Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:53

Summary for December 2017

The following is a summary of the December 2017 issue of the St. Croix Review:

Angus MacDonald, who founded the St. Croix Review in 1968, fifty years ago, in “Under God,” offers a simple message.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Christ Church Turns Away from George Washington — and American History,” comments on the decision of Christ Church to remove plaques honoring George Washington and Robert E. Lee; in It Is an Appropriate Time to Review Race-based Affirmative Action Programs and Return to the Goal of a Color-blind Society,” writes about university admissions policies; in “An Inspiring Memoir: Kate Mahoney Is with Us Today Because of a (Vatican Decreed) Miracle,” tells an inspiring story.

Mark W. Hendrickson in “The NFL’s National Anthem Fiasco,” considers the roles played by the players, the owners, the commissioner, President Trump, and the media and he offers a simple solution.

Paul Kengor, in “Forgotten Conservative: Remembering George Schuyler,” celebrates the memory of a stalwart anti-communist newspaper columnist in the middle of the 20th century who happened to be black; in “Birthday of a Bloodbath,” he tallies the murders Communist butchers perpetrated on the 100-year anniversary of Communism; in New York Times: Communism ‘Made Life Better’ for Chinese Women,” he points out that Communist China has 20 percent of the world’s women and over 50 percent of world’s female suicides.  

Herbert London, in “Radicalism Challenges American Tradition,” describes an alliance between Islamists and Marxists in an attempt overthrow constitutional America; in “The Really Big Threat,” he believes America, Europe, and Western heritage are imperiled by low birthrates and massive immigration; in “Putin Seeks to Drive a Wedge Between the U.S. and Egypt,” he see the Russians gaining influence in Egypt due to uncertain American commitment; in “Withdraw from the Nuclear Deal Now,” he makes the case the nuclear deal with Iran is not a deterrent and is not in U.S. interests; in “The Emerging New World,” he describes a dark revolutionary force rising in America.

Frank Boreham, a columnist for Melbourne Age from 1936 to 1959, wrote “The Logic of Laughter.” Frank Boreham was an inspiration to Angus MacDonald when Angus was a young man living in Australia. This essay was published in The St. Croix Review, in June, 2001.

Anthony Harrigan, in “The Changing Human Landscape,” reminds us of how much we each depend on each other for stability and peace of mind.

Thomas Martin, in “The Curse of ‘Culture’” castigates pop-theology, and reminds us that the human soul has a built-in capacity for growth.

Harlow A. Hyde, in “The Slow Suicide of Western Civilization,” uses demographic trends as a warning for Western nation of the consequences of falling rates of births.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Landscapes of My Past,” writes about the impact of seeing cultivated fields reverting to wilderness.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 68: Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946),” presents a storyteller with flair of making readers care about personalities of animals, such as a wolf a crow, a rabbit, a fox, a mustang, and a partridge.

Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:43

December 2017 Poems

1.

Galveston — 1900

Galvestonians had no warning of

The hurricane howling and impending

And six thousand were lost on Sunday night

And debris covered the ground three miles long

 

And two stories high while the bodies of

The missing were swept out to sea but the

Survivors were left with the question of

Staying or abandoning the island

 

Fleeing the sticky sweltering summers

Saying good riddance to the mosquitoes

And mostly who would abide in a place

Where God had swept with a mighty hand and

 

Destroyed years of careful habitation

And they decided somehow to rebuild.

 

 

Starting over

someplace new

couldn’t be done

because their roots

had taken hold.

 

2.

The Seawall

Logs of yellow pine from Beaumont Texas

Were driven through the sand forty feet down

Into the clay and concrete composed of

Crushed granite was layered over as a

 

Foundation reinforced with steel rods and

Before the seawall was built giant blocks

Of granite from central Texas were placed

On an apron as a buffer from the

 

Bay and granite of diverse sizes made

A riprap breakwater extending out

Twenty-seven feet and a concave wall

Was raised in sections with the curve facing

 

The water and a tongue and groove system

Connected pieces allowing movement.

 

Galvestonians

asserted a wall

seventeen feet tall

above a low tide

against coming storms.

 

3.

The Galvestonians determined that

Five hundred square blocks of the city had

To be raised seventeen feet so they dug

A canal behind the seawall for the

 

Dredge boats from Germany and they lifted

Two thousand buildings onto stilts and the

Boats scooped the fill from the bay and by means

Of capacious pipes a mix of water

 

And sand was pumped into place while the pipes

Were continuously repositioned

And people moved about on hoisted

Boardwalks and by street cars running on rails

 

That were doggedly reconfigured and

Finally Galvestonians were done.

