TBT: Progressivism and Political Violence

It’s another late post today, as my post-New Jersey schedule is still a bit wonky.  I just got done with a twelve-hour stint of uncling, so there was barely time to eat lunch, much less write a blog post—even a quick TBT feature.

Given the recent attacks on conservative journalist Andy Ngo, it seems apropos to dedicate this week’s #TBT to one of my classics of the modern, TPP 3.0 era:  “Progressivism and Political Violence.”  I wrote this essay back in June 2018, and I’ve probably linked to it more than any other post I’ve ever written, because it touches upon so much of the Left’s pathos.

I wrote at the time that, if the Left lost all the arms of the government, they would use extreme violence to accomplish their ends.  That was before I fully appreciated how extensive and pervasive the Deep State truly is—the Left is so entrenched, it can never really be out of power in the current state of play.

Read More »


You Can’t Cuck the Tuck: Immigration

Consistent with my own posts on immigration, and particularly Somalian immigration, Tucker Carlson nails it (see the video in the Tweet below):

Read More »

Airlines; Back to the Grind

It’s a very late post today. Readers will know that yesterday was the end of a weeklong trip to New Jersey (you can read the full account of my trip at my SubscribeStar page). A delayed takeoff from Newark meant I missed my connecting flight in Charlotte, so I had to wait around for a later flight. Fortunately, I had a collection of ghost stories to keep me company, but the delays meant getting in fairly late, and with little energy for mental endeavors.

I recall reading a National Review critique of airlines and their incompetent inability to get people where they need to be. I think Kevin Williamson wrote it, but I was unable to find it. I did, however, find hundreds of blog posts and pieces on NRO about airlines and their shortcomings, perhaps reflecting the preoccupations of the coastal elites who write for the publication.

I haven’t flown since 2012. I don’t like it. It doesn’t scare me, but it is incredibly tedious, a lot of “hurry up and wait.” The security Kabuki theatre, the crazy packing restrictions, the usurious fees, the notorious unreliability—it’s a headache. Driving is vastly preferable. Yes, yes, it’s more likely to result in death, but at least I can stop and eat when I want to.

I flew American Airlines, which is, apparently, notoriously bad.  That short Williamson blog post linked above is about how American Airlines required soldiers to pay extra baggage fees for military gear they brought on flights during deployments, requiring soldiers to file for a reimbursement with the military after the fact.  Yikes!

The logistics of managing thousands of flights a day, in all manner of weather conditions across the globe, must be incredibly difficult, so I’m not without sympathy for airlines.  But, good grief, it seems that we could figure out a better way.  Flying in 2019 is pretty much what it was like when I flew as a kid for the first time around 1990 or 1991, just with more rules, less free stuff, and worse food.  Thanks to people pretending to have peanut allergies, they don’t even give those out anymore!

Anyway, I’m sitting down to write this at 9:30 PM because it was immediately back to the grind today.  That’s probably the best way to return from vacation—just throw yourself back into it.  I’m definitely missing sleeping in until 9 and eating good food.

More to come tomorrow.


Reblog: Conan the Southerner?

I’m heading back from a glorious week in New Jersey today to return to my beloved South Carolina.  It was serendipitous, then, that I read this piece from the Abbeville Institute, “Conan the Southerner?

I recently stumbled upon the Abbeville Institute while doing some research on John Randolph of Roanoke for my History of Conservative Thought course.  It’s an institute dedicated to Southern history, and to presenting a more nuanced interpretation of the antebellum South.  Their blog features some dense, interesting bits of Southern history (I’m reading through a long-ish essay on “The South Carolina Federalists” that has taught me a great deal more about my State’s history in the period of the Early Republic), and champions constitutionalism, limited government, and a traditional way of life.

The Conan piece is an excellent—and fun—analysis of the Conan the Barbarian series of low-fantasy pulp novels, focusing on Conan creator Robert E. Howard and his Jacksonian roots in Texas.  The post’s author, Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Joel T. Leggett, argues that Howard’s Conan is a modern example of American mythology, one with distinctively Southern roots.

The essay is also useful as it offers a clear definition of Jacksonian principles, via historian Walter Russell Meade.  As we continue to attempt to define “populism” in the midst of Trumpian nationalism, I always relish a concise definition of the principles of the godfather of American populism, Andrew Jackson.

Meade, per Leggett, defines these principles as “self-reliance, equality, individualism, financial adventurism, and courage.”  Leggett then proceeds to demonstrate how the character of Conan embodies these qualities, and that Howard was chiefly concerned with promoting individual liberty.

That part of the essay is, for me, the most useful and enjoyable.  The qualities are certainly deeply American—and deeply Southern.  The “equality” is not the banal egalitarianism of our present age, which seeks to level off everything and everyone into conformist blandness, but the old equality of opportunity, in which every man can forge his destiny.

Tied with that is the notion of “financial adventurism.”  Leggett notes that Meade argued that “Jacksonians view money and wealth as a means to finance a lifestyle of self-definition.  The value of wealth is to enable you to be you, to live life to its fullest.”  This notion of financing “a lifestyle of self-definition” accords with my own long-term financial goals.  It also seems to be the direction that “free” speech is headed:  to exercise this right truly, one must have financial independence from social justice scolds.

