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  An American Manifesto
Tuesday August 19, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

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CHAPTERS

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 BLOG

The Dems Will Stop Playing the Race Card When...

I am reading yet another biography of my man Alexander Hamilton. It's Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard Sterne Randall, first published in 2003. Right now I gotta say that I like it better than the 2004 Ron Chernow Alexander Hamilton.  It seems to portray the extraordinary personality of this great founder with more force than the excellent Chernow biography.

One thing you get from Randall's reporting on the colonies in the 1770s is that those guys were crazy. They make the rioters of Ferguson, Missouri, look like pikers.

The 20-year-old Alexander Hamilton got right into the thick of things, reading and writing and getting in with all the revolutionary movers and shakers.  But he hated riot and mayhem.  When the rioters came to Kings College to rout out the hated Tory college president Myles Cooper, Hamilton stood on the steps of the college building to persuade the mob not to harm Cooper.

You don't see young collegians doing that in Ferguson today.  They wouldn't dare go against their professors and Deans of Diversity.  Because they know that you don't dare go against the liberal Man in today's America.  And as for President Obama smoothing the waters...

Here's young Ezra Klein mourning that President Obama can't give a "race speech" in Ferguson like the one he gave in 2008, and instead has to send in Attorney General Eric Holder.

It's because for some reason whenever the president opens his mouth on race it divides Americans.

Obama was elected president because he seemed, alone among American politicians, to be able to bridge the deep divides in American politics. The speech that rocketed him into national life was about bridging the red-blue divide. The speech that sealed his nomination was about bridging the racial divide. 
After Obama became president he complained that the police had "acted stupidly" when a Cambridge policeman arrested Harvard Professor Skip Gates on the doorstep of his home.
The backlash was fierce. To defuse it, Obama ended up inviting both Gates and his arresting officer for a "beer summit" at the White House.
Klein goes on to display poll data to show that prior to Obama Americans weren't all that divided on things like the O.J. verdict.  Now they are divided, so "the White House knows that when Obama leads, his critics become even less likely to follow."

You see what is going on here.  Liberals like Ezra Klein are looking at the division of America as something that just happened.  What's a poor guy like Obama to do when every time he opens his mouth his opponents collapse in a foaming rage?

How did it happen? If you are a Republican you think that it's the Democrats that have created the divide, starting with the contested election of 2000 when Sore Loser Al Gore wouldn't concede.  If you are a Democrat you believe that Republicans started it all with the outrageous impeachment of President Clinton over a lie about sex.

Here's something for thinking liberals to think about.  You chaps have set up the culture where everything is about race.  You have set up race/gender studies departments in every college in the nation.  You have created "critical legal studies" that interprets law as the expression of hidden interests and class domination.  I can see that there is a place to look at race and gender, and there is a value in thinking about law as something that goes beyond universal rules to fence in the bad guys.

But today in America thousands of good liberal activists running around doing activism based on a religious belief in fundamental injustice issuing from race and gender inequality and unjust laws.

On this liberal view everything is about race and gender, and everything can and should be politicized and brought under the lens of politics.  Because social justice.

On this view what conservatives call "playing the race card" is not cynical politics intended to divide people and keep racial minorities safe in racial silos.  It is a noble political struggle; it is fighting for peace and justice.

The bad thing is that things are going to go on being divided because both sides only see their own side.  The good thing is that passions are not nearly as high as they were when 20-year-old Alexander Hamilton was attending Kings College in New York City in the early 1770s.

But here's my sly little closer.  I don't think you can get 90 percent of any large group voting the same way unless you scare the crap out of them. We don't have white voters going 90% for anything; we don't even have single white women going 90% for Democrats.  But we do have African Americans going 90 percent plus for Democrats. So I'd say it's curious that these racial flaps like the Trayvon Martin case and the Ferguson riots occur in even years just before an election.

Yet here we have the White House and Ezra Klein making out that they have no clue why the president seems to divide people every time he opens his mouth.  Here's an idea.  Maybe it's because, as Peggy Noonan writes,
The president shouldn't be using a fateful and divisive word like "impeachment" to raise money and rouse his base. He shouldn't be at campaign-type rallies where he speaks only to the base, he should be speaking to the country.
Could Aunt Peggy have hit on something here, something that the White House and young Ezra have completely missed?

