The Importance of Trump

Like Richard Nixon, Donald Trump is the Silent Majority candidate of this election. The more the media howl at his abrasiveness and sheds crocodile tears for those he offends, the stronger he becomes. You can’t understand this without understanding Nixon and the electoral coalition he built that won him a 49-state landslide despite an overwhelmingly hostile media.

Trump’s people aren’t concerned with the minutiae of different tax plans or who gets endorsed by the Beltway think-tanks. They are not necessarily ideological conservatives, much less libertarians. The sight of various dyed in the wool GOPers and the libertarians who usually vote with them calling Trump a ‘RINO’ are stupendously missing the point and sadly oblivious to their own irrelevance.

The Trump base are responding to the erosion of American institutions; a process begun with some malice on the part of the American left but never effectively halted by the Republican Party. This is partly because mass Third World immigration, the greatest factor in America’s undoing, is supported by the Chamber of Commerce faction of the party, so the GOP is pursuing profits in the short-term but actually increasingly hurting it’s chances of winning the national ticket with every electoral cycle as a result of the demographic changes it is fostering.

Trump voters are not fascists or RINO’s or socialists or whatever. They are in the rawest sense just one thing: Americans. It must be noted that they are predominantly the descendants of America’s founding stock, supplemented by the pre-WWI European immigrants, and that they are opposed by a coalition of the fringes that represents a kind of anti-America. So while Trump’s people may not be reading Edmund Burke or Adam Smith, they are still our people. It’s up to the GOP to recognise them and embrace them, as opposed to turning their backs in embarrassment or spitting on them.

My Stance on the Confederate Battle Flag and Public Displays of Confederate Symbols

I wrote this on Facebook soon after the Charleston shooting and the ensuing controversy. But it looks like the issue isn’t receding anytime soon. This is what I said then, and what I stand by now:

There’s been a lot of talk on the matter of the Confederate flag recently.

Is it appropriate to display Dixie’s Battle Flag on public buildings? This flag being the symbol of the *Confederate Army*, not the actual CSA, by the way.

In my view one of the most admirable things about America has been the spirit of magnanimity regarding Confederate symbolism and Southern patriotism.

Plenty of honourable, decent Americans at the time believed that secession was lawful. It so happened that legality of it was never decided in the courtroom, but on the battlefield. The contest of 1861-65 was a matter of might over right. Had the South prevailed, nobody would be questioning its right to exist, no more than we do in regards to Canada today.

Race slavery would have continued for a few decades, but as in every country in the western hemisphere, it would have died a natural death. It’s feasible that several states in the Union could have maintained slavery for a time. Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia kept it up during the war and after the Emancipation Proclamation (which only applied to rebel-held territory). Secession might even have speeded up the process. If the Union had no obligation to return escaped slaves without the fugitive slave law, slavery might have collapsed from the number of runaways.

All this is hypothetical, though. The South lost a war, in which many men took up arms against the federal government because they felt it was oppressive and that a new one would suit them better. Rather in the spirit of 1776, isn’t it? From what I have read, there were plenty of legally valid and logical reasons for secession, held by men of honour, intelligence, and principle. Robert E. Lee was one of them. And he wasn’t defeated by the forces of law or logic, but by being out-manned and out-gunned.

I don’t like the modern efforts by some cultural militants to cleanse the South of all patriotic sentiment and Confederate symbolism, from renaming schools to removing the portraits of Confederate generals at the war colleges. They see this as unfinished business and have no shame in stomping on the faces of the defeated all over again.

It’s not in the spirit of consensual, constitutional government to treat such vanquished people like mere bandits. I prefer that old spirit of magnanimity, diversity of opinion, and respect for the ambiguities of the war.

Race in America: A conflict of visions, most of them false

Real History

I’m quite the secessionist, but I’m sick of hearing that Lincoln was a ‘racist’.

I am also tired of hearing that Lincoln was an anti-racist.

The first has become something of a trope in Neo-Confederate circles, otherwise doing some admirable revisionist history. See, among others, gripes like this from Tom DiLorenzo.

The second view seems to be shared by just about everybody else, or at least it predominates among mainline conservatives and liberals. In the case of the former, see the recent Lincoln hagiography from Official Conservatism’s Rich Lowry. For the liberals, there’s the hit-pieces of Michael Lind in Salon.

Before elaborating, I want to say that its fairly obvious Lincoln was a ‘racist’. That’s what positions like this are dubbed today:

I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

For anybody defending the South’s prerogative to secede, however, this is a particularly puerile line of inquiry, and a strategic dead-end.

Firstly, I am loathe to call towering figures in history racists, homophobes, or moral failures if they did not adhere to a post-1960’s worldview on matters of race or homosexuality. Its arrogant, and its sinister. Follow this through and you will end up demonizing everybody from John Locke to Voltaire, and from America’s Founding Fathers to the French Revolutionaries. You will end up repudiating all of human accomplishment up until 1968 or so. Which I figure is what some people want.

Secondly, Lincoln’s views would have been shared by the bulk of his secessionist counterparts to the same or to an even fiercer extent. Crying racism is a knife that cuts both ways. At best you can say Lincoln was no better than his enemies, if you accept conventional views that such positions are wrong.

Finally, Lincoln’s worldview was one very much in the American grain and in the tradition of the Founding Fathers. I would go so far as to say many of his ideas were perfectly sensible for his time and place. To understand this, we need to understand what Lincoln’s long term goals on the Negro Question actually were, and honestly address the place of race in the American project.

There were heated debates on the issue of slavery prior to the War Between the States, but they did not focus on the merits of complete abolitionism, which was very much a minority position. The issue was slavery’s expansion into Missouri after 1818 and into the new western territories after the Mexican-American War. The ideal for most residents of the Northern states, including Lincoln, was to keep not just slavery out of these territories, but all blacks. This was not unlike the situation in many Northern states at the time, which under the Black Codes required blacks seeking to enter to post enormous bonds, or forbade their assembly, or forbade them from residing at all. Lincoln’s home state of Illinois possessed all of these laws (black settlement eventually being banned entirely in 1853). He demonstrated absolutely no opposition to them in his many years in Illinois politics or during his Presidency.

