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What Happened to the 100 Percent?

Mitt Romney has his 47-percent philosophy of elections [1], which he stands by [2]firmly [3].

Fair enough. Now we know.

Yet we might consider another conservative approach, practiced by other politicians in other countries and in other centuries. That other conservative approach seemed to work pretty well, both for actually winning elections and also for governing effectively.

Benjamin Disraeli, who was Prime Minister of Great Britain and an important figure in British politics for four decades, had a different philosophy of elections and of governance. He wasn’t interested in the 47 percent, or the other 53 percent–he was interested in the 100 percent.

Born in London in 1804, Disraeli was horrified by the impoverished conditions of the English working class, but he was also horrified by the thought of French-style radicalism and revolution coming to his country.

Seeing that stand-pat rural-dominated conservatism was destined to fail in the face of industrialization, urbanization, and proletarianization, Disraeli picked up his pen; he wrote not only political pamphlets, but also novels that mixed high-society intrigue with reformist politics.

Elected to Parliament in 1837, he articulated a “One Nation” conservatism, championing policies–and more to the point, an overall approach–that he believed could bring the English working class into the Tory fold.

Indeed, Disraeli described English workingmen as “angels in marble.” That is, they were natural Tories, in terms of basic attitude; so just as a sculptor, confronting a block of solid marble, chisels away everything that’s not an angelic form, so, too, would One Nation Tories carve out new voters from the lower levels of English society. In no sense was Disraeli a redistributionist liberal; still, by seeking to assure at least a minimum for all, Disraelite Tories believed that the rich and the poor could be bonded together in a national–and nationalist–unifying sentiment.

It was a winning formula; Disraeli was twice Prime Minister, serving for a total of seven years.

And it’s worth noting that the most admired politician in the United Kingdom today [4] is solidly in the Disraeli tradition. That would be Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. In a 2010 interview, Johnson described his governing philosophy [5]:

I’m a one-nation Tory. There is a duty on the part of the rich to the poor and to the needy, but you are not going to help people express that duty and satisfy it if you punish them fiscally so viciously that they leave this city and this country. I want London to be a competitive, dynamic place to come to work.

In other words, Johnson was seeking to be both pro-business and pro-worker. And so, for example, even as he played the role of London’s chief booster in the 2012 Olympics, he had also supported a higher “living wage” for the city’s workers, explaining, “One thing you have to do politically is identify the ties that bind society together and try to strengthen them.” Johnson was re-elected by a comfortable margin in 2012.

America, too, has a tradition of One Nation conservatism, tracing its origins, interestingly enough, to Mitt Romney’s own Massachusetts. Centuries before Disraeli or Johnson, in 1630, John Winthrop preached a shipboard sermon [6] to his fellow Puritans, even before they made their historic landfall, entitled “A Modell of Christian Charity.” In that address, remembered in history as “the City on a Hill” speech, Winthrop expressed a communitarian ideal: “that every man might have need of others, and from hence they might be all knitt more nearly together in the Bonds of brotherly affection.”

Winthrop’s proto-One Nation sentiments found more direct political expression not only in Massachusetts, but also across America. In the early 19th century, Henry Clay of Kentucky outlined his “American System,” intended as a political and economic strategy that would unite the young nation. In a speech to the U.S. Senate [7] in February 1832, spread over three days, Clay took up the question of a Congressional colleague concerning the “future destiny of this growing country.” Clay’s answer: “Thus viewing the question, I stand here as the humble but zealous advocate, not of the interests of one state, or seven states only, but of the whole Union.”

The Union then, we might note, consisted of 23 states, all but two of them east of the Mississippi River. Yet Clay’s American System was a conscious plan of industrialization and infrastructure-building across the whole of the continent. And so, three days and 116 pages of text later, Clay closed with the thought, “This is the spirit … on which it seems to me that a settlement of this great question can be made satisfactorily to all parts of our Union.”

Clay himself was never successful in enshrining his American System as national policy, but Abraham Lincoln–a leader who regarded Clay as his greatest hero in politics [8], “my beau-ideal of a statesman, the man for whom I fought all my life”–was successful in achieving Clay’s goal.