 

The engines of the

dredge boats pumped mostly water

but grain by grain of

sand settled in place until

the town was elevated.

 

4.

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church had the panache

Of a European cathedral — a

Stone structure of monumental heft with

A tower and stained glass windows — that had

 

To be raised so the Galvestonians

Employed one hundred laborers who turned

Seven hundred jackscrews one half inch at

A time and over thirty-five days they

 

Raised the church five feet and poured a concrete

Foundation and the feat was accomplished

Without cracking the walls while services

Continued without an interruption

 

Showing that faith and ingenuity

Can in deed move a mountain of limestone.

 

Not everyone

Believed the deed

Could be done but

Some had to be

Optimistic.

 

5.

Electricity was coming and they

Used steam engines for dredging but they lacked

The accumulated industrial

Might that prepares people today to raise

 

Towers in the sky so they relied on

Ingenuity determination

And faith in rebuilding Galveston not

So differently from the Egyptians who

 

Generated the pyramids — and in

1915 a hurricane stronger

Than that of 1900 assaulted

The island and inflicted terrible

 

Damage but only six people were lost

And the Galvestonians persevered.

 

It’s peculiar

and quite human

to put down roots

on a sand island

exposed to hurricanes.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:22

October 2017 Poems

1.

Total Solar Eclipse

 

Even though the differences in size and

The distances involved are understood

And the force of gravity propelling

The earth and moon about each other and

 

Around the sun is accurately known

And even though we know nowhere else in

The solar system do the orbs align

So much like hand and glove for the moon to

 

So exactly block the sun in passing

With just a rim of light escaping the

Miracle is that waves of photons flow

In space into the biology of

 

The eye and somehow sight and consciousness

Come together and comprehend the facts.

 

For me seeing the

sunlight passing through

cottonwood leaves and

making me happy

is a miracle.

 

 

2.

Who could blame Mr. Bean for snoozing in

His folding chair while he was alone in

An empty museum in uniform

As a security guard puffing with

 

His lips fluttering and then his back slipped

Down the metal chair and he almost slid

Out of the chair while his mouth was open

And then he bent forward with his chest just

 

About touching his knees and he wavered

On the edge of the chair on the verge of

Collapse but he found a precarious

Point of balance and then he snorted and

 

Startled and rose back into the chair with

His arms dangling and he was still asleep.

 

Mr. Bean was

a human noodle

who gave himself to

child-like foolishness

to make people laugh.

 

Rowan Atkinson, R.I.P.

 

3.

Mom found it in an envelope box while

Dusting bookshelves and I saw spots of age

On the cover as she hesitated

Because I can be cranky but this was

 

Dad’s doctoral dissertation that he

Came to American to write as he

Wanted an education and in these

Pages remain his youthful pursuit of

 

A rational basis for faith and we

Knew the millennia of scholarship

The culmination of effort these typed

Words are as he tried so hard to be a

 

Messenger of wisdom and a leader

For people who were trying to be good.

 

Mom is a faithful

guardian of each issue

of fifty years of

publishing a journal that

Dad and I did together.

 

4.

Photons are invisible scientists

Say and the brain exists in darkness yet

Somehow energy is flowing in the

Eyes the nerve cells the synapses and the

 

Visual cortex and somehow sunlight

And starlight reveal the vastness of the

Universe and the speed of light and space

Time has been calculated but there is

 

No explanation for how I have a mind

That sees and comprehends the miracle

Of my mother’s motherly concern for

Her gladioli and geraniums

 

And chrysanthemums that expresses a

Nurturance underlying everything.

 

Consciousness expands

until it bumps against its

limitations and

devolves to geraniums

and chrysanthemums.

 

5.

Lascaux Caves

 

Cave art in France from seventeen thousand

Years ago is pregnant with hints as the

Bison horses and lions together

Are believed to be on the plains and the

 

Bulls horses deer and bears are supposed to

Be in forest and there is an ibex

A rhinoceros a feline apart

And artists used scaffolding to reach the

 

Ceilings and they prized yellow red and black

And they swabbed and blotted and sprayed with a

Tube and even as we stand where they stood

Their language is dissipated but were

 

They moved to create by desire and

Pride by their dreaming or perhaps pleasure?

