Archive for Pat Buchanan

Is Macron the EU’s Last Best Hope?

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron (Credit Image: © Visual via ZUMA Press)

For the French establishment, Sunday’s presidential election came close to a near-death experience. As the Duke of Wellington said of Waterloo, it was a “damn near-run thing.”

Neither candidate of the two major parties that have ruled France since Charles De Gaulle even made it into the runoff, an astonishing repudiation of France’s national elite.

Marine Le Pen of the National Front ran second with 21.5 percent of the vote. Emmanuel Macron of the new party En Marche! won 23.8 percent.

Macron is a heavy favorite on May 7. The Republicans’ Francois Fillon, who got 20 percent, and the Socialists’ Benoit Hamon, who got less than 7 percent, both have urged their supporters to save France by backing Macron.

Ominously for U.S. ties, 61 percent of French voters chose Le Pen, Fillon or radical Socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon. All favor looser ties to America and repairing relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Le Pen has a mountain to climb to win, but she is clearly the favorite of the president of Russia, and perhaps of the president of the United States. Last week, Donald Trump volunteered:

“She’s the strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France. … Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election.”

As an indicator of historic trends in France, Le Pen seems likely to win twice the 18 percent her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, won in 2002, when he lost in the runoff to Jacques Chirac.

The campaign between now and May 7, however, could make the Trump-Clinton race look like an altarpiece of democratic decorum.

Not only are the differences between the candidates stark, Le Pen has every incentive to attack to solidify her base and lay down a predicate for the future failure of a Macron government.

And Macron is vulnerable. He won because he is fresh, young, 39, and appealed to French youth as the anti-Le Pen. A personification of Robert Redford in “The Candidate.”

But he has no established party behind him to take over the government, and he is an ex-Rothschild banker in a populist environment where bankers are as welcome as hedge-fund managers at a Bernie Sanders rally.

He is a pro-EU, open-borders transnationalist who welcomes new immigrants and suggests that acts of Islamist terrorism may be the price France must pay for a multiethnic and multicultural society.

Macron was for a year economic minister to President Francois Hollande who has presided over a 10 percent unemployment rate and a growth rate that is among the most anemic in the entire European Union.

He is offering corporate tax cuts and a reduction in the size of a government that consumes 56 percent of GDP, and presents himself as the “president of patriots to face the threat of nationalists.”

His campaign is as much “us vs. them” as Le Pen’s.

And elite enthusiasm for Macron seems less rooted in any anticipation of future greatness than in the desperate hope he can save the French establishment from the dreaded prospect of Marine.

But if Macron is the present, who owns the future?

Across Europe, as in France, center-left and center-right parties that have been on the scene since World War II appear to be emptying out like dying churches. The enthusiasm and energy seem to be in the new parties of left and right, of secessionism and nationalism.

The problem for those who believe the populist movements of Europe have passed their apogee, with losses in Holland, Austria and, soon, France, that the fever has broken, is that the causes of the discontent that spawned these parties are growing stronger.

What are those causes?

A growing desire by peoples everywhere to reclaim their national sovereignty and identity, and remain who they are. And the threats to ethnic and national identity are not receding, but growing.

The tide of refugees from the Middle East and Africa has not abated. Weekly, we read of hundreds drowning in sunken boats that tried to reach Europe. Thousands make it. But the assimilation of Third World peoples in Europe is not proceeding. It seems to have halted.

Second-generation Muslims who have lived all their lives in Europe are turning up among the suicide bombers and terrorists.

Fifteen years ago, al-Qaida seemed confined to Afghanistan. Now it is all over the Middle East, as is ISIS, and calls for Islamists in Europe to murder Europeans inundate social media.

As the numbers of native-born Europeans begin to fall, with their anemic fertility rates, will the aging Europeans become more magnanimous toward destitute newcomers who do not speak the national language or assimilate into the national culture, but consume its benefits?

If a referendum were held across Europe today, asking whether the mass migrations from the former colonies of Africa and the Middle East have on balance made Europe a happier and better place to live in in recent decades, what would that secret ballot reveal?

Does Macron really represent the future of France, or is he perhaps one of the last men of yesterday?

The post Is Macron the EU’s Last Best Hope? appeared first on American Renaissance.

Is Democracy in a Death Spiral?

“You all start with the premise that democracy is some good. I don’t think it’s worth a damn. Churchill is right. The only thing to be said for democracy is that there is nothing else that’s any better. …

“People say, ‘If the Congress were more representative of the people it would be better.’ I say Congress is too damn representative. It’s just as stupid as the people are, just as uneducated, just as dumb, just as selfish.”

This dismissal of democracy, cited by historian H. W. Brands in “The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War,” is attributed to that great populist Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

Few would air such views today, as democracy has been divinized.

Indeed, for allegedly hacking the Clinton campaign and attacking “our democracy,” Vladimir Putin has been condemned to the ninth circle of hell. Dick Cheney and John McCain have equated Moscow’s mucking around in our sacred democratic rituals to an “act of war.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Credit Image: © Alexei Druzhinin/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire)

Yet democracy seems everywhere to be losing its luster.

Among its idealized features is the New England town meeting. There, citizens argued, debated, decided questions of common concern.

Town hall meetings today recall a time when folks came out to mock miscreants locked in stocks in the village square. Congressmen returning to their districts in Holy Week were shouted down as a spectator sport. A Trump rally in Berkeley was busted up by a mob. The university there has now canceled an appearance by Ann Coulter.

Charles Murray, whose books challenge conventional wisdom about the equality of civilizations, and Heather Mac Donald, who has documented the case that hostility to cops is rooted in statistical ignorance, have both had their speeches violently disrupted on elite campuses.

In Washington, our two-party system is in gridlock. Comity and collegiality are vanishing. Across Europe, centrist parties shrink as splinter parties arise and “illiberal democracies” take power.
Russia and China, which have embraced autocratic capitalism, have attracted admirers and emulators by the seeming success of their strongman rule.

President Trump, seeing the way the world is going, welcomes to the White House Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, whose army dumped over the elected government and jailed thousands.

Recep Erdogan

Recep Erdogan (Credit Image: © Depo Photos via ZUMA Wire)

Following a disputed referendum that granted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan near-dictatorial powers, Trump phoned his congratulations to the Turkish autocrat. It was Erdogan who described democracy as a bus you get off when it reaches your stop.

Why is liberal democracy, once hailed as the future of mankind, in a deepening bear market? First, Acheson was not all wrong.

When George W. Bush declared that the peoples of the Middle East should decide their future in democratic elections, Lebanon chose Hezbollah, the Palestinians chose Hamas, the Egyptians the Muslim Brotherhood. The first two are U.S.-designated terrorist groups, as members of Congress wish to designate the third. Not an auspicious beginning for Arab democracy.

In Sunday’s election in France, a Communist-backed admirer of Hugo Chavez, Jean-Luc Melenchon, and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen could emerge as the finalists on May 7.

Democracy is increasingly seen as a means to an end, not an end in itself. If democracy doesn’t deliver, dispense with it.

Democracy’s reputation also suffers from the corruption and incompetence of some of its celebrated champions.

The South African regime of Jacob Zuma, of Nelson Mandela’s ANC, faces a clamor for his resignation. Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff was impeached in August. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been removed and jailed for corruption. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez was elected president four times.

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay called us a “band of brethren” and “one united people” who shared the same ancestors, language, religion, principles, manners, customs.

Seventy years later, the brethren went to war with one another, though they seem to have had more in common in 1861 than we do today.

Forty percent of Americans now trace their ancestral roots to Latin America, Asia and Africa. The Christian component of the nation shrinks, as the numbers of Muslims, Hindu, atheists, agnostics grow.

We have two major languages now. Scores of other languages are taught in schools.

Not only do we disagree on God, gays and guns, but on politics and ideology, morality and faith, right and wrong. One-half of America sees the other as “a basket of deplorables. … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic … bigots.”

How, outside an external attack that unites us, like 9/11, do we find unity among people who dislike each other so much and regard each other’s ideas and ideals as hateful and repellent?

Democracy requires common ground on which all can stand, but that ground is sinking beneath our feet, and democracy may be going down the sinkhole with it.

Where liberals see as an ever-more splendid diversity of colors, creeds, ethnicities, ideologies, beliefs and lifestyles, the Right sees the disintegration of a country, a nation, a people, and its replacement with a Tower of Babel.