Even during the Civil War, Lincoln launched such Clay-ish national projects as the Homestead Act and the Morrill Act, establishing the land-grant colleges. The sixteenth president probably never asked if the beneficiaries of those government programs were taxpayers or not–although we can be sure he hoped that they would be future good and productive citizens. But then, of course, Lincoln was, like Disraeli, a One-Nation 100-percenter. As he said in his immortal Address, the Union dead at Gettysburg had given their lives so that America as a unitary whole could have “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We might also note that Lincoln’s vision proved to be effective electoral politics for Republicans; the GOP won six presidential elections in a row, from 1860 to 1880, and 11 of 13 national ballots from 1860 to 1908.

Indeed, well into the 20th century, Lincoln’s One Nation vision–not liberal, yet not libertarian–was carried on by leading Republicans. Theodore Roosevelt is remembered as a champion of American nationalism; less remembered is the 26th president’s determination to base that nationalism on a domestic vision of social justice and harmony. In a 1915 speech to the Knights of Columbus [9], TR denounced all forms of ethnic balkanization and prejudice; the nation’s goal, he declared, must be “to maintain a new American type and then to secure loyalty to this type.’” And yet, he continued, “We cannot secure such loyalty unless we make this a country where men shall feel that they have justice and also where they shall feel that they are required to perform the duties imposed upon them.”  In other words, we will secure the just rights of the people and, in return, insist on the just rights of society.

To be sure, many in today’s Republican Party and conservative movement regard Roosevelt as a sort of rogue liberal, and so they feel that his views can be disregarded, or at least minimized.

However, Calvin Coolidge remains in good standing with “the movement,” and yet we must remember that he, too, advocated One Nationism. On January 7, 1914, Coolidge accepted the post as president of the Massachusetts Senate, and he began his address [10] by echoing the spirit of Disraeli:

The commonwealth is one. We are all members of one body. The welfare of the weakest and the welfare of the most powerful are inseparably bound together. Industry cannot flourish if labor languish. Transportation cannot prosper if manufactures decline. The general welfare cannot be provided for in any one act, but it is well to remember that the benefit of one is the benefit of all, and the neglect of one is the neglect of all. The suspension of one man’s dividends is the suspension of another man’s pay envelope.

In other words, Coolidge was, in his own way, keeping faith with his fellow Bay Stater, John Winthrop, from three centuries before. Neither Winthrop or Coolidge were “liberals,” but they did share a conservative sense of public order, social harmony, and common responsibility. And in the 20th century, as well as in the 17th century, it was a successful formula; Coolidge went on to be the 48th governor of Massachusetts and our 30th president.

So where does this leave Mitt Romney, the 70th governor of Massachusetts, who hopes to be the 45th president? Well, we’ll know in less than seven weeks. But one thing we know for sure now: Romney is no Disraeli. Nor a Clay, nor a Lincoln, nor a TR–not even a Coolidge.

James P. Pinkerton is a contributor to the Fox News Channel and a TAC contributing editor. Follow him on Twitter [11].

29 Comments (Open | Close)

29 Comments To "What Happened to the 100 Percent?"

#1 Comment By David Peterson On September 19, 2012 @ 11:51 am

A great article; which reads as a post mortem for a great republic. Having abandoned the culture of Christianity, a barbarian ruling elite commands a “liberated” population driven by bread and circuses. Compare Barack and Mitt to FDR and Reagan, the two imperfect but outstanding 100 % presidents of the last century

#2 Comment By Michael Sheridan On September 19, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

Coolidge is underappreciated. Although I do not believe political thought is or should be fixed, his conservatism was more appealing than the conservatism now most extant in this country. Compare this speech excerpt from 1925, given before the American Legion Convention:

