2020 Election, General, Politics

Whither American Nationalism Now?

As we move on after the wreckage of the Trump administration, this call to courage from Theodore Roosevelt is both sobering and hopeful.  Nationalists made a mistake in putting their hopes in Donald Trump.  He damaged the nationalist brand, but not irreparably. The occasional successes of the last four years point the way to repairing the damage and rebuilding it on a positive policy platform. 

First, we have to accept the reality of the damage. True American nationalism seeks to build a common American identity across cultural and other boundaries. Instead, Donald Trump associated it an ugly white ethnic nationalism that fed identity politics, rather than fighting it.  A movement to create a progressive conservatism that strengthened America and the middle class instead enacted a major tax cut that benefited globalist corporations without requiring any corresponding investment in the nation. (see this previous post). Worse, it ended, not with a celebration of American culture and symbols, but with a sickening attack on the Capitol building, one of the citadels of American freedom itself.

However, there are unmistakable signs of success amidst these failures. The blue wave anticipated by Democrats never really materialized.  As this article illustrates, Trump’s nationalist trade and immigration policies were popular not only with white voters, but also minority voters. The shift towards a realist foreign policy and the withdrawals from Afghanistan and the Middle East caused heartburn among mainstream neocons and liberal hegemonists, but fulfilled Trump’s major foreign policy promises. All of this forced candidate Biden to talk about buying American, creating good jobs and getting tough on China. Thus, while Trump’s rhetoric often failed to meet the reality, there were still solid accomplishments.

American nationalists now need to hold President Biden and Vice-President Harris accountable for results that matches their rhetoric. Biden’s Democratic Party is still led by a Senate majority leader that represents Wall Street and a Vice President and Speaker of the House from the headquarters of Silicon Valley and Big Tech. Their goal of union-wage level jobs is commendable, but will be worthless if companies shift production to China and elsewhere overseas as they did during the Obama Administration. Calls for unity are nice, but are hypocritical if they result in a new woke identity politics that essentially is a left-wing echo of Trump’s ethnic nationalism.

In order to recover from this setback, American nationalists need to highlight our common concerns by building coalitions across party and other boundaries. If Biden pursues policies that really create secure good-paying jobs that strengthen America, we should cheer for and support such policies.  We also should remember the old maxim that all politics is local and start to build grass-roots organizations at the city, county and local level. Finally, we should avoid social issues so long as tolerance is observed on both sides.  

TR’s life was a study in indomitable courage against seemingly insurmountable odds, whether political, intellectual or military.  He experienced numerous failures as well as historic successes. As fellow American nationalists, we are called to pick ourselves up and continue the fight for a strong America and the American Dream for all.    

2020 Election, Politics

The Rebellion at the Capitol

The rebellion that took over the Capitol building has now thankfully been put down. Let’s be clear – no true American nationalist would promote or condone the kind of open revolution and vandalism at our nation’s Capitol that we saw today. The fact that it was incited by a sitting American President is even more shocking. President Trumps’ statement that called the rebels “special” to him and that he “loves” them only stokes the revolt. In contrast, President-elect Biden’s call for unity and rejection of this revolt should be our guiding principle. However, three things must first happen:

  1. All of the rebels need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, even for treason if sustained by the facts.
  2. Sen. Hawley and the other objectors to the Electoral College vote must immediately withdraw their objections. This is no time for political stunts.
  3. The next order of business for the Congress should be the impeachment and removal of President Trump for inciting sedition.

Only then can we move on to recover from this shameful day in our history.

Defense Policy, Foreign Policy

A Victory by Any other Name

War is hell, and so the only responsible goal of war is a clear and attainable victory.  This victory can take many forms. Far from being “precipitous”, President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq recognizes the fact of our victories in both conflicts. In contrast, the critics of this decision seek to deny them and expand the goals of both wars to encompass goals that history shows are unattainable in our lifetimes.

The despicable attacks of September 11, 2001 should have always been the touchstone of the definition of victory in the Afghan War. Our goals then were clear and simple – the defeat of Al Qaeda and its Taliban enablers.   We accomplished both objectives. Osama bin Laden lies dead at the hands of an American SEAL team and Al Qaeda has been decimated as an operational entity, reduced to being simply a slogan.  The Taliban were driven from power in Afghanistan and a new government installed that is more tolerant and internationally responsible.  It is not a perfect peace and the centuries-old ethnic rivalries and internal wars that defeated the British and the Russians means that the current government could fall and potentially be replaced by the Taliban. In that event, we have other levers of power to prevent another attack, such as immigration and trade sanctions. In the end, the future of Afghanistan will be up to the Afghan people. Its history proves that we cannot affect that decision any more than the British and Russian Empires could.  Our only interest is to prevent further terrorism from originating in Afghanistan and, as this article points out, our victory lays a solid groundwork for achieving this result.

Our intervention in the Syrian civil war was never necessary, but now ISIS has been defeated and no longer controls any territory.  This is a victory by any definition and justifies the complete withdrawal of all forces from Iraq and Syria.  Once again, our futile attempts to solve the religious and ethnic rivalries of the Middle East with American blood must come to an end.

After the final battle was won in the Spanish–American War, the War Department wanted Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and the army to remain in Cuba as an occupying force in clear conflict with our stated goal of supporting the Cuban people’s desire for independence.  In a letter that risked a court-martial, he said the army “must be moved at once or perish” from yellow fever and malaria.  Our soldiers must now be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq to prevent similar unnecessary casualties. We can then concentrate on the new challenges of the multi-polar world and, in particular, those of China and Russia.