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Patriotism is Not Some Bad Form of Nationalism

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The left has become really clever at falsely associating conservatism with horrible things, such as racism, greed and violence. Under President Trump, they began a push to associate patriotism with bad forms of nationalism, like fascism and Nazism. It was easy to do because nationalism has multiple definitions; one sounds like patriotism, but another sounds like fascism or Nazism. Trump made patriotism a showy part of his platform, with his Make America Great Again slogan and massive amounts of red, white and blue decorations at campaign events. But that’s really all it was. There wasn’t any specific agenda associated with nationalism, Trump merely adopted a typical conservative platform, not much different from Ronald Reagan’s platform in 1980. Forty years later, the country is still involved about the same extent with globalist organizations like the U.N. and NATO. 

 

The association is ludicrous considering the Democrats have become the party of big government, they’re closer to national socialists or fascists than Republicans. Those two political philosophies oppose materialism and selfish individualism. They favor government-controlled corporatist unions — not a far stretch from the Democrats’ government unions. Both detest capitalism and advocate for redistributing wealth. 

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The MSM articles hysterically labeling Trump supporters as dangerous nationalists are devoid of evidence. One writer at the left-wing Daily Kos claims a Trump supporter who was merely speaking constitutes evidence. “I was walking through a casino in Las Vegas this last weekend and an older white male (I would guess late 50s, early 60s) pulled off his Make America Great Again hat and began taunting bar patrons, pointing at his hat and yelling ‘Trump! Trump!’” Another example he cites is an unofficial Facebook page run by border patrol agents where they said rude things about illegal immigrants. The page was not authorized by the government, an investigation was conducted and the employees were disciplined. How some rogue employees joking privately about illegal immigrants is comparable to national socialism is mind boggling. 

 

But they know exactly what they’re doing. If they repeat a lie enough in the MSM, people will start to believe it. If conservatives are racist, violent and greedy, then it’s easy to believe they are also totalitarian fascists. A typical line about it goes like this, from a Canadian academic magazine in 2017, “The last twelve months have seen a great shift in the North Atlantic political landscape, with only Canada immune (so far). Nobody in universities saw it coming. ….There has been a surge of support for ethno-nationalism of the blood-and-soil kind, fearful of global openness and resentful of globally connected persons, whether migrants, traders, or cross-border professors and students.” Notice the cleverly dropped reference to violence. 

 

The left points to some on the right calling for civil disobedience, secession and other actions that connote violence, as if they’re evidence of this frightening nationalism. Well it’s nothing new. People on the right have been using that type of language throughout my entire life, and nothing ever happens. The quote by Thomas Jefferson, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” has been used for years by people and organizations on the right. No one actually thinks it’s time for revolution nor are they about to act on it. But the left has cleverly created this perception that the talk just started under Trump, the few saying it represents the right, and they actually intend to commit violence. When they occasionally find a guy who carelessly drove into a gun-free zone with his gun and two magazines, they pounce on it as evidence they are correct. Regardless, a mere handful of deranged people on the right does not mean the right has become dangerous as a movement. There have always been a handful of deranged people on the right as well as on the left. 

 

Another variation of the accusation specifically denounces “Christian nationalism.” They warn that Christians are going to turn the U.S. into a theocracy. Evangelical leaders on the right like Beth Moore are rushing to denounce it as if it’s a real problem. It’s not. Again, there is zero evidence. They can’t point to much other than the handful of rioters who pushed their way into the U.S. Capitol who claim to be Christians. That small number of people does not represent millions of Christians who support Trump across the country. 

 

The reality is there hasn’t been much of a change in anything other than a few more patriotic decorations; Trump turned out to be quite similar to Reagan. The real change has been an increase in hostility by the left toward the U.S. The patriot theme arose on the right under Trump in response to the Democrats’ trashing the U.S. They have become increasingly globalist and critical of our heritage and the Founding Fathers. Children’s history books have been rewritten to denigrate U.S. history, and the left points to other countries as superior to the U.S. So what used to be considered normal behavior, being proud of our country and heritage, is now being treated as a dangerous patriot movement by the left. 

 

The left is going to continue to take words and ideas associated with the right and lump them in with horrendous things. We have to start calling them out on it instead of allowing them to drive a narrative about us that is not true. If we’re going to be able to successfully push back, I shouldn’t be the only one complaining about this.

