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Tyrannicide, Regicide and Impeachment

December 10, 2018

The “Framers” of the Constitution came from a generation of well-educated gentlemen who had studied the history of ancient Rome and Greece. They knew the difference between tyrannicide–the justification for killing a tyrant–and regicide. Some may have been familiar with the colony of English in Cape May where regicides who signed the death warrant for King Charles I escaped after the death of Cromwell.

Some provision for punishing the chief executive was needed and “Impeachment” was the remedy settled upon. Like tyrannicide, Impeachment is to be taken only as a last resort, for a lot of reasons. Killing our kings could become a habit and thus deter all but the morally calloused from seeking the highest office.

Two recent Presidents, William Clinton and Donald Trump, fall into that category. Even though President Richard Nixon would proclaim “I am not a crook,” his behavior took down seven men who in good conscience served him and their country well. Known as the “Watergate Seven” they included the former Attorney General of the United States, a White House Chief of Staff, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs, a White House counsel, and three others.

After Robert Mueller submits his report, the U.S. House of Represents will introduce a resolution to Impeach President Donald Trump and indictments leading to convictions will be brought against Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner. I expect the President will be indicted as well, thus commencing a legal process leading to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

These are different times from when President Nixon could assert that he was not a crook. Today money is very much a part of Presidential motivation. Peter Schweizer’s important book, Clinton Cash, revealed how the Clinton’s became wealthy by trading favors and actions for donations to the Clinton Foundation. Robert Mueller’s findings will reveal how the Trump Organization pursued “business” by money-laundering the wealth of Russian oligarchs and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York will bring an indictment against the President for violation of federal campaign financing laws.

The American people who are witness to these transgressions are angry and in no mood to forgive and forget. Even if President Trump resigns his office, he will be tried and convicted in federal court and serve a prison sentence. Will that be called tyrannicide or regicide?

What Yellow Vest Riots Teach Us

December 9, 2018

We should not be surprised by “Yellow Vest” riots in France. Modern France was shaped by the violence that occurred in 1789 and culminated in “The Terror” that commenced in 1793. Alexis de Tocqueville in The Old Regime and the French Revolution cites key historical dates and events that point toward and explain the outpouring of violence then and now.

He recalls the chaos caused by the captivity of King John at the battle of Poitiers in 1356 that led to the insurrection of peasants in 1358. That peasant insurrection was called the Jacquerie because the nobility commonly referred to any peasant as Jacques, or Jacques Bonhomme

Another insurrection occurred in 1382 in response to the imposition of taxes. That violence was called Mailotins because of iron mallots that the mob confiscated and used to attack business owners, government officials and money lenders.

The year 1388 was marked by the madness of Charles VI (1368-1422) and the disorders of his rule. He was followed by the reign of King Charles VII who was permitted to impose a tax without the people’s consent. Tocqueville writes, “…on that fateful day that the seeds were sown of almost all the vices and abuses which led to the violent downfall of the old régime.”

In 1591 a public uprising in Paris against the temporizing policies of Henry III is called the Council of the Sixteens. The head of the Catholic League led representatives of the sixteen quartiers of Paris who arrested and executed three magistrates of the Parlement of Paris.

In 1648 the French nobility engaged in a last attempt in a series of wars, called the Fronde, to recover privileges usurped by French monarchs. Yet again, in 1685, Louis XIV disturbed civic order by arbitrarily placing dragoons in Protestant households as part of his persecution of  the Huguenots.

In 1701, the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) following the death of Charles II of Spain threatened the balance of power in Europe and led to war between the French and an alliance of  England, the Dutch Republic and Austria. Though the power of Louis XIV was challenged, the King secured the borders of France and continued his policy of centralization of state power.

In 1777, René Nicolas de Maupeou, Chancellor of France, carrying out Louis XVI’s reforms abolished the system of Parlements, or regional courts. Though the French had felt oppressed by the Parlements, with their abolition, Tocqueville writes, “had fallen the last barrier still capable of holding in check the monarch’s absolute power.”

If there is one thing we learn from Tocqueville’s historical narrative, we learn that centralization of the power of the state destroys the mores and culture of nations. That is something that Americans today should understand is happening to us.

 

 

What to Read at Christmas

December 8, 2018

Dr. Christopher Manion studied in the Department of Government at the University of Notre Dame at a most fortunate time in the history of that institution. There he encountered Professors Gerhart Niemeyer and Eric Voegelin and his life was changed. I was there too and Dr. Manion reviews my 2015 book , The Conservative Rebellion, that discusses that experience. Amazon has discounted the price to $4.00, just in time for Christmas.

Beating Around the Bushes

December 4, 2018

James Pinkerton served as a speechwriter in the White House of President Reagan and in Policy and Planning in the Presidential Administration of George H.W. Bush. Writing in his 1995 book titled What’s Next, Pinkerton took the measure of President George H. W. Bush.

Pinkerton believes that Bush 41, successor to Ronald Reagan, squandered his “birthright for a mess of political potage” and damned Bush, as well as any skilled writer can by observing: “He lacked respect for words and the ideas behind them.”

