The American Mind: The Truth About America

From the editors at The American Mind – The Truth About America.

Trump is right: only patriotic American history can heal our deep wounds.

This week we reprinted a series of speeches given at the White House Conference on American History. As we noted, the conference was the first of its kind. On the one hand, it’s remarkable no one in power ever thought to host such a thing. On the other, it’s possible no one has ever needed one quite so much as we do now.

President Trump and his distinguished guests—among them several affiliates, friends, and one current board member of the Claremont Institute—defended things it would have been laughable to defend during much of our country’s history. Not because those things are indefensible, but because they have not been seriously up for debate except in our worst and most fractious moments. These things were once the core of our national consensus, the context within which we had all our other discussions and debates.

“On this very day in 1787,” said Trump, “our Founding Fathers signed the Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It was the fulfillment of a thousand years of Western civilization. Our Constitution was the product of centuries of tradition, wisdom, and experience. No political document has done more to advance the human condition or propel the engine of progress.”

There is no such thing as pride in or love for America without some version of this foundational belief. Either you think the regime described in our Constitution can work, is noble, and represents a serious advance in the history of nationhood, or you think America ought to be transformed beyond recognition.

We at the Claremont Institute are dedicated to proving, emphatically and without qualification, that a full endorsement of our country’s principles is not only a patriotic act but, intellectually and morally, an unimpeachable one. That entails insisting that the history of our country is one of dedicated human striving toward the highest ideals, and the most prudent political enactment of those ideals, possible on this earth.

Our country was not founded in racism—it was in fact conceived as a uniquely ambitious effort to abolish racism and destroy its intellectual foundations in the West once and for all. That project, over time and through much tragic hardship, has been successful beyond even what its architects may have dared to hope. The cost of that success—in patient intellectual effort, in wrenching expenditure of blood and treasure—has been enormous. But it was worth the cost and would have been worth more. America is a wonder of the world.

This is not what many Americans today think, because it is not what they have been taught. The results of a dedicated, decades-long effort to undermine the foundations of America’s faith in itself are now visible. Today that effort is led most visibly by Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times’s 1619 Project, but insidiously supported by Critical Race Theory training sessions in board rooms, small businesses, and until recently the halls of federal government agencies around the country. There is a diabolical genius to the way this effort has proceeded, in that it has involved both brute intimidation—in the form of cancel culture and its attendant threats of unemployment or unpersoning—and psychological subversion—in the form of an attack on our nation’s history.

It is this latter and more serious offensive against American civic life that President Trump has undertaken to countermand with his 1776 Commission for the promotion of patriotic education. Like the Progressives and Marxists who went before her, Hannah-Jones and her co-conspirators seek to erode American confidence in the basic goodness of our regime. If the Times, the Pulitzer Center, the ruling class, and their various minions can persuade us that the founders are not to be trusted—that they were disingenuous about their aims, that their timeless truths were actually self-serving lies, that the Constitution they composed has fallen fatally out of date—then they will convince us to commit national suicide all on our own.

The effectiveness of that approach is visible already in the insurrectionary violence that now routinely convulses American cities. Such violence is, by Hannah-Jones’s own admission, exactly what she wants and knows how to achieve. As many speakers at the White House Conference pointed out, it is the long subversion of American History—from the elementary school level on up to the universities—that has at last born this bitter fruit of civil unrest.

Trump is wise to fight this domestic terrorism on its own terms—to root Critical Race Theory out of federal training sessions at the heroic urging of Claremont alumnus Christopher Rufo, for example, and to insist that Americans be taught the real history of their country once again.

An objection frequently made to such efforts by both useful idiots and partisan hacks is that remaking American education somehow amounts to propagandistic indoctrination or even a breach of the First Amendment. This is a spectacularly puerile response. As Plato and Aristotle taught, all education just is shaping the soul to love some things and avoid others. Those aversions and loves, once engrained in the hearts of the young, find their expression through the political life in which those young grow up to participate.

Our school system already indoctrinates our nation’s youth in a most dishonest and dangerous manner. Since Howard Zinn’s ridiculous People’s History of the United States became standard in American high schools, and the AP U.S. History curriculum took its cue from Zinn’s calumny, we have been teaching children to hate our country by allowing radicals to lie through their teeth about it: they’ve taught for many years now that America is racist and evil at its core.

There is no alternative now or ever but to teach the opposite, that is, the truth: that America’s history is a story of triumph, that the country we live in is the world’s greatest hope even now, that she is worthy of nothing but love and, if it comes to it, the very extremes of self-sacrifice. We commend President Trump and his team for boldly leading after so many others failed to do so. But more remains to be done—much more.