Visions in conflict that democracy cannot reconcile.

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Is Putin the ‘Preeminent Statesman’ of Our Times?

“If we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the preeminent statesman of our time.

“On the world stage, who could vie with him?”

So asks Chris Caldwell of the Weekly Standard in a remarkable essay in Hillsdale College’s March issue of its magazine, Imprimis.

What elevates Putin above all other 21st-century leaders?

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Credit Image: © Alexei Druzhinin/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire)

When Putin took power in the winter of 1999-2000, his country was defenseless. It was bankrupt. It was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals, the Americans. Putin changed that.

In the first decade of this century, he did what Kemal Ataturk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he resurrected a national-state, and gave it coherence and purpose. He disciplined his country’s plutocrats. He restored its military strength. And he refused, with ever blunter rhetoric, to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. His voters credit him with having saved his country.

Putin’s approval rating, after 17 years in power, exceeds that of any rival Western leader. But while his impressive strides toward making Russia great again explain why he is revered at home and in the Russian diaspora, what explains Putin’s appeal in the West, despite a press that is every bit as savage as President Trump’s?

Answer: Putin stands against the Western progressive vision of what mankind’s future ought to be. Years ago, he aligned himself with traditionalists, nationalists and populists of the West, and against what they had come to despise in their own decadent civilization.

What they abhorred, Putin abhorred. He is a God-and-country Russian patriot. He rejects the New World Order established at the Cold War’s end by the United States. Putin puts Russia first.

And in defying the Americans he speaks for those millions of Europeans who wish to restore their national identities and recapture their lost sovereignty from the supranational European Union. Putin also stands against the progressive moral relativism of a Western elite that has cut its Christian roots to embrace secularism and hedonism.

The U.S. establishment loathes Putin because, they say, he is an aggressor, a tyrant, a “killer.” He invaded and occupies Ukraine. His old KGB comrades assassinate journalists, defectors and dissidents.

Yet while politics under both czars and commissars has often been a blood sport in Russia, what has Putin done to his domestic enemies to rival what our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has done to the Muslim Brotherhood he overthrew in a military coup in Egypt?

What has Putin done to rival what our NATO ally President Erdogan has done in Turkey, jailing 40,000 people since last July’s coup—or our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte, who has presided over the extrajudicial killing of thousands of drug dealers?

Does anyone think President Xi Jinping would have handled mass demonstrations against his regime in Tiananmen Square more gingerly than did President Putin this last week in Moscow?

Much of the hostility toward Putin stems from the fact that he not only defies the West, when standing up for Russia’s interests, he often succeeds in his defiance and goes unpunished and unrepentant.

He not only remains popular in his own country, but has admirers in nations whose political establishments are implacably hostile to him.

In December, one poll found 37 percent of all Republicans had a favorable view of the Russian leader, but only 17 percent were positive on President Barack Obama.

There is another reason Putin is viewed favorably. Millions of ethnonationalists who wish to see their nations secede from the EU see him as an ally. While Putin has openly welcomed many of these movements, America’s elite do not take even a neutral stance.

Putin has read the new century better than his rivals. While the 20th century saw the world divided between a Communist East and a free and democratic West, new and different struggles define the 21st.

The new dividing lines are between social conservatism and self-indulgent secularism, between tribalism and transnationalism, between the nation-state and the New World Order.

On the new dividing lines, Putin is on the side of the insurgents. Those who envision de Gaulle’s Europe of Nations replacing the vision of One Europe, toward which the EU is heading, see Putin as an ally.

So the old question arises: Who owns the future?

In the new struggles of the new century, it is not impossible that Russia — as was America in the Cold War — may be on the winning side. Secessionist parties across Europe already look to Moscow rather than across the Atlantic.

“Putin has become a symbol of national sovereignty in its battle with globalism,” writes Caldwell. “That turns out to be the big battle of our times. As our last election shows, that’s true even here.”

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The Obama Plot to Sabotage Trump

Devin Nunes just set the cat down among the pigeons.

Two days after FBI Director James Comey assured us there was no truth to President Trump’s tweet about being wiretapped by Barack Obama, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Trump may have had more than just a small point.

The U.S. intelligence community, says Nunes, during surveillance of legitimate targets, picked up the names of Trump transition officials during surveillance of targets, “unmasked” their identity, and spread their names around, virtually assuring they would be leaked.

If true, this has the look and smell of a conspiracy to sabotage the Trump presidency, before it began.

Comey readily confirmed there was no evidence to back up the Trump tweet. But when it came to electronic surveillance of Trump and his campaign, Comey, somehow, could not comment on that.

Which raises the question: What is the real scandal here?

Is it that Russians hacked the DNC and John Podesta’s emails and handed them off to WikiLeaks? We have heard that since June.

Is it that Trump officials may have colluded with the Russians?

But former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and ex-CIA Director Mike Morrell have both said they saw no evidence of this.

This March, Sen. Chris Coons walked back his stunning declaration about transcripts showing a Russia-Trump collusion, confessing, “I have no hard evidence of collusion.”

But if Clapper and Morrell saw no Russia-Trump collusion, what were they looking at during all those months to make them so conclude?

Was it “FBI transcripts,” as Sen. Coons blurted out?

If so, who intercepted and transcribed the conversations? If it was intel agencies engaged in surveillance, who authorized that? How extensive was it? Against whom? Is it still going on?

And if today, after eight months, the intel agencies cannot tell us whether or not any member of the Trump team colluded with the Russians, what does that say of their competence?

The real scandal, which the media regard as a diversion from the primary target, Trump, is that a Deep State conspiracy to bring down his presidency seems to have been put in place by Obamaites, and perhaps approved by Obama himself.

Consider. On Jan. 12, David Ignatius of the Washington Post wrote, “According to a senior U.S. government official, (Gen. Michael) Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials … What did Flynn say?”

Now, on Dec. 29, Flynn, national security adviser-designate, was not only doing his job calling the ambassador, he was a private citizen.

Why was he unmasked by U.S. intelligence?

Who is this “senior official” who dropped the dime on him? Could this official have known how many times Flynn spoke to Kislyak, yet not known what was said on the calls?

That is hard to believe. This looks like a contract hit by an anti-Trump agent in the intel community, using Ignatius to do the wet work.

Flynn was taken down. Did Comey turn his FBI loose to ferret out the felon who had unmasked Flynn and done him in? If not, why not?

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Dan Henninger points anew to a story in The New York Times of March 1 that began: “In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Trump and Russians — across the government.”

“This is what they did,” wrote Henninger, quoting the Times:

“At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies.”

For what benign purpose would U.S. intelligence agents spread secrets damaging to their own president — to foreign regimes? Is this not disloyalty? Is this not sedition?

On Jan. 12, writes Henninger, the Times “reported that Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed rules that let the National Security Agency disseminate ‘raw signals intelligence information’ to 16 other intelligence agencies.”

Astounding. The Obamaites seeded the U.S. and allied intel communities with IEDs to be detonated on Trump’s arrival. This is the scandal, not Trump telling Vlad to go find Hillary’s 30,000 missing emails.

We need to know who colluded with the Russians, if anyone did. But more critically, we need to unearth the deep state conspiracy to sabotage a presidency.

So far, the Russia-connection investigation has proven a dry hole. But an investigation into who in the FBI, CIA or NSA is unmasking U.S. citizens and criminally leaking information to a Trump-hating press to destroy a president they are sworn to serve could prove to be a gusher.

As for the reports of Lynch-White House involvement in this unfolding plot to damage and destroy Trump the real question is: What did Barack Obama know, and when did he know it?

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Is Turkey Lost to the West?

Not long ago, a democratizing Turkey, with the second-largest army in NATO, appeared on track to join the European Union.

That’s not likely now, or perhaps ever.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Angela Merkel’s Germany to Hitler’s, said the Netherlands was full of “Nazi remnants” and “fascists,” and suggested the Dutch ambassador go home.

What precipitated Erdogan’s outbursts?

City officials in Germany refused to let him campaign in Turkish immigrant communities on behalf of an April 16 referendum proposal to augment his powers.

When the Netherlands denied Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu landing rights, he exploded, saying: “The Netherlands . . . are reminiscent of the Europe of World War II. The same racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism.”

When Turkey’s family and social policies minister, Betul Sayan Kaya, drove from Germany to Rotterdam to campaign, Dutch police blocked her from entering the Turkish consulate and escorted her back to Germany.

