Saturday, July 31, 2021

                                                       July 31, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

The End of America? Hope Amidst the Ruins

 




Friends,

I have a good friend who continually asks me what I think are the prospects for sensible, conservative—that is, normal—folks in these parlous times, what I think will happen to these United States, and particularly, what will happen to the Southland.

In response to his questioning, I can’t give a satisfactory answer, at least one nicely tied-up and tidy like my friend wants. But one thing on which my friend and I agree: this weary and gravely ailing country we call the United States seems with accelerating velocity and intensity to be hurtling into some form of ignominious and painful expiration. The unbridgeable differences, the divisions, between segments of our population are now far too stark, far too bitter, far too advanced to be papered over by “the next election”—or, by the pipe-dreams that I hear some Republicans and Fox News pundits exude with enthusiasm: “We’ll win back Congress in 2022! And then things will get right again.”

My response to that line of thinking is to remind such optimists that Republicans had control of Congress—and the presidency—for several years, and essentially, despite some line cracks in the Deep State behemoth due to Donald Trump, things continued to get worse, the managerial government continued to grow in power, and did its best (with many Republicans in tow), eventually successfully, to eject the Trumpster from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The administrative elites control education, control immigration policy (with GOP collaboration), control our media and entertainment, and dominate most of the levels of our government; and their reach and control expand by the day.

I believe that assertion is self-evident, but let me offer a few very recent headlines at random to buttress what I’m saying:

Research Journal Publishes Article Calling ‘Whiteness’ a ‘Parasitic-Like Condition’  (June 10, 2021)

White House ‘Domestic Extremism’ Report Puts Target on Democrats’ Political Opponents (June 17, 2021)

The FBI’s Mafia-Style Justice: To Fight Crime, the FBI Sponsors 15 Crimes a Day (June 18, 2021)

What this Professor just Called Proper Grammar is Absolutely Absurd (June 30, 2021)

Yale Professor Wants Your Kid to See Sex at Pride Parades so they’re not ‘Homophobes’ (July 14, 2021)

Med Schools Are Now Denying Biological Sex  (July 27, 2021)

‘Complicit’: Meet the 18 Republicans Who Sold Out on Radical Democrat ‘Infrastructure’ Plan Without Reading Bill (July 28, 2021)

            Biden Department of Justice Threatens to Sue to Lock In 2020 Election               Chaos (July 29, 2021) 

And these stories and accounts can be multiplied by the hundreds, by the thousands, at every level of society. Tune in to “Tucker Carlson Tonight” almost any day (the only program I consistently watch on Fox News), and you’ll see what I mean.

They are examples of a pervasive sickness which afflicts large portions of our culture. They are emblematic of profound problems and radically irreconcilable divisions among our population. We all may live in the same geographical entity, but we don’t speak the same language, we don’t share the same beliefs, we don’t think in the same way; one half of us wish to “cancel,” even suppress the other half of us, and to achieve that by any means possible, including violence. Is that any different from the few months in Eastern European countries right after World War II as Communist apparatchiks infiltrated and seized absolute control and authority?

And all the while the official voices of opposition to this madness…the official conservative opposition and most national Republicans…seem like deer caught in the headlights. Irish poet William Butler Yeats’ words resound in my ears:

 “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/
Are full of passionate intensity.”
(“The Second Coming,” 1919)

In the past when a Southern writer would suggest that some form of secession or separation was desirable, he would be met with ridicule: “The South will rise again? You’ve got to be kidding!”

Now, 160 years after the War Between the States began, such talk of separation is no longer considered the domain of nostalgics or of the Unreconstructed. In recent years we have seen the Calexit movement advocating that left-leaning California leave the American union and assert its independence. A number of conservative counties in eastern Oregon and northern California have officially petitioned to leave those radicalized states and either join Idaho or perhaps form a new state.  Academically, Professor Frank H. Buckley (George Mason University) has written a cautionary study on what he calls the “looming threat” of secession.

Over the past few years I have written about some possible scenarios, situations that might actually come to pass.  I’ve speculated about secession, or perhaps better expressed, some form of separation of portions of the country—and not just states—into more philosophically and culturally homogeneous entities.

I’ve written about this several times, most notably in The Abbeville Institute (August 2, 2019, “Is It Time for America to Break Apart?” and also on August 19, 2019,  “Is Political Separation in Our Future?”). Indeed, I also tackled the topic in The Unz Review (July 26, 2019), with the essay picked up by the widely-read LewRockwell.com site (July 29, 2019).