If we are to have that harmony and tranquillity, that union of spirit which is the foundation of real national genius and national progress, we must all realize that there are true Americans who did not happen to be born in our section of the country, who do not attend our place of religious worship, who are not of our racial stock, or who are not proficient in our language. If we are to create on this continent a free Republic and an enlightened civilization that will be capable of reflecting the true greatness and glory of mankind, it will be necessary to regard these differences as accidental and unessential. We shall have to look beyond the outward manifestations of race and creed. Divine Providence has not bestowed upon any race a monopoly of patriotism and character.
The same principle that it is necessary to apply to the attitude of mind among our own people it is also necessary to apply to the attitude of mind among the different nations. During the war we were required not only to put a strong emphasis on everything that appealed to our own national pride but an equally strong emphasis on that which tended to disparage other peoples. There was an intensive cultivation of animosities and hatreds and enmities, together with a blind appeal to force, that took possession of substantially all the peoples of the earth. Of course, these ministered to the war spirit. They supplied the incentive for destruction, the motive for conquest. But in time of peace these sentiments are not helps but hindrances; they are not constructive. The generally expressed desire of “America first” can not be criticized. It is a perfectly correct aspiration for our people to cherish. But the problem which we have to solve is how to make America first. It can not be done by the cultivation of national bigotry, arrogance, or selfishness. Hatreds, jealousies, and suspicions will not be productive of any benefits in this direction. Here again we must apply the rule of toleration. Because there are other peoples whose ways are not our ways, and whose thoughts are not our thoughts, we are not warranted in drawing the conclusion that they are adding nothing to the sum of civilization. We can make little contribution to the welfare of humanity on the theory that we are a superior people and all others are an inferior people. We do not need to be too loud in the assertion of our own righteousness. It is true that we live under most favorable circumstances. But before we come to the final and irrevocable decision that we are better than everybody else we need to consider what we might do if we had their provocations and their difficulties. We are not likely to improve our own condition or help humanity very much until we come to the sympathetic understanding that human nature is about the same everywhere, that it is rather evenly distributed over the surface of the earth, and that we are all united in a common brotherhood. We can only make America first in the true sense which that means by cultivating a spirit of friendship and good will, by the exercise of the virtues of, patience and forbearance, by being “plenteous in mercy”, and through progress at home and helpfulness abroad standing as an example of real service to humanity.

or, very pertinent to today, this part of a 1921 speech he gave as Vice President to a assemblage of bankers:

This is a very pertinent example of the interrelationship of our modem economical life. There can be no permanent prosperity of any class or part. Such a condition can only be secured through a general and public prosperity. This means that to secure this end there must be a general distribution of the rewards of industry. Wherever this condition is maintained there you have the foundation for an increasing production and a sound financial and economic situation.

One of the strongest reasons for supporting American institutions is that under them this condition is more nearly attained than under any other form of government that has ever met with any permanent success.

You are assembled here representing banking institutions. Too often the uninformed think of a bank as the possession of a few rich people, and as the creditor of the people at large. You who have had any experience with banking know that it is the opposite of this which is true. The resources of banks are not the resources of a few rich, but the resources of the people themselves, small perhaps in any individual instance, but, in the aggregate, very large. Nor are banks exclusively a creditor class. It is usually true that they owe to their depositors more than their borrowers owe to them. Every banker knows that to depend on the business and patronage of the rich would be in vain, that if any success attends his efforts it must be by serving and doing the business of the people. The stock is generally owned by the people, the deposits are always made by the people. This is the reason that banks partake of the nature of a public institution and perform real public service. They are the sole means by which modern commercial activities can be carried on. They afford the method by which the people combine their individual resources, providing a collection of capital sufficient to extend the necessary credit for financing the whole people of the nation. They hold great power and are under the very gravest responsibilities. A bank is not a private institution, responsible to itself alone, or to a few. It is a public institution, under a moral obligation to be administered for the public welfare. In so far as this standard is accepted and followed, it is my belief that a bank will be prosperous; in so far as it is disregarded, it will be a failure. Any power which is not used for the general welfare will in the end destroy itself.

He was not, in my opinion, active enough in forestalling the Depression that he may or may not have foreseen. Very frequently, he and I would not have seen eye to eye on the proper role of government. But he was an honest man who lived his entire life by a set of praiseworthy principles.

