Notes on Samuel Huntington’s book ....
Who Are We ? - The Challenges to America’s National Identity
notes prepared by: Hugh Murray (July 2018)
Ch -1 ... The Crisis of National Identity
Two events involving the flag illustrate this crisis. One was America’s reaction to 9/11; the other was the fan reaction at the soccer Gold Cup between Mexico and the U.S. in Feb 1998.
1) In Oct., following 9/11, a poll showed 80% of those asked were displaying the US flag in one way or another. Additionally, a detail study was made of one block on Charles St. in Boston. For years before 9/11 there were always two American flags flying in the block where the Post Office was located. One was on the Post Office and the other on the local liquor store. Some months before 9/11, the post office stopped flying the flag, so only the liquor store flag remained. After 9/11, by mid October, the number of flags displayed on the block rose to 17.
2) In 2/98 at a soccer match between Mexico and the U.S. held in L.A. the stands were filled with Mexician flags and when the U.S. flag was displayed it was booed. The Los Angeles Times reported that “Playing in L.A. is not a home game for the U.S.” An American, who had been pelted with fruit when he displayed the stars and strips, said “Something is wrong when I can’t even raise an American flag in my own country”.
Past immigrants were happy to put their past life behind them. Today immigrants continue to embrace their old ways.
This difference was also illustrated by two poems. In 1960 Robt. Frost prepared a poem for JFK’s inauguration. In it praised Americanism and the country unity. In 1992 Maya Angelou prepared a inaugural poem praising America’s multi-cultural nature.
Ralph Nader once suggested to all Fortune’s 500 companies that they might open their shareholder’s meeting with a Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Most did not respond, but many that did gave negative responses. “a grim reminder of loyalty oaths”, “has nationalistic overtones”, “political and nationalistic overtones”, etc.
There were/are three large nations created in the last 3 centuries using the word “united” or ‘union”in the name. These were/are the U.K., the USA, and the U.S.S.R. The USSR is no more. The UK is under pressure from Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to devolve many powers to the locals. The USA is now experiencing the beginnings of similar forces.
Sub-identities are replacing broader, national identities.
Modern communications (e.g. cheap long distance, internet social media, air travel, Spanish language channels, etc.) allow people to remain strongly attached to their sub-identity while in America.
Many large corporations think of themselves as supra-national and encourage employees and customers to think in global terms. These trends break down individual attachment to national identity.
Broad national identities were formally instilled by adoption of an indigenous religion (or at least its religious values) and the language. Religion is becoming less important and modern communication allows people to retain their old language, particularly if they live with others like themselves.
In a democracy the people elect their leaders. (In monarchy the leaders are determined differently.) If the citizens, the voters, don’t share a common identity they are likely to elect leaders who will have trouble working with each other. The government should see great discord. Today it does.
All this factors point to four probable occurrences:
1) the presence of large numbers of un-assimilated immigrants will tend to further erode and weaken the country’s existing identity, 2) heavy Mexican immigration has created huge Mexican ghettos where assimilation will be nearly impossible, 3) those attached to the old national identity (i.e. mostly white Americans) are likely to react negatively to these changes and reactionary groups (e.g. KKK, the tea party, Christian Coalition, etc.) are likely to gain adherents , and 4) though unlikely, Americans from many diverse backgrounds may become horrified by the destructive trends and come together, probably around some set of religious principles, to re-unify and repair the nation’s shredded identity.
Ch 2 - Identities: National and Other
Identity is important, but it is vague. Identity is like sin, we condemn it but we can’t avoid it. Consider: 1) Both individuals and groups have identities. 2) Both can build on or alter their identity, 3) People and groups to a degree have multiple identities, and 4) individuals and groups define their identity after interacting with other individuals or groups. If a group wishes to join another group the arriving group must be accepted. This requires meeting definite requirements. For a rivalry to develop between two groups they must vie for the same space. (E.g. physical, sports title, etc.) Lasting peace between two groups with different identities in competition is unlikely.
Sources of Identity: 1) birth and physical factors (e.g. race, age, gender, genetic, etc.), 2) cultural (e.g. religion, language, way of life, etc.), 3) Physical location (e.g. the town, county, island, etc.), 4) Political factor (e.g. party, faction, etc.), 5) Economic (e.g. job, company, union, etc.), and 6) Social position (e.g. club membership, friends, status, etc.) . People don’t get attached to all these in the same way, but they all impact somewhat on the formation of identity. Sometime natural items must be reinforced or submerged in certain situations. Consider the small group cohesion for survival in war. Almost all other identity factors must be submerged to the cohesion of the group during training and in the field. However, creating to much cohesion can lead to the creation of a rebel group within the Army.
War is nearly always a factor in creating a state with a unique identity. The word nation began to appear in the mid 1700's.
Culture is a critical component to identity. It refers to language, religion, social values, political values, assumptions about what is right and wrong, what behavior is appropirate, and to institutions and behaviors that reflect these subjective elements.
This book holds that the Anglo Protestant culture is predominate in the US. Everyone wishing to fit in here must adopt it. People can’t change their grandparents but they can change their culture. Also any person’s or society’s culture can change, (e.g. Germany and Japan were militaristic in the mid 1930's; they had become largely pacifists by the mid 50's)
Ch 3 - Components of American Identity
It is popular to say that America is a nation of immigrants and being an American only requires accepting the “American Creed” . The American Creed is simple assent to basic political rights (e.g. agreement to the bill of rights, one man one vote, equal justice before the law, etc.). This idea will be developed more fully later.
Huntington feels this is true but only partly true. On the immigration side he thinks we must differentiate between settler immigrants and later immigrants. On the American creed side of this equation we must expand the assent to acceptance of “settler” standards which includes behavior and morals particularly in the public square.
The author goes into detail describing the ethnic, racial, cultural/religious, and finally political standards of the settler group. He calls this settler group a Anglo-Protestant group that began arriving in the early 1600's and began “settling” the country going west until in 1890 the frontier had essentially disappeared. As the settlers went west, immigrants from other countries joined this movement, but in all cases the new arrivals adopted the Anglo-Protestant standards. These new immigrants came from Scandianian, Germany, Ireland, China, and later Italy, Poland etc.
These groups were strongly encouraged (or forced) to learn proper dress and behavior in public, learn to speak and write standard English, respect for and willingness to follow the Protestant ethical/religious code, and understand and accept the American political/judicial system works. These new arrival groups were soon behaving in public and the work places as the settler group did. Their public values, and to a large degree their private values, mirrored that of the settler group.
The amount of immigration varied from decade to decade. The several decades following the American revolution was a period of low immigration as the Napoleonic Wars in Europe caused disruption and dicouraged sea travel. America’s settler expansion in this time period was fueled by a high domestic birth rate (i.e. an estimated 7 children per woman). But immigration picked up in the 1830's and remained strong for a couple of decades. Then there was a period of slow immigration until 1880's when there was a surge, then it slackened until 1900 when it surged again till WWI. Following the War, America enacted strict limits on immigration. However, in 1965 the country decided on a new surge in immigration, which continues to today.
This the latest group of immigrants joined a large number of suddenly desegregated, enfranchised blacks. The remainder of this book largely focuses on the success and failures which America has experienced trying to deal with these groups .
Chapter 4 - The Anglo-Protestant Culture
Huntington holds that an Anglo Protestant group of settlers “settled” America. This group set the ground rules for all future immigrants until 1965. Non-Anglo Protestants were in various ways compelled, induced, and/or persuaded to adopt Anglo-Protestantism as their public culture for 300 years. This culture was much more than a creed but it did give birth to the America creed which all American still hold to.
We now look at the cultural characteristics of this Anglo-Protestant group.
Their culture grew out of the Reformation in Europe and more particularly out of the English Puritan Revolution of mid 1600's. So America is not so much a product of the Enlightenment or the philosophy of John Locke as a flowering of various Protestant fragments that migrated to the new world.
Of course, while religion was important everywhere it was particular influential in Virginia and New England. Think of the terms developed in that era that are remembered today: “a city on the hill”, “chosen people”, “errand in the wilderness”, “a new Jerusalem”, “new heaven and a new earth, the home of Justice”, “a promised land”, etc.
Burke noted the difference between European and America Protestants. In America, Protestants are inclined to Protest even Protestantism. The Puritan form was most widely spread across the nation. James Bryce noted “England had a Puritan revolution without becoming a Puritan country; America became a Puritan country with enduring a Puritan revolution”. There was one Puritan group, the East Anglians, that were well educated and had the most influence. These Puritian influences can be found in Baptists, Methodists, pietists, fundamentalists, evangelicals, Pentecostal, etc. Although they differ greatly they had a lot in common - namely: salvation through faith, direct relationship with God, supremacy of the bible, personal responsibility to spread God’s word, democratic and participatory church organization, and being born again”. New Sects, built on this, sprang up and are springing up constantly. Enthusiasm was the most descriptive word to describe the protestant religion in 19th century America. This enthusiasm was somewhat abated in the 20th century but in 1999, 39% of Americans still said they were “born again”.
The American Creed grew out of the foregoing and has become the only surviving universally accepted outgrowth of the Anglo-Protestant roots. The Creed has never been set down is so many words but is basically an acceptance of these ideas as picked out by Myrdal, Jefferson, Tocqueville, Bryce, and Lipset. They overlap:
- the essential dignity of each person, fundamental equality of all men, inalienable right to freedom, justice, a fair opportunity to succeed, etc (Mydal)
- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (Jeffereson)
- liberty and equality, right of association, the jury, and (respect for) the responsibility of the agents of government (Tocqueville)
- the people as the source of political power, government limited by the law and the people, majority rule, a preference for local government, the less government the better (Bryce)
- liberty egalitarianism, individualism, populism, laissez fare. (Lipzet)
These have remained constant through American history and (except for the Civil war years, in the south) have been endorsed by a vast majority of Americans. Almost all the ideas expressed above are found in the early works of dissenting Protestants from the 1600's. . The Enlightenment ideas of the mid 18th century simply reinforced ideas already in Anglo-Protestantism. The creed is a non- religious statement of sentiments clearly coming out of Puritan religion.
Individualism was pared with a work ethic and a clear understanding of right and wrong. Americans are more likely than other peoples to believe there is a clear demarcation between good and evil. Americans rank highest in the world in their love for individualism. This led to the idea of the self made man and the concept of doing your own thing.
Work in America is highly regarded . Average hours worked per year in 1997 were highest among advanced societies. Americans are at 1,966 hrs/yr versus say France at 1,656. Americans also showed more pride in their work (see chart). Americans said they would oppose public policies that downplayed the importance of work. Phillip Schaff advised immigrants in 1854. He said in America “pray and work” and “if you desire a calm and cheerful life better stay” where you’re at. In 1999 an Cuban immigrant, Alex Alvarez, advised his countrymen “each of you will be responsible for (earning) the money in your pocket”.
Moralism and reform have motivated America for good and ill. Religious impulses motivated the abolitionist but it also motivated the proponents of every expansionist war from the Mexican War to Iraq. There is a surprising coincidence between religious awakening in America and major social or political change. Consider the revival led by George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards in the mid 1700's that pulled the colonies together and allowed the revolution of the 1775 - 83 to succeed.
There was a religious awakening in the 1830's and 40's that stirred up abolition sediment and helped the Northern cause in the Civil War. Consider the words the northern soldiers sang as they went to war: “The glory of the coming of the Lord” and “as he died to make men holy let us die to make men free”. Religion was a great aid to Lincoln who himself rarely if ever went to church.
There was a evangelical awakening in the 1950's and 1960's that kicked off much questioning of governmental authorities in the segregated south and in Washington regarding the conduct of the Vietnam war. These religious feeling probably contributed to a huge national reaction against Richard Nixon’s cover up of the Watergate break in.
America’s religious moralism has even influence America’s foreign policy. Some religious leaders and politicians have questioned America’s aid to and/or good relations with questionable regimes such as Sandia Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Red China, Burma, South Africa, etc. These concerns are the moralistic side of America are at odds with opposing the State Dept’s policy favoring “real politik” analysis.
Chapter 5 - Religion and Christianity
In 2002 the Federal Appeals Court in California held the term “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court simply said saying the Pledge was optional.
Americans are very religious and are overwhelmingly Christian. The Continental Congress declare days of fasting to implore help from God for their cause. The words “separation of Church and State” do not appear in the Constitution. The founders saw the domains of the state and religion as coterminous. They wanted religion, but they did not want a national state religion, though several states had official religions which were dis-established fairly quickly. Religious denominations were the strongest and most powerful non-governmental force in the newly formed republic..
Another way to look at the founders’ attitude toward the term “separation from Church and State”, they wanted religion to be free from government influence or regulation (they did not want to protect people from religion).
America’s commitment to religion has remained strong. In the period 2002 to 2005 about 65 percent of Americans said they were a members of a church or synagogue. Whereas only 10% said they were atheists. About 90% of Americans say they would vote for a minority for Pres. Only 49% would consider an atheist.
On a multi faceted questionnaire regarding religiosity American score at 51 of 100 whereas other countries of comparable socioeconomic status score at about 15. By another measure, the US with a score of 65 is ranked #5 out of 42 countries studied.
Protestants and Catholics - For centuries Protestants here and in Europe had defined themselves as “not Catholic”. Persecution by one against the other had caused a natural migration of Catholics to Catholic areas and Protestants to Protestant areas until 1828 when Catholics were again allowed to serve in Parliament.