That’s because, like all of the Founders, Lincoln did not believe in miscegenation or the equality of the races. Like many, he believed the best long-term solution to the race question was to free blacks (thus avoiding a slave revolt) and promptly get them out of the country. This idea, popular throughout the North, was backed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Madison even proposed that all public lands be sold off to pay for the forcible removal of the black population, as well as a constitutional amendment to establish a colonization office to be run by the President.  Madison would eventually head the American Colonization Society, advocating the shipment of blacks to Africa or the Caribbean. Other prominent figures who served as officers of the society were Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas, William Seward, Francis Scott Key, Winfield Scott, John Marshall, and Roger Taney. James Monroe worked so tirelessly for the cause that the capitol city of Liberia is named Monrovia.

A few years back at a Young Americans for Freedom event a typically deluded activist for Official Conservatism tried to tell me that Lincoln was such an enlightened politician that he was the first President to invite a black delegation to the White House. He certainly was, on August 14th of 1862, when he urged that black delegation to leave the country. In the midst of the war, he appointed the Rev. James Mitchell Commissioner of Emigration to work on this problem, and argued that blacks should be forcibly removed from the United States before Congress. Yet many people, conservative and liberal, still spread this myth of the black delegation to prove that Lincoln was not a racist.

Colonization faced many difficulties. The primary reason for its failure may be that Americans became too reliant on black labor. Theodore Roosevelt would go so far as to curse Southerners for importing blacks and keeping them in the country, to the point where their descendants, he lamented, “can neither be killed nor driven away”. It reminds me of an Afrikaner who told me, bitterly, that most whites in South Africa would rather die in their beds than make them. Their position on the continent of Africa is precarious. Perhaps this is a fate some feared could be in store for whites on the American continent.  Benjamin Franklin himself said that “the number of purely white people in the world is proportionally very small…. I could wish their numbers were increased… why increase the sons of Africa, by planting them in America?” The Zionist pioneers realized the importance of Jews becoming as economically independent as possible. Kibbutzim often forbade the use of non-Jewish labor even when such a policy raised enormous difficulties. For a new nation seeking to establish itself in a hostile environment, the long-term success of the project may very well require the sacrificing comfort in the short-term.

The words of Franklin and others give lie to the notion that America is, uniquely, a universal nation built on an idea. This claim would have shocked John Jay, who wrote in the Federalist Papers that “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs”.

Benjamin Franklin himself sought to restrict the entry of German immigrants, in which he was partly successful in colonial Pennsylvania. Franklin’s reasoning seems to have been based on three factors:

1. He wanted to preserve the country’s Anglo-Saxon character.

2. The complex internal politics of Pennsylvania. Franklin felt his rivals in the Penn family were ruling the place in a feudal manner, and much of their support hinged on the German population. Indeed, the Penns and Franklin’s opponents in the Quaker party actively recruited immigrants from Germany to strengthen their position. There is probably a lesson for the modern Republican Party there somewhere.

3. He also believed that a smaller population combined with an ample supply of land would help the average man prosper and obtain the liberating effects of land ownership.

The United States seems to have become a “propositional nation” built by immigrants after the fact. Only two years after the Constitution was ratified, a naturalization law was enacted stipulating that only “free white persons” could become citizens. This lasted until after the Civil War. America is no “nation of immigrants”. It was built by settlers, most importantly of Anglo-Saxon stock. As settlers, they built the society, to which people later immigrated. This is an important distinction.

Many libertarians claim the United States was always country of open borders, and that the restrictionist period of 1921-65 was an aberration. They are either lying, or ignorant, or both.  There were long periods of lulls in American immigration. If anything, the period of largely unrestricted mass immigration from the late 1840’s to just after WW1 was the aberration, but one that was justified in a rapidly expanding nation where most people still made their living in farms and factories. Because of the economic structure of the time, the average immigrant from Europe could quickly find the same type of work with the same remuneration and opportunities as the native.  Today, Americans import 19th century workers into a 21st century economy and seem shocked that these people don’t advance like the Irish, Poles, or Jews did. But that’s another story.

A New Narrative

There currently appears to be two broad narratives on the history of America. The typical mainstream conservative, like Michelle Bachmann or Glenn Beck, will cast the Founding Fathers as highly progressive classical liberals. They will either ignore the white consciousness of these men, or even claim that racial egalitarianism was their goal for the United States from the very beginning. Peculiar factors like slavery just got in the way. Beck has even claimed that “American history can be described as one long Civil Rights struggle”.

The left, in a Howard Zinn kind of way, cast America as an evil, sweltering pile of racism and apartheid under the thumb of cruel and paranoid white men, all built on genocide and slavery. This was the case until Martin Luther King and Ted Kennedy’s 1965 immigration reforms came along. Lincoln is seen as the most important 19th century precursor to that result. Look at Spielberg’s portrayal of Lincoln as a racially enlightened progressive in his most recent epic.

I believe we are badly in need of a new narrative, as the main two are really under the same paradigm. I call this the John Ford narrative of American history.

John Ford, in my estimation, is the greatest ever film director (or at least he is second only to Stanley Kubrick). Just about the only decent initiative the Irish artistic community has come up with in my lifetime has been the annual John Ford Symposium. At one of the public discussions on Ford held last year, it took Ken Loach, of course, to offer the most predictable clichés about Ford when he said: “I never was interested in American cinema. The ideology does not appeal to me. It’s all to do with the lone gunman who will sort things out”.

This is absolutely the opposite of the spirit of Ford, whose work is profoundly collectivist in many senses. The protagonists of my two favorite Ford films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Searchers act for the good of their people, not for themselves. If you haven’t seen them, you must. Behind the manifest content about killing ruthless bandits or rescuing young women from Indians, they offer profound insights into the building of America.