In his Farewell Address, President Ronald Reagan catalogued his successes—and, by his own admission, his one great failure. In his day, he said, “We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American, and we absorbed almost in the air a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions.” If not from family and neighborhood, “you could get a sense of patriotism from school” or even “from the popular culture.”

But as America was “about to enter the ’90s,” Reagan noted that “Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children.” “An informed patriotism,” he said, “is what we want”—but “are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world?”

In the aftermath of the “Reagan Revolution,” Reagan himself warned that “our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it.” He went out of his way to note that “well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style” for the creators of culture.

Reagan then warned: “If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I am warning of an eradication of that—of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.” The American spirit is now in crisis precisely for this reason.

In response, as Reagan said, “We’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important.”

In every high school classroom, in every boardroom, in every university, we must fight at every level to restore America’s sense of herself. If we lose this fight, we lose America. But we can yet win.

President Trump points us in the right direction.

Independent Institute: Second Amendment Sanctuaries Started in 1774

Attorney and author Stephen P. Holbrook has written an article about Second Amendment sanctuaries and what is going on in Virginia over at Independent Institute. Dr. Holbrook has written and litigated extensively on Second Amendment issues. He wrote an amicus brief for DC v Heller and was counsel for the NRA in McDonald v Chicago, both before the US Supreme Court, among others.

…Spearheading the war on Virginia gun owners is Gov. Ralph Northam, best known for his gig in blackface or Klan attire, and for calmly endorsing post-delivery abortion, that is, infanticide. To divert attention from the backlash, he is moving to criminalize all sorts of innocent conduct that has been lawful in the Commonwealth since Jamestown was settled in 1607.

It’s as if “the Redcoats are coming” again. Northam’s counterpart in 1774 was Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor, who took measures to disarm “disloyal” Virginians led by Patrick Henry. The patriots were arming and organizing themselves into independent companies to protect their rights.

None other than George Washington formed the Fairfax Independent Militia Company. “Threat’ned with the Destruction of our Civil-rights, & Liberty,” wrote George Mason, the volunteers pledged that “we will, each of us, constantly keep by us” a musket, six pounds of gunpowder, and 20 pounds of lead.

That was a lot of ammo. There’s a parallel here to the “large capacity” magazines that Northam wants to ban. And there’s an irony that Fairfax County is now the center of the blue wave that supports Dunmoresque gun bans.

The rest is history. In 1775 the Redcoats marched to seize colonists’ arms at Lexington and Concord and the Americans repulsed them. The inhabitants of Boston were ordered to turn in their guns, which were seized by British General Gage. The Continental Congress cited this perfidy in the Declaration of Causes of Taking Up Arms.

Nothing like that will happen today. Counties that have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries make clear their dedication to use all lawful means to protect their constitutional rights. Law-enforcement authorities have scarce resources and must choose how to allocate them. Work to solve murders and robberies, or track down gun owners because they have rifles with those oh-so-deadly pistol grips or adjustable stocks? That’s a no-brainer.

But those who support filling the prisons with law-abiding citizens just because they have, for instance, a rifle that will also shoot flares—which is nothing more than a distress signal—should remember our history. The Second Amendment was adopted to prevent exactly those kinds of infringements.

A Second Amendment sanctuary shouldn’t be any more controversial than a First Amendment sanctuary. Imagine if the governor signed a law banning books he didn’t like, then sent police to search houses to confiscate them and arrest their owners, who would be charged with a felony. He could then have a book burning alongside of his massive gun melting…

Click here to read the entire article at Independent Institute.

American Militias After the Civil War: From Black Codes to the Black Panthers and Beyond

Ammo.com has written a long article on the history of militias in America. Here is an excerpt from the second part of that article, titled American Militias after the Civil War: From Black Codes to the Black Panthers and Beyond. If you find this interesting, please read the entire article at Ammo.com, starting with the first part.

The Civil War (1861-1865) was nothing less than a revolutionary reorganization of American government, society, and economics. It claimed almost as many lives as every other U.S. conflict combined and, by war’s bloody logic, forged the nation which the Founding Fathers could not by settling once and for all lingering national questions about state sovereignty and slavery.

The postwar period, however, was one of arguably greater turmoil than the war itself. This is because many men in the South did not, in fact, lay down their arms at the end of the War. What’s more, freedmen, former slaves that were now American citizens, had to take defensive measures against pro-Democratic Party partisans, the most famous of whom were the Ku Klux Klan.