The only significant group of Catholics in the Colonies in 1776 was in Maryland. In the other colonies Catholicism was viewed as being against Christ. But the revolution quieted religious quarrels as leaders hoped to induce Catholics particularly in Canada to support their cause. This toleration was extended to the Federal Constitution which outlawed any religious test for Federal office although some state’s retained religious restrictions to hold state office.
The year 1815 saw accelerating Catholic migration from Ireland and Germany. From 62,000 in the 1820's it rose to 400,000 in the 1840's. Protestants became more accepting of Catholics and American Catholics began to adopt Protestant attitudes. However, there was a backlash. In 1850 the Know Nothing Party was formed with an anti-Catholic attitude. It elected 6 governors and its presidential candidate in 1856 got 22% of the national vote.
Again another issue crowed out the anti-Catholic sentiment as abolition of slavery became a northern priority. Anti-Catholic sentiment simmered and as late as 1896, the soldiers in the Spanish American war were rallied with calls to free Cuba from “Pope-ridden Spain”.
Catholics helped the process of assimilation by using its central governance to create many social institutions that helped in the nation’s growing cities. These institution eased the transition of arriving Catholics into the broader society. While the Vatican was concerned about modernism (e.g., papal letter Testem Benevolentiae 1899 which addressed the breakdown of religious values in republican nations (particularly France and the US)) across the world, American bishops saw no conflict between the Church’s program and the overall American project.
Some American Catholics, particularly the Germans, resisted wishing to keep their language and culture but overtime they became Americanized. By the mid-twentieth century, Fulton Sheen had a very popular TV series and the country had huge movie hits centered on Catholicism Going My Way, Keys to the Kingdom and The Bells of St Mary’s. In 1960 America elected JFK, a Catholic, President.
Social scholars like Ron Inglehart have noted that Catholics living in countries with majority Protestant populations will over time developed attitudes that more closely resemble Protestant attitudes than those found in majority Catholic countries. Another scholar noted “In Europe Protestant revolted against the Catholic culture, in America Catholics entered into a pre-existing Protestant majority culture.”
Bishops Ireland in the early 20th century and Sheen at mid century felt God intended Catholic ideas to be carried by America as it fulfilled its mission to help the world.
Christianity in America - For centuries, American Protestantism tended to shape the other faiths it encountered. Jewish leaders and Catholic leaders from elsewhere have noted the Protestant trappings on American Jewish and Catholic attitudes. In 1892 the Supreme Court declare “this is a Christian nation” , in 1931 it re-iterated this view.
The proportion of Americans that identified America as being Christian has held in the 84 to 88 percentile for years. This is higher than Jewish feeling in Israel or Muslim feeling in Egypt. Also the non-Christians in America are a diverse group.
In the 1970's and 80's there was a significant drop in Church attendance among Christians but this came almost exclusively from Catholics. In ‘52 there was strong commitment to the faith among 83% of Catholics. By ‘87 this percentage was 54%. Huntington feels this decline among Catholics is due to the dislocations caused by Vatican II and the Church’s unyielding stand on artificial birth control.
In the Protestant world there was a huge increase in the number of sects, of ministers, of congregations and church’s. The ratio of Protestants to their churches was 1500 to one in 1800. Today it is 500 to one.
America’s Civil Religion - Some scholars believe America has an umbrella creed that embraces all religions. They call this the American Creed. It is compatible with any and all faiths provided these faith embrace:
1) a Supreme Being (Pres Eisenhower said “without God there could be no American form of government ... no American way of life.”),
2) the idea that America has been called by God to a special destiny. This summed up in two Latin mottos Annuit Coeptis (God smiles on our undertakings) and Novus Ordo Seclorum (New order for the ages)
3) the acceptance of references to God by our public officials and in our official writings .... our currency all says in “God we trust”, we accept chaplains in the military and prayers before Congress and
4) accept that national holidays take on a religious overtone which is always seen and heard at Memorial Day and 4th of July celebrations.
There is even a statement of the American Creed which use to be recited in schools daily like an all purpose American prayer. It reads:
“I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against enemies.”
The one thing the American Creed informally prohibits is the mention of Jesus Christ. It is ironic that such a Christian country would have an informal prohibition on the mention of Christ’s name in public or in official writings.
Chapter 6 - Emergence, Triumph, Erosion
In this chapter, Huntington goes through the steps that led to the creation of a feeling of nationhood and he explores how it is beginning to come apart. A nation is one of the few things a man will fight and die for. But people must first have the feeling of being part of a nation. National sensibility is hard won and can disappear more quickly.
The Anglo-Protestants from 1625 went through 4 distinct periods of political attachment. For 150 years the feelings of connection to the old country were paramount. Then in about 1770 the people began to think of themselves as separate from Europe but mostly now attached to their locality or state. This primary allegiance to the states continued until the Civil War when people began using the singular, not the plural, to refer to the USA. This national sense began unraveling in the 1960's, and its successor is unclear at this point.
These four versions of political attachment where of course never without variation. Symbols indicating a wider sense of loyalty popped up in King George’s war of the 1740's, the French and Indian War of 1754 to ‘63, the Revolutionary War of 1773 to ‘83, and during the visit of Lafayette’s which was close to the deaths of Adams and Jefferson in 1824-26. Forces of disunion were also strong on occasion, in 1815 the New England states unhappy with the war of 1812 meet to consider secession. They agreed the states had the right to succeed but on that occasion they did not succeed. The national identity was kept alive in the pre civil war era by the continuing difficulties with Indian tribes, the sorting out of new state boundaries and the place slavery would play in these new states. Of course, the southern states decided to actually succeed in 1860, they then where forced back into the union.
In the Civil War troops identified themselves by their state affiliation. American history prior to 1860 was written as a history of the separate states, After 1860 historians began to write “national” histories.
Huntington lists several factors that made/makes the US a strong nation:
1) National Consciousness Created - This was forged on the costly anvil of a bloody civil war.
2) Economic Development & National Organizations - which included business, voluntary, and governmental organizations (e.g. Missouri Pacific, New York Central, Red Cross, Grand Army of the Republic (a northern veterans group), US Dept of the Agriculture, etc),
3) North-South Reconciliation - which saw the Grand Army of the Republic admit Confederate veterans, which saw northern and southern troops fight together to liberate Cuba from papist Spain, which saw black needs ignored after the settlement of 1876, etc.
4) National History - Historians began to write American histories describing events from the Mayflower to recent presidents in American terms.
5) Use of Patriotic symbols and rituals - Philadelphia had a centennial celebration in 1876 with 10 million attendees, there developed the cult of the flag with great respect always shown, etc.
6) The Assimilation Debate - there was public discussion and debate about the best way assimilate new arrivals, there were two ideas pushed forward: a) let intermarriage occur, and b) push the new comers to adopt the Anglo Protestant culture. A homogeneous result is achieved if there is a common acceptance of the same language, creed, politics, philosophy, and culture.
7) Americanizing the Immigrant - Ever since the beginning leaders had insisted that new arrivals be Americanized. YMCA’s had English classes, Ford Motor had Americanization classes in their plants, ladies groups trained newly arrived women in proper clothing to wear, Catholic organizations were particularly active as more immigrants came from Catholic lands, the Federal Bureau of Education in 1913 published a plan for educating immigrants to be Americans, etc
8) War - the Spanish American War, the First World War and the Second World War were very successful and gave the country great common experiences which fortunately included many victories.
Nationalism began fading in the 1960's. Scholars rated national integration at 20 year intervals using one (1.00) as perfect integration and 5 as anarchy - 1930 saw 1.71, 1950 saw 1.46, 1970 saw 2.65 and 1990 saw 2.6. Scholars now use terms such as “end of patriotism” and “the devaluation of American citizenship” to describe what is happening today.
There have been 4 manifestations of the breakdown:
1) elites openly value ethic identity over national identity,
2) near absence of factors and forces that promote assimilation and discourage dual identities,
3) the dominance of one huge group of immigrants concentrated in a few places that do not speak English (e.g. Hispanics)
4) the denationalization of many elites who prefer to self identify as “citizens of the world”.
Chapter 7 - De-constructing America: The Rise of Sub-national Identities
In 1961, JFK said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” . America was one nation with one creed. Later that decade there arose challenges to that. Elites began the attack though most people remained committed Americans. These factors pushed this deconstruction:
1) sub-nationalities globally were manifesting their differences and America was part of this global trend. Globalization caused people to fear for their individual identities so they strengthened sub-group attachments.
2) the end of the Cold War facilitated these breakouts (i.e. more globalization and more sub-group identity),
3) political leaders crafted platforms to appeal to these emerging groups,
4) sub-group leaders promoted programs that benefitted their sub-group,
5) bureaucrats used their policy and regulation writing authority to accommodate the wishes of the elites they admired,
6) elites guided society toward helping those that the elites felt had been disadvantaged in the past,
7) most importantly, the de-legitimation of race and ethnicity as components of national identity in the civil rights, voting rights, and immigration acts of ‘64 - ‘65 paradoxically legitimated not individual rights, but sub-group rights. This allowed non-whites, non-European groups to challenge Anglo-Protestant culture and its creed. With Anglo-Protestantism officially excised, the minority were empowered to assert their own cultures and creeds. So now Americans don’t use their unique creed and culture to different themselves from other nations, they use their sub-culture’s creed and culture to differentiate themselves from other American sub-cultures.
In the 1990's, some but not all of the Federal judges, elites, and bureaucrats were alarmed by all these sub-culture demands and began to pull back. Also 9/11 gave the Anglo-Protestant creed and culture a boost as national unity was needed to respond. Part of the problem was built into the Creed itself. The creed said all are equal but equal treatment of sub-cultures kills the national unity.
Then certain sub-groups began demanding not equality but preference because of past injustice. They would not accept equality in principle they wanted equality in results now. At first the decision makers accommodated (in some cases actually issuing court decisions or regulations to re-direct or overrule specific laws passed by Congress).
But in two or three decades they began to pull back. The nation, by then, was oriented to accommodating the demands of sub-groups. The University of Michigan had implemented racial quotes everywhere. When the Supreme Court began to reverse itself some of the Univ of Michigan programs were outlawed, but the one in the Law School passed muster. This left the whole nation trying to figure out which preferences should be kept and which had to go.
But voters were still opposed to these preference programs for sub-groups. Even blacks opposed most preference programs.
The court really changed direction in 1989 when it reviewed a minority set aside program for government construction in Richmond. The 6-3 court decision overturned the program in Richmond. The ruling forced 190 programs in 36 states to be ended. In 1993 the court set aside an obviously gerrymandered district in NC designed to elect a black representative. This trend in decisions continued and created a situation where the Clinton Justice Dept and the Supreme Court were at odds.
Scholars have noted that it was non-elected elites that had turned the Civil Rights and Voter Rights Acts from a program for individuals to a program for groups.
English as the central language for America is under challenge. Even though 84% want English to be the nation’s official language. The educational system has begun allowing none English speakers to graduate without gaining reasonable command of English. Too much instruction is conducted for too many years in the student’s original languages. In 1975 Congress passed a law requiring the local authorities to provide ballots in other languages when one or more circumstances obtained. This required LA County to spend $67,000 so 692 Tagalog speakers could vote.
The Supreme Court ruled states can’t force people to express themselves in English. This means Spanish speakers get to deal with government in their native language. The people vote for “English only” initiatives on ballots but courts overrule. The attack on “English only” has gone into health care system, driver’s licence tests, etc. Generally the requirement for “dual-language everywhere” triggers if 5% of the locals speak different languages.
Of all the states only one state’s voters has approved installation of bilingualism widely, that was Mass. in 2002 when Gov. Romney got into an open fight with the state’s Democratic Party over the issue.
Actually 66% of Hispanics would prefer that their children be forced to learn English.
The challenge to the Anglo Protestant base was formalized in 1997 when Clinton said the country needed a great revolution to prove in could exist without a dominant European culture. This is where assimilation was replaced by the idea of a Mosaic. Today multi-culturalism is affirmed in all of mainstream education. Consider a study of 22 standardized readers used in grades 3 to 6 had only 5 of 670 stories that contained patriotic themes from American history; 17 of the 22 contain no such stories at all. Another study found in 1987 high school graduates knew more about Harriet Tubman than knew Lincoln freed the slaves or that Washington had commanded the Americans that won the Revolution. Many colleges have dropped the Western Cavitation class that was required for many decades. Many college graduates do not 1) know the Constitution established the separation of powers or 2) when the civil War was fought or 3) which general, Grant or Washington, won America’s independence from Britain or 4) where the term “gov’t of the people, by the people, and for the people” came from.
American history and cultural focus was primarily local until 1860, the it became national, and from say 1960 to today it is unfocused. The de-construction of the American creed, English, and the core Anglo Protestant culture has been overwhelmingly opposed by most American people. Bills to change or stop this trend have been introduced to address these trends but they have had little effect.
Huntington feels all is lost unless the United States again has a compelling national project like the Civil War or WWII that would force the re-melding of the country, in other words, restart assimilation.
Chap 8 - Assimilation: Converts, Ampersands and the Erosion of Citizenship
In this chapter the author takes a deep look at what has really been happening with newcomers.
Sect 1 - Immigration with or without Assimilation - Thirty four million immigrated to the US in the 1820 - 1924 period this group became totally assimilated. Between 1965 and 2000 a total of twenty three million arrived and to date the issue is “to what extent will this new group be assimilated?”. Will these newcomers become committed Americans forswearing other national identities and begin adhering to the American Creed?
