ways. When China locked down in January and February, this started a chain reaction that is just beginning to reverberate through the world economy. So many of our essential goods are manufactured in China now, from electronics to antibiotics to the raw materials for most everything else. This was bad enough before Europe and the US locked down as well, and now every industry in the world is facing Armageddon. It has taken this crisis to demonstrate how weak we are left by relying on foreign nations for our supply lines, especially belligerent nations such as China. Back in the 1980s and 90s, our leaders thought they could liberalize China by normalizing trade. After all, open cultural exchange with the Soviet Union brought down that Communist juggernaut, so why not China? However, in this case the reverse happened, and the Chinese Communist Party corrupted America. Corporations such as Google and Apple happily work with China to censor the internet and crack down on dissidents, the NBA and Hollywood prostrate themselves before their new Chinese benefactors, and American media outlets reprint Chinese propaganda because it serves their short-term anti-Trump narratives.

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Disentangling us from China will likely be difficult. Big corporations have found it lucrative to fire American employees in favor of foreign temp workers, who are cheaper and easier to control. In addition to corporate outsourcing, China has also taken full advantage of our education system. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students come to America to learn engineering while we waste our time teaching our own young people grievance studies. Like big businesses, universities will resist any effort to stop the flow of foreign students. Once again, it would take politicians with more courage than we currently see in Congress to stop this cycle. Globalist elites see themselves as beyond such petty distinctions as citizenship, so they see no reason not to sell out to China if it helps their bottom line. For the elites, this pandemic is not an existential crisis like it is for the little people, but rather an opportunity for greater wealth and power. The time to solve these issues was before this mess began.

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Our food supply might also be in danger. A few days ago, the CEO of Tyson, the country’s largest chicken producer, put out an ad saying that this shutdown is going to destroy the market for meat. I have seen stories and pictures of chickens and hogs being destroyed because farmers say they are unable to get them processed. Whether that is true or not, I do not know. I do know that far too much of our meat industry is controlled by foreign owners, who heavily depend upon migrant labor, and that it is far too centralized in the hands of just a few corporations. While a meat shortage would be devastating for the American people, the globalist left seems to be looking forward to it. Over the last year the media has been pumping out stories about meat being bad for your health as well as for the environment, and that we should switch to eating soy protein or bugs instead. Many on the carnivore right wondered about the purposes of this propaganda barrage. Well, here we are, and the American people have been primed to accept a future where we eat insects instead of hamburgers. However, it should go without saying that while we eat bugs and soy paste, the elites will still be eating steak at Davos.

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The globalist left is advancing on the domestic front as well. While the Trump victory in 2016 was a blow to their totalitarian dreams, they were not vanquished completely, and the last few years have seen them redoubling their efforts to permanently crush us under their boots. They have raised their derangement to a fever pitch, and as soon as they control the government again, they plan massive retribution. This pandemic is giving them the opportunity for a trial run of authoritarianism:

  • Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered stores to stop selling “non-essential” items. The government bureaucrats who decided what was considered “non-essential” banned such things as lawn tools and seeds, which a rational person would think of as being important in the face of uncertain times.
  • The Democratic governors of Massachusetts and Colorado ordered gun and ammunition stores to be shut down, despite the increased risk of lawlessness and danger due to prisoners being released for fear of infection.
  • Governor Andrew Beshear of Kentucky ordered churches closed on Easter Sunday, without exception for drive-in services. He sent State Patrol officers to churches to record license plates of congregants in order to cite them later.

These dictatorial orders are less about protecting citizens from a virus than about simply enforcing the will of these petty tyrants. On Good Friday, the Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee tweeted:

“We respectfully ask that churches in our area not move forward with “drive-in” worship services or any other kind of public assembly. Allowing people to gather, even in their cars with the windows rolled up, will be considered a violation of our directives.”

Did you catch that? “…a violation of our directives”. This is not about public safety; it is about humiliating American citizens into respecting the unconstitutional authority of our elected officials.

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Of course, as is usually the case, the laws made for the little people do not apply to the big people. After closing non-essential businesses in New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio went out to his favorite gym. After telling Chicago citizens to stay home, Mayor Lori Lightfoot went out to have her hair done. She had the chutzpah to defend her decision, saying “I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.” The mask has come completely off, and our bureaucratic tyrants are telling us to our faces that they are more important than us. The concept of “public service” has been inverted in America today. Rather than facing a single tyrant like King George III, we have thousands of little tyrants, each doing their best to interfere in our daily lives in a way that King George never could have dreamed.

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In Arkansas, a twelve-year-old girl was playing basketball outside by herself, so city officials removed the basketball hoop. Police in Colorado found a man playing t-ball with his six-year-old daughter in an empty park, and they arrested him, putting him in handcuffs in front of his little girl. These stories go on and on. It is insane, but this is what America is like in the age of a thousand petty tyrants. However, keeping people out of public parks is just the beginning. The Atlantic recently published a piece extolling the virtues of authoritarianism and censorship:

“In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.”

Remember when the left was in favor of free speech, free expression, and an open internet? Those days are long gone. Today’s left looks at the authoritarianism of Communist China as an example, not a warning. Of course, the big question left unanswered here is who should decide what is compatible with society’s norms and values? I doubt the writers of The Atlantic would consider traditional American values to be their goal. A century ago, our norms and values were unabashedly Christian, with emphases on hard work, personal liberty, and the importance of the family. Today, powerful cultural forces are working to change our so-called norms to something much more sinister: Socialism and dependence upon government; collectivism rather than liberty; and the destruction of the traditional family. The people in charge of enforcing these norms are social justice warriors at Twitter, Facebook, and Google who boast of their mental illness and declare that transgenderism, homosexuality, atheism, and even pedophilia are all right and proper while traditional American values are on par with Naziism. These are the values that The Atlantic, and the rest of the globalist progressive left, want to impose upon you and your children.

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How did we let this happen? Where was the off-ramp from this cultural freeway? Conservatives ceded control of the culture in the 60s, and the left never looked back. Even as the Communist experiment failed in the Soviet Union, the American left was content to march slowly through our institutions, turning public schools, universities, television, music, comic books, and everything else into instruments of cultural destruction. Where were the conservatives? Sitting on a cruise ship lobbying for tax cuts. Where were the Christians? Whistling past the graveyard while their children were converted under their noses. I often hear conservative Christian friends talk about reclaiming our culture, as if a few Bible verses posted on Facebook can reverse a century of cultural decline. That ship sailed three generations ago. The time to fix this was when the left made their first assault upon our defenses, not when they have all but won and are just mopping up the few who remain. Imagine if we tried to fight Nazi Germany by sending our children to the Hitler Youth to act as missionaries for American culture. Absurd, right? Yet that is exactly what millions of Christian parents have done over the last three generations: They sent their children to be brainwashed in progressive prisons and while naively expecting that an hour or two of church every Sunday would counter the damage.

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With regards to international diplomacy, the world is due for a major conflagration. War was once a regular occurrence in the affairs of nations – as Clausewitz said, war is politics by other means. In the first half of the 20th century, hundreds of millions died due to war and the accompanying starvation and genocides.  The “small” wars we have engaged in since Vietnam have lulled us into a false sense of security about world peace. It was just over a century ago that World War I was fought over land, colonies, and diplomatic insults. Ironically, learned men had been writing during the first decade of the 20th century that war was obsolete. They believed that the new global economy of the 1900s made war impossible, that nations were two intertwined to possibly go to battle. Sound familiar? Nuclear weapons have been a deterrent to war between great powers since the end of World War II, but the pressure cannot keep building forever. The current diplomatic situation looks a lot like it did before World War I, with an ascendant China in place of the Kaiser’s encircled Germany.

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Chinese elites believe that this is their time. If the 1800s were the British century and the 1900s were the American century, then why should the next hundred years not be the Chinese century? China has an old and proud culture, and they were the jewel of world civilizations a thousand years ago. By the Industrial Era, however, they had been eclipsed by the west, culminating in a humiliating defeat at the hands of the British who fought to keep the opium trade going. The Chinese have long memories, and they still aspire to be the greatest civilization in the world. They have been working patiently toward that end since 1948, and their work has finally started bearing fruit. Today, China has a massive economy, and consider themselves at the forefront of technological development. They are building a navy that can project power throughout the region, and perhaps even challenge the mighty US Navy for dominance in the South China Sea. They know that time is on their side. Over the last half century, America has become weaker and more dependent upon nations such as China for supplies, while China itself has become stronger. They are propagandizing our children in our own schools using fronts like the Confucius Institute. While the coronavirus pandemic is generating support for decoupling from China, it might be too little, too late. What happens tomorrow if China decides to finally seize Taiwan? What happens if they decide to occupy disputed islands in their region? Does America stand up and say stop? Or do we back down rather than risk World War III? China can afford to play chicken here, much more than we can. China’s collectivist culture would not hesitate to sacrifice a hundred million men to win a war, while our culture would not have the stomach for such death and destruction.

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We missed the off-ramp to stopping China thirty years ago, before they reached this point of cultural, economic, and military dominance. We should never have normalized trade relations with a country that is willing to kill millions of their own people on the road to progress. We should never have allowed them to use our universities to train their engineers and researchers. We should never have allowed them to wantonly steal our intellectual property, proprietary designs, and even nuclear secrets, as well as to spy on our elected officials. Now it could be too late. There might be no way to stop China from achieving the dominance they desire. Our best hope is to disengage as much as possible and return manufacturing to within our borders.

International diplomacy might be the least of our worries, however. Demographic change looks likely to end our nation soon anyway. Vdare.com recently published a chart showing the decline of the white population in New York City over the past century:

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In 1910, it was 98% white. This was the New York City of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, of Jay Gatsby and Captain America, of King Kong and The Miracle on 34th Street. Today, however, that number is down to 32%, and possibly lower, depending on how you count Jews. (Many Jewish people online identity as white when it suits them, only to draw a contrast when it does not.) I believe the world should have a variety of cultures and ethnicities. Yet this wholesale replacement of our people is not cultural diversity, rather it is cultural genocide. Cities and countries that were once filled with people of western European descent are being occupied by other races and cultures, while any word of criticism is called racist and is grounds for censorship and ostracism. If someone on the right points out how demographic change is altering American society, they are denounced as white supremacist Nazis. If someone on the left does it, as the ambitious Georgia politician Stacy Abrams does, it is considered a good thing, and inevitable.

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Of the twenty-five largest cities in America, only seven are still majority-white in 2020, and zero of the top ten. Our great cities have become miniature earths, with varying proportions of ethnic groups from across the world. Globalists call this beautiful, as if our cities were merely snow globes full of different colors. Yet what does this diversity portend for the future of America? The descendants of African slaves who migrated to Detroit and Philadelphia after World War II have no reverence for the founding fathers; in fact, they most likely hate them as racist white slave owners. Same for the Hispanic population that is rapidly increasing in our southern states. As each of these different cultures gains more political power, they are going to use it to transform our country into something it was not. Once again, the globalist left will call that a good thing, saying that America has always been evil, racist, and white. (Note how they often use the word “white” as a pejorative.) Those of us who descend from America’s founding fathers are having our civilization conquered by force, but the worst part is how we are made to celebrate our own annihilation.

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The seeds for this sad end were sowed many years ago, but even as late as 1965 we were still a Christian nation of mostly western European descent. Our leaders, many of whom traced their American ancestry back to Ellis Island rather than Valley Forge, told us that we must open our doors to the whole world lest we be accused of that dreaded word, racism. So we dutifully opened our doors, and now our country is permanently changed. Other nations have occupied our great cities, and the only rational ways to take them back are abhorrent to our own values.

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Europe faces the same problem, with migrants from Africa and the Middle East pouring in every day. Turkey uses these migrant mobs as a weapon against Europe, restraining or unleashing them as it suits their purposes. The last few weeks have seen clashes on the Greek border as migrants try and force their way past fences and guards. It feels like these clashes could escalate at any time to all-out war. These migrants have been told by globalist organizations that Europe and America are theirs for the taking, and that they have the right to live here for free, and to take advantage of our generous welfare. Centuries ago, Muslim armies crossed into Europe with the belief that their god willed them to conquer the world. The only difference then was that Christendom was willing to defend itself. Today we simply open the gates and invite our conquerors into our homes. The resistance to this cultural genocide by the Greeks is a welcome sign, but again, possibly too little, too late. The time to stop this invasion was before it started, but our culture had long since lost confidence in itself and so saw no reason to stand in the gap and say stop.

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Our civilization is driving toward the edge of a cliff at breakneck speed. The brakes no longer work. The last off-ramp was passed many miles ago. All we can do is hold on, or maybe try our luck and bail out the door before it is too late. The only thing that is for sure is that we have passed the point of no return. Our country faces a reckoning, and the forces of history have gathered at our gates to deliver it. There is no saving America as we know it now; we had our chance decades ago and blew it. Yet it is imperative we survive the coming crash so we can still be here to rebuild again.

Everything is Going to Change

A few days ago, I mentioned to family and friends that we were about to witness a preference cascade for canceling large gatherings and switching to remote work as much as possible. I did not expect how quickly it would occur, nor its magnitude. As I write this, the NCAA has cancelled March Madness, Major League Baseball has cancelled Spring Training and delayed Opening Day, the NBA, the NHL, and MLS have all suspended their seasons, numerous events from Coachella to SxSW to E3 have been cancelled or postponed, schools and universities throughout the country have closed indefinitely, and even Disneyland is preparing to shut down. Governments and organizations, seeing what has happened in Italy over the past two weeks, are taking the COVID-19 outbreak seriously and looking to contain or at least slow down the pandemic.

No matter what happens with the virus, these cancellations are already going to leave a mark on our economy. Think about all the industries that depend upon events and travel to survive. March Madness is a huge part of the income for hotels, restaurants, bars, and drivers in the cities that host each game. For some vendors, events like E3 or SxSW are the linchpins of their entire revenue stream. No matter what steps the government or Federal Reserve take to mitigate it, we will see a significant economic contraction over the next year.

Our nation has had recessions before. Recessions are necessary in a healthy economy, like a forest fire is occasionally necessary to burn away the deadwood and leave room for new growth. Like a fire, recessions can harm a lot of people in the process. However, once we come through, we can enjoy another long period of growth and prosperity. More interesting, I think, are the long-term societal changes that will occur due to this outbreak.

Working from home is going to become more socially acceptable. We have had the technology to enable telecommuting for decades now, but many companies have resisted thus far. Working from home means an employee is out of sight of management, which worries some bosses. Employees at home can be distracted, and collaboration is more complicated. With the COVID-19 outbreak forcing businesses to move to a work-from-home model, I think both employers and employees are going to decide that it is not so bad. Telecommuting means less traffic, and less gasoline usage. It means less eating unhealthy food for a quick lunch before getting back to your desk. It means less disease transmission. It means less overhead for office space, electricity, janitorial services, etc. Rather than paying for an entire office, a company can rent some space at a server farm and have all their workers connect remotely from the comfort of their own homes. Working from home also changes the paradigm for childcare. Rather than having to make arrangements to send children to daycare or a babysitter when school is out, they can just stay home with their telecommuting parents.

Speaking of school, this outbreak is also going to make a lot of people realize how obsolete the public school system really is. Homeschoolers have known this for years, but even normal folks are going to see how much easier it is for children to learn at their own pace using online resources than it was to send them to a seven-hour prison sentence every day. Even as local officials throughout the nation considered closing schools to try and slow down the pandemic, they hesitated. Not because they were concerned about the education of America’s children, but because the public school system has become a de facto daycare and meal service for millions of children. For a child who wants to succeed, public schools are often a hindrance. While school closures might be temporarily inconvenient, they will be a demonstration of how well a driven student can learn when he can go at his own pace and has the sum total of all human knowledge at his fingertips.

This outbreak is also going to put a dagger in the heart of globalism. For nearly thirty years now, corporations have been cutting costs by outsourcing work to developing nations. It’s cheaper to pay Chinese factory workers pennies, to manufacture products and then ship them back to America, than it was to pay American workers prevailing wages. Yet this outbreak is exposing the flaws of this design. It was bad enough that outsourcing took good jobs away from American workers, but now we see the dangers of having our supply lines controlled by a foreign, sometimes hostile, nation. With China basically shut down for two months, we are starting to see shortages of goods that we once took for granted. More than just our cheap trinkets, China supplies us with many of the raw materials we need for vital industries.

President Trump has been warning against entanglement with China for many years, even before he ran for high office. As president, he has been trying to disentangle us from China, using tariffs and new trade deals to bring manufacturing back to our own shores. This outbreak is just a minor stress test compared to what could happen in the future. Imagine if China suddenly declared war on us; what happens to our vital industries if their factories are all in enemy territory? Divesting from China and making our own stuff again will be a positive effect of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nationalism and national borders work. Nations that closed their borders early have seen only mild outbreaks, while nations like Italy that remained open have borne the full brunt of this pandemic. Viruses do not respect borders, but they require human hosts, and humans can be contained. The very concept of the quarantine is about keeping viruses immobile by restricting the movement of the people that carry them. People who use this crisis to demand open borders are dangerous ideologues who should be ignored. People who say it is racist to say “Wuhan virus” or complain about bigotry toward Asians are not serious about saving lives, rather they are just using this outbreak as an excuse to attack their political enemies and push their globalist agenda. Nationalism saves lives, while globalism kills.

If nothing else, the outbreak has been a reminder to us all about the basics of hygiene and controlling disease transmission. Antibiotics and other advances in modern medicine have left us complacent about the power of disease. In the old days, disease was a constant terror, something that could strike without warning and decimate entire nations. The Black Death killed more than a third of Europe’s citizens in the 14th century, returning several more times before fading into history. Just over a century ago, the Spanish Flu killed more people than both world wars combined. Now more than ever we should take steps to keep ourselves and our families healthy, so that when we do inevitably get this or any other viral outbreak, we are prepared to survive it.

The next few months are going to be interesting. We are going to see many companies flirting with bankruptcy, as their planned revenues go up in smoke. We are going to see new industries rising to fill the gaps as people change their daily lives to contain this outbreak. We are going to see government clumsily attempting to keep the stock market from cratering, which will probably only prolong the inevitable crash. This is all just a taste of what the future holds. The decline and fall of America is not going to look like the zombie apocalypse, but will be a series of sudden changes like this followed by eventual acceptance of the new normal. Don’t freak out, don’t panic, but do keep your head about you and be prepared to adapt and overcome.