Liberty Valance portrays a young lawyer arriving in the Old West, who seeks to use the law, and not violence, to bring down a criminal terrorizing the small settlement of Shinbone. A common theme here and in The Searchers is the blow-in Easterner, who represents the future, clashing with the earlier settler-types who still carry the stench of hay and blood. There are memorable moments towards the end of The Searchers, for instance, when hardened Texas Rangers walk all over a young and rather clueless professional Yankee cavalryman. The Yankee at one point sounds a bugle before an assault on an Indian camp, to the ire of the old Texans planning a surprise raid. He represents how Texans will defend themselves in the future: with a professional military replete with all the inevitable ranks and rules. But before that happens, you need local militiamen not afraid to act roguish and with frequent brutality in defense of their own homes and firesides. In another scene, a woman tells the protagonist, played by John Wayne, that Texas will one day be a great state. Texans, she says, just need “bones in the ground”. This is how humans plant roots. The Indians in the film seem to realize this. As does John Wayne, whose philosophy is best summed up by the words “us or them”. With this as his guide, he sees it as his moral duty to send every Indian to an early grave, even to the point of wantonly slaughtering buffalo to make sure there are fewer for any of them to eat. To Wayne’s character, this is only self-defense.

Back to Liberty Valance. One of my favorite scenes is when a character makes a speech on behalf of Jimmy Stewart, playing the lawyer protagonist, who seeks to become a delegate for the never-named territory and campaign for statehood. His natural constituency are the farmers and townspeople, but he is fiercely opposed in his efforts by the cattlemen, the kind of rough stock who originally settled the territories, and who, as the films says, had

[N]o law to trammel them except the law of survival, the law of the tomahawk and the bow and arrow… with the westward march of our nation, came the pioneer and the buffalo hunter, the adventurous and the bold.

The boldest of these were the cattlemen, who seized the wide-open range for their own personal domain, and their law was the law of the hired gun. But now, today have come the railroads and the people. The steady, hard-working citizens, the homesteader, the shopkeeper, the builder of cities…

We get it by placing our votes behind one man. One man! And we have that man with us here. He is a man who came to us not packing a gun, but carrying instead a bag of law books. Yes. He is a lawyer and a teacher!

In the film, the man of violence, Liberty Valance, represents the first wave of Westerners. Most of the people of Shinbone represent the second generation. Jimmy Stewart – the educated, the professional, the one who plays by the rules, as opposed to living by a stark code of honor, and the one who believes America is built on an idea – is the future. Yet ultimately even he could not transcend the reality of what it took to build the West. I wont spoil that for anybody who hasn’t seen it.

Ford is showing us the real story of America, which is not so much about the progress of an idea, but the progress of European peoples seeking to build roots and expand in a new continent. This reality of this has been dressed up in myth and legend. Indeed, the power of legend is what Liberty Valance is all about. The reality is that the kingdom, like all kingdoms, was established over dead bodies and skulls. Yet in examining Ford’s telling, one is left with the feeling that it was all worth it in order to build the new American civilization, one that would eventually make room for those who despise it and seek to undermine its very existence. This kind of critical self-examination only exists among white westerners, most of whom would not be here if it weren’t for the cattlemen who seized the open range and drove the buffalo to extinction. I often say that our fight with the far-left should not be reduced to economics: Hayek vs. Keynes, or Mises vs. Marx. The enemy today is trying to destroy the civilization that gave birth to both Hayek and Keynes.

The Revolution

Bill Clinton was the first President to talk honestly about the shift in opinion on race and immigration in the United States in the late-20th century. That is because he openly admitted that what happened was no less than a revolution, a complete abrogation of what came before. Clinton triumphantly declared at Portland State University in 1998 that there would be no majority race in the United States in fifty years time. This, he acknowledged, is “the third great revolution of America”, after the War of Independence, which forged a republic, and the War Between the States, which changed the nature of the American Union. He claimed that America must “prove that we literally can live without having a dominant European culture”.

This would, however, involve spurning the Founding Fathers. Conor Cruise O’ Brien once said that “there can be no room for a cult of Thomas Jefferson in the civil religion of an effectively multiracial America… Once the facts are known, Jefferson is of necessity abhorrent to people who would not be in America if he could have had his way”.

Americans seem to have undergone the revolution, but they have not consigned the Founders to the dustbin of history. Instead, they just make stuff up, as the statements of Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann demonstrate. Can history really be censored in such a way in a modern and free society? It seems it can, and this isn’t unique to America. On June 14th of this year, the leader of the Scottish National Party at Westminster, Angus Robertson, actually told Nigel Farage, with a serious face, that Scotland was “built on immigration” (see 29 mins on). One day, Scottish schoolchildren may be forced to recite this same lie.

I am not advocating a positive political platform here. I just want to talk honestly about race and immigration. While Clinton is entitled to work for a “post-racial” America, however, I am left wondering two things: is such a place really America, and is it even possible?

For if any man represents a post-racial America, it is probably a resident of Florida by the name of George Zimmerman. I speak of the half-Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer with the German surname, who fought the police in his hometown of Sanford to secure justice for a mistreated homeless black man. George Zimmerman: the resident of a heavily-black community who tutored black children in his own home.

Yet they came to lynch Zimmerman, too.

Zimmerman case demonstrates how real heroes are not welcome in America

What is the meaning of the George Zimmerman affair? I have a few ideas. I could write about various aspects at length right now, but I have been so drained by arguing this topic in the past week I feel I just can’t go on anymore.

Zimmerman could be seen as the kind of ritual sacrifice America seems to periodically require in order to assuage the guilt of Jim Crow and slavery. The gun-control crowd tried their damnedest to make it about Stand Your Ground laws that were completely irrelevant to the case (laws that disproportionately benefit blacks, by the way). Perhaps this is a problem of ambitious prosecutors, products of the overwhelmingly liberal law schools – and perhaps embarrassed by the fact they spend their lives sending black and Hispanic kids to jail – hoping to nail, like Captain Ahab, that elusive Great White Defendant.

I want to focus on one aspect, and that is the inversion of the image of heroes and villains in modern America, or at least what it takes to be seen as the good guy or the bad guy.

George Zimmerman is a man of the lower middle class. He had dreams and aspirations. He looked out for his community. Aside from giving up his time to voluntarily police a neighborhood frequently targeted by hoodlums, he fought his local police force to achieve justice for a mistreated black homeless man, Sherman Ware, in 2010. Zimmerman helped to ensure the son of a police officer was arrested for beating Mr. Ware. The local black community was silent throughout.

