It was interesting this A.M., (9-17-22) to watch a segment on Fox & Friends, Saturday which pulled up a recent segment of Bill Maher’s political comments. The real interest to me was that Fox’s little Saturday morning group seemed newly alerted to the concept of “presentism,” offered up by Maher.
Maher on the other hand, while famous for his liberal/progressive views, expressed what seemed a recently discovered notion in comments made by historian, James Sweet, of the word “presentism.”
Maher, presented a clear, concise, and understandable (even for the publicly, as well as high-dollar “privately” learned dolts of today) definition, apparently newly learned from Street, who took some heat from some of the “news-media-historians” of the broad-brush, and never met a primary source or cared to, bunch. In fact, Street essentially begged for forgiveness.
Personally, I would not have begged forgiveness. I would have told them to go to hell. But that’s just me.
It is, however, the crowning touch of irony when somehow the perception of conservatism is all-encompassing, like a Venn diagram with its different sets of different elements each with different sizes: Republicans, Fox News, independent and rural, free-market capitalists, and properly “trained” Southerners. But the irony has not been touched except by those elements of the South.
For the record, there are many conservatives, particularly Southerners, who have been espousing this word, “presentism,” and its meaning for years. Not so much to liberals, but moreover to so-called conservatives (Mark Levin, Tucker Carlson, Victor Davis Hanson, and a number of the like purported conservatives)—actually these fellows are nationalists who know not real conservatism. And they seem not to care. Why would anyone want to conserve nationalism?
Governments build nations. The bigger the nation, the bigger the government (Hamilton). Conservatives strive for republican order (Jefferson).
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These fellows, Carlson et al, bark loudly because they have intellectual fleas rather than bird dog instincts. They scratch but can’t hold a point because they don’t seem to know one.
Perhaps a bath in the dip of “presentism” and its meaning would clear their scratching for Southern demons and realize that they are (only perhaps) like the South was from the beginning, i.e. Jeffersonian and not Hamiltonian; or perhaps they really are the sort who salute the playing of “The National Anthem” instead of “The Star Spangle Banner.”
Maybe they truly believe there was a real Phillip Nolan.
(For the record, I have been to enumerable sporting events over the years and also did a tour in the U.S.M.C, and never have I ever stood or saluted “The National Anthem.” However, over the same period I have never failed to salute or stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner”)
That is, they are in fact Hamiltonian, therefore the South is evil because it had slaves, though it was not the originator, and lived under Jim Crow, apartheid, and segregated societies, though again were not the originators.
Try The Slave Trade, Hugh Thomas and The Strange Career of Jim Crow, C. Vann Woodward–both bestsellers (though only a couple of many, many sources) for such conservative wannabees (nationalists), as well as those in the media who can read (probably not an expensive book buy, here).
But real conservatives have had little luck in reaching these imposters. Carlson sees the Southern Confederacy (C.S.A.) as a rebellion. Apparently in his little world the “Declaration of Independence” was a “rebellion” rather than what its name and directives embodied in its text so clearly stated: A declaration of independence, i.e., secession from the colonial empire of Great Britain. Therefore, according to Carlson’s reasoning, the South “rebelled” against something– when they (accordingly as they stated that they could do so when they ratified the Constitution, of 1787) declared themselves independent via a quite proper secession. Who knows, of course, what or whom they might have rebelled?
Levin who has opinions on most anything, carrying with himself an ignorance of history that George Costanza would appreciate, speaks of former Mississippi Senators like John Stennis and James Eastland as racists. That of course is similar to what liberals do: call everyone racists who lived before the 1960s were over and opposed the 1964 Civil Rights act—as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan did. Ergo, one must assume Mark Levin’s label of racist applies to Ronald Reagan. Kramer would love you, Mr. Levin.
This is when one has a great desire to play child-like responder to Levin’s own standard riposte that he frequently uses, “You stupid idiot!” But you don’t. You could remind him of Jefferson Davis as the first president to select a Jewish cabinet member. Judah Benjamin, Secretary of War, C.S.A. Again. Or you might point out the largest concentration of Jews in any state, North or South was in Charleston, S.C. before 1865. Many were burned out and looted by those grand Yankees (old New England /Dutch, John Cheese/Jan Kaas) from the North stamping out some surreal “grapes of wrath.”
And there is the old historian, worshiped almost at bent knee on Fox, who is Victor Davis Hanson and whose own typical historical sputum of the rebellion of the South was and is over slavery and its racist supporters.
How such a war would start (over slavery), and in what legal manner, over such a notion, is a cockeyed historical mystery; as well, exactly what or who was being rebelled against by one side, again is a mystery. But then Hanson’s selected rejection of bigotry, itself, is a bit mysterious.
Because we turn back to our original point of “presentism.” Leland Stanford University and Hoover Institute, the cradle of Victor Davis Hanson with its monumental historical mutterings on slavery and racism, would be the king of racism if every academic and T.V. personality acted on presentism as it is acted on toward the American South, and then equally directed it toward Stanford University and its racists criers from behind the ivy walls.
You see, Leland Stanford had almost (for today’s stance—remember “presentism”) a diabolical hatred for the Chinese and particularly those in California.
Leland Stanford would stand smartly and with ease within David Duke’s shoes of today (back then).
The irony, at some point, may (or may not) reach out and touch those elements of the “Venn diagram” who believe the South is today’s most useful idiots; only to find they were the republic’s most loyal and steadfast soldiers. And of course, if they had dug to these depts they would discover that the Declaration of Independence was not the founding of some nation and city that God revealed as a shining light on a hill, but a secession document because those independent, singularly, colonies chose not to any longer be a part of a colonial empire.
They wanted lives with conservative thoughts and principles among their people. Not with some damn national Yankee light on a hill!
In an article published, in the Abbeville Institute by Gail Jarvis
Oct 5, 2017
Like other American regions, the South has chosen to be part of the current century without discrediting its traditions or its heroes. Its esteem for its ancestors and its refusal to denounce them and become a clone of the Northeast is infuriating to the Left. History by Southern scholars that conflicts with sanctioned establishment versions is dismissed as a “lost cause” mentality. But the tiresome “lost cause” reproach is losing clout as more folks realize that there is indeed another side to the story. Heartland America is now being denigrated with a version of “lost cause” disparagement because of its refusal to accept the Left’s accusation that it is a hotbed of “White supremacy.”
Amen Brother Jarvis.
Paul Yarbrough is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative. He writes novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. His first novel. Mississippi Cotton is a Kindle bestseller. His author site can be found on Amazon. He writes political commentary for CommDigiNews.