The Coming Age of Kings

We know that we live in a declining civilization. Anyone with eyes to see understands that we are not the men that our forefathers were. Our ancestors built monuments, conquered kingdoms, and tamed the vast wilderness. They crossed the oceans in wooden ships and crossed the prairies in covered wagons. They were not afraid to risk everything and venture into the unknown. Their wars were great rather than petty, and their bravery was lauded rather than mocked. Our grandparents’ generation survived the Depression, won World War II, created the atomic bomb, the computer, and the jet engine, and set foot on the moon. Yet the comfortable lives they created for us have left us soft, coddled, and weak, a condition made even worse by the knowledge that we are made for something greater than this. Author Chuck Palahniuk spoke for the men of our generations when he wrote:

We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

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In Palahniuk’s story, Fight Club, the protagonist takes this longing for greatness to an extreme, by first fighting other men barehanded in an effort to regain the vitality of life, and then by committing terrorist acts in the hope of bringing down the system that has enslaved us. I think that desire to tear down the system is latent in a lot of men today. While I’m sure most of us don’t really want to watch our families and our friends go through hell, there is something in us that would secretly welcome the breakdown of society. Author H.L. Mencken summed up this feeling when he said:

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

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I mentioned back in Episode 22 how every generation has a belief that they are the last generation on earth, and that something – climate change, Mayan prophecies, the Second Coming of Christ – is bound to happen any day now that will end everything. While some fear the apocalypse, others welcome it. While the decline of the United States is evident to most anyone at this point, there are many who are hoping for the fall to be dramatic rather than mundane. Young men throw around the word “boogaloo” to describe the hoped-for conflagration that will sweep away the remnants of our old decadent society and usher in a new era of masculine virtues. Some men buy a gun to protect their family but hope that they never have to use it; while others pray someone tries to break in that night. I think we all envy our ancestors in that they had opportunities to prove their bravery that are denied to most of us today. There are no more wild continents to win, kingdoms to conquer, or oceans to cross. “Born too late to explore the world,” the meme says, “born too early to explore the galaxy.”

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I think this explains some of the reaction to the recent coronavirus outbreak this year. Some dismiss the whole thing as overblown, but many are prudently stocking up on food and medical supplies, just in case the worst happens. A few, however, secretly wish for this to be the apocalyptic event of our lifetimes. Is it any wonder than stories about the end of the world are so popular? We watch movies like Planet of the Apes, 28 Days Later, or the Matrix, vicariously living through an apocalyptic tale where the shackles of polite society are lifted, and we can hoist the black flag.

Rather than surviving the modern world by knowing the bus schedule and how to move data from one computer system to another, we would instead survive by our strength, our wits, and our courage. As boys, many of us grew up reading books like “Hatchet” and “My Side of the Mountain” and dreamt of having the chance to live off the land, untethered from our ordinary lives. Sure, Tom Hanks looked like he went through hell in the movie Castaway, but I think there is a little part of all men that wants a chance to test themselves against unforgiving nature. Trees and plants grow best when properly pruned, and forests need the occasional fire to clear out the deadwood and make room for new growth. Our founding fathers understood this well. Thomas Jefferson expected that each generation would have to fight its own revolution, saying:

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

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The post-World War II generations illustrate a decline from glory. The men who won the war came home looking for a quieter life. They invented the concept of the suburb, a neighborhood that was neither in the city nor the country, where families could gather together and raise children in peace and safety. The men who performed heroic deeds in the war rarely talked about them. They had nothing to prove, to themselves or to anyone else, and would rather focus on living a peaceful life and raising a happy family. Yet something went wrong. Masculine virtues began to be redefined by a media interested only in selling more junk. For the first time, television enabled images of war to be beamed directly into our living rooms. The carnage in Vietnam was surely no worse than in World War II, yet now we could see the things that our grandfathers had refused to speak of. The pointlessness of the war was the worst part. Unlike the clearly defined good and evil of World War II, we watched our young men killing and dying in the jungles of Indochina for no apparent reason. Our society took the wrong message from the failure of Vietnam, deciding that masculinity itself was barbaric and must be bred out of the human race.

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In the 1970s, women began entering the workforce in greater numbers. Rather than being our partners in raising strong families, women became competitors for raises and promotions, and beneficiaries of government welfare. Media propaganda started convincing women that they should take on the most extreme characteristics of masculinity – aggression, assertiveness, and even violence. Our current cultural landscape promotes a view of women that strips away her femininity and leaves her consumed by traits that would be considered brutish in a man. More than one book has been written telling women that they need to interrupt more in business meetings. The newest Star Wars and Marvel movies feature female characters whose only flaws are that they are not assertive and violent enough. The feminine virtues such as empathy, kindness, caring, nurturing, and beauty are downplayed as relics of a sexist patriarchy. Women are told that they should not worry about how they look, as if there is no objective difference between a thin and lovely woman with long hair on one side and an obese tattoo-covered purple-haired grouch on the other. Feminists tell a young woman that it is wrong to do nice things for her husband or her children, and that she should put herself first.

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On the other hand, the same propaganda teaches men to act like the most extreme versions of women. The modern man is supposed to be submissive and meek, quietly standing back while women run the show. He is told to be open about his feelings and to wear his emotions on his sleeve. Ambition is shunned while physical fitness is downplayed. “Real men,” they say, should not worry about how strong or fit they are or how much testosterone they have. They should be satisfied with their weak soy grip and their “dad bod” pot belly. While it was called a crisis when standardized test scores showed girls falling behind in math and science, boys falling behind in other subjects is considered right and normal. Society wants us to be mediocre, and since mediocrity is the path of least resistance, most men today settle for just that.

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The modern American diet doesn’t help either. Our ancestors lived off of meat, but today meat is shunned as barbaric and out-of-date. Modern men are expected to eat soy, industrial seed oils, and ultra-processed meals that come out of a box. Modern men assume that it is normal to be fat and weak by the time they reach their 40s, and that heart disease and diabetes are simply things that inevitably happen when you get old. What can you do? The conspiracy theory would be that governments and corporations know that weak, sick men are easier to control than the kings we used to be. The reductive view is just as likely, however. Corporations create food that is cheap to make and addictive to the consumer in order to maximize profits. “Bet you can’t have just one,” the old potato chip commercial said. Health is a secondary consideration, and even then, only in so far as they can advertise according to the conventional wisdom of the day. The anti-meat crusades of the late 20th century enabled food manufacturers to replace healthy fat with poisonous sugar and carbohydrates and then market their products as “healthy”. Big Tobacco was broken in the 1990s because they used drugs and advertising to create a product that was addictive and attractive. Big Food has yet to meet their own reckoning, despite causing untold millions of early deaths with their own poisonous products.

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The 1990s saw the first stirrings of awakening by American men to the spiritual quagmire they found themselves in. Fight Club was written in 1996 and adapted into a popular movie the following year. In the early 2000s, bloggers began writing about the struggles faced by modern men and sharing ideas on how to break out of our cultural ennui. Men woke up and realized that they had no power in American life. They had been taught that America was the land of the free, but they found themselves working mindless 9-5 jobs in order to pay for the mortgage, the car payment, and the numerous useless distractions that make up the modern life. The woman you married could, at any time, leave you, take away your children and your possessions, and use the force of government to confiscate all your money for the next twenty years. It was bad enough before, when the government took a third of your paycheck to fund foreign wars and welfare programs. Now you have to pay the rest to the woman who betrayed you and the children you are no longer allowed to see. The American man was once a king, and his home a castle, but today we are reduced to chattel. Is it any wonder that the male suicide rate has been ticking steadily upwards for decades now?

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Some of the early blogs focused on men’s rights or social issues, but it was the pick-up blogs that really struck a nerve. While some men saw the state and direction of society and wanted to go back to the golden age of the past, the pick-up artists instead decided that since the world was burning anyway, they might as well have fun while they could. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die,” said the prophet Isaiah in the Bible. Or, as “Captain Capitalism” Aaron Clarey says, “Enjoy the decline.” The three most prominent pick-up bloggers were Rollo Tomassi, Roosh V, and Roissy, who later called himself Heartiste. Each of these initially used their platforms to teach young men how to meet and seduce women, and men flocked to their blogs and forums seeking this forbidden knowledge. These nascent communities began to realize that meeting women was not an end unto itself.

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What these young men truly yearned for was an escape from the soul-sucking modern culture that tried its best to emasculate them. In bloggers such as Roissy and Roosh they found stark truths that were not being told in schools or in churches. Many Christian churches were still stuck in a post-World War II mindset, teaching young men that they must just be themselves, find a good girl to marry, and God would take care of the rest. They failed to see that modern society had turned against Christianity and masculine virtue, so disillusioned young men sought answers elsewhere. Author C.S. Lewis actually identified the problem more than half a century earlier, writing in The Abolition of Man:

In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

The Christianity of modern America has become feminized and trite, failing to provide an alternative to our lost culture and instead reinforcing its worst aspects. The masculine heroes of the modern church are not strong biblical leaders like Moses, David, or Jesus Christ Himself, nor bold men of history like Alfred the Great, Roger Williams, or Billy Graham. Today, the alpha male of the modern church is a skinny-jeans-wearing latte-sipping tattooed pierced worship nasally-voiced worship pastor.

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These blogs eventually moved beyond simple pick-up tips, as their communities began to question what it meant to be a man. They came to the same conclusion as King Solomon who lamented that all the pleasures of the world had left him empty. Three thousand years ago he wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, “So I became great and surpassed all who were before me… and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” The men of these online communities found that they wanted more than fleeting pleasures, but instead longed for what their fathers and grandfathers had: a family that loved and relied upon them, a society that supported these bonds, and a God worth believing in.

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Roosh V is the most interesting story to come out of the so-called manosphere. He made his name in the 2000s writing books and blog posts teaching young men how to sleep with as many young women as possible. He traveled the world, exploring exotic locations and interacting with all manner of women, and then reported his results. He seemed to recognize early on that this was not the ultimate goal of life, however. He created a web forum called Return of Kings that invited those disillusioned young men to come and share stories of how they were triumphing over the malaise of modern culture. He tried to organize real-life meetups, but these were disrupted by feminists and soy-boys who could not tolerate free-thinking masculinity. When he lost his sister to cancer a few years ago, Roosh took the final step on his journey from libertinism back to tradition. He became a Christian, joining the Orthodox Church of his Armenian ancestors, and unpublished all of his books that taught men the art of fornication.

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I believe that Roosh has taken the same journey that many thousands of anonymous men have made over the past two decades. We awoke to the realization that our culture is actively trying to stifle and harm us, and turned to hedonism – using women, movies, video games, or anything to try and retain some happiness in life. After a while, we realized that these were empty pursuits, and we wanted more. Rather than seeing the decline and fall of America as an excuse to live free of responsibility, we now see it as an imperative to build families and communities that will not only survive the fall, but thrive as we build the next phase of western civilization. There is no guarantee of success in this endeavor. The forces of malaise and mediocrity have grown powerful, and their boot is upon our necks. But our calling is a noble one. Each of us has only one life to live on this earth, and death awaits us all. What will you leave behind when you are gone? A collection of video games, or a growing family that honors your memory as a man who had a life worth living?

Thomas Babington Macaulay said it well in his Lays of Ancient Rome:

Then out spake brave Horatius,

The Captain of the Gate:

To every man upon this earth

Death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers,

And the temples of his gods?

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We all know deep inside that something is not right in our society and that we were made for better things. The time has come to stop lamenting the loss of a past age of kings and start building a new one. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn claims the crown he was born to wear after proving his courage and bravery in defeating the armies of the Dark Lord. In Tolkien’s mythology, kings were a special breed of men. They were tall and strong, with unmatched wisdom and knowledge, and their very hands could heal the sick. Not just any man could take up the throne and declare himself king; Aragorn did so because he had the right bloodline and ancestry. He was not a usurper but was instead coming into his rightful inheritance. It was Tolkien’s view that enlightened monarchy was the best choice for human government, however he qualified that by explaining that there were no more men left that he would trust in such a position.

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Unlike Aragorn, we do not have Elves or angels in our ancestry, but we are made in the image of God. Our mortal bodies were created to manifest, in a small way, the incomprehensible glory of God himself. As children of the Most High God, we are princes, we are kings of our own domains, accountable for our actions and our stewardship to the King of Kings Jesus Christ. Our kingdoms are bequeathed to us by our fathers and their fathers, who worked and fought and died in order to pass on their heritage to us. Do not let malaise, propaganda, and the path of least resistance steal that heritage from you. Our calling is not to grow fat and sick while simply counting the days until our inevitable death. We are heirs of three thousand years of western civilization, of Solomon and Alexander, Bach and Beethoven, Rembrandt and Raphael, Shakespeare and Cervantes, Augustine and Aquinas. Don’t be the one to drop the baton. Don’t let the flame of the west be extinguished forever. My fellow kings, the task of building the next civilization rests with you.

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Defeating an Incumbent President is Nearly Impossible

If Donald Trump wins reelection in November, it will mark an unprecedented four consecutive two-term presidents. The last time there were three was in the early 19th century, when Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe all served two terms. John Quincy Adams, elected in 1824, failed to win reelection when he was defeated by Andrew Jackson’s populist uprising. History shows us that unseating the incumbent president is always a long shot.

The last time a president lost his bid for reelection was nearly thirty years ago, when President George H.W. Bush was defeated by Bill Clinton. The 1992 election, however, was a perfect storm of problems for the elder Bush. Mere months before the campaign, Bush enjoyed a level of popularity few presidents could even dream of after the successful Gulf War. However, a worsening economy soured voters on the president, especially when he broke his explicit pledge to not raise taxes. Many Republicans turned to the insurgent campaign of independent candidate Ross Perot, who promised a businesslike approach to government. NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was being debated at the time and had support from both parties. Perot warned that free trade would lead to massive outsourcing and a decline of manufacturing jobs in America. (History has obviously proved him right on this count.)

The Democratic field that year was initially weak, as nobody wanted to challenge the popular president. Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton ended up with the nomination, and presented himself as a young, hip, empathetic figure, contrasted with the older, unflappable, President Bush. Bush was a member of the Greatest Generation, who had fought in World War II – Bush himself had been shot down over the Pacific. Clinton, on the other hand, was a Baby Boomer, young and fresh-faced, who came out of the hippy movement of the 1960s. Clinton had avoided the Vietnam War, which hurt him with military veterans. However, with Perot splitting the conservative / libertarian vote, Clinton came out on top, despite falling well short of a majority of the popular vote.

Since then, no president has lost his bid for a second term. Clinton easily defeated Bob Dole in 1996, as a strong economy and few foreign conflicts gave voters no reason to change. In 2004, President George W. Bush improved on his initial numbers from 2000, defeating the weak John Kerry. Finally, despite a poor economy, Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in 2012. Of all the reelection campaigns in recent memory, this one should have been harder for the sitting president. The economy, which had crashed just before Obama took office, was still incredibly weak. Unemployment was high and wages were down. The Republicans nominated what they thought would be a solid ticket: Mitt Romney was a former governor and businessman and running mate Paul Ryan was known as a budget guy and policy wonk. Yet Obama basically coasted to reelection. Why?

For one, there was no Ross Perot in 2012. The populist nationalism that would explode in 2016 through Donald Trump was still simmering beneath the surface. The Tea Party movement, originally formed in reaction to Obama’s tax and healthcare positions, had long ago been coopted by the GOP establishment who redirected its energy toward the usual Chamber of Commerce platform of low taxes without regard to the national questions of immigration and culture. Romney himself tended to treat Obama with kid gloves, even as the president and his surrogates ferociously savaged Romney in the campaign, even going so far as accusing him of killing a man because Romney’s company had laid him off at one point.

So, what does that mean for the 2020 election? If you go to any left-wing social media group, you might come away thinking that Donald Trump is the most unpopular president in history, and that the Democrats could run a mannequin and still win easily. However, this ignores both history and the preferences of the country as a whole. Trump won in 2016 by promising to control the border, renegotiate trade deals, bring our troops home, and fix the economy. While his work on the border is ongoing, he is making progress – illegal crossings have significantly decreased in recent months. He has taken care of bad trade deals, is working on withdrawing troops, and the economy is booming. While the COVID-19 outbreak might cause some economic issues, it might well recover by Election Day. In short, the president has kept most of his promises and the economic situation of most American people is better now than it was four years ago.

An incumbent president has access to the largest megaphone in the world. Every tiny utterance of President Trump is headline news. More than 73 million people follow the president on Twitter, receiving messages unfiltered by mainstream media. For many low-information voters, picking a candidate is more about brand recognition than policy positions. Who in America has a more well-known brand than Donald Trump?

The current crop of Democratic contenders does not inspire confidence, either. In 1992, the Democrats nominated Bill Clinton, who was able to create a large contrast with President Bush. In 2020, the Democrats will be nominating either the outright socialist Bernie Sanders or the fanciful and forgetful Joe Biden. Both men are, believe it or not, older than President Trump! Because the odds of ousting an incumbent president are so high to begin with, that is the time to swing for the fences and take a chance with your nominee. The Democrats are either too afraid to step outside mainstream conventional wisdom, or they believe their own hype about Trump’s vulnerability.

Barring some black swan event in the next nine months, Donald Trump will be reelected and become the fourth consecutive president to serve two terms. In the late Roman Republic, power grew increasingly concentrated into the hands of a few, as single-term consuls were replaced by men serving many consecutive terms, and eventually into dictators-for-life like Sulla and Caesar. I hope that President Trump is able to use his second term to finish the job of draining the swamp, otherwise he will end up being only a speed bump in the decline and fall of America.

The Alternative Media

Each new generation develops its own way of sharing ideas. While the printing press, telephone, radio, and television all shifted the paradigm of how ideas propagate throughout a culture, the development of the internet and social media have exponentially accelerated that shift. The 1930s generation listened to President Roosevelt on the radio, the Baby Boomers grew up watching television, and even Millennials grew up watching cable news. No generation has had the sheer variety of news sources as Generation Z has today, however, and it is this variety that is shaping our world today.

The 2010s especially saw an explosion of alternative media channels, and the lines between content creator and content consumer became increasingly blurred. While the network and cable news organizations struggled to maintain their control over the flow of information, social media and YouTube allowed anyone with a voice to attract an audience. Four million people tuned in to watch Tucker Carlson last week, leading all evening cable news hosts. More than six million people watched the most recent Democratic presidential primary debate, a new record. Meanwhile, Swedish YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, better known as Pewdiepie, has more than a hundred million subscribers on his channel. Sure, that is quite an outlier – Pewdiepie has been the most-subscribed content creator on earth for half a decade now. Yet it is clear that Generation Z is influenced much more by personalities on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram than they are by the legacy media.

