We’re Just Getting Started. Help Us Succeed

The election is over. The transition is underway. Barring an extraordinary turn of events between now and January 20, Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. Mission accomplished? Crisis averted? Republic saved?

No, no, and emphatically no.

A single election changes nothing. We have a lot of work to do.

First, we mustn’t lose sight of the Greatness Agenda: secure borders, economic nationalism, and an unapologetically America-first foreign policy.

ag-inkwell-pen-colorThe country remains as deeply divided as ever, and perhaps even more divided than it was before November 8. Trump won a decisive victory in the Electoral College but lost the popular tally by at least 2 million votes while still garnering more votes than any other Republican in history. In a republic overly enamored with democracy, the result is that many people are confused and afraid.

Our job isn’t to shill for the president, but rather to provide intellectual ammunition his administration can use in the fight to make America great again.

Because where else are they going to find it? Fact is, the establishment has failed and is flailing. The mainstream press has shed all pretense of objectivity.

What’s more, Conservatism, Inc. stands exposed as intellectually confused and largely unmoored from historic American republicanism.

The legacy conservative media misunderstood Trump and the sentiments of the people he represents from the beginning. National Review, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, RedState, and others were stalwart in their opposition and demonstrated a contemptuous disregard for the genius of American politics—to say nothing of the American people. And even as many of these pundits come to terms with the outcome of the election, they still do not understand that the very ground beneath their feet has shifted.

Professional conservatives have become too comfortable with government by expertise. They value “intelligence” but eschew wisdom. The idea that people who are not as “smart” as they are would have some say in the direction of the country offended them, much as progressives are offended by ideas they consider hidebound or reactionary (such as the constitutional government of the American Founding). Progressives and many professional conservatives this year made plain their contempt for the necessity of government by consent. They would prefer it if those lacking the credentials valued by coastal elites would sit down and shut up.

We reject the left-wing mindset now, apparently, adopted by a fair number of professional conservatives that people should refrain from asking fundamental questions about the nature of their government or demand to be heard when they see that a policy is working against their interests while advancing those of a favored few. We reject the clichés of checklist conservatism. We reject the left-wing mindset that a border enforcement, a high view of American citizenship, and an unapologetic policy of assimilation are expressions of racism and xenophobia. We reject the unquestioning devotion to our respective sides, talking past each other. We believe in asking basic questions and seeking clarity. We believe in the sovereignty of nations and of peoples. People are not created to shut up and do as they’re told.

The system erected by America’s Founders was meant to encourage deliberation. Its slowness was meant to help educate the public and the legislator alike. The people at large are not the only ones capable of acting with a rash disregard for the truth. The ruling class, without political checks and a proper regard for securing political consent, is similarly tempted to serve only the interests of a select few.

The media have no interest in promoting a truly deliberative democracy. It threatens their power. The Democrats don’t want that, either, because—well, because then they lose.

In this social media-soaked age, are we better because of shallow instant opinion generated by push polls, virtue signaling shamers on the Internet, and celebrity-driven fashions? Or do we need something more? And what would the alternative look like? That’s the question. Because the answer could lead to transformation and renewal.

We are answering those questions here at American Greatness. And we hope you will continue to read.

Not only read, but also engage. Like what you see? Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest—wherever. And comment, deliberate, investigate, contribute to the discussion.

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23 responses to “We’re Just Getting Started. Help Us Succeed”

  1. Check, meet mail.

    I would really like to see attention given to reduction of the size of the federal government. Trump couldn’t get elected, until he could. Agencies and departments can’t get eliminated, until they can. Laws and regulations need repealing, in bulk. Let’s have some Decius-caliber writing on that!

  2. You and Center for Immigration Studies have done valiant work. The checks are in the mail.

  3. Whatever, I’ve already Self-Deported to Tel Aviv because Trump is gonna start annuda Shoah.

    • Now I’m confused. You expect a 2nd holocaust against Jews from Trumo? Wouldn’t that be more likely if the BDS crowds were in charge in Washington? Not getting this.