About one quarter of American immigration is illegal. All highly developed countries have this problem. About 30 million people move illegally each year world wide.
In 1998, foreign born people were: 19% of Switzerland, 17% of Canada, 23 % Australia, 10% of France, 9% of Germany, etc. Fertility rates in advanced countries are declining, just as jobs still need to be filled, and social welfare programs proliferate.
Japan has chosen not to allow massive immigration. Their population will likely decline from 127 million in 2000 to 67 million in 2100. Standards of living will not suffer but the position of Japan in global politics will.
Today for the US most prospective immigrants come from countries dramatically different than the US. It is good to have growth and a rising economy, but the cultural and social costs are hard to calculate. Native workers experience wage pressures, gov’t programs experience greater outlays, etc. There is likely to develop middle class opposition to heavy immigration with political opportunists taking advantage of it (e.g. Trump).
These perceived threats cause scholars to develop the concept of “societal security” which means “can the society retain its basic characteristics - language, traditional customs, religions, etc” in the face some profound change(s). This concept came from Ole Waever and the Copenhagen school. The greatest threat to societal security comes from immigration. Coping options are: no immigration, immigration without assimilation, or immigration with assimilation. There is a version of number 2 called temporary work permits which allows entry for limited periods. There is a problem with number 3 in that even native Americans do not have clear understanding of what cultural characteristics should be promoted. Our own internal struggles over civil rights and women’s rights have left cultural confusion behind.
Sect 2 - Assimilation Still a Success?
America is not a nation of immigrants so much as it is a nation that assimilated immigrants. Milton Gordon said immigrants become assimilated to the degree they adopt the cultural patterns of the host country. Three steps needed on the part of the hosts: no discrimination, no prejudice, and no fights over values. A sign this is working is when intermarriage between native and immigrants begin occurring. It has never been perfect in America, but overall it was a success story until 1960.
Peter Salins said immigrants have successfully assimilated if they: spoke English, took pride in America, believed in the American Creed, and lived by the Protestant ethic (i.e. hard work, self reliance, morally upright.)
Will Herberg said in 1955, America is not a blending the old culture with the new culture the immigrants bring, no it is the acceptance by the immigrant of the Anglo Protestant (Anglo American) culture they encountered here. George Stewart replace the idea of a melting pot with the idea of a “transmuting pot” where foreign cultural traits were refined away.
Sect 3 - Sources of Assimilation -
This list of factors that promoted assimilation till 1960 follow: most immigrates came from Europe where culture was most similar to NA, immigrants had to confront significant risks and costs to come, immigrants wanted to be American, immigrants who didn’t in the end want to be American tended to go back, immigrants came from many countries (not one or two), immigrants dispersed amongst other immigrant groups in major cities no one group forming a majority, immigration was discontinuous giving assimilation a chance to work, immigrants fought in America’s wars, and Americans themselves had a clear idea of what being an American was and could create programs to guide people to that ideal.
Sect 4 - Compatibility, Selectivity, and Commitment
Compatibility was discussed by Jefferson. He said they must put aside their old ideas of government and yet not swing to an idea of unbridled licence, they must swing to middle and accept ordered liberty as their guide. The Supreme Court, sensing a huge cultural gulf, noted Chinese would not be able to integrate into American society and allowed tight control on Asian immigration.
One way to measure the degree of compatibility is to study the percent of different groups that return to their home counties. Michael Piore studied return rates in the 1909 time period. He found wide variation: about 60 percent of Italians returned and 59 percent of Slovaks returned whereas only 10 percent of Scots. English speaking peoples did better. There was a general feeling that northern Europeans would assimilated better than southern Europeans, but among those that stayed Germans were most likely to create German speaking enclaves.
People from non-European cultures do fairly well if their educational attainments are roughly in line with America’s average. Three factors retarding Mexican immigrants: low educational achievements, huge concentrations of Mexican immigrants in a few places, and a wider than normal cultural gap.
Muslims is another group of great concern. The cultural gap is very wide and a majority of Muslim feel closer to Muslim societies and want public schools replaced by Islamic schools. Already majority Muslim towns in America are curtailing the rights of non-Muslims to speak.
Selectivity - Personal character is very important to success assimilating. In the 1800's it was a risky business coming to Ellis Is. You could get sent back 15% did. It took a dedicated person to come.
One French commentator noted that today’s Europeans are the ones who lacked the guts to take a boat to America. This commentator felt that explains why there are more social welfare programs in Europe than America.
Commitment - Authur Schlesinger Jr noted the early immigrants “yearned to be American” These were already faithful American before they boarded the boat. American assimilation programs prior to 1924 were preaching to the already converted not evangelizing the pagan. Many immigrants were stronger Americas than the native born. The immigration in the late 1800's was mostly families who tended to stay. By 1910 many immigrants were single men who worked a few years and often returned to Europe.
Today commitment is optional. Some do commit but many are sojourners. And a third group become Ampersands (e.g. Mexican American) that maintain duel citizenship, duel loyalties, etc. This third status is made possible by modern cheap travel and communications. While 20 to 35% of post 1960 immigrants might return home those that remain do not want to be Americanized. They wish to have their cake and eat it too.
Sect 5 - Immigration Process -
This section is divided into three parts: Diversity and Dispersion, Discontinuity and Wars,
Diversity and Dispersion - Now 50% of current migrants to the US speak a single non-English language (Spanish). In the past immigrants were sent all over the country. The Founders thought this was essential. Today, such dispersion is not required so like immigrants naturally congregate together.
In 1818 Irish immigrants asked to be assigned to one area in the Northwest Territories (today’s upper mid-west) the Congress specifically rejected this request. Marcus Hanson said “probably no other immigration decision possess more profound significance.”
Post 1965 policy on Hispanic immigration has not required dispersion. Cubans have clustered in Miami; Mexicans in the southwest particularly So Calif. For other groups some dispersion is still practiced.
In 1990, Mexican foreign borns are only 11% fluent in English, whereas those from lesser sources of immigration have foreign born English proficiency of 74%.
Discontinuity - America has cut off certain immigrant flows during its history. From 1870 to 1960 Asian flows were negligible because of legal restrictions. Flows from Europe followed a start and stop pattern. The numbers were between 9.2 immigrants per 1000 US Citizens and 6.2 immigrants per1000 citizens in the period from 1840 and 1924. The sharp decline in 1924 to 1965 allowed a near complete assimilation of those who were here.
Today ethic communities are large, vibrant and have their own institutions accordingly they are going to assimilate very slowly and it may never be completed. The foreign born percentage of the US population was 5.4% in 1960. In 2002 it was 11.5 %.
Wars - Fighting in a US war has always given the foreign born immigrant a strong claim to citizenship. However, those that have fought tend to be converts not sojourners. However, there is always a risk that in the middle of a War a group of immigrants might switch sides. In the Mexican war Irish recruits joined their Catholic brothers in the Mexican army. Leading up to WWI German communities in America advocated for US neutrality. Following WWII there was a parade in New York where all ethic groups were asked to march with the soldiers. Contingents came from all parts of the city. Muslims following 9/11 proclaimed their support for the US.
Sect 6 - American Society: Americanization is un-American
In 1963, Glaser and Moynihan asked “to what does one assimilate in modern America?” In 1900 the answer was clear. By 1963 it seemed diversity and the equal validity of all culture in America applied. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan’s immigration commission in 1997 also pointed to the problem. They said the analysis of immigration focused to heavily on cost benefit analysis. Second, it falsely assumed assimilation would automatically occur, and finally it said Americanization is considered by some elites to be an un-desirable goal.
In 2000 about 21 million immigrants could not speak English very well.
Whereas businesses would out of sense of patriotic duty train their immigrant workers in English prior to 1924, today they will only do the training if the employee’s job requires English skills. The government has also pulled back from actual training, while allowing those with English skills gaps to claim disadvantaged group status and thus eligibility for special programs. So foreign new arrivals are advantaged over natives with affirmative action. This setup encourages the immigrant group to cling to its disadvantage to get affirmation action preferences.
Studies show special multi cultural awareness programs in high school and college tend to strengthen an immigrant group foreign identify. Students entering high school are more Americanized that when they leave college. The drop is roughly 30% over 8 years.
Sect 7 - Ampersands and Dual Citizenship -
New citizens are required to pledge exclusive loyalty to the US however, court decisions, administrative rules and even Congress have weakened the meaning of this commitment. Today dual citizenship is widely practiced, new citizens keep one foot in each country.
In addition quite a substantial percentages of the native born population of several countries are living in the US and their home countries actually encourage dual citizenship so the home country’s citizenship numbers remain high. (See table). Today about10% of native born Mexicans live in the US. There are communities in other countries where 30 or more percent of the locals now live in little ghettos in the middle of US cities. There is a Miraflores village in the Dominican Republic and a Miraflores section in the Jamacia Plains area of Boston. There is a constant flow of people moving between the two communities and their buildings are similarly decorated. In total there are perhaps 2000 such bifurcated communities. There were 7.5 million dual citizen in the US in 2004. Foreign countries actually allow dual citizen to vote in their home countries elections; and foreign politicians raise considerable money at US fund-raising events. In fact a Hackensack NJ city council member ran for the Senate in Columbia (but was defeated).
There is a lengthy discussion about exclusive citizenship and perpetual citizenship. America at its founding believed in exclusive but non-perpetual citizenship. That meant an colonial could drop his British citizenship and switch to American citizenship but he could not retain any loyalty to Britain. However, British admirals claimed the seaman they took off of American boats retained some requirement to serve the British. These were important distinctions then. For America it was a human right to cast off one’s citizenship.
Later when the Confederates ended their loyalty to the Union and pledged their loyalty to the Confederacy. Washington changed its tune. Today it is nearly impossible to give up or lose your US citizenship. American citizens can pledge loyalty to another country, vote there, serve in their army, etc
So the duel citizen is a fact. It promotes a sense of duel loyalty and duel identities. Often the original citizenship retain the greater loyalty. Money by the billions is sent back to the “old” country regularly and sometimes US money is raised for investment projects in home. Duel citizenship is against the 14th amendment which makes it impossible for a person to vote in two states.
Sect 8 - Citizens and non-Citizens. -
Through civilized history the distinction between citizen and non-citizen has been very important. Aristotle lived in Athens but was a non-citizen. Aristotle endorsed this system of strict distinction was good because it promoted excellence. Peter Schnuck said citizenship is “membership in a political community” with distinctive identity with laws and where values are widely shared. Citizenship link the two identities that of the nation and that to the person. All this faded as the idea duties and rights and responsibilities shrank. In time, citizenship became, for some simply an individual’s right wherever they happened to live.
Today an naturalize US citizen must have five years legal residency good moral character, ability to speak and write English at the eight grade level, and general understanding of governmental processes. The two key points here are 3 and 4.
Judicial decisions have eroded the importance of citizenship. Calif prop 187 proposed no gov’t benefits to non-citizens it passed 59/41 but the courts overturned this cut off of benefits. Two years later Congress tried the same thing but the courts said once granted benefits could not be withdrawn.
Non citizen are denied the right to serve on juries, vote and hold elective office however, this is changing as people are accepting that if a person’s life is effected by something, say a school, then everyone with children in the school should vote for school board. While one would think that fears about the cut off of benefits might spur more naturalization on immigrants, it does not show in the numbers of those seeking to be citizens.
One important factor that lessens the need for citizenship is the way legislative bodies are approtioned “by body count” not by “citizen count” so a non citizen is counted in apportioning the number of representative so all an immigrant has to do is live amongst like minded people who are citizens. This arrangement assures the non-citizen’s preferences are considered with full weight in the legislature.
There has been a major decline in naturalization rates from 63 % in 1970 to 37% in 2000. For those who have been here 20 years, not just the 5 years, the rate dropped from 89% to 71%.
Sect 9 - Alternatives to Americanization - Some new immigrants actually assimilate into an unassimilated American sub-culture. Haitian in the Chicago were urged to adopt Black American attitudes toward marriage, gov’t benefit programs, etc. if they wanted to reduce conflict with their neighbors. These Haitians looked down on this behavior but to keep the peace they adopted some of these attitudes.
The other phenomenon is the refusal to assimilate in anyway. This can be done in the Cuban community of south Florida or the Mexican community in So. Calif.
The final option is to go for duel citizenship and keep up regular contacts with the home country.
Percent of Country’s Population living in the USA in ‘90
Jamaica ........ 23%
El Salvador .... 16.8%
Trinidad ....... 16.0%
Cuba ........... 11.3%
Mexico ......... 9.4%
Barbados ....... 9.2%
Dominican Rep ... 8.5%
Chap 9 - Mexican Immigration and Hispanization
A) Mexican/Hispanic Challenge- In 1950 America was a multi-ethics multi racial society living in an Anglo-Protestant culture. By 2000, the USA was a multi cultural society with bilingual education with elites driving the society toward cultural bifurcation with the largest factor being Hispanic immigration.
B) Why Mexican Immigration Differs? - the differences fall in several areas: contiguity, numbers, illegality, concentration, persistence, & historical claims,
The Mexico-US border is the such long land border between a third world and a first world country.
This closeness is augmented by political and economic factors that cause the numbers of people moving to be huge. Today 28 percent of foreign born in US have come from Mexico. The next largest is 5%.