Generation Z would often rather watch a Twitch streamer than play video games, and watch YouTubers break down a movie rather than watch it themselves. Whereas video games in my generation were stigmatized as an anti-social activity, gaming for younger people is inherently social, whether they are walking about playing Pokemon on their phones or voice chatting with their friends while playing Minecraft or Fortnite together. The younger generations are looking outside the traditional information channels, and the established media does not like losing their gated pasture. When legacy media celebrated the recent banning of Generation Z conservative Nicholas Fuentes from YouTube, they claimed it was because they oppose so-called “hate speech”. However, the real reason seems to be that they simply do not like the competition. Established news organizations have long enjoyed their position as the gatekeepers of knowledge in America, but their ability to control the flow of information is quickly dissipating in the modern era of social media.

Social media has changed the way in which ideas spread throughout a culture. In the long ages before the printing press, ideas were transmitted slowly. Books were hand-copied by monks, which meant only the rich could afford them. Traveling storytellers and bards brought cultural ideas from place to place at the speed of horse, or even slower if they traveled on foot. Culture developed and changed extremely slowly, because new ideas could only spread slowly. The printing press democratized ideas by making books cheap enough that most people could afford them, which spurred advancement in nearly every field. The Protestant Reformation, for example, followed directly on the heels of the printing press as lay people could suddenly afford to buy their own Bibles and see what they actually said instead of only relying on the clergy. The Renaissance began just a few years later as lost knowledge of the classical world began spreading again. It was the printing press that enabled American patriots to spread their ideas of revolution throughout the thirteen colonies. Thomas Paine could write up a pamphlet, print a thousand copies, and have them handed out to people from Boston to Virginia, spreading his seditious ideas very rapidly through colonial society.

It was this spread of ideas that sparked the American Revolution. In societies where information is tightly controlled, it is sometimes difficult to gauge how popular your own position is compared to your friends and neighbors. Sure, you could talk openly, unless you’re in East Germany or North Korea, but even then you still have the bubble effect, where you might assume that your views are more popular than they really are because you surround yourself with like-minded people. Pamphlets in pre-revolutionary America showed people that they were not alone, as writers such as Paine put into words what a lot of people were already thinking.

If the printing press democratized ideas, social media is democracy on steroids. Someone like Thomas Paine still needed access to an expensive printing press, not to mention the infrastructure for delivering those pamphlets after printing. Today, the world is full of bloggers, YouTubers, Twitch streamers, Twitter personalities, and Instagram influencers. Whereas Paine’s pamphlets could reach thousands in Colonial America and Great Britain, modern influencers can reach a worldwide audience using nothing more than a smartphone. You could even run a successful blog with no investment besides a library card if you really wanted to. Despite their claims of devotion to democracy, legacy media is doing everything they can to stop this information explosion. CNN recently aired a segment explaining that they are the only news source trustworthy enough to tell you that a banana is a banana and an apple is an apple. Washington Post added the slogan “Democracy dies in darkness” to its masthead, even as wages an endless campaign against the democratically elected president. The mainstream outlets have also used every trick in the book to try to silence and censor alternative sources of information. They have used their influence to get people and groups they disagree with banned from Twitter and YouTube, and sometimes even dox anonymous content creators. These mainstream organizations had grown powerful in their position as the gatekeepers of ideas, and they very much would like that position back.

The founders of our country recognized the importance of the spread of ideas in their own revolution and crafted the First Amendment to guarantee the rights of free speech and a free press. Modern technology has enabled anyone with internet access to have their own printing press, so to speak. Despite this, legacy media insinuates that the First Amendment protects journalists as a class, and they use that logic to justify their censorship of alternative voices who are not, in their view, legitimate press. Even conservative media has fallen into this pattern. During the 1990s and 2000s, conservative media played the role of counterculture to the left’s media monopoly. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh were rebels against a censor-hungry mainstream media. Today, however, the conservative media establishment uses the same tactics as the left to shut down ideas from their right. Last autumn, America First groups led by Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey tried to engage the establishment conservatives of TP USA and Fox News. The establishment cabal, led by milquetoast conservatives like Ben Shapiro and Charlie Kirk, responded by calling them racist and trying to get them banned and deplatformed – the exact same thing that they accused left-wing media of trying to do to them. Despite the mantra about competing in the marketplace of ideas, it seems that powerful conservatives are no different in their desire to be gatekeepers of truth than their counterparts on the right.

Yet as the early internet pioneers liked to say, information wants to be free. It is hard to destroy an idea once it is out in the open. There is something called the Streisand Effect on the internet that describes what happens when the rich and powerful try to censor an idea. It was named after actress, singer, and general narcissist Barbra Streisand, who in 2003 tried to remove pictures of her Malibu mansion from the web. This backfired spectacularly, as the attention generated caused people to share the pictures far and wide out of spite and anger that someone would attempt such censorship. The act of trying to hide the information made it even more popular than before. The more technology enables ideas to be spread more quickly and easily, the more difficult it is to censor those ideas. In the 1500s, ideas were spread when the literate class read books, but only those with presses could write them. In the 1900s, ideas were spread by the television to the masses, but only a few companies controlled the airwaves. In 2020, ideas are spread by clicking “share” on a 50 kilobyte meme, and that is hard to stop.

The word “meme” was coined in 1976 by biologist Richard Dawkins to describe the way in which a concept or idea spreads and evolves as it moves through a population. This compares with the way a gene that contains biological information changes through many generations of reproduction. Like genes, a meme can spread through a culture, becoming subtly altered as it comes into contact new people. In modern web parlance, a meme is usually a picture with some text that spreads through various online communities. There is no way to predict or control how or why any particular meme will become popular. Big corporations and established politicians have tried to engineer their own memes, but they usually fail. Many of the most popular memes over the last two decades were started by anonymous users on 4chan and from there spread to other social networks.

Let’s talk about 4chan for a moment. You might have heard it described by mainstream news as a scary place on the internet, where hackers collude and where anti-social young men plot evil deeds. In reality, 4chan began as an image board for anime fans. Because of its entirely anonymous nature, it quickly gained a following for people who wanted to rebel against the established culture. There have always been countercultures in the world. The beatniks and hippies of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s were themselves counter to the prevailing culture of the day, which was socially conservative. At some point, these rebels grew up and took control of the culture, becoming the very “man” they once raged against. Today’s counterculture is conservative and traditional, because it is those things that are being crushed by the dominant forces of social justice. When 4chan began it was full of Millennials rebelling against the social order of the late 90s and early 2000s. Today, it is full of Generation Z – Zoomers – who are rebelling against the globalist homosexual multicultural social justice establishment of 2020. Concepts such as reading the Bible, going to church, marrying and building a family – these are the countercultural ideas being spread among the younger generations today.

Let’s look at an example of how a meme can influence people in a way that you might not expect. The pro-life movement began in 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that states did not have the authority to ban abortion. Despite billions of dollars, despite nearly fifty years of Republican politicians campaigning on promises to outlaw abortion, this barbarous practice still occurs routinely across America. The pro-life movement has tried to change hearts and minds, but it is a slow process, especially in the face of our dominant media and culture that treats abortion as if it were a secular sacrament. Pro-life activists march on the Capitol every January, proclaiming their support for unborn children, while various advertising campaigns have been tried with little success. The general idea in our culture is that the pro-life movement is made up of old church ladies, or worse of evil men who just want to exercise control over women’s bodies. Conventional wisdom says that young people are growing more pro-abortion every year. However, there is a traditional counterculture that goes unseen by both the left and the right, and they are generation ideas in a new way. I came across a meme recently, one that likely originated on 4chan but eventually found its way to Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and other social media. It shows childlike drawings of boys and girls, calling them “aborted older brother,” “aborted daughter,” and “aborted sister”. The “aborted daughter” meme has statements written in crayon such as “Hi Mommy, I miss you. It’s ok, I’m glad you have a good life.” The “aborted sister” meme has others, such as “I wish I could hug you. I’m sure Mommy had a reason; did I do something bad to her?” These concise memes have probably done more to change the minds of young people on abortion than half a century of the pro-life movement.

Clausewitz said that politics is war by other means. Well, memes are information by other means. Older generations always complain that young people have short attention spans. In that case, memes can deliver a lot of relevant information in just a few seconds. It is not just the younger generations, however. Life moves fast in 2020. Nobody wants to sit down and watch three hours of dignified debating, as we did in 1858 when Abraham Lincoln challenged Stephen Douglas for the Senate. We ingest information as fast as possible – Twitter is 280 characters or less, TikTok videos are only a few seconds long, and memes are just a single image with only a few words. President Trump has fully embraced this new reality, and he uses his Twitter feed in the same way that President Roosevelt used radio in the 1930s. Trump can easily bypass the gatekeepers of knowledge and connect directly to the people. Vox Day has written much on the difference between rhetoric and dialectic. While we like to think that we are logical beings who appreciate a rationality, the truth is that most people respond more to emotional rhetoric than to a reasoned argument. This is not a new concept; Aristotle was saying the same thing more than two millennia ago. Memes are a terrific method of transmitting ideas because they are almost entirely rhetorical, but often carry with them the seed of logic that grows into a rational idea the more you see it.

The other advantage to memes is that they are almost infinitely applicable. Ever since there were newspapers, there have been political cartoonists. Political cartoons are not usually amusing, rather they serve to jam a bunch of ideas into a single box that preaches to the choir, whether on the right or the left. In the late 19th century Thomas Nast famously began using a donkey to represent the Democratic Party and an elephant to represent the Republicans, and that shorthand has stuck. Perhaps the closest analogue to the old political cartoons is the webcomic. There is one in particular that has hit the cultural zeitgeist like no other and that is Stonetoss. According to the social justice left, the author of Stonetoss is a Nazi who should be banned and censored. A better term, however, would be iconoclast – the sort of person who relentlessly skewers the politically establishment in the way that the left used to appreciate when they were not culturally dominant. I have found a few Stonetoss comics that communicate a certain message in three or four panels better than an entire essay. Here is the example I mentioned in last week’s podcast:

Stonetoss - Burgers

This single comic so succinctly demonstrates how advertising has turned into a propaganda platform for social justice warriors who want to remake society, with no thought to the product they are ostensibly trying to sell. Lest you think that this satire is unrealistic, there was recently a fast food ad that did exactly what the comic suggests, showing more footage of a homosexual couple than any of the food that they want to sell.

The genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back. As much as the rich and the powerful establishment would like to impose 1984-style censorship on us, the existence of the internet has made it possible to share ideas at the speed of light. Now that the globalist left is culturally dominant, it was only natural that a traditional and conservative counterculture would develop as young people seek an alternative to the degeneracy and misery of our modern world. While Orwell said in 1984 that if there was hope it lies with the proles, John Derbyshire summed up our modern world when he said that if there is hope today, it lies in the comments section. Mainstream media has their narrative, but the truth will find a way out as long as there are people brave enough to question what they have been told. There might be no way to stop the decline and fall of America, but, like our revolutionary fathers, the ideas we pass around today will form the basis of our new society in the future.

Here is a list of alternative media sources that I suggest you follow. It is by no means exhaustive. Some are meme or comic artists, some are independent journalists, and some are amateur pundits and commentators. Check them out, bookmark them, and follow them on multiple platforms in case they get banned from the mainstream sites.

Andy Ngo

Audacious Epigone

David Hines

Heather Heying

John Derbyshire

Men of the West

Michelle Malkin

Nicholas Fuentes

Orwell & Goode

Raheem Kassam

Ron Unz

Roosh V

Ryan James Girdusky

Scott Adams

Scott Greer

Stefan Molyneux

Steve Cortes

Steve Sailer

StoneToss

Tim Pool

Woke Capital

 

Parallel Justice

We all know the image of Lady Justice, best represented by the statue atop the Old Bailey in London. In one hand she holds a scale, to determine the truth, and in the other she wields a sword, to dispense punishment. Her eyes are often depicted blindfolded, because justice is supposed to concern itself only with the facts of a case, not the wealth, ethnicity, or character of the accused. This ideal has been turned on its head in modern society. Today we have two parallel tiers of justice in America: One for the rich, the powerful, and the politically-favored, and another for the rest of us.

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Last week, the Justice Department announced that it would not be charging former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe with a crime, despite the fact that he publicly lied under oath. Ironically, it is this same crime that was allegedly committed by General Michael Flynn, President Trump’s original choice for National Security Advisor. The FBI asked to interview Flynn, ostensibly about the allegation of election interference, but they concealed their intention of targeting him specifically. There is evidence that the FBI agents who conducted the interview were extreme anti-Trump partisans who deliberately altered their records of what Flynn said in the interview in order to indict him for supposed perjury. While Flynn has had the book thrown at him for more than three years now, McCabe got away with the same infraction.

We see this same process at work all over our government. The Mueller investigation targeted Trump confidant Roger Stone with various process crimes, and prosecutors recently recommended a sentence of nine years for the old man. That is more than many violent rapists or drug dealers receive. The Mueller team previously charged former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort with various minor crimes, but was able to put him in jail, and he was in fact kept in solitary confinement on the orders of an anti-Trump judge. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta is free, despite doing some of the same things. In fact, Podesta and Manafort actually worked together with the same firm when the crimes were supposed to have occurred. Clinton herself committed numerous crimes during her tenure as Secretary of State for President Obama, but the FBI and Justice Department declined to charge her with anything. However, other not-so-famous people who were charged with similar crimes were put in prison without mercy.

Another example in the news recently involves the opioid fentanyl which is responsible for thousands of overdose deaths in recent years. John Kapoor, former head of the drug company Insys, was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to five years in prison. However, fraud is putting it lightly. Kapoor and his company were found to have not only pushed for their fentanyl-containing drug Subsys to be massively overprescribed, but they even bribed doctors to get it into as many hands as possible. The FDA estimates that more than eight thousand people died as a direct result of Kapoor’s malfeasance. On the other hand, low-level drug dealers are often given much longer sentences, despite only being responsible for one or two deaths. Why is the former CEO given such a light sentence?

I could go on. Whether or not you are charged and convicted of a crime in America today depends greatly on who you know and how much political power you wield. Democrats accused President Trump of election tampering because he wanted to investigate obvious corruption by former Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently running in the Democratic presidential primary. Apparently, investigating possible criminal activity by a candidate is “election tampering”. According to this logic, simply declaring oneself a candidate for high office is enough to insulate you from any criminal investigation. On the other hand, these same Democrats had no problem with Obama’s FBI investigation Trump’s campaign team, and that investigation continuing into the Trump Administration itself. This is simply “who, whom” from the Democrats – anything that undermines their enemies is by definition good, while anything that attacks their own corruption is by definition bad. While this is a perfectly rational strategy for obtaining and maintaining power, it has nothing to do with the American idea of equality before the law.

The ancient world had no law under which nobility and peasantry alike were ruled. Laws were laid down by one king, then amended or replaced by another. Priests often had their own set of laws that they enforced. Outside of civilization it was simply the law of the jungle. The idea of the “Common Law,” a set of rules that was straightforward, everlasting, and applied equally to all, was one of the most important bedrocks in the development of Western Civilization. Before this concept was defined, law was simply a tool wielded by the powerful to use against everyone else. The idea that a king should have to follow the law that he gave his subjects was nearly unthinkable. Laws really were for the little people. In theory, the king was God’s representative on earth, and it was his job to sit in judgment of his people. Forcing the king to follow the law made no sense under this system. When the English nobility forced King John to sign Magna Carta in 1215 it was a watershed moment in the development of human rights. The men present at Runnymede that day declared that no man – not even the king – was above the law.

Magna carta

The Common Law also meant consistency, so that men knew what the law was from one day to the next. Even as late as Renaissance-era England, Parliaments could pass what was called a Bill of Attainder that declared, without a judge or jury, that a particular man was guilty of a particular crime. Parliaments would also pass “ex post facto” laws – making something that was legal yesterday illegal today, and then prosecuting people based on what they did yesterday. Both of these things were explicitly banned by the US Constitution. The philosophy of the Common Law was deeply ingrained in the founding fathers of the United States, permeating everything they wrote. The Constitution was written to be the supreme law of the land, above presidents and congressmen and judges, setting up a balance of power so that no one man could, like Julius Caesar two thousand years ago, amass ultimate authority in our nation. The founders built into the Constitution an amendment process that required super majorities of both Congress and the States, preventing one faction or party from altering the Constitution on a whim to serve their short-term interests.

constitution

The US Constitution disallows bills of attainder, as well as ex post facto laws. However, the modern bureaucratic state has found ways around these proscriptions. For example, Congress cannot pass bills of attainder that declare someone guilty, but they can endlessly investigate and subpoena anyone for any reason, and if that person says anything that is less than one hundred percent truthful, even if it is an innocent mistake, they are prosecuted and imprisoned for perjury. The FBI routinely pulls this stunt, as they did with General Flynn. It is a cheap trick to use when you cannot convict someone for actual crimes. Ex post facto laws might not be allowed, but our legal code has become so convoluted that it is often hard to tell at any given moment what is lawful and what is not.

The Constitution also disallows double jeopardy, a system in which the state could continue to prosecute someone until they succeeded in getting a jury to convict him. Today, once you are exonerated in a jury trial, you cannot be tried again for the same crime. The way around this is to use civil court to do what criminal court cannot. O.J. Simpson was acquitted by a jury in his criminal trial for the murder of his ex-wife and her lover, but his former in-laws successfully sued him in civil court for “wrongful death” and were able to deprive him of most of his fortune. While most Americans would agree that Simpson was clearly guilty, something about the way he was punished seems antithetical to the American ideal of justice.

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The use of process crimes to obtain convictions that were not otherwise possible has been around for a while. The Treasury Department famously could not find enough evidence to convict Chicago mobster Al Capone of illegal activities, but they could prosecute him for not paying taxes on his ill-gotten fortune. Obviously, Capone did not report his illegal revenues on his tax returns. As with O.J. Simpson, taking down Capone was clearly a good thing, the way it was done was surely another chip in the foundation of the Common Law in America. Today, government agencies use process crimes as a matter of course in their prosecution, whether it is of real criminals or simply of various sorts of political dissidents. The phrase “anarcho-tyranny” describes a system in which one group of people gets away with egregious crimes, while another is punished for the slightest infraction. Does that not sound like America today? Victor Davis Hanson has written about illegal immigrants from Mexico living around Fresno, California, and completely ignoring laws regarding zoning or illegal dumping. Meanwhile, white businessmen in the same region can barely conduct business due to the complexity of regulation laid upon them by the state. See also the push to legalize any crime committed primarily by black Americans, such as fare evasion in Washington DC, while calling for stronger punishment for crimes committed by less-favored ethnic groups.