America’s militia has existed for a number of purposes and has exercised a surprising number of roles over the years. But at its core, it’s a bulwark of the power of the country against the power of the state…

The Reconstruction Era (1865-1877) is one of the most fascinating – and violent – periods of American history. After the defeat of the Confederate States, the United States Army took direct control of the quelled rebel states. Elections were eventually held and Republicans won every state, with the exception of Virginia. The state governments then organized militias, which were comprised of a majority of black men.

To say that there was racial tension in the former Confederate states would be an understatement. Not only was the South under continued military occupation, but they were also being occupied by their former slaves, now armed by what was until very recently a foreign power. The white population of the South responded to what they considered to be an attack on them and their rights by organizing militias of their own, despite the fact that this was prohibited by law. In fact, postbellum laws on militia organization prohibited drilling, parading, or organizing…

A correspondent writing at the time spoke of the palpable fear of the white population: He believed that a massacre of the entire white population was impending. This anxiety is what led to the so-called “Black Codes” of the postwar era, which included tight restrictions on the weapons that could be owned by free blacks – if any at all. Some laws even restricted blacks from owning knives.

It’s worth noting that black veterans of the time were armed quite well. Not only did many keep their service weapons after the war was over, but they were also in possession of weapons claimed as war prizes. The average black citizen of the time, however, wanted only arms for self defense. Indeed, the mutual feeling of uneasiness in the postwar South seems to have a solid foundation for each group…

Some of the first anti-gun control movements in the United States were among freed blacks seeking to keep and bear arms for their own protection against the white independent militias. The names are familiar to most Americans: The Ku Klux Klan, the Knights of the White Camelia, The Red Shirts, The White League, The White Brotherhood. These white independent militias have been called by George C. Rable the “military arm of the Democratic Party.” Many blacks who had no intention of firing a shot in anger wanted a weapon simply to keep themselves and their families secure in the face of armed terrorist gangs seeking to circumvent the Reconstruction…

Read the entire article American Militias after the Civil War: From Black Codes to the Black Panthers and Beyond at Ammo.com.

Organic Prepper:: The Disaster Myth Narrative

The Organic Prepper has an article up detailing something that I have noticed before, how during disasters here in America there are frequently reports and news articles of looting and violence, but then later, after the disaster has passed, all the articles are about how wonderfully everyone worked together and that there was no looting, panicking, violence, etc. Are the initial reports wrong? Sensationalized? Misleading? (But there was video…) Here is an excerpt from The Disaster Myth Narrative: No One Panics, No One Loots, No One Goes Hungry.

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”  ~ George Orwell

I was recently doing some research about the aftermath of some natural disasters that took place here in America. I was shocked to find that the articles I was looking for – ones that I had read in the past – were pretty hard to find, but articles refuting the sought-for pieces were rampant.  Not just one event, but every single crisis aftermath that I looked up, had articles that were written after the fact stating in no uncertain terms that the hunger, chaos, and unrest never happened.

Apparently we, the preparedness community, are all wrong when it comes to the belief that after a disaster, chaos erupts and civic disorder is the rule of the day.

According to “experts” it never happens.

Panic?  What panic?

According to newspaper articles written after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast and after Hurricane Katrina caused countless billions in damage in New Orleans, people were calm, benevolent and peaceful.  Heck, they were all standing around singing Kumbayah around a campfire, sharing their canned goods, calming frightened puppies, and helping the elderly.

Apparently studies prove that the fear of anarchy, lawlessness, and chaos is nothing but the “disaster myth”.  Reams of examples exist of the goodness and warmth of society as a whole after disaster strikes. All the stories you read at the time were just that – stories, according to the mainstream media:

Yet there are a few examples stubbornly fixed in the popular imagination of people reacting to a natural disaster by becoming primal and vicious. Remember the gangs “marauding” through New Orleans, raping and even cannibalizing people in the Super-Dome after Hurricane Katrina? It turns out they didn’t exist. Years of journalistic investigations showed them to be racist fantasies. They didn’t happen. Yes, there was some “looting” — which consisted of starving people breaking into closed and abandoned shops for food. Of course human beings can behave atrociously – but the aftermath of a disaster seems to be the time when it is least likely. (source)

The Disaster Myth

The Disaster Myth is a narrative created by the establishment and delivered by their stoolies in the mainstream media.  The Disaster Myth points fingers at many of the things that are commonly believed to be true by the preparedness community.  Included in this narrative:

  • People do not panic after a disaster – instead, they pull together.
  • The official government response is always speedy and appropriate.
  • You will be taken care of if you simply comply peacefully with authorities.
  • There is little increase in post-disaster crime.

Looting?  Only hungry people getting food from unmanned stores. Who wouldn’t do that?

Beatings and assaults?  Didn’t happen. Disturbed people made these stories up for attention...

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.