I have suggested that some form of separation, including possibly large amounts of autonomy for counties within certain states might be the least painful, the least violent means of resolving our unsolvable divisions. Yet, does anyone believe that our centralized and centralizing federal government in Washington, with its tentacles now extending dictatorially into every aspect of our lives, would let this occur peacefully?  Would not federal troops be dispatched by Washington that would make Abraham Lincoln’s suppression of the constitutional right to habeas corpus or Eisenhower’s intervention in Little Rock, Arkansas, look like child’s play?

In the past one-hundred years, when civil society and its institutions around the world have broken down or Marxist revolutionaries have threatened to take control, it has been the armed forces that have traditionally stepped in to restore order and some semblance of (anti-Marxist) normalcy. Thus, General Augusto Pinochet led the Chilean army in a 1973 coup to topple the impending Communist take-over by President Salvador Allende and restore order in that country. And in July 1936 General Francisco Franco led a coalition of traditionalist Carlists, conservatives, and the Church to overthrow the violently anticlerical and Marxist Spanish republic (unfortunately, he did not follow through to establish a traditional monarchy after his coup).

But in America today our armed forces, since at least the Obama years, have been coopted by the political left.  Army top brass now echo the “woke-speak” of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accuses former President Trump of fomenting a “Reichstag moment” and compares him to Adolf Hitler, while assisting to implement mandatory Critical Race Theory programs in the armed forces. And Milley is far from being alone, as author Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeir has recently documented in his study, Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military. In any major civil conflict, very probably the armed forces would be an instrument of the Deep State.

Where does that leave us? Are we indeed destined to live under a post- or neo-Marxist authoritarian dictatorship that would make the older Soviet Communists envious?

My friend and internationally-recognized political theorist and historian, Paul Gottfried (editor of Chronicles magazine) has speculated on one possible scenario, one possibility that could occur. Revolutionary regimes that come to power often “devour their children,” that is, the various elements that seem to triumph have a falling out and begin to fight among themselves over direction and the spoils. Thus, it was in Republican Spain during the Civil War when the Communists suppressed the large Anarchist component (the FAI) in their revolutionary coalition, imprisoning and executing thousands of them. And who can forget the purges unleashed by Lenin and then by Stalin in the Soviet Union on those dissidents who had earlier supported the Revolution?

Within the dominant Democratic Party and its supporters definable factions exist. Joe Biden attempts to placate them. But the question should be asked: How far will the Establishment Managerial Elite be prepared to go before it must deal with its more recalcitrant elements…or will those elements become dominant and force “woke” corporate America to fully give way and accept in reality as well as in theory their nostrums? Will there be violence on a large scale?

And, following Dr. Gottfried’s model, would there be enough of us to pick up the pieces in such a conflict…and would we be prepared?

When I studied in Spain my doctoral subject was the Spanish traditionalist Carlist philosopher and political leader, Juan Vazquez de Mella. During his lifetime in the late Nineteenth Century and the early Twentieth, the traditionalist movement he represented and defended both in his writings and verbally in the Spanish parliament (the Cortes), had been essentially sidelined, defeated earlier in three brutal civil wars, wracked by internal division, and reduced to its strongholds in Navarra, parts of Aragon and Catalonia. Surveying the political landscape circa 1920 hardly anyone expressed optimism, practically-speaking, for its rebirth or revitalization.

But Mella viewed events and history in a different manner.  Over his long career he developed a theory of “catastrophism,” which, briefly, suggested that the liberal revolution of the late eighteenth century in thinking and the capitalist revolution of the nineteenth century in economics, would inevitably destroy the older, natural social order. These revolutions would lead inexorably to socialist and Marxist revolutions: to cataclysm, war, and human destruction on a vast and previously unknown scale. After which, those–the remnant—who had continued faithful, who had continued to maintain the Virtue of Hope and a belief in Providence, throughout, would finally triumph. Had it not been so with the early Christians, secreted away in catacombs and at times subject to fierce persecution? Yet, with perseverance and faith they had triumphed.

I am put in mind of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, “Ulysses,” when Odysseus summons his followers and exhorts them:

      Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

      We are not now that strength which in old days

      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

      One equal temper of heroic hearts,

      Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 

      To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

This was President Jefferson Davis’ confidence and hope, as it must assuredly be ours in this modern vale of despair:  “Truth crushed to earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

                                                     July 13, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

How Southerners Committed Cultural and Political Suicide

 



Friends,

Today I pass along the latest installment of the Kennedy Twins Newsletter.