#3 Comment By Werner A. Hoermann On September 19, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

Seems that Pinkerton either willfully or out of ignorance juxtaposes Disraeli’s efforts to show the common interests of “the rich and the working men” to Romneys depiction of the “47%”.
A Disraeli would be in utter disbelief that the “not selfsufficient and government handout dependent” 47% would claim the right to determine the amount of welfare “the rich and working men” have to fork over to a redistributive system. However, these 47% are the people, who will vote themselves (through Obama) benefits from the pockets of the working men into their own.
So in all reality, at least on this point, Romney is right on the mark and a true conservative. With his drive to bomb Iran though, I am not so sure…

#4 Comment By Will Wilkin On September 19, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

Well Mr. Pinkerton I have been thinking very similar thoughts about the need to come together as one nation with a common fate to work together towards. I have shed my liberal identity out of disgust for their divisive identity politics and I have rejected both parties as mere tools of the 1% equally complicit in exporting our economy and turning our diplomacy into a militarist attempt at world domination.

I think it is more important to be American than partisan or any other identity, political or cultural. And the 100% concept is very attractive for all of us weary of the ruinous political paralysis of our country as our economy and Constitution deteriorate.

But after the speeches are made it is time to govern, and here I think there is a huge pile of toxic ideas that must be shed by people of all political backgrounds. The free-market, free-trade delusions of the last few decades are the single biggest problem preventing our nation from pulling together with a national vision and plan to revive our prosperity and patriotism. I too have been looking back to Sen Henry Clay’s American System as a model for the kind of thinking and policy-making America needs.

What we need to fix the country is find all the CEOs who will take a vow of patriotism and American economic revival to join the dialogue –along with economists advocating full employment and strengthened Social Security– to rewrite American tax, trade, public investment and regulation policies to be coordinated in incentivizing ONshoring and democratizing the prosperity thus created. In other words, the solutions will not come from either the right or the left (and god knows not the muddy center) but from all of them after they shed such identities and become future-oriented and work together for the common good of the nation.

#5 Comment By Ampersand On September 19, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

“However, these 47% are the people, who will vote themselves (through Obama) benefits from the pockets of the working men into their own.”

Do you really think that Obama will get the vote of every single senior citizen, military veteran, and poor white working-class person? I’d be thrilled if that happened, but I have a feeling that no modern candidate could ever be that successful.

#6 Comment By Will in Mississippi On September 19, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

There’s something to be said for Gladstonian public finance over Disraeli’s rhetoric. John Wilson Croker saw through Disraeli at an early stage only to be rubbished in Coningsby for his trouble. Such pedantry aside–though the point on finance is more timely than pedantic–the One Nation tradition during the 20th century seems to have been cooped by either Tory wets like Harold Macmillan or populists like Australia’s Pauline Hanson. In America, Richard Nixon picked the worst of both by combining squishy centrist domestic policy with a chippy populist resentment. Not quite the way forward, I shouldn’t think.

#7 Comment By Osterix On September 19, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

A majority of the 47% who pay no Federal Income taxes do pay- payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, so called “user fees” which are really taxes, and sometimes state income taxes which have different deductible rules than the Federal Income Tax. All of these taxes are highly regressive because they are flat taxes or in the case of State income taxes very slightly progressive so effectively they are a flat tax.
Also many states have lotteries to raise revenue. One writer desribed lotteries as “a brutal regressive tax on the poor”. I agree with this description.

Are wealthy retirees who receive the maximum in Social Security plus income from tax exempt municipal and State bonds irresponsible dependent leeches who always vote for Democratic candidates because they pay no Federal Income Tax?

#8 Comment By daddysteve On September 19, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

“A great article; which reads as a post mortem for a great republic”. I was angling for that sentiment but you summed it up perfectly.
Personally , I would have ended right there.

