The sordid history

Today’s Supremes, minus Ruth. R.I.P.

I am embarrassed — embarrassed, I tell you! — that I was a Democrat all my life until 2007. What excuse do I have? Nary a good one. I was living in one of those bubbles. Thank God that Barack Obama combined with my increased loathing — since the early 1990s — of Political Correctness burst that bubble for good. I saw the light.

And now I am free!

This past week, the Democrats provided another reason to celebrate my departure. They are so disturbed at the possibility of Trump’s adding another conservative to the Supreme Court that they vow to pack the court with added justices as soon as they can.

This will sound familiar to those with a grasp of history. Another Democrat, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, tried to pack the court too and for the same reason. By Jove, he wanted decisions to go his way! His court-packing was thwarted, however.

The Democrats have a long, sordid history.

I won’t start back in the 1800s, which is what most folks do when they highlight the party’s ugly past. I’ll start more recently. Welfare reform during Democrat President Johnson’s administration effectively removed fathers and husbands from black households, creating the abysmal situation we now find in America’s ghettos.

Let’s look at the Civil Rights Act of 1957, introduced by the Republican administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower who first proposed it in a State of the Union address. Ike later signed it into law, the first civil-rights legislation since Reconstruction. Lyndon Johnson, then a Democrat senator from Texas, opposed the legislation.

Later that same year, Republican President Eisenhower sent Army troops to Little Rock, Ark., to integrate schools because Democrat Gov. Orville Faubus refused to do so.* Moving on to 1960, Eisenhower — a Republican, mind you — signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960 after 81.5% of House Republicans voted for it, but only 59% of Democrats did.

When LBJ became president after Jack Kennedy’s assassination, he noticed the tenor of the times, changed his tune, and introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Senate Democrats filibustered the legislation until the filibuster was broken by Republicans.

On final passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 80% of House Republicans voted for it while only 63% of Democrats did. In the Senate, 82% of Republicans voted yes, but just 69% of Democrats did the same. A more complete rundown of all this is available at The American Thinker.

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

Digging deeper into the past, it was Republican President Abe Lincoln who signed the Emancipation Proclamation. You’d be surprised how many Americans today think Lincoln was a Democrat. After the Civil War, it was Democrats who founded the Ku Klux Klan. It was Democrats who lynched blacks. It was Democrats who initiated Jim Crow laws.

Bull Conner was a Democrat.

Republicans opposed it all.

Democrats are smart and slick. They’ve labeled themselves liberal and progressive, which is laughably wrong. They’ve donned the Hat of Tolerance, which they are blatantly not. They call Republicans “racist” on a daily basis, which turns reality on its head.

And now, yet again, if Supreme Court rulings go against their desires, well, they’ll just pack the court with as many cronies as necessary to insure the contrary. Let’s hope they don’t get a chance. And I hope that if you’re a Democrat, you’ll wake up, as I did.


* Ike invoked the Insurrection Act of 1807 to do this, force Democrats to behave. Trump has indicated that he will also invoke the act to stop violence that will erupt in Democrat cities following his re-election. This is good and appropriate.

The nosy neighbor

The Before shot. Way bigger than it appears.
The During shot.
The nosy neighbor.

As promised a couple of weeks ago in Roses of September, the final monster aloe vera has been cut down to size, not totally eliminated as we did with the other one in July, but made more manageable, more petite.

One reason I did this is because when the rainy season fades away, we’ll be hiring guys to uproot the grass you see in the photos and replace it with stone and concrete as my ongoing lawn-replacement campaign soldiers on, perhaps to be completed before I die.

The aloe vera was poking way out over some of the grass, plus it was long overdue for some stern discipline anyway.

The rear gate was open during the butchery yesterday, so in walks the cheeky kid who lives out back, uninvited. I was sitting on the yard patio in a web chair overseeing the aloe vera trimming when he walks up and sits with me. I took his photo.

He had never been into our yard before and was quite impressed.

He, his parents and numerous siblings live across the street in what would accurately be called a miserable hovel. But he has a good attitude and is likable. When I stood up to go inside for breakfast, he walked to the dining room window and peered through the glass. I waved.

The work ended. The guys drove off with the green garbage in their pickup truck to dump God knows where — I don’t ask — and the neighbor boy was ushered out the back gate by me. Adiós, kiddo! Everything returned to normal.

The After shot.

