It may seem odd to write about something that happened months ago (the New Hampshire Primary of 2016), but it has been running in my mind – or in my sorry 18th century excuse for a mind, full of concepts such as Free Will and universal moral right and wrong, so absurd to the followers of Hobbes and co.
We know New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” State – or we think we do.
From Colonel John Stark and his Rangers (“Liver Free or Die”) of the Revolutionary War period (see the New Hampshire Constitution of 1784), to the New Hampshire fifth regiment fighting against slavery in the Civil War (and for those who deny that war was about slavery – how many non Slave States tried to secede?), to plays and films set in New England, such as “Our Town”, “Its A Wonderful Life” and (openly New Hampshire) “White Christmas”.
People who do not talk much about religion or show emotion about it – yet believe. And live their belief (the Calvin Coolidge type – the opposite of the Billy Sunday type). And people who never boast – but are somehow always there when they are most needed, when things are at their darkest.
A broader American type – not just confined to New England.
Think of the actors of a certain sort – the “bad actors” because they were playing themselves. Men such as James Stewart, William Holden, Gary Cooper, Audie Murphy and on and on. People who doubt the existence of Paladins could do worse than study the life of Audie Murphy. And note there is never a boast in a film – the message is NOT “I am wonderful” it is “this is what a person, an ordinary person, should do when facing the forces of evil”.
The struggle against the forces of evil, to protect the weak even if it means one’s own death – not the power seeking struggles of a “Hegemon” and all the morality-free-zone language of the vile.
Men who seem utterly ordinary (even boring) and yet when the Horrors of Hell are driving you into blind terror – they are suddenly there. willing to take your place. To stand between the Horrors of Hell and you.
They pay for that of course – they scream in the night, but they will never scream if someone is in earshot (for they will not upset you). They will wear the face of normality (in front of the innocent and helpless) – in spite of all they have experienced.
The Texans Marcus Luttrell (“Sole Survivor”) and Chris Kyle (“American Sniper”) are modern examples.
As a D Day Veteran once explained of such people – objecting to being called a “hero” he said……
“I am not a hero – but there were heros. When we came to a house the man who was with me could see I was afraid – and he said quietly “it is O.K. – I will go” he is still there, he died so I could live and I have tried to live my life doing what little I could to make his sacrifice worthwhile”.
Even that wild hard drinking Irish American Marion Morrison (“John Wayne”) understood – under his swagger (after all even the distinctive walk was really from American Football injuries in the 1920s). Under the swagger his characters always understood moral right and moral wrong – and the characters knew that a price had to be paid to defend freedom against the powers of evil. Hence the fate of the characters in such films as “The Sands of Iwo Jima” and “The Alamo”.
“But Wayne did not go” – I have already mentioned people who did go, and he was showing a real type (as he once said to such a man “you are the person I was pretending to be in all those films”) .
The Republic – to defend the rightful property of the weak as well as the strong. And the freedom to be “drunk or sober” as drunk as John Wayne or as sober as James Stewart “just as you choose”.
The lazy left who scream “racism” know nothing of such men, for example who John Wayne’s wife was.
Private property – not being filled with envy for those who are better off. but not tugging one’s forelock to them either (not measuring a person by how much stuff they have – but by whether they will do what it is right when the time comes). Hard work and (even among people who had an outward show of bluster) a deep core of moral seriousness.
Moral seriousness – the quiet decision to do what is right, even if it means one’s own death. The point where even the “drunken Irishman” is suddenly stone-cold-sober. And ready to stand in defence of others – against all the Legions of Hell.
“But what has all this to do with the New Hampshire Primary”.
Look at the results…..
On the Democrat side a socialist won.
Remember when I was mocked for pointing out (quite truthfully) that Mr Obama has a socialist (indeed a Marxist) background.
Mr Obama did not go round saying this (and the mainstream media did not report it) so Paul Marks must be having a silly fantasy about Mr Obama having a Red background.
Hard to say that about “Bernie” Sanders – a man who goes around quite openly saying he is a socialist. And whose “Democratic Socialism” is best defined by where he choose to go on Honeymoon – the Soviet Union.
Even the most stupid or lazy voter should know what they are voting for when they vote for “Bernie” – they are voting for the sort of policies that have reduced Brazil and Venezuela to their current condition. We know that because Mr Sanders openly supported these polices, he was full of praise for these democratically elected governments with their unlimited promises of Free Stuff for the voters.
“Yes, but Paul, the Democrats are the Bad Guys – they have rejected the traditional American principles of Limited Government and Individual (Personal) Moral Responsibility since at least the time of Woodrow Wilson if not from the time of 1896 Convention when President Grover Cleveland was rejected by them”.