 

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Rachel Alexander is a conservative political writer and pundit. She is the editor of Intellectual Conservative and a recovering attorney. She was ranked by Right Wing News as one of the 50 Best Conservative Columnists from 2011-2019.



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A License to Have Children

Bringing a child into the world is a serious matter. If you’re shocked by the title of this article, do not pre-judge: read it the whole way through.

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If you’re shocked by the title of this article or have some preconceived notion about what it contains, do not pre-judge me or the article: read it the whole way through.

A growing number of individuals are beginning to think it’s time to require that people get a license before having children. If the idea sounds absurd or highly impractical to you, I can empathize, as I once felt the same way.

If there were but one or two sound reasons why a license for bringing a child into the world is a good idea, perhaps we could let the issue rest for another decade or so. Actually, there are dozens of compelling reasons, the top half-dozen outlined here, for our society to organize itself in a way it never has before and in a manner that was perhaps unthinkable a generation ago.

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Not Everyone Will

Before turning to the six big reasons for requiring a license to have children, let’s skip ahead to a time in which it is the law of the land.

As with licensing in other aspects of society, such as driving, not everyone who is supposed to get a license does so. Some people simply drive without one. Presumably, they proceed until they are caught for a traffic violation. ome people drive after their license has been suspended. Similarly, people will have children without the slightest regard for getting a license. As we’ll discuss, there are still compelling reasons for proceeding with the process.

Regardless of whether prospective child-rearing adults were to file for licenses, some people would always argue that requiring a license smacks of Big Brotherism.

“Haven’t people always conceived babies without a license?”
“Why do we need to impose this now?”
“Isn’t this one more bit of burdensome government regulation?”
“Isn’t this unconstitutional?”
“What agency will administer and oversee the process?”
“Will we be creating greater bureaucracy?”
“Why should the government get so involved in my private life?”

These points are worth considering; cause for alarm, however, is premature. There need not be one iota of Big Brotherism in the process. Licensing procedures don’t have to be designed so as to exclude anyone. Racism, favoritism, or any other “ism” need not gain any foothold here. No one plays God and decides who has children and who doesn’t. Rather, licensing, as argued here, would be available to anyone who applies. It could be as simple as registering to vote and the costs would be minimal if piggybacked on to an agency that already administers licenses.

Considering that many people will not seek to obtain the license, and that licensing itself will not be denied to anyone, why bother to have it at all? I’m glad you raised the question.

Six Reasons

1. Greater Lead Time
We are a nation where too many babies are born out of wedlock. Among African Americans, the figure is nearly 70%; among Native Americans, above 55%; among Hispanics, 52%; and among whites, 28%. In recent decades, we’ve witnessed dramatic increases in the numbers of teenage pregnancies, single mothers, abandoned or abused children, and even children murdered by their own parents.

Will licensing childbirth save even one child? Easily.

With the nine month average term of pregnancy, and nearly every mother able to determine if she’s pregnant at least seven months before term, the licensing process has a seven month lead time. Thus, each state or local jurisdiction’s social support and family services, as well as other community services, would have a greater capacity for population planning and dispensing of care, counseling, and other services. Pediatrics divisions of hospitals could plan more soundly to meet the needs of the surrounding community. So, too, could those who dispense critical services, such as birthing classes, educational videos, and counseling.

In short, licensing would increase the probability that more newborns have happy, successful early childhoods.

2. Restoring Sanctity to Birth
Licensing holds notable potential for restoring some semblance of sanctity to the birth process. Some parents seem to not realize that having a child is not something you do on a lark to get out of school, to cure boredom, or to better secure the affections of a partner. When the sanctity of childbirth across the broad swath of humanity is someday restored, the number of out-of-wedlock births will decline. Licensing is a means towards this end.

Ideally, a child comes into the world because a husband and wife are in love and wish to have a family. They give the matter careful consideration. They are cognizant of the need for years of endless sacrifices and financial outlays. Gary Becker, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago, was awarded the Nobel Prize for demonstrating that higher-income, educated married couples intentionally have fewer children than average so as to optimize the nurturing, education, and upbringing of each child.

The most successful and wisest parents among us actively choose to limit the size of their families.