As undoubtedly many of you know, both James “Ron” Kennedy and his brother, Walter “Donnie” Kennedy, are prolific writers and staunch defenders of (what is left of) Southern tradition and heritage. Among the titles of their books are, most notably: The South Was Right! (newly revised edition 2020),  Punished With Poverty: The Suffering South, and  Yankee Empire: Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home…all strongly recommended to Southerners interested in how their heritage and traditions have been subverted and devastated by the forces that dominate modern America…and how just possibly a revival of that heritage and those traditions might occur.

But only—only—if Southerners begin to understand how we reached our present disastrous state of affairs.

The task of understanding has been and is incredibly difficult. And it has much to do with the present politics of the former Confederate states and the fact that good intentions and normal reactions to adverse conditions can lead to bad results.

How we got here, a comprehension of how we arrived at our present woeful situation, demands that we understand the lineaments of post-War Between the States history, in particular the choices our ancestors—and we—have made.

After Appomattox and the other Confederate surrenders, the South, the former Confederate States, experienced first occupation, then Reconstruction. Eventually coming out from under those onerous impositions, in virtual poverty and shorn of most of the political influence that they had prior to the War, most Southerners, naturally, inclined toward the Democratic Party. Indeed, it had been the Democrats, including many in the North, who had either opposed the War on the South, or, at least, advocated more reasonable and, as it were, “softer” policies after the War’s conclusion.

The Republican Party was seen, rightly so, as the party of conquest, of harsh Reconstruction policies, and anti-Southern bigotry. Not that it was in principle necessarily pro-black or favored expansive “civil rights” measures: only when directed at the conquered South were such actions merited, certainly not at home in their Northern bastions.

The South, the states of the former Confederacy, thus became uniformly Democratic strongholds—“the Solid South.” And, growing up in rural North Carolina how many times did I hear my elders declare: “I’d vote for the town drunk if he ran on the Democratic ticket!” Voting straight party became second nature to Southerners; granddad had done so. Indeed, some of us had grandparents even born in the late nineteenth century who knew and heard from their parents about the barbarity and degradations that came after 1865.

Thus, the Democratic Party became a kind of refuge for most Southerners. And Northern Democrats, at least for a goodly part of the century after Appomattox, welcomed them and allowed them to occupy positions of authority. Even under such social liberals as Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Southern solons in Congress—remember Senators Harry Byrd Sr., Josiah Bailey, Richard Russell, and others, who controlled the US Senate and Senate committees (and thus legislation)—and not to mention the various Southern Congressmen who dominated equally in the House of Representatives—held a considerable amount of power.

Of course, both Northern Democrats and their Southern allies had to find compromise at times. Generally, the Northerners let the South alone in its local governing, as long as Southerners generally supported measures nationally that their brethren advanced. Along with this occasionally troublesome collaboration, Northern Democrats—and Northern folk in general—agreed to let the South celebrate its history and its heroes and its heritage.

As Professor Clyde Wilson and others have described it, the years between the end of the nineteenth century and the election of Lyndon Johnson were a kind of “second era of good feeling” for the South. Southern honor, Southern heroism, Southern history and heritage were celebrated not just in the South, but everywhere in the nation. Summing up the view of most Americans of that period, President Eisenhower spoke admiringly of General Robert E. Lee, and he was in many ways expressing the general view of most Americans of the South back in 1960:

“General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.” 

But not just on the lips of our national leaders, but in the public imagination, in the popular media, and in Hollywood, the South, and in particular Southerners in the War for Southern Independence, were treated largely with respect, if not outright admiration. Southerners had fought nobly and honorably, and were depicted as such in works of literature, by movie-makers, and by our political leaders.

Hollywood gave us not only a cinematic treatment of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind,” but numerous other pro-Southern and Confederate-friendly films.  Who of a certain age cannot recall such major Hollywood products as “Jesse James” (with Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda) and its sequel, “The Return of Frank James”? Or any of several epics starring Errol Flynn (“Santa Fe Trail” and “Rocky Mountain”) or several of the memorable John Ford-directed masterpieces: “Judge Priest,” “The Sun Shines Bright,”  and “The Prisoner of Shark Island,” from 1936 (on the brutal and extra-legal imprisonment of Dr. Samuel Mudd after the Lincoln assassination)? And most actors in Western movies—John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Audie Murphy, and others—carried the theme of Southern honor and respect into that popular genre.