 

Fire in the cave

illuminated rock

and generations

collaborated in

recreating life.

 

6.

Carbon dating the tools pointed to the

Paleolithic era but the age

Of the art can not be determined and

Animals predominate but trees and

 

Grass aren’t depicted and we’ve given names

To the Nave the Apse the Hall of Bulls and

The Chamber of Felines but we don’t know

The words they spoke but the bulls and bison

 

Are stamping the horses’ hooves are pounding

An archer is thrusting a knee forward

Confronting a line of deer charging and

The life presented bespeaks a throbbing

 

Heart and surging blood but their manner of

Greeting and courtesy have disappeared.

 

Light and breath coming

with visitors introduced

fungus and black mold

so scientists are striving

to contain the corruption.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:35

Perspective and Motivation

Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .

Perspective and Motivation

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The first issue of The St. Croix Review was published in February, 1968. My father, Angus MacDonald, propelled the course of this journal with fierce energy and determination. As an immigrant from Australia he fell in love with American liberty and believed in the promise of America: that he could become anything he wanted in his adopted homeland by dint of self-propulsion.

He often praised his professors at Columbia University, where he studied in the 1950s to earn a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Being young and earnest, he looked askance at St. Augustine of Hippo because as a young man St. Augustine was dissolute with women and Angus thought when he turned to Christ Augustine infused his Christian faith with too much lusty passion. Angus was upbraided by his professors and directed to reconsider his attitude: Angus said his Jewish professors led him to a better understanding of the Christian Saint.

In describing his studies at Columbia he said his professors never discussed their personal political beliefs. They always confined themselves to presenting their subjects, like St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas, as well as they could within the context of their times. The professors at Columbia University had no political agendas to advance and wanted to be truthful — how different American universities are today!

Two essays in this issue capture Angus MacDonald’s guiding passions. Angus was a Christian minister for twenty years and he wanted to lead people to contented lives through faith in Christ, and through the practice of decency and purposefulness.  

Angus opposed the sentimentality and falsehoods of leftwing politics and he was impatient with authority that wasn’t based in rationality — what he called common sense. Angus was repelled by the rise in the 1960s of an aggressive, revolutionary, and totalitarian, leftwing movement. He founded The St. Croix Review in opposition to the Left.

It may be helpful to recall what was happening in the 1960s. The Watts riots occurred in 1965 in Los Angeles, from August 11 to 16. There were 3,438 arrests, 1,032 injuries, and 34 deaths. The Detroit riots happened in 1967 from July 23 to 28. Eight thousand National Guard troops were summoned along with 4,700 paratroopers. There was looting, arson, and sniper fire. One hundred square blocks were burned. Seven thousand people were arrested, 1,189 were injured and 43 people died.

During the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico City, African-Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos won the 200 hundred meter sprints. During the medal ceremony, while the American national anthem was played, they raised their gloved fists in a Black Power salute.

In December 1965, in Time magazine, Milton Friedman wrote “. . . we are all Keynesians now . . .” when describing the “War on Poverty” and the tax and spend policies of economist John Maynard Keynes and President Lyndon Johnson. In 1971 Republican President Richard Nixon was quoted as saying “I am now a Keynesian” when he took America off the gold standard.

Richard Nixon, a Republican, who was not a conservative, founded the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, giving the growth of bureaucratic power a tremendous boost.

There has been a lot of ruination in America since the rise of the Left in 1968. The continuing protests of the national anthem by NFL players over racial tension shows how shop-worn the Left’s techniques are. The news people, the Democrats, and movies stars are becoming increasingly tiresome in their condemnations of America. And the quietude and timidity of the national Republican Party in defense of American heritage is glaring.

I find hope in hearing the thundering boos of fans when the entire team of the Dallas Cowboys decided to take a knee before the playing of national anthem: it shows the paying customer will not tolerate continuing disrespect for America.

I believe the marketplace of political ideals will reward optimism and a “can-do” spirit, because the grievance politics of the Left is badly corroded. Even though the cries of condemnation of America seem to be reaching a crescendo, the bankruptcy of leftist policies over fifty years is on display.

The Left relies on hate and accusation to motivate people. I believe the time is ripe for politicians who inspire with optimism and visions of prosperity, as Donald Trump is doing. Ordinary Americans want to be successful, and we are tired of the negativity of the Left.