Erdogan speaks during a rally for the referendum. (Credit Image: © Depo Photos via ZUMA Wire)

Erdogan speaks during a rally for the referendum. (Credit Image: © Depo Photos via ZUMA Wire)

Liberal Europeans see Erdogan’s referendum as a power grab by an unpredictable and volatile ruler who has fired 100,000 civil servants and jailed 40,000 Turks after last summer’s attempted coup, and is converting his country into a dictatorship.

This crisis was tailor-made for Geert Wilders, the anti-EU, anti-Muslim Dutch nationalist who is on the ballot in Wednesday’s Dutch general election.

Claiming credit for the tough stance of conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Wilders tweeted: “I am telling all Turks in the Netherlands that agree with Erdogan: GO to Turkey and NEVER come back!”

“Wilders is a racist, fascist Nazi,” replied Cavusoglu.

Wilders had been fading from his front-runner position, but this episode may have brought him back. While no major Dutch party would join a government led by Wilders, if he runs first in the election March 15, the shock to Europe would be tremendous.

Rutte, however, who dominated the media through the weekend confrontation with the Turks, could be the beneficiary, as a resurgent nationalism pulls all parties toward the right.

All Europe now seems to be piling on the Turks. Danes, Swedes and Swiss are taking Europe’s side against Erdogan.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the populist National Front in France, called on the socialist regime to deny Turkish leaders permission to campaign in Turkish communities. She was echoed by conservative party candidate Francois Fillon, whose once-bright hopes for the presidency all but collapsed after it was learned his wife and children had held do-nothing jobs on the government payroll.

Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen

Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen in European Parliament.

On April 23 comes the first round of the French elections. And one outcome appears predictable. Neither of the major parties—the socialists of President Francois Hollande or the Republicans of ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy—may make it into the May 7 finals.

Le Pen, the anti-EU populist who would lift sanctions on Putin’s Russia, is running even with 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron, a socialist running as the independent leader of a new movement.

Should Le Pen run first in April, the shock to Europe would be far greater than when her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, made the finals in 2002.

At the end of 2017, neither Wilders nor Le Pen is likely to be in power, but the forces driving their candidacies are growing stronger.

Foremost among these is the gnawing ethnonational fear across Europe that the migration from the South—Maghreb, the Middle East and the sub-Sahara—is unstoppable and will eventually swamp the countries, cultures and civilization of Europe and the West.

The ugly and brutal diplomatic confrontation with Turkey may make things worse, as the Turks, after generous payments from Germany, have kept Syrian civil war refugees from crossing its borders into Europe. Should Ankara open the gates, a new immigration crisis could engulf Europe this spring and summer.

Other ethnonational crises are brewing in a familiar place, the Balkans, among the successor states born of the 1990s breakup of Yugoslavia.

In Bosnia, secessionists seek to pull the Serb Republic away from Sarajevo toward Belgrade. The Albanian minority in Macedonia is denouncing political discrimination. The Serbs left behind after Kosovo broke loose in 1999, thanks to 78 days of U.S. bombing of Serbia, have never been reconciled to their fate.

Montenegro has charged Russia with backing an attempted coup late last year to prevent the tiny nation from joining NATO.

The Financial Times sees Vladimir Putin’s hand in what is going on in the Western Balkans, where World War I was ignited with the June 1914 assassination of the Austrian archduke in Sarajevo.

The upshot of all this:

Turkey, a powerful and reliable ally of the U.S. through the Cold War, appears to be coming unmoored from Europe and the West, and is becoming increasingly sectarian, autocratic and nationalistic.

While anti-immigrant and anti-EU parties across Europe may not take power anywhere in 2017, theirs is now a permanent and growing presence, leeching away support from centrist parties left and right.

With Russia’s deepening ties to populist and nationalist parties across Europe, from Paris to Istanbul, Vlad is back in the game.

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It’s Trump’s Party, Now

 

Before the largest audience of his political career, save perhaps his inaugural, Donald Trump delivered the speech of his life.

And though Tuesday’s address may be called moderate, even inclusive, Trump’s total mastery of his party was on full display.

Congressional Republicans who once professed “free-trade” as dogmatic truth rose again and again to cheer economic nationalism.

“We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved,” thundered Trump, “and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.”

Yet a Republican party that embraced NAFTA and voted MFN for China every time it came up gave Trump standing ovations.

“(W)e have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters,” said Trump, “America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East — all the while our infrastructure at home is crumbling.”

And from Congressional Republicans who backed every Bush-Obama war — Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen — not a peep of protest, as their foreign policy legacy was being consigned to the dumpster.

Watching Republicans rise again and again to hail Trump called to mind the Frankish King Clovis who, believing his wife’s Christian God had interceded to give him victory over the Alemanni, saw his army converted by the battalions and baptized by the platoons.

One had thought the free-trade beliefs of Republicans were more deeply rooted than this.

“We have withdrawn the United States from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Trump exulted, having just tossed into the trash that mammoth trade deal beloved of Bush Republicans.

GOP champions of the TPP, if there are any left, sat mute.

Trump cited the first Republican president, Lincoln, as having got it right when he warned, “abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government (will) produce want and ruin among our people.”

Celebrating protectionism, hailing “America First!” in a virtual State of the Union address — it doesn’t get any better than this.

To open-borders Republicans who backed amnesty for 11 million illegal immigrants, Trump had this message, “We will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border.”

And the cheering did not stop.

The president invoked Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System, the greatest public works project of the 20th century, as a model.

Yet Ike was opposed by the Taft wing of his party and Ike’s republicanism gave birth to the modern conservative movement.

Yet, in leading Republicans away from globalism to economic nationalism, Trump is not writing a new gospel. He is leading a lost party away from a modernist heresy — back to the Old-Time Religion.

In restating his commitment to the issues that separated him from the other Republicans and won him Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, however, Trump reaffirmed aspects of conservatism dear to his audience.

He committed himself to regulatory reform, freeing up the private sector, rolling back the administrative state. The Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines are on the way to completion. And Trump is all behind school choice.

While the speech was unifying and aspirational, the president set goals and laid down markers by which his presidency will be judged.

And none will be easy of attainment.

“Dying industries will come roaring back to life. … Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways … Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and, ultimately, stop. … Our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety and opportunity.”

As some of these domestic crises are rooted in the character, or lack of it, of people, they have proven, since Great Society days, to be beyond the capacity of government to solve.

Ronald Reagan was not wrong when he said, “Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.”

And while the president’s speech astonished critics as much as it reassured friends, it leaves large questions unanswered.

How does one leave Social Security and Medicare untouched, grow defense by more than $50 billion, slash taxes, launch a $1 trillion infrastructure program — and not explode the deficit and national debt

Now that we are ensnared in wars all over the Middle East, how do we extricate ourselves and come home without our enemies filling the vacuum?

How does the GOP repeal and replace Obamacare without cutting the benefits upon which millions of Americans have come to rely?

How do you eliminate an $800 billion merchandise trade deficit without tariffs that raise the price of cheap imports from abroad — on which Trump’s working-class voters have come to depend?

The Republican establishment today bends the knee to Caesar.

But how long before K Street lobbyists for transnational cartels persuade the GOP elite, with campaign contributions, to slow-walk the president’s America First agenda?

Tuesday’s speech established Trump as the man in charge.

But how loyal to him and his program will be the “deep state,” which dominates this city that gave Trump only 4 percent of its votes and, paranoically, believes him to be an agent of Vladimir Putin?

The Trump-Beltway wars have only just begun.

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Lavrov vs. McCain: Is Russia an Enemy?

The founding fathers of the Munich Security Conference, said John McCain, would be “be alarmed by the turning away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.”

McCain was followed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who called for a “post-West world order.” Russia has “immense potential” for that said Lavrov, “we’re open for that inasmuch as the U.S. is open.”

Now McCain is not wrong. Nationalism is an idea whose time has come again. Those “old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism” do seem everywhere ascendant. But that is a reality we must recognize and deal with. Deploring it will not make it go away.

But what are these “universal values” McCain is talking about?

Democracy? The free elections in India gave power to Hindu nationalists. In Palestine, Hamas. In Lebanon, Hezbollah. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, then overthrown in a military coup welcomed by the world’s oldest and greatest democracy. Have we forgotten it was a democratically elected government we helped to overthrow in Kiev?

