We’ve only just begun to live

White lace and promises

A kiss for luck and we’re on our way

(We’ve only begun)

Before the risin’ sun we fly

So many roads to choose

We’ll start out walkin’ and learn to run

(And yes, we’ve just begun)

---The Carpenters, “We’ve Only Just Begun”

Making America great again is not something to be looked forward to.  In fact, although America has had some great people and some great moments, it has never really been Great.  And spare me and my descendants from living in a “great country.”  Rather a good and comfortable one is to be preferred.  To be fair, the candidate and most of the people who voted for Making American Great Again were not thinking of imperial or cultural greatness.  They were thinking   of  the  reasonably  just and free,  moral and prosperous  America of not too long ago.  At  least as  they  remember  it---a  country  as good as it can get for common folks.

The narrow election of Trump would seem to indicate that a substantial portion of the American public  still has a workable  common sense and  decency.

In 2014, discussing the treacherous leaders of the Republican  party, I wrote:

“A maverick candidate, who is  wise, brave, and somehow able to communicate with the people over massive jamming by the media, could perhaps get a message across about the real dangers to the commonwealth (debt, imperial over-extension, the ongoing  proletarianisation of the middle class, to mention  just a few).   We can be certain that the two parties will never touch a real issue, which might upset their cozy relations with each other and with the media.  For such an  outsider  to  succeed would require extraordinary circumstances indeed.  However, he might accomplish the wrecking of the Republican Elite, which would be a great service to the restoration of good government.”

Trump has amazingly  fulfilled  my hope . The improbable winner, I think, has grown morally and intellectually during the campaign, as is likely to happen when someone actually listens to us plain folks and really cares about  his  people  rather  than treating them as pigeons to be conned.   For those of us who want to tame the overgrown and arrogant beast in Washington,  “we’ve  only just begun.”  Can Trump tame Leviathan?   What  knowledge  and  weapons  does he have for the battle?  Winning the war was easy compared to winning the peace.  The Republican  party itself is a very poor resource for what needs to be done.

Let us exercise the virtues  of hopefulness and good faith.  We might reasonably  expect  cleansing the country of alien criminals, perhaps even some recovery of the morale and numbers of  the historic American people with  a less hostile government.   We might also expect, I think, some peel back of the truly  insane  bipartisan  bellicosity  and  foreign meddling that have characterized  the government since Bush minor.  (Or perhaps, truth to tell, since Reagan.)  We  can look forward  to efforts toward  the recovery of a substantive economy and  widespread prosperity.

Personnel  is  policy.  We will know much more when we see the President-elect’s appointments.  Reagan’s betrayal of his supporters  and  promises  was obvious very early on.  The appointing process was  seized  by  seasoned and  unscrupulous operators looking to control patronage.  Trump and his true friends will be very hard pressed to prevent the same.  Victory brings the temptation to be moderate and inclusive, to reach out  for  a wider consensus.   Not only is the Left  institutionalized in every  power in American life, but  “respectable” Republicans are waiting in the wings to assume their usual places.   This will mean nothing less than allowing the Establishment  to control  the agenda.  In my most recent book, Annals of the Stupid Party:  Republicans Before Trump,   I  trace  the evil record of the Republican party and its  uninterrupted history of  betraying conservatism and defrauding its supporters.

The Establishment  is discredited.  It must now be crushed.    It may  die if its weaknesses are  kept under attack, but it will not go easy into the night.  Trump  must  reach  out to talented and determined people  who are not in, of, or for the  evil  status quo.  Does he have the determination  and  the  close advisers who will be able to do this?   Does anybody know?

American general discussion has not, I think,  ever  fully assessed  the true meaning and accomplishment of the Great Society, now a half-century old.   It really had little to do with helping poor folks.  It had to do with the massive subsidy and institutionalization of a new class of “educators,”  therapeutic   administrators  and workers, and minority “leaders.”    There are now hundreds of thousands, perhaps several million of these people.  They have made American  education  into a tragic farce from top to bottom.  As we have seen by  their  hysterical reactions  to Trump’s candidacy, they have radically poisoned  public discourse, like the learned lady professor  who declared herself personally  fearful  of Trump.   A lot of these people receive very good salaries and have an aggressive sense of entitlement  without any talents or services.   In fact,  most of them have literally never done a real day’s work and have lived always in a dream world.

What is to be done to make them face reality?   The government cannot solve the cultural and spiritual decay of our time, but it can help by getting rid of the Great Society, defunding  its  destructive institutions and personnel.  But it is hard to see how this might be accomplished with the present Congress without a line-item veto,  which  very reasonably ought  to be an executive power.

Trump is a New Yorker and a nationalist,  the best of the lot.  But I doubt if he has the instinct or the knowledge to pursue  what  some of us decided long ago was the only solution---genuine federalism and constitutionalism--devolution, dismembering Leviathan.   He might show himself a real  revolutionary  if he chose this time to come out for the secession of California.   That would really be Making America Great Again!