Why should a society deign to offer indicators to anyone that bringing more children into the world, even one child, for whom you cannot adequately provide care, is socially acceptable or even tolerable? I wouldn’t even vaguely suggest that anyone be denied the opportunity to have children, even many children, independent of their educational, financial, or marital status. I am strongly against any notion of one person or group of people deciding who shall have children, how many, and who shall not. Rather, I argue for the maintenance of social standards which licensing would aid.

Having a license to bring a child into the world might help to sanctify both human birth experience and the ensuing human life experience. Currently, both pro-choice and pro-life advocacy groups need to re-examine and perhaps re-formulate their views regarding the sanctity of human life. While it can be argued at length that abortion is sometimes necessary, and that bringing an unwanted child into the world is itself morally reprehensible, abortion has never been an ideal answer to family planning.

While pro-life advocates appear to acknowledge the sanctity of birth, they have indicated less concern about the life a child brought into this world experiences. They need to focus additional concern on the next year to 80 years after a child is brought into the world.

3. More Accurate Census Count

Seemingly not as lofty as the issues discussed thus far, requiring people to have a license to bear children will be of enormous aid to the U. S. Bureau of the Census, all government agencies, and all institutions concerned with population and planning. This is no small benefit. Congress would be better able to allocate funds with population estimates that are closer to reality than are currently derived. Our institutions would be better able to meet the needs of citizens.

At all levels of government, better planning could be undertaken in the areas of education, health care, transportation, and housing.

Demographers, sociologists, and economists would have more robust primary data for the population projections and studies they undertake. In turn, leaders, administrators, boards of education, professors, students, and anyone else to whom population data is critical would be better informed and better served. (Note: not to say that licensees’ names would be available to commercial vendors. We all receive too many unsolicited offers now as it is.)

With vastly improved Census data, the long-term result would be improved prospects for childbirth and child-rearing among the masses, a desirable result for all aspects of society.

4. Better Child Support

Since the mid-1970s, an increasing number of children have been raised by a single parent – in most cases, the mother. Often, even when the mother and father are married when the child is conceived, the parents could be separated, temporarily or permanently, by the time the child arrives. When prospective parents understand that they’re required to get a license, there is an increased likelihood that, in the event of the demise of the relationship, the infant will still be afforded adequate resources during its childhood. Licensing would tend to decrease the incidence of cut-and-run fathers.

Some fathers who plan to be on hand when the child is born find that seven or eight months later, they don’t feel the same way. Having been part of a licensing procedure improves the odds, even if only slightly, that fathers will be on hand at the child’s birth and thereafter. If licensing resulted in a 1% decrease in the number of cut-and-run fathers, it would well be worth it.

5. With Greater Forethought

Lawyers must pass the state bar before practicing law. Some people get their driver’s licenses long before buying a car, or even driving regularly. Some potential parents – and it’s hoped that this is a large percentage – might seek to apply for a license before they attempt to conceive a child.

Having to get a license to get married is for the social good. Some people who are better off not married discover this after getting a marriage license but before heading down the aisle.

Any increase in the likelihood that prospective parents will give an added measure of forethought – or any forethought – to conceiving a child is for the social good.

In most states, when marriages are in trouble the partners can’t divorce at once; they have to endure a proscribed period of separation. In North Carolina, for example, 12 months of separate residency are required before the parents may file for divorce.

Similarly, a socially pervasive notion and legal requirement to get a license to bring a child into the world will, for some parents, serves as an incubation period. It would enable some parents to better determine whether having a baby is, in fact, what they wish to do at this time. Again, if even a tiny fraction of those who might have otherwise had a child end up not doing so, all parties benefit:

* our society that certainly doesn’t need another unwanted child,
* the parents who perhaps were not prepared to have child now, and
* yes, even the child who would have been.

If you doubt the last point, can you think of one person, if given the choice before birth, who would prefer to come into the world under any other circumstances other than being totally wanted, sufficiently loved, and adequately cared for?

6. Part of our Social Evolution

The tobacco growers in North Carolina are still scratching their heads and wondering why so many people are against what they grow. After all, their forefathers grew tobacco, and it’s always brought in healthy revenues for the state. Why upset the apple cart?

What was good for people 100 years or a generation ago isn’t what’s necessarily good for them today, or what’s good for society in general. If we were to keep things as they were, some people would be slaves. Some people wouldn’t have the vote. Fortunately, we overcame decades- and centuries-old dispositions and realized that we had to move forward. As our society becomes smoke-free, we all have the opportunity to witness social progress on a grand scale that some thought could not happen.