The consistency of our laws is also not what it used to be. With so many laws on the books, the government cannot enforce everything, so there ends up being a lot of discretion involved in choosing what to prosecute and what to let go. President Obama’s Executive Order for the children of illegal immigrants, for example, did not change the legality of their presence in the United States, it merely instructed federal agencies to stop enforcing immigration law. This sort of capriciousness is a throwback to the time of ancient kings, who chose what laws to enforce based upon whatever criteria they considered important at the time. Today, being prosecuted is often a function of whether you are a member of a protected class or not. Are you rich and powerful? Are you a member of a favored ethnic or social group? Whether or not a crime was committed is secondary in this calculation.

There are clearly parallel systems of justice in America. The rich, the powerful, and the politically connected can get away with anything while the average American is subject to ever-changing laws that can entrap him at any moment. Former prosecutor Harvey Silverglate wrote a book a while ago called “Three Felonies a Day”, suggesting that there are so many twisted and even contradictory laws on our books today that a prosecutor could literally charge any random American with three different felonies on any given day should he so choose. The result of such a system is that prosecution and conviction are not borne out of a search for the truth regarding an obvious crime but are instead dependent on the whims of the people in power. Additionally, the use of plea bargains further removes truth from the so-called justice system. Prosecutors are increasingly charging people far beyond the scope of any actual infraction, so as to create such a threat point that the accused is basically forced to accept a plea bargain. Even for people who know they did not commit the crimes they are accused of, the risk of a guilty verdict putting them away for decades and ruining their business, their family, and their lives is so great that many will agree to plead guilty to a lower charge, despite their innocence.

Probably the greatest constitutional protection of our civil rights is the doctrine of innocent until proven guilty. In many older legal systems, the burden of proof was upon the accused to prove their innocence rather than upon the prosecutor to prove their guilt. Proving guilt is difficult, but proving innocence might be even harder, even if the accused is truly innocent. Our founding fathers would rather have a justice system where a few guilty people escape punishment than one that routinely imprisons innocent people. This too has been turned on its head by our modern bureaucratic state. Look no further than the investigation and impeachment of President Trump – the Democrats’ talking point was consistently that neither the Mueller Report nor the Senate trial actually “acquitted” or “exonerated” the president. In their opinions, he was guilty, and it was up to him to prove his innocence of whatever charges they threw at him. This twists not only American law but a thousand years of western European legal tradition entirely backwards.

The same idea powers the ever-expanding surveillance state. The government is constantly demanding more oversight over our daily lives, whether through cameras on the streets, mandatory reporting of financial transactions, or backdoors into our encrypted devices and applications. Police, border agents, and airport security demand the right to invasively search you with no probable cause. Edward Snowden proved that the NSA has been spying on Americans for many years now. Their usual excuse is that if we have nothing to hide then we have nothing to worry about. However, they maintain different rules for their class of people. The rich and the powerful are accustomed to getting away with their crimes, but they consider the average American to be guilty until proven innocent.

One of the most important corollaries in a belief in a common law is a belief in meritocracy. The conceit of America was that it was a classless society in contrast to Europe with its royal families and nobility as well as its hereditary offices and positions. While this might never have actually been the reality of America, it was at least the ideal we all aspired to. Children were taught that they could do anything, be anything in this country. Sometimes it actually happened. Abraham Lincoln was nobody special until he challenged Stephen Douglas for the Senate and made a name for himself, eventually reaching the White House. Harry Truman grew up on a farm in Missouri and ended up overseeing the end of World War II as president. While Donald Trump was wealthy and famous before becoming president, he came into the election as a true outsider, and remains the only President to be elected with no previous government or military experience. It happened outside of political office as well. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos started off in prosperity, but they both became the richest men in the world by creating things that changed the way we lived. Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash grew up in poverty and both reached the heights of fame. However, while numerous, these examples are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Today, entrance into the upper crust is largely a product of patronage. The existing upper classes engage in a huge amount of quid pro quo, trading favors and influence like prisoners trade cigarettes. The children of presidents provide an easy example here. Chelsea Clinton received numerous high-profile internships and lucrative board positions despite having accomplished almost nothing on her own. Same with the daughters of Presidents Bush and Obama. Perhaps the most egregious example is Hunter Biden, younger son of former Vice President Joe Biden. By his mid-forties, Hunter Biden had accomplished little, but had been given cushy jobs as the son of a high-ranking Senator. By the time his father was Vice President, Hunter was given a naval commission under a special program that did not require boot camp or training or anything like that. Despite this easy entry, he was discharged due to drug use shortly thereafter. Yet having connections means never having to hit rock bottom. Hunter was immediately given a sinecure position on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company that paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, despite having little-to-no experience with natural gas, or with Ukraine, for that matter. So much for meritocracy.

The left seemed very concerned about President Trump entering office as a rich man, but what about the opposite? How often do you see people enter elected office and then somehow become obscenely wealthy? The Obama family was moderately well off before the White House, but after leaving they have been awash in money as companies offer them huge sums to get in their good graces. The value in paying Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech, for example, is not that it will generate that much more productivity, but that it is an unregulated contribution, a bribe even, that will be remembered and rewarded later. Elite politicians, business leaders, and celebrities live for so long in a world of luxury that they forget what it is like to be an average American. They start to actually believe that the laws do not apply to people like them. They never have to wait in line at an airport or fight traffic on city streets. They do not have to clip coupons for groceries, compare cell phone plans, or anything else to try and stay within a limited budget. Their only interaction with the average man and woman might be watching them on TV now and then or at carefully staged town halls – they certainly do not rub shoulders with the hoi polloi on a regular basis.

The extreme upper class exists in another world, one that runs parallel to the one the rest of us inhabit. If we lose our job, we desperately search for a new one, hoping that our meager savings can survive until then, and hoping that there are no medical emergencies while we are in between insurance. For them, losing a job just means picking up the phone and asking for a lucrative sinecure on some other board or an easy lobbying gig in Washington DC. John Bolton, President Bush’s ambassador to the UN and President Trump’s former national security advisor, famously hung around buildings in DC while unemployed and tried to talk politics with anyone who would listen until he got a new position. If you or I tried that, we would rightly be labeled a bum who needs to get a real job. If we are accused of a crime, we can only find the best lawyer we can afford and hope that truth will win out over the massive weight of our legal system. For them, they simply send one of their high-powered attorneys on retainer to make the problem go away. When someone rich and powerful is finally given justice, it is often because the system has no more use of him. Harvey Weinstein was protected, until he wasn’t. Jeffrey Epstein was protected, until he wasn’t. How many people are still protected from prosecution for doing things far worse than many already in prison?

This two-tiered system of life and of justice in America is not a good sign for the health of our Republic. The left likes to talk about income inequality, but an even greater sign of the decline is in inequality of justice. When millions of normal Americans see the famous politicians getting away with the same crimes that would send them to prison, they lose all faith in our government and our society. This is how revolutions begin. The American people will not stand for this much longer. Something has to give. Every new injustice adds more fuel to the fire. Conservative commentator Jesse Kelly said it best:

The decline of America accelerated this week, and its inevitable fall approaches ever closer.

Bloomberg as Crassus

I am not the only one to make the comparison of Michael Bloomberg to Marcus Crassus. Earlier today on Twitter conservative commentator Jesse Kelly made the same observation after reading a long piece by Raheem Kassam at National Pulse. I briefly mentioned in my piece that Bloomberg made his fortune by gaining a monopoly on financial information systems for traders and journalists. Kassam’s piece goes into much greater detail on exactly how he accomplished that and what that sort of control means for his campaign. In short, we have a man who has nearly endless money, his own newspaper chain, and exactly zero principles who is trying to buy the White House.

Read the whole thing.

Quick Thoughts on Every President

To celebrate Washington’s Birthday (despite it having been bastardized into “Presidents’ Day to honor his mediocre successors), here are some notes about each president. This is not an exhaustive biography of every president and his place in history, merely some quick thoughts:

George Washington: “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.” He set the standard by which all future presidents are judged, and still stands alone.

John Adams: Principled to a fault. Would have enjoyed the VP position more in its 21st century form.

Thomas Jefferson: His idealism sometimes failed (as when he supported the French Revolution) but it also motivated him to expand our horizons.

James Madison: Wrote the Constitution and gave us the Bill of Rights. Much of what is good about America is due to his work.

James Monroe: Known for his eponymous Doctrine, and for being the only president to have a foreign capital named after him. Only president besides Washington to run essentially unopposed, in 1820.

John Quincy Adams: As principled as his father. The last of the old guard revolutionary elites. Benefited from the “Corrupt Bargain” in the election of 1824.

Andrew Jackson: The first populist president. He spoke directly to the people and acted on their behalf, no matter what the bureaucracy wanted.

Martin van Buren: Last president until George H.W. Bush in 1988 to win the White House as sitting VP.

William Henry Harrison: The anti-war Whig party got their first win by running a war hero general. Too bad he died not six weeks into his term.

John Tyler: First VP to succeed to the presidency. Made enemies on both sides by doing so. Later supported the Confederacy.

James K. Polk: Was not even a candidate until the divided Convention. Made three promises. Achieved all three then retired. A good model to follow.

Zachary Taylor: The Whigs win again with another war hero. They lose again when he dies in office. Bad luck.

Millard Fillmore: The last Whig president. That’s all I have.

Franklin Pierce: The Whigs tried their luck a third time with a war-hero general, running Winfield Scott in 1852. Pierce won easily. America probably wanted a refund after the fact.

James Buchanan: Didn’t do anything about the growing divide in America over slavery.

Abraham Lincoln: Revered today for keeping the Union together, yet he was the one who chose to start a war to do it. Bad on civil liberties too.

Andrew Johnson: A Southern loyalist Democrat unexpectedly has to deal with a Republican Congress that wants to annihilate the South. Gets impeached for standing up to them.

Ulysses Grant: Great general. Not so good president. First president to explicitly write his memoirs after office.

Rutherford Hayes: Actually lost the election, but the South switched their electoral votes to him in exchange for withdrawing Federal troops.

James Garfield: Exemplified the late 1800s presidency – quietly running the government and rooting out corruption. Shot just four months into his term.

Chester Arthur: Another late-1800s president. Failing health kept him from doing too much.

Grover Cleveland: Everyone knows he served two nonconsecutive terms. Think about that though – his successor messed up so much that the people went back for a second look.

Benjamin Harrison: Grandson of former President Harrison. Lasted longer in office. The last president to wear a glorious beard.

William McKinley: Proved that populism was still not a golden ticket by defeating the indefatigable and popular William Jennings Bryan twice. Pressured into starting a war based on faulty intel. Hmm.

Theodore Roosevelt: Maybe the most larger-than-life president of all time. Unabashedly pro-American.

William Taft: If Teddy was larger-than-life, Taft was simply large. Should have won in 1912 if Teddy’s ego didn’t ruin it.

Woodrow Wilson: Maybe the worst president. Income tax, Federal Reserve, direct election of Senators, expanded suffrage, war, civil rights restrictions. The seeds of everything wrong with America today.

Warren Harding: Super corrupt. Might have been legitimately impeached had he not conveniently died. His best decision, besides dying, was his VP.

Calvin Coolidge: Humble and soft-spoken. Understood that the best government is one that gets out of our way. One of the best.

Herbert Hoover: Not the laissez-faire leader our textbooks claim. An engineer by trade, he rebuilt Europe after WWI, and figured he could rebuild the economy with the right tools.

Franklin Roosevelt: I wonder if voters knew in 1932 that they were electing a president for life? Not quite the dictator that Germany, Russia, and Italy had in the same era, but cut from the same cloth.

Harry Truman: Humble, yet stuck with the choice to use nukes in his first month in office.

Dwight Eisenhower: Great president, great general, great man. Highest-ranking general since Washington, yet in two terms he did not start any wars.

John Kennedy: The last Democrat to be stridently anti-Communist. He was more useful to the Democrats dead than alive.

Lyndon Johnson: Third coming of Wilson, after FDR. Massively expanded government. Won greatest landslide in history in 1964, but so unpopular by 1968 he dropped out of his own primary.

Richard Nixon: Master politician. Got in trouble because suddenly doing what all presidents did was now wrong. Huge victory in 1972 belies conventional wisdom about the 60s generation.

Gerald Ford: Pardoning Nixon killed him politically, but it was the right thing to do.

Jimmy Carter: His win in 1976 was the only Democratic victory between 1968 and 1992.

Ronald Reagan: The Great Communicator. Boldly spoke directly to the people. His 1986 amnesty still haunts us today though.

George H.W. Bush: Seemed very humble and soft-spoken, but must have been different behind the scenes. Former head of the CIA, involved in Iran-Contra, and who knows what else.

Bill Clinton: Master politician like Nixon. Started the trend of replacing actual policy with cliched platitudes. 1994 triangulation was masterful but forgotten by modern Democrats.

George W. Bush: His 2004 reelection is the only time since 1988 that a Republican has won the popular vote.

Barack Obama: Most of his accomplishments have already been erased. Will be an historical footnote – “The first black president.”

Donald Trump: A true outsider – the first president to win election despite no electoral, military, or governmental experience. Faces opposition like no president in history, yet has been so-far successful in reshaping the executive branch and judiciary.

A Leftist Steps Outside Her Bubble

In my podcast yesterday I mentioned how leftists live in a bubble, and their only experience with the right is through strawmen on late night television. This morning I came across this piece by a leftist (former) Democrat about her experience of stepping outside her bubble and attending a recent Trump rally:

I started to question everything. How many stories had I been sold that weren’t true? What if my perception of the other side is wrong? How is it possible that half of the country is really overtly racist? Is it possible that Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing, and had I been suffering from it for the past three years?

And the biggest question of all was this: Did I hate Trump so much that I wanted to see my country fail just to spite him and everyone who voted for him?

It is well-written and eye opening. Read the whole thing.

View at Medium.com

Death of Democracy

“Democracy.” There is perhaps no single word more sacred to American culture than this. Pundits and politicians on both the left and right put this word on a pedestal, without ever explaining exactly what they mean by it. Did you know that the word “democracy” does not appear in either the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence? Yet that does not stop congressmen, journalists, and grade school textbooks from extolling the virtues of democracy and making it synonymous with the very idea of America itself. Like an inkblot test, or a political poll, the word “democracy” is open to whatever interpretation the speaker and the hearer want to give it.

The globalist left is especially fond of using “democracy” as a buzzword, often lacking any context regarding its actual definition. A great example of this came in 2012, when Wisconsin Democrats launched a campaign to recall newly elected Governor Scott Walker. Walker came into office with a conservative mandate to reform government and break the stranglehold that public-sector unions had on state government, but the Democrats reacted strongly against this attack on one of their pillars of power. They successfully triggered a recall election but were stunned that night when Walker was retained with an even higher percentage of votes than in his original election. Local media interviewed several young protestors at the capitol building, one of whom memorably cried, “Democracy died tonight!”

If you open a dictionary, you will find that democracy comes out of the Greek language and means “rule by the people”. However, to the left, democracy is simply a word to describe a system in which they win. This young protestor in Madison was not knowingly lying or making a non sequitur; rather, he seriously believed that Walker’s victory was a defeat for democracy. We saw the exact same thing happen with Brexit. The British people were presented with a simple referendum in 2016 that asked if they should leave the European Union. 52% of a record-setting turnout voted “yes”. The globalist left fought this too, trying various ways to undo the election or at least to hold a second referendum which they hoped would turn out differently. When these efforts were unsuccessful, many claimed that democracy was being stifled in Britain. Once again, in the minds of the left, the actual referendum of the people was not an example of democracy, while their efforts to undo the vote were examples of democracy. This is obviously backward, but that cognitive dissonance is the result of several generations of propaganda and brainwashing.

The idea of voting until you get the correct outcome is common with the globalists. About ten years ago, the European Union cobbled together a constitution that usurped the sovereignty of their member states. Calling it a treaty, they put it up for a vote in the various member nations. If the people of those nations rejected the treaty, they were forced to vote on it again, and again, each time under a constant barrage of pro-EU propaganda. Once they voted to ratify the treaty, that was it, they were done. Notice that this was the exact same tactic that opponents of Brexit attempted to use to undo that vote. In a real democracy, you don’t always win, but the left redefines the word to mean that they always do. The Democratic Party in America has treated power like their birthright for two generations now. Notice the way that Democratic lawmakers and their media friends use the word “illegitimate” these days. President Trump’s election is “illegitimate”. His impeachment acquittal is “illegitimate”. They said the same thing about the previous Republican president, George W. Bush, as well. His victory in 2000 over Al Gore was “illegitimate” because of the Florida ballot controversy. His reelection in 2004 over John Kerry was “illegitimate” because of issues with the vote count in Ohio. Notice that their supposed reasons for this alleged illegitimacy always change. That is because they are not acting in good faith, but simply trying to rationalize their belief that the only legitimate elections are the ones in which they win.

Socialists love to use democracy as a buzzword as well. North Korea is one of the most oppressive and authoritarian nations on earth, but what do they call themselves? The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Despite this name, North Korea is obviously not democratic, nor a republic, nor it is run by the people for that matter. Yet this is the image they present to the world. Like the globalist left, socialists believe that the natural outcome of democracy is that their side wins, and that socialism expands across the globe. Any other outcome is, to them, evidence of sabotage by evil capitalists.

In America, proponents of a socialist revolution have explicitly adopted the term “democratic” to soften their image for the American voters. They still claim that Stalin’s purges, Mao’s murders, Castro’s oppression, and the collapse of Venezuela are all examples of things that were never “real” socialism, because they define any failure as “not socialism”. Yet they still feel the need to qualify their ideology. Democratic socialism, they claim, is different, because it is merely redistribution of wealth at the behest of the voters instead of the result of violent revolution. Just because they use different words does not change the ideology. Project Veritas recently recorded more than one Bernie Sanders campaign official casually discussing the logistics of putting conservatives in gulags should he win. The vote that brings about socialism in America would be one of the last meaningful votes we would ever have. As the saying goes, you can vote your way into socialism, but you must shoot your way out.

