Saturday, July 3, 2021

John Adams Then, Us Now

As we approach the Fourth of July this seems a suitable time to remind ourselves of some home truths. America was not founded as a Libertarian nation of atomistic individuals doing their own thing, much less as 'woke' versions of that simplistic Classical Liberal ideology. Several of the Founding Fathers spoke eloquently about the need for religious and moral formation, and none more presciently that John Adams:

From John Adams to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798

To the Officers of the first Brigade of the third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts

Quincy October 11. 1798


I have received from Major General Hull and Brigadier General Walker your unanimous Address from Lexington, animated with a martial Spirit and expressed with a military Dignity, becoming your Characters and the <, Start deletion,Place, End,> memorable Plains, in which it was adopted. 

While our Country remains untainted with the Principles and manners, which are now producing desolation in so many Parts of the World: while she continues Sincere and incapable of insidious and impious Policy: We shall have the Strongest Reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned Us by Providence. But should the People of America, once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the Language of Justice and moderation while it is practicing Iniquity and Extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming Pictures of Candour frankness & sincerity while it is rioting in rapine and Insolence: this Country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World. Because We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition, Revenge or Galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. 

An Address so unanimous and firm from the officers commanding two thousand Eight hundred Men, consisting of such substantial Citizens as are able and willing at their own Expence, compleatly to arm, And cloath themselves in handsome Uniforms does honor to that Division of the Militia which has done so much honor to their Country. Oaths, in this Country, are as yet universally considered as Sacred Obligations. That which you have taken and so solemnly repeated on that venerable Spot is an ample Pledge of your sincerity, and devotion to your Country and its Government.

Where are we today? Ben Weingarten has written a thoughtful piece for Newsweek that shows how far we as a nation have traveled down the road of "simulation", simulation of justice and moderation while engaging in extravagant, inquisitorial persecution of those who hold to the ideals Adams embraced:

Baiden Domestic Terror Strategy Codifies Woke War on Wrongthink

The War on Domestic Terror ultimately rests on a transparently flawed logic:

Kyle Shideler


Jun 24

This is the logic of their current “counterterrorism” assault. Opposing the regime is racism, racism is terrorism, terrorism is a national security threat. 


Obviously the bogus equation of opposition to the Zhou regime = "racism" cannot withstand even a minimal factual analysis. It rests on currently fashionable versions of Marxism that define racism as the original and unforgivable sin. Since Wokeism is defined as a struggle against racism, people who resist Wokeism in any way must ipso facto be racists, terrorists, national security threats.

Weingarten lays this out:

The Baiden [regime's] first-of-its-kind National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism codifies a federal War on Wrongthink. In sum, the document makes clear that the imposition of Wokeism constitutes a national security imperative.

That is, the strategy uses public safety to justify leftist domination of both public policy and the public discourse, enforcing the regime's ideology at the point of a government gun.

Thus has the Neocon idea of America as a "propositional" nation (note, nota bene, Adams' "moral and religious people") been given a more obvious focus: America is to be an ideological nation.

It comes against the backdrop of the Woking of the defense, national security and intelligence apparatuses, the executive branch more broadly and society itself, whereby those who run afoul of progressivism are deemed bigoted and dangerous—and therefore liable to be purged.

And it comes amidst an all-consuming effort to pursue anyone even remotely close to the U.S. Capitol on January 6, a catalyzing event for the strategy.

Weingarten goes on to document the strategy's clear totalitarian goals. An official government ideology, Critical Race Theory, is to be imposed nation wide. Those who vote against the regime are ipso facto defined now as national security threats--enemies of the State. Family and co-workers are to be encouraged to inform on the recalcitrant deplorables. Not to inform will presumably render one complicit. The full resources of government and Big Tech/Media will be deployed in coordinated fashion to shape to shape the worldview of the citizenry and to root out Wrongthink--rhetorically identified as "conspiracy theory."

The broader context cannot be ignored. But even within its own four corners, the strategy is full of disturbing passages, culminating in a positively chilling crescendo.