Democracy is a bus you get off when it reaches your stop, says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, autocrat of Ankara, a NATO ally.

Is freedom of religion a “universal value”?

Preach or proselytize for Christianity in much of the Islamic world and you are a candidate for martyrdom. Practice freedom of speech in Xi Jinping’s China and you can wind up in a cell.

As for the Western belief in the equality of all voluntary sexual relations, in some African and Muslim countries, homosexuals are beheaded and adulterers stoned to death.

In Nuristan Province in U.S.-liberated Afghanistan this month, an armed mob of 300 besieged a jail, shot three cops and dragged out an 18-year-old woman who had eloped with her lover to escape an arranged marriage. Beaten by relatives, the girl was shot by an older brother with a hunting rifle and by a younger brother with his AK-47.

Afghan family values.

Her lover was turned over to the husband. An “honor killing,” and, like suicide bombings, not uncommon in a world where many see such actions as commendable in the sight of Allah.

McCain calls himself an “unapologetic believer in the West” who refuses “to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries.”

Lavrov seemed to be saying this:

Reality requires us here in Munich to recognize that, in the new struggle for the world, Russia and the U.S. are natural allies not natural enemies. Though we may quarrel over Crimea and the Donbass, we are in the same boat. Either we sail together, or sink together.

Does the foreign minister not have a point?

Unlike the Cold War, Moscow does not command a world empire. Though a nuclear superpower still, she is a nation whose GDP is that of Spain and whose population of fewer than 150 million is shrinking. And Russia threatens no U.S. vital interest.

Where America is besieged by millions of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico, Russia faces to her south 1.3 billion Chinese looking hungrily at resource-rich Siberia and Russia’s Far East.

The China that is pushing America and its allies out of the East and South China Seas is also building a new Silk Road through former Russian and Soviet provinces in Central Asia. With an estimated 16 million Muslims, Russia is threatened by the same terrorists, and is far closer to the Middle East, the source of Sunni terror.

Is Putin’s Russia an enemy, as McCain seems to believe?

Before we can answer that question, we need to know what the new world struggle is about, who the antagonists are, and what the threats are to us.

If we believe the struggle is for “global democracy” and “human rights,” then that may put Putin on the other side. But how then can we be allies of President el-Sissi of Egypt and Erdogan of Turkey, and the kings, emirs and sultans of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman?

But if the new world struggle is about defending ourselves and our civilization, Russia would appear to be not only a natural ally, but a more critical and powerful one than that crowd in Kiev.

In August 1914, Europe plunged into a 50-month bloodbath over an assassinated archduke. In 1939, Britain and France declared war to keep Poland from having to give up a Prussian port, Danzig, taken from Germany under the duress of a starvation blockade in 1919 and in clear violation of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the Danzigers’ right of self-determination. In the two wars, 50 million to 100 million died.

Today, the United States is confronting Russia, a huge and natural ally, over a peninsula that had belonged to her since the 18th century and is 5,000 miles from the United States.

“We have immense potential that has yet to be tapped into,” volunteered Lavrov. But to deal, we must have “mutual respect.”

Hopefully, President Trump will sound out the Russians, and tune out the Beltway hawks.

The post Lavrov vs. McCain: Is Russia an Enemy? appeared first on American Renaissance.

Is Secession a Solution to Cultural War?

As the culture war is about irreconcilable beliefs about God and man, right and wrong, good and evil, and is at root a religious war, it will be with us so long as men are free to act on their beliefs.

Yet, given the divisions among us, deeper and wider than ever, it is an open question as to how, and how long, we will endure as one people.

After World War II, our judicial dictatorship began a purge of public manifestations of the “Christian nation” that Harry Truman said we were.

In 2009, Barack Obama retorted, “We do not consider ourselves to be a Christian nation.” Secularism had been enthroned as our established religion, with only the most feeble of protests.

One can only imagine how Iranians or Afghans would deal with unelected judges moving to de-Islamicize their nations. Heads would roll, literally.

Which bring us to the first culture war skirmish of the Trump era.

Taking sides with Attorney General Jeff Sessions against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the president rescinded the Obama directive that gave transgender students the right to use the bathroom of their choice in public schools. President Donald Trump sent the issue back to the states and locales to decide.

While treated by the media and left as the civil rights cause of our era, the “bathroom debate” calls to mind Marx’s observation, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Can anyone seriously contend that whether a 14-year-old boy, who thinks he is a girl, gets to use the girls’ bathroom is a civil rights issue comparable to whether African-Americans get the right to vote?

Remarkably, there was vigorous dissent, from DeVos, to returning this issue to where it belongs, with state and local officials.

After yielding on the bathroom question, she put out a statement declaring that every school in America has a “moral obligation” to protect children from bullying, and directed her Office of Civil Rights to investigate all claims of bullying or harassment “against those who are most vulnerable in our schools.”

Now, bullying is bad behavior, and it may be horrible behavior.

But when did a Republican Party that believes in states rights decide this was a responsibility of a bureaucracy Ronald Reagan promised but failed to shut down? When did the GOP become nanny-staters?

Bullying is something every kid in public, parochial or private school has witnessed by graduation. While unfortunate, it is part of growing up.

But what kind of society, what kind of people have we become when we start to rely on federal bureaucrats to stop big kids from harassing and beating up smaller or weaker kids?

While the bathroom debate is a skirmish in the culture war, Trump’s solution — send the issue back to the states and the people there to work it out — may point the way to a truce — assuming Americans still want a truce.

For Trump’s solution is rooted in the principle of subsidiarity, first advanced in the 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII — that social problems are best resolved by the smallest unit of society with the ability to resolve them.

In brief, bullying is a problem for parents, teachers, principals to deal with, and local cops and the school district if it becomes widespread.

This idea is consistent with the Republican idea of federalism — that the national government should undertake those duties — securing the borders, fighting the nation’s wars, creating a continental road and rail system — that states alone cannot do.

Indeed, the nationalization of decision-making, the imposition of one-size-fits-all solutions to social problems, the court orders emanating from the ideology of judges — to which there is no appeal — that is behind the culture wars that may yet bring an end to this experiment in democratic rule.

Those factors are also among the primary causes of the fever of secessionism that is spreading all across Europe, and is now visible here.

Consider California. Democrats hold every state office, both Senate seats, two-thirds of both houses of the state legislature, 3 in 4 of the congressional seats. Hillary Clinton beat Trump 2-to-1 in California, with her margin in excess of 4 million votes.

Suddenly, California knows exactly how Marine Le Pen feels.

And as she wants to “Let France Be France,” and leave the EU, as Brits did with Brexit, a movement is afoot in California to secede from the United States and form a separate nation.

California seceding sounds like a cause that could bring San Francisco Democrats into a grand alliance with Breitbart.

A new federalism — a devolution of power and resources away from Washington and back to states, cities, towns and citizens, to let them resolve their problems their own way and according to their own principles — may be the price of retention of the American Union.

Let California be California; let red state America be red state America.

The post Is Secession a Solution to Cultural War? appeared first on American Renaissance.

Is the Left Playing with Fire Again?

To those who lived through that era that tore us apart in the ’60s and ’70s, it is starting to look like “deja vu all over again.”

And as Adlai Stevenson, Bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey did then, Democrats today like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are pandering to the hell-raisers, hoping to ride their energy to victory.

Democrats would do well to recall what happened the last time they rode the tiger of social revolution.

As the riots began in Harlem in 1964 and Watts in 1965, liberals rushed to render moral sanction and to identify with the rioters.

“In the great struggle to advance civil and human rights,” said Adlai at Colby College, “even a jail sentence is no longer a dishonor but a proud achievement. … Perhaps we are destined to see in this law-loving land people running for office … on their prison records.”

“There is no point in telling Negroes to obey the law,” said Bobby; to the Negro, “the law is the enemy.” Hubert assured us that if he had to live in a slum, “I could lead a mighty good revolt myself.”

Thus did liberals tie themselves and their party to what was coming. By 1967, Malcolm X had been assassinated, Stokely Carmichael with his call to “Black Power” had replaced John Lewis at SNCC, and H. Rap Brown had a new slogan: “By any means necessary.”

Came then the days-long riots of Newark and Detroit in 1967 where the 82nd Airborne was sent in. A hundred cities were burned and pillaged following the assassination of Dr. King on April 4, 1968.

And what happened in our politics?