In fact, in the classic Western I would suggest that there exists a sub-genre which I would call “the Southern Western,” essentially using the War and its aftermath as a plot basis for dozens of films…a trend that has continued in a small way into more recent times with the continued fascination with Jesse James and the Border conflicts (e.g., “The Long Riders,” 1980; “Ride With the Devil,” 1999;  “American Outlaws,” 2001; and “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” 2007.)

The great “Civil War Centennial” of 1961-1965, with its commemorations and celebrations, marked the end of the “bargain” between North and South, a final salute to the South as a noble adversary in “the late Unpleasantness.“

Dramatic changes in American culture and the way many Americans saw themselves in the 1960s and 1970s, would alter Southerners’ attachment to the old Democratic Party and perhaps just as significantly, radically transform the Northern branch of the party into something incompatible with the views of most Southern folk.

But even as late as the 1960s John F. Kennedy had a successful “Southern Strategy” which enabled him to win election in 1960 (with Southern votes), despite his later alterations and the turn-around of President Lyndon Johnson.

But in many ways that was the “last hurrah” for the “solid Democratic South.” The rise of Goldwater Republicanism, Kevin Phillips’ “Southern Strategy” (outlined most notably in his 1969 book, The Emerging Republican Majority), and the emergence of the avowedly conservative Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980, signaled the final demise of the second era of good feeling. Phillips worked closely with President Richard Nixon, and outlined his plan to win the South (and Middle America) for a newly-christened “conservative” and victorious GOP. And by the ‘70s, and more like a tidal-wave in the 198os, conservative Southerners turned Franklin Roosevelt’s picture to the wall and became Republicans (at least in their voting habits). The solid Democratic South would continue to be “solid,” but not Democrat.

Increasingly, in the years even before the election of George W. Bush in 2000, signs of unease and doubt arose among a few more thoughtful Southerners. Yes, the GOP paid initial lip-service to traditional values and commonly-held views which most Southerners shared. But in action many leaders of the Republican Party, including a new crop of home-grown Southern GOP politicos (think here of Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of the thoroughly “red” state of South Carolina), had traveled much further to the definable political and social Left, further than many Southern folk realized, even as many blindly followed along.

“I’d vote for the town drunk if he ran on the…Republican…ticket!” And how many times do we hear: “I HAVE to vote for the GOP candidate, even if he is terrible, since the Democrat is even worse”?)

It should have been apparent when Graham urged the removal of Confederate symbols from the South Carolina Capitol (“The flag had to come down. And thank God it has!”), or when he (and other Southern GOP leaders) essentially endorsed same sex marriage. But they are just the tip of the political iceberg, the chameleons who inveigle far too many Southern conservatives.

Influenced profoundly by the feculent remnants of a zealous Trotskyite globalism and its radical commitment to an expanding concept of “civil rights” (same sex marriage, transgenderism, etc. are now increasingly acceptable among conservative elites), and by a constant diet of Neoconservative commentary spouted by Fox News, Newsmax, and so-called “conservative” talk radio, incorporating that template, in large part Southern Republicanism  and establishment Southern “conservatives” have become largely indistinguishable from their Northern brethren.

How many times each day do we hear representatives of what Old Right scholar Paul Gottfried calls “Con Inc.”—Establishment Conservatism—praise the legacy of radical Frederick Douglass or the “vision” of Communist-inspired Martin Luther King Jr.? Victor Davis Hanson, Mark Levin and Brian Kilmeade on Fox, Rich Lowry at National Review, Michael Anton and cohorts at the Claremont Institute, Larry Arnn at Hillsdale College—you take your pick: they all condemn the historic South, its traditions and heritage. They all accept a warmed-over and refashioned post-Marxist globalism and expansive view of “rights,” even if they also support Donald Trump.

It’s a vision that has no room for Confederate symbols and monuments. It’s a vision that has led almost all Southern Republican solons in Congress to vote to do away with names of American military installations and forts if they bear the names of Confederate generals (or slaveholders).

It is, in fact, a Neo-Reconstruction, this time led by our supposed defenders who came to power when the old Democrat Party went bad. But, as we now find, the Leopard has not changed its spots. Despite all the pious campaign promises for this and for that, despite the soothing words of assurance and the pledges to defend what is left of our traditions and heritage, slowly at first and now more rapidly, our reputed defenders have, when not poisoning progressively our minds and outlook, delivered us over to those very enemies, those very forces that seek our elimination and extermination.

