As I’ve written before here and here, this division between the Trump’s populist right and the remaining wings of the Republican Party is part of a realignment in American politics that began in earnest with the 2016 election. Similar fissures exist in the Democratic Party between the Democratic socialists and the various wings of the party establishment, as shown in this recent poll. The frightening part of the current realignment process is that the two extremes embrace or tolerate violence to achieve their objectives and seem to be driving both parties at the local party level. Indeed, a recent poll showed a third of Americans believe violence to achieve political goals is acceptable.
It has been my experience that the internal party elite like the RNC are generally more extreme than their respective primary electorates. Whether this is now true of the two major parties will be determined in the upcoming primary elections. Will Trump loyalists succeed in ousting Georgia Governor Brian Kemp? Will firebrands like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green survive their primaries? What happens to Michigan Congressmen Peter Meijer and Fred Upton, who voted for the impeachment resolution after the January attack? And how successful will democratic socialist movements be in taking over local party organizations as happened in Nevada? If the authoritarian extreme prevails in those contests, true American nationalists will have to conclude, as TR did in 1912, that the parties are now … “empty husks…incapable of approaching the great problems of today” and form a third party to pick up and carry the American nationalist banner.
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.
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!