The Democratic coalition of FDR was shattered. Gov. George Wallace rampaged through the Democratic primaries of Wisconsin, Indiana and Maryland in 1964, then ran third party and carried five Southern states in 1968.

His presidency broken by Vietnam and the riots, LBJ decided not to run again. Vice President Humphrey’s chances were ruined by the violent protests at his Chicago convention, which were broken up by the club-wielding cops of Democratic Mayor Richard J. Daley.

Race riots in the cities, student riots on campus, and that riot of radicals in Chicago helped deliver America to Richard Nixon.

Came then the huge anti-Nixon, anti-war demonstrations of the fall of 1969, the protests in the spring of 1970 after the Cambodian invasion and the Kent State killings, and the Mayday siege by thousands of anarchists to shut down D.C. in 1971.

Again and again, Nixon rallied the Silent Majority to stand with him — and against them. Middle America did.

Hence, what did its association with protesters, radicals and Black Power militants do for the Democratic Party?

Where LBJ swept 44 states in 1964 and 61 percent of the vote, in 1968 Humphrey won 13 states and 43 percent.

In 1972, Nixon and Spiro Agnew swept 49 states, routing the champion of the countercultural left, George McGovern.

And the table had been set for California Governor Ronald Reagan, who defied campus rioters threatening him with violence thusly: “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with.”

Without the riots and bombings of the ’60s and ’70s, there might have been no Nixonian New Majority and no Reagan Revolution.

Today, with the raucous protests against President Trump and his travel ban, the disruption of Congressional town meetings, the blocking of streets every time a cop is involved in a shooting with a black suspect, and the rising vitriol in our politics, it is beginning to look like the 1960s again.

There are differences. In bombings, killings, beatings, arrests, arson, injuries and destruction of property, we are nowhere near 1968.

Still, the intolerant left seems to have melded more broadly and tightly with the Democratic Party of today than half a century ago.

Where Barry Goldwater joked about sawing off the East Coast and “letting it drift out into the Atlantic,” Californians today talk of secession. And much of Middle America would be happy to see them gone.

Where Nixon was credited with the “cooling of America” in 1972, and Reagan could credibly celebrate “Morning in America” in 1984, any such “return to normalcy” appears the remotest possibility now.

As with the EU, the cracks in the USA seem far beyond hairline fractures. Many sense the country could come apart. It did once before. And could Southerners and Northerners have detested each other much more than Americans do today?

Fifty years ago, the anti-Nixon demonstrators wanted out of Vietnam and an end to the draft. By 1972, they had gotten both. The long hot summers were over. The riots stopped.

But other than despising Trump and his “deplorables,” what great cause unites the left today? Even Democrats confess to not knowing Hillary Clinton’s presidential agenda.
From those days long ago, there returns to mind the couplet from James Baldwin’s famous book, from which he took his title:

“God gave Noah the rainbow sign/ No more water, the fire next time.”

The post Is the Left Playing with Fire Again? appeared first on American Renaissance.

Trump Must Break Judicial Power

“Disheartening and demoralizing,” wailed Judge Neil Gorsuch of President Trump’s comments about the judges seeking to overturn his 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from the Greater Middle East war zones.

What a wimp. Did our future justice break down crying like Sen. Chuck Schumer? Sorry, this is not Antonin Scalia. And just what horrible thing had our president said?

A “so-called judge” blocked the travel ban, said Trump. And the arguments in court, where 9th Circuit appellate judges were hearing the government’s appeal, were “disgraceful.” “A bad student in high school would have understood the arguments better.”

Did the president disparage a couple of judges? Yep.

Yet compare his remarks to the tweeted screeds of Elizabeth Warren after her Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions, was confirmed as attorney general.

Sessions, said Warren, represents “radical hatred.” And if he makes “the tiniest attempt to bring his racism, sexism & bigotry” into the Department of Justice, “all of us” will pile on.

Now this is hate speech. And it validates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to use Senate rules to shut her down.

These episodes reveal much about America 2017.

They reflect, first, the poisoned character of our politics. The language of Warren — that Sessions is stepped in “racism, sexism & bigotry” echoes the ugliest slander of the Hillary Clinton campaign, where she used similar words to describe Trump’s “deplorables.”

Such language, reflecting as it does the beliefs of one-half of America about the other, rules out any rapprochement in America’s social or political life. This is pre-civil war language.

For how do you sit down and work alongside people you believe to be crypto-Nazis, Klansmen and fascists? Apparently, you don’t. Rather, you vilify them, riot against them, deny them the right to speak or to be heard.

And such conduct is becoming common on campuses today.

As for Trump’s disparagement of the judges, only someone ignorant of history can view that as frightening.

Thomas Jefferson not only refused to enforce the Alien & Sedition Acts of President John Adams, his party impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase who had presided over one of the trials.

Jackson defied Chief Justice John Marshall’s prohibition against moving the Cherokees out of Georgia to west of the Mississippi, where, according to the Harvard resume of Sen. Warren, one of them bundled fruitfully with one of her ancestors, making her part Cherokee.

When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus violated the Constitution, Lincoln considered sending U.S. troops to arrest the chief justice.

FDR proposed adding six justices to emasculate a Supreme Court of the “nine old men” he reviled for having declared some New Deal schemes unconstitutional.

President Eisenhower called his Supreme Court choices Earl Warren and William Brennan two of the “worst mistakes” he made as president. History bears Ike out. And here we come to the heart of the matter.

Whether the rollout of the president’s temporary travel ban was ill-prepared or not, and whether one agrees or not about which nations or people should be subjected to extreme vetting, the president’s authority in the matter of protecting the borders and keeping out those he sees as potentially dangerous is universally conceded.

That a district judge would overrule the president of the United States on a matter of border security in wartime is absurd.

When politicians don black robes and seize powers they do not have, they should be called out for what they are — usurpers and petty tyrants. And if there is a cause upon which the populist right should unite, it is that elected representatives and executives make the laws and rule the nation. Not judges, and not justices.

Indeed, one of the mightiest forces that has birthed the new populism that imperils the establishment is that unelected justices like Warren and Brennan, and their progeny on the bench, have remade our country without the consent of the governed — and with never having been smacked down by Congress or the president.

Consider. Secularist justices de-Christianized our country. They invented new rights for vicious criminals as though criminal justice were a game. They tore our country apart with idiotic busing orders to achieve racial balance in public schools. They turned over centuries of tradition and hundreds of state, local and federal laws to discover that the rights to an abortion and same-sex marriage were there in Madison’s Constitution all along. We just couldn’t see them.

Trump has warned the judges that if they block his travel ban, and this results in preventable acts of terror on American soil, they will be held accountable. As rightly they should.

Meanwhile, Trump’s White House should use the arrogant and incompetent conduct of these federal judges to make the case not only for creating a new Supreme Court, but for Congress to start using Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution — to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and to reclaim its stolen powers.

A clipping of the court’s wings is long overdue.

The post Trump Must Break Judicial Power appeared first on American Renaissance.

The First Firestorm

That hysterical reaction to the travel ban announced Friday is a portent of what is to come if President Donald Trump carries out the mandate given to him by those who elected him.

The travel ban bars refugees for 120 days. From Syria, refugees are banned indefinitely. And a 90-day ban has been imposed on travel here from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

Was that weekend-long primal scream really justified?

As of Monday, no one was being detained at a U.S. airport.

Yet the shrieking had not stopped. All five stories on page one of Monday’s Washington Post were about the abomination. The New York Times’ editorial, “Trashing American Ideals and Security,” called it bigoted, cowardly, xenophobic, Islamophobic, un-American, unrighteous.

This ban, went the weekend wail, is the “Muslim ban” of the Trump campaign. But how so, when not one of the six largest Muslim countries — Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Turkey — was on the list? Missing also were three-dozen other Muslim countries.

Of the seven countries facing a 90-day ban, three are U.S.-designated state sponsors of terror, and the other four are war zones. Clearly, this is about homeland security, not religious discrimination.

The criterion for being included in the travel ban appears to be that these places are the more likely breeding grounds for terrorists.

Yet there are lessons for the Trump White House in the media-stoked panic and outrage at the end of his first week in office.

First, Steve Bannon’s observation that the media are “the opposition party,” is obviously on target. While Sen. Chuck Schumer was crying on camera that the ban was “un-American,” the media were into the more serious business of stampeding and driving the protesters.