The Fleming Foundation

19 Responses

  1. Robert Reavis says:

    Always a pleasure to read your words.

  2. James D. says:

    “Victory brings the temptation to be moderate and inclusive, to reach out for a wider consensus.”

    Bingo. I know that presidents-elect have to give the banal victory speech, calling for inclusiveness, understanding, and reaching across the aisle, etc., but I sincerely hope that Trump was just being glib. During the campaign I was heartened to see him add a number of fringe/alt-right kooks as his advisors. His appointments should be shocking, frightening, and dismaying to both parties. The NYT should be writing breathless diatribes about the background’s of his appointees. The people who put Trump in office have been under attack from both parties for 75+ years. Make them pay. No quarter.

  3. Irv Phillips says:

    Let us do all we can aggressively to promote the secession of California! I’m not being glib: apparently there are some people in the state who are already calling for it? Donald Livingston has written some very wise things about the simple enormity of America. A regional breakup makes a ton of sense and California leading things off is a wonderful prospect.

  4. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Thank you, Clyde, for your insights. I hope there will be many future occasions to read you here.

  5. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    My wife and I would be great-full (SIC) for a “reasonably  just and free,  moral and prosperous  America.”

    I echo Dr. Fleming’s hope to read more from you in the future, Professor Wilson.

  6. Dominick says:

    Goodness it is so good to read Dr Wilson — to see him writing not-pessimistically of a New York real estate mogul reassures me that I have not been completely duped!
    I take further comfort in Trump’s personality. This man is a giant among giants, such that I doubt we have seen in recent American history. A man who can make a full frontal assault on both Big Parties, the mass media, social media, and just about every other billionaire in America and abroad is a force that doesn’t have to break his promises. It is easy to think – now that he has won – that his outrageous claims and shenanigans were nothing more than the tactics of a man who is able to plan three moves ahead. He has won because he beat every other power broker at his own game and real men can only sit back to look on in admiration and envy.
    Lest any be accused of hero-worship; milady has met her man from Lille and no man is Felton who appreciates the fact.

  7. Dominick says:

    As for Calexit I am all for it as along as LA and Sacramento first get what Richmond got.

  8. Konstantin Solodov says:

    You can be the object or subject of international relations.
    Do you know any example of “good and comfortable” subject in the history?

  9. Patrick Kinnell says:

    Thank you Dr. Wilson. Great to hear from you again.

  10. Raymond Olson says:

    Dear Dr. Wilson,


  11. Robert Peters says:

    I posted this just today on another website with the intent of being no little polemic for some who were a bit too blinded by victory.

    During my lifetime, I have experienced the coopting of every counter-revolution which might have restored the good. I already think to see it yet again. The loathsome worm has already laid its egg in the very bud of Tuesday’s election. Thus, the fruit of this election will be stunted and rot from the inside out!

  12. Vince Cornell says:

    There is some hope for some real good. It seems that Jeff Sessions and some of his top men are very heavily involved with the transition team. And I received an email from the homeschool legal defense team that was very please with certain homeschool issues going the right direction (rejection of the UN treaty on the rights of children as well as reversal of federal incentives for Common Core).

    On its own, what we wind up getting may not seem like all that much, but when compared to the losses we stood to receive had the election gone otherwise, the net difference is quite astounding.

  13. Ken Rosenberger says:

    Good to see you on this site, Dr. Wilson. We need people like you and Dr. Fleming more than ever to hold the new administration’s feet to the fire.

    I especially liked this part of your article:

    “…what  some of us decided long ago was the only solution—genuine federalism and constitutionalism–devolution, dismembering Leviathan.”

    You, Dr. Livingston, Kirk Sale, and others convinced me some time ago that the proper size of a nation (state, country, polity, duchy, etc.) was decidedly smaller than the mass conglomeration we find ourselves with today. Worse yet, notwithstanding Tuesday’s heartening result, you have to know the electoral college’s days are numbered. So much for Calhoun’s wisdom on concurrent majorities.

    Ultimately, I think we need to get smaller or die. And California is indeed the best place to start. I spent 18 years of my life in LA, and remember that every native-born (or otherwise proud) Californian would eventually tell you that, “you know, if we were a separate country, we’d have the 6th largest economy on earth.” Their hubris implied that they didn’t much care for or need the rest of America. They’d been smart enough to get themselves born in California, and everyone else was subhuman. Time to put that hubris to the test. Sure, we’ll have to be mindful of our friends John Seiler and Roger McGrath among others, provide an escape hatch if necessary, but even they must know the Golden State’s a lost cause.

    For my own part, I look forward to becoming an upcountry citizen of the new Republic of South Carolina.

    For the record, I’m not holding my breath about anyone in California following through on secession. Noble and selfless as they are, they all believe they have a mission to save the rest of us from the abyss.

