On Thanksgiving

November 22, 2012

Like many of my readers I have become somewhat swept up in the feeling that the re-election of the current president of the United States signals the end of our historic nation. It is an arbitrary point in a way – we could as easily say that the initial election of someone with such a problematic association with anti-Americanism, leftism, and Islam, was just as strong a signal of the end. But that he would be re-elected after manifestly failing to improve the economy and after numerous acts and statements which in times past would have certainly led to his public castigation and probably impeachment – it does show that we’ve reached a new stage.

There is plenty of evidence that we can no longer continue as a politically unified nation. Look at how cartoonist Mike Thompson views Republicans and conservatives. I would imagine that a Chinese or Arab cartoonist would possibly be more fair and accurate than this “heritage American” is in his assessment. See the November 18 cartoon, for instance.

I do believe that for traditionalist conservatives, the idea of separating ourselves from the United States – first, in our imagination, and ultimately, in reality – is the correct approach, and probably the only approach. However, I have difficulty imagining a liberal America and a traditionalist America co-existing. Not because the former will necessarily destroy the latter, but because I think Westerners ultimately move in a kind of unity at the largest civilizational level. All white nations became Christian, and all are now mainly liberal (Russia and some parts of eastern Europe may be partial exceptions); if there is a true reversal of course, I believe it will involve everybody. Which is not to say that a separated-out traditionalist nation or community might not be the catalyst for the larger transformation.

I’ll be enjoying the usual dinner with family and relatives, which remains a favorite ritual. Thankfully, it will also be mostly TV-free. I have always felt that the idea of Thanksgiving is very American (and in the larger sense, Western and Christian) – that you ought to be thankful for the blessings you enjoy. Not that, say, Buddhists or Hindus don’t have the same sentiments, but it’s expressed in a uniquely Christian way here. It takes an effort and discipline to remember and appreciate one’s blessings, even while aspiring and hoping for even better things.


“Who cares what’s the matter with Kansas?”

November 13, 2012

Paul Krugman, very pleased with the re-election of Obama, wrote:

I have to say, the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments on the right comes as a surprise. We knew that they would be upset; but the extent to which they were really, truly unprepared for the obvious possibility that Obama would be reelected is remarkable. I suspect that it comes down to two things: self-definition in terms of always being the people with the power, and the right-wing bubble, which left them completely unaware of information they didn’t want to hear.

It’s true that the odds were always in favor of Obama, and it’s also true that many on the right (including myself) became excited when a Romney victory began to look possible, and felt devastated when he lost.

In some ways it’s analogous to what Democrats went through in the 2004 elections, working themselves into a frenzy with the belief that they could kick the hated George W. Bush out of office. I still remember the image of Bruce Springsteen triumphantly stepping off stage after a benefit concert right before the election. They really believed they would win, because they wanted so to win, and after all, they were right.

The next day they were all in shock, talking about wearing black in mourning and moving to Canada.

It is not fair to mock conservatives for their wishful thinking. Americans have always felt that elections matter and that their individual votes matter, and those on the right have, until the last decade at any rate, been able to count on a reserve of conservative white sentiment emerging at election time to confound the hopes and predictions of liberals. The reality that is only beginning to hit some of them now is that demographic change in America has largely neutralized this force.

But it is very noteworthy that Krugman, whose credibility hangs on his credentials as a world-class economist, sheds objectivity when he reveals his delight in the increasing marginalization of white middle America:

…one big thing that just happened was that the real America trumped the “real America”. And it’s also the election that lets us ask, finally, “Who cares what’s the matter with Kansas?”

For a long time, right-wingers — and some pundits — have peddled the notion that the “real America”, all that really counted, was the land of non-urban white people, to which both parties must abase themselves. Meanwhile, the actual electorate was getting racially and ethnically diverse, and increasingly tolerant too. The 2008 Obama coalition wasn’t a fluke; it was the country we are becoming.

And sure enough that more diverse and, if you ask me, better nation just won big.

Notice too that to the extent that social issues played in this election, they played in favor of Democrats. Gods, guns, and gays didn’t swing voters into supporting corporate interests; instead, human dignity for women swung votes the other way.

A huge night for truth, justice, and the real American way.

Krugman is right: the Obama coalition now represents the majority – though not a unified, coherent, or very large one. Republicans might be able to rally for another few elections, though it isn’t looking likely, considering their complete unwillingness to consider appealing to actual white – er, “Kansas” – interests. This writer disagrees, however, that the Obama coalition represents the “real America.” That is not a matter to be determined by numbers, especially not numbers inflated by the presence of foreigners like the so-called “Latinos.”

Like many I find it increasingly unlikely that our traditional institutions or the democratic process can ever again function to serve the interests of white Americans. But that only underscores the need for traditionalist conservatives to keep the flames of truth burning, and search for other ways to recover a decent way of life as a people. It’s not over by a long shot.


Signs of Life

November 4, 2012

A reporter secures a brief interview with the proprietor of this weblog, who has been out of the public eye in recent months, and asks a few frivolous questions.

Q: What have you been reading lately?

A: All kinds of things – but usually in 20-minute snippets after our toddler goes to sleep. I decided to take a stab at The Lord of the Rings recently, and love the world created by its author. More germane to The Heritage American’s themes is The Tragic Era, a history of Reconstruction in the United States by Claude Bowers, written in 1929. The book is a passionate denunciation of the Radicals in charge of reconstruction policy and the devastation they wreaked. The tone is hardly objective and one has to admit that Bowers shows no concern over the plight of the freed slaves, but it is so refreshing to hear the other side of the story, and the work is scrupulously documented. Shakespeare’s sonnets – not something I have ever learned to appreciate well. My word, some of them are amazingly complex and difficult! It’s hard to relate to sonnet after sonnet addressed to a young man, I’m afraid.

Q: How about music?

A: I seek out songs that I want my toddler to learn, naturally with an emphasis on Anglo-American music. It turns out that children’s songs really are best for children. “Horsie, Horsie,” which I found quoted on a handout from the library, turns out to be a real oldie:

We are enjoying “Bonnie Hielan’ Laddie” by the Kingston Trio. Here is commie Pete Seeger breaking it down for a not-very-responsive audience in Australia:

“Old MacDonald” really does appeal to children, but I don’t know of any version an adult would like to hear.

Q: When is the Heritage American coming back?

A: It’s never gone away. Posting has just slowed down to a ridiculous rate. I admit to getting fatigued by contemporary American culture, with its unending parade of outrages that we apparently are supposed to take as normal. I also find it harder, perhaps, then I did a few years ago, to dig back into American history and find continuities with our present culture. The American people still live here, but they have largely forgotten their heritage, and I don’t see how we can regain actual sovereignty as a people when we’ve lost so much. I agree with Lawrence Auster’s recent statement on the elections.

Can a movement that currently lives mostly in weblogs created by politically powerless people evolve into something with real power? Or can an equivalent movement arise somewhere within the current political and social system?

Q: Thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: I’m more inclined to vote for Virgil Goode than for Mitt Romney, even though I want Romney to win (more accurately, I want Obama to lose). If he had expressed the slightest intention to work on reducing legal and illegal immigration, I would have voted for him, but morally I can’t support someone who allowed “Administrative Amnesty” Obama to attack him on immigration.