What does a man like this do just after being acquitted of a murder charge, after being hounded for over a year, and having to live in hiding for fear of a modern-day lynch mob? Why, he rescues a family of four from an overturned vehicle, that’s what.

Yet Zimmerman, trying to do the right thing, ended up being portrayed as a villain. Perhaps not too long ago, his active citizenship would have been seen as admirable. But America changed for the worse.

Trayvon Martin chose the life of a dropout and a thug, and ended up being portrayed as an angel. We saw a picture of his angelic twelve year old self, free from gold grills, or a hoodie, or a wife-beater vest. We saw Zimmerman’s mugshot.

Would Trayvon Martin have done what Zimmerman did with that imperilled family only today?

Unlikely.  This is the young man who had a Twitter account under the name of ‘No Limit Nigga’, where he expressed such gems as: “2 glock 40’s…. bitch u got 80 problems”. This is the young man with a drug habit and who was suspended from school after being found with a bag full of stolen jewelry and a screwdriver.

Today, America’s justice and welfare systems screw over the lower middle classes, struggling to better themselves in a perilous economy. It favors those dropouts who glorify thuggery yet portray themselves as victims. The people on the front-line in Zimmerman’s community realize what he was up against. That’s why they have not supplied any useful witnesses for the prosecution. Most journalists and academics will not grasp this point. They are too detached from the reality of ordinary people in Sanford, weathering multiple break-ins, crippling mortgages, and a decline in property values.

George Zimmerman is a bit like the State of Israel: he’s got one of the only houses where you would really want to live in a tough neighborhood, but he always happens to be on trial for using force to keep the savages from his door. And the savages? They are glorified. Young people in Europe wear keffiyehs as a fashion statement. Martin’s family attempted to trademark the phrases “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon”, following in the noble tradition of the King family, who managed to squeeze $800,000 out of the folks who built a memorial to their father in Washington D.C.

One of the few real heroes to emerge from this story, by the way, is former Sanford police chief Bill Lee. He refused to arrest Zimmerman last year on the grounds that there was absolutely no legal basis to do so. Racial activists eventually changed all that, despite the experts who predicted what would happen, and Lee was fired. This I see as an example of mob rule, from which it seems nobody in America is safe. Will this man get his job back now?

Will Zimmerman just be seen for the decent man that he is, and not a monster?

America’s Immigration Policy as a Global Welfare Scheme

Here’s a very telling insight into how immigration policy is decided in America today. A group of 13 female Senators are criticizing the current immigration overhaul plan precisely because of its emphasis on a merit system. Their argument? Because many foreign women are less educated and less skilled than men, it would amount to discrimination against them.

Well, I suppose it is no more nonsensical than the New York Times recent suggestion that the illegitimate children of US servicemen and bar-girls abroad should be fast-tracked to US citizenship. Because one thing America has a crippling shortage of right now is illegitimate children.

This is only the natural conclusion to Ted Kennedy’s 1965 Amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which placed considerations like family reunification and being extra nice to colored people ahead of America’s economic interests. It has prevented the country from maintaining a national character, as had been done previously by the National Origins Formula, to preference the nationalities of people already in the United States. That’s why 80-90 percent of immigrants are now from the Third World, whereas previously 97 percent of immigrants came from Europe.

America’s emphasis on family reunification has been grossly unfair. It squeezes out many talented young people from developed nations like Britain who would be a real credit to the country and would love to be there. As the interesting Stephen Steinlight has pointed out, a single immigrant can end up getting citizenship for most of a village in Mexico, or even half the population of an entire town in the West Bank.

Is America importing the best? No. Immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean, places that supply the vast majority of newcomers, are less entrepreneurial than natives and immigrants from countries like Canada and Korea. Current Hispanic immigrants and their descendants are not advancing economically and entering the middle class, as did immigrants of old. Instead, America has been importing an underclass of people with an illegitimacy rate of 53%, who are crime-prone, and have test scores that are not reaching the level of whites even after two and three generations.

Yet nobody cares. When it comes to handing out visas, it is simply each according to her need.

See also:

Randmesty?

Preserving Freedom Can Mean Restricting Immigration

Randmesty? Why Rand Paul Is Wrong About Immigration.

The Republican Party’s capacity for self-delusion sometimes surpasses even that of the Irish in a housing bubble. Nowhere is this more evident than the constant party refrains about Hispanics being such “natural Republicans“, they’re ready to hop on the bandwagon if you just cool the rhetoric about immigration. The latest piece of outrageous Hispandering comes courtesy of – it pains me to say – Kentucky’s Rand Paul.

Now, about Rand Paul. I like him. I support his agenda. I would vote for him in 2016. But he’s potentially very weak on the immigration issue. Like Peter Brimelow, I don’t think he’s thought about or appreciates the consequences of mass immigration all that much, something he has in common with a lot of cloistered libertarians. Paul went so far as to call illegal aliens “undocumented citizens” in a recent Washington Times op-ed. Uh-oh.

Recently, Rand gave a speech addressing the topics of amnesty and border security in front of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It was truly pathetic. At some points, it was unintentionally quite funny. To establish a bond of victimhood and ethnic grievance, Paul actually piped: “It was not always easy to be German American in the face of two world wars started by Germans. Intolerance is not new, and it is not limited to one language or skin color”. Oh, Rand, really?

Other choice lines:

“Growing up in Texas I never met a Latino who wasn’t working”.

“Republicans have been losing both the respect and votes of a group of people who already identify with our belief in family, faith, and conservative values. Hispanics should be a natural and sizable part of the Republican base”.

Lies, lies, lies.

Hispanics are far from conservative or libertarian

Well, the first line may not be a lie per se, but your childhood experience seeing Hispanics in construction crews or cleaning your yard aren’t the best guide to policy-making. As it happens, 65.4 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics and 68.4 percent of Hispanic immigrants are working,  compared with 69.3 percent for the country as a whole. Its not a marked difference, but its important to get past the myth of the hard-working Hispanic who actually wants to be here, unlike many supposedly shiftless, unappreciative natives.  57.4% of Mexican immigrants are on some form of welfare, which is significantly high.