I never tire of quoting the great Southern writer, Robert Lewis Dabney’s superb description of “establishment conservatives,” written 140 years ago, but absolutely applicable today.

Here is what he wrote:

“This is a party [established conservativism] which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will to-morrow be forced upon its timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it he salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious, for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always—when about to enter a protest—very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its ‘bark is worse than its bite,’ and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent rĂ´le of resistance. The only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it ‘in wind,’ and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy from having nothing to whip."

 How true, how prescient, how totally and equally valid today in 2021!

Until Southern folk conscious of their heritage and traditions comprehend what has and is occurring, until they—we—become far more discerning and willing to stand forth and demand an accounting, the same rot, the same inevitable hemorrhaging, the same putrefaction of the South we love, the South we remember, the South now rapidly slipping away, will continue.  The efforts of such enterprises as The Abbeville Institute, Clyde Wilson’s Reckonin.com, journals such as Chronicles Magazine are laudable and to be strongly encouraged, but they are still far from being well known.

Every Southerner, aware of who he is, “remembering who we are,” to use the late Mel Bradford’s phrase, should become a true missionary for a re-conversion of “our people” before that becomes an impossibility in the Behemoth State we now inhabit.

The pro-Southern poet Robert Lee Frost, in his poem “The Black Cottage,” sums up both our hope and our task:

“For, dear me, why abandon a belief

Merely because it ceases to be true.

Cling to it long enough, and not a doubt

It will turn true again, for so it goes.

Most of the change we think we see in life

Is due to truths being in and out of favour.

As I sit here, and oftentimes, I wish

I could be monarch of a desert land

I could devote and dedicate forever

To the truths we keep coming back and back to.”


That must be our task, our role: to keep alive our heritage, our past, our memory, to rededicate ourselves “to the truths we keep coming back and back to,” before our Ancestors and before Almighty God.

*****

I urge you to read Ron Kennedy’s latest commentary (link below), on the continuing treason of our elected leaders, Southern Republicans, who joined with Democrats to rid Statuary Hall in the US Capitol of all Confederates and “racists.”  Until we rise up and denounce them, and defeat them, this will continue…and time is becoming our enemy:

http://www.kennedytwins.com/articles/Responding%20to%20Southern%20Congressmen.pdf

Saturday, July 3, 2021

                                                       July 3, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Independence Day and the Perversion of American History

 

 



Friends,

July 4, “Independence Day,” has become for most Americans little more than another holiday, a day off from work, and a time to barbecue with family and friends.

Yet, the Declaration of Independence and the day we set aside to commemorate it should make us reflect on the sacrifices of the men who signed it and what they intended. Representatives from thirteen colonies came together to take a momentous step that they knew might land them on the scaffold. They were protesting that their traditional rights as Englishmen had been violated, and that those violations had forced them into what was actually in many ways America’s real “civil war”: English subjects in America against the English government at Whitehall.

For many the Declaration of Independence is a fundamental text that tells the world who we are as a people. It is a distillation of American belief and purpose. Pundits and commentators, left and right, never cease reminding us that America is an “exceptional” nation, “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Almost as important as a symbol of American belief, we are instructed, is Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Lincoln intentionally places his short peroration in the context of a particular reading of the Declaration. He bases his concept of the creation of the American nation in philosophical principles he sees enunciated in 1776, and in particular, on the idea of “equality” and a new national unity undreamt of by earlier generations. With this understanding, he charts a new and radical departure:  “this nation…shall have a new birth of freedom,” an open-ended invitation to future revolutionary change.

In his view, America is a nation whose unbreakable unity supersedes the recognized and prior rights of the states and which finds that unity in “mystic chords of memory.” The problem is that this interpretation, which forms the philosophical base of both dominant “movement conservatism” today - neoconservatism - and the post-Marxist multicultural Left, is basically false.

Lincoln opens his address, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth ….” There is a critical problem with this assertion. It was not the Declaration that “created” the new nation; the Declaration was a statement of thirteen individual colonies, announcing their respective independence from the mother country, binding themselves together in a military and political alliance. It was the Constitution, drafted eleven years later (1787), after the successful conclusion of the War for Independence, which established a new nation. And, as various historians and scholars have pointed out, in 1776 the American Founders never intended to cobble together a nation with a unitary government based on the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

A brief survey of the writings of such distinguished historians and researchers as Barry Shain, Forrest McDonald, M. E. Bradford, George W. Carey, and more recently Kirkpatrick Sale, plus a detailed reading of the commentaries and writings of those men who met in Philadelphia, give the lie to that claim.