There is huge illegal immigration to augment legal Mexican legal immigration. Roughly 2/3 of post ‘75 Mexican immigrants were illegal. Plus the 1986 Immigration Act allowed illegals to be legalized. 3.1 million benefitted from this Act; 90% of those were Mexicans.
Mexicans do not disperse across the US, instead they congregate in a few states. David Kennedy notes that “high concentrates of similar immigrants in an area slows assimilation”.
The forgoing would be less concerning if there had not been a persistence year over year of heavy immigration from Mexico. Note: immigrants induce others to immigrate, the longer it continues the harder it is to stop, and such persistence makes assimilation increasingly difficult.
Mexicans, unlike Americans recall history, and still feel the Mexican War (1846-48) was not justified and turned into a huge land grab. Also there have always been a number of Mexican people who lived in the acquired lands going back centuries. Mexicans living in America feel an attachment that pre-dates the arrival of the US.(ie the city with the longest habitation by Europeans in the US is Sante Fe)
C) How Mexican Assimilation Lags - here several factors impact here: language, education, occupations and incomes, citizenship, intermarriage, identity,
Mexicans are not following the normal pattern of language assimilation: which sees the arriving generation never really getting very good with English, the second generation can operate in either language, and the third generation mostly loses its ability in the original language. This pattern seems to be breaking down; 43 percent of Mexicans are linguistically isolated. Where most immigrants in the second generation begin to reject the old language, Mexicans don’t seem to do that; they want to cling to Spanish. Prof Chris Garcia said of Spanish “ the one thing every Hispanic takes pride in, wants to protect and promote”.
Mexicans do not take advantages of education. In 2000, 86 percent of all American graduated from high school, among Mexicans the percent is 34 percent. This lag is seen even to the fourth generation. For instance among fourth generation Mexicans 3.5 percent have a college degree versus 20 percent for all other Americans.
This lack of education shows in occupation and income stats. 66 percent of Mexicans are in low status jobs. Fourth generation Mexicans are three times less likely than other immigrants to start businesses. They are less than half as likely to have household incomes in excess of $50,000. (10.7 vs 24.8 percent)
Mexicans are less likely to naturalize then other immigrants (e.g. 31 percent Mexicans vs 82 percent for Poles) and those that do are likely to maintain dual citizenship. Some say the lower rate is because large numbers of Mexicans are illegal
Mexicans are less likely to intermarry with non-Mexicans. The recent trend is toward even less intermarriage (e.g. in 1977 it was 31 percent vs in ‘98 it was 28 percent)
Identity is measured by how people self-identify. Mexican children born in the US had a 4 percent self-identity as American (whereas other immigrant children run 28 percent to 50 percent). In 1994, Mexicans in So Calif who were protesting Prop 187 (denying benefits to illegals) they carried the US flags upside down. Average Americas respond appropriately by saying to pollsters that Mexicans are less patriotic than other immigrants.
So it makes sense why the Jordan Commission recommended a huge cut in Mexican immigration
D) Individual Assimilation and Enclave Consolidation - In the past immigrate groups would cluster in a neighborhood for a generation, but by the third generation the enclaves were broken apart with only a small portion of the original set of families lingering there. People intermarry, take up different work, get more education and find new neighborhoods. Today, particularly with Mexicans, the original culture is maintained much longer because of travel back and forth to Mexico, persistent new immigration, desire to retain their language and culture. Today there is open conversation among Mexicans on both sides of the border about a new country carved out of northern Mexico and the southwestern US. The names proposed are La Republica del Norte, Mexifornia, or Amexica.
E) The Hispanization of Miami - Miami is already an example of a Hispanic political entity. About 3/4 of all commerce, media, and social communication there is in Spanish.
This began when 260,000 middle and upper class Cubans fled that country in the early ‘60. Mostly they went to Miami. By 2000, 75 percent of Miami were foreign born and the vast majority spoke Spanish. (This compares to 56 percent in LA and 48 percent in NYC.) The phenomenon in Miami led to the founding of Univision (Spanish language TV) and the El Nuevo Herald which is the Miami Herald in Spanish.
Cubans did not create a enclave neighborhood rather they took over a city. Today non Hispanics are outsiders in Miami. Cuban have no need to assimilate. Cubans were so powerful they felt they could challenge federal authorities in the Elian Gonzalez case. In 2000 the NYT said the Cubans in Miami were “carrying out their own foreign policy”.
F) The Hispanization of the Southwest - LA is not far behind Miami but without the highly educated leaders that the Cubans had in Miami. Three things to consider: 1) the Miami phenomenon was a top down thing, the Mexican take over is bottoms up, 2) Cubans have hostility toward the Castro regime, but not so with Mexicans toward Mexico City. (Billion are sent by Mexicans in the US annually to relatives in Mexico.) Finally 3) Cubans have a love of education, not so with Mexicans.
The persistence of Mexican immigration assures that they will eventually direct the governments where they settle even if they lack education. Educated Anglos in the US will be forced to learn Spanish and adopt Mexican culture. That culture has an Indian -Spanish version of Catholicism which promotes an easy going attitude toward life, (e.g. “that’s good enough”, “who really cares”, “nothing is really worthwhile”). These people mistrust those outside the extended family, they lack of imitative and ambition, they have low interest in education, and they accept poverty as helping one get to heaven.
Today Jose’, not Michael, as the most popular name given to new born boys in Texas and California. America business advertise heavily to Mexicans whose buying power is $440 billion annually. Univison is everywhere in the Mexican American community. These new arrivals will only be considered to be like Anglo Protestants if they dream in English. Today they are far from doing that.
Naturalization Percentages (top 15 groups)
Chap 10 - Merging America with the World - Here Huntington discusses the role of American elites in undercutting the Anglo-Protestant culture at home.
A) The Changing Environment - The author mentions several factors at work today: end of cold war, extensive international involvements, lack of ideology as an organizing principle leaves us with culture as the surviving organizing principle fir society.
B) The Search for an Enemy - Over time America seems always in search of some new enemy to organize around. During the Civil War it was the evil slave owning south. WWII saw racial hatred of the Japanese as an organizing principle. Later fear of radical Muslims triggered religious animosity among some, though the President tried to tamp down these feelings.
Often it is war the brings unity ... The Revolution caused the development of the idea of an America people, the Civil War created the American nation, WWII the epiphany (full revelation) of the American identify
C) Dead Souls: The Denationalization of Elites - begins with a good poem where Walter Scott 1805 asks:
Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said:
“This is my own, my native Land”
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wanderering on a foreign strand!
From The Lay of the last Minstrel
Technology and the demands of business drives the change to a more international viewpoint.
There are three types of such non-patriotic elites:
1) universalists who feel they want to drive a vague idea of American exceptionalism worldwide without any sense of the importance its unique culture in making America exceptional,
2) business intentionally thinks of itself as global; in 2000 six major American companies had foreign CEO’s, even Adam Smith noted the difference “land owners think locally”, “stock owners think more globally”,
3) moralists who are transnationals want good things for all people world wide and don’t care the cost to individual nations. (e.g. Pope Francis types).
Interesting there is a US Supreme Court case that allow foreigners to bring cases against their home country’s leaders in US courts. On the other hand, there are US lawyers that argue American law must take a second seat to international law.
D) The Patriotic Public - White American are very patriotic.... blacks and Hispanics less so. Young Americans are far more likely to say they would like to serve America than their counterparts in other advanced countries.
............................ Yes ...... No
Americans ......... 81% ...... 18%
British ............... 46 ...... 42
West Germans ... 29 ...... 40
E) Diaspora, Foreign Governments and American Politics -Poor people move to rich countries and they play an important role. Here are five examples:
1) sending money home,
2) modern communications allow relationships with family and friends back in the home country to remain strong,
v3) home governments actively use people from these home countries to influence politics and policy in the US to favor the immigrant’s home countries,
4) the decentralized nature of American governance (state and federal also legislative, executive and judicial) gives foreign “influence peddlers” multi points of contact through which they might influence American domestic policy, and
5) refugees from certain third world countries are used by American agencies (e.g. CIA) to influence policies back in these third world countries.
Chap 11 - Fault Lines Old and New
The Shaping Trends -
Four defining trends: 1) disappearance of ethnicity as a defining characteristic, 2) slow blurring of racial distinctions, 3) growing influence of Hispanics, and 4) gap between elites and average people about the importance of a national identity.
The Ending of Ethnicity - inter-marriage between and among ethic groups has blurred or destroyed ethnicity. There is still some sign of religious group identity: mainline Protestant, Jewish, Catholic, Evangelical Protestant. The remaining group identifiers are mostly racial (e.g. black, Asian, etc.). Although with Asian peoples about 50% marry non-Asians. Their personal habits of thrift and hard work combined with a desire for college education causes white Americans to be attracted to Asians.
This trend to intermarry means the melting pot is working at the family level, but seems to be failing at societal level as these new families fail to consistently adopt the Anglo-Protestant culture as their own.
Sociologists ask should we forget a common culture and instead let everyone pick their preferred culture or ethnic identity. In ‘95 three quaters of Americans thought of themselves as “white” or Caucasian. Though many of those people had multi-racial blood lines. There is a growing group that simply identify themselves as “American”, though the census people strongly discourage this practice.
Race: Constant, Blurring, Fading - These factors continue to exist but are fading because of intermarriage, general attitudinal change, and acceptance of a group’s socioeconomic status. In ‘99, 63 percent thought inter-racial marriages were good. Only 26 percent dis approved. By 2050 about 20 percent will identify as multi-racial. (Testing shows 75% of black have at least one non-black ancestor; 22% of whiles have at east one non-white ancestor.) When it happens, the removal of the race question from the census forms will be a great milestone on the path to creating a “comprehensive national identity”.
White Nativism -The profound demographic change occurring in America is highly likely to trigger a nativist reaction. This will come from more than just the fringe element (e.g. David Duke, the Klan, etc.) . Middle class people, with no tie to fringe groups, will also participate. (Trump election could be seen as a outward sign of this phenomenon. ) Huntington writes that this demographic shift necessarily means more heed will have to be paid the habits and behaviors that whites consider intellectually and morally inferior (e.g. the behavior of blacks in Ferguson, the demands that speakers with alternative views be banned from campus, etc.). In Calif. there was a referendum, Prop 187, to deprive illegals of gov’t benefits (e.g. education, welfare, housing ass’t, etc) which passed 59% to 41% but the federal courts declared it unconstitutional.
Whites tend to exaggerate the number of other races in the country. When polled in ‘97, whites thought blacks were 20% of the population and Hispanics 15% when the actual numbers where 13% and 11%.. Lower class whites actually see themselves as victims with no place to go for comfort. In the old days these people would wrap themselves in their ethnic identity “blanket” for support, but intermarriage and mobility has robbed them of this form of solace.
Bifurcation: Two Languages - Two Cultures
Many Hispanic leaders actively encourage the creation of an official bilingual America and discourage Hispanics from becoming proficient in English or leaving the Hispanic “ghetto” to live. These leaders actively seek a bilingual, bi-cultural society. Mexican leadership in Mexico City, particularly foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda, has openly stated the most sensible policy for Mexico is to export its problem underclass to the USA.
The period 1964-65 was a fateful time. In that time Congress passed the Civil Rights Act and a new immigration act. Each put significant pressure on America’s “melting pot”, together they have overwhelmed it.
The former was suppose to be color blind but in reality it created racial preferences that empowered bureaucrats to dictate terms to many Americans and American companies. This created animosity where none should have been.
The latter triggered a wave of Mexican immigration. That cause this group’s numbers to grow 3% to 4% a year for several decades. There were demands for transitional instruction in Spanish which has turned into total bilingual education up to the Junior College level. Under pressure from Hispanics, Congress now funds Hispanic cultural awareness efforts to keep the people “in touch with their roots”.
Increasingly in certain places (e.g. Miami, L.A., New York, etc.) the prevalence of Spanish speakers is so great a new arrival who speaks only Spanish can live a full life without learning any English.
Hispanic leaders have lately argued that all Americans should be required to learn Spanish to get a high school diploma. Richard Riley, former Sec’y of Education, endorsed this idea in 2000. Univision also endorsed this idea figuring the more people who knew Spanish the greater their audience. In Miami bilingual families have higher average incomes than English only households because bilingual people can command better salaries. Texas Democrats had two candidates for governor in 2002 primary that spoke Spanish, so they staged an “Spanish only” debate between them.
The Hispanic/nonHispanic cleavage will replace the Black/White cleavage in America in just a decade or two.
Unrepresentative Democracy: Elites vs the Public - Huntington returns to his theme about liberal American elites pursuing different priorities than the more conservative American middle class.
Elites tend to favor transnational group identities and sub-national group identities whereas middle class people want to support a unified national identity. However, because the elites and liberals are well positioned in opinion forming and policy making positions, conservative middle class ideas rarely get the attention they might deserve. Consider:
Occupation Liberal/Elite Percent
Public Interest Groups 91%
Labor Leaders 73
Movie leaders 67
Religious leaders 59
THE PUBLIC 25
While the vast majority of America hold more conservative opinions the thought leaders are more liberal. This explains why in 1998 the opinions of elites and normal people were separated by between 22 and 43 percentage points on 34 key issues involving foreigners and foreign policy. Elites are more optimistic than average people about the future.