The second point is so hackneyed, and so blatantly untrue, I wonder if the Republicans mouths obliged to utter such platitudes seriously believe it anymore. All it takes is a walk through East Los Angeles to observe that the Latino community is no bastion of social conservatism. Salt Lake City most Latino neighborhoods are not, and its not just confined to the female dress code. Hispanics have largely converged with the general public on social issues, and have possibly gone even further to the left. Pew Research’s Hispanic Center says that younger Hispanics support legal abortion in all or most cases, and close to 60 percent of Latinos overall support gay marriage.

What should be most worrying to a free-marketeer like Rand Paul is the Hispanic attitude to capitalism and socialism. Again, Pew Research indicates that Hispanics are twice as likely to have a positive view of socialism than whites. Amazingly, the average Hispanic is more likely to have a positive view of socialism than a self-described supporter of the Occupy Movement (so is the average black, it must be said). Fox News Latino claims that 62% of Hispanics support ObamaCare. This shouldn’t really surprise. We are talking about a people with roots in a continent that brought us Hugo Chavez, and famed for its economic populist strongmen. My view is that you wouldn’t have to change a single letter in the Constitution for the United States to become a socialist regime or Latin American style basket case republic, if the character of the people was that way inclined. And what better way to accomplish that than import tens of millions of Latin Americans? The implications of inviting millions of people rooted in a highly socialistic and collectivist culture into the United States really ought to attract more scrutiny. Unfortunately, libertarians today don’t have the guts. Even Lew Rockwell’s site, which once emphasized these matters,  seems to have completely sold out to La Raza and the Treason Lobby. What I call Official Conservatism may be even worse.

If Republican Party positions on economic and social matters are an anathema to most Hispanics, what makes anybody believe they will change allegiance if the party concedes ground on immigration? They already have the Democrats. That’s why polls show Hispanics vastly prefer Hilary Clinton to one of their own who happens to be sympathetic to amnesty, Marco Rubio.

Problems in today’s US immigration policy 

In fairness to Paul, he’s not all lost, in that he argues that the path to a green card and eventual citizenship for illegals currently in the country has to be contingent upon improvements in border security. The problem is the inevitable wrangling in the legislature as to what constitutes a secure border. My own vision of an ideal border policy involves bringing home the 10,000 troops currently stationed in Italy (Italy, for crying out loud!), the more than 50,000 troops in Germany, 36,000 in Japan, 28,000 in Korea, and stringing them along the southern border. John Derbyshire, a greater math whiz than I, says that on a three-shift basis this would equate to about one soldier per 50 yards of border, perfectly adequate for deterring intruders.

Alas, this is not going to happen.

And what about assimilating those that are already here? This is usually considered the long-term measure of success in immigration policy. We skeptics are often asked why the current wave of Latino immigration is different from earlier waves of Irish, Italian, or Jewish immigration. The process of Americanization in these cases was indeed a painful one, but ultimately very successful. Irish Americans proved capable of developing a particularly visceral patriotism (case in point: Joe McCarthy), and a number of Irish upstarts proved capable of being more WASP-y than the WASPs themselves (case in point: Buckley). American Jews, perhaps a little too eager to assimilate, ended up perpetrating a self-inflicted cultural holocaust. “God Bless America“? That was Irving Berlin. Christmas songs? The best ones were written by Jews.

The problem nowadays is that the America that placed enormous emphasis on assimilating immigrants no longer exists. As Friedrich Hayek says in the Constitution of Liberty: “That the United States would not have become such an effective ‘melting pot’ and would probably have faced extremely difficult problems if it had not been for a deliberate policy of ‘Americanization’ through the public school system seems fairly certain”. Hayek’s view is being tested today in the United States and he is being proved right.

Its helpful, at times, to think of Americanness as a religion. Lincoln said that when an immigrant feels that the Declaration of Independence “is the father of all moral principle in them”, then “they have a right to claim it is as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration”. This American model may very well be inspired by the Bible, where Ruth the Moabite woman tells her Israelite mother-in-law: “Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried”.

Two trends combine to make this whole process more difficult. The first has to do with technology and increasingly lower travel costs. These enable border-hoppers to maintain contact and ties with the old country to a far greater extent than immigrants from the Elllis Island era. Its much more difficult for Hispanic immigrants to become deeply rooted in America.  Almost 80% watch Spanish-language television, half of them as their main source of TV. Most interestingly, more than half of Dominicans and Mexicans who died in New York City were buried in their countries of origin in the year 1996 (so much for Ruth’s approach).

The second trend harks back to Hayek’s point above. A cultural and political shift has occurred in the United States, and other countries, that recoils at the idea that immigrants need to be brought into harmony with the existing culture. It is a combination of a lack of national self-confidence and a pathetic non-judgmentalism. This non-judgmentalism primarily affects the elite class, a class that once saw themselves as bearing a special responsibility for the well-being of America, but is now caught up in the ideals of multiculturalism. No longer can political leaders talk like Alexander Hamilton, when he said that the success of the American republic requires “the preservation of a national spirit and national character”. No longer can a politician talk to a potential immigrant in the manner of John Quincy Adams, who told a German contemplating immigrating that immigrants “must cast off the European skin, never to resume it. They must look forward to their posterity rather than backward to their ancestors”. Such attitudes, which guided the policy of the Ford Motor Company in the absorption classes they ran for immigrant workers, would now be deemed insensitive or racist.

Not surprisingly, surveys show there is an enormous gulf between the opinions of the economic and cultural elite – including executives of Fortune 1000 companies, heads of large trade unions, newspaper editors and TV news directors – and the average American. 70 percent of the public regard reducing illegal immigration as a “very important” policy goal, compared with 22 percent of the aforementioned elite. 55 percent of the public want legal immigration to be reduced, compared t only 18 percent of the elite.

Once, the approach of American schools was to accept that a Mexican could maintain pride in his former nation’s culture – expressed in music, art, cuisine, and religion – but they encouraged the political, economic, and social values of that country be quickly abandoned. Given the Pew Research findings on Latino political values mentioned above, this was wise.