  4. Direct quote from the blog post above: “…the Greatness Agenda: secure borders, economic nationalism, and an unapologetically America-first foreign policy.”

    Russia and China both secure their borders, promote economic nationalism and adopt unapologetically Russia (and China) -first foreign policies, yet we wouldn’t describe Russia and China “great” in any meaningful sense of the word.

    What distinguishes the authentic greatness of the American regime from the Russian or Chinese regimes is our reverence for the principles of the American founding. I quote in pertinent part:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    The greatness of the American Agenda consists above in securing our unalienable rights. That the authors of this blog ignore what truly makes America great and instead embraces an agenda that could just as easily come from the mouth of Putin or Mao — after all, is there anything about securing the border or economic nationalism that either would have any objection to? — testifies to their repudiation of the principles of Jefferson, Madison and Lincoln and their embrace of the principles of Calhoun, Douglas and Stephens.

    Today we saw our president-elect, a man who is praised here on a daily basis, tweet that an American citizen who burns the flag should be stripped of his citizenship. Or imprisoned. Or possibly both. The consequences of such punishment for the exercise of free speech, however much we might condemn the content of that speech, cannot be overstated. It is the antithesis of “greatness” for a republic to strip its citizens of citizenship solely on account of expressing opposition to government policy. We shall see whether the authors of this blog, called “American Greatness”, stand up for what is truly great about our republic and in opposition to those who would undermine the very essence of what distinguishes the American republic from the tyrannies of Russia and China, whose borders are quite secure and who never waver from an aggressive (Russia-first or China-first) foreign policy.

    • You’re confusing necessary conditions with sufficient conditions. After all, Hamilton (as we have all learned again recently) supported economic nationalism/quasi-mercantilism. As Decius has so often remarked, economic nationalism and curtailment of immigration are not principles but policies, meaning that there are times when they are the correct policies and times when they are not. Mistaking them for absolute principles, as though they could be logically deduced from the principles stated in the Declaration, is, if I have understood Decius correctly, a political-philosophical error of the first order.

      As for Trump and the flag–(a) Hillary proposed a similar law years ago, and (b) you’ve been trolled.

      • Our individual rights are not negotiable.

        The authors of this blog have defined “American Greatness” as securing the border, promoting economic nationalism and an America-first foreign policy. In his formulation, pursuing all three are both necessary and sufficient conditions for attaining “American Greatness”. I know of no one who reads this blog to quarrel with securing our border, enacting policies which promote economic growth that benefits all Americans and adopting a foreign policy the protect American interests. That’s relatively easy stuff in theory and not even Clinton argued against any of those objectives. The difficulty lies in how you “secure the border” et al, which neither this blog nor Breitbart or RadixJournal ever get around to actually addressing.

        I won’t belabor the backsliding our president-elect has already begun to do on the “wall”, which is now just a “fence” and even then only in a few places or his promise to rip up NAFTA. No word yet on whether he will or will not abandon our NATO allies in Eastern Europe, though his willingness to accommodate Putin’s plans to expand West is genuine. We’ve already begun to see the policy contours of the Trump Administration. As every day passes, Donald Trump looks more and more like Nelson Rockefeller. The irony that we are heading toward a full 180 from where the Republican Party was in 1964 is not hard to observe.

        What the authors of “American Greatness” continue to fail to do is to reaffirm what actually made America “great” in the first place. It wasn’t economic or foreign policy per se that made us great. What made us great was the recognition of certain self-evident truths and the creation of a government whose primary purpose was securing “these rights”.

        Our devotion to the primary of individual rights is what distinguishes a great America from a great Russia or a great China.

        We might be able to ignore the question of “these rights” had they not been challenged by our president-elect, who has threatened the strip the citizenship of political protesters or to “open up the libel laws” and to establish a religious registry. Yes, of course it’s wise to secure the border, whether with a wall or just a fence, but Americans who are concerned with genuine greatness cannot abandon what truly made us great in the first place. The freedom to worship God, to speak freely, to be entitled to due process and to be entitled to citizenship without fear of having your citizenship arbitrarily stripped from you by the government. These rights, far more than a fence or a wall, makes us great.