Many elites are prepared to have the American military attempt to solve foreign problems alone, while the public feels the US should wait on coalitions or joint action. On free trade, the gap was 87% of elites favored it and only 54% of the public did. Again 31% of elites favored tariffs when needed, 66% of the public thought tariffs were sometimes needed. On immigration the public support of high levels of immigration has remained below 15% for decades; and yet high level of immigration continue. (The “Trump phenomenon” has been obvious in poll results since the 1980's. It was not whether or not, it was when.)
The gap between elite and public opinion has been widening for decades. This while the public trust in Congress and the President has fallen from about 43% in 1966 to about 12% in 1996. The confidence in the Sup Court has remained mostly constant. Other consequences of this decline in confidence is a general drop in voter participation during elections, and a increase in the number of initiative petitions regarding national identity and the rule of law issues.
Chap 12 - Twenty first Century America: Vulnerability, Religion, National Identity
The Creed in an Age of Vulnerability - The American Creed, mentioned earlier, that defined what being American is about, tricked many elites into thinking such a short statement might serve to bind together a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-racial country so dozens of different cultures could operate side by side. This is proving unworkable. It seems immigrants must: 1) come here to stay, 2) learn English, 3) learn American history, 4) absorb America’s Anglo Protestant culture, and 5) identify primarily with the US, and not equally with their old country and the US.
Ernest Renan said America is “a nation with the soul of a church”. Its soul exists not so much in doctrine but in ritual, hymns, practices, moral commandments, prohibitions, liturgies, saints, heros, military victories, etc. In the 1840's Tocqueville said it is “America’s customs that have allowed it” to become the western hemisphere only functioning democracy .
America Turns to Religion - In 1984 Rev. John Neuhaus complained that America’s Public Square was without religion. Since then there has been a striking rise of Conservative Christian presence in the public square. Two factors of particular interest appeared 1) this movement was mostly led by “born again” Christians and 2) their concern was specifically focused on values, morals, and the standards governing American policy.
The fastest growing religious groups were those most involved in this religious push into the public square. The leaders formed political action committees (e.g.The Moral Majority, Christian Coalition, and Concerned Women for America). These Christians formed over six hundred mega churches with between 2000 and 20000 members across the country by 2002. These groups organized politically and in 2000 delivered 84% of their votes to George Bush. They were pretty unsuccessful pushing on particular issues (they could not beat the elite opinion and donor class) , but their activity energized their members and they changed the focus of political conversation. During campaigns politicians had to speak to these groups even if they ignored them when voting on bills back in DC.
There was a trend in America toward relativistic moral think, this was reflected in Amerca’si classrooms. Moynihan said we “are defining delinquency down” where many forms of immorality will be accepted. Conservative religion offered an antidote. These people wanted clear guidelines on good and evil. More conservative religious practices re-appeared Jews wearing yarmulkes and Catholics going to Latin Masses. By 1971 some 67 percent wanted children praying in school once again.
The Supreme Court had done a lot to create this religious awakening with its prayer in school and abortion decisions, but in the 1990's and 2000's the court became more nuanced accepting some religious arguements and rejecting others. Justice Rehnquist a conservative had warned in 1985 that it was bad history to say there was a solid wall of separation between church and state.
There were three areas of contest between Church and State. 1) was state funding of Church controlled activities (e.g. schools, charities, etc.) 2) the use of government property for religious activities (e.g. could a Bible study group meet in a government office building or school after hours, etc) and 3) gov’t restriction on religiously approved activity (e.g. female genital mutilation by Muslims, polyegamy by Mormons, peyote by Indian tribes, zoning to restrict Church construction in residential areas, etc). Congress and the Supreme Court have had differences about where lines should be drawn in these areas.
Religion became increasingly important in elections. Bush won the Presidency in 2000 with strong religious support and he moved to bring a more moral tone to government. The Clinton years had been marked by numerous charges of immorality and the polls showed the country needed a new direction. Many thought religion should provide that direction.
The Global Resurgence of Religion - America’s turn to religion was matched by a similar world wide turn to religion. Only western Europe did not participate in this phenomenon. The two great missionary religions Islam and Christianity again began to expand aggressively. When conflicts boil down to religious differences, they tend to become zero sum disagreements with little room for compromise. (e.g. only one religion can control the Temple mount in Jerusalem, etc.)
Most small conflicts since the end of the cold war have involved religion and are therefore extremely intense and hard to settle (e.g. Bosnia, Kosovo, Kashmir, Northern Ireland, etc)
Militant Islam vs. America -
Islam is a particular problem for America. America’s support for Israel its ever present media and movie presences in Muslim lands, and its general aggressive policy of Americanization world wide is particular offensive to Muslim leaders.
Islamic push back has been mostly limited to a regular series of terrorist attacks.
Huntington feels George Kennan’s analysis of Communist intentions in 1946 toward the west can be successfully used to understand Islam’s intentions toward America. Kennan felt the USSR could not reach any permanent understanding with the west since their two world views were diametrically opposed, so permanent hostility had to govern their relationship. If the same is true for Islam, the US will be in for at least 100 years of hostility.
Although moderate Muslim expressed outrage over the 9/11 attacks, all Muslim moderates and conservatives alike opposed the west’s invasion of Afghanistan.
America in the World: Cosmopolitan, Imperial, and/or Nationalistic? -
So what is America’s role?
1) Should we welcome all others as brothers offering to share each other’s values and culture? 2) Should we seek to lead and perhaps direct all the others toward our vision of a better world? Or 3) should we focus our attention at home?
The America people seem to prefer the third option. Even military leaders admit America is not strong enough for option number 2. Of course, America’s elite leadership prefers option #1. Here Huntington turns to a 1990-91 scatter plot done by the Inglehart and Carballo plotting religious commitment against patriotism. They call this chart National Pride Versus Importance of God.
Since America is high on both scales it is likely that, in the long run, option number 3 will prevail, and the elites will have to suffer the gradual loss of their current ascendancy.
Militant Islam vs. America - Islam is a particular problem for America. America’s support for Isreal, its ever present media and movie presences in Muslim lands, and its general aggressive policy of Americanization world wide is particular offensive to Muslim leaders.
Islamic push back has been mostly limited to a regular series of terrorist attacks.
Huntington feels George Kennan’s analysis of Communist intentions in 1946 toward the west can be successfully used to understand Islam’s intentions toward America. Kennan felt the USSR could not reach any permanent understanding with the west since their two world views were diametricly opposed, so pemanant hostlity had to govern their relationship. If the same is true for Islam, the US will be in for at least 100 years of hostility.
Although moderate Muslim expresed outrage over the 9/11 attacks, all Muslim moderates and conservatives alike opposed the west’s invasion of Afgainastan.
America in the World: Cosmopolitan, Imperial, and/or Nationalistic? - So what is America’s role?
1) Should we welcome all others as brothers offering to share each other’s values and culture? 2) Should we seek to lead and perhaps direct all the other countries toward our vision of a better world? Or 3) should we focus our attention at home?
The America people seem to prefer the third option. Even military leaders admit America is not strong enough for option number 2. Of course, America’s elite leadership prefers option #1. Here Huntington turns to a 1990-91 scatter plot done by the Inglehart and Carballo plotting religious commitment against patriotism. They call this chart National Pride Versus Importance of God.
Since America is high on both scales it is likely that, in the long run, option number 3 will prevail, and the elites will have to suffer the gradual loss of their current ascendency.
.... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 7/12/14 )
Notes on ..............
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
....... by Samuel Huntington
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order is an expansion of the 1993 Foreign Affairs article written by Samuel Huntington that hypothesized a new post-Cold War world order. Prior to the end of the Cold War, societies were divided by ideological differences, such as the struggle between democracy and communism. Huntington's main thesis argues, "The most important distinctions among peoples are [no longer] ideological, political, or economic. They are cultural" (21). New patterns of conflict will occur along the boundaries of different cultures whereas patterns of cohesion will be found within cultural boundaries.
Part One: A World of Civilizations
To begin his argument, Huntington refutes past paradigms that have been ineffective in explaining or predicting the reality of the global political order. "We need a map," Huntington says, "that both portrays reality and simplifies reality in a way that best serves our purposes" (31). Huntington develops a new "Civilization paradigm" to create a new understanding of the post-Cold War order, and to fill the gaps in the already existing paradigms. To begin with, Huntington divides the world into eight "major" civilizations:
Sinic: the common culture of China, Vietnam, Korea and Chinese communities in S.E. Asia.
Japanese: Japanese culture as distinctively different from the rest of Asia.
Hindu: identified as the core Indian civilization.
Islamic: Originating on the Arabian Peninsula, spread across North Africa, Iberian Peninsula and Central Asia. Arab, Turkic, Persian and Malay are among the many distinct subdivisions within Islam.
Orthodox: centered in Russia. (Separate from Western Christendom.)
Western: centered in Europe and North America.
Latin American: Central and South American countries (mostly Catholic majority.)
Africa: Sub-Sahara Africa is developing a pan-African identity,
Following the explanations of the separate civilizations in the new paradigm, Huntington describes the relations among civilizations. Before 1500 A.D., civilizations were separated geographically and the spread of ideas and technology took centuries. Huntington argues that research and technology are the catalyst for civilization creation and development. By 1500 A.D., evolution in ocean navigation by Western cultures led to rapid expansion and eventual domination of ideas, values, and religion.
Twentieth century relations among civilizations have moved beyond the unidirectional influence of the west on the rest. Instead, "multidirectional interactions among all civilization" has been maintained (53). In other words, cultural influence is interdependent; western civilizations influence and are influenced by smaller, less powerful civilizations around the world.
Huntington then refutes the idea of a Western cultural hegemony and the concept of an established universal civilization. He states that "global communications are dominated by the West" and is "a major source of the resentment and hostility of non-Western peoples against the West" (59). The notion of a single, universal culture is not helpful creating an explanation or a description of global political order. However, Huntington also argues that as modernization increases cross-cultural communication, the similarities among cultures also increase. The key to this chapter is Huntington's severance of modernization from Westernization. While the world is becoming more modern, it is simultaneously becoming less Western, an idea he expands upon in part two of the book.
Part Two: The Shifting Balance of Civilizations
Huntington starts this section by arguing that Western power and influence is fading. There are contrasting views on the West's hold on power. One side argues that the West sill has a monopoly on technological research and development, military strength, and economic consumption. The other side argues that the relative power and influence of Western countries is declining. Huntington adopts the latter view.
Huntington points out that, while shared ancestry, religion, geography, language, and customs. all play a role in forming a culture, a shared religion, or system of beliefs, is the most important in forming a culture or civilization.
Also in this section, Huntington asserts lately the importance of religion has been increasing. He states increased religious commitment has compensated for the psychological disconnections caused by the urbanization and other changes necessitated by modernization Religion is the societal factor that has filled the vacuum created by a loss of identity. Major religions around the world "experienced new surges in commitment, relevance and practice by erstwhile casual believers" (96). Huntington goes on to say that replacing politics with religion was also the result of increased communication among societies and cultures. People "need new sources of identity, new forms of stable community, and new sets of moral precepts to provide them with a sense of meaning and purpose" (97). Religion is able to meet these needs.
Chapter five, Economics, Demography and the Challenger Civilizations, discusses the relative rise in power and influence of non-Western countries. Huntington specifically focuses on Japan, the Four Tigers (Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore), and China as countries, which asserted cultural relevance through economic successes. "Asian societies are decreasingly responsive to United States demands and interests and [are] increasingly able to resist pressure from the U.S. or other Western countries" (104). The ability of Asian countries to successfully modernize and develop economically without adopting western values supports Huntington's assertion that the world is becoming more modernized, but less Westernized.
Muslim societies, unlike Asian societies, have asserted cultural identity through the reaffirmation and resurgence of religion. Huntington argues that the resurgence of Islam "embodies the acceptance of modernity, rejection of Western culture, and the recommitment to Islam as the guide to life in the modern world" (110). Religion is the primary factor that distinguishes Muslim politics and society from other countries. Huntington also argues that the failure of state economies, the large young population, and the authoritarian style of governance have all contributed to the resurgence of Islam in society.
Part III: The Emerging Order of Civilizations
During the Cold War, the bipolar world order enabled countries to identify themselves as either aligned or non-aligned. In the post-Cold War world order, countries are no longer able to easily categorize themselves and have entered into an identity crisis. To cope with this crisis, countries started "rallying to those [cultures] with similar ancestry, religion, language, values, and institutions and distance themselves from those with different ones" (126). Regional organizations have formed that reflect political and economic alliances. These include Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the European Union (EU) and the North American Fair Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Huntington also describes the idea of "torn countries," or countries that have yet to entirely claim or create an identity. These countries include: Russia, Turkey, Mexico, and Australia.
Huntington discusses the new structure of civilizations as centered around a small number of powerful core states. "Culture commonality legitimates the leadership and order-imposing role of the core states for both member state and core external powers and institutions" (156). Examples of core states are China for the Sinic group, Russia for the orthodox group, and the U.S.A. , France, and Germany for the Western group whose sphere of influence ends where Western Christendom ends. In other words, civilizations are strictly bound to religious affiliation. Huntington notes that the Islamic civilization lacks a core state and thus lacks the leadership to successfully develop and modernize in a systematic way. The remainder of this section goes into great detail to explain the different divisions of core states throughout the world.
Huntington also discusses “cleft” states which he defines as having large populations from a different civilization. Examples include: Ukraine (Western with a large Orthodox minority), Philippines (Western with a large Islamic minority), and the United States (Western with a large Hispanic minority), Myanmar (Buddhist with a large Islamic minority).