Finally, our news media uses democracy as a meaningless buzzword as well. Mainstream media especially likes to use the term to make themselves sound overly important to America. After the 2016 election, recall that the news media came up with the term “fake news” to describe non-approved sources that supposedly propelled President Trump to victory. However, Trump turned the term around and applied it to mainstream media such as the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post. Angry over this use of their own propaganda against them, the Washington Post adopted the slogan “democracy dies in darkness,” sanctimoniously presenting themselves as the objective guardians of our sacred democracy. This is all despite the fact that it was the mainstream media themselves who have constantly been publishing fake news about Russian collusion in order to try and influence our politics in the direction they want. Our media considers themselves a fourth branch of government, with equal authority over the American people as the president, Congress, and the Supreme Court. When the White House revoked the press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta, who would spend every news conference smugly arguing with President Trump or his representatives, the media acted like this was a constitutional crisis. They said that because he removed one irritating journalist from the press pool, Trump was now an authoritarian dictator. This is the same CNN that doxed a random young man who made a meme making fun of fake news, and CNN specifically. It is an odd conception of democracy that features an unelected priestly class ruling over the common man, yet that is what our arrogant media would have us believe.

As I said, the word democracy comes from Greek and means rule by the people. Historically, this has taken two forms – direct democracy, where citizens vote on every issue, and representative democracy, where citizens elect representatives who vote on their behalf. Obviously, the American system is more like the latter than the former. Commentators will often point out how anti-democratic voting once was, with only landowning white men voting, and presidential electors picked by state legislatures. However, our founders were not naïve believers in democracy, as they are often portrayed. They feared the power of the mob. In that they were like the founders of ancient Greece and Rome, where the concept of democracy was born. In the Roman Republic, for example, Senate membership and voting was restricted to the patrician families who had originally founded the city. Plebeians were barred from voting, despite being a majority of the population. The founders of Rome, like the founders of our country, knew that the mob was fickle, and would often support whichever policy or politician that promised them the greater share of the spoils. It was the Romans who coined the phrase “bread and circuses” to explain how to keep the mob at bay. By restricting the franchise to landowning men, only those with skin in the game had direct influence on the policies of our young nation. Contrast this with today, where entire populations on welfare go to the polls to elect representatives who promise them ever more of the public purse. As Winston Churchill is supposed to have said, “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”

You can see the pernicious effect of the mob in the downfall of the Roman Republic. The Gracchi Brothers learned how to use the mob to accomplish their goals. They used patronage to entice people to their side, and then deployed the mob to protest and riot on command. Sound familiar? Gaius Marius used the power of the mob to run roughshod over Roman law and remained in power for five consecutive years rather than leaving office after one as all his predecessors had done. One of Marius’ proteges was a young Julius Caesar who took his mentor’s positions to their logical extremes, marking the end of the Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. The lesson is clear: A republic cannot survive the mob. Once electoral power is given to the great mass of people who vote only based on bread and circuses, the republic inevitably dies. Alexis de Tocqueville recognized this two hundred years ago when he made his survey of the young American republic. “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

We are told that expanding the franchise means more democracy which is an unmitigated good. Yet if you look at tyrants throughout history, they are always expanding the franchise. Adolf Hitler allowed more people to vote in Germany than had the Weimar Republic before him, because he understood how to use the mob to his advantage. Several centuries ago, King James of England found himself unable to pass certain laws in the House of Lords, so he simply created enough new baronets that he could overcome that opposition. President Franklin Roosevelt tried something similar in the 1930s. After the Supreme Court struck down several parts of the New Deal, FDR threatened to appoint enough new justices that he could get anything declared constitutional. While he ended up not doing this, the threat alone was enough to cow the Supreme Court into supporting the New Deal from then on.

Third-world dictatorships and banana republics always claim high voter turnout, with their preferred leaders winning close to 100% of the vote. Saddam Hussein of Iraq was always reelected with nearly unanimous consent, for example. What this tells us is that voting itself is not a guarantor of freedom or even of the truthful will of the people. Joseph Stalin was supposed to have said “It’s not the votes that counts, but who counts the votes,” and this is proven time and again. Democracy is often just a veneer that is used to legitimatize totalitarianism. The mob is fickle, and in the hands of a deft political propagandist it can be made to support nearly any position. By expanding the franchise to ever more people, a clever tyrant can cloak his dictatorial ambitions in a façade of democracy.

The modern Democratic Party has its origin in the Democratic-Republicans of Thomas Jefferson, founded as an alternative to the Federalist Party. However, they owe more to the populism of Andrew Jackson. The Democrats have long considered themselves to be the party of the common man, which really means that they are the party of the mob. Although the Democrats of the late 19th and 20th centuries were a far cry from the socialist of today, that is where mob rule eventually leads. The Southern Democrats who supported secession after the election of Abraham Lincoln were strong proponents of states rights and distrusted the federal government. Modern Democrats desire a strong federal government, as the old Federalist Party once did, but they have also adopted the ideologies of the socialist and labor movements of the 20th century. FDR’s New Deal might not have been as dramatic or violent as the socialist movements of Russia, Italy, or Germany, but it was still a great expansion of federal power and a move toward totalitarianism. The New Deal government began subsidizing certain industries, used taxpayer money to guarantee bank deposits, established a public old age pension, and told farmers what they could and could not grow. Al Smith, former governor of New York and the Democratic candidate for president in 1928, warned America that the New Deal was taking his party away from the ideals of Jefferson, Jackson, and Grover Cleveland and leading instead to those of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin.

Today’s Democratic Party nearly fully embraced socialism. The Bernie Sanders / Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing is in the process of taking control of the party as we speak. Former Vice President Joe Biden, once considered the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic primary, has been sinking in the polls, while Senator Sanders has been rising. The Democratic establishment is not happy with this situation but there is not much they can do at this point. The Republicans cannot outdo the Democrats in pandering, welfare, and identity politics, so the Democratic establishment cannot compete with the socialist wing in the same manner.

As I said before, the modern American socialists claim that their brand of “democratic socialism” is not the same as the variants of socialism that have been tried and failed in the past. They believe that rather than overthrowing their capitalist overlords and seizing the means of production, they can instead vote their way into a socialist utopia. If someone like Bernie Sanders is elected president, they would claim this as a mandate to reshape the American economy and society in a socialist manner. The Constitutional protections for the rights to life, liberty, and property would be as easily brushed away as the rights of free speech, free religion, the right to bear arms in self-defense. Yet once lost, those rights will be extremely difficult to get back. It begs the question – does sacred democracy give the people the right to vote away their liberty? Remember that it’s not just our own liberty at stake, but our children’s, and their children’s after them. High school civics classes teach us that democracy is sacred, and that the right to vote is the most precious right we can possibly have. That is little comfort as we watch millions of Americans exercising that right with the intent of wrapping chains around our cherished liberties. What good is the right to vote if we have little choice in whom to support? What good is the right to vote if our elected officials simply delegate their lawmaking powers to unelected bureaucrats who steadily erode our freedoms? What good is the right to vote if we cannot use it to protect ourselves from the capricious mob? We are the sheep, and the vote on what to have for dinner is fast approaching.

The farce that is modern American democracy is nowhere as evident as in the efforts of the American people to exert control over government policy. Buried in the kabuki theater performance that is the impeachment of President Trump is a fundamental disagreement about the nature of American government. That is, who runs the country, specifically foreign policy? If you ask a random person on the street, they might say the President, or perhaps Congress. If you find someone particularly civic minded, they might say the people. Yet when you look at the way our foreign policy works today, you have to ask who is pulling the strings. Is it the president? Congress? The people? Our foreign policy today is a complicated mélange of military deployments, foreign aid, sanctions, covert actions, and quid pro quo. There are few Americans who know entirely what we are doing in the world, much less who understand why we are doing it. Sometimes different factions of our government even conduct completely contradictory operations. So how do we the people exercise any control over what our government is up to?

According to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, the president is not only the Commander-in-Chief of the military, but also has the power to appoint ambassadors and other ministers of government, with the “advice and consent” of the Senate. This gives the president broad authority to dictate American foreign policy. In the original conception of the Constitution, the president was elected by electors appointed by the states, and Senators were also appointed by state legislatures. While this might seem anti-democratic to us today, remember that the state legislatures themselves were elected by the people of the state, so ultimately the final authority was with the people. Today, we the people actually have more influence over these offices, with the direct election of Senators and direct voting for a state’s electors. However, we seem to have less control over American foreign policy than ever before. In November of 2016, more than sixty-million Americans voted Donald Trump into the White House because they believed he would reign in an out-of-control foreign policy, yet this is exactly why Democrats, NeverTrump Republicans, the media, and the Deep State have been trying to oust the president since Day 1.

Prior to World War II, American foreign policy was relatively simple. The military was used to protect American citizens while taxpayer money financed the essential roles of government. The military was kept small and close to home except in times of war. Even as late as 1916, General Pershing’s Punitive Expedition into Mexico to try and capture Pancho Villa was a big deal. Ever since World War II, but especially since 9/11, American foreign policy has involved deploying troops all across the globe while at the same time distributing huge amounts of foreign aid to try and maintain the postwar new world order. During the Cold War, the goal of these twin planks of foreign policy was supposedly to counter the aggressive expansion of the Soviet Union and prevent more of the world from falling behind the Iron Curtain. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, however, the goal has been less obvious. The 90s saw even more military action in places such as Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, while foreign aid continued to increase. The 9/11 attacks have been providing justification for unlimited military action for nearly twenty years. If you talk to a neoconservative politician or a general at the Pentagon, you’ll hear a platitude such as “we fight them over there, so they don’t come over here.” This statement rings hollow when you consider that our immigration policy now lets in more people than ever – in fact, after 9/11 we actually increased our quotas of refugees and immigrants from Muslim nations such as Somalia.

While the president is the commander-in-chief of the military, Congress has broad powers to determine how that military is used. According to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress is the sole body that can declare war against a foreign country. The last time they exercised that power was in 1941 in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack. Since then, presidents have deployed troops nearly at will, sometimes asking Congress for permission after the fact. Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon deployed American soldiers in Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia with varying degrees of congressional authorization. In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Act in order to constrain the president’s use of military force, though every president since Nixon has maintained that this is unconstitutional. In 2001, Congress approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The original idea of the AUMF was to give President Bush the authority to invade Afghanistan to root out Al Qaeda and their Taliban allies. Since then, however, Presidents Bush, Obama, and even Trump have used the AUMF to justify their deployment of American soldiers and equipment not only in Afghanistan but also Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Niger, and many other places throughout the world. Most of the Congressmen who voted for the AUMF are out of office now, and later Congresses have not held any new votes to continue their authorization or to retract it. So, who now is actually deciding American military policy?

It might seem like the president is unilaterally deciding foreign policy at this point but consider what happened when President Trump tried to pull troops back. In late 2018, Trump ordered the withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan, and order that was met with consternation in the halls of Congress. The House even passed a resolution condemning the president’s plan, despite never having explicitly authorizing the deployment in the first place. To sum up: President Obama deployed US troops to Syria, using a Congressional resolution that authorized President Bush to invade Afghanistan as justification, and President Trump is therefore not allowed to withdraw those troops without congressional approval. Got it?

There has been much discussion since the election of President Trump about the so-called “Deep State”. Mainstream media initially denied that such a thing existed, then later turned around and said that the Deep State was going to save us from our crazy president. When I say “Deep State” I am not implying the existence of some sort of secretive organization like the Illuminati that is covertly controlling world affairs. This is the sort of conspiracy theory that the media uses to tar the entire idea as crazy. Instead, the Deep State is simply the thousands of faceless bureaucrats and staffers in the State Department, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the Justice Department, and other governmental organizations that remains in place from one administration to the next. Some commenters use the terms “administrative state” or “permanent political class” to describe the same thing. Unlike presidents or elected representatives, these bureaucrats are not elected for a term and then sent home. Rather, they spend their entire careers in these positions, gradually assuming more power and authority in their respective spheres. I believe that these Deep State bureaucrats see themselves as a moderating influence on the elected officials who are supposed to be in charge. Presidents and Senators come and go, having made various promises to their constituents, but the Deep State makes sure that American foreign policy continues unchanged no matter who is in the White House.

During the leadup to impeachment, several politicians, pundits, and former diplomats complained on cable news that President Trump was not properly carrying out American foreign policy. They did not like the way he was dealing with Russia, Ukraine, and other nations. This complain is a non sequitur, as the president is supposed to be the one who sets American foreign policy. Yet these representatives of the deep state do not see it that way. To them, foreign policy is decided in some backroom at the State Department, and the job of the president is to allow them broad latitude to carry it out. They see the president as a figurehead, like Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, who according to the British constitution is obligated to support the policies of the elected government, no matter what they might be. At least the British people have the option of voting out their government; in America, who oversees these career bureaucrats of the Deep State?

In 2014, a pro-Russian government in Ukraine was overthrown by a pro-European government, and it turned out that the CIA was involved in this coup. When did the American people vote for this? When did our elected representatives take a vote on whether to involve ourselves in an internal Ukrainian matter? Same thing with Libya – in 2011, American blood and treasure was involved in the coup that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, which ultimately led to the Benghazi disaster that saw our ambassador and three of his staff murdered. Not only was there never a democratic vote on our involvement, but there were no repercussions for its consequences. To paraphrase the biblical proverb about the adulterous woman, “the deep state eats and wipes its mouth and says I have done nothing wrong.”

It was not always this way. In the America envisioned by the founders, government would be as transparent as possible, and voting would give people real influence over the course of the nation. In the presidential election of 1800, voters had a clear choice between the pro-British John Adams and the pro-French Thomas Jefferson, among other distinctions. In the election of 1844, James K. Polk clearly laid out his platform, which included annexing Oregon and declaring war on Mexico over Texas. When he was elected, he fulfilled his promises. It seems like it was in the 20th century, as the United States was increasingly drawn into European affairs, that the people lost their control of American policy. Woodrow Wilson ran for reelection in 1916 with a pledge to keep America out of the Great War, yet he had barely finished his inaugural oath when we declared war on Germany and began shipping a million men to the trenches. In the 1930s, a majority of Americans were against involvement in another European war, yet Franklin Roosevelt nevertheless embargoed Japan, sent military equipment to the Soviet Union, and made plans with Churchill for the postwar world order. The American people did not vote for any of this and would surely have voted against it given the chance. Once Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, public opinion inevitably swung toward war and gave FDR the mandate to do what he wanted to do all along.

In 1959, Fidel Castro led a revolution that overthrew the pro-American president of Cuba and established a Communist state that allied with the Soviet Union. Not only was this a national security issue, with a Soviet ally now within a hundred miles of the continental United States, but it was a blow to American business interests that had found Cuba very friendly to their investments. The CIA immediately hatched a plot to overthrow Castro using Cuban refugees backed by American air power. In 1961, John F. Kennedy entered office having defeated the sitting Vice President Richard Nixon in a very close and contentious election. Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected to the presidency and immediately found himself facing foreign policy crises on all sides. He had campaigned on taking an even harder stance on Cuba than had Nixon, so when the CIA briefed him on this plan, he gave it his authorization. The invasion was a massive failure, and while Kennedy took full responsibility, some reports say that he privately seethed at the way the CIA handled the invasion and its aftermath. One later report quoted Kennedy as wanting to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds,” though he apparently relented after a congressional inquiry. Kennedy did fire CIA chief Allan Dulles, but the damage was done. The invasion pushed Cuba even further into the arms of the Soviet Union, leading to the Cuban missile crisis, while Kennedy’s desire to avoid looking weak after the fiasco led him to draw a line in the sand in Vietnam, escalating US involvement in that conflict. There are some who even suggest that Kennedy’s threat to dismantle the CIA might have even provoked his assassination, though we will likely never learn the truth behind that.

What is the point of voting if our elected representatives simply carry out the will of some unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington DC? Think back to the 2008 election and ask yourself if American foreign policy would have been that much different had John McCain defeated Barack Obama. If anything, McCain would have been worse. Obama deployed troops and drones to Syria, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere, while McCain might well have done all that and invaded Iran too. The Deep State is not confined to one party or another but sees itself as beyond partisan politics. Tucker Carlson of Fox News recently highlighted this on his show, saying,

“Both parties work together to keep America overextended abroad, stuck in quagmires across the world that enrich defense contractors & lobbyists, while killing our finest young men & hollowing out this country.”

The other prong of the permanent foreign policy scheme is money. The United States delivers billions and billions of dollars to various countries under the term “foreign aid”. It is supposed to help these countries prosper and become more democratic, but in reality, it mostly enriches NGOs and friendly oligarchs. There are few countries on earth that do not receive some form of aid from the US, by which I mean taxpayer dollars. Did we ever vote for this? When did we hold a referendum on sending over $800 million to Pakistan or $260 million to Bangladesh? Why are we sending nearly half a billion dollars to Morocco or Colombia? Who decided that Palau should get $10 million in US taxpayer funds, or that we should divert $3.2 billion to Israel? Why are we sending another half a billion dollars to Ukraine?

Ukraine seems to be at the center of American foreign policy lately. It was the CIA, along with Obama administration operative Victoria Nuland, that helped oust the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych and replace him with an EU stooge. In response to the coup, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in order to secure their naval base at Sevastopol and deployed troops in eastern Ukraine ostensibly to safeguard Russian-speaking citizens. The US and most western nations condemned these invasions, and relations with Russia have been unsteady ever since. US foreign policy had turned against Russia shortly before the Ukrainian coup, for reasons that are not entirely clear. At the start of the Obama Administration, you’ll recall that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gifted the Russian foreign minister a trinket that said “reset,” in reference to the cooling of US/Russian relations at the end of George W. Bush’s administration due to disagreements over Russia’s conflict with the nation of Georgia. However, just a few years later, the Obama Administration was stirring up trouble against Russia. Why? And how are voters supposed to guide American foreign policy when our relations with other nations switch for no apparent reason?

Coming back to Ukraine, the supposed impetus for the Democrats finally passing articles of impeachment against President Trump was his alleged threat to withhold foreign aid to that country unless they investigated apparent corruption by former Vice President Joe Biden. Shortly after the coup that installed a pro-European president in Ukraine, Biden’s son Hunter was given a lavish position on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, despite having no background in the industry or in Ukrainian politics. The reason why this was done is obvious to anyone with eyes to see – by dumping money on the son of the Vice President, the Ukrainians hoped to gain favor with the Obama Administration. For the powerful people of the deep state, this is normal. This is simply how business is done. An enormous amount of money is moved around between foreign leaders and dignitaries, businessmen, and American politicians and diplomats. This system keeps them all enriched, but it is entirely removed from the control of the American people or our elected representatives.