        The authors of this blog, and its readers, would be well advised to reacquaint themselves with the founding principles and their reaffirmation by our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln.

      • ‘The authors of this blog have defined “American Greatness” as securing
        the border, promoting economic nationalism and an America-first foreign

        No, the Editors did not. Did you not read and understand “First, we mustn’t lose sight of the Greatness Agenda: secure borders,
        economic nationalism, and an unapologetically America-first foreign
        policy” ? Did you not see the word AGENDA?

      • Yes, I read the word “agenda”. The meaning of the “American Greatness” AGENDA remains the same: securing our borders, promoting economic nationalism and an America-first foreign policy. Does that help you?

      • Yes. It’s the site’s -the Editors’ if you will- agenda.
        The Editors did not say the greatness of America hangs on those three things. You decided for yourself that that is how they ‘define’ the root of that greatness. And that gave you an opening to turn to your real gripe (along with the fact that DJT won and not a Republican you preferred; you called that wrong pre-election): that rights are under attack by DJT; in particular, the right to burn the flag, which had nothing to do with this article. You wanted to discuss securing our “unalienable” (sic) rights, so you swung the discussion.

      • The editors have defined the “American Greatness” as they have. This is not to say that this is how Trump views “greatness” or that he doesn’t view “greatness” in this light, but it is how the authors of this blog view “greatness”, which is their right.

        This view of greatness is no different than a Russian or a Chinese view of greatness. All three — Trump’s USA, Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China — agree that securing the border and promoting economic nationalism and a (name the country) -First foreign policy are all a “greatness” agenda for our/their respective countries.

        What I’m suggesting isn’t there’s anything necessarily wrong with such a narrow view of “greatness” — provided that “economic nationalism doesn’t morph into protectionism and that “America-First” doesn’t morph into isolationism and indifference to tyranny — but that such a view fails to comprehend what truly makes America “great” in any meaningful sense of the word.

        America was “great” before it become economically powerful or came to Europe’s rescue several times in the 20th century. It was great because it embraced the idea of human freedom, because it recognized that our rights come from God and that the purpose of government, above all else, is to seure “these rights”. The authors of this blog would be wise to reacquaint themselves with the writings of the Framers, of Lincoln, and of Lincoln’s greatest interpreter in the 20th century, a scholar and a gentleman who recently passed away but whose writings will not soon be ignored.

      • Again: they have defined their Agenda – things to be done. On their particular agenda are three things they’re concentrating on. Is it not implicit that there are others but that they wish to focus on these (three)? There are many other sites where primary focus is on the concerns you personally have (and I’d guess the editors/owners of those sites might have broader concerns [perhaps even to do with policy RE the ‘three’ here stated] but choose to put one – maybe just a handful – at center stage.
        I gather you are fearful that Trump means to take away some rights; that he’s a tyrant at heart and will be in governance (he might take away the right to burn the Flag)? And this is the place to sound the alarm?

      • My God.

        The authors of blog were so thrilled to witness the candidacy of Donald Trump that they aped his motto “Make America Great Again”, by naming this blog “American Greatness” — essentially a reboot of “The Journal of American Greatness”, which itself was born in the months after the announcement of Trump’s candidacy. For these folks to suggest, as they have, that they are not shills for Trump takes mendacity to a Clintonian level.

        That’s fine, but let us acknowledge what they, Decius et al, mean by “American Greatness”. Don’t take my word for it; read it for yourself.

        I’m actually not concerned about Trump as it’s clear as day now that he will govern as a standard moderate Republican and not as the man he campaigned as. There will be no giant wall, no mass deportation, no abrogation of NAFTA, no repeal of Obamacare and no ban on Muslim entry into the United States. That he’s mastered the art of walking back his campaign promises needs no further explanation. He will cut taxes and make modest changes to Obamacare cannot be disputed. These are welcome policy initiatives that will spur economic growth.