#9 Comment By libertarian jerry On September 19, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

The problem with Mitt Romney’s campaign is that he wants to be all things to all people. It is like his campaign handlers have decided that Mr.Romney must not offend any voting constituency. That as a candidate,Romney should step on the least amount of toes as possible. In the end it leaves him vulnerable to Mr.Obama’s attacks. Its obvious that Mr.Romney has been put off balance,by these attacks,from the beginning. There is no doubt that President Obama has been out of his depth from the start of his presidency and extremely vulnerable. It is almost inconceivable that Obama could have been reelected had the Republicans chosen the right candidate from the start. That Candidate would have been Ron Paul. Ron Paul who was knowledgeable,articulate,consistent and,had an excellent platform to restore America. He would have cleaned Obama’s clock. Unfortunately the Republican Insiders decided along with the Elites and the Mainstream Media that Ron Paul was too much of a threat to their power and so Ron Paul was cast aside and instead we’re stuck with Mitt Romney and probably another 4 years of Barack Obama.

#10 Comment By J.D. On September 19, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

Whatever quibbles I might have with a point here or a point there, this is an excellent piece. It’s nice to be reminded that TAC is home to a wide scope of views, and that not everyone subscribes to the kind of Tory anarchism that results in diatribes against anyone who fails to measure up to the gospel according to St. Rothbard.

#11 Comment By A.C. On September 20, 2012 @ 12:04 am

Words fail. A “conservatism” that idolizes statists like Clay, Lincoln, TR, and the buffoonish Brit, Boris Johnson? What a ridiculously silly piece. (No wonder the trollies who’ve moved here love it)

#12 Comment By M_Young On September 20, 2012 @ 3:06 am

” speech excerpt from 1925, given before the American Legion Convention:”

In other words, after Coolidge had signed the 1924 immigration act, which was designed in part to maintain the ethnic balance of the country.

It’s easy to talk about recognizing the value of others when you are a 85-90 percent majority, and intend to stay that way.

#13 Comment By David Lindsay On September 20, 2012 @ 4:20 am

This is a good article apart from the bit about Boris Johnson. Most people regard him as a buffoon, but that is to miss the point.

He is an extreme economic neoliberal and social liberal who was only reelected as Mayor of London because the Israel Lobby got out the heavily concentrated Jewish vote against his opponent (and predecessor), although even Jewish areas still voted Labour for the Greater London Assembly on the same day, just as even the village where David Cameron has his constituency home voted Labour for the local council.

The Conservative Party’s only success that day, earlier this year, was that of Johnson, who on top of the above is an Ottoman aristocrat of very recent extraction who has publicly recited the Shahada in Arabic and who takes the view that the rise of Christianity overthrew a superior previous civilization.

#14 Comment By Brian A. Cobb On September 20, 2012 @ 7:22 am

“EVEN during the Civil War,” Lincoln was able to pass the Homestead Act and the Morrill Act (establishing land grant colleges?

It was only with the seceeding South out of the picture that these acts were able to be passed.

The South wanted federal land out west SOLD to reduce the need for revenues from the tariff.

#15 Comment By Derek Leaberry On September 20, 2012 @ 7:32 am

Let’s not get too enamored over the success of Disraeli. He was Prime Minister for about a year in the late 1860s in a minority Tory government and led a party that was trounced in the 1870 election. After the Conservatives were returned to the majority in 1874, Disraeli served six years as Prime Minister and his party was rewarded with another landslide defeat. Mr. 100 percent was not a particularly popular politician.

#16 Comment By Uncle Vanya On September 20, 2012 @ 9:20 am

Poor Mitt. Doesn’t he realize that Paul Ryan, his running mate, has been on the government payroll for almost his entire adult life and the beneficiary of government?

#17 Comment By Brandon Seitz On September 20, 2012 @ 10:51 am

I applaud this article in the face of politics today, but have one observation that speaks to a part of the equation not discused here…size. In the quotes provided in the article I found more resonance in those that pertained to a city (Johnson’s London) or to Coolidge’s Massachusetts than to those that talked of a wider One Nation.