Enter Donald Trump. As far back as the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Trump was already suggesting that as president he would not only withdraw American troops from around the world but that he would also take a look at the foreign aid racket that has enriched the deep state for so long. I believe this is the biggest reason why so many people have tried so hard to stop President Trump, one way or another. He is a serious threat to the military/industrial complex that has grown up since the end of World War II. He is a threat to the New World Order that keeps the world running for the benefit of powerful people both here and abroad. They couldn’t stop him with the Access Hollywood tapes. They couldn’t stop him at the ballot box. They couldn’t stop him with the Mueller Report. They will not be able to stop him with impeachment. I fear for what they will try next. John F. Kennedy challenged the deep state, and he ended up murdered.

This is the great battle of our time. Who runs our country? Who decides American foreign policy? Is it the American people, expressed through our elected representatives who must return every few years for reelection? Or is it the career bureaucrats in Washington DC who face little to no accountability for their decisions? Do we have a democracy, or are we ruled by a corrupt oligarchy? We still vote in elections for Congress, the Senate, and the Presidency, but do these really matter? The right to vote is not an end unto itself. Our founders understood that the rights to life, liberty, and property needed constant safeguarding against tyrants above and the mob below. Our freedom is not secure so long as a simple majority can vote to take it away. The next time you see a politician or journalist speaking of democracy as a sacred thing, see it for the crass propaganda it is. Picture Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars solemnly intoning that “I love democracy.” Even George Lucas, bleeding-heart liberal that he is, understood the ability of a tyrant to use the power of the people to make himself a dictator. Today’s dictators are not Sith lords shooting lightning from their fingertips but are instead career bureaucrats who cloak themselves positive-sounding phrases such as “civil servants”.

I will leave the last word to Steve Cortes of the America First Political Action Committee who wrote a great piece on RealClearPolitics last week. He says,

“Herein lies the real rub, the underlying struggle that truly thrusts our nation into this historic showdown. The administrative state, the permanent political class, wages an all-out assault on the will of the people who, through President Trump, decided to regain control over the leviathan of the federal government. Amazingly, Adam Schiff admitted as much in his impeachment presentation to the Senate, stating the conflict “cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won.”

Some politicians, like Schiff, are perfectly content to pretend to lead our government and simply perform as actors in a play. But Donald J. Trump demands to be the director, not some bit-part extra. For this “sin,” our national security and foreign policy elites have turned their political guns against him for almost four years. His coming acquittal, exoneration, and reelection will secure an important victory for a people fervently focused on reclaiming power over Washington.”

The Long Run

The economist John Maynard Keynes is once supposed to have quipped that, “In the long run, we’re all dead.” The joke is that economists often look at the short term and long-term consequences of various actions and policies, but if you extend the timeline far enough then you eventually reach a point where nothing matters anymore. What you eat for lunch today matters in the moment but makes little difference a year from now. Where you choose to live and work matters a lot in your lifetime but will not have any effect when we reach the point where the sun grows cold and all life in our solar system has disappeared. Yet it is in between these two extremes that the important choices of life are made. How far in advance you look when making choices about your money, your health, and your family will determine not only your short-term success but will also have a ripple effect that echoes through the lives of your children, your grandchildren, and onward.

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We recently began a new month, a new year, and a new decade. Any time is good for reflection and planning; you don’t need to wait for times like this, but the arbitrary ways in which we choose to mark time are good reminders to do just that. One of the greatest factors between success and failure comes down to time preference; that is, how far in advance are you planning your life? Too many people in America today live only for the moment. They spend their paychecks as soon as they arrive, they eat whatever makes them feel good at the time, and they waste their lives watching mindless entertainment. Tax refunds come as a welcome surprise rather than budget items that are expected and understood. Credit card debt and car payments are simply facts of life, not choices they make. Health problems and financial difficulties are seen as random occurrences over which they have no control. They live their lives as if they are strapped to a raft at sea, tossed to and fro with no control over where they are going. The idea that they could exercise control over their circumstances is foreign, even offensive to them. They vote for whichever politician promises them the most free stuff.

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Yet this is not the only way to live. There is an old proverb that societies prosper when old men plant trees in whose shade they will never sit. Rather than living for the moment and trusting government to take care of you later, true visionaries will live their lives intentionally. They will plant trees – both literal and metaphorical – that will only bloom long after they are gone. They forgo the mindless entertainment and instead use their time to learn useful knowledge and build their skill set. They abstain from junk food that might taste good now but leads them to health problems later, and when they are in their 50s and 60s they are still in good health while their short-time-preference peers are obese, diabetic, and finding daily life painful. By avoiding the health problems faced by their peers they save tens of thousands of dollars on medical costs as well. And this is just one lifetime. Imagine the ripple effect that this kind of intentional living will have on your descendants. The greatness of America itself was borne out of the Christian morality, work ethic, and moderation of our ancestors.

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To be sure, human nature never changes. We have always had our vices and time-wasters – in the early days of America, alcohol consumption was at a much higher level than it has been in our lifetimes. Today, however, we face a unique combination of temptations toward sloth. Entertainment is cheap and plentiful – we can find games, shows, or movies that cater to every preference, and there is enough to keep us watching indefinitely. When you finish one show on Netflix, the service helpfully pops up something else it thinks you will enjoy. Technology has made our lives easier than ever. We even have robots to vacuum the floor. The welfare state promises to take care of you even if you cannot or will not work. Twenty years ago, there was a Simpsons episode where Homer deliberately made himself massively obese so that he could qualify for disability and work from home. Today, life imitates art. In the postwar decades, a man could support his family by working 40 or 50 hours at a factory doing manual labor and have enough left over for some basic entertainment and luxuries. Today, the entertainment and luxuries are incredibly cheap – a few hundred bucks will buy you a television screen more massive than our grandparents could imagine and a phone more powerful than the greatest supercomputers of old – but all our manufacturing jobs have been outsources to developing nations, leaving entire classes of Americans struggling to find their place in the market. Never before in human history has it been so easy to waste so much time.

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Politicians themselves have trouble thinking for the long run as well. Due to the nature of representative democracy, there is little incentive for Congressmen and Senators to make the unpopular decisions that are necessary to save our Republic. Cutting the budget, for example, is necessary, but anyone who tries that is attacked for taking away Medicare or Social Security and is promptly defeated by a challenger who promises to restore the federal trough. Meanwhile, the federal deficit continues increasing toward infinity. Politicians who allocate taxpayer money to their own districts enjoy high popularity and easy reelection. Look at the difference between NASA in the 1960s and NASA now. Back then they had a goal – land on the moon. The government gave them the money they needed to do that, not only for the scientific rewards but also to avoid losing face in the Cold War. Today, the space program is just a pork barrel project for politicians to hand out to defense contractors. Consider that it took less than ten years for NASA to design, test, and perfect the Saturn V and Apollo moon lander, while today they have been working on the Orion Space Launch System for fifteen years with no end in sight. It makes no sense until you realize that the goal is not spaceflight but simply for politicians to give federal contracts to industries in their own states and districts. There are surely engineers and scientists who have the long run in mind – the people working on the James Webb Telescope, for example – but the politicians who hold the purse strings only care about their next election.

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The current generation is one of the most sick and unhealthy generations in American history. We stuff our faces with industrial products that barely resemble food, and instead of changing our diet and behavior to fix the problem we take whatever pills the pharmaceutical industry prescribes. Eating pasta, potato chips, and donuts gives immediate pleasure, while the pain is years away. Keeping the long run in mind means abstaining from temporary pleasure in order to have a better life fifty years from now. This sort of self-control is not what out society preaches and incentivizes, however. It is not that human nature that has changed – recall that the Bible characterizes short-sighted men twenty-five hundred years ago as saying “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” On the contrary, it is culture that has changed. The role of society was once to constrain the worst aspects of human nature while promoting the best, but now that is entirely inverted. Any constraints upon our hedonistic desires are seen as artificial social constructs that must be wiped away in order to maximize temporal happiness.

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This desire is not new either. Nearly three hundred years ago, enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacque Rousseau wrote of the “noble savage,” a man unencumbered by social constraints who existed in a state of moral perfection. A century later, Romantic poet William Blake wrote about the chains placed upon man by social institutions such as the Church. You can see this same idea in the enduring popularity of socialism, a popularity that no amount of state-sanctioned murder, gulags, or starvation can erode. Karl Marx also used the imagery of throwing off the chains imposed by society, this time from an economic perspective. The socialist believes that by removing the structure of capitalism, we can remake human nature to be free of greed and finally establish a utopia where our happiness is guaranteed. Socialism appeals to the hedonistic human animal by saying that hard work, thrift, and sacrifice are immoral and unnecessary, and that all we need to thrive is to vote ourselves a share of the public treasury.

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What made America great in the first place was a work ethic that was borne out of Christian Scripture and many generations of hardship faced by our European ancestors. Dr. Jordan Peterson once suggested that the sacrifices demanded by God of the Israelites were a way of teaching them delayed gratification. By giving up the firstfruits of their flocks, they learned to forgo immediate gratification in favor of a belief in something greater in the future – in this case, the blessings promised by God. This ethic of hard work and thrift motivated our ancestors to settle in an untamed land and build a new society there. There is a saying that “Hard times create strong men; strong men create good times; good times create weak men; weak men create hard times.”  Is it any wonder that the greatest period of prosperity in world history followed immediately after some of the hardest times the world had ever known? In a span of thirty years humanity experienced the industrial horror of World War I, the destitution of the Great Depression, and the massive carnage and destruction of World War II. Yet the men and women who survived that trial by fire came out of it and created the postwar prosperity that raised the standard of living to its highest level ever, but also sowed the seeds of our current decline. Hard times created hard men who did what needed to be done, who sacrificed so as to provide their children a better life. Those children grew up in affluence, not hardship, and grew into the proverbial weak men. Now we are seeing the results of three generations of good times.

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If we are to make America great again, it will start with ourselves. We must rediscover the temperance and moderation of our exceptional ancestors. We must begin to think not just of the needs of the moment but of the effect that our choices will have on the next hundred years. Imagine the society we could create if we raised our children with the values of the Depression generation, and they carried those values to their own children, and onward. Imagine if we built incentives into society that reward thrift, hard work, and sacrifice, rather than our current model of privatizing success but subsidizing failure. In just a few short generations, a small number of European settlers built the greatest nation in the history of the world. Imagine what we could build in the next three hundred years.

News Roundup – Our Dishonest Government

Yesterday, December 9, was full of breaking news. First thing in the morning, the Washington Post published an expose of the way government officials have lied about the situation in Afghanistan for the past fifteen years. After 9/11, we invaded that nation in order to topple the Taliban that was supporting Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. That was the easy part. Then our government decided to engage in some nation-building, attempting to turn a society of warring tribes into a Westphalian-style nation. That has not worked out so well. Unfortunately, our presence in Afghanistan has become the norm, and anyone suggesting we withdraw faces an uphill battle. The current leadership of the Pentagon, Congress, and our intelligence agencies are all true believers whose default position is to maintain the status quo. They don’t call Afghanistan the “Graveyard of Empires” for nothing – great civilizations from Alexander’s Greeks to the British to the Soviet Union have all been confronted with their own hubris in that region, and the United States is no different.

A few hours later, the Office of the Inspector General released its much-anticipated report about the initial FISA applications the FBI filed to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016. As expected, both sides claimed victory, but the report is quite damning of the way the FBI omitted information and even outright lied as they sought the authority to investigate the Trump team. Now that we know the NSA spies on American citizens and then lies about it, the CIA is engaged in coups all across the world, and the FBI is telling lies in order to spy on the President of the United States, is there any reason to keep these agencies around? At this point we need to have a serious discussion about whether these organizations do more harm to the American people than good.

Finally, the Democrats’ impeachment process has moved into its endgame. They announced that they will hold a vote to impeach President Trump on two articles – “abuse of office” and “obstruction of Congress”. I have no idea what these two accusations even mean. They are both so vague as to be meaningless. As I explained in this week’s podcast, the Democrats are searching for a crime to fit their desired punishment. Impeachment is just their latest attempt to undo the election of 2016. Earlier this week, the esteemed Victor Davis Hanson wrote an article for American Greatness comparing this impeachment attempt with those of the past. As usual, he does a much better job saying what I was trying to say.

News is moving fast these days. Unfortunately, that means that the lies of our government will soon be overshadowed by some other breaking story. In the end, I doubt anyone will be held to account. Government agencies have become behemoths that are not beholden to American citizens, despite the fact that it is the citizens who are supposed to be the source of governmental authority. Reform seems impossible. A complete collapse might be necessary in order to rebuild.

Politics By Other Means

 

This morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the Democratic House of Representatives would draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. While the Democrats and their friends in the media are presenting this as the solemn conclusion to an objective hearing of the facts, the truth is that they have been trying to remove the president since the moment he was elected. From the Access Hollywood tapes that were leaked before the election, to the recounts, to the pressure put upon the electors, to the Steele dossier and the Russia hoax, and finally to the Ukraine phone call hullabaloo, the left has never accepted the results of the 2016 election and have been trying to pull off a coup ever since.

The bigger issue here, however, is how this process has hastened the decline and fall of our society. Whereas impeachment was intended to be a remedy for what the Constitution calls “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Democratic Party is now setting the precedent that impeachment is simply another political tool to be deployed against the opposing party. President Trump himself recognizes this, tweeting this morning:

On the other hand, the first presidential impeachment was entirely political as well. In the election of 1864, President Abraham Lincoln selected Democratic Senator Andrew Johnson of Tennessee as his running mate in a national unity ticket. Back then, (and even as late as the 1980s) the office of Vice President was a position of prestige without any real responsibility. The assassination of President Lincoln in 1865 changed everything. Suddenly, a Southern Democrat was president just a few weeks into the aftermath of the Civil War. The Radical Republicans led by Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania were stymied in their efforts to thoroughly crush the defeated Confederacy, and so sought to remove President Johnson by any means necessary. They passed a bogus and unconstitutional law that ostensibly prevented Johnson from managing his own cabinet. Johnson tested the law by dismissing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and impeachment was on. In 1868 the House advanced articles of impeachment but President Johnson was acquitted in the Senate by a single vote.

It is ironic that one of the accusations by the Democrats against President Trump is that he abused his office by firing the Ambassador to Ukraine – exactly the trap set by the Republicans against President Johnson in 1867. History repeats, first as tragedy, then as farce. This entire impeachment process has been nothing but farce, but it portends tragedy for the American Republic.

The Post-Truth Society

We live in a post-truth society. This is not to say that I believe in a subjective truth that depends on one’s own perspective. No, truth is objective and not subject to opinions that are always in flux. What I mean is that real truth no longer matters in American society. Dilbert creator and persuasion enthusiast Scott Adams has suggested that Americans today are experiencing reality as if they are watching two different movies. We interpret facts depending on our preexisting perspectives. Two different people reading the same statement or viewing the same piece of information will come away with opposite conclusions. Half the country believes that President Trump is not only a Nazi and a Fascist but a Russian stooge who somehow stole the 2016 presidential election. The other half of the country believes that there is a deep state bureaucracy, as seen in the FBI, CIA, and other unelected organizations, that conspired to prevent Trump from winning in 2016, and then when he won, tried to oust him in a soft coup. Both realities cannot be true, can they? Even though the first scenario has not been proven, and in fact has been thoroughly disproven despite the leftist media’s best efforts, millions of people still believe it. Why? Two thousand years after the Roman governor of Judea Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?” we find ourselves asking the same thing, with no better answer.

A few weeks ago, we saw probably the best example yet of the uselessness of truth in modern discourse. As she campaigns in the Democratic Presidential Primary, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has been recounting a story of being fired from her teaching job by a sexist school board because of her pregnancy. Some conservative news outlets actually investigated and found records showing that rather than being fired, Warren had actually been offered a new contract, but she turned it down so as to stay home and prepare for her child. In a society based upon truth, this should have been the final word. In our society, however, this was just the beginning. Mainstream news outlets such as the Washington Post and the New York Times used the story to attack conservatives for being sexist. The falsity of Warren’s statements was not as important as the greater “truth” of the matter, that women allegedly face sexist barriers in the workforce. This “fake but accurate” idea has been part of leftist strategy for decades. Remember when Dan Rather went on television a month before the 2004 presidential election with forged documents about President George W. Bush’s military service? Fifteen years later and Rather himself is still treated as a wise statesman, and the actual truth or falsehood is ignored as irrelevant.

Last summer, the news delivered terrifying headlines about some fires burning in the Amazon rain forest. It is contributing to global warming, they said. It is worse than ever before, they said. It is because we eat too much meat, they said. It is because Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a fascist, they said. Yet all of this was untrue. The fires were about average for any given summer and had been started by local farmers looking to clear land, as they often do. Contrary to the claims of vegan environmentalists, many of the farms are used to grow soy, not pastured meat. If you dig deep enough, you find that many of the initial reports were crafted by journalists and activists in Brazil who hate President Bolsonaro and were looking for a hook with which to attack him in the media. How much of our supposedly objective news media is all about pushing one narrative or another in the guise of factual truth?

So much of what we see around us is fake, artificial, and created for media consumption. Reality TV was never truly “real” but was instead carefully prepared and edited to tell a certain story. The Tea Party started as an organic protest against high taxes but was quickly coopted by the usual establishment grifters and turned into another money laundering machine. After the Parkland school shooting a couple of years ago, several students who just happened to have deep state ties were selected by mainstream media to spread the message of gun control. Politicians and political candidates almost never say what they really mean, but instead speak through vague clichés and committee-tested phrases. Real issues are never up for debate, only bumper sticker slogans that are continually preached to the choir. Debates are chances to get your five-second soundbites spread around on social media rather than actually argue the substance of your policies. Social media trends are not a reflection of what people are really thinking or talking about, but what hand-picked influencers have said, or what human-created algorithms decide to promote. Where is the truth, the reality of any of this?

Thirty years ago, historian Daniel Boorstin wrote a book called “Hidden History,” a series of essays about some of the lesser-known trends in American history. In one of these essays, he wrote of what he called the “pseudo-event”. In the old days, the purpose of news media was to report the news. A fire happened at this place, a crime occurred at that place, a new baby was born, a person died, and so on. Boorstin points out that by the 1980s, much of what filled a news report was instead a pseudo-event, not a real one. For example, a media company hires a polling firm to call a selected group of people with carefully worded questions about a political topic. They then collate the data and present it in the guise of a news story. However, no event has occurred – nothing has actually happened. The news media simply creates a story out of thin air and presents it as if it were breaking news. Rather than reporting an event, they are trying to move public opinion in their preferred direction.