To begin, the strategy fails to clearly define who exactly it is targeting—meaning the target could be ever-moving, and forever growing—but strongly implies that the threat consists of at least the nearly half of the electorate that voted for President Donald Trump in 2020. ...


The strategy seems to acknowledge past failings to protect civil liberties in pursuing domestic threats, but then tells us that somehow, the very national security and intelligence apparatus hyper-politicized and weaponized at the highest levels over the last four-plus years will now "do better" by working with all relevant "stakeholders."

The strategy purports, in the words of a senior administration official, to "creat[e] contexts in which those who are family members or friends or co-workers know that there are pathways and avenues to raise concerns and seek help for those who they have perceived to be radicalizing and potentially radicalizing towards violence." While nations must of course be vigilant about legitimate national security threats, surveilling those near and dear to us based on vague notions of "radicalization" never defined is the stuff of third-world banana republics.

Previously, the recruitment of informants was a matter for Law Enforcement initiative. The encouragement of the general public to inform was normally reserved for specific serious crimes or situations. Now, with a greatly enhanced intel and LE wing of the federal government, which has in many ways coopted local LE agencies, as well as the powerful tools of Big Tech for monitoring individuals at the disposal of the federal government, a full court press from the top down will be launched against at least half the population. The goal will be to encourage not merely to report criminal activity or planning, but "to raise concerns" about family, friends, and co-workers.


The strategy leaves the door open for the U.S. government to collude with foreign intelligence services in pursuing Americans.

Tucker Carlson--are you paying attention?


The strategy speaks of the U.S. government partnering with Big Tech and other ostensibly private actors in pursuit of the threats it purports to identify. What could possibly go wrong?

The strategy also calls for authorities "to counter the influence and impact of dangerous conspiracy theories," which it suggests "can provide a gateway to terrorist violence." ...

Where the strategy believes it derives this legal authority or social legitimacy is unclear. What is clear is that such a policy is incompatible with basic freedom and republican self-governance.

It is the document's close that reveals beyond a shadow of a doubt that the strategy is about forcibly imposing the regime's ruling ideology.

In a section titled "Confront Long-Term Contributors to Domestic Terrorism," the strategy calls for combating domestic terrorism through anti-racism. ...

Anti-racist "equity," which as the Left uses it is antithetical to real "equality," calls for overtly discriminating against individuals and removing justice's blindfold. The goal is to use policy to socially engineer the citizenry so that all outcomes are proportional to group identity. Applied Critical Race Theory, in other words, is now set to be our domestic counterterrorism strategy.


Last but not least, the Baiden regime calls for—what else—protecting and preserving its power and privilege. The strategy notes a broader priority: "enhancing faith in government and addressing the extreme polarization, fueled by a crisis of disinformation and misinformation often channeled through social media platforms." To do so, it calls for "accelerating work to contend with an information environment that challenges healthy democratic discourse" and, again, working to "counter the influence and impact of dangerous conspiracy theories" that it claims lead to terrorist violence.

Again, "enhancing faith in government"--as if government is a legitimate object of "faith" to begin with--was previously supposed to follow from the principle: by their fruits shall you know them. Now, that goal is to be advanced by coordinated government action--I believe the usual term for that is propaganda--and will focus on monitoring and countering First Amendment free speech. Deplatforming comes to mind. What Wrongthink will be targeted remains a largely open question. Just as "racism" is in the eyes of the Woke, so to "violence" and "terrorism" will also be defined by the Woke. And, naturally, by the government. And its Big Tech and Social Media proxies. Who really imagines the courts have the resources, or even the inclination, to address this full court press on republican values? As Weingarten says,


Controlling the narrative is now domestic counterterrorism strategy—as is ensuring that "the institutions" remain dominant, no matter how illegitimate and unrepresentative their actions may well be.

Any backlash cannot be tolerated and must be crushed—hence the rolling effort to destroy Trump, and now this effort to silence and chill tens of millions of his supporters by treating them as actual or would-be domestic terrorists.