Huntington also discusses “torn” countries which he defines as having a factor(s) which make it difficult to fully participate in its civilization. Examples include: Australia (a western country, located half a world away from other major western countries, interested in more integration with other states in S.E. Asia), Turkey (an Islamic country with a large number of leaders who still support the ideas of Ataturk and who want to Westernize), and Russia (a Orthodox country with many leaders who are very westernized and would like to be more western).
The author mentions in passing several smaller countries that have their own unique civilizations. These include: Haiti, Ethiopia, and Israel.
Part IV: Clashes of Civilizations
Huntington predicts and describes the great clashes that will occur among civilizations. First, he anticipates a coalition or cooperation between Islamic and Sinic cultures to work against a common enemy, the West. Three issues that separate the West from the rest are identified by Huntington as:
1) The West's ability to maintain military superiority while insisting on the non-proliferation of key technologies to emerging powers.
2) The promotion of Western political values such as human rights and democracy.
3) The Restriction of non-Western immigrants and refugees into Western societies.
Non-Western countries see all three aspects as Western countries’ attempt to enforce and maintain their status as the cultural hegemony.
In the chapter, The Global Politics of Civilizations, Huntington predicts the conflicts between Islam and the West will be small, fault line wars; whereas a conflict between America and say China or Russia or India have the potential to be an "inter-civilizational war of core states" (207).
Islam and the West
Huntington goes into a brief historical explanation of the nature of conflict between Islam and Christianity and then lists five factors that have exacerbated conflict between the two religions in the late twentieth century. These factors are:
- the Muslim population growth has generated large numbers of unemployed and dissatisfied youth that become recruits to Islamic causes,
- the recent resurgence of Islam has given Muslims a reaffirmation of the relevance of Islam compared to other religions,
- the West's attempt to universalize values and institutions, and maintain military superiority has generated intense resentment within Muslim communities. Without the common threat of communism, the West and Islam now perceive each other as enemies,
- increased communication and interaction between Islam and the West has exaggerated the perceived differences between these two cultures (211), and
- Islam and Christianity both claim a monopoly on religious truth and actively work to spread knowledge of their respective beliefs.
Asia, China, and America
For the last two thousand years, China has felt itself the most important country of the world with all others eventually coming to recognize its central importance. More recently economic development in Asia and China has resulted in an antagonistic relationship with America and an increased sense of cultural relevancy. Huntington predicts that the combination of economic success of the East Asian countries and the heightened military power of China could result in a major world conflict. This conflict would be intensified even more by any alignments between Islamic and Sinic civilizations. The end of chapter nine provides a detailed diagram (The Global Politics of Civilizations: Emerging Alliances) which helps explain the complexity of the political relationships in the post-Cold War era (245).
Huntington defines the Soviet-Afghan war and the First Gulf War as signs of the emergence of civilization wars. Huntington interprets the Afghan War as a civilization war because it was seen as the first successful resistance to a foreign power, which boosted the self-confidence, and power of guerrilla fighters in the Islamic world. The war also "left behind an uneasy coalition of Islamic organizations intent on promoting Islam against all non-Muslim forces" (247). In other words, the war created a generation of fighters that perceived the West to be a major threat to their way of life.
The First Gulf War began as a Muslim conflict in which the West intervened; this intervention was widely opposed by non-Westerners and widely supported by Westerners. In the end this war was interpreted as a war of “us” versus “them”...... of Islam v. Christianity.
To better understand the definition of the fault line between civilizations, Huntington provides a description of characteristics and dynamics of fault line conflicts:
1) Communal conflicts between states or groups from different civilizations
2) Almost always between people of different religions
3) Prolonged duration
4) Violent in nature
5) Identity wars, “us” vs. “them”, eventually breaks down to religious identity
6) Encouraged and financed by Diaspora communities
7) Violence rarely ends permanently
8) Propensity for peace is increased with third party intervention
Part V: The Future of Civilizations
In the concluding sections of his book, Huntington discusses the challengers of the West, and whether or not external and internal challenges will erode the West's power. External challenges include the emerging cultural identities in the non-Western world. Internal challenges include the erosion of principle values, morals, and beliefs within Western culture.
He also contributes to the debate between multi-culturalists and mono-culturalists and states that, "A multi cultural world is unavoidable because global empire is impossible. The preservation of the United States and the West requires the renewal of Western identity" (318). The ability for the West to remain a global political power, it needs to adapt to increasing power and influence of different civilizations. Without adapting, the West is destined to decline in power and influence, or it will clash with other powerful civilizations. According to Huntington, the West clashing with another civilization is "the greatest threat to world peace" (321).
................ (The bulk of this article was taken from a review of this book prepared by Hollie Hendrikson of the Conflict Research Consortium located at the University of Colorado. To see Ms Hendrikson’s full review go to beyondintractability.org , Small adjustments and /or additions were made by Hugh Murray.)
...... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 7/21/2014)
An Open Letter to Chief Justice John Roberts
Dear Chief Justice Roberts:
I write you to suggested that you create a committee to refine and implement three small but important legal reforms. These suggestions grow of my personal experience and my intellectual explorations in the political and judicial reform area.
These are the reforms I think are needed:
1) In the criminal prosecution area, plea bargaining should be eliminated. Prosecutors should charge that which they can prove, and once charged they should be required to prove the allegations in front of at least a judge even if the defendant admits guilt. The only bargaining might be around the recommended sentence. (I believe in France they use this limitation on prosecutorial discretion, but they also require two steps to get a conviction: a hearing in front of judges to get an indictment, and second, a trial in front of a jury for a conviction.)
2) The civil litigation system needs to be changed so people with relative small amounts of money at stake can gain access to the courts without having to incur the ridiculous lawyer contingency fees and/or hourly charges or being forced into a settlement without any day in court. I proposed to a state senator in Missouri that we have a system where a dispute involving an original claimed actual damages amount of less than the governor’s annual salary (but more than the small claims limit) be sent to a new court system where a state appointed lawyer organizes the information for presentation to a one judge (or perhaps a three judge) panel for a decision. The state appointed lawyer would be paid from a state fund that would take 5% from each judgement to bolster this fund and with the state helping in the collection of the judgement. The state senator had my idea in the legislative drafting department when he got a call from the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court saying the whole court would openly oppose the idea. The senator called me and apologized saying he had to withdraw the idea. He said too many lawyers make their livings handling these mid-sized cases; he said he knew when he was “out gunned”.
3) At the appeals level we have checks and balances on lower courts because those decisions can be appealed up to the Supreme Court. The legislative and executive branches have a check in that citizens can appeal legislative and executive decisions again to the Supreme Court. So it is clear all “check and balance” roads lead ultimately to the Supreme Court, but we now know the Supreme Court is not immune from taking actions which many would say need some “checking” themselves. (Judge Douglas Ginsburg and Chas Murray have explored these excessive Supreme Court actions at length and more eloquently than I. (See the first 1/3 of By the People: Rebuilding Liberty without Permission by Murray and see Judge Douglas Ginsburg’s talk originally aired 3/1/2018 on the internet; its available at the C-SPAN archives web-site ). Fortunately, Teddy Roosevelt had thought of this loop hole in our Constitutional system of “checks and balances” and proposed in his Bull Moose platform a way to check the court. Building on Roosevelt’s idea I would propose that Supreme Court decisions obtain a 1/3 positive vote in both the House and Senate before being officially promulgated. If a decision fails to get the 1/3 vote the decision would have to be re-written or given a more narrow effect before being resubmitted to the Congress for another vote.
These three changes would if implemented: a) slow the high court’s ability to alter either too quickly or too dramatically long held understandings in American life and culture, b) provide a means for average Americans of modest means to engage in commerce with assurance that they would have cost effective access to the justice system if trouble develops, and c) assure accused defendants that the facts in their case will be proved up in front of a neutral decision maker.
I am uncertain what name should be given to the committee (perhaps Citizens Organized for an Improved Legal System (COILS) ), and I am uncertain about what sorts of people should serve on the committee. I suppose it needs one or two Supreme Court Justices, several trial court judges, and, of course, some prosecutors, former law clerks, public defenders, legal historians, lawyers who do small civil litigation cases, and, of course, a few normal citizens, a wordsmith, and legislators.
Obviously Judge Douglas Ginsburg and Charles Murray should serve. I would propose my friend John Stoeffler (a non-lawyer) from south Florida who has thought about and written extensively on these issues. (His interest was triggered by his long association with Robert Donnelly of the Missouri Supreme Court and John Dierker a former trial court judge in Missouri). From the Supreme Court perhaps Alito, Thomas or Breyer should be asked to serve. My cousin, Kevin Williams of the Carmody MacDonald firm in St Louis, has experience as a gatekeeper on a wide variety of civil cases. Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute has thought deeply about criminal justice issues. Sen Kennedy, Sen. Klobuchar, Rep. Ann Wagner and Rep Emanuel Cleaver are very thoughtful. Perhaps Rep Goodlatte and Sen Hatch would have time to serve, they are retiring. Bob McCulloch, long time prosecutor of St Louis County, just lost his primary, so he might have time to serve. The group might include former clerks such as Laura Ingraham and Ed Whalen along with people who have a historical perspective, such as Jeff Rosen. Finally, the group might need a wordsmith, like Stephen Miller, if a press release or report is needed. This list of people is certainly not exhaustive.
I would be interested in your feedback about the three ideas and your suggestions about who might serve on a committee to refine these ideas and to design a plan to implement the final proposal(s). The three ideas have the advantage of being stand alone ideas so there is no need to do them all at once. Obviously, idea #3 would require a Constitutional amendment. Ideas #1 and #2 would be implemented by state legislatures perhaps motivated by Supreme Court decisions that just happen to note in passing that “all civil litigants must have easy and cost effective access to their day in court which might be provided by having a mid-sized claims court possessed of the follow characteristics: .....” or “no criminal defendant maybe sentenced or punished until after the evidence against him has been presented to a trial judge who must agree the evidence meets the standard of proof; additionally, both the prosecutor and defendant must sign a statement asserting that they never discussed any alternative charges”.
I know these are ill formed, embryonic ideas for correcting these three areas that need process reform. I’m just don’t have the background to flesh out the details. Nevertheless, I would be willing to help in anyway I can.
.... .(prepared by Hugh Murray on 10/22/2018)...............
Notes on Tucker Carlson’s book -Ship of Fools
Sect 1 - Intro - Why Trump?
Trump is a bit like Clinton . Both men knew the people would over look personal short comings if policies were pursued that provided relief on issues of concern to the middle class.
There has been a profound drop in the size of the middle class. This makes America hard to govern. In a democracy a vibrant middle class is essential. In 1970 the middle class took home 70% of family income. By 2015 the middle class took only 43% . Additionally, the Bush economic crash caused the middle class to lose a large amount of wealth. The migration of factories to other countries helped as well. Today the upper class seldom mix with what is left of the middle class. Upper class people are doing so well, they don’t go to McDonald’s anymore.
Democrats formerly talked about the plight of the middle class and, of course, Republicans never liked to talk about the wealth gap. Today American politicians stoke class envy. They don’t understand that class envy kills any democracy. Venezuela is an example of a democracy destroyed by class envy.
Democrats have encouraged rapid demographic change through mass, low skill immigration which forces down wages, exacerbates the wealth gap, and feeds class envy. Since Republicans always like workers that will work for lower wages there is a natural alliance of interests here. In addition to high levels of legal immigration, some 15 million illegals have been allowed to enter, raise families, and work here since 1965.
Immigration, in theory, is good but at the current rate it makes people jumpy and tribal. We have lost our shared culture. People need something in common to hold their nation together. Today politicians just repeat shallow mantras “All will be well because it always has been”..... “ Diversity is our strength.”
Now there is talk of another 25 million low income jobs going away because of automation. What do all the immigrants do when their jobs disappear? Will they go home? Not likely. Gallup has polled on this issue many, many times and never have the respondents supported current levels of immigration either legal or illegal. And yet politically nothing has changed.
Many wars of minor importance have been fought and they have all been unpopular over time. Furthermore, we import lots of people from countries known for their terrorism. Elites don’t care about the people they lead. Opiate deaths have gone up 400% in recent years. The response has been tepid nothing like the response to Aids or Crack. Opiates are much worse than Aids and Crack but the response is lacking. Why? Perhaps because drug companies make lots of money and contribute money to politicians.
Elites have no idea how oblivious they are. Elites live in there own world. They don’t know the people they lead. Wisdom and empathy are lacking. Elites size up this country as something they can make money off of. They seem to feel a better group of people can be found elsewhere to replace traditional Americans.
Oligarchies, posing as democracies, will always be overthrown in the end. The elites reacted to Trump by figuring out ways to remove him from office and/or tie him up so he would be ineffective.
The elites don’t look for the obvious problems. Instead they seek to blame unrelated things like Russian influence or global warming. Our elites lack self awareness, and they see Trump as the enemy When in reality the elites themselves are the problem.
Elites don’t like what middle class people are saying so they begin to control speech and regulate private institutions (e.g. churches, schools, etc.)
A revolution is underway. Trump started it. Hopefully it won’t get violent, but it will be wrenching. The relevant contest is not Republican vs Democrat, it is those who support the status quo versus those who don’t.