Today’s schools actually aim to de-Americanize children and actively promote minority identity politics and culture. Bizarrely, surveys carried out by the sociologists Alejandro Portes and Ruben Rumbaut in Florida have found that children of immigrants are less likely to identify as American after leaving school than when they came in. The most dramatic change was among Cubans. One-third of a particular group surveyed simply referred to themselves as ‘American’ at the beginning of high-school. By the end of high school, only two percent did, the rest preferring to identify as ‘Cuban’ or ‘Cuban-American’.

The Existential Threat 

It may not be politically correct to say this, but this trend is most worrying when we are talking about the importation of millions of Mexicans into US territory previously won from Mexico. No immigrant group in U.S. history could potentially assert a historical claim to U.S. territory. Mexicans can and do make this claim. A 2002 Zogby poll found that 58 percent of Mexicans agree with the statement, “The territory of the United States’ southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico”. 28 percent disagreed, while another 14 percent said they weren’t sure. Charles Truxillo, a professor of Chicano Studies at the University of New Mexico, said, “I may not live to see the Hispanic homeland, but by the end of the century my students’ kids will live in it, sovereign and free”. That’s what happens in a country where you have professors of ‘Chicano Studies’.

Occasionally, I’ve met folks in the US military, particularly those with roots in the Southwest, worried about about the region becoming America’s Kosovo. Yet it seems this kind of sensible strategic thinking cannot be discussed. Were not even meant to think about it. When Obama and Romney engaged in foreign policy debates last year, there were over 30 mentions each of Israel and Iran in a single session. Of Mexico, whose problems are America’s problems (look at the kind of carnage that happens around the border linked to the drug trade), there was nothing. At the same time, friends of Israel in the United States will unequivocally stand by the right of the Israeli people to retain a Jewish majority in their state, and reject the so-called right of return by millions of self-styled refugees.

Nobody cares that whites are no longer a majority in California. Nobody cares that Texas will become a swing state in a very short time. Nobody cares that Bill Clinton triumphantly claimed at Portland State University in 1998 that there would be no majority race in the United States in fifty years time, to the cheers of students and faculty. This should have been classed as a declaration of civil war, but nobody cares – yet.

Balkanisation may seem like a remote possibility now. But anything can happen in a time of economic tumult. The worst here is certainly yet to come. Just take a look at America’s unfunded liabilities.

Going Forward

With all the focus Rand Paul got at CPAC, I thought I’d highlight the brilliant points of Ann Coulter on amnesty (from 11:40 on this clip). She says the issue is now her first priority, for good reason.

If amnesty goes ahead, all of America becomes California and no Republican will ever win a national election. Libertarians would be shooting themselves in the foot, too. Get real, free-marketeers: these people will never vote for you.

About 80% of immigrants are from the Third World. In the 1890’s, 97 percent of immigrants came from Europe. In the meantime, its difficult for a European, far less likely to slip into dependency, to get US citizenship. The traitor Ted Kennedy designed this system and abolished the National Origins Formula in 1965, almost certainly with the aim of securing votes for Democrats. Since 1965, US immigration policy has been designed to attract the worst sort of immigrant. That policy places considerations like family reunification ahead of America’s economic, cultural, and even security interests.

I like Coulter’s approach. While I don’t see myself being a single-issue activist until 2016, we must insist that the amnesty and border issues are seriously addressed by all candidates in a principled,  conservative way. That means freed from the influence of political correctness, the most un-conservative and powerful Hispanic immigration lobby, or flawed notions about attracting Hispanic voters. Rand Paul is a sensible person, and I am sure he can be made compromise on the matter, whatever his natural inclinations.

After all, if Rand Paul is going to save America, there needs to be an America to save.

Israel Was A Reason Rand Succeeded, and Ron Didn’t

“I am a supporter of Israel”.

“I want to be known as a friend of Israel”.

While Rand Paul advocates cutting all foreign aid, including to Israel, he makes sure to express his support for the country. He also continues to insist that cutting aid to fiercely anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and decidedly anti-liberal groups like the Muslim Brotherhood should be America’s first priority.

I doubt there is much here his father would disagree with. But Ron Paul never could shed the perception that he is hostile to Israel. Perhaps that’s because he is. He unwisely called Gaza a “concentration camp”, after all. Yes, this is the so-called ‘siege’ of Gaza, where there hasn’t been a single recorded incident of death by starvation since it began.

Ron Paul struggled to reassure people that even though he didn’t want America to guarantee Israel’s security, he had no particular gripe against the little state. Ron Paul failed to offer simple little words of support that Americans could believe. Perhaps this was out of some sense of libertarian purity. Perhaps it is something else.

My position is that that anybody who wants civilization to triumph over barbarism should support Israel, whether you are on the right, the left, the centre, or a libertarian. I don’t care about little differences in opinion and where you would like the final borders to be. As long as you want Israel to survive and thrive, you’re one of the good guys.

Interestingly, according to Scott Rasmussen, despite its record of interventionism, there are only four countries that the clear majority of Americans (60% plus) feel obliged to defend: Canada, Britain, Australia, and Israel. Essentially, that’s the Anglosphere + Israel. It shows how deep-rooted American identification with Israel really is. Only 49% of Americans want to stay in NATO. As Rand Paul himself might say, I like the ring of that.

And, as Rand Paul has realised, the philosophy of non-interventionism has a deep appeal to Americans, provided it is combined with a special fondness for Israel and some place for America as a force for good in the world. America can easily offer to step in as a last resort to help Britain or Israel if they face serious existential threats. Its the right thing to do, and the odds of it actually happening are very small. Britain and Israel are prosperous, powerful nations that can easily take care of most of their problems. The same goes for Australia and Canada.

It is the height of libertarian silliness, purism to the point of suicide, to attack Rand Paul and libertarians who don’t tow the same line on Israel. A case in point is Justin Raimondo, who fiercely attacked Rand Paul for visiting Israel, supposedly “aligning himself with fundamentalist fanatics”, and allegedly sullying his father’s legacy with “untrammeled ambition.”

Well, Rand Paul is now a household name and the foremost champion of civil liberties in the Senate, while Raimondo huffs and puffs in a little padded cell of his own making.