Biased reporting has been the norm for decades, but it is worse than that now. A few weeks ago, YouTube banned several right-wing channels despite them not having broken any rules. Social media companies are getting more brazen in their obvious censorship of non-PC beliefs. At the same time, the CEO of YouTube said in an interview with the leftist site vox.com that it was more important than ever to let people upload what they want, even content that is outside the mainstream, controversial, or even offensive. This is brazen; it is outright gaslighting. This is like Orwell’s Big Brother telling you that you are free even as he holds you in chains. Around the same time, a left-wing journalist demanded we stop using the term “narrative” to refer to the stories told about President Trump by left-wing media outlets. “There is only one version of the facts and the truth. Full stop.” This too is rather brazen coming from the same media figures who have been pushing the Russian collusion hoax for nearly three years now. It is not just that the mainstream media wants the ability to spin whatever stories they see fit, but they want to censor anyone who disagrees with their stories by calling them “fake news”. You see this happening all the time now. Stacy Abrams, the black woman who ran for governor of Georgia as a Democrat, has been spending the last year being interviewed by sympathetic journalists who refuse to challenge her claims that the election was “stolen” despite losing to Republican Brian Kemp by almost 50,000 votes. Is this the truth, or a narrative? A few weeks ago, Democratic presidential candidates all paid homage to the memory of Michael Brown, the black bully who beat up an Asian shopkeeper before trying to wrestle away a policeman’s gun. Most of the candidates referred to the incident as “murder” despite President Obama’s own Justice Department concluding that Officer Darren Wilson acted properly and in self-defense. Truth or narrative?

The problem is not just that the media’s narrative is biased, but that it is outright false. Yet this is what they are printing. The way things are going now, I predict that in twenty years mainstream history textbooks will claim that Stacy Abrams actually won the election in Georgia and that Michael Brown was murdered by a racist policeman. They will claim that Donald Trump stole the 2016 presidential election with the help of Russian agents. Anyone who disagrees with these “truths” will be marked as seditious or mentally-ill, and have their online accounts banned, their financial accounts frozen, and “red flags” raised to prevent them from owning guns. As George Orwell said, who controls the past controls the future, and who controls the present controls the past. Just like Orwell’s Big Brother of 1984, the left is rewriting our history so as to control us going forward.  The New York Times recently launched something called the “1619 Project”, a piece of propaganda designed to convince Americans that any prosperity our country has ever enjoyed was not due to the character and perseverance of our ancestors, nor the unique combination of people and land that made America great, but was instead due to nothing more than slavery. They want to rewrite history to claim that America’s greatness is solely due to its African American population. Anyone who knows the slightest bit of American history can see this for the absurdity it is but make no mistake – in another two decades this will be taught as undeniable fact in grade school history textbooks.

I have said before that the left has no principles, only tactics. While the right has long believed in free speech, freedom of the press, and individual liberty, the left only believes in their own power. They only use our own principles as weapons against us. That is why they were able to agitate for free speech on college campuses in the 1960s when they were in the minority but now that they completely dominate academia they impose harsh speech codes and censorship on conservative students, all in the name of safety and combating so-called “hate speech”. Conservatives at the time assumed that the left shared our principles of free speech, but too late discovered that they were simply interested in their own power. Now that they have that power, they have no reason to continue to allow any speech that disagrees with their views.

It is the same regarding the concept of truth. Whereas a traditional conservative believes that truth is objective, the left believes that truth is subjective, constantly changing, a fluid tool that they can use to further their real ends. You see this with the never-ending propaganda for homosexuality and transgenderism on social media lately, as detailed on the Twitter account Woke Capital. Corporate accounts promote various non-conforming people and celebrate them speaking “their truth”. If a man wants to put on a dress and makeup, take drugs, endure painful surgeries to change his body, and call himself a woman, then we are told that we have to accept that because it is his (or her, they say) truth. To a traditional conservative, whose worldview comes from the capital-T Truth of Christianity and the logic and reason of western philosophy, this is completely absurd. More than two thousand years ago Aristotle defined the truth that A is equal to A. A cannot be equal to something that is Not A. To argue against this is to throw away two millennia of philosophy and logic in favor of nothing more than your feelings.

The left has abandoned any connection with the truth. They craft a narrative that serves their ends and call that truth, and attack anyone who disagrees. Facts don’t matter. Reason doesn’t matter. There is no dialectical debate here, it is all a war of rhetoric. Milquetoast conservative Ben Shapiro might say “facts don’t care about your feelings” but he is wrong. Feelings are the only thing that matters in our discourse today. And not just any feelings, but only those feelings that are approved by the corporate and media establishment. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is a standard 1990s Democrat on every issue except for foreign war, but because she opposes that she is labeled a right-wing extremist. Facts don’t matter, because most people don’t hear the facts. They hear what CNN tells them, and what they read in the Washington Post. They hear whatever narrative comes out of late-night TV comedy.

Most people do not have the time, energy, or inclination to investigate everything for themselves, so they just take what the news says at face value and move on with their lives. They accept whatever feels right. When the news pushes a false narrative, year after year, it becomes familiar, and soon “feels right”. Media bias is not simply about how the media reports a story, but what they choose to report and what they choose to ignore. Every summer, mainstream media runs terrifying headlines about icecaps melting and polar bears dying. Every winter, the icecaps freeze once more and the polar bears thrive. These do not make the same headlines, so people assume that things are getting worse and worse when they are really not. President Trump’s mid-40s approval rating makes headlines every week, while President Obama’s mid-40s approval rating was ignored by the mainstream media. The average viewer assumes that Obama was much more popular than Trump, because that is what they hear. The mainstream media highlights every white murderer with endless reports, yet ignores black murderers, so viewers assume that there is an epidemic of white gun violence while any talk of black violence is simply racist falsehood. A few weeks ago, the New York Times published a story about some violence in South Africa. Black South Africans, upset by shopkeepers who had moved in from elsewhere in Africa, vandalized and ransacked their stores. How did the Times put it in the headline, though? “Violence against African immigrants.” If you only read the headline you come away thinking that evil white racists were terrorizing innocent black Africans. I am sure that is what the New York Times editors wanted you to think. This systematic bias is evident in every area of mainstream reporting.

The late author Michael Crichton described an effect he called Gell-Mann Amnesia. An expert in a certain field, say law, opens the newspaper and reads an article about a legal dispute. Being an expert, he notices numerous errors and falsehoods in the article. He wonders how they can write about things of which they are so ignorant. Then he turns the page and reads about economic issues and assumes they are 100% correct, since he is not an expert in the economy. Put all this together and realize that the news media not about delivering facts and truth but is instead designed to push narratives and propaganda. For those who are peddling the Russian collusion narrative, the truth of the matter is less important than the end goal of ousting President Trump and his supporters and regaining power over our nation. The ends always justify the means for these people.

A major component in the decline of truth is the decline of language. As America declines, we have witnessed the decline of our English language along with it. While schoolteachers lament the worsening of grammar with each passing generation, a more substantive decline is at work. Thirty years ago, Neil Postman pointed out how the advent of television was accompanied by a decrease in vocabulary as America moved from a textual society to an audiovisual one. The complexity of grammar and language has only decreased since then, as the post-millennial generation communicates almost entirely using acronyms and emoji.

However, there is a more insidious erosion of language going on in American society today. In our post-truth society, words and phrases themselves have lost all objective meaning. In general, traditional conservatives tend to see words and language as tools for delivering factual information. We like to think that our thought processes are based upon reason and logic. For the American left, on the other hand, words are not tools for accurately transmitting information, but rather for manipulation. Since they do not believe in objective truth it is not a stretch to twist words to fit their goals. Rational discourse requires that all parties agree on certain definitions and assumptions. If one party starts changing the definition of words to mean whatever they want, then rational discourse is impossible. The two sides end up talking past each other; they might as well be speaking completely different languages.

George Orwell often wrote about the use of language in propaganda. One of the main themes of his novel 1984 was how the totalitarian Party redefined language in order to control ideas. It is very difficult for people to conceive of an idea if they have no vocabulary for doing so. Steve Sailer recently pointed out a real-world example of this: We hear about “anti-Semitism” all the time, and accusations of anti-Semitism are constantly being thrown around in the media – from Muslims who hate Jews in general, to right-wingers who accuse Jews of running the world, to left-wingers who are upset that a Jewish state exists in the Middle East. Yet, as Sailer points out, we never hear about the opposite – anti-Gentilism. It obviously exists – just peruse the Twitter feeds of prominent left-wing Jews and you will see all sorts of hatred for white people and Christians. Yet we have no word to describe it, so it is not something we are able to have conversations about. Ask anyone on the street about anti-Semitism and they can tell you what it means and give you more than one example. Ask the same people about anti-Gentilism and you’ll get confusion, maybe even offense.

There is something called a “motte-and-bailey argument” that often shows up in modern discourse. A motte-and-bailey was a type of castle that was popular in Europe about a thousand years ago that consisted of a stone keep built atop a raised earthwork called a motte, surrounded by a walled courtyard called a bailey. The inhabitants of the castle lived and worked in the bailey, but when an enemy attacked, they could retreat to the relative safety of the motte. In a motte-and-bailey argument, someone can argue from a very liberal definition of a word or concept, only to retreat to the safety of the motte when defending their argument. For example, feminists against everything from traditional masculinity to father’s rights, and even against traditional marriage and the family structure. When criticized, however, they retreat to a very narrow definition of feminism – it’s only about men and women being equal, they say. They pretend that those other arguments they made earlier in the name of feminism were not really feminist. Socialists use the same trick. When Hugo Chavez instituted socialism in Venezuela, one of the wealthiest nations in South America at the time, leftists praised him saying that socialism was bringing prosperity and equality to the Venezuelan people. However, when conditions there deteriorated so much that people resorted to eating pets and zoo animals to survive, the same people disavowed their previous statements, now saying that it was never real socialism. When times were good, they argued from the bailey, but when it all went bad, they retreated to the motte.

Let’s look at just a few more words and ideas that have been perverted by the left. Take “diversity,” for example. The dictionary definition of diversity is a group of things that are unlike each other in one way or another. Yet the modern progressive definition is anything that has few white people. When the Marvel movie Black Panther came out, it was celebrated as a triumph of “diversity” despite the fact that the cast was almost entirely black. There is nothing wrong with a movie full of black people, after all it was about a fictional African country. The deceit comes in using the word “diversity” to refer to such a movie, especially when we are propagandized from childhood to believe that “diversity is our strength”. Notice that we are never told exactly *why* diversity is our strength, just that it is. There is no truth to the matter, as it is not a statement that is backed by evidence or logic; it is merely a religious mantra. Questioning this mantra gets one labeled a racist bigot, which is no different than that way in which questioning the medieval church got one labeled a heretic. On the contrary though, works like Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” show pretty conclusively that groups are stronger the more they have in common. Look out the window and you will see the downside of diversity as our country and our communities fracture into mistrust and even violence, yet we are constantly reminded that diversity is an unmitigated good, and only racists and bigots would have any problem with it. Our cultural leaders tolerate no dissent from the dogma of diversity.

The words “racist” and “bigot” have also been perverted by the American left. The base meaning of racist is someone who believes that one race of people is superior to another, believes in false stereotypes about a race of people, or simply one who judges another individual based upon the race that individual belongs to. “Bigot” is similar but can apply to other characteristics beyond race. Over the last few years, however, the meaning of the words has been completely twisted. “Racist” is now simply a pejorative for white people. Mainstream news publications carry articles that explain that all white people are racist, no matter what. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are evidence of structural racism. Just this week I saw an article claiming that table manners are racist. At this point it is evident that the word means nothing to those who use it. The same goes for white nationalists or white supremacists. Ostensibly, a white nationalist is simply someone who believes that white people should have their own nation. A white supremacist, on the other hand, would be someone who believes white people are superior to other ethnicities. Yet today those terms are simply yet more pejoratives that the left uses for anyone who questions their religion of diversity. It does not even have to make sense – Vietnamese journalist Andy Ngo, black conservative Candace Owens, and the quarter-Mexican Nicholas Fuentes have all been smeared as “white supremacists” by the mainstream media. Rather than communicating something factual, this epithet simply identifies someone as a bad person.

What about the other favorite term of the left, social justice? Whenever a phrase includes an adjective, then you must remember that the adjective modifies the noun. Let us begin with the noun: justice. The dictionary definition of justice is impartial mediation, a search for the truth of a matter. The statue of Lady Justice atop the Old Bailey in London demonstrates our traditional concept of justice. The lady holds in one hand a scale, with which to divine the truth; a sword, with which to execute punishment on the guilty; and is blindfolded, so as to not show partiality. Impartiality in justice is paramount. It is one of the greatest achievements of English common law, the idea that truth is truth and justice is justice no matter how wealthy or powerful a man is. Kings and peasants are considered equal under the law. But what happens when we add the word “social” to our traditional concept of justice? “Social justice” deliberately takes off the blindfold, saying that because some groups were oppressed or injured in the past, then they must receive special dispensations in the present to make up for that past oppression. African Americans, for example, must receive extra financial and legal benefits to make up not only for two centuries of slavery in North America but also for what is called our “systemic racism” that is apparently still pervasive in society. Like diversity, questioning “social justice” is verboten, and anyone who does so is labeled a racist bigot and ostracized from polite society.

Unlike real justice, which is interested in the objective truth, social justice is interested in what Vladimir Lenin called “who, whom” – that is, who is doing what to whom. According to the standards of true justice, Officer Darren Wilson was guiltless in the shooting of Michael Brown. However, according to the standards of “social” justice, Brown was innocent of wrongdoing simply because he was black, while Officer Wilson was guilty of murder because he is white. Social justice has turned the left into a game of musical chairs as everyone struggles to figure out where they are on the hierarchy of oppression and victimhood. Are gays more deserving of social justice than blacks? Does a white woman have more or less privilege than an Asian man? It is a great irony that under the standards of social justice, the children of former President Barack Obama are considered oppressed while the children of a white single mother in Arkansas are considered privileged.

The cult of social justice has invaded the American church as well. From liberal mainstream denominations to many Christian-based charities, the idea of social justice has slowly replaced the Gospel of Christ as the primary mission of the church. Preaching the gospel is considered colonialist, reminiscent of the Spanish conquistadors or forced schooling of Indian children, and therefore frowned upon. In its place is a commitment to social justice to the poor and minority groups throughout the world. In reality this looks little different than the Marxist liberation theology which replaced the Gospel of Christ with the class-based warfare advocated by Karl Marx and his Communist ilk. Marx divided the world into two groups – oppressors and the oppressed – that were ever at odds with each other. With liberation theology, it is the job of the church to establish a Kingdom of Heaven on earth by overthrowing the oppressive capitalists and instituting a Communist utopia. This sort of theology fits nicely with the left’s progressive religion, which also has its roots in Marxism. While the Bible states that our God is a god of justice, remember that the modern left has changed the meaning of the word. For both secular and Christian progressives, “justice” now means taking resources and even our very homes from western Europeans and giving them to everyone else.

This sort of duplicity can also be seen in other areas of political debate, such as guns. The phrase “gun control” itself is sleight of hand. When trying to appeal to conservative gun owners, the media calls it “common sense gun control,” pretending that they are advocating only limited regulation that everyone agrees with. Privately, however, gun-control advocates all know that “gun control” means full gun bans and confiscation. In 1994, Democrats in Congress passed the so-called Assault Weapons Ban, which was signed into law by President Clinton. One problem, however, is that there is no such thing as an “assault weapon”. The law defined these weapons mostly by cosmetics – extendable shoulder rests, pistol grips, etc. However, there is functionally no difference between an AR-15 style rifle with those cosmetic enhancements and any other semi-automatic rifle without them. Yet one was banned and the other was not. Assault rifles are a thing – that phrase describes a specific kind of light machine gun that was developed to allow soldiers to quickly assault a fixed position. An assault rifle has select-fire capability, that is, it can be switch to automatic so that it continues firing rounds as long as the trigger is held. These fully automatic weapons, however, have been banned in this country since 1986. This does not stop politicians and journalists from using the term to describe other kinds of guns, however. They like to use the terms automatic, semi-automatic, and assault weapon all together as if they mean the same thing, but they most certainly do not. The purpose of such language, beyond plain ignorance on the part of the speakers, is to scare people into supporting restrictions and bans on guns. Rather than using words to accurately describe the situation to people, they are instead using it to manipulate them into supporting certain political positions.

Manipulation and propaganda are the driving forces behind the left’s perversion of language. When was the last time you heard a journalist describe someone as “far left”? I can’t remember any examples. Antifa can beat an innocent man half to death and mainstream media still defends them and claims they are simply resisting fascism. Communists, from Stalin, Mao, and Castro all the way to Nicolas Maduro, are rarely described as left or far left. On the other hand, every moderately conservative figure is routinely called “far right” in the media. Even milquetoast moderates like Ben Shapiro are often described this way, as if being reactionary or conservative in any fashion means we all occupy the same ideological space as Adolf Hitler (whom they also call “far right”). Media does the same thing with the word “controversial”. Right-wing figures are always “controversial” because the left disagrees with them. We on the right disagree with the left, but the left-wing figures are rarely, if ever, called “controversial”. This is not a factual description but a signal to viewers and readers that this person should be viewed with distrust. Again, the media is not using language to inform but to manipulate.

Words mean things. Over the last fifteen centuries the English language has evolved and developed to be a fine tool of information and art. English is endlessly versatile. With the English lexicon one can write the plays of Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams, the prose of James Fenimore Cooper or Tom Clancy, the poetry of William Blake or Emily Dickinson, and the lyrics of the Beatles or Muse. Using the English language one can write a screenplay for a movie that brings out deep emotions in its audience, or a technical paper that precisely describes a chemical process. Every concept has an associated word or phrase. It is with fine-tuned words that we can express even the most minute differences in concepts. Mauve and maroon are different colors. There is a real distinction between hungry and starving. There is a material difference between an automatic rifle and a semi-automatic rifle. Don’t let our language be eroded and destroyed in the name of propaganda. Use the English language properly – say what you mean and mean what you say. Insist that your children learn the meanings of words as well as proper grammar. The best way to know what is crooked is to know what is straight – by knowing what words really mean, we can be on guard for the sleight of hand that is all too common today.