A second lesson is one every White House learns. Before a major decision is announced, if possible, get everyone’s input and everyone on board to provide what Pat Moynihan called the “second and third echelons of advocacy.” Those left out tend to leak.

A third lesson Trump should learn is that the establishment he routed and the city he humiliated are out to break him as they broke LBJ on Vietnam, Nixon on Watergate, and almost broke Reagan on the Iran-Contra affair.

While the establishment may no longer be capable of inspiring and leading the nation, so detested is it, it has not lost its appetite or its ability to break and bring down presidents.

And Trump is vulnerable, not only because he is an envied outsider who seized the highest prize politics has on offer, but because his agenda would cancel out that of the elites.

They believe in open borders, free trade, globalization. Trump believes in securing the Southern border, bringing U.S. industry home, economic nationalism, “America First.”

They want endless immigration from the Third World to remake America into the polyglot “universal nation” of Ben Wattenberg’s utopian vision. Trump’s followers want back the America they knew.

Our foreign policy elites see democratization as a vocation and an autocratic Russia as an implacable enemy. Trump instead sees Moscow as a potential ally against real enemies like al-Qaida and ISIS.

There is another reason for the reflexive howl at Trump’s travel ban. The establishment views it, probably correctly, as the first move toward a new immigration policy, built on pre-1965 foundations, and rooted in a preference for Western-Christian immigrants first.

When the Times rages that “American ideals” or “traditional American values” are under attack by Trump, what they really mean is that their ideology and agenda are threatened by Trump.

We are headed for a series of collisions and crises, and what has happened in Europe will likely happen here. As the Third World invasion and growing Islamization of the Old Continent — which the EU has proven unable to stop — has discredited centrist parties and continuously fed a populist-nationalist uprising there, so may it here also.

And Trump not only appears to have no desire to yield to his enemies in politics and the media, he has no choice, as he is now the personification of a surging Middle American counterrevolution.

Undeniably, there are great numbers of Americans who agree with the libels the Times showered on Trump and, by extension, his backers whom Hillary Clinton designated “the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic … deplorables.”

But by whatever slurs they are called, Middle Americans seem prepared to fight. And history shows that such people do not calmly accept the loss of what is most precious to them — the country they grew up in, the country they love.

They have turned to Trump to lead them. Why should he not, having been raised up by them, and knowing in his own heart what the establishment and the media think of him and would do to him?

Ten days in, and already it is “Game On!”

The post The First Firestorm appeared first on American Renaissance.

What Trump’s Wall Says to the World

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” wrote poet Robert Frost in the opening line of “Mending Walls.”

And on the American left there is something like revulsion at the idea of the “beautiful wall” President Trump intends to build along the 1,900-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico.

The opposition’s arguments are usually rooted in economics or practicality. The wall is unnecessary. It will not stop people from coming illegally. It costs too much.

Yet something deeper is afoot here. The idea of a permanent barrier between our countries goes to the heart of the divide between our two Americas on the most fundamental of questions.

Who are we? What is a nation? What does America stand for?

Those desperate to see the wall built, illegal immigration halted, and those here illegally deported, see the country they grew up in as dying, disappearing, with something strange and foreign taking its place.

It is not only that illegal migrants take jobs from Americans, that they commit crimes, or that so many require subsidized food, welfare, housing, education and health care. It is that they are changing our country. They are changing who we are.

Two decades ago, the Old Right and the neocons engaged in a ferocious debate over what America was and is.

Were we from the beginning a new, unique, separate and identifiable people like the British, French and Germans?

Or was America a new kind of nation, an ideological nation, an invented nation, united by an acceptance of the ideas and ideals of Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln and Dr. King?

The Old Right contended that America existed even before the Revolution, and that this new nation, this new people, wrote its own birth certificate, the Constitution. Before Washington, Madison and Hamilton ever went to Philadelphia, America existed.

What forced the premature birth of the nation — was the Revolution.

We did not become a new nation because we embraced Jefferson’s notion about all men being “created equal.” We became a new people from our familial break with the Mother Country, described in the declaration as a severing of ties with our “brethren” across the sea who no longer deserved our loyalty or love.

The United States came into being in 1789. The Constitution created the government, the state. But the country already existed.

When the Irish came in the mid-19th century to escape the famine and the Germans to escape Bismarck’s Prussia, and the Italians, Jews, Poles, Greeks, Slovaks came to Ellis Island, they were foreigners who became citizens, and then, after a time, Americans.

Not until decades after the Great Migration of 1890-1920, with the common trials of the Depression, World War II and Cold War, were we truly forged again into one united nation and people.

By 1960, almost all of us shared the same heroes and holidays, spoke the same language and cherished the same culture.

What those with memories of that America see happening today is the disintegration of our nation of yesterday. The savagery of our politics, exemplified in the last election, testifies to how Americans are coming to detest one another as much as the Valley Forge generation came to detest the British from whom they broke free.

In 1960, we were a Western Christian country. Ninety percent of our people traced their roots to Europe. Ninety percent bore some connection to the Christian faith. To the tens of millions for whom Trump appeals, what the wall represents is our last chance to preserve that nation and people.

To many on the cosmopolitan left, ethnic or national identity is not only not worth fighting for, it is not even worth preserving. It is a form of atavistic tribalism or racism.

The Trump wall then touches on the great struggle of our age.

Given that 80 percent of all people of color vote Democratic, neither the Trump movement nor the Republican Party can survive the Third Worldization of the United States now written in the cards.

Moreover, with the disintegration of the nation we are seeing, and with talk of the breakup of states like Texas and secession of states like California, how do we survive as one nation and people?

Old Europe never knew mass immigration until the 20th century.

Now, across Europe, center-left and center-right parties are facing massive defections because they are perceived as incapable of coping with the existential threat of the age — the overrunning of the continent from Africa and the Middle East.

President Trump’s wall is a statement to the world: This is our country. We decide who comes here. And we will defend our borders.

The crisis of our time is not that some Americas are saying this, but that so many are too paralyzed to say it, or do not care, or embrace what is happening to their country.

The post What Trump’s Wall Says to the World appeared first on American Renaissance.

Trump: America for the Americans!

As the patriotic pageantry of Inauguration Day gave way to the demonstrations of defiance Saturday, our new America came into view. We are two nations now, two peoples.

Though bracing, President Trump’s inaugural address was rooted in cold truths, as he dispensed with the customary idealism of inaugurals that are forgotten within a fortnight of the president being sworn in.

Trump’s inaugural was Jacksonian.

He was speaking to and for the forgotten Americans whose hopes he embodies, pledging to be their champion against those who abandon them in pursuit of higher, grander, nobler causes. Declared Trump:

“For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed.”

Is this not true? American wages have stagnated as scores of thousands of factories were shut down or shipped abroad. Five of the six wealthiest counties in the U.S. today, measured by median household income, are the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Inaugurals should lift us up, wailed the media, this was “dark.”

And Trump did paint a grim picture — of “mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our … students deprived of all knowledge, and the crime and the gangs and the drugs…”

But is this not also a reality of America 2017?

Indeed, it carries echoes of FDR’s second inaugural: “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. … The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Some of the recoil to Trump’s speech is surely traceable to an awareness by those covering and commenting upon it — that this was a searing indictment of them and their own ruling class.

With America’s political elite sitting behind him, Trump accused them of enriching “foreign industry,” not ours, of subsidizing other countries’ armies but neglecting our own, of defending other nation’s borders while leaving America’s borders unprotected.

Then, in the line that will give his address its name in history, he declared: “From this day forward it’s going to be only America First.”

Prediction: Trump’s “America First” inaugural will be recalled as the most controversial, but will be among the most remembered.

What did Trump mean by “America First”?

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

What does it mean for the world?

“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of other nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example.

We will shine for everyone to follow.”

Denounced as isolationism, this is in an old and great tradition.

Ronald Reagan talked of America being a “shining city on a hill” for other nations to emulate.

John Quincy Adams declared:

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

When the Hungarian patriot Louis Kossuth came to America seeking aid for the revolution of 1848, Henry Clay told him:

“Far better is it for ourselves, for Hungary, and for the cause of liberty, that … avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning brightly on the western shore, as a light to all nations, than to hazard its utter extinction among the ruins of fallen or falling republics in Europe.”

The charge of “isolationist” was thrown in the face of Clay. But he prevailed, and America stayed out of Europe’s wars until 1917 when Woodrow Wilson, fatefully, plunged us in.