Women in Combat

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The Amazons, the mythical race of female warriors who lived on the fringes of civilization,  were said to cut off their right breasts to enable them to effectively throw javelins and use a bow. In some accounts, they could not have sex, or restricted intercourse to one encounter per year. It is telling that to be warriors, the Amazons had to give up all marks of femininity and even the organs identifying them as women.

There is truth in the myth of the Amazons. Captain Katie Petronio of the Marine Corps recently told CNN that the missions she endured over seven months in Iraq caused her to stop producing estrogen, rendering her infertile. She also admitted to only doing a fraction of what her male colleagues did.

One should be very afraid of the prospect of gender ‘equality’ in combat. What do feminists mean by it? Forty percent of female soldiers in the British army got pregnant within months of arriving in Iraq. This earned them an immediate trip home. Female British Military Police unable to get pregnant simply refused to go on foot-patrol because it was “too dangerous”. Male MPs had to do double-patrols. The Daily Star got these figures from the Ministry of Defense after a Freedom of Information request. I cannot recall the BBC ever reporting them. I have never seen a debate in Parliament on the subject. The Official Line is that Girls Can Do Anything. The madness goes beyond Britain. According to Steve Sailer (writing in 1997), for every year a coed warship is at sea “the Navy has to airlift out 16% of the female sailors as their pregnancies become advanced”.

The Israeli Example, The Nature of War, and Why The Israeli Example Does Not Apply

Somebody will inevitably bring up all those pretty girls in the Israel Defense Forces. I contend that Israel is not necessarily a success in this regard, and certainly not an example for America or any other country to emulate. I also believe that women who meet the criteria for the armed forces should still be excluded from the military as much as possible, even if the criteria haven’t been lowered to facilitate greater gender integration.

For a start, one expects that forcibly integrating combat units would have the same effect as forcibly integrating sports, given the sometimes astounding physical requisites of both endeavors. Most world-class female athletes cannot compete against world-class male athletes. In fact, the top women in most fields of sport would not even be able to compete against the top male high school equivalents. So, sensibly, we don’t do mixed basketball games.

Disparities in physical abilities are a clear indication that opening up combat units to women will not double the talent pool, as some have absurdly argued. Most women are unable to carry the standard gear a US soldier is required to schlep around at all times. Factors like this mean that the only way gender integration would work is if female combat units were to only take on other female combat units, as we do in sport. This arrangement may be negotiated, but one cannot expect armies to adhere to this.  The massing of the troops on weak points is standard practice. In the words of Field Mar­shal Paul von Hindenburg, “an operation without Schw­er­punkt is like a man without character”. Some civilized nations may indeed be persuaded to sign up to this, but the likes of the Taliban certainly wont.

But lets go beyond physical differences and presume that a military can easily have women in combat.

Martin Van Creveld, in my opinion the greatest military historian and theorist of our time, largely dismisses the argument that women are physically incapable of fighting alongside men. This I do not quite agree with, but I’ll leave my objections aside for the moment. In his Transformation of War, he provides the example of the highly effective Palmach, the elite all-volunteer strike force of the Haganah, the pre-state Jewish militia that later formed the core of the IDF. The Palmach had a higher rate of female participation and sexual integration than any military force before or since. Women were particularly valued for intelligence gathering, arms smuggling, and transmitting messages. There were plenty of women throughout the Haganah, too. Famous ‘sexpert’ Dr. Ruth Westheimer was a sniper (where her diminutive height of 4 ft 7 in proved advantageous). However, as the British left and the Arabs armies massed, the IDF was officially established and a near complete winnowing out of women began. After the war, Israeli women were confined to being secretaries, telephone operators, and the like, though they were still subject to the draft.

Now, war has throughout history been the most important male preserve. The association between war and manliness is so strong that in some languages the word for “man” and “warrior” is the same. One can go farther and say that in most societies, things are considered important to the extent that they are the preserve of men, though this is perhaps changing in certain places. Teaching and secretarial work, when dominated by men, enjoyed a far higher status than they do today. Female penetration of a field beyond a critical point will cause men to desert. This applies to war.

So what made the Palmach work?

It was all in the context. The Palmach were a small band of semi-underground insurgents facing the mighty British Empire as well as the Arab foe. With such a disparity in power, numbers, and equipment, women can be allowed to participate without undermining the significance of what the men are doing. Female participation can be rife in other insurgencies, including that of the Palestinians. In Ireland, examples can be found in women like Countess Markievicz.

Women largely vanished from important roles in the IDF for decades, training with weapons discarded by the men or those that were extremely plentiful. The reason why women continued to be drafted and receive weapons training at all is closely related to why they were welcomed by the pre-state Zionist militias. Israel was outnumbered, outgunned, and surrounded by foes. The Soviet Union was around to support its enemies. Israel’s wars have been seen as wars for survival, close to home, and certainly not optional adventures or crusades thousands of miles away. Even today, with peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, Israel fears failure in a way that the surrounding Arab nations don’t. Few countries face threats of an existential nature like Israel, and certainly not the United States. However, even though its women get trained in the use of arms, very few females serve in Israel’s combat units.

In Israel, a post-1973 expansion of the army strained available manpower and created a demand for skilled operators. Women were found to make good technicians, communicators  and weapons instructors. As a result, the presence of women was increased noticeably at all ranks. On the whole the job they have done has been excellent, though women still tend to get assigned the worst positions. However, there has also been an enormous social cost to this. Jobs got considered undesirable by men precisely because they began to be done by women. Thus, these roles are not seen as a display or test of manliness, a fundamental part of the traditional culture of war, in what is a very macho culture in the first place. More women at all ranks has in fact made it tougher to attract first-class manpower.

As a side-note, it must be said that Israeli women, from the Palmach and beyond, have always performed admirably in certain crucial capacities like Intelligence. Since the time of Rahab, and Judith’s beheading of Holofernes, women do have some innate advantages in this field that men will find difficult or impossible to acquire.

Its a Symptom

That the US military is now prepared to take women into combat infantry positions indicates that its role as an actual fighting force is coming to an end. It is a symptom of the demise of the style of war that arose after the state asserted its monopoly over conflict at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, military theorists have pointed out the fact that we are living through the greatest transformation of the nature of war since 1648.