I my forays in politics at a state and national level, as a staffer to politicians, I am completely convinced that One Nation conservaitism is a nice but unattainable goal. Also, it is less attainable today than the times of Disraeli, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. The issue with making One Nation conservatism work is that everyone has to work or at least try to work. Accountablity of all classes is being requested (Rerum Novarum). However, our modern thinking sees victims everywhere, dismisses tradition, and forces toleration before anyone can learn to appreciate one antoher. One class is being told that they deserve something for nothing, and another class hides behind tax loopholes and narcissim and neither are accountable to a place or a people. One Nation ideals were hard to have when we were half the size we are today. Now at the population size of America with much less of a sense of shared community, this ideal is impossible to breed. Divide and conquer is the politics of today

For these One Nation ideals to be successful they have to happen in front of us. From the ground up. Understanding someone and respecting differences, and asking people to sacrifice for each other just doesn’t sustain emotion when those people are not our neighbors or working with us. Our facebook/twitter society doesn’t help either. Ultimately, One Nation conservatism might work if America was truly governed grass roots up, with local traditions, voluntary association, and mutual accountability an everyday exercise of the people.

At the time when many of these guys from the article were being quoted, there was greater local dentity, it was shameful to be on the dole and workers wanted to get off of it but needed help. Rich men still gave much to useful and more localized charities like libraries, aid societies, and schools, not to global “charities” that promote a politcal ideal. (but that was changing already then)

Such is not the case today and will never be seen here again. Trying to bring 300M+ people under one mindset is impossible, at that size it’s too easy to be unaccountable.

#18 Comment By Michael Sheridan On September 20, 2012 @ 11:43 am

@M_Young,

At this remove in time, it may not seem like very much (or enough) for Calvin Coolidge to have said what he did, but it must have expended a certain amount of political capital to say it in a political atmosphere that had recently seen passed the overwhelmingly popular immigration restriction acts of 1917, 1921, and 1924. All were passed with veto-proof majorities. Coolidge was no one’s idea of a crusader, but that speech was swimming against a strong political tide.

#19 Comment By Tom On September 20, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

It IS NOT 47% of Americans, it is 47% of all households or 47% of taxpayers that translates to roughly 25% of Americans paying FEDERAL INCOME TAXES.
All the politicians mentioned in this nonsensical article were before our modern day welfare state of social security,medicare,medicaid,food stamps,housing assistance,meals on wheels,ad infinitum.

#20 Comment By beowulf On September 20, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

“The South wanted federal land out west SOLD to reduce the need for revenues from the tariff.”

Yeah, to slave owners. Giving the land instead to homesteaders willing to farm it (so they couldn’t just hold it for speculation) was definitely the smart play.

#21 Comment By Michael Sheridan On September 20, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

Tom, it was Romney who conflated a bunch of different statistics and demographics when he was speaking about the 47%. Blame him. Or you could blame Erick Erickson, who started that whole “we are the 53%” meme in the first place.

As to the second thing, the time period of the pols mentioned, I’m not sure of your point in raising it. As a child, one of my grandfathers lived through a winter in a boxcar (in Northern Illinois) because his parents could afford nothing better. One of his parents much later died in a poorhouse. One of my other great grandparents had two older brothers who died in infancy, one from rickets (malnutrition) and the other from tubercular meningitis (dropsy in the brain), both nearly unknown in this country today because of those “welfare state” programs. His father died relatively young of tuberculosis. And so on. Are we supposed to look back on those bygone days as some kind of golden age? Should we wish to return to them?

#22 Comment By Charles Luke On September 20, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

Obamah also shares with Disraeli his choice to up the anti during a war in Afghanistan. In both cases the war in Afghanistan was all about money, careers, and power at home; the Afghans are always purely victims, chosen because they would fight back and make a show of it. When Conservative leader Benjamin Disraeli became Britain’s Prime minister in 1874, a new viceroy was sent to India with orders to again push forward the border of the Empire in to Afghan territory. In November 1878 the British invaded Afghanistan once more, beginning the second Anglo-Afghan War. The war did not go well. During the next British election this “Forward Policy,” as it was called, was a campaign issue. The Liberal Party won the election of 1880. Their leader, William Gladstone, rejected the Forward Policy, called it “a great dishonor,” and put a stop to the war.

