Saturday, June 24, 2023

                                                June 24, 2023



MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


The Return of the “Great Disruptor” 

Donald J. Trump


It is absolutely clear now to all but the most ideologically infected or close-minded automaton that the prosecution of President Donald Trump for various levels of malfeasance in regard to his handling of records seized by stormtrooper agents of Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice is just the latest, and most egregious attempt to “get Donald Trump.” It comes after the implosion of the failed “Russia Hoax,” two utterly obscene impeachment efforts, a series of January 6 “show hearings” (which would make the East German Stasi or KGB envious!), and various harassment trials over purported sexual miscues (like the accusations against Justice Kavanaugh, financed by big Democratic Party billionaire Reid Hoffman).

Since Trump’s shocking and unsuspected election to the American nation’s highest office, virtual panic has taken hold not just of the Left, but also conspicuously of the establishment Republican elites, supposedly on the Right. For decades these elites, both the managerial Left and the establishment conservatives, have considered their sinecures and positions of power over the rest of us to be untouchable, and their authority theirs by right. They have formed a kind of self-perpetuating oligarchy, an exclusive Uniparty, and simple citizens, no matter whom they may be, have no right to question its right to control our lives, not just politically, but increasingly via the incestuous partnership with national and international finance corporatism (including the electronic media giants).

One only gets access or elevation to this new elite by making the proper obeisance, mouthing the “correct” messages, appealing to the “correct” financiers and corporate managers, and effectively accepting a certain template and a resultant narrative. There are, of course, some variations which are permitted: one can be a Republican or claim to be a “conservative,” and utter from time-to-time the banal and increasingly stale talking points which are supposed to indicate that a candidate is a “conservative,” or a “constitutionalist,” or “favors lower taxes.” Such affirmations usually occur during fevered election campaigns and are meant to assure and soothe restive voters that candidate X really does represent constituent wishes and will fulfill campaign promises once in office.

Of course, after election, the charade is over for nearly all those candidates, as they slide seamlessly into the embrace of the DC Swamp and begin to “suckle at the teats” of the managerial state. Few there are who dare oppose this immense cabal, for it has the power not just to exile dissenters but effectively silence them. Thus, we have the current example of a Marjorie Taylor Greene who is treated as something of a “wingnut,” mostly shunned by Republican elites.

This brings us ineluctably to the election of Donald J. Trump in 2016, and the near-hysterical, laser-like, and abiding hatred of him. For it is understanding that hatred and those efforts to “get Trump” that in so many ways explain what is occurring in the lead up to the 2024 presidential election: the unceasing efforts using the courts, employing the media, using bare-knuckle politics, to discredit and defeat him, and possibly to imprison him, to stop him by any and all means….

And that is the major reason that Trump should be supported for 2024. Not because of his failings (about which more a little later), but because he represents existentially a real and present—identified—threat to the dominance of the managerial oligarchy which essentially controls our nation. And he does this almost uniquely, far more than any other candidate in the Republican stable (most of whom are considered “manageable” by the Establishment). The unhinged Left (i.e., almost the entirety of the Democratic Party) and Never Trump/Establishment elements of the GOP understand this threat more profoundly than even many of Donald Trump’s nominal supporters, and it literally scares the hell out of them.

I have argued before in several essays that I was not sure to what extent President Trump fully understood his role in what has become, in my view, an epochal and perhaps final battle for the future of the American nation. In 2016 I suggested that his positions came from his intuitions and his instincts, and weren’t really formed “political” or “ideological” perspectives.  They just seemed logical to him as a businessman as he viewed the Swamp from the outside. And that also would in part explain reasons why, when he became the GOP candidate and then president, he listened to Republican apparatchiks and attempted in his own way to bring about unity of the party, something traditionally that party candidates did. That effort, as we can state, was probably the most unsuccessful and destructive aspect in his first term, for many of his counsellors and appointments (e.g., Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, “Mad Dog” Mattis, Nikki Haley, et al) did their damnedest to undercut and stifle his announced positions and programs. And perhaps his own initial political naivete’ compounded matters, as well.

Yet despite some frustrated initiatives, some uncompleted programs, and frequent internal administration sabotage, Trump achieved something that no president in a century had accomplished: he forced the fangs of the fearsome managerial state out into public view for the first time.

Back in 2016 I first argued that Donald Trump’s role was akin to a “bull-in-china-shop,” to break the taboos of the Left and the managerial elites, and, at best, to force the maniacal establishment to lower its mask which for decades had occulted its actual intentions and its progressive infection of our society’s historic institutions with a virulent and fatal venom. That infection had been percolating for years, it had near total control of our educational and academic institutions, it largely dominated our entertainment industry, it controlled most of our media, and it had forced an iron-clad template on our politics…that is, until Trump came upon the scene.

As he spoke mostly off-script during the 2016 campaign, he gave voice to the fundamental views of regular citizens, that broad swathe of folks which Hilary Clinton called “deplorable,” and who now are denominated “MAGA.” Those rumblings, those views, previously had been mostly unexpressed on a national level; most citizens lacked a real means to do so. The few earlier major figures challenging the status quo, the progressivist Leftist “long march” through our institutions, had been sidelined, silenced, or exiled from the public square.