In 1936, FDR said, “We shun political commitments which might entangle us in foreign wars. … We are not isolationists except insofar as we seek to isolate ourselves completely from war. … I hate war.”

What Trump was saying in his inaugural is that we will offer our free and independent republic as an example to other nations, but it is not our providential mission to reshape the world in our own image.

“We will reinforce old alliances” that are in our interests, Trump declared. But we are approaching the end of an era where we fought other nations’ wars and paid other nations’ bills.

We will no longer bleed and bankrupt our country for the benefit of others. Henceforth, America will be of, by, and for Americans.

Is that not what the nation voted for?

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New President, New World

“Don’t Make Any Sudden Moves” is the advice offered to the new president by Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations, which has not traditionally been known as a beer hall of populist beliefs.

Haass meant the president should bring his National Security Council together to anticipate the consequences before tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or shooting down a missile being tested by Kim Jong Un.

In arguing against rash action, Haass is correct.

Where the CFR and the establishment are wrong, and Donald Trump is right, however, is in recognizing the new world we have entered.

The old order is passing away. Treaties and alliances dating from the Cold War are ceasing to be relevant and cannot long be sustained.

Economic patriotism and ethnonationalism, personified by Trump, seem everywhere ascendant. Transnationalism is yielding to tribalism.

The greater danger for President Trump is that the movement he led will be abandoned, its hopes dashed, and the agenda that Trump rejected and routed will be reimposed by a Republican Establishment and its collaborators in politics and the press.

Again, it was Trump who read the nation right, which is why he is taking the oath today.

The existential threat to the West no longer comes from the East, from a Russian army crashing through Poland and Germany and driving for the Elbe and Fulda Gap.

The existential threat to the West comes, instead, from the South.

The billion-plus peoples of the Maghreb, Middle East and sub-Sahara, whose numbers are exploding, are moving inexorably toward the Med, coming to occupy the empty places left by an aging and dying Europe, all of whose native-born populations steadily shrink.

American’s bleeding border is what concerns Americans, not the borders of Estonia, South Korea, Kuwait or the South China Sea.

When Trump calls NATO “obsolete,” he is saying that the great threat to the West is not Putin’s recapture of a Crimea that belonged to Russia for 150 years. And if the price of peace is getting out of Russia’s face and Russia’s space, maybe we should pay it.

George Kennan himself, the architect of Cold War containment of Stalin’s Russia, admonished us not to move NATO to Russia’s border.

Of Brexit, the British decision to leave the EU, Trump said this week, “People, countries want their own identity and the U.K. wanted its own identity … so if you ask me, I believe others will leave.”

Is he not right? Is it so shocking to hear a transparent truth?

How could Europe’s elites not see the populist forces rising? The European peoples wished to regain their lost sovereignty and national identity, and they were willing to pay a price to achieve it.

Apparently, the Davos crowd cannot comprehend people who believe there are more important things than wealth.

Yet while President Trump should avoid rash actions, if he is to become a transformational president, he will spurn an establishment desperately seeking to hold onto the world that is passing away.

Article V of the NATO treaty may require us to treat a Russian move in the Baltic as an attack on the United States. But no sane president will start a war with a nuclear-armed Russia over Estonia.

No Cold War president would have dreamed of so rash an action.

Rather than risk such a war, Ike refused to send a rifle or bullet to the heroic Hungarian rebels in 1956. Painful, but Ike put America first, just as Trump pledged to do.

And given the strength of ethnonationalism in Europe, neither the eurozone nor the EU is likely to survive the decade. We should prepare for that day, not pretend that what is taking place across Europe, and indeed worldwide, is some passing fever of nationalism.

Notwithstanding Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson’s diktat, the United States is not going to force China to vacate the fortified reefs in a South China Sea she claims as her national territory.

Stick to that demand, and we best prepare for war.

As for the Taiwan card, it was played in 1972 by Richard Nixon as the price of his opening to China. Four decades ago, Jimmy Carter cut diplomatic ties to Taiwan and terminated our security pact.

For Xi Jinping to accept that Taiwan might be negotiable would mean an end of him and the overthrow of his Communist Party of China.

The Chinese will fight to prevent a permanent loss of Taiwan.

The imperative of the new era is that the great nuclear powers — China, Russia, the United States — not do to each other what Britain, France and Germany did to each other a century ago over a dead archduke.

President Trump should build the wall, secure the border, impose tariffs, cut taxes, free up the American economy, bring the factories home, create millions of jobs and keep us out of any new wars.

With rare exceptions, wars tend to be fatal to presidencies.

The post New President, New World appeared first on American Renaissance.

Reagan and Trump: American Nationalists

Since World War II, the two men who have most terrified this city by winning the presidency are Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

And they have much in common.

Both came out of the popular culture, Reagan out of Hollywood, Trump out of a successful reality TV show. Both possessed the gifts of showmen — extraordinarily valuable political assets in a television age that deals cruelly with the uncharismatic.
Both became instruments of insurgencies out to overthrow the establishment of the party whose nomination they were seeking.

Reagan emerged as the champion of the postwar conservatism that had captured the Republican Party with Barry Goldwater’s nomination in 1964. His victory in 1980 came at the apogee of conservative power.

The populism that enabled Trump to crush 16 Republican rivals and put him over the top in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan had also arisen a decade and a half before — in the 1990s.

A decisive advantage Reagan and Trump both enjoyed is that in their decisive years, the establishments of both parties were seen as having failed the nation.

Reagan was victorious after Russia invaded Afghanistan; Americans were taken hostage in Tehran; and the U.S. had endured 21 percent interest rates, 13 percent inflation, 7 percent unemployment and zero growth.

When Trump won, Americans had gone through years of wage stagnation. Our industrial base had been hollowed out. And we seemed unable to win or end a half-dozen Middle East wars in which we had become ensnared.

What is the common denominator of both the Reagan landslide of 1980 and Trump’s victory?

Both candidates appealed to American nationalism.

In the late 1970s, Reagan took the lead in the campaign to save the Panama Canal. “We bought it. We paid for it. It’s ours. And we’re going to keep it,” thundered the Gipper.

While he lost the fight for the Canal when the GOP establishment in the Senate lined up behind Jimmy Carter, the battle established Reagan as a leader who put his country first.
Trump unapologetically seized upon the nationalist slogan that was most detested by our globalist elites, “America first!”

He would build a wall, secure the border, stop the invasion. He would trash the rotten trade treaties negotiated by transnational elites who had sold out our sovereignty and sent our jobs to China.

He would demand that freeloading allies in Europe, the Far East and the Persian Gulf pay their fair share of the cost of their defense.

In the rhetoric of Reagan and Trump there is a simplicity and a directness that is familiar to, and appeals to, the men and women out in Middle America, to whom both directed their campaigns.

In his first press conference in January of 1981, Reagan said of the Kremlin, “They reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat. … We operate on a different set of standards.”

He called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and the “focus of evil in the modern world.”
The State Department was as wary of what Reagan might say or do then as they are of what Trump might tweet now.

But while there are similarities between these outsiders who captured their nominations and won the presidency by defying and then defeating the establishments of both political parties, the situations they confront are dissimilar.

Reagan took office in a time of Cold War clarity.

Though there was sharp disagreement over how tough the United States should be and what was needed for national defense, there was no real question as to who our adversaries were.

As had been true since the time of Harry Truman, the world struggle was between communism and freedom, the USSR and the West, the Warsaw Pact and the NATO alliance.

There was a moral clarity then that no longer exists now.

Today, the Soviet Empire is gone, the Warsaw Pact is gone, the Soviet Union is gone, and the Communist movement is moribund.

NATO embraces three former republics of the USSR, and we confront Moscow in places like Crimea and the Donbass that no American of the Reagan era would have regarded as a national interest of the United States.

We no longer agree on who our greatest enemies are, or what the greatest threats are.
Is it Vladimir Putin’s Russia? Is it Iran? Is it China, which Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson says must be made to vacate the air, missile and naval bases it has built on rocks and reefs in a South China Sea that Beijing claims as its national territory?

Is it North Korea, now testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles?

Beyond issues of war and peace, there are issues at home — race, crime, policing, abortion, LGBT rights, immigration (legal and illegal) and countless others on which this multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic nation is split two, three, many ways.

The existential question of the Trump era might be framed thus: How long will this divided democracy endure as one nation and one people?