#23 Comment By Tom On September 20, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

Nothing in my statement cast blame on anyone it was merely a clarification of who the 47% referred to. The reason for mentioning the time period is because the author of the article was comparing something said by a politician in 2012 without comparing it to contemporary rhetoric of recent politicians.
I don’t consider any age to be a golden age. But I do know that tremendous strides were made in improving the quality of life prior to the modern welfare state without incurring the huge deficits that are slowing growth not only in America but many European countries. It’s true there was poverty in the past and it is true there is currently poverty. The most recent statistics show the poverty rate is now the same as when LBJ first started all his anti poverty programs. The difference now is we have alot more debt.

#24 Comment By Richard Spencer On September 21, 2012 @ 12:11 am

The United States is hardly “One Nation.” It is, to the contrary, intensely divided; race is only the most obvious fault line. It’s foolish and delusional to believe otherwise and act accordingly.

#25 Comment By Aaron in Israel On September 21, 2012 @ 4:06 am

Richard, as I understand it from this article, a One Nation policy presupposes that the “nation” is not united, that it’s maybe even intensely divided.

To put it in racial terms: A One Nation policy might be to assimilate as many of the existing Hispanic-Americans as possible into white society. This is not to deny the existential threat posed by mass immigration. And it recognizes that the races and ethnies are deeply divided today, though probably not as divided as when Roosevelt spoke those words in 1915. If America were one nation, there’d be no need for a One Nation policy.

A One Nation racial policy would start from the same factual premises as Alternative Right, but arrive at different conclusions.

#26 Comment By Sean Gillhoolley On September 21, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

What embaresses conservatives most about what Romney said in his speech is not that he spoke the truth (he did not, many of the 47% vote GOP), but that he spoke HIS truth. Revealed was how he really views the world. The haves and the don’t counts. It is clear from the vague policies he wants to pursue that he does not care, at all, about the people who struggle in America. He would be fine with making their struggle even more difficult. He cares about the wealthiest amongst us, whom he mistakenly refers to as job creators (when anyone with even a mediocre understanding of economics knows that businesses do not hire people unnecessarily, and that all jobs are created by a demand for goods). The truth is that Romney has poor analytical skills (for failing to understand that many of his supporters fall under the 47%), he has poor judgement (for not considering that someone working for the other side might fork over 50k to hear him speak), and he has poor critical thinking skills (for assuming that the bottom 47% income earners ALL vote Democrat, while the top 47% income earners ALL vote Republican). He was a disasterous choice, but thankfully he will lose, badly.

#27 Comment By Aura Diamond On September 22, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

Tom, you are confused. The two most significant causes of the current deficit are two unfunded wars and the Bush tax cuts. Federal spending is lowest in 30 years. Public assistance is not the cause of our problems. Are there people that abuse the system? Unfortunately there are but we must continue to help those in need. I work with a group who have true need through no fault of thir own. Not one of them sits around trying to figure out how to beat the system. Can we just stop blaming them and start working for the greater good of all?

#28 Comment By Jason Block On September 24, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

Obama fits the model of the 100 percent conservative well. Where he has regulated business and capital, it was necessary for their survival. Where he has expanded help for the poor, it wss necessary for their survival as well. Asd where he seeks to reform taxes, it is in the name of true fiscal responsibility.

Obama is a true conservative, and conservatives, even if they disagree with specific policies, are in the wrong party. Meanwhile the GOP has been overrun by radical and confused revolutionaries.

#29 Comment By Paul Hart On September 24, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

You guys don’t seem to get it…I can’t even read this article ’cause it’s clearly self-proclaimed to be irrelevant…with Romney’s 47 percent comments he’s proclaiming America dead (as Pat Buchanan has hinted at with his most recent book). It’s over folks. The funny thing is the paleoconservatives should be best at diagnosing the reason for the death of conservatism : conservatives left the church and the local community and agitated at a federal level (a fatal conceit and mistake).