  14. Bagby says:

    I agree heartily with Mr. Rosenberger. The calls for secession in Oregon and California are the best thing to come out of Trump’s election thus far. The root of our government troubles lies in the centralization of political power in DC and economic power in Wall Street. Secession is the most effective step to decentralizing both. For this reason, I am as passionate in my support of California’s secession after Trump as I would be Texas’ secession after a Clinton victory. The empire is suffering from giantism and must be dismembered. No Trump reforms or budget cuts – an improbable prospect, it seems- will fix the centralized power that is the root of the problem. The centers of influence and political power must be brought back to Sacramento, back to Austin, and back to Columbia. Washington must be dismantled. God knows what we will do with all of those empty, brutalist symbols of bureaucratic tyranny on the Potomac with their statues of blood-drinking philistines like Sheridan and Sherman – those devilish ‘saviors’ of the Union.

  15. Bagby says:

    When Trump renegotiates NAFTA with Canada, he ought to make a deal to colonize the jobless bureaucrats on some deserted part of Nunavut. Many long to leave, it seems, and we ought to strike while that iron is hot. This segment of the ruling class – the glorified hand-wringers at the Department of Labor, the makers-of-unenforcable-rules at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Nuevo NKVD officers at the NSA, the professional makers-of-threats at State, and the debt-mongers and world-managers at the IMF and Federal Reserve are a class of Leninist professional revolutionaries. What can be done with these people? We had best keep their futures in mind. Exile is not a far-fetched remedy, for if you keep them around, they will organize rebellions to immanentize another and far more bloody eschaton. Perhaps, if we can convince them to identify as a racial minority and gender unlike those recognized at their birth, submit themselves to the full treatment, and agree to live in Section 8 housing on monthly welfare and food stamps, we might all get what we want from them. One, they will become virtuous in their own perception by living amid squalor and degradation as an oppressed group – which is the sure way to become a superior human being, according to their school. Two, they will be made impotent through their treatment, and thus made less likely to pass along their undesirable attitudes towards life to children. Thirdly, as a new rule will cut off food stamps and welfare to those involved in attempts to destroy public order, they may end up choosing between exile and prison if they insist on the life of a professional revolutionary. I do not seriously propose these things. I am only writing for amusement. I seriously doubt any agency will be dissolved or shrunk under Trump, but what do you do with a revolutionary leftist early in the morning? I say we will be safer with them huddled in yurts on Baffin Island practicing central planning and distributed wealth to their heart’s content with regular airdrops for the sake of their humanity.

  16. Allen Wilson says:

    I have heard that booting an already bankrupt California out of the Empire would relieve the rest of us of one-third of the welfare cases in the Empire. What does that portend for the stability and feasibility of an independent California republic? I predict implosion within a few years, or maybe even just a few months, but let them do it, maybe independence would force them to get their act together, although I think it should have happened thirty years ago, so that all those propositions passed by the voters would not have been struck down by those traitor-tyrants in black robes. California would have had a chance that way, but now?

  17. Steven Lakoff says:

    Letting California go might seem a good and quick answer to our problems, but there are some dangers. Of course this is getting way ahead of things. California is nowhere near succession right now, but planning ahead can pay off.

    First, why give it up without a fight? Things could go well with immigration and the economy to the point where an larger portion of the population can be won over. Long term, changes to the education system could bring the sons and daughters of the Marxists back into our camp. I think we really need to assess the prospects of successfully taking the leftist states back, short and long term, not giving them up. The MArxists on the US got into power by a full blown assault on this country. Why can’t we do the same?

    Second, If California is independent and looking for allies, where might they look? Mexico? China? How long before China or Mexico simply takes over the struggling new nation through coercion, force or weaponized immigration. Then we have a big problem with a hostile and powerful nation right on our flank.

    Third, should we allow, or encourage a whole state to separate or perhaps just a part? I would want to maintain a large strip of land for our own between the Obama-nation and Mexico, a buffer, so as to prevent a hostile Mexico from interacting to closely with our other enemies. Beggars can’t be choosy and I would make them feel grateful for just a partial piece of the Golden State.

  18. Allen Wilson says:

    Mr Lakoff, you are right on the prognosis, especially weaponized Chinese immigration used against a California rendered impotent to resist by it’s Marxist traitor-rulers. The feasibility of winning the state back is not so far fetched since so many counties went for Trump, proving that there is still intelligent life there after all.

    I think the best strategy would be to hold the country together and find a way to undermine the leftist strongholds, namely, the big cities with all the welfare case voters, capital cities with all the public employees, etc. Empowering the countryside and and reducing the influence of big cities would be a good start and would have a beneficial effect even in the most leftist states. But if the left seizes absolute control over the country and no hope is left, then separation would be necessary.

  19. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    The country is too big. Easiest way to break it up is by voluntary secession. In the first Congress, about 20,000 people were represented by each member of the House. Today, it is about 720,000. Our representation, a major issue of the War of Independence, has been severely eroded. The only sensible way to correct the situation is by reducing the size of the country.