Patriotic American are faced the task of replacing many unmotivated and self-interested Republican congressmen and senators. There is a need for a continuing education of the American people in free-market economics and American heritage. The mission of The St. Croix Review is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation as free individuals.  

It takes a streak of independence to maintain that America is a good and great nation, and that we have prosperous days ahead of us — but independence is central to American heritage. I believe that the viciousness of the Left will be its undoing.   *

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:26

Summary for October 2017

The following is a summary of the October/November 2017 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald finds reason for optimism in “Perspective and Motivation.”

The essay “Editorial,” by Angus MacDonald, is the inaugurating editorial of volume 1, number 1 (February 1968) of The St. Croix Review.

In celebration of the 50th year of The St. Croix Review, we are republishing “What Is Religion?” by Angus MacDonald (published in April 2002).

Henry Hazlitt, in “The Task Confronting Libertarians,” in a clarifying essay written in 1962, offers inspiration, and a plan of action, for people who want American liberty preserved.

Anthony Harrigan, in “The Ciceronian Example,” describes the famous orator of the Roman Republic warning Roman citizens of the Catiline conspiracy. This essay was published in February 2001.

David L. Cawthon’s “Leadership and the Coding of Our Souls,” is the first essay of a series on great Western philosophers; he describes Plato’s view of leadership. This essay was published in December 1999.

Allan Brownfeld, in It Is an Appropriate Time to Review Race-Based Affirmative Action Programs and Return to the Goal of a Color-Blind Society,” writes about university admissions policies; in With a New Academic Year, the Assaults on Free Speech by Antifa and Others Must Be Resisted,” he chronicles the actions of this violent group.

Mark W. Hendrickson, in “Hypocritical Environmentalists Destroy Wildlife Habitat,” makes the case that environmentalists should be made to justify the costs of their policies.

Timothy Goeglein, in “The Fate of the American Family,” reminds us America depends on the health of the American family.

Philip Vander Elst, in “Politically Incorrect Truths about Colonialism and the Third World,” takes a broad perspective on the influence of Western culture in the world and discovers much that is admirable.

Al Shane, a long-time subscriber to The St. Croix Review, explains his life-style in “My Conservatism.”

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Memory,” shares poetry and memory.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 67: Anglo-Saxon Attitudes,” reviews Angus Wilson’s novel Anglo-Saxon Attitudes.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 11:47

August Poems

1.

Utopia

Once the idea was accepted that

All means necessary should be taken

For the protection of the earth with the

Support of technological magic

 

Designers could offer proposals based

On equality and harmony that

Many thousands could live in a single

Sky Tower and the magnificence of

 

A building in which everyone would be

Given everything necessary and

The elegance of the suggestion that

People would rise above their squabbles and

 

Hardships to live peacefully in the clouds

Who could resist the enthusiasm?

 

Designers would need

To discourage obvious

Comparisons with

Beehives and ant colonies —

Who would choose to be a drone?

 

2.

The idea supporting Sky Towers

Is love of nature and the knowledge that

People tend to despoil the earth so in

Devotion to Gaia people would be

 

Willing to minimize their destruction

And gather together and the walls of

Their rooms could be pixilated with views

Of a forest a prairie a mountain

 

And the sensations of outdoors could be

Recreated with the seasons with sun

And stars and frogs in spring and crickets in

The summer nights and there would be no need

 

For people to roam about the landscape

And everyone could be safe and happy.

 

And the designers

could monitor the movement

of many thousands

and we could all celebrate

a sky of changing colors.

 

3.

I’ve been following descriptions in the

News of architectural miracles

Of towers of steel and glass extending

A mile in height amounting to cities

 

Containing homes businesses indoor parks

And entertainment centers and what a

Dream for designers of an expertly

Controlled community — but I’d prefer

 

To live on the ground listening to the

Peeper frogs again in the spring and a

Fountain and a collection of trees on

The eighty-first floor wouldn’t be enough

 

And if there were birds sequestered within

Steel and glass they would be a mockery.

 

A mile high tower

would make a lovely target

for a terrorist —

with ingenuity he

could detonate a city.

 

4.

If people chose to live in Sky Towers

The designers would have discretion to

Apportion living space by applying

Flexible standards according to the

 

Population’s preferences and perhaps

An equal distribution of room would

Prevail regardless of merit but some

Would have sunlight and scenery and some

 

Would live in boxes — some would be high and

Some low and as the disparity of

Property could be narrowed quality

Of life issues would remain because in

 

Comparison some people always do

Finagle better than most of us can.