The aloe vera appears as if it returned from a week at Weight Watchers.


Before you depart today, it will be fun to chuckle at the notions of the nutty folks on the other side of the political divide. Enjoy!

It neglected to mention the (half) black president!

Mystery of the loathing

Democrats, with some notable exceptions — people who are to be praised — do not just dislike President Trump. They do not just dislike him a lot, as I did President Obama. No, they absolutely loathe him with a burning fury.

What on earth is up with that? I truly do not understand it.

He did, after all, win the presidency fair and square.

I especially do not understand the loathing given that, from what I see, he’s one of the best presidents in American history. Lists of his numerous achievements are available online. I won’t repeat them here because it would fill too much space, but here are three links with the headlines of the lists. Many more are available online.

Probably best to do a search that’s not run by Google. I recommend DuckDuckGo.

One-hundred-twenty-give amazing accomplishments.

Trump Administration accomplishments.

And, in the interest of fairness, here’s, from Business Insider, a List of accomplishments and failures.

You will not find these accomplishments in the mainstream media. If you do encounter a reference to one or more, you will likely be told it is false. It is unlikely to be false. This denial of his accomplishments is part of the burning fury, of course.

Again, the burning fury mystifies me. Maybe some rational Democrat can explain it, politely, of course, which is a challenge for many of you. Don’t say he’s racist because there is no indication of that. There is lots of proof to the contrary. See photo below.

And now, Trump has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. He will not win, of course, due to the makeup of the committee that decides, the people who gave Obama the Peace Prize 10 minutes after his inauguration simply for being (half) black.

Obama’s winning the Peace Prize was political. Trump’s not winning is also political.

Much of the loathing has to do with Trump’s confrontational manner, but why is he at times confrontational? Is his brusque manner the chicken or the egg? If you pay attention to his grenade-tossing, you will note that it’s invariably a response to something. If you fire a slingshot at him, or even toss a rock, he will respond with a bazooka.

I find that appropriate and highly entertaining. He’s today’s Teddy Roosevelt.

But the list of his accomplishments is long and impressive.

A photo you did not see in the NYT or Washington Post, did you?

The erosion of citizenship

Today many condemn the idea of nationalism by connecting it to race hatred (e.g., white nationalism). But historically, the modern nation-state has proven uniquely suitable to preserving individual rights.

The American nation in particular was successful in uniting individuals of different races, ethnic backgrounds, and creeds into one people based on shared principles, a unique physical space, and a common national story.

Our nation is the best example in human history of positive nationalism.

The key to this benign nationalism is American citizenship, based on an understanding of American exceptionalism and formed by the American melting pot. But today, our citizenship is eroding and, along with it, American nationalism in the positive sense is disappearing.

American citizenship is eroding in three ways.

First, we are blurring the line between mere residents and citizens. We have between 45-50 million non-native-born residents in the United States today — the largest absolute number we’ve ever had.

There’s no legal problem with the 30 million of them who have green cards or have acquired citizenship — although even 30 million is a challenge for the American melting pot to assimilate and integrate.

But we also have, according to a recent Yale and MIT study, about 20 million people who are here illegally. In regard to them, the classical ingredients of American citizenship — the right to leave or enter the country as one pleases, for example, or to vote in elections, or to reside here as long as one pleases — are being blurred.

Where I live, in California, if you’re here illegally, you can de facto go back and forth across the border as you wish. In San Francisco, you can vote in some school board elections (the same is under consideration in some places in New England). And as we see with the DACA program, illegal residents can de facto live in the U.S. indefinitely.

We are becoming a country of tribes.

Some policies even discriminate against citizens. An illegal resident in California who is charged with a crime is not subject to federal immigration law to the full extent, whereas a citizen who flies into Los Angeles from overseas without a passport will be detained.

If you are in California as an illegal resident, you can obtain a driver’s license as citizens have in the past; whereas for citizens, starting next year, there will be an extra burden: to travel by commercial air, they will have to provide at least three sources of proof of citizenship to obtain a valid ID — given the apparent devaluation of the driver’s license.

People who come to the U.S. illegally and in great numbers usually do not have the degree of investment citizens do in our constitutional documents and are often unacquainted with our national story. Candidates from south of the border today fly into California’s Central Valley to campaign. Illegal residents vote in their home countries’ elections — and yet are unacquainted with political issues and candidates here in the U.S.