The post Reagan and Trump: American Nationalists appeared first on American Renaissance.

Is Liberal Democracy an Endangered Species?

“As we begin 2017, the most urgent threat to liberal democracy is not autocracy,” writes William Galston of The Wall Street Journal, “it is illiberal democracy.”

Galston’s diagnosis is not wrong, and his alarm is not misplaced.

Yet why does America’s great export, liberal democracy, which appeared to be the future of the West if not of mankind at the Cold War’s end, now appear to be a church with a shrinking congregation?

Why is liberal democracy losing its appeal?

A front-page story about France’s presidential election, in the same day’s Journal, suggests an answer.

In the final round next May, the French election is likely to come down to a choice of Marine Le Pen or Francois Fillon.

Le Pen is the “let France be France” candidate of the National Front. Fillon is a traditionalist Catholic from northwest France, home to the martyred resistance of the Revolution — the legendary Vendee.

Fillon won practicing and nonpracticing Catholics alike by a landslide, and took 3 in 5 votes of those professing other faiths.

Le Pen wants France to secede from the EU and move closer to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The five million Arabs and Muslims currently in France, the prospective arrival of millions more, and recent Islamic terrorist atrocities have all propelled her candidacy.

Fillon succeeded in his primary by identifying himself as a man of Catholic beliefs and values and an opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion. He does not repudiate secularism, but believes that the France that was “the eldest daughter of the church” should also be heard.

Together, what do the Le Pen and Fillon candidacies tell us?

France and Europe may be moving inexorably away from a liberal democratic, de-Christianized and militantly secularist America. If we are the future, less and less do France and Europe appear to want that future.

While our elites welcome the Third World immigration that is changing the face of America, France and Europe are recoiling from and reacting against it. The French wish to remain who and what they are, a land predominantly of one language, one culture, one people.

America preaches that all religions are equal and should be treated equally. France does not seem to share that liberal belief. And just as the Middle East seems to want no more churches or Christians, France and Europe appear to want no more mosques or Muslims.

Where America’s elites may celebrate same-sex marriage and “reproductive rights,” more and more Europeans are identifying with the social values of Putin’s Russia. Pro-Putin parties are surging in Europe. Pro-America parties have been facing losses and defections.

“Because human beings are equal, any form of ethnocentrism that denies their equality must be rejected,” writes Galston.

That may well be what liberal democracy commands.

But the 24 nations that emerged from the disintegration of the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were all built on ethnonational foundations — Croatia and Serbia, Estonia and Latvia, Georgia and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

And was it not their unique ethnic identities that caused South Ossetia and Abkhazia to break free of Georgia?

Indeed, if what America has on offer is a liberal democracy of 325 million, which is multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual, which celebrates its “diversity,” then where in Europe can one find a great party preaching this as the future their country and continent should embrace?

European peoples are largely fleeing from the future America preaches and promises.
Europe’s nations are rising up against what liberal democracy has produced in the USA.
Galston contends correctly that, “few leaders and movements in the West dare to challenge the idea of democracy itself.”

True, so far. But worldwide, Caesarism appears on the march.

Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt and the Philippines exemplify the new popularity of the strongman state. Western liberals initially cheered the Arab Spring, but what it produced curbed their enthusiasm. Free elections in Palestine and Lebanon produced victories for Hamas and Hezbollah.

Though Galston chastises the Polish and Hungarian governments as illiberal democracies, they seem to remain popular at home.

What, then, does the future hold?

The present crisis of Europe has been produced by the migration of tens of millions of Third World peoples never before assimilated in any European nation, and by the pollution and poisoning of these nations’ traditional culture.

This has caused millions to recoil and declare: If this is what liberal democracy produces, then to hell with it.

And if Europe is moving away from what America has become and has on offer, what is there to cause Europeans to turn around and re-embrace liberal democracy? Why not try something else?

In Brexit, the English were voting against the diverse liberal democracy that their capital of Londonistan had become.

Donald Trump’s victory represented a rejection of Barack Obama’s America. And whether he succeeds, what is there to cause America to look back with nostalgia on the America Obama came to represent?

Our Founding Fathers believed that democracy represented the degeneration of a republic; they feared and loathed it, and felt that it was the precursor of dictatorship. They may have been right again.

The post Is Liberal Democracy an Endangered Species? appeared first on American Renaissance.

Europe’s Future — Merkel or Le Pen?

The terrorist who hijacked a truck in Berlin and ran over and killed 12 people, maiming and wounding 48 more, in that massacre in the Christmas market, has done more damage than he could imagine.

If the perpetrator is the jihadist from Tunisia who had no right to be in Germany, and had been under surveillance, the bell could begin to toll not only for Angela Merkel but for the European Union.

That German lassitude, and the naivete behind it, allowed this outrage validates the grim verdict of geostrategist James Burnham in “Suicide of the West”: “Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.”

Both the transnational elite and populist right sense the stakes involved here. As news of the barbarous atrocity spread across Europe, the reactions were instantaneous and predictable.

Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front, leading candidate for the presidency in 2017, declaimed: “How many more people must die at the hands of Islamic extremists before our governments close our porous borders and stop taking in thousands of illegal immigrants?”

Geert Wilders, the Party for Freedom front-runner for prime minister of Holland, echoed Le Pen: “They hate and kill us. And nobody protects us. Our leaders betray us. We need a political revolution.

“Islamic immigration/Is an invasion,” he went on, “An existential problem/That will replace our people/Erase our culture.”

“These are Merkel’s dead,” tweeted Marcus Pretzell of the far-right Alternative for Germany about the victims in the Christmas mart.

Nicholas Farage, who led the campaign for British secession from the EU, called the Christmas massacre “the Merkel legacy.”

Europe’s populist right is laying this act of Islamist savagery at the feet of Merkel for her having opened Germany in 2015 to a million migrants and refugees from Syria and the Middle East wars.

Before Berlin, she was already on the defensive after mobs of migrants went about molesting and raping German girls in Cologne last New Year’s Eve.

Even admirers who share her belief in a Europe of open borders, that welcomes immigrants and refugees from Third World wars and despotisms, sense the gravity of Merkel’s crisis.

“Germans should not let the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin undermine liberal values,” ran the headline on The Washington Post editorial Dec. 22. Alarmed, the Post went on:

“What Germany cannot and must not do is . . . succumb to the siren song of the anti-foreigner right-wing, which has been gaining strength across Europe and moved immediately to exploit the attack ahead of the September 2017 national elections.”

The New York Times delivered its customary castigation of the European populist right but, in a note of near-desperation, if not of despair, implored Europe’s liberals not to lose faith.

“With each new attack, whether on a Christmas market or a mosque, the challenge to Europe to defend tolerance, inclusion, equality and reason grows more daunting. If Europe is to survive as a beacon of democratic hope in a world rent by violent divisions, it must not cede those values.”

But less and less does Europe appear to be listening.

Indeed, as Europe has been picking up its dead and wounded for over a decade, from terrorist attacks in Madrid, London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels, the peoples of Europe seem less interested in hearing recitals of liberal values than in learning what their governments are going to do to keep the Islamist killers out and make them safe.

Salus populi suprema lex.

Liberals may admonish us that all races, creeds, cultures are equal, that anyone from any continent, country or civilization can come to the West and assimilate. That discrimination against one group of immigrants in favor of another—preferring, say, Lebanese Christians to Syrian Muslims—is illiberal and undemocratic.

But people don’t believe that. Europe and America have moved beyond the verities of 20th-century liberalism.

The cruel experiences of the recent past, and common sense, dictate that open borders are Eurail passes for Islamist terrorists, who are anxious to come and kill us in the West. We have to deal with the world as it is, not as we would wish it to be.

In our time, there has taken place, is taking place, an Islamic awakening. Of 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, hundreds of millions accept strict sharia law about how to deal with apostasy and infidels.

Scores of millions in the Middle East wish to drive the West out of their world. Thousands are willing to depart and come to Europe to terrorize our societies. They see themselves at war with us, as their ancestors were at war with the Christian world for 1,000 years.

Only liberal ideology calls for America and Europe to bring into their home countries endless numbers of migrants, without being overly concerned about who they are, whence they come or what they believe.

Right-wing and anti-immigrant parties are succeeding in Europe for a simple reason. Mainstream parties are failing in the first duty of government—to protect the safety and security of the people.

The post Europe’s Future — Merkel or Le Pen? appeared first on American Renaissance.

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