And this, for Leggett, seems to be the core of Conan’s Southern Jacksonianism:  a desire for individual liberty, for a man to be able to live his life on his own terms.  Howard might have wrapped that ideal in a burly barbarian warrior-king who rose to rule a kingdom due to his own prowess, but it’s one every American should aspire towards.  In this way, Leggett makes a compelling case for Conan the Barbarian as a valuable piece of American mythology.

Lazy Sunday XVII: #MAGAWeek2019

This past week was #MAGAWeek2019 here at The Portly Politico.  Each day’s post was a SubscribeStar exclusive.  For a subscription of $1/month, you gain exclusive to each day’s posts, as well as exclusive content every Saturday throughout the rest of the year.  Visit my SubscribeStar page for more details.

In case you missed anything from #MAGAWeek2019, this week’s edition of Lazy Sunday is dedicated to catching you up on what you missed.  But remember, you only get a teaser of each post; to read the full posts, you have to subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1/month or more.  That includes exclusive content every Saturday, too, like yesterday’s review of my trip to New Jersey and Coney Island, NYC, “Mid-Atlantic Musings.”

But enough sales pitches.  Here were the highlights from #MAGAWeek2019:

  • Fast Food” – After a long day on the road last Sunday, I decided to do something fun and lighthearted to kick off #MAGAWeek2019.  President Trump famously loves fast food, even feeding it to the Clemsux National Championship football team in vast quantities.  I, too, appreciate good fast food, and marvel at its ability to provide a filling, calorie-rich meal at an affordable price.  You can read more of my high cholesterol musings on the topic at my SubscribeStar page.
  • Alexander Hamilton” – Hamilton engenders a great deal of debate between decentralist Jeffersonians (such as myself) and centralists, but his influence on and importance to America’s early political and financial formation cannot be denied—indeed, it should be celebrated.  Jefferson and Madison were probably correct, constitutionally, on the issue of the national bank—Congress had no explicit constitutional authority to create such an institution—but Hamilton’s financial reforms placed the nation on solid financial footing, ensuring the United States had the financial infrastructure in place for explosive growth and expansion.
  • John Adams” – John Adams is an unappreciated Founder and Framer, though David McCullough’s magisterial biography of the second President of the United States has done much to lift Adams’s profile.  Adams served the United States ably as our Commander in Chief during his single term, staving off a full-blown war with France while protecting American mercantile shipping on the high seas.
  • President Trump’s Independence Day Speech” – On a particularly star-spangled Fourth of July, President Trump delivered a powerhouse of an Independence Day speech.  Not only were the multiple flyovers of military aircraft impressive (ending, of course, with the Blue Angels soaring majestically over the National Mall), the speech itself was a masterclass in what I dub “old, patriotic American history.”  It’s well worth watching—and reading my full analysis on my SubscribeStar page.

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Mid-Atlantic Musings

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Thanks to everyone who supported #MAGAWeek2019.  Those posts—on Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, President Trump’s Independence Day Speech, and fast food—will always be available in full on my SubscribeStar page with your subscription of just $1 a month or more.

I’ve been writing all this week from central New Jersey.  Other than a brief stay in Jersey City on a school trip to New York City in 2014, I’ve never really been to New Jersey.  Contrary to my assumptions, New Jersey is not a dystopian nightmare covered in asphalt and broken dreams (although I’m told Newark is).

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

#MAGAWeek2019: President Trump’s Independence Day Speech

It’s #MAGAWeek2019 here at The Portly Politico.  Each day’s post will be a SubscribeStar exclusive.  For a subscription of $1/month, you gain exclusive to each day’s posts, as well as exclusive content every Saturday throughout the rest of the year.  Visit my SubscribeStar page for more details.

I was not planning on writing about President Trump’s incredible Independence Day speech as part of #MAGAWeek2019, mainly because I try to keep these posts historical.  The speech was so powerful, though, and so educational in a historical sense, it and President Trump have earned a spot (alongside the president’s favorite food) as part of my annual celebration of American greatness.

Read More »

TBT^2: Happy Birthday, America!

It’s Independence Day in the United States!  God Bless America!

I hope everyone has been enjoying #MAGAWeek2019.  Remember, you can read those full entries only on SubscribeStar with a $1/mo. or higher subscription.  Your subscription also includes exclusive access to new content every Saturday, as well as other goodies from time to time.

I’m happy to announce, too, that I have my first subscriber.  You, too, can support my work for just $1 a month (or more).  That’s the price of a large pizza if you paid for it over the course of an entire year—you can’t beat that!

In case you’ve missed them, so far #MAGAWeek2019 has commemorated our second President, John Adams; our first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton; and our national cuisine, fast food.  You can also check out all of #MAGAWeek2018’s entries.

Read More »

#MAGAWeek2019: Fast Food

It’s #MAGAWeek2019 here at The Portly Politico.  Each day’s post will be a SubscribeStar exclusive.  For a subscription of $1/month, you gain exclusive to each day’s posts, as well as exclusive content every Saturday throughout the rest of the year.  Visit my SubscribeStar page for more details.

It’s finally here—#MAGAWeek2019!  It’s the week of the year that we celebrate our great country’s birth, and I honor it with a daily post about a person, place, or idea that has, in its own way, made America great.

I’m writing this week’s posts from New Jersey, where I’m spending a week with my girlfriend’s family.  Contrary to my expectations, the entire State is not a dystopian, concrete-encrusted urban hellscape.  Its nickname, the “Garden State,” is apt:  it’s quite lush, and there are horses—horses!  It feels like South Carolina with less humidity and more crime and corruption.

Read More »