The best response to our post-truth society is to first disengage from the liars. Stop consuming mainstream media. Find a local newspaper that actually reports local news if you need that. Find some trusted online sources for national news, whether it is the Drudge Report or Infogalactic News or another site. Always remember that even your favorite news sites have a bias that you must consider. Make sure to dig into the facts of a story before passing judgment. Always ask yourself which angle the journalists are presenting. Why are they writing it the way they are? What might they hope to accomplish with publishing this story? Raise your children to be skeptical of the way our culture is presented in media. Turn off the propaganda that comes in from Hollywood and Madison Avenue. Don’t allow your children to be raised by popstars and rappers. Truth does not change. Aristotle knew it. Jesus Christ preached it and lived it. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” he said, “No man comes to the Father except through Me.” This is despite what you hear from liberal churches who, in the name of tolerance and inclusivity, say that people can come to God in a variety of ways and through a variety of faiths. Truth is truth, despite changing cultural norms, despite opinion polls, despite media propaganda. They say that truth is treason in an empire of lies. That empire is crumbling and falling around us, but truth will always be truth.

Tulsi Gabbard, American Nationalist

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s performance in last night’s Democratic primary debate has attracted attention, but I have been following her for a while now. Of the several dozen candidates who have declared for the Democratic primary, Gabbard is clearly the most sane, or perhaps the least insane. Indeed, this year’s crop of contenders is entirely off the rails, with various candidates endorsing impeachment of the president, racial reparations, open borders, welfare for illegal aliens, free college, and outright socialism. Most of these positions are not grounded in the real world but are simply talking points to win support of a voting population that was raised on late-night snark and college grievance studies rather than real knowledge and wisdom.

Congresswoman Gabbard, however, has a more sensible platform. She has long called for a withdrawal of American forces from foreign wars such as Afghanistan and Syria, does not favor the economically foolish plan for free college, opposes open borders, and generally puts Americans first. This was the standard Democratic platform until just a few years ago, but it seems downright conservative compared to where the Party is today. For this, mainstream media and their Democratic Party allies have tarred Gabbard as a stooge of both Bashar Assad of Syria and Vladimir Putin of Russia. Any time her name trends on Google or Twitter, her detractors immediately credit it to “Russian bots” rather than organic interest from a voting public put off by the insanity of her opponents.

Such was the case after the Democratic debate last night. Congresswoman Gabbard scored a major rhetorical victory by challenging one of the media-perceived front-runners, Senator Kamala Harris of California. Harris has enjoyed fawning coverage from CNN and the rest of the mainstream media despite her spotty past. She got her start in government due to her position as the mistress to former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, then spent several years as California Attorney General aggressively prosecuting drug users and allegedly putting several innocent people in jail. Her platform includes, ironically, drug legalization, as well as massive government subsidizes for African-Americans and open borders. Since she is the media’s chosen one, she had yet to be challenged on the apparent contradiction of her work as Attorney General with her current campaign, until Gabbard finally did so in the debate.

Partly because of this exchange, Congresswoman Gabbard was the most-searched candidate after last night’s debate. Senator Harris’ campaign, as well as her supporters in the media (it is hard to tell the difference, honestly), explained this as the actions of the same “Russian bots” that allegedly propelled Donald Trump to victory three years ago. Harris herself, in a post-debate interview, simply dismissed Gabbard as a lower-tier candidate in a move reminiscent of Hillary Clinton wondering why she was not fifty points ahead during the 2016 campaign.

It is in foreign policy, however, that Congresswoman Gabbard really distinguishes herself from her opponents. After the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, the Democratic Party painted themselves as the anti-war party. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts won the 2004 Democratic Primary by portraying himself as a military veteran who was against foreign wars. Just a few weeks before Election Day, respected newsman Dan Rather took to national TV with forged documents alleging that President Bush had gone AWOL during his time with the Texas Air National Guard. After Bush’s reelection, the media went all-in on opposition to the wars. Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist whose son had been killed in the conflict, was interviewed almost daily by the mainstream news shows. The 2008 Democratic Primary was a contest to see who opposed the wars the most, with Barack Obama able to claim that crown by virtue of his only being elected to the Senate in 2004, a year after a majority of Republicans and Democrats had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

Despite his anti-war platform, President Obama expanded the conflicts. He withdrew most of the troops from Iraq but sent even more to Syria, Yemen, and Libya, as well as massively expanding targeted drone strikes throughout the region. Despite promising to end the war in Afghanistan and shut down the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, Obama did neither. Yet now that the Republican Bush was out of office and the Democrat Obama was in, mainstream media lost their passion for opposing the wars. In retrospect, their opposition to the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq looks more to be born out of opposition to President Bush personally than a real anti-war principal. When President Trump promised to end the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan, the same media that trumpeted Cindy Sheehan’s long protest at Bush’s Texas ranch accused him of being a puppet of Russia, who has long been allied with the Bashar regime of Syria.

This brings us back to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. While most of the Democratic Party switched from being anti-war to pro-war as soon as President Bush left office, Gabbard has remained steadfast in her opposition to sending American troops to die for no good reason. Unlike most of the Democratic field, however, her experience with war is personal: she served as a medic with a Hawaii Army National Guard unit that was deployed to Iraq during the war. Yet because her steadfast views are now the same as President Trump’s, the media and the Democratic establishment want to destroy her rather than giving her any chance to share her message with the voting public.

One of my first posts on this blog was a discussion of the realignment of our political parties from left/right or liberal/conservative into explicit globalist/nationalist. President Trump’s election was the first sign of this realignment and I expect it to continue for the next decade or so. The Trump faction of the Republican Party is nationalist, that is, they believe that the needs of the American people should be the top priority of the American government. The establishment faction of the GOP is globalist, that is, they believe the American people should serve the interests of a small global elite. Open borders and foreign wars are hallmarks of the globalist agenda. Much of the Democratic Party is globalist as well, with a few exceptions such as Congresswoman Gabbard. Many of her domestic positions are in line with standard liberal progressivism, such as expanded Medicare, abortion, gay marriage, and others. This obviously means that many on the right cannot support her. However, the most important battle in our political system going forward is between globalism and nationalism. Is the United States simply a province of the world, a place for resources to be extracted to support global citizens? Or is it a sovereign nation whose resources should serve its citizens?

Until globalism is defeated, arguing over cultural mores or economic systems is pointless. If globalism is triumphant, then the permanent bureaucracy will simply import millions of new voters who will support their agenda, which includes socialism and abortion and all the other things we on the right oppose. We cannot stop socialism when our borders are open to as many socialists that can come here. We cannot protect the sanctity of life when our cities are flooded with immigrants who simply vote Democrat because that is what their benefactors tell them to do. The coming realignment is going to severely clarify the battle lines. We can argue with the left over socialism or free college or gay marriage once we have closed our borders and stopped invading the world.

Congresswoman Gabbard is a Democrat, but she believes in putting American citizens first. That is a rarity in her party today, and that is the reason that her opponents and the media are attempting to destroy her. She will probably not win the nomination, but hopefully enough people will hear her message and realize that globalism is the real enemy today.

The Constitution Will Not Save Us

No matter how bad things get in our country, many conservatives still retain a sense of pride and optimism in the United States because of our history, our traditions, but most especially our Constitution. Patriotic conservatives believe that the Constitution is an everlasting protection against tyranny in our land. No matter what, they say, we still have the Constitution. But how much does the Constitution really protect us nearly 250 years after its ratification?

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In 1783, the Continental Congress of the thirteen colonies concluded a peace treaty with Great Britain and achieved the independence they had declared seven years prior. That was the easier part, however. Now that the fighting was done, they had to create a new nation out of thirteen unique states. Each of the original colonies had developed in its own way, with its own history and traditions. While it was one thing to ally together against a common enemy during the Revolution, it was quite another to find the compromises necessary to unite in a peacetime administration. The first national government was laid out by the Articles of Confederation. In this system, state governments were strong while the national government was little more than an assembly of delegates with little real power. While the Articles were a great libertarian idea in theory, in practice they proved ineffective for governing the new nation. With Great Britain still interested in recovering their lost territory, France on the verge of an unpredictable revolution, and Spain still taking interest in the region, a stronger hand was needed to keep the new nation afloat in world affairs. In 1787, the states sent delegates to a Constitutional Convention to figure out what to do next. While their mandate was merely to revise the Articles, they came out of convention with a new Constitution.

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Statesmen throughout the thirteen colonies debated the merits of the new Constitution for several months. Having just won a bloody war to gain their independence, many in the new nation were justifiably suspicious about the new central government that the constitution represented. Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay anonymously wrote a series of pamphlets later known as the Federalist Papers that advocated for the new constitution. Eventually, all thirteen states ratified the constitution and it became the law of the land. George Washington of Virginia, who had led the Continental Armies during the Revolution and had presided over the Constitutional Convention, was elected the first president of the new government. John Adams of Massachusetts was Vice President.

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The United States Constitution is a magnificent document and its ratification is a milestone in human history. For the first time, a government had been created ex nihilo, from scratch. A document was created which not only laid out the organizational structure of this new government but also constrained the government from infringing upon the natural rights of its citizens. Other nations in the world up until that time had grown up very gradually over the course of many centuries. Great Britain, for example, began as a loose collection of Anglo-Saxon tribes and kingdoms, each with their own traditions and systems of governance. They were conquered by the Normans in 1066, adopted Magna Carta in 1215 which placed obligations upon the king, gradually developed the concept of Parliament in the following centuries, redefined the relationship of king and church during the reign of King Henry VIII, fought a brutal civil war between King Charles I and Parliament that ended with the King’s execution, and finally adopted the idea of a parliamentary monarchy with a Bill of Rights in 1689. The British Constitution, even to this day, is not a single written document but is instead the accumulation of centuries of case law that has codified previously unwritten rules. The United States Constitution, on the other hand, was written from the beginning, and is still in force to this day. The authors built into it a method for altering it – the amendment process – which has allowed it to be updated for the times, but only very carefully and deliberately, with the approval of super-majorities of Congress and the state legislatures.

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The word “constitution” typically refers to a document that lays out lays out the structure and laws for an organizational body. However, we also use the word to refer to the substance or characteristics of a body itself. As a document, the US Constitution laid out the organizational structure of the government, but it also reflected the characteristics of the people who wrote it. Had the Constitutional Convention been attended by modern Zambians, contemporary Japanese, or even Englishmen from the year 1000, it would have been an entirely different document. When the Constitution was adopted, the people of the United States were mainly of British heritage and of varying degrees of Christianity. While they had their differences and disagreements with each other, they were remarkably homogeneous compared to the so-called melting pot of America today. Founding Father John Adams remarked that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Keep this in mind as we discuss the role of the Constitution to the present day.

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Reading a history of the Constitution gives you a good picture of how much the country has changed since its founding. For example, the Constitution originally banned any form of income tax, yet the Congress and states passed the 16th amendment which authorized one. Despite originally only originally applying to the richest of the rich, and only taxing a small percentage of income, we all file taxes on April 15 now. The original Constitution also had Senators appointed by the states, to serve as the voice of the state legislatures in the US Congress. The 17th amendment took that away, however, and made Senators elected directly by the people. While this might sound like a good idea in theory, giving more power to the people, in practice it further marginalized the states while increasing the power of the federal government. The 18th Amendment banned alcohol, and the 21st amendment repealed that ban. It is hard to imagine either the Founders or modern Americans ever banning alcohol at a constitutional level.

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One might suggest that these amendments are evidence that the Constitution works, but recent history suggests that while this might have been true at one time, it is no longer the case. The last amendment to be proposed and adopted by the congress and the states was the 26th amendment, which reduced the eligible age for voting to 18. This was in 1971, almost half a century ago, when young men were being drafted to fight in Vietnam but lacked the ability to hold their representatives accountable. (The 28th Amendment was ratified in 1992 but had been proposed as part of the original Bill of Rights two centuries earlier. Later amendments included sunset provisions should they not achieve ratification by a certain point.)

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Despite no amendments being proposed and ratified since 1971 our interpretation of the Constitution has changed greatly. The legal and social structure of our society is being changed, but neither Congress nor state legislatures are voting on these changes. Rather, they are being made at the court and bureaucratic levels. The Supreme Court somehow discovered rights to abortion and gay marriage on constitutional grounds, despite no mention of those things in the actual text. The Obama Administration successfully convinced the Supreme Court that a health insurance mandate was constitutional, despite nothing in there giving government the right to force you to buy a third-party product. Federal judges have ruled that President Trump does not have the authority to revoke President Obama’s executive orders authorizing illegal aliens to remain in the country, despite the very clear precedent that one parliament or president cannot bind another.

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But federal judges are not the only ones making end runs around the letter of the Constitution. Congress itself has outsourced a tremendous amount of its constitutional lawmaking powers to various executive agencies, passing laws that gave the bureaucrats in these agencies enormous power to create regulations that affect our daily lives. The Founding Fathers surely did not intend for this to happen. The number of regulations we deal with today dwarf the taxes and regulations that drove our ancestors to rebellion. The result of this practice is the creation of vast federal bureaucracies that control every aspect of our lives yet remain entirely unaccountable to the voting public. We can vote out Congressmen who infringe upon our liberties, but what can we do about a random Health & Human Services bureaucrat who is crafting regulations regarding children’s health, or a Secretary of Labor who decides that a company is not allowed to build a factory in a non-union state?

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Let us sum up our situation today: We still have the Constitution, at least on paper, but whenever a federal judge or bureaucrat decides it is inconvenient, they simply ignore it, and we citizens have no recourse. The proper method for changing the constitution has been abandoned; instead of amending it with a vote of congress and state legislatures, activist judges simply reinterpret the words of the Founding Fathers. Yet patriotic conservatives still hold out hope that the Constitution will somehow save us from tyranny. To that I say, wake up! We are already under tyranny! Our ancestors spent blood and treasure throwing off a tyrant who ruled over them from an imperial capital three thousand miles away. Today, we are under the thumb of a tyrannical deep state that micromanages our lives from an imperial capital up to three thousand miles away.

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I know what many of you might be thinking right now – what about an Article 5 convention? Many conservatives have latched on to this idea of creating a new convention that can propose amendments. While it is a valid option that is in the Constitution itself, I believe this ignores a big problem in conservatism today. Can we trust the same conservatives who couldn’t even conserve the women’s restroom to fix our constitutional system? Too many conservatives now advocate positions that are decidedly contrary to American traditions, such as open borders, gay marriage, affirmative action for women and minorities, and more. Does anyone really believe that today’s conservative leadership would resist the opportunity to slip in some insidious poison pills to any new amendments? That is not even to mention the compromises that would be required when dealing with the other half of the country that wants outright socialism. Sadly, I do not believe that there is a constitutional option to solving the problems that our Constitution has failed to stop. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson never believed that our nation would last for 250 years with a government still based upon the Constitution they wrote in 1788. He believed, rather, that every generation would need to foment their own revolutions rather than coasting on his. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” he said.

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The clearest example of the failure of the constitution is not in government, but in the social media censorship that is becoming more rampant day by day. While Facebook, Google, Twitter, and the rest of the social media giants are indeed private companies, they have become so powerful that any participation in the public square essentially requires using one of their platforms. Imagine if every public park and street corner was owned by a private company that decided what you could say or believe in those places, or a telephone company that banned people based on the content of your conversations. It would be unthinkable, yet these social media companies are doing just that. Rather than maintaining neutrality, these companies hold themselves above the US Constitution, censoring people based upon the ever-changing moral standards of whatever leftist social justice organization is the most outspoken at any given moment. Facebook and YouTube recently admitted to banning pro-life ads in Ireland during the referendum on abortion, while promoting pro-abortion ads. Look at the implications of this – these social media companies used their power to alter the moral laws of a Catholic nation that had stood for centuries. What might they do here in America with their thumbs on the scale of our democracy?

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Project Veritas has recorded numerous conversations with employees of Google and YouTube who confidently say that they are not going to let 2016, with Brexit and President Trump’s election, happen again. A handful of people at the top of these social media companies are using their influence to change our government to suit themselves, disenfranchising millions of people who vote otherwise. Where are the constitutional protections for us against this attack? Too many naive conservatives simply say “Well, Google and Facebook are private companies, so they can do what they want.” As I said though, participation in the public square, the marketplace of ideas so beloved by conservatives, is impossible when you’re banned by social media, chased off the internet when web hosts refuse to let you set up your own sites, and ostracized entirely from the public sphere when payment providers refuse to let you do business. What is the conservative answer to this? It was recently discovered that Facebook’s so-called “Community Standards” prohibit threats of death and violence made against other users, unless those users are considered “dangerous”. Yet who is really considered “dangerous” by Facebook? Anyone that leftist organizations like SPLC and ADL tell them, including journalist Paul Joseph Watson, who has never advocated violence but simply makes videos exposing and mocking leftist hypocrisy. The policy was quietly scrubbed from the community standards page, but their intent was clear: One set of rules for the left, and another set for the right.

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Federal judges are no help here. The same conservatives who say that the social media companies can do what they want because they are not part of the government have had no defense against federal judges who rule that bakers and florists are required to participate in degenerate rituals. The same conservatives who are making criticism of Israel illegal have no answer to social media companies that ban conservative commentators and publications. The conservative establishment has long played the role of Washington Generals to the left’s Harlem Globetrotters; that is, they see their job as to put on a good show while in the end accepting the left’s premise and vision for America. Conservative darling Ben Shapiro said nothing when Milo Yiannopolous or Jared Taylor were banned from Twitter, because he knows that he will never be banned because his milquetoast views are useful as controlled opposition to the left.

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So, what do we have left? A paper Constitution that is ignored by federal bureaucrats and reinterpreted by activist judges. A First Amendment that is ignored by social media companies who act as gatekeepers to the public sphere. We know that they have no problem using their power to influence the course of history of nations, altering or even completely erasing their heritage. As always, the question remains, how then shall we live? Step one is to stop feeding the beast. It is probably impossible to completely disengage from social media these days, but you can at least stop paying them either with cash or with information. Use adblockers, lock down your privacy settings, use VPNs and anonymous accounts if possible. Do not rely on them for your livelihood, because they will stab you in the back if they can. Finally, stop counting on the Constitution to save our country. As a founding document it was wonderful, but America is not the same people we were when it was written. We are no longer the “moral and religious people” that John Adams saw around him. Do not wait for a national savior but build your family and community in such a way as to carry on the traditions that created the Constitution in the first place.

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If you accept that the United States as constituted today will not survive the next generation, then planning for what comes next becomes a far simpler prospect. Our fathers fought and died so that we would not be subject to a tyranny in London; why should our sons be subject to a tyranny in Washington DC? Focus on your family and your community, because that is where a real difference will be made. Remember that your sons and grandsons will be the ones to rebuild once the decline and fall of the United States of America is complete.