Will he want to? Does he even know it exists?
Well now he does, and now Donald Trump knows that the Doctrine of Liberty is that tiny little bug, buried deep in the American soul for over a 150 years, that was rekindled and got him nominated.
It he embraces it (and by name since it has such a grand sound to it) it will also get him elected, for it plays as well in the inner city and the barrio as it does in the working middle class.
My views on immigration have always been clear, my litmus test for immigrants coming here, and eventually becoming citizens, is embedded in that Doctrine of Liberty:
If an immigrant can kneel down and kiss the ground and bless the name of America, the Constitution and the Founders, I want him or her here, no matter how they got here. That has to be the first objective of any immigration policy, to be American.
If we just want hired hands, try another way. A cheap 10-page guest-worker law will work.
Republicans and Democrats had been vying with one another for years as to whose feet those immigrants should kiss instead of the Flag until the corporate mercantilists finally brought them together under a single banner; globalism.
My statement of the case
Since there can be no court to adjudicate the rightful heirs to the GOP brand, I’m not here to offer up a legal argument as to who that rightful owner should be. With the nomination of Donald Trump the Tea Parties just took it. Finally.
Rather I’m here to state the case to the Conservatives as to why the original Republican brand, the Doctrine of Liberty, is theirs, too, if they still want it, but it is first the property of the common ordinary Americans, aka the tea parties, in whose bosom it has dwelled since the Republican Party and lately modern conservatism jettisoned it, as what Mark Twain would have called “excess baggage”.
After years of pleading and begging with conservatives, the people have finally spoken directly to what are now the remnants of the Republican Party.
And they hired Donald Trump, a civilian, to restore their country.
Everyone wants harmony and happy endings, I know, so I wish I could be more accommodating, but quite frankly, when Romney’s loss was laid at the feet of conservatives who refused to vote for him it seemed clear that the GOP Establishment has decided to get rid of the conservative wing; the Christians, the Pro-Lifers, the farmers, small business, the rubes, the un-hip and unsophisticated. Only now, four years later, we now know that wasn’t entirely true, as many (30%, 40%, 50% ?) of conservatives share that belief.
You see, when you get rid of 75% of your party’s voting base, without any hope of replacing it, the only other place the core GOP Establishment can go for safe haven is to be wedded into the larger party, as junior partners. This was the probable strategy of the GOP;
…sanctuary, based entirely on matters of class, economic station and the perquisites of power.
In short, being junior partners to the Democrats in a hereditary ruling class is preferable to having to roll up one’s sleeves and go back to the days of great grandmama and great grandpapa, and start felling trees and clearing land all over again, and worse, hob-knobbing with dirty, sweaty farmers and shop keepers.
This reaction is also in accordance with their nature, so remember: don’t get angry at #cottonmouths for being #cottonmouths. The Republican Party has been slowly seething over all those unkempt people coming around for dinner since Ronald Reagan first invited them over in 1981. “At least they could have the decency to come around to the back door, so the neighbors won’t see.”
About those sweaty farmers, Blacks, and the GOP Brand
The Doctrine of Liberty
I bring this up to point out that the GOP Establishment’s claim of supremacy within the Party rises or falls on its legitimacy to carry that original Party banner, which was all about those sweaty farmers and shopkeepers, not to mention those newly emancipated slaves.
The Doctrine of Liberty is the original Republican banner.
There has been two Republican Parties since the 1870s at least, one for Liberty, the other for Wealth, (not to be confused with free markets.) The Doctrine of Liberty is the older banner of the two, as well as the one that represents the far larger number of Americans (not just current Republicans) and the one that has the greater chance of actually growing the Party in size in the future. It was what the Founders had in mind in 1787, and ably restated by one of the co-founders of the Republican Party, George William Curtis, in 1862, in support of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
This “meets and surpasses” all requirements for legitimacy.
I claim for that part of the Party that has paid in blood, sweat and tears the right to claim it. I claim for the inclusive Republican Party, not the exclusive one. I claim for the Party of the American Doctrine of Liberty instead the American Doctrine of Class.
Although philosophically the deepest of the early Republicans, Curtis would have been considered a Tea Partier today, for he was unbending about the purposes of the Constitution and its transcendental value for all mankind. Curtis, like the Founders, sided with the aspirations of the common men and women of America, the same sort of people his own American ancestors were (The Roosevelts and Rockefellers both started out as farmers, too.). Curtis gratefully acknowledged the strength of the shoulders he stood on, the lack of which is most notable among most Establishment Republicans.
Curtis delivered his “Doctrine of Liberty” address to the Phi beta Kappa Society at Harvard (yep, that Phi Beta Kappa and that Harvard):
In it, he laid out the intellectual foundations for the purpose of American education that would last another thirty years in academe, and in public schools, nearly one hundred.
(This speech can now be found on the internet, but I have a copy, which I’ll be happy to email to you by Word Doc if you’ll just send an email address to email@example.com)
I highlighted that sentence because most people have forgotten that before the Republican Party was the party of low taxes (the “small government” plank came much later) it was the party of Liberty. That was its first banner, and the banner under which thousands of homesteads and farmcots sent their sons and husbands to free a race of people they had never seen.
Not wealth-production, not business, low taxes, a strong military defense, but the fundamental dignity of man and liberty, the individual right to pursue life and happiness…fueled by a strong belief in God…did those men fight and die.
The GOP’s Second Coming
Of course the fabric of America would change with the Industrial Revolution that would bring millions of emigrant workers to our shores, and with it untold wealth to many men who would be there, firstest with the mostest, to stake claims in mining and transportation, laying the foundation for the nation that would later achieve the title “The Engine of Democracy.” At one time just a handful of them would claim over a quarter of the entire US economy.