There is a danger, when you keep playing the race card right before elections and revving up the base to fever pitch.  One day it may not work, specially in the sixth year of an unspectacular presidency.  We've heard, after all, about people booing the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton and complaining that Obama has done nothing for them.

When the base is demoralized and starts to blow raspberries at its demagogic leaders as the Paris mob once did to Robespierre, what do you do for an encore?


perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 08/19/14 11:31 am ET


Romney Rear-view Mirror

HERE'S an article that every single GOP operative should be reading and re-reading.  It's a piece by Salena Zito about a small businessman in Pennsylvania. In the summer "Mark" runs a crew on the farm in Pennsylvania.  In winter he runs a snow-removal business.  You'd think he'd be a lock as a GOP voter.  But he's one of the missing. On Romney: In hindsight, Mark said, Mitt Romney lined up ...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 08/18/14 11:38 am ET


Oh No! Not Again!

I suspect that the private reaction to the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting among old white guys like me was: Oh, no, not again. Because racist sexist homophobe guys like me just want this whole era of race politics to be over.  That's why we all voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Then we learned that for Barack and the boys race politics is what it's all about.  They had no intention of moving on to...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 08/15/14 11:41 am ET


What are Police For?

ANOTHER white policeman has shot and killed another black teenager, this time in Ferguson, Missouri, and all the usual suspects are telling the same old story: racism. Or, if you are a conservative, you write: yes, it's racism, but. Let's put all this in perspective.  The reason that the Brits created a London police force back in the 19th century was to control under-class males.  They called...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 08/14/14 12:49 pm ET


|  August blogs  |  July blogs  |

 OPED


Let's Hang the Kaiser Round Obama's Collar

QUICK! WHICH American president is most like the blustery, shallow Kaiser Wilhelm II who blundered Germany into World War I one hundred years ago?

I’m ashamed to say the connection hadn’t occurred to me until I picked up David Blackbourn’s The Long Nineteenth Century: A History of Germany, 1780-1918. And really, until recently, like Sgt. Schultz, we knew nothing about what went on in the White House. ...

more | 07/07/14


Admit It: We Wackos are the Problem

I have been thinking over the Cantor loss and the Cochran win and the whole question of the Republican Party divided between its Beltway establishment and its Tea Party insurgency. ...

more | 06/30/14


Dems End Up Believing Their Own Lies

No, Obama Isn't "Worse Than We Thought"

The Flaw in Obama's Phone and Pen Goveranance

Opeds


 RMC CHAPTER-A-DAY


RMC Contents
Chapter 1: After the Welfare State
Chapter 2: Down in South Carolina and Out in Brooklyn
Chapter 3: Awakenings of Monotheism
Chapter 4: The Nineteenth Century From the Top Down
Chapter 5: The Nineteenth Century From the Bottom Up

TO THE UPPER CRUST, the nineteenth century was a never-ending worry.  The old order was coming to an end, the cyclical world of agriculture and its wealth in land.... more


Chapter 6: Popular Religion in the Nineteenth Century

 RMC BOOKS


RMC Book of the Day

Friedan, Betty, The Feminine Mystique


RMC Books on Education

Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education

Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system

James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor

James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in


RMC Books on Law

Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century

F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law

Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present


RMC Books on Mutual Aid

James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland


RMC Books on Religion

David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China

Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation

Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


 READINGS:

The Power Of Scapegoating
life begins when you stop whining and resenting.

A Series Of Chafing Dishes
left wing activism turns the melting pot into chafing dishes.

Bullies for Social Justice
Social justice and religious freedom on a collision course.

A Recovery Stymied by Redistribution
economist explains how help for unemployed discouraged people from taking jobs in the late great recovery.

Why Voters Grew Tired of Cantor
GOP voters don't like government of the cronies, for the cronies, by the cronies.

> archive

 CCWUD PROJECT

cruel . corrupt . wasteful
unjust . deluded


 


Take the Test!

 THE PROJECT

Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Here’s how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>

 THE ARGUMENT

The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.


 TAGS


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


 

©2014 Christopher Chantrill

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