To avoid a fragmentation of society based on racial and ethnic chauvinism takes an extra effort to keep the melting pot working. We’re no longer making that effort. Indeed, we’re doing the opposite, encouraging diversity rather than unity.

Second, we’re becoming a country of tribes. The idea of multi-racialism — the notion that we’re of different races but we share a common culture — is eroding.

To avoid a fragmentation of society takes an extra effort. We are no longer making that effort. We are doing the opposite.

At many colleges and universities today, you can choose in advance the racial background of your roommate. Campuses have “safe spaces” that are reserved for people of particular races. There are dorms where students segregate according to race. Ethnic studies departments thrive by emphasizing racial exceptionalism.

Do we wonder why Elizabeth Warren chose to be a Native American, which, according to her own logic — the power of white privilege and systemic racism — would put her at a disadvantage? The answer is that she sought a careerist advantage. And Harvard was happy to comply. The law school bragged that she was its first “woman of color” faculty member.

I went to a grammar school that was about 90 percent Mexican-American. Some people who I went to first grade with later changed their names from Juan to John and dropped the accent on their last names. Now in their 60s, they’re changing back to Juan and adding back the accents.

Why? Because there is now a disadvantage in identifying as an un-hyphenated American, and an advantage to belonging to a tribe. And the danger is that this logic of tribalism leads to the kind of social breakup and civil discord that we saw in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and Iraq.

Third, the middle class, which had been encouraged and celebrated since the time of the American Founding, is now under sustained attack.

Tribalism leads to the kind of social breakup and civil discord that we saw in Rwanda, Yugaslavia and Iraq.

A solid, property-owning middle class anchors the nation. Traditionally, its members show the sobriety and judgment to achieve autonomy. They don’t look to government for help. They stand as a barrier against both property redistribution and crony capitalism.

Today, America’s middle class is threatened. Homeownership is down to about 62 percent from 71 percent just over ten years ago. The percentage of a family budget that goes to housing has risen from 20-30 percent in the 1950s to 30-40 percent today, especially in coastal corridors.

Middle class wages, until an annual increase of three percent under President Trump, had been frozen for ten years. And we have an aggregate $1.6 trillion in student debt.

If the middle class continues to erode, we will become a nation of peasants and oligarchs. In California, more than one out of five people live below the poverty line — despite the fact that California has one of the highest number of zip codes of America’s most affluent people and the highest number of billionaires.

If you drive through Palo Alto, you’ll see people living in RVs because they can’t afford to buy or rent a home — and these are people working for Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle, and Apple, with a total market capitalization of nearly $4 trillion.

Additionally, we are seeing a formal assault on the Constitution by our elites.

Almost every single Democratic candidate for president was in favor of abolishing the Electoral College, which is in the Constitution to ensure equal representation to people living outside big cities, and to prevent the splintering of the electorate into several small parties.

Consider the nullification of federal law through the creation of sanctuary cities, in direct defiance of the immigration statutes. (Of course, such nullification seems to go only one way. Otherwise, imagine how our elites would respond if the people of Provo, Utah, decided within their municipal jurisdiction to nullify federal handgun registration or the Endangered Species Act.)

We are seeing a formal assault on the Constitution by our elites.

There is also a growing academic attack on the mode of electing the U.S. Senate — “Why should North Dakota or Wyoming have the same number of U.S. senators as New York?” progressives ask, in their eagerness to make U.S. senators proportionally elected in the manner of House members.

This insidious assault on the Constitution results from the fact that popular elections haven’t been going the Left’s way, and the Left believes that its superior moral agenda justifies using any means necessary.

Ancient authors from Plato and Aristotle to Petronius and Tacitus have suggested that affluence combined with leisure paradoxically creates a laxity that leads to the kind of societal and institutional disintegration we are currently seeing.

Another major ingredient of our current crisis is the failure of our education system to offer disinterested instruction, following from the post-1960s takeover by the Left of our colleges and universities.

The assault on the Constitution results from the fact that elections haven’t been going the Left’s way.

In response, we need to support colleges that continue to teach the principles and practices of liberty. We must support policies that recognize the distinction between citizens and non-citizens and that bolster the middle class. And we need to defend the Constitution, our last great hope to ensure American continuity and security.

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(The author of the above is Victor Davis Hanson. He is the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College. This piece was taken from Imprimis, which is published by Hillsdale, a superlative institution of higher learning. Subscribing to Imprimis is free. I highly recommend it.)