But as Trump spoke, he rattled cages, challenged establishment bromides, and questioned the progressivist template, whether he fully understood that or not. No matter that some of his rhetoric never made it into real programs or was stymied from within. The really significant factor was that he said it fearlessly from a national bully pulpit, that he made it acceptable to be a real opponent of the ongoing progressivist Leftist transformation, and that his presence unleashed an actual counter-revolution of sorts which, despite heightened persecution and concerted “cancelling,” continues. In that sense, Trump opened a Pandora’s Box which, since his election, the DC Uniparty has been unable to close, despite its frantic and heavy-handed stepped-up efforts.

Thus we come to the lead-up to the election of 2024 and the continued frenetic and unleashed efforts to stop Trump, not just by the fanatical Left but also by the self-satisfied Republican establishment. But unlike in 2016 or even 2020, that reaction is far more poisonous, widespread, and ingrained in the institutions of our society. And it has marshalled legions of Never Trumpers and those who have convinced themselves of oft-repeated refrains that: “Trump can’t win,” or “Trump will bring down other Republican candidates,” or “Trump is a moral reprobate and will lose the women’s vote.”

None of these accusations is actually true; nevertheless, they have taken hold even of some sincere persons on the Right. Any summary of polls over the past few months indicates that in addition to running away with the Republican nomination by huge margins, Trump can beat Biden in the general election. A RealClearPolitics average of all presidential polls (June 20, 2023) has Trump slightly ahead of Biden in an eventual face-off. He has a lead among independents (Economist/YouGov, June 9, 2023) and leads DeSantis among Republican women (Washington Examiner). More than that, an honest examination of the 2022 election reveals that Trump-supported candidates, contrary to the illusory claims bandied so widely about, were victorious in 236 contests out of 274 where he made endorsements, according to a Bloomberg News compilation (November 15, 2022)--more than a 6 to 1 margin of wins. He was not a drag on Republican candidates; rather, election mechanics and widespread rigging in key states played a far more significant role in a few high-profile GOP defeats. Those defeats cannot be laid at the feet of Donald Trump.

These arguments against Trump, then, collapse.

Other critics maintain that: “Trump has made promises he hasn’t kept,” or “Trump appointed and listened to bad advisors.” Even the staunchest Trump supporter can acknowledge that, even with the many positive things the Donald accomplished in his first term (e.g., especially three critical Supreme Court Justices), his selection of advisors and, at times, appointments, undercut much of his announced 2016 agenda. Yet, closely monitoring his campaign in 2023 and examining his Agenda47 items, he seems to have learned from mistakes made in 2017-2021.

The essential point is that Donald Trump is the one candidate the managerial Deep State really fears, and the reason for that is that he is the Great Disruptor, he endangers their hegemony and their seemingly unstoppable advance to globalist domination. In reality, his abiding support has little to do with whether he would advocate lowering taxes, or reducing foreign entanglements, or even completing a border wall—these are all very important, of course. But the often-unspoken reason that Trump supporters are so committed is that they know intuitively he is the wrecking-ball that is so sorely needed along the banks of the Potomac these days…as well as in Bruxelles and Davos. And with wrecking-balls, at times the process is messy and untidy.

No one else elicits more abject fear and loathing from our enemies than Donald Trump; no one else can bring on the necessary and probably final confrontation with the progressivist forces of the Leftist managerial state. The MAGA folks understand that the sooner this final confrontation occurs, the better are their chances of success. Other, more establishment-oriented candidates who propose a return to “normalcy,” only prolong our national agony while essentially allowing the rot to continue.

That is unacceptable and a recipe for the certain disappearance of the American nation as we have known it.


Thursday, June 8, 2023

                                                June 8, 2023

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

A Birthday Salute to Dr. Clyde N Wilson –

On his 82nd Birthday


On Sunday, June 11, 2023, my dear friend and a man who is rightly called “the Dean of Southern Historians,” Dr. Clyde N. Wilson, will celebrate his 82nd birthday. For some fruitful fifty-five of those years he has been at the forefront of efforts to make the history of his native region better known, and, as events and severe challenges to that history have happened at a dizzying pace, he has stood, like one of his admired historical figures, General Thomas J. Jackson, “as a stonewall” resisting the increasing insanity and madness of our age.

His various books, including the published multi-volume complete works of Southern statesman John C. Calhoun (University of South Carolina), books of essays, edited volumes, annotated bibliographies, and hundreds of articles give testimony to a tireless, indefatigable champion, intent on both mining and revealing the richness of Southern history and also resolutely defending it against powerful and virulent enemies, both nationally and amongst us. Unlike far too many of his fellow Southerners, Dr. Wilson has understood that the geographical region we call “the South” has had an important role not just in the 350 year existence of the land we call “America,” but in a very real sense in maintaining that Western Christian heritage inherited from original settlers, to the point of going to war to defend that precious patrimony.