The Framers of the Constitution were horrified by “egalitarianism” and “democracy,” and they made it clear that what they were establishing in 1787 was a limited republic, which owed its existence to certain powers conceded by the respective states, a republic in which most “rights” were retained zealously by the states, including the inherent ability to decide who would participate in governing and on what basis. The Tenth Amendment, too often overlooked or disregarded, spells that out: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  

A survey of the correspondence and the debates over the Constitution and its meaning underscores support for this regionalism and anti-egalitarianism, as Professor Bradford methodically demonstrates in his volume Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constition and also in  Founding Fathers: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United State Constitution.

Obviously, then, Lincoln could not found his “new nation” on the U. S. Constitution; it was too aristocratic and decentralized, with non-enumerated powers maintained by the states, including the implicit right to secede (admitted by almost the entirety of constitutional interpretation prior to 1861). Indeed, slavery was explicitly sanctioned, even if most of the Framers believed that as an institution it would die a natural death, if left on its own.

Lincoln went back to the Declaration of Independence and invested in it a meaning that supported his statist and wartime intentions. But even then, he verbally abused the language of the Declaration, interpreting the words in a form that its Signers never envisioned or intended. Although those authors employed the phrase “all men are created equal,” and certainly that is why Lincoln made direct reference to it, a careful analysis of the Declaration does not support the sense that Lincoln invests in those few words. (See the Professor Shain’s detailed examination, The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context: American State Papers, Petitions, Proclamations, and Letters of the Delegates to the First National Congresses). Contextually, the authors at Philadelphia were asserting their historic — and equal — rights in law as Englishmen before the Crown, which had, they believed, been violated and abused by the British government.

Like the Framers, the Founders rejected egalitarianism. They understood that no one is, literally, “created equal” to anyone else. Certainly, each and every person is created with no less or no more dignity, measured by his or her own unique potential before God. But this is not what most contemporary writers mean today when they talk of “equality.”

Rather, from a traditionally-Christian viewpoint, each of us is born into this world with different levels of intelligence, in different areas of expertise; physically, some are stronger or heavier, others are slight and smaller; some learn foreign languages and write beautiful prose; others become fantastic athletes or scientists. Social customs and traditions, property holding, and individual initiative — each of these factors further discriminate as we continue in life.

None of this means that we are any less or more valued in the judgment of God, Who judges us based on our own, very unique capabilities. God measures us by ourselves, by our own maximum potential, not by that of anyone else — that is, whether we use our own, individual talents to the very fullest (recall the Parable of the Talents in the Gospel of St. Matthew).

The Founders understood this, as their writings and speeches clearly indicate. Lincoln’s “new birth of freedom” would have certainly struck them as radical and revolutionary, a veritable “heresy.” Even more disturbing for them would be the specter of the modern-day neoconservatives — that is, those who purport to defend our Constitutional republic against the abuses of the multiculturalist left — enshrining Lincoln’s address as a basic symbol of American political and social order.

They would have understood the radicalism implicit in such a pronouncement; they would have seen Lincoln’s faulty interpretation of the Declaration as grafting on to the Constitution a meaning which it does not have and, in fact, a revolutionary denial of its original intentions; and they would have understood in Lincoln’s language the content of a Christian and millennialist heresy, heralding a transformed nation where the Federal government would become the father and mother and absolute master of us all…all in the name of “our democracy.”

Thus, as we commemorate the declaring of American independence 245 years ago, we should lament the mythology created about it in 1863. And we should recall the generation of 1787, a generation of noble men who comprehended fully well that a country based on the centralization of power in the abusive hands of a few and on egalitarianism is a nation where true liberties are imperiled.

In 2021 we have reached a nadir in our history, nearly as defining as the defeat on the battlefield of the older constitutional republicanism in 1865. The expressed fears of the Framers have been fully realized.  The hopes of our ancestors have been turned into nightmares for us, their progeny.

It is time for patriots to once again invoke the name of “God, Our Help in Ages Past” and, each in his own manner, mount the barricades.

  June 10, 2024   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   North Carolina’s Mark Robinson and the Uncontrolled Rage of the Left ...