So, too, we each could witness social progress on a grand scale by requiring a license to have children.

Precious Lives

Each child who comes into this world is precious. Each one deserves the opportunity for an abundant life. It is not a civil liberty to have children any more than it’s a civil liberty to buy an automobile, practice medicine, or open a restaurant. Having a license to drive indicates to everyone that driving a motor vehicle is a serious affair. There are rules of the road to which we must all adhere.

Requiring a license of medical practitioners tells both physicians and their patients that the practice of medicine is a vital and serious profession, one not to be left in the hands of those who are untrained and unskilled. Even requiring restauranteurs to have a license before serving people signals that not merely anyone can serve anything to anybody. Standards exist when it comes to food preparation, sanitation, and cleanliness. All of these examples are regulated because of the connection with others – patients, diners, other cars. Having a child who will become a citizen, go to school, an interact with other for decades is the ultimate connection to others.

Raising children is perhaps the most important undertaking on earth. When having a license to have children is the law of the land, all parents – everyone – will receive a continual message that bringing a child into the world is an important and serious matter, a message which is not fully grasped by enough adults in our society.

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In-N-Out Burger Serves Customers, not San Francisco

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In-N-Out
Photo credit: Andrew Weibert

In-N-Out Burger just served San Francisco an everything burger, animal style. It’s heartening to see an iconic restaurant chain stand up to government overreach—and in an ultra-liberal enclave, to boot.

Here’s how it went down. San Francisco issued an edict to force bars and restaurants to verify customers’ COVID vaccination papers before allowing entry.

In response, In-N-Out Burger dutifully posted the city’s vaccination requirement on its windows. This placed the onus where it belongs—on their customers. This is as far as a private company need go.

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However, San Francisco sees things much differently. They closed down the city’s only In-N-Out Burger location, on Fisherman’s Wharf. As a result, the burger chain issued this statement:

“Local regulators informed us that our restaurant Associates must actively intervene by demanding proof of vaccination and photo identification from every Customer…. We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business.”

San Francisco’s beef shouldn’t be with In-N-Out Burger—it should be with its unvaccinated citizens. If the city chooses to order an unconstitutional vaccination requirement for bars and restaurants, they should enforce it, not the bars and restaurants. They’re private businesses, not COVID cops.

Burger bouncers

In-N-Out Burger trains their associates to cheerfully ask customers if they’d like to add fries and shakes to their meals, not to question them about controversial vaccination mandates. Additionally, they shouldn’t be required to make their associates act as bouncers to eject unvaccinated customers.

As an aside, America is one of the only nations on Earth that requires vaccination passports. Most if not all other countries require immunity passports, which include the vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated yet have degrees of natural immunity after being infected with the coronavirus.

The San Francisco In-N-Out Burger mess perfectly illustrates what should be happening all over America. Private business is not an arm of local, state or federal government. We’re all dealing with the pandemic—why compound the problem by attempting to force private businesses to enforce governmental mandates?

It makes one wonder how San Francisco leaders failed to see this coming. Can any serious person imagine cheerful, smiling, In-N-Out Burger associates making effective burger bouncers? It’s ridiculous for any city to expect restaurant employees to provide vaccination enforcement.

This smacks of more than mere incompetence. Did the city truly expect bars and restaurants to comply? If so, this seems like autocratic (and dangerous) arrogance.

If San Francisco wants to enforce vaccination inspections, they should do it themselves on the sidewalk in front of bars and restaurants. Closing restaurants that don’t force their employees to act as muscle for the city is poor leadership.

Given In-N-Out Burger’s wild popularity, it’s safe to say that most customers want their locations open. If some side with San Francisco in closing the restaurant and forcing associates to be vaccination police, they can get lesser burgers elsewhere.

Smart business

It’s called freedom. And clearly, it’s in short supply in places like San Francisco. Kudos to In-N-Out Burger for making a stand.

Here’s hoping other private businesses will take heart in In-N-Out Burger’s sound and smart business sense and stand up to one-size-fits-all autocrats. If they do, it’s likely that most of their customers will continue supporting them and they may even gain new ones.

Smart and principled businesses take risks for the right reasons. In-N-Out Burger is right to defy San Francisco. Prediction: By refusing to discriminate when serving its customers, they’ll sell even more burgers, fries and shakes in the City by the Bay and in their other 368 locations across America.

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