I think it was when I was in grad school at the University of Virginia in the early 1970s that I first came across articles and essays by Clyde Wilson. I was already reading National Review and the quarterly, Modern Age (long before they went over to Neoconservative/NeoReconstructionism). Wilson, along with writers like Mel Bradford and Russell Kirk, for whom I served as assistant the year after securing my MA in history, wrote fairly regularly for what was called “conservative media.” Southerners were welcomed by such publications back then. Indeed, Kirk dedicated an entire issue of Modern Age (which he founded) to Southern conservatism (Fall 1958). Older Southern writers, essayists, and poets associated with the Southern “Agrarians,” men of stature like Donald Davidson, Andrew Lytle, and Cleanth Brooks, continued their labors in their twilight years.

When I returned to the United States after earning a doctorate at the University of Navarra, in Spain, and teaching for a while in Argentina in 1981, I began to reacquaint myself with writers and the culture of my homeland. Soon I was contributing essays to the Southern Partisan magazine and renewing my friendships with Mel Bradford and Russell Kirk.

Then, in 1990 I came across a book which made a profound and lasting impression on me: Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew (University of Georgia, 1990), by Clyde N. Wilson. In fact, the volume was an edited version of his Ph.D. dissertation presented at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1971. At that time UNC was hospitable to more conservative and traditional scholarship; not only Professor Wilson, but also former Chronicles editor Thomas Fleming, and my former co-worker at the North Carolina State Archives, Wilson Angley, all finished their graduate degrees there.

Pettigrew, a noted Confederate general who fell at Falling Waters during the retreat from Gettysburg, like Wilson and myself was a North Carolinian. Like most Southern boys who came of age during the “Civil War Centennial” (1961-1965) and a Tar Heel born and bred, I had some idea of Pettigrew’s exploits during the War. But I was unprepared for the wealth of detail which Wilson revealed. For indeed James Johnston Pettigrew was a man larger than life who, if he had lived, might have become one of the nation’s finest essayists and writers.  In Carolina Cavalier Wilson discusses at length Pettigrew’s “travel book,” Notes on Spain and the Spaniards (1861), which like English author Hilaire Belloc’s The Path to Rome, is far more than a simple travelogue. Like Belloc forty years later, Pettigrew possessed the ability to translate his observations into meaningful and eloquently descriptive paragraphs which in a profound sense soar above the printed page and in an impressionistic way speak of the continuity and grandeur of our Western culture. His understanding of Spanish traditions and religion have seldom, if ever, been matched by any American. And from a certain perspective, is there not in his exquisitely expressed, philosophical understanding and descriptions of Spanish society a veiled, analogous comparison to his own Southland?

A few years after acquiring a copy of Carolina Cavalier I was able to bring Clyde Wilson back to North Carolina. We had begun to correspond, and since I was chairman of North Carolina’s Annual Confederate Flag Day observances, I invited him to come to Raleigh and offer remarks in the old Senate chamber of the historic 1840 State Capitol. He was one of the distinguished guests of note we had over the years, including Don Livingston, Sam Francis, Paul Gottfried, and North Carolina Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr.  And shortly afterwards, Pettigrew’s volume which had been out-of-print for well over a century, was brought out in a facsimile edition by the University of South Carolina Press (2010), with a new introduction by Wilson.

Another significant work which Dr. Wilson produced was The Essential Calhoun: Selections from Writings, Speeches, and Letters (2017), with an introduction by Russell Kirk, a valuable primer for students of the great South Carolinian who have been perhaps deterred by the daunting task of searching through the edited twenty-eight volumes!

Additional works include his several polemical volumes in “The Wilson Files”; his four books in the “Southern Reader’s Guide” series; From Union to Empire: Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition; Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture, and several significant published symposiums which he has edited. Dr. Wilson has also been the M. E. Bradford Distinguished Chair at the Abbeville Institute, which specializes in the online publication of Southern writers and holding seminars on Southern themes. And he is the guiding spirit behind Shotwell Publishing in Columbia, South Carolina, offering an outlet for Southern authors and their manuscripts.

During his thirty-two years as professor of history at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Wilson taught a wide variety of courses in history and directed sixteen doctoral dissertations. His legacy of scholarship and love for the history of his native region, thus, is carried on by those—and other—students who were privileged to study under him.  And by many thousands more who have read his books or attended his conferences, or been so fortunate as to call him a friend.

Would that in the midst of today’s vicious offensive against everything traditionally Southern there were more teachers and giants like Clyde Wilson.

There is a memorable passage in Donald Davidson’s magnificent poem, “Lee in the Mountains,” which in a way sums up Clyde Wilson’s resilience and heroically staunch defense of his beloved Southland:

            Young men, the God of your fathers is a just

And merciful God Who in this blood once shed

On your green altars measures out all days,

And measures out the grace

Whereby alone we live;

And in His might He waits,

Brooding within the certitude of time,

To bring this lost forsaken valor

And the fierce faith undying

And the love quenchless

To flower among the hills to which we cleave,

To fruit upon the mountains whither we flee,

Never forsaking, never denying

His children and His children’s children forever

Unto all generations of the faithful heart.

Then, let us wish Clyde Wilson a most happy and blessed 82nd birthday, and ad multos annos! May your critical labors go on and continue to inspire us!

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