Sect 2 - Convergence - of the elites from each party
In the past the economy and gov’t policy that affected people’s household economy (e.g. tax rates, welfare programs, etc.) were the stuff of politics.
Tucker as a youth lived in Calif and was surrounded by liberals. His teacher Mrs Raymond was particularly liberal. They did a lot of projects promoting liberal goals. She hated white breads. She kept asking questions designed to trigger guilt. One day she finally snapped. She had the class sit for half hour silently in a darkened classroom because the world was “unfair”.
This unfairness was accepted by Republicans. It was raged against by Democrats. As a youth, Carlson applauded this difference, but it began to disappear in the ‘90's perhaps because of the tech boom. Liberal publications began celebrating very rich tech businessmen. Democrats and Republicans began accepting low wages, automation, unfavorable trade deals, and mass immigration. Think of it, migrant farm workers were treated just like Amazon fulfillment center workers are treated today. Now “High Tech” is on the verge of destroying another 25 million jobs.
Ralph Nader is an example of this change operating on the left. He was originally a hero of the left, but in the end he was driven into oblivion because he ran for President in 2000, and the Democrats feel he is the reason Bush beat Gore. Nader now writes editorials for his own web site where he criticizes the likes of Amazon and Jeff Bezos. On the other hand, Slate, the liberal publication, likes Jeff Bezos types. Liberals also dislike Nader because he refuses to suck up to the rich businesses men who give heavily to Democrat candidates.
Rich tech executives gave 60 times more money to Hilary and Democrats than money to Republicans and Trump . It’s funny to see this switch by big business leaders to the Democrats.
Today’s big business men are committed liberals who just happen to make lots of money. They have been told the current order is proper and have no first hand knowledge of average people. Rich folks feel the rich deserve their wealth. The rich now feel those that don’t have wealth did not working smart enough or hard enough. These rich people feel the poor must be helped but the unfortunate middle class just have to live with their failures.
Apple makes iPhones in a factory where people get $2/hr. People there have a high suicide rate. The Chinese company has installed nets so workers can’t go to an upper story of the factory and jump. Apple is headed up by a fashionable “gay” man, so the media likes him and his company. Elites don’t see themselves as a ruling class, they pretend they are like everyone else. So they don’t feel they have a responsibility to those who lose jobs because of corporate decisions.
Seventy years ago the talking heads would be talking about these facts. Today nothing is said. Studs Turkel wrote a best selling book about the concerns of working people in the 1930's. Today that book wouldn’t sell to the “literati” class unless it had a twist (e.g. “machinists loses job but manages to become a programmer”).
“What can we do to help?” This is Uber’s question to the country. They have over 1,000,000 independent contractors (not employees so Uber avoids min. wage and benefit requirements). One third of Uber drivers lose money driving for Uber, another 1/3 don’t make the equivalent of the min wage. Financial press doesn’t report on this. Liberal protestors objected to Uber’s President serving on a Trump business advisory committee ..... not to the company’s parsimonious pay policy.
Today both political parties agree that a public company only has an obligation to its shareholders. Marissa Mayer at Yahoo ran the company into the ground while taking $239,000,000 in pay and bonuses. ($900,000 for every week of mis-management). Liberals celebrated her tenure at Yahoo.
Zuckerberg is richer than Carnegie; but he has never worked with average people the way Carnegie did. Zuckerberg is presenting an addictive product to people but receives little criticism. He was accused of stealing the company and then settled the case for millions with little criticism. Zuckerberg said social norms have eliminated privacy so he doesn’t feel any obligation to hold his user’s personal data private.
Facebook can build accurate profiles of people based on their Facebook posts. 182 million people use Facebook daily. The president of Facebook said they have figured out how to override the user’s other desires and keep you on Facebook. They get people to use their product by hitting them with notices at just the right times. Facebook changes our relationships with our friends and relatives. One of their V.P.s said Facebook has gravely injured society. The more time you spend on Facebook (and/or its subsidiary Instagram) the more depressed you become.
Facebook can deduce a user’s emotional state by their posts and then feed ads accordingly. No one in Congress cares much about any of this.
Zuckerberg wants “to make the world a more open place” but the media never talks about Facebook’s addictive aspects, instead they ask for more censorship of the communications going back and forth across Facebook. The company has increased the censorship on its site. They also adjust the “trending status” on different types of current news items. In one year they blocked 55,000 posts based upon requests from foreign governments.
Zuckerberg has launched a not for profit - called FWD/US - to urge more immigration with easy paths to citizenship and little deportation. FWD/US also runs political ads for and against politicians it likes.
Hilary was a big opponent of elites when she gave a speech as a senior in college. Today all that is changed. Hilary refused to address middle class concerns even though her polling showed she should. She lost.
Chesley went from prep school to Sanford. Then Oxford then on to McKinsey + Co. where she got $123,000 per year. She went to Marc Lasry’s hedge fund; she bought a $ 5,000,000 condo; then she went to NBC at $600,000/yr. “To serve in the public good” She did few stories. She appeared in 58 minutes of programming over 3 years.
She has been on IAC’s board since age 24 at $300,000 in cash and stock per year. IAC is a Barry Diller company. Of local interest, UMKC paid her $65,000 to speak on that campus.
Clinton Foundation’s mailing list has been used to raise money for Chesley’s husband’s Greek Fund which lost 95% of its value. Parade Magazine gave her a glowing bio. She was praised for her advanced vocabulary (e.g. “matrix”, “quandary”, etc) and forward thinking. She authored a children’s book.
Today, Chesley is a “public intellectual”. She comments on Twitter and writes Op Ed’s. Her work is quite bland. However, she continues to be the subject of regular complimentary magazine articles.
Sect 3 - Importing a Serf Class - about the reaction to mass immigration
In the old days (1950's) all leaders sought the good of average Americans.
Cesar Chavez was a big name in Calif. Today illegal immigrants hold Chavez on a pedestal, but in fact Chavez did not like any immigration particularly low skilled or illegal immigrants; he said such people forced down the wages of his union members.
Chavez said his union would never be effective until the Mexican border was controlled. Chavez would have his people go out and attack illegals down near the border. He called his lines of union people “wet lines” to stop the wet backs. His people would beat illegals with chains.
Carlson reviewed all the laws from 1860 to 1920 that tightly controlled immigration. These laws were backed by organized labor and most Democrats who followed the unions’ position. Additionally, those immigrants that were allowed in had to assimilate.
As the Vietnam War ended, the leadership of Calif. opposed the arrival of 500,000 Vietnamese refugees. Even McGovern opposed a big influx of Vietnamese.
Even as late as Bill Clinton, Democrats opposed open immigration. He supported Rep. Barbara Jordon who wanted controlled immigration with forced Americanization of the immigrants. However, lately Democrats have been talking about the benefits of the economic competition of immigrants; this idea seems to have been borrowed from the Libertarian Party.
Carlson quotes from the Democratic 2000 platform - at that time the democrats had a balanced approach to immigrants. By 2008 the party was advocating an across the board amnesty for illegals. By 2016 there were no immigration skeptics on the left at all. By then immigration had become a civil rights issue, an agenda item for the party. “Incorporate them completely” was the new standard for illegal immigrants.
The U.S. was 84% white in ‘65; it was 62% white in 2016. This happened because of heavy immigrant flows from around the world to the US combined with a declining birth rate among American whites.
Trump had to depend on Ryan to pass immigration legislation in 2016 -17. However, Ryan had no desire to help. Ryan felt there should not be restrictions on immigration. Indeed Ryan introduced a bill which restricted spending on the US border wall, while routing funding to other countries for their border enforcement needs (e.g. Jordon with Syria).
Other officials have been frustrating immigration laws in many ways. A judge let a immigrant defendant on trial for a traffic charge leave the court house via her private side door because ICE agents were waiting in the hall outside her court room to arrest the defendant.
Storm Lake Iowa has many immigrants who work in a Tyson meat processing plant. The community has seen violent crime shoot up and school test scores fall. Tyson gets workers, while the community pays the price.
High end communities are little affected by the disruptions and costs of immigration. For instance, Obama’s new neighborhood is 8% minority while most other communities have become more and more minority, Obama did not chose to go to an area with lots of immigrants. Why?
Early on some environmentalists were worried about the environmental affects of heavy immigration. So the Democrats were torn between immigration and the environment. In the end, they chose immigration. Some black activists came out against mass immigration and were attacked by the New York Times. Today both the Sierra Club and the Southern Poverty Law Center are pro-immigration.
Elites like immigration because it creates a lot of household help for their homes. Elites prefer non-white, non-English speakers as household help. Carlson speculates that a white English speaking maid has a tenancy to make an elite feel a little guilty, after all the white maid might be a distant cousin.
Trump shocked suburban upper middle class housewife when he said he was going to cut off the flow of Mexican maids. The public services needed for such a maid and her dependants costs a lot and the general public pays for these services (e.g. food stamps, public school for her child, uncompensated care at the local hospital, etc.) .
Elites have more empathy for immigrants than native born Americans. Middle class Americans are now starting to die earlier and earlier; an increased suicide rates is one factor, beyond that no one knows what’s happening here. Perhaps the middle class feel the leadership class in this country doesn’t care what is happening to their jobs and neighborhoods?
Employers feel the same way that liberal elites feel; after all, immigrants will work for lower wages than native born Americans.
Evidently it has become leaders against everyone else.
Sect 4 - Foolish Wars - An analysis of Washington D.C.’s many hawks
Here Carlson looks at Washington’s proclivity for war and the sorts of people who promote these wars.
Max Boot is Carlson’s first target. Boot has promoted or is promoting war with Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, etc. The man has advocated closing down all banking relations with Russia (which would require that trade be conducted by barter). Boot has a solution to the backlash that comes when Americans get hurt or killed by endless war. He proposes the wide use of mercenaries from other countries.
Young people are very suspicious of war. After repeated failure at war making since 1945, they have supported McCarthy, McGovern, Carter and now more and more Trump. America’s young people are very suspicious of endless war.
Liberals are interesting on war. They will support wars initiated by others where the US is just joining in, but liberals are very suspicious of wars where the US is the prime mover. Liberals are right to point out the unintended consequences of war. It seems wars take unpredictable turns once they are underway.
Clinton was a smart liberal. He saw Dukakis lose because he didn’t take war seriously enough (remember the Dukakis ride in the tank with the helmet askew). Clinton as both governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate authorized the execution of a retarded murderer to show his toughness. As President Clinton made war on the cheap. He bombed both Serbia and Iraq extensively but committed no ground troops.
In 2002 everyone backed Bush’s move into Iraq, but many including the New York Times regretted their support. They said reporters did not question enough, they let Bush’s people lie. Obama was also a war President. He killed perhaps 4000 people with drones, even authorized the killing of Americans with drones. Obama helped trouble makers in Libya overthrow Kaddafi with no clear idea of what would follow. Libya used to block sub Saharan Africans from flooding through Libya to attempt a crossing to Italy, today no attempt is made to stop the thousand who try to float over to Italy every week. When Obama left office the US had military personal at 800 foreign bases in 70 different nations.
By 2016 both liberals and conservatives were warlike. Trump felt the entire Washington establishment was pro-war. In Mar 2017 Trump said US is now neutral on regime change in Syria; though he did respond to the chemical attack(s) with some bombs.
Washington does not care much about the effectiveness of a given warlike act, instead they look at the feelings, the intentions that motivated the act; good feeling equal a good act. Liberal are therefore always congratulating themselves on their laudatory motives, and of course, Washington always prospers when a war is underway. This steady prosperity has made Washington a surprisingly stable city with lots of thriving middle class neighborhoods. It has a low divorce rate and lots of stay at home mothers.
Neo-conservative Republicans, like Bill Kristol, hold that non-war loving Republicans (like Rand Paul and Pat Buchanan) should be expelled from the party. Tucker used to work for Kristol at the Weekly Standard. Kristol always wanted hit pieces written on the peace loving Republicans. Tucker regrets he actually did those a few times.
At the Weekly Standard , Tucker also met a less likable, less intelligent version of Kristol, named Bob Kagan. Tucker and others would raise arguments against Kagan’s hawkishness and wouldn’t be greeted with reasoned argument but with shouts and yells. Kagan and Kristol had no idea of what would follow Saddam’s removal, they just wanted Saddam out of Iraq.
Kristol liked Trump when he said he wanted to put America First, but he turned 180 degrees when Trump began to make it clear that his goals did not include throwing our military muscle around everywhere. Kristol got so mad, he even tried to recruit a candidate to oppose Trump as a third party candidate on the right. The idea was to drain votes away from Trump and thereby elect Hilary. Fortunately for Trump, his unknown candidate, Evan McMullan a former CIA employee, got less than 1% of the vote in the Nov. ‘16 election.
Kristol was removed from his position at the Weekly Standard because of declining circulation. He remains intellectually cut off from the current reality in Washington. In Feb. 2018 he said he has come to prefer immigrants over native born Americans. He said most native born Americans are “too spoiled”. They are “know nothings” who support Trump.
Sect 5 - Shut Up they Exclaimed -
Here Carlson looks at how elites feel about free speech for the American people.
He notes our founders were very interested in free speech. That is probably why it is in the First Amendment. They knew that free speech makes informed thought possible for people.
But political leaders are always a little leery of free speech. In the Wilson administration Congress passed a law prohibiting people from using their free speech to promote actions that hurt the war effort. A man, name Charles Schenck, was prosecuted and convicted by the Wilson administration for using his free speech to discourage young men from registering for the draft. After the war was over, he was released from jail.