 

How many things do

people really need and if

constrained within a

limited space wouldn’t we

be happy with less clutter?

 

5.

Even though people could be cloistered in

Sky Towers some would refuse to be —

Minerals would continue to be mined

And oil would be drilled and piped and with

 

The best technology the earth would be

Farmed and the animals slaughtered for our

Consumption — so it’s dubious that the

Designers would establish a perfect

 

Separation of people and nature

But once the bulk of humanity sees

The wisdom of cooperation it’s

Possible that we could achieve the dream

 

Of sustainable communities and

Limit contamination of the Earth.

 

Because it won’t do

to have everyone doing

just as they please — we

need to assure our children

will have oxygen to breathe.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:24

Summary for August 2017

The following is a summary of the August/September 2017 issue of The St. Croix Review:

The editorial “Greatness,” by Angus MacDonald, is survey of great achievements in the 20th century. This essay is offered in celebration of our 50th year of the publication of the St. Croix Review.

Allan C. Brownfeld, “Shall Only Italians Eat Pizza? Our Strange New Era of Identity Politics and ‘Cultural Appropriation,’” reveals the rising tide of totalitarianism in America; in “Colonial Williamsburg Is in Financial Difficulty in an Era in Which We No Longer Teach Our Own History,” he shows a failure to transmit our culture to students with dire consequences; “The Best Way to Celebrate July 4: Recognizing America’s Uniqueness,” he presents America as the land of freedom and opportunity; in “Fifty Years Ago, Interracial Marriage Became Legal — Remembering How Far We Have Come from the Years of Segregation,” he presents the overthrow of oppressive law as an instance of America living up to its Founding principles.

Paul Kengor, “The Summer of ’76: Ronald Reagan and Karol Wojtyla — Two Freedom Fighters in America,” shows the early greatness of the future partners; in “Trump’s Excellent Speech in Poland, on Poland, and about Poland,” he highlights Donald Trump’s inspired speech; in “Marking Natural Law with Mark Levin,” he reviews Mark Levin’s new book, Rediscovering Americanism and the Tyranny of Progressivism, and especially praises his emphasis on natural law.

Herbert London, in “Inflexible Progressivism: The Rise of a New Dogma,” he shows how “Jews are being systematically written out of the progressive agenda” as progressives are aligning with Islamists; in “Trump’s Vision for the Middle East,” he shows how President Trump is opposing Iranian influence by supporting Sunni Arabs; in “Religion and Secularization in the Middle East,” he examines the fine line Egypt’s President el-Sisis is walking; in “Buy American” May Not Be American,” he explains the vital role free markets play in America; in “Iran and Israel Are Poised for War — in Syria,” he presents the complexities following the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

.

Mark W. Hendrickson, in “Can Congress Fix Healthcare?” considers why elected Republicans in Washington are at odds with each other; in “Low Unemployment Is Not Economically Dangerous,” he dispels fear by demonstrating the difference between coincidence and causation; in “1967 and ‘The Summer of Love: A Half-Century Later,” he looks back at the hippy experience.

Thomas S. Martin, in “Einstein on Independent Thought,” explains the difference between free people and slaves.

Richard D. Kocur, “The Life of Charlie Gard: Whose Decision Is It Anyway?” shows how socialized medicine values choice and life, and who makes the life and death decisions.

Caleb Fuller, in “Privacy at What Price?” writes about cobras, digital privacy, and the unintended consequences of government regulation.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Early Encounters with the Natural World,” recalls childhood memories that set him apart from today’s technology-savvy American children.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 66: The Men and the Man-Eaters,” he presents the experience of Jim Corbett, who hunted tigers and leopards in the jungle of northern India.

Friday, 07 July 2017 11:00

June Poems 2017

1.

I am a driving animal who sees

Nature going by who stopped on a road

While mommy and daddy geese with goslings

Decided to cross which made me ponder

 

Dignity as I recalled the day I

Gazed at a goose and it looked at me and

I wondered what could it think with such a

Pinched little head and then it hissed which was

 

Discourteous and as the family

Ambled sedately on attending to

Their business unconcerned with impatient

People I granted them admiration —

 

Without a smidgen of embarrassment

The caravan waddled majestically.