State-run armies are being made obsolete by nuclear weapons keeping the peace on the one hand, and low-intensity conflicts featuring non-state actors on the other. Against non-state opponents, the US military has lost in Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The wars that matter are now fought by gangs, tribes, and militias. They fight for pride, for God, for women, for money. Essentially, the old pre-state causes.

What can a state do with a useless army? Turning it into an equal opportunities jobs program is one option.

Some Responses to Sandy Hook

After the shooting at the Batman premiere in Colorado earlier this year, Brian Doherty, an expert on firearms policy, did a cool-headed analysis for Russia Today on the errors of clamors for gun control that inevitably follow such tragedies. I think it holds up well in light of what just happened in Connecticut.

 

Its important to remember that these bizarre attacks, and gun murders in general, are rare and getting rarer every year. This is despite the fact that all states have liberalized their gun laws in recent years, and many more Americans are carrying weapons. Four million Americans each year apply for gun licenses. Alarmist news headlines notwithstanding, gun violence has in fact plummeted by half over the last 20 years. Sure, we hear a lot about America having a higher rate of gun deaths than virtually any other place. What we don’t hear nearly as often is that many of these incidents on the official statistics are suicides, or committed by gangs unlikely to be affected even if the federal government were to institute a strict firearms ban tomorrow. Lets not forget the tens of thousands of serious crimes prevented every year by gun owners.

***

This raises another important policy point. Did the fact that this elementary school was declared a ‘gun-free zone’ make it any safer? What if one of the teachers or staff was armed? After Israel witnessed a number of Palestinian terrorist attacks against its schools in the 1970’s, fierce debate ensued about scrapping the harsh firearms regulations instituted under the British Mandate. Eventually, teachers were allowed to carry guns, along with parents and even grandparents who came to help out with security at school buildings and on school trips. The attacks stopped. The soft targets were now not so soft.

***

I know this alleged quote from Morgan Freeman may not be genuine. After all, who could possibly be better to add gravitas to crap you want to spread on the internet? However, I believe the argument has a lot of merit. Concerning the causes of school shootings and how to prevent them:

You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations  sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem.

There is significant evidence that excessive talk and media coverage of suicide actually  increases the suicide rate. I would not be surprised if the same pattern appeared in relation to massive gun attacks.

 

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The President and the Pakistani: The Reality

The President and the Pakistani, currently running at the Waterloo East Theater claims to be based on:

The incredible chapter in the life of Barack Obama, when he lived in a crime-ridden and violent neighbourhood with an illegal Pakistani immigrant, this is a gripping play about a night when a hunt for the truth exposes the lies we want to believe in.

Barack Obama did indeed share a sixth floor walk-up in Harlem with a Pakistani by the name of Sohale Siddiqi in the early eighties. The play portrays the idealistic Obama struggling to pay the rent in a filthy apartment surrounded by criminals and bums. The setting of the play may be accurate, but the story is not.

First off, Barack is referred to as ‘Barry’, the given name Obama used for most of his life up to his undergraduate years at Occidental College in California. Obama later transferred to Columbia, always intending to move into nearby Harlem. Thus, he would likely have gone by ‘Barack’ during his time in New York. Going to Harlem with an illegal Pakistani immigrant was a politically-motivated gesture to demonstrate where his loyalties lay. Adopting the name ‘Barack’ was a similar gesture. As I have written before, Obama has had a life-long obsession with being ‘black enough’ to be the black leader he wanted to be.  Obama admits that he “ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself with whites”. Thus, he ended up manufacturing an identity and personal narrative. He insisted that people at Occidental call him ‘Barack’, as he recounts in a typical conversation on page 104 of Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance:

“Barack’s my given name. My father’s name. He was a Kenyan”.

“Does it mean something?”

“It means ‘Blessed’. In Arabic. My grandfather was  a Muslim”.

This was all true, but Obama had been using the name ‘Barry’ up to this point. The change was for a reason:

[C]onfusion made me question my own racial credentials… To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets [page 100].

On page 105 he admits:

What I needed was a community, I realized, a community that cut deeper than the common despair that black friends and I shared when reading the latest crime statistics, or the high fives I might exchange on a basketball court. A place where I could put down stakes and test my commitments.

So he moves to Harlem. This was a carefully considered choice. ‘The President and the Pakistani’ doesn’t make that clear. Obama didn’t need to live in a dump with low-lives. He could afford better. He found the illegal immigrant Siddiqi through wealthy Pakistani colleagues at Occidental: Imad Hussein, Mohamed Hasan Chandoo, and Wahid Hamid. Obama would visit Pakistan himself, staying at the grand estate of Muhammad Mian Soomro, who in 2007 became Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister.

It wasn’t allegiance to Islam that led Obama to do all this. It was an expression of racial and Third World solidarity. Siddiqi was secular, as well as a heavy drinker and drug abuser.  Obama had expressed pride in his grandfather’s conversion to Islam, purely because he felt it was evidence he was anti-white. Obama had a long interest in Nation of Islam, and his links to them and other anti-white black nationalist movements are shockingly extensive. His image of Islam as anti-European skewed his perception of his grandfather. He notoriously claimed he took part in the Mau Mau uprising and was tortured by the British. In fact, his third wife, whom Obama calls Granny, would tell Obama that his grandfather very willingly served the British and admired their ways. Plus, he only converted to Islam because he found Christianity too soft and feminine.

‘The President and the Pakistani’ begins by portraying Obama and his new friend as a comic bromance getting up to all sorts of wacky antics. It ends with Obama making a commitment to straighten up and act serious after his Pakistani friend’s dog is stabbed by drug dealers. He complains about the cocaine all over the table after he’s invited some friends over for an anti-apartheid meeting. These particular details may or may not be true. We do know, however, that Obama did swear off drugs in this period. He also started jogging. He developed the habits typical of Reagan era yuppies trying to grow up, even briefly contemplating a career in the private sector. He admits in his own account that Siddiqi said he was “becoming a bore”.

‘The’President and the Pakistani’ has proved to be a hit. But don’t believe will give you the real Obama. If it did, no theater would have it.

Barack Obama and Sohale Siqqiqi in 1981