G. H. W. Bush casually dismissed his study of Economics at Yale as “the idea thing.” He was clever, however, and well understood how the powers of government can be manipulated. For example, he went out of his way to appoint family members of journalists to positions in his government, thus hoping to buy the journalist’s good will. And, whereas we conservatives saw the revolutionary intent of the civil rights movement, Bush–who had voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act–committed his career after 1964 to a mea culpa for this past sin. The Office of Civil Rights in the Bush Administration was described by one conservative appointee in the Bush Administration as “full of Leeberals.” That was characteristic of the George W. Bush Administration as well, which explains why so many of “W’s” former appointees show up on MSNBC and CNN as critics of President Donald Trump.

Those of us who came up in the ranks of the conservative movement, however, dismissed G. H.W. and George “W” Bush as “Liberal Republicans.”  Now in death, of course, we honor Bush 41’s service and his good character, but during his one-term Presidency we regretted his unwillingness to advance conservative principles of limited government and his indifference to the illness inflicted on American government by the Progressive Left.

 

My Early List of New Year’s Resolutions

December 3, 2018

Here’s my resolution of things I’m giving up in 2019:

Apple i-Phone–too many requirements and pitches. I’ll replace my i-phone with a phone from another manufacturer.

Facebook–20,000 new hires will monitor discussions, all college educated and Liberal.

Google Chrome–too many advertisements they want to pitch.

Bank of America–this very old bank has not adjusted to banking in the 21st century.

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”–Joe Scarborough’s judgment and insights are impaired.

CNN–Time for AT&T to own up to its corporate responsibility and cut CNN loose from the Progressive Leftists now controlling programming content.

AVG anti-virus software–this German firm’s intrusive messaging isn’t worth the protection.

Go to College for an Education

December 2, 2018

National Association of Scholars’ President, Dr. Peter Wood, and I gave a presentation at the Family Research Council on the topic of anti-American bias of American higher education.  This problem has gotten worse over the past 60 years, so there is nothing you or I can do about it.

But, if you’re beginning to plan to go to college next year, plan to get an education, not merely a degree.

Here are some tips for you to consider:

1) Choose the best college or university you can find that offers a four-year education at the lowest cost. That means you should consider taking residence in a state where tuition at state universities is low. The University of Oregon in Eugene offers tuition for in-state students of about $5,000 a year. Colorado public universities cost about the same. California State charges about $5,700 a year. Don’t pay more!

2) Don’t worry about Liberal bias. Every university is biased in that way. But, you want a good education offered by professional scholars who have earned the Ph.D. degree. If they are true professionals, they will not let their personal opinions to distort their subjects.

3) Study important disciplines. Which are they?

1) American national government

2) Constitutional law

3) Statistics

4) History of music

5) History of Art

6) Classical philosophy: Plato & Aristotle

7) History courses–as many as you can find, but focus on the history of England, the history of Russia, the history of China and the history of France.

8) Accounting

9) Physical Education–take at least one a year and sometimes take one each semester. Learn tennis, golf, and swimming

10) Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics

4) Area studies to avoid: English Literature, American studies, Communication, Psychology, Journalism, Education.

5) Valuable degree programs: Business, Government and all the Sciences.

If you want guidance, have your Mom or Dad contact me by e-mail at: academydl@gmail.com

G-20 Meeting: Prelude to War

November 27, 2018

An editorial in the Washington Examiner for Tuesday, November 27, urges President Trump to “stand up to Putin.” The editorial is timely because of this week’s meeting of G-20 member states in Argentina and because the Russian Navy fired upon three Ukrainean naval vessels crossing the Sea of Azov to dock in the port of Mariupol.

At the G-20 meeting, President Trump is likely to continue his personal approach to diplomacy by meeting with Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.  Two years into the Trump Administration, President Trump has not put into place conservative senior staff who are experts in foreign and national security policy. Nor has he prepared for important meetings with other heads of state by tasking non-existent senior staff to prepare him for those meetings.

The American voter elected a “know-it-all.”

This is dangerous because this “know-it-all” President claims that he is an expert deal-maker who can ameliorate contrary interests of post-Soviet Russia and Maoist China. If the President performs as poorly as he did in meetings with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, only bad things will come of this upcoming “sit-down” with former KGB intelligence officer, Vladimir Putin. And Xi Jinping’s policies of total control of Chinese society are now beginning to unravel as the  glue of an expanding Chinese economy is challenged by Trump Administration’s tariffs.

Clearly, this is an important moment in the Trump presidency, and the editorial in the Washington Examiner makes sense, but for the fact that the Washington Examiner is controlled by Philip Anschutz who owns the Neoconservative Weekly Standard and is allied spiritually and intellectually with National Security Advisor, John Bolton and the Neocon think tank, AEI.

If these meetings with Putin and Xi go badly, we will see Russia move immediately to take control Ukraine and China will take control of the South China Sea. What John Bolton will recommend in retaliation is no mystery.