 

Sometimes a goose is

Unflappable and

Sometimes a goose is

Irascible — who

Am I to quibble?

 

2.

There’s a fire in the sky today and the

Newly grown leaves are attuned to the fire

And the grass is rising up and as I’m

Turning in a circle there’s the sparkle

 

Of the sun everywhere among the leaves

Turning in a breeze and the blue of the

Sky without a cloud appears as a dome

Lit by a disk so bright I can only

 

See it in glimpses and I imagine

Myself as a leaf buoyant in the wind

Absorbing warm energy but as I

Don’t have ability to turn off my

 

Thinking I can only aspire to

Momentary poise — then go back to work.

 

There are mornings when

the sun is drenching the earth

making everything

appear fresh as if time stopped

and beauty is eternal.

 

3.

I meet my friends in the morning and for

A laugh I’ll pretend to be limping with

My left leg and then I’ll limp with my right

Just to see if they’re paying attention

 

Or I’ll stand behind one of them and lean

One way and then the other and I don’t

Need to use words to enjoy myself — I

Don’t even know I’m smiling — but when I

 

Have to take a photo of me and I’m

manipulating my cell phone trying

To capture the perfect spontaneous

Smile I’m more likely to smirk or even

 

Grimace because suddenly it’s very

Difficult to put on a happy face.

 

I stretch my lips and

narrow my eyes and

raise my cheeks and

make the final effort and

Lift the corners of my mouth.

 

4.

Thunder before dawn is a drum without

Melody and lightning is a crack in

The dark revealing a fracture in the

Sky at odds with the sounding of the rain

 

On the roof that lulls and soothes and I’m not

Awake and not asleep but in a trance

Of childlike wonder absorbing the force

Of the night unpredictable and sharp

 

With clamor and fire as if I’m on the

Edge of battle and doom were in the air

As if violence were imminent and

The covers and the roof aren’t protection

 

As if nothing could shield me from the spears

And the animosity of strangers.

 

There’s not a hint of

my childish fear this morning

as the day is bright

and all that’s left of the night

are puddles reflecting sky.

Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .

Conservatism Is Soiled by Scowling Conservatives

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The purpose of conservatism is to promote a humane society. Conservatism is no good otherwise. If conservatism doesn’t uplift Middle America, conservatism is worthless.

The uniqueness of America from its Founding was that ordinary people had the opportunity to exert themselves and make their dreams reality.

Conservatives should tirelessly promote the virtues of the free market, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the separation of powers, the rule of law, property rights, the sanctity of contracts, freedom of religion, and assimilation.

The culture war we are fighting with progressives has reached a frightful state, and American traditions are in peril. One has only to watch American colleges to see the rule of law, the free market, and the freedoms of speech and assembly threatened — colleges are imparting poison.

Donald Trump has given America a gift. His rise as people react has allowed us to discern among American leadership who are patriots and who are parasites.

George Will has written an essay that drips with contempt, titled: “Conservatism Is Soiled by Scowling Primitives.” Will doesn’t say who the “primitives” are but we can assume they are Donald Trump and his supporters.

Will writes about the life of William F. Buckley and his “high-spirited romp” through America’s political and cultural controversies. He writes that Buckley infused conservatism with “brio” and “elegance.” He writes that liberalism not only dominated mid-century America, it was the “sole intellectual tradition” before Buckley founded National Review. He cites Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s opinion that the Republican Party became the party of ideas because of William Buckley. He quotes Lionel Trilling who wrote that before Buckley conservatism was expressed in “irritable mental gestures.”

Then Will writes “Today, conservatism is soiled by scowling primitives whose irritable gestures lack mental ingredients” meaning I suppose that Trump and his supporters are crude, rude, and stupid.

He remembers Buckley saying he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by Harvard’s faculty. And he says that Buckley walked a “tightrope between elitism and populism” and never resolved the tension between them. Will writes: “If only he had.”

George Will comments on Whittaker Chambers, whose autobiography, Witness, “became a canonical text of conservatism.” Will writes that Chambers infused conservatism with a “sour, whiney, complaining, crybaby, populism”:

“ . . . It is the screechy and dominant tone of the loutish faux conservatism that today is erasing Buckley’s legacy of infectious cheerfulness and unapologetic embrace of high culture.”

