Domestic Policy, General, Nationalist Theory, Political Reform, Politics, Uncategorized

The Crisis of the American Spirit – Introduction

America has faced and conquered crises over its history that have destroyed lesser nations. The common cause of these crises was the concentration of power in an elite whose outsized privileges threatened our democracy.  Whether it was British colonialism or the “Slave Power” of southern aristocracy, the key to its durability has been our confidence in the morality of our fundamental ideals and commitment to spreading opportunity to all Americans. This commitment never was implemented in a straight line and many Americans were left out for too long, but we always had the confidence that we would eventually prevail.

The US now stands at another hinge in its history more threatening than any foreign adversary. At a time when autocratic powers like China and Russia are confident to the point of recklessness, the American people are mired in doubt and anger about the future of the nation. You see it in statistics like the decline in the percentage of Americans who are proud of their country or the two-thirds of Americans who say the country is on the wrong track.  Statistics, however, cannot truly convey many American’s deep and boiling anger. It shows in songs like Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” or hip-hop protest songs about “DemoCrips and ReBloodlicans”.  These anthems come from dramatically different sources but express the same sense of betrayal.  They cry out against a hypocritical government and economy preaches opportunity but makes it impossible to achieve.

Theodore Roosevelt never forgot that he became President because of an anarchist’s bullet during a similar period of economic inequality and protest. Criticized as a radical because of his progressive ideals, he always insisted that they were intended to preserve the legitimacy of American free enterprise against more radical and dangerous policies.  TR knew that America could not be strong unless the American people were strong, and Americans could only be strong if they saw a better future for their children.  If we are to survive as a beacon of democracy, we must have courage to confront and conquer the current crisis in the American spirit.  We start by looking back and determining how we lost our sense of American community and shared commitment.

Next – The Confrontation with the Concept of limits

Nationalist Theory, Politics

MLK – An American Nationalist

The idea of elemental justice meted out to every man is the ideal we should keep ever before us. It will be many a long day before we attain it, and unless we show not only devotion to it, but also wisdom and self-restraint in the exhibition of that devotion, we shall defer the time for its realization still further. 

Theodore Roosevelt, Speech to Republican Club of New York City, February, 1905.

America remains unique among nations because its nationhood is defined not by ethnicity, but by its values. There is, and never should be, such a thing as an ethnic American. It began with the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the ideal of a new democratic society with equality of opportunity for all. At the same time, the founders realized that achieving this dream would be a daunting task and also knew the toleration of slavery would make it harder. Even the Declaration’s author Thomas Jefferson said “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just”. Nevertheless, it seemed a necessary evil to the achievement of independence. In the end, the cost of this evil was borne not only by African-Americans, but eventually by the entire nation in the form of a bloody civil war.

Continue reading “MLK – An American Nationalist”
Nationalist Theory, Political Reform, Politics, Uncategorized

Who Lost America – A Guest Column

Through my membership in the Theodore Roosevelt Association, I have had the pleasure of corresponding with James Strock, one of the TR Association’s advisory board members. He hosts a blog on the Substack platform named “The Next Nationalism”, which also promotes TR’s philosophy in the present age. I can heartily recommend his well-written articles and thought-provoking podcast interviews.

One of his recent posts combines beautiful writing and a sharp perspective to deliver a biting assessment of the state of our current politics. However, it also points out that we have been here before as a nation and always overcame similar internal crises through deepening our commitment to our democratic values and our own national community. It is a long piece and, at the same time, the best summary of what is wrong with current American politics and why American nationalism is the cure.