General, Politics

After the 2021 Off Year Elections

The 2021 off-year elections showed the continuing appeal of American nationalist themes previously exhibited in on the congressional side of the 2020 elections.  However, the divisive methods of appealing to this pride resulted in close races where almost all the victors won narrowly.  The use of emotional dog-whistles like critical race theory or former President Trumps’ responsibility for the January 6 insurrection obscures the issues that we must face to truly build a strong America.

As I mentioned in this previous post, we have been in such politically divisive days before and survived to renew our civil political culture. In post-Civil War 19th century politics, the real social and economic dislocations caused by the Industrial Revolution were obscured by campaigns about the tangential issues of alcohol temperance, religion, and responsibility for the Civil War, or “Rum, Romanism & Rebellion” as it was called by one observer.  Similar red herrings are used by today’s political propagandists to distract us from the real issues. The modern equivalent of “Rum” is the abortion and other social issues, which distract us from discussing the real crises faced by today’s families attempting to raise moral and successful children. Instead of warnings about the supposed religious threat of Romanism, we now focus on woke politics, critical race theory and other ethnic grievances rather than improving the education of our children to insure they can compete in the world workforce. Finally, the constant harping over the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol enables our leaders to avoid addressing the sources of the extremism on both sides that justifies political violence (see the section “Political Violence” in this previous post).

Two years ago, this website was started to cut through these emotional dog- whistles used by extremists on both sides by highlighting the real issues that weaken the America and its people in a age of rising nationalism elsewhere. I believed the way Theodore Roosevelt guided us out of the political abyss of the late 19th century was a model for curing the fevered politics of these times.   He, like us all, was never perfect in his actions, (see this post), but he was a pioneer of his time on them. Over the next year and in preparation for the next election, we will continue to help you identify the true issues facing America and act on them. For example, we will develop a new American Nationalist Voting Index you can use to evaluate your local congressional candidates in the upcoming 2022 elections. There will also be some changes in the structure of the website, including a new subscription service that will deliver website posts right to your e-mail box. 

Thank you for your attention and support for the website. It is my goal to continue to inform you on how you can preserve a strong America and the American Dream.    

Uncategorized

Happy Birthday, Theodore Roosevelt!

Theodore Roosevelt’s remarkable life started 163 years ago in New York City, making him one of the few presidents to be born and raised in a major American city. He overcame childhood asthma with vigorous exercise and began his political career as a crusading reform Republican in the New York Legislature. The death of his first wife drove him to the North Dakota badlands, where his courage and stamina were forged in the crucible of the Old West. Even there, Roosevelt continued his habit of reading a book a day to stimulate his mind as well. Returning to New York, he became New York City Police Commissioner and worked to clean up the corruption in the department. His leadership and bravery with the Rough Riders propelled a political career and philosophy of national service that is a model for us in these difficult days.

In short, TR was a badass not just in his behavior, but also in his challenging and visionary leadership in public policy. Let us all remember him on this day and strive to hold our current leaders to the same level of courage and national commitment on behalf of America!

Foreign Policy

9/11 – A Call to Courage

Courtesy of Quotes Galore

If you are looking for an explanation for the debacle in Afghanistan, the failure of our leaders to heed this advice from Theodore Roosevelt is the best place to start.  It clearly does not apply to any of the brave soldiers who served in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else during the War on Terror.  They followed TR by leaving the comforts of home to join the armed services and assume the personal risks necessary to achieve victory.  However, our political leaders then betrayed this service by pursuing personal political advantage rather than a clear, defined victory.

It began with President George W Bush. Instead of calling the nation to a declaration of war and the domestic sacrifices necessary to achieve victory, he chose prosperity at any price, proclaiming that American people could best support the war effort by “going shopping”. He was more concerned about winning reelection then achieving a clear victory.  He then expanded the mission of the war to encompass a goal he campaigned against – nation-building in a country that had defied domination by two previous empires.

President Barack Obama continued this theme when he failed to declare victory after the death of Osama bin Laden and then chose peace at any price by failing to punish Pakistan for its hiding of bin Laden within sight of their own military academy.    

Donald Trump talked a good game about withdrawal but failed to implement it because of a fear of the political consequences of a failure. He chose safety first rather than duty.  Finally, President Biden’s decision to withdraw, while initially courageous, was tainted by the artificial political goal of completing it by the anniversary of 9/11 instead of waiting until the end of the fighting season in winter. This would have at least slowed the Taliban’s takeover and created more time to identify and rescue the Afghans who helped us.

So how can America rededicate itself to Roosevelt’s brand of courage? First, the reports of Taliban oppression and the attack by ISIS-K that killed 13 marines show Afghanistan remains a threat to the United States and the world.  The Taliban won the military battle, but they have yet to reckon with our economic power.  We have over $2 billion in gold and other reserves held for Afghanistan, which should not be released until they allow all American citizens and applicants previously approved under the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) to leave. To prevent future terrorists from infiltrating the United States, travel to Afghanistan should be illegal and anyone with a passport containing proof of entry there should be thoroughly vetted before entering the United States. This includes any who might be classified as refugees unless they were previously granted entry under the SIV program.  Trade by American companies should be banned as well and, if the Taliban continue to allow terrorist groups to operate in the country, foreign companies doing business there should be banned from American markets.

On Saturday, the names of those who died on 9/11 will be remembered in New York and Washington. We must resist the siren song of foreign and defense policy wonks in Washington who want us to forget those names and treat the Taliban like any other government.  We must also remember to demand of ourselves and our political leaders that America follow the advice of Roosevelt instead of the path of political expediency when we face similar challenges in the future.  Otherwise, we will choose the path to the destruction of our country.