The ACLU had for decades been a big defender of free speech. Once they even defended a Nazi group that wanted to parade around in a Jewish neighborhood outside of Chicago. But in 2017 they had a policy change. The organization is no longer absolute on the protection of free speech.
In the 1980's a couple of law professors developed the concept of “hate” speech. Their formulation gradually caught on. In 2017 Howard Dean a medical doctor and former governor of Vermont announced that Hate Speech was no longer protected. A senator from Rhode Is. proposed that it should be illegal for oil companies to oppose global warming advocates. A bill was actually introduced in the Calif legislature which would have made it illegal for anyone in Calif to question global warming. The bill did not become law.
In silicon valley the war on free speech is alive and well. The President of Mozilla was forced out because he had, years earlier, opposed gay marriage. A director of Facebook, Peter Thiel, was force out because he supported Trump. A middle manager at Google named James Damore, was forced out for speculating in an essay about why people of different backgrounds have different capabilities. He argued that more diversity would probably be good for Google. His paper was intended for a narrow circulation among some friends, but it got out and necessitated his departure.
This kind of thinking has infected our media and our institutions of higher learning. Even a professor stating a fact to a fellow professor can create a crisis. A gay professor in Texas made a remark to a fellow professor, a woman about to marry a Muslim . His remark was that his open gay sexual proclivity would cause him to be killed in at least ten Muslim countries. Just stating this fact to a colleague was “hate” speech and got the gay professor fired.
In the 1960, Sen Church investigated the CIA and FBI who were suspected of spying on Americans. His work lead to the establishment of a FISA court, designed to supervise spying on Americans. Now, sixty years later, the country is learning that these same agencies used false records to get a FISA court to authorize spying on a Presidential campaign.
Most major media in America has decided that this behavior by the CIA and FBI is not worthy of being reported. How are the people to have informed thoughts if the purveyors of information don’t purvey relevant information? Instead these media outlets bring on Obama officials who pose as experts and assure people all evils resides with Trump.
Is it any wonder that 52% of Democrats now approve of restrictions on free speech?
Sect 6 - The Diversity Diversion
In this long section of the book Carlson explores several aspects of the black/white divide in the country.
In America leaders attract support by stoking group grievance and group demands. This tactic focuses attention on past problems and not on the better tomorrow that might be had if all worked in unison. Leaders who wish to unify are in short supply in today’s America.
Harvard promotes disunity by haveing a black only graduation separate from the big graduation for everyone else. Colorado has all black dorms now. Student Unions at college have areas where white male students are not allowed. Black students can now prohibit whites from sitting at their table even when the student union is crowded and chairs are in short supply.
Elites, who formerly demanded integration of whites and blacks, now support black demands for “spaces of color” or “black only spaces”. Years ago Bob Jones University got in trouble for having a policy against interracial dating; today white men are the pinnacle of evil and may be openly discriminated against. One white co-ed said she had decided not to have children because she would thus perpetuate white superiority.
Black demands are expanding all the time. One group is now saying only black professors can teach black studies courses. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has advocated for a black only state within the United States.
Obama revealed his racism when he spoke on the occasion of a black sniper shooting two police officers who were protecting some peaceful black demonstrators on the street below. Even though the shooter was a black man, Obama choose the occasion to talk about white racism.
Carlson notes the only way to fight against bigotry and intergroup hatred is to promote a lot of inter-group association and contact.
There is a popular black author named Coates who has written several books about racism. He claims racism is getting worse; he is demanding reparations; he says enlightened whites will accept responsibility for injuring blacks in the past so long as these whites don’t have to change in the present. Politico has named him one 50 most important people in the world today. While major publications gush about Coates, black book reviewers have had little good to say. It turns out Coates has experienced little racism personally. A beloved friend was killed by a policeman’s bullet, however it later turned out the policeman was black. Cornell West a black intellectual says Coates is neo-liberal clinging to the idea of white supremacy. A black linguist, named McWhorter, said if Coates had been white he would never have gotten such glowing reviews for his mediocre prose.
Meanwhile elite whites are pushing back against certain school board moves to help blacks. When NYC schools attempted to promote integration by redrawing the service area boundaries for each grade school, the white mothers complained that this plan would reduce their property values and reduce test schools in their now mostly white neighborhood schools. Carlson wonders if these same elites didn’t realize that the middle class parents in Boston had raised the same alarms when integration was ordered for their children decades earlier.
Carlson points out the percentage of blacks in the neighborhoods where certain liberal elites currently live: Maxine Waters 6% (she doesn’t actually reside in her heavily black congressional district), Elizabeth Warren 6%, Mayor deBlasio 5%, and Bill and Hilary Clinton 2%.
Carlson also points out that Democratic strongholds tend to highly segregated and very tribal. The results, he feels, of a steady stream of divisive leaders, who have assured their re-election by praying on past grievances and current fears, real and imagined, of their people. Washington D.C and Chicago are prime examples of where this kind of leadership is found.
The author recounts the story of a nationwide coordinated series of parades to celebrate earth day and bemoan/protest global warming. The organizing committee wanted diversity on the science panel but black scientists in the hard sciences were in short supply, so they expanded the agenda to include a lot of social science “problems” (e.g. immigration bans, condemnation of drones, etc.). However, this move caused many of the hard scientists to leave the project. Some parades had to be cancelled and discord marked others. In Memphis the black and whites ended up holding two separate parades.
Carlson notes that some Democrats have advocated laws mandating the same pay for blacks and whites regardless of skill. They have also advocated requiring the police to arrest the same percentage of whites and blacks. Our author is waiting for the day the whites are a minority so they can organize into groups to advocate for white interests like the existing interest groups (e.g. NAACP, La Rasa, CAIR, etc)
Sect 7 - Elites invade the Bedroom
(In this section Carlson recounts the changes that the Women’s Movement has had on American culture. He begins by noting that he had always heard it is prudent to take advice about life from happy well adjusted people. He goes on to note that he has yet to meet a happy, well adjusted feminist. Evidently he says this to warn his readers about what follows. )
Carlson notes the women’s movement began with the publication of the Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan in the 50's. This book questioned whether women should be happy simply in the homemaking role. Friedan did not demand equality for women she simply asked that women be “given a chance” at other roles if they wanted.
Today 55% of students in 4 yr. institutions are women and most middle management positions are now held by women. But most women are now more depressed, and they work a lot harder than before. Women who are able to live a traditional homemaker life style are generally significantly happier.
Women liberation has become a straight jacket for women. There are now lists of “the acceptable” and of “the unacceptable”. A women’s march was scheduled and all women’s groups were invited. One group was accepted to participate, until it came out that this woman’s group was devoted to protecting the unborn. Their acceptance was immediately rescinded.
Liberated women used to praise Clinton for his help keeping abortion legal, but they never complained about his attacks on women. Ted Kennedy, after his auto accident with Mary Jo Kopechne, remained a hero of the women’s movement.
Affluent feminists don’t appreciated how difficult life is for middle class women in America or for the truly oppressed conditions that many women live in overseas. Many middle class women in America find themselves either juggling several jobs mother, homemaker and employee . While foreign women are subjected to some really horrific realities (e.g. in Pakistan over 1000 women are killed annually under Sharia Law) This evil called honor killing, has recently shown up in Michigan, California and Georgia.
However, the liberal women’s group, NOW, still supports easy immigration from Muslim countries and encourages traditional practices even those that restrict women’s freedom.
Carol Sandberg of Facebook argues that ideally every occupation in the country should be manned 50% by men and 50% by women. She sees 50% of homemakers being men and 50% of Dow 30 CEO’s being women. Her ideas deny the differences between men and women. The fact is women are drawn to the “homemaker - child rearing” role and men are drawn to life in the world earning a living for their families.
Carlson now makes a few comments on homosexual behavior and the transgender phenomenon.
Regarding these Carlson notes: 1) about 88% of young people who express confusion over their sex or sexual orientation will over time accept their biological sex. This high percentage does not deter social liberals from demanding that sex change hormone treatments and /or surgeries be provided to these confused teens. 2) Prurient minded, middle aged men have started to use sexual preference statutes to enter women’s locker rooms. They make this claim so they can observe naked women. Managers of exercise facilities have tried to stop them, but these new laws make it difficult. 3) Young men, who have had gender change operations, are now rising to the top in various women’s sports. If the current trends continue winning women’s sports teams may soon be composed mostly of these “altered” humans.
Carlson moves on to look more deeply at the probable effects that “women’s liberation” has had on middle class men. Regarding this he says: 1) The suicide rate among white middle class men is rising, so are alcoholism and drug abuse rates, 2) the testosterone levels and sperm counts of middle class white men are down about 40%, 3) well paid manufacturing jobs have gone overseas by the millions causing changes in the American family where the wife can now make more in some service job than her man can make in the jobs now available to men, 4) divorce rates are higher particularly for men who have lost well paying jobs, 5) the sons of divorced men experience problems in school, with the police, and with drugs.
Carlson gives a few miscellaneous statistics about women, men, families etc.: 1) when men’s wages drop marriage rates drop and out of wedlock births increase, 2) women rather than men are most likely to get all degrees from associates to PhD. (i.e. associates 62% women, bachelor’s 57%, Master’s 60%, and PhD’s 52%), 3) women say they prefer to marry a men that make more than they do, 4) teenaged boys are more likely to drop out of high school than teenaged girls.
There is a story at the end of this section about FDR’s CCC program which started in 1933. Young men, thrown out of work by the depression, were given jobs working in rural areas on public works improvements. They were paid $30/mo and had to send $25 home. It gave the men paid work which restored their self image and they were required to recognize and fulfill their duty to support their family, be it their parents or their wives.
A couple of universities have gone so far as to discourage male masculinity. Courses questioning masculinity have been established, and they have other anti-masculinity initiatives around campus. Carlson remarks that any attempt to alter or discourage a natural trait found in half on mankind has to be opposed.
Sect 8 - They Don’t Pick Up Trash Anymore
In this section the author focuses on changes in the environmental movement from its beginnings working on cleaning things up to a highbrow movement focused of such things as carbon emissions and global warming.
The section begins with recalling of an old tv ad which showed an American Indian, named Iron Eyes Cody, standing on the shoulder of a road. Iron Eyes is crying as the trash people are pitching out of their cars lands at his feet.
This ad made people aware of the natural environment and people responded by organizing to clean up the roads, the streets, the streams, the parks, etc. Organizations were founded to promote these effort. (e.g. Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, etc.). These efforts really did a good job cleaning up America.
Today there are thousands who live on the street as homeless people and generate huge amounts of trash and fecal material. All this is seldom cleaned up. To save money cities have been removing trash cans from the streets because they have to be emptied regularly. The fecal material is particularly problematic because many homeless people have lost limbs from infections cause by the e-coil bacteria found in feces .
So these environmentalists are there helping clean things? No, today’s environmentalists have moved on to the carbon discharge and global warming problems.
They have created a new category called “environmental racism” which allows these activist to involve themselves in immigration policy, DACA policy, inner city policing policy, energy policy, etc. Today environmentalists are presented with dilemmas. For instance, they support alternative energy sources like wind turbines. But wind turbines attract birds and, of course, they kill thousands of birds . So the environmentalists who had advocated for legislation to protect endangered bird species from being killed have lately advocated that wind turbines be except from these laws.
In another instance, a illegal immigrant started a forest fire in California which burned thousand of acres. The immigrant had evidently gotten scared and decided not to raise the alarm with fire authorities who could probably have contained the fire had they been informed quickly. Environmentalists who normally like to protect trees, decided the illegal immigrant deserved their support rather than the trees.
There is a surprising disconnect between millionaires and the environmental movement. Millionaires love to support the environmental movement, but they also love their private jets which are notorious for their high carbon emissions per passenger mile flown. There is a story about the actor, Leonardo diCaprio, who won an environmental award which was to be presented one evening in LA during a time when he was working on a project in France. DiCaprio’s solution: take a private jet from France to Calif to receive the environmental award and fly back immediately. This decision earned diCaprio the title “biggest hypocrite”.
The bottom line for environmentalist today is not so much how people act but rather how they feel about the issues, It is interesting the Paris Climate Accord was negotiated in a hotel very near the largest airport for private jets in Europe.
It is unfortunate that climate science is so imprecise. In 2007 the UN predicted that if drastic action was not taken immediately in the developed world, rapid global warming and sea level rises would be unstoppable by 2012. However, temperatures and the sea levels have not followed the predictions. It turns out we lack enough data to make such predictions. Science does not lead to a final result ;rather science is a process where each question answered presents ever more questions.
A professor at Colo got in hot water for writing a article in which he pointed out that storms are not getting more destructive; instead the higher clean up costs come from the fact that people want to build right on the water’s edge.
In closing Carlson recounted a recent fishing outing he took on the Potomac near Washington DC. He recalled fishing this same area twenty years ago and the banks were free of trash, but today the trash has returned, the environmental groups have lost interest.
Sect 9 - Epilogue
Our government is so big and its laws and regulations are so complex and changeable, few people can keep track of the rules that govern their lives. In addition, inequality in society is increasing. All this is happening in a democracy where people have the ability to lash out and do things like .... elect Trump.
In such a situation, only one of two solutions are possible: 1) stop average people from voting (but this would require setting up a police state) or 2) try to understand the people’s real concerns and address those concerns.
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