“The Republicans may often be weak and horribly misguided, such as with Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon and the Bush family – but deep down in their hearts they are still Republicans, they still have some vestige of belief in voluntary (rather than government) aid, in the Rule of Law, the quiet man doing what is right – as with Cato the Younger and Cicero”.
Hard to apply any of that to DONALD TRUMP.
And he also won in New Hampshire – although he got vastly less votes than Senator Sanders got on the Democrat side.
Donald Trump – a man of endless boasts. Mostly about how rich he is – without mentioning that his wealth is inherited from his family of pimps and conmen. And that he has added to his inherited wealth by trickery and deceit.
Mr Trump has never asked God for forgiveness for any sin – not because he does not believe in God. but because he does not believe he has ever done anything wrong. We now that because Mr Trump has openly stated that he has never asked for forgiveness.
A shameless boaster, and a liar who calls other men liars. Whose policies amount to stirring up racial hatred (whist carefully leaving the violence to his followers – never getting his own hands dirty, conduct in accord with his draft dodging in the 1960s) and promising Free Stuff (health care for all – and so on) with 1930s Trade War on top.
I recently listened to Mr Trump deliver a speech to the National Rifle Association.
After a long period of boasting and self praise, Mr Trump got on to policy.
He made various pro 2nd Amendment statement that contradict his past pro “Gun Control” positions (but then he contradicts himself constantly – sometimes within seconds), but he also added something else.
Protectionism again – American companies who try and escape the endless taxes and regulations that make production in America so expensive now, are to have a special tax imposed upon their imports from Mexico (or where ever).
1930s style Trade War (rather than trying to roll back the American government – its spending, taxes and regulations) – and taxes imposed by Presidential Edict (with the consent of Congress). Fascism.
The voters in New Hampshire (and elsewhere) knew exactly what Mr Trump was like – he has been a Reality Television person for many years (just as he has financed Big Government politicians and OPPOSED people working for smaller government, for many years).
So there it is.
A population (not just Democrats – but Republicans also) backing all that is vile.
Endless boasting hiding vile personal conduct. The “National Enquirer” made flesh – and supported by much of the American “right” (the “Drudge Report”, much of “Fox News” and so on).
Wild promises of Free Stuff for all.
Gaudy display – rather than moral substance.
And, in the case of Mr Trump, blaming all problems on people of other races for committing the terrible crime of selling goods to customers.
This is the Republic? The heir to Cato the Younger and Cicero? And remember a Constitutional Monarchy (the aim of Edmund Burke and so on) is also a “Republic” in this sense. The sense of the Rule of Law and respect for private property rights (of both great and small) – limited government.
This is the Shining City on a Hill?
This is the vision that people all over the world (such as Raphael Cruz in his torture cell in Cuba – or even little me in some rather unpleasant places in past years) prized so passionately?
This is it?
Drunken fools voting for “Bernie” Sanders and Donald Trump in New Hampshire – and so many other places?
With Hillary Clinton (Big Government, corrupt, Hillary Clinton) standing as the only real alternative?
This may not just be the end of the Republic – it may be the end of the West as a whole.
For if America falls the West can not stand – make no mistake about that.
It ends not in a tragic last stand – such as the Alamo.
It ends in squalid farce.
Evil can win – and then lose.
A film is coming out soon – “The Free State of Jones”.
About Newton Knight (in modern language a religious “Fundamentalist”) who fought against slavery in Mississippi during the Civil War and against the KKK after it.
On the face of it Colonel Newton Knight and Republican Governor Ames (General Ames from Maine, Congressional Medal of Honour holder – who lived on in New England till 1933) LOST.
A reign of terror won in Mississippi – the White Hoods and the Burning Crosses under men pretending to be Christians but who really served “The Dragon”. And who committed crimes too vile to discuss fully on a public site.
As late as the 1940s the descendants of Colonel Newton Knight were still being persecuted in Mississippi – for the “crime” of inter racial marriage. Especially ironic as Jones County Mississippi was founded by someone who was descended from the Indian Princess Pocahontas – the county seat Ellis is named after the descendant of a mixed marriage.
Slavery did NOT return – people were free to leave Mississippi.
And, eventually even the dream of Colonel Knight and Governor Ames won out – although they died believing they had lost.
Good is not for nothing – even if you seem to lose, even if you DO lose.
A good deed is never “for nothing” – even if it is a brief shining moment in the darkness.
And that is not a religious statement – as even if there is nothing after death the brief moment of honour (even if no will ever know of it) still matters.
It matters more than anything else.
We may be in a sewer and will die in it – but we can still see the stars. And we will die looking at them (and at the Shining City on a Hill in our own minds) even as we choke on our blood, covered in our own urine and excrement.
As for the future – there is still hope (at least for the young).
Keep your eye on the Lone Star in the years to come.