Will writes:

“Chambers wallowed in cloying sentimentality and curdled resentment about ‘the plain men and women’ — ‘my people, humble people, strong in common sense, in common goodness’ — enduring the ‘musk of snobbism’ emanating from the ‘socially formidable circles’ of the ‘nicest people’ produced by ‘certain collegiate eyries.’"

 

George Will is impressed that William Buckley was a

“. . . Bach aficionado from Yale and [an] ocean mariner from the New York Yacht Club, was unembarrassed about having good taste and without guilt about savoring the good life.”

 

What I remember from reading and listening to William Buckley was that he was a decent and humane man who was very much concerned with the promotion of American traditions and freedoms because he cared about Middle America and ordinary Americans.

George Will is an articulate writer and has done “yeoman’s work” for conservatism. But it’s a curious fact that when writers are off base they sometimes infuse their writing with unintended irony.

Donald Trump is confronting the entire Washington establishment almost by himself (with the support of his loyal voters). He is taking on the snobs of the left and the right. He’s doing a good job of defending American traditions, and rolling back the excesses of the bureaucratic state.

George Will is offering “irritable mental gestures.” He is “sour, whiney, complaining, [a] crybaby.” George is “screechy.” He is expressing a “loutish faux conservatism” while patriotic Americans are looking for leaders.     *

Friday, 07 July 2017 10:11

Summary for June 2017

The following is a summary of the June/July 2017 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “Conservatism Is Soiled by Scowling Conservatives,” responds to an essay written by George Will.

Allan C. Brownfeld in “The Attack on Robert E. Lee Is an Assault on American History Itself,” asks what other nation in 1787 was freer or more equitable than America, and where else was religious freedom to be found in 1787?; in Free Speech Is Not Only Under Attack at Our Universities, but ‘Objective Truth’ Itself Is Referred to as a ‘Racist Construct,’” he points out that only our Western heritage asserts the rights of individuals against the prerogatives of the state, and champions representative democracy as a proper form of government; in “The Russian Revolution at 100: Remembering the Naïve Westerners Who Embraced It,” he documents the deceptive commentary of liberal intellectuals in praise of Stalin, Mao, and Communism.

 

Paul Kengor, in “Two Presidents and Two Popes,” compares the meeting of the minds of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II with that of Donald Trump and Pope Francis; in “Remembering the Rohna: A World War II Secret and Tragedy,” he reveals a heroic story that’s been secret for too long.

Mark Hendrickson, in “President Trump’s Schizophrenic Tax Proposals,” points out the good and the bad in the president’s tax plans, and Mark offers his own dramatic proposal; in “Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard: A Young Idealist Undercut the System That Has Blessed Him and Us,” he defends the free market, the value of work, and the division of labor in response to Mark Zuckerberg’s proposal in a commencement speech of a guaranteed minimum income, provided by the government, for all Americans; in “Remembering Three Great Athletes (and the Way Sports Used To Be)” he tells stories about three talented but mostly forgotten sports figures who died recently, and he shows how the games have changed.

Herbert London, in “War, Peace, and Stability,” writes that the opposite of war is not peace but stability, and demonstrates how the principle applies with North Korea; in “The French Elections,” he writes that the French are undertaking the “dismemberment of political tradition,” Macron’s victory is a stop-gap, and the future belongs to the party that can capture populist sentiments; in “They Want to Kill You,” he points out that the Trump administration is being tested by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, and by a progressive movement in America that is delusional; in “Remaking World Affairs,” he considers America’s pivotal relationship with China after the Mar-a-Lago summit.

Dwight D. Murphey, in “The Lost Context of ‘American Racism,’” provides a comprehensive look at historical slavery, and he places Americans among those who were first in seeking to abolish it.  

Philip Vander Elst, in “Freedom and Community: A Conservative Perspective,” reacquaints readers with two wonderful classical liberal philosophers, and writes about how our modern society is destroying communal values outside the State, and subverting the virtues, values, and traditions upon which freedom depends.

L. John Van Til, in “Will Christians Survive in Today’s Secular World? A Review of the Benedict Option,” reviews a new book that offers guidance for Christians living in a mostly secular America.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 65: World War II Again,” reviews two books of history, Overlord and Armageddon, by Max Hastings, who writes that the Germans were superior soldiers because of tradition, culture, ideology and training, while the British and American soldiers were civilians in uniform.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Grassroots Patriotism,” presents the initiative taken by a small-town woman to honor America’s soldiers.

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