        My only point here is that the authors of “American Greatness”, which pretends philosophical weight, completely overlooks the genuine greatness of America, which is our devotion to human rights. The rights to free speech, the free exercise of religion, to bear arms, to due process and equal protection under the law make us different, and I argue better, than other regimes which do not respect human rights but do a fantastic job of securing their borders and asserting a muscular foreign policy.

        Yes, I understand that many other blogs discuss our rights and that is a wonderful thing. But this blog offers itself as something special, a place where the ideals of the Founders are revered and where ideas for the restoration of the republic can be found (remember the Flight 93 Election?). But if such a blog, one that offers itself in the service of the restoration of the republic, cannot bother itself with attention to what truly makes America great — our devotion to “these rights” — we are in far more serious trouble than Decius admitted in his Flight 93 Election than he alluded to when he posited that the election of Hillary Clinton would drive the final nail in the coffin of the republic.

        One only asks that the central purpose of what Lincoln called in his Lyceum Address an “experiment” not be forgotten.

      • I disagree that they “overlook” “cannot bother” because they choose to focus elsewhere. And disagree with your designation “shills”.
        But our freedom to differ IS of great value to me – just that I’m not alarmed that Freedom & Rights are in jeopardy at this very moment. I’m not sure why you deem it to be so. Nor why you think this forum has a duty to address your primary interest. Anyone is free to create a website. Have you thought to do so? I think it would be more satisfying for you. You seem a bit frustrated with this one. You have different needs and working on the specific Agenda stated here isn’t te gusta.

      • I seem to remember the War of 1812 as an expression of nationalism on the part of those uppity colonials. If you don’t have a nation, then there is nothing capable of protecting freedom, whether it is inalienable or not.

      • Nationalism, understood as the honoring and defense of one’s own country, itself is not controversial. No one here would object to American nationalism any more than they would object to Russian nationalism or Bolivian nationalism, the latter two forms of nationalism having no interest in securing “these rights”.

        The true greatness of the American experiment extends well beyond simple patriotism and economic prosperity. A secure border is a necessary precondition to having a nation, but securing “these rights” is a necessary precondition to having a republic. Let’s not disappoint Dr. Franklin.

      • Yes, we can agree that we do not want to disappoint Dr. Franklin! Certainly, I do not wish to denigrate the principles eloquently described in the Declaration, and then enumerated in the Bill of Rights. But the devil is in the details. I supported Trump and am relieved he was elected. I still have high hopes for his presidency. I’m pretty sure he will not be able to impose the death penalty for burning the flag, regardless of how many Republicans are elected to Congress. I do find it refreshing that he so unabashedly reflects public anger at that disrespect. Trump won many of our hearts precisely because he totally ignores the rules of political correctness, which I firmly believe are strangling public discourse in this country. The focus on particular words used, as opposed to the ideas being expressed, has been used to silence dissent. That is my view. I’m guessing you are not in agreement on that point. (But I imagine Dr. Franklin would agree with me!)

      • “Party of Lincoln”

        “Our individual rights are not negotiable.”

        Please square this circle for me.

      • If our individuals rights being non-negotiable is too difficult for you to understand, then so be it.

      • No, buddy, what’s difficult for me to understand is your line of reasoning. It’s like figuring out the DNA of a Stockhausen piece. Not worth the time.

    • Oh, God, pardon me while I gag. {**GAG**}. Ahem. OK. Substance and accident–but then I don’t expect someone like you to apply logic to your sentimental rhapsodizing. QET has already bitten a substantial chunk off your rant, so let me add my two cents.

      Your “Mussolini got trains to run on time, so Amtrak’s schedule better be colorfully unpredictable” kind of statement is laughable. Because countries that we don’t like look after their national interest does not make looking after one’s national interest a bad thing. Going back to substance and accident, what do you think makes for Russia’s and China’s “badness”? Is it border-control and an eye for favoring national interest in economics? Or is it perhaps a lawless Czar and a heavily-corrupted Communist regime respectively?

      Think, man, think. This ain’t National Review, thank God. Check’s in the mail.

    • Please. Your worldview, and that of the Left, has been shattered and discredited.

  5. This is a great site and one which I can share on my normie Facebook account without fear of getting fired from my job.