You gotta give them credit for what they achieved, too. But they were businessmen, not philosophers (as Ayn Rand always dreamt.) Some were pretty sorry apples, but most were good men. John D Rockefeller tithed a full 10% til the day he died. And they all understood power and its exercise. So they selected politicians who would protect their interests, and since the Republican Party was the big he-bull in Washington after the Civil War, they chose Republicans. Big business was their philosophical doctrine. “Small Business” would be a term their great grandchildren would encounter, and many, even today, none too kindly.
So in some respects they were naive politicians, in that they saw the Constitution as a social Darwinist contract that rewarded the winners and left the losers to their own devices, with really very few options at the time. Go to the old Soviet Bloc today, with their new rich, and you will see this belief writ large, only they are less inclined to think God handpicked them for their good fortune.
So these first Republican deep pockets were not much into the handshake between the man at the top of the hill and the fellow down at the bottom. That would come later, on the back of the next generation of entrepreneurs, in applied technology, Henry Ford, Edison, Bell, and manufacturing and retail, John Sears, all of who spawned the first real small business expansion in America. None ever not got a single handshake from the original barons of wealth creation. Despite the ravings of “Many Moon Come Choctaw” Warren Donald Trump appears to fit into this second generation type, probably the most successful small businessman in modern history.
The black tie Republicans maintained their high political station until after WWII, when the east coast was still solidly part of the old Republican Establishment, even though the real politics of America had moved far away from their clubs and drawing rooms. By 1948 they had become a parody, when Truman beat Dewey.
Still, they control the GOP…with money.
So, with the Doctrine of Liberty abandoned, what else can the modern GOP Establishment claim as its banner? Yes, it was the party of low taxes, but if you’ll check, it lost out on tax policy around 1913, Reagan having cut rates more in 1986 than in all the previous Republican administrations since Coolidge. And the philosophy of “small government” was Reagan’s, with a little help from Coolidge, and of course, the Founders. Finally, a strong national defense and anti-communism were the progeny of Russell Kirk, William Rusher and William F Buckley Jr in the 1950s, since the Republicans were largely isolationists until December 8, 1941.
So, whatever else the original rich ruling class country club Republicans were, they were lousy at governance for all the people. “What’s good for General Motors is good for America” never quite worked. From 1865 until 1923 the only non-hand-picked conservative in the White House was the Democrat Grover Cleveland, who was so good at conservatism the Democrat Party was split asunder and restructured in 1896 into the leftwing party it has become today. All that held it back was the Doctrine of Liberty in the grass roots hinterland until LBJ.
(Conservatives might wish to study how that Democrat Party transition took place, for within four election cycles, those new-and-improved Democrats imposed a national income tax and began to overwhelm our government with the new found money… and have ever since, except for that brief interlude with Reagan. Although Dems have been in an out of power several times, they have always controlled the argument except on national defense, and no Republican, except for Reagan, ever stepped forward to reclaim the field at the national level for the original party banner, the Doctrine of Liberty.)
In summary, by 1900 the Doctrine of Liberty had been expelled from the major colleges and universities in the East, replaced by the Euro-centric class-based doctrines of Hegel and Marx, brought here by the very children of those wealthy businessmen who thought their children would be better served to study abroad. (Euro penis envy.)
Socialism/Progressivism had been introduced as if it were a new song from Tin Pan Alley or a new Paris fashion. It was introduced the same way for another 30-50 years to the rest of higher education in America. You can still see the “in-group” look on Occupy kid’s faces today, just as it was at the University of Illinois in 1931, or the University of Kentucky in 1969.
But public schools in America, mainly because they were controlled by the local taxpayers, held to the Doctrine of Liberty, even through the FDR years, into the Vietnam War era, when finally the iron grip of federal money engulfed them.
The Doctrine of Liberty still lives on, especially in those who were lucky enough (like Thomas Sowell, who was “lucky enough to be schooled before affirmative action”) to be grounded in the Doctrine in late 50s and early 60s, before it was kicked out.
Today, they are called the Tea Party, the last repository of George William Curtis’ Doctrine of Liberty.
The people of the Doctrine, once calling themselves conservatives until conservatives disowned them, have always been there to stop any apparent threat, with or without the Republican Party. They rallied to beat Obama in 2010. They rushed to the barricades to elect George W Bush to prevent a continuation of the Clinton brothel, and just in time it seems. (It was a sad day, however, when GW called tea parties “nativists” acknowledging he never really knew just who it was that put him into office in the first place.)
To Donald Trump: It’s time this Doctrine is formally restored.
The Republican Party establishment hasn’t had its fingerprint on the Doctrine of Liberty in over 130 years. Still, that’s what kept the Leftism of the Democrats from consuming America in the Wilson era, the Roosevelt era, and into the modern era. It is still alive, despite several attempts on its life.
The Doctrine of Liberty is the ideological heart of the original Republican Party. If you want to expose the Left as the small-minded pseudo-intellectuals it is, just take the philosophical constructs of the Constitution one level deeper using the Doctrine, and all they will be able to do is mumble.
Never forget, Trump didn’t find us. We found him. And the Doctrine of Liberty is the one piece of luggage he has to carry around. Billy Graham recently said that if people are going to call themselves Christian it would be nice if from time to time they’d mention Jesus. A little known truth about Donald Trump, intentionally muted by the media, even conservative media, is that at the end of every speech, he pauses, looks over the crowd, and thanks them, genuinely thanks them, for their support.
It would be nice if, while doing so, he mentioned that “doctrine” they all carry buried in their gut. That’s the reason they are out there.