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  An American Manifesto
Thursday September 18, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

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Amerians are Anti-intellectual Because... 2016: Obama's America or Romney's

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Break the Chains, says Joe

by Christopher Chantrill
August 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm

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THERE WAS SOMETHING charming about Vice President Joe Biden (D) playing the race card last week, singing the “They’ll put y’all in chains” number with a great big stage wink. After all, when you play the race card you are supposed to inject real fear into your African-American audience, not do a soft-shoe routine.

But perhaps the Vice President, diligently discharging his duties, was merely seconding Walter Russell Mead’s motion for a new Race Compromise, although the presiding officer of the United States Senate is supposed to limit his activities to breaking a tie vote.

In the current American Interest, Mead leads us through the whole shabby history of race compromise in the United States, starting with the Compromise of 1787, a Constitution that “effectively banned Congress from interfering with slavery in the states” but balanced that by counting slaves as three-fifths of a person when apportioning seats in Congress.

Then it was on to the shabby Compromises of 1820, 1840, and 1854 that renegotiated the territorial limits of slavery. Unfortunately for the spirit of compromise the brilliant Sen. Stephen Douglas (D-IL) overreached in 1854 with the Kansas-Nebraska Act and provoked the creation of the Republican Party and the Civil War.

Twenty years later, the political establishment crafted the shabby Compromise of 1877. The South accepted the questionable election of Rutherford B. Hayes, and the north ended Reconstruction, setting up 80 years of southern segregation and Jim Crow.

Fast forward to the decade of civil rights, with Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Acts. It ended, according to Mead, in the unofficial “Compromise of 1977” when Southerner Jimmy Carter was elected president.

One can call the post-civil rights era that began in 1977 a settlement or a compromise because, once again, it balanced various claims and demands. At its core, the compromise offered blacks unprecedented economic opportunity and social equality, but it also allowed for the stern and unrelenting repression of inner-city lawlessness and crime.

So we got Affirmative Action and majority-minority congressional districts to increase minority numbers in Congress.

But now the Compromise of 1977 is dead. It was well intentioned, of course. It Affirmative Actioned blacks into the middle class with government jobs and into affordable housing with Fannie, Freddie, and the Community Reinvestment Act. It elected the nation’s first black president.

But it ended in failure. Blacks have suffered disproportionately from the housing bust, and the first generation of blacks in government jobs is getting its pension just as governments go broke. Foreign multinationals stay away from minority areas, and the decline of manufacturing is worst in areas where blacks live. Hello Detroit.

The Compromise of 1977 has failed, and so, Mead gently suggests, a new compromise is needed because the end of the “blue social model” means that “given the special circumstances and unique history of black America, those who want to get past blue are going to have to reckon with black.”

Let’s see if I get this right. After the liberals screwed the working class by shoving them into unionized “good jobs at good wages” that priced themselves out of the market by the end of the 1970s, after liberals shoved blacks into the liberal Affirmative Action plantation that has now failed from general corruption and the law of unintended consequences, and after liberals shoved blacks into “affordable” housing that crashed around their ears, now we are supposed to pull the liberals’ chestnuts out the fire for them, with our money?

Forget it pal, because there is. No. More. Money.

Anyway, before we start compromising, what about all the other little darlings of the liberal welfare state? What about the government workers and their unfunded pensions? What about women and their right to own their own bodies with taxpayer-funded hormones and abortifacients? What about Hispanics and their DREAM? What about gays and marriage equality? What about the climate tipping point? What about the bundling crony capitalists? And what about grannie and Medicare as we know it? Don’t they have a right to peacefully protest and present their demands before the next fix is in on race?

It’s a little early to be counting on a compromise as the solution to our current troubles. The Compromises of 1877 and 1977 came when the political warriors were ready for a timeout after a decade or more of brutal political strife. Give us a decade of municipal bankruptcies, federal bailouts for California and Illinois, pitched battles on Medicare and ObamaCare, and a taste of sovereign debt default. Then people will be ready for the Compromise of 2027.

Meanwhile, don’t despair. Slow Joe Biden will save y’all from the chains of the next Jim Crow.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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 TAGS


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


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


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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©2012 Christopher Chantrill