October 7, 2017


Conservatives Need a Remedial Course in Sovereignty (John Fonte, 10/3/2017, American Greatness)

If Henninger sees a certain transcendent quality in Trump's vision of sovereignty, he is right to do so. After all, Donald Trump is not the first American president to portray our sovereignty (our independent self-government) in transcendent terms. On June 30, 1826, a week before he died, John Adams chose the words "Independence Forever" to be read to his fellow citizens celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1826.  

President Trump told the U.N. delegates that the United States would not impose its way of life on others, but to "let it shine as an example for everyone to watch." He advocated "strong sovereign nations" as political entities in which "people take ownership of their future," "control their own destiny," exercise "responsibility," and "allow individuals to flourish."

Trump's muscular language reveals a decidedly republican concept of sovereignty. The emphasis is on citizens taking "ownership" of their own nations. This theme is directly connected to the idea of active and responsible citizenship, an idea that did not originate with Bannon or other Trumpists, but--as Hillsdale College government professor Thomas G. West explains in his brilliant new book, The Political Theory of the American Founding--was an idea central to the natural rights philosophy of our Founding Fathers.

Further, citizens expect leaders of sovereign nations to be accountable. Trump's speech notes that the "two core sovereign duties" of nations are "to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation." These sovereign duties represent the "vision" of the United Nations and are the "foundation for cooperation and success." Clearly, those nations explicitly condemned in the president's U.N. address--North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela--violate one or more of those core sovereign duties.

The American vision of sovereignty is, of course, far more transcendent than the Right's, which would apply it only at home.  It is precisely because we define sovereignty as self-government that we do not recognize states that do not provide it to have any other rights. So where nationalists want us to be isolationist we are perforce cosmopolitan, forcing the End of History on everyone.

THE CAUSE OF MANKIND : The American Revolution changed the world, and it isn't finished yet. (SEAN COLLINS, SEPTEMBER 2017, GET SPIKED)

In Israel's eyes, it is hard to overstate the momentous, world-historical import of the American Revolution. It 'commenced the demolition' of a world of 'kings, aristocracy, serfdom, slavery, and mercantilist colonial empires'. More than simply the overthrow of an external colonial power, the revolution's 'political and institutional innovations grounded a wholly new kind of republic embodying a diametrically opposed social vision built on shared liberty and equal civil rights'. The American Revolution ushered the world towards modernity - becoming, in Israel's words, 'the crucible of democratic modernity' - by 'offering a new kind of polity starkly contrasting with the ancien regime monarchical-aristocratic political and social system dominating Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia' as well as 'the vast, exploitative colonial empires that... overshadowed the globe'.

Which is wrong, as to cause, but right, as to effect.

Posted by at October 7, 2017 12:30 PM