Fortunately more and more Americans are waking up (!) to the threat, especially as represented by CRT in the schools. In our previous post today we cited Robert Cahaly's view that this will be a major issue in Election 2022. Whether this reaction is too late is an open question. As Cahaly points out, the Republicans can still blow this issue.


  1. I gather, that "will presumably render one complicitY", was to be "will presumably render one complicit".
    And, that "this will be an major in Election 2022", was to be
    "this will be A major *issue* in Election 2022".

    In the document Weingarten refers to is indeed, a crucial passage (on p. 28):
    "tackling the threat posed by domestic terrorism over the long term *demands* substantial efforts to confront *the racism* that feeds into aspects of that threat....
    every component of the government has a role to play in rooting out racism and advancing *equity*...."

    "Equity" of course means, the CRT conception of that.

  2. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People.”

    We are neither no longer. Sin, wickedness, idolatry of the self, & sexual perversion are rife throughout society. At the “elite” level it’s even worse (Jeffrey Epstein & Co. for example) As heretofore mentioned, we inhabit a kakistocracy.

    May Almighty God have mercy on us, but why should He?


  3. "...enforcing the regime's ideology at the point of a government gun"

    In the end, it always comes down to:

    "Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun."
    -Mao Zedong


  4. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
    Locked doors only keep honest people out.

  5. "surveilling those near and dear to us based on vague notions of "radicalization" never defined is the stuff of third-world banana republics."

    No, this is not banana republic stuff, this is Stalin, CCP, and Castro stuff. We trivialize the gravity of the danger when we characterize it as banana republic tactics. No, we are well past that and deep into collectivist tyranny territory.


  6. "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    This is such a critical thought to ponder and debate. Is our Constitution sufficient for our day? We all assume that the ship can be righted by Constitutional means but Adams compares it to a net restraining a whale. What are the alternatives? Communists don't willingly yield power and now that they have gone all in with the Steal and domestic terror edicts, what will the future hold?


  7. To Rescue a Nation - Angelo Codevilla

    "What does it take to re-found a nation?"

    "Restoring America requires dedicated citizens to re-found our Republic."

    "A serious attempt to rescue Americans from an alien regime at war with our way of life awaits the rise of a person to embody their sentiments, focus and lead them to act successfully in their own interest."

    hint: someone like Moses, or de Gaulle, not Trump.


    1. The hint comes from Codevilla who uses Moses and DeGaulle in an effort to make his personal point about Trump. Every movement needs a leader. His attempt to do more #Nevertrumping fails, IMO.

    2. More on Codevilla, this may look good on a cocktail napkin, but how does it work out in real life?

      Republican Americans’ success in the aforementioned defensive battles should convince the oligarchy to limit its absolute power to the people who want to live under it. The persons whom the republicans choose in successive elections will have substantial power to define the terms by which America’s tribes relate to one another. Maximum latitude for each and minimum interference with the other should be the guidelines. Affording maximum autonomy to each is essential to ensure peace among people who identify with civilizations at odds with each other.

    3. Bebe, consider reposting those very pointed comments on the new post that I've just spent hours writing, re Codevilla. I agree.

  8. "A serious attempt to rescue Americans from an alien regime at war with our way of life awaits the rise of a person to embody their sentiments, focus and lead them to act successfully in their own interest."

    Many have suggested that Trump was the left's last chance... and that if they do not like Trump, they will really not like whoever follows him. As I read the daily parade of outrages, it is hard to me to imagine that it will be a principled constitutionalist pushback that halts the left's march. It is much more likely to be someone that may talk a good 1789 game, but who is ruthless, vengeful, and unstinting. There will be many who are perfectly fine with that.

  9. Roger Kimball has another of his gems at American Greatness. Riffing off of Biden’s snapping to the press “I want to talk about happy things” when asked about the abandonment of Bagram, Kimball runs through some things we have a right to be very unhappy about:

    Joe Biden’s Happy Things

    Joe Biden plays an ambiguous role in this malevolent charade. He is not the prime mover but merely the public face of the machine.