Was ClimateGate inevitable? Moreover, with all the negative attention given to corporate-funded research (supposed conflict of interest), what about government-funded research? If you research global warming and conclude there is no (or little) problem, how much will the government throw at a problem that doesn’t exist? On the other hand, if your research scares the bejesus out of government officials (and the public), how much will various government spend?
To paraphrase Carl Sagan, “billions and billions . . . “
I have been told–but not verified–that Coolidge was the last president to write his own speeches. After reading Coolidge’s writings, published while he was president, I am not surprised in the least. “Silent Cal” could be a man of few words but when he had something to say, he did it like a master; and when delivering speeches, he knew that the audience was as important as the speaker. After all, the Ku Klux Klan was at high tide and he refused their offer to speak and chose instead group forums that represented the very minorities attacked by the Klan!
Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader includes two documents by Coolidge. I note that his record was mixed on race (and other issues) from a classical liberal perspective. Most significantly, he signed the immigration restriction act of 1924 which slammed the door shut on virtually all immigration from outside the Western hemisphere.
Nevertheless, he invoked the Constitution and classical liberal principles to defend blacks and white ethnics (Catholics, Jews) under assault by the KKK. While Coolidge was not a “perfect” president, one can appreciate him all the more because he did not have such an enlarged view of the presidency or of himself. Après Coolidge, presidential humility went out the window, with some presidents more egotistical than others.
Below readers will find some of my commentary followed by an excerpt from one of the documents in Race and Liberty in America (footnotes omitted):
“Coolidge Denounces White Racism” (1924)
Historians often compare “Silent Cal” Coolidge (1872–1933) unfavorably with the activist presidents of the Progressive Era. A survey of academic historians conducted in 1983 found that they rated Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson as “near great,” with Coolidge among the “ten worst.” The Ku Klux Klan was the hot civil rights issue of the 1924 election: it was a national organization directing its hatred not only at blacks, but especially at Catholics and others deemed less than “100% American.” Historians fault Coolidge for not denouncing the KKK by name during the campaign. They fail to note that the Democratic candidate—segregationist John W. Davis—called upon Coolidge to speak when the president’s son was dying from an infection—a two-month ordeal that devastated Coolidge. (Consider the irony: Davis is best known for defending segregation in the Brown v. Board case). Soon after his son’s death, Coolidge spoke eloquently of religious and racial toleration before a parade of one hundred thousand Catholics honoring the Holy Name Society. Klan leaders grumbled when the president refused to show up for their parade.
Also compare Coolidge’s strong denunciation of lynching with that of “progressive” presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft. In a 1906 address, Roosevelt stated “the greatest existing cause of lynching is the perpetration, especially by black men, of the hideous crime of rape—the most abominable in all the category of crimes—even worse than murder.” In a 1909 message, Taft blamed lynching on “delays in trials, judgments, and the executions thereof by our courts.” By contrast, Coolidge made no excuses and urged Congress to punish the “hideous crime of lynching.”
In the following document, President Calvin Coolidge responds to a man who desired a lily-white government. The Chicago Defender, a leading black newspaper, praised Coolidge’s rebuke with the front-page headline, “Cal Coolidge Tells Kluxer When to Stop.” Coolidge reprinted this letter in a collection of his presidential addresses.
My dear Sir:
Your letter is received, accompanied by a newspaper clipping which discusses the possibility that a colored man may be the Republican nominee for Congress from one of the New York districts. Referring to this newspaper statement, you say:
“It is of some concern whether a Negro is allowed to run for Congress anywhere, at any time, in any party, in this, a white man’s country. Repeated ignoring of the growing race problem does not excuse us for allowing encroachments. Temporizing with the Negro whether he will or will not vote either a Democratic or a Republican ticket, as evidenced by the recent turnover in Oklahoma, is contemptible.”
Leaving out of consideration the manifest impropriety of the President intruding himself in a local contest for nomination, I was amazed to receive such a letter. During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. They took their places wherever assigned in defense of the nation of which they are just as truly citizens as are any others. The suggestion of denying any measure of their full political rights to such a great group of our population as the colored people is one which, however it might be received in some other quarters, could not possibly be permitted by one who feels a responsibility for living up to the traditions and maintaining the principles of the Republican Party. Our Constitution guarantees equal rights to all our citizens, without discrimination on account of race or color, I have taken my oath to support that Constitution. It is the source of your rights and my rights. I propose to regard it, and administer it, as the source of the rights of all the people, whatever their belief or race. A colored man is precisely as much entitled to submit his candidacy in a party primary, as is any other citizen. The decision must be made by the constituents to whom he offers himself, and by nobody else. . . .
The timing couldn’t be worse for those who would cripple economies with the plaintive cry: “Do as we say or we all die!” Worldwide there is growing skepticism about the benefits of micromanaging every aspect of daily life while measuring “carbon footprints.” The Wall Street Journal even contributed to this Nanny Project with a long piece measuring the carbon footprint of various common products. I was relieved to see that beer had the lowest carbon footprint.
How far have we gone when we decide whether or not it is “good for the planet” to drink beer? Now we must ask: Did German scientists manipulate the beer data to preserve their national beverage? (I’m kidding). It’s a good cause (beer drinking) but who studies this stuff? And when is enough enough?
For more on the “climate conspiracy,” read the following:
“Hacked E-Mail Is New Fodder for Climate Dispute,” by Andrew Revkin (New York Times, November 20, 2009)
“Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?”, by James Delingpole (London Telegraph, November 20, 2009)
“CRU Files Betray Climate Alarmists’ Funding Hypocrisy,” by Marc Sheppard (American Thinker, November 22, 2009)
Climate Audit, by Steve McIntyre — this server is slow but it does work.
“The Global Warming Debate, Peer Review and University Science,” by Mitchell Langbert (NAS Blog, November 23, 2009)
Fear not: Our own EPA, under “science president” Obama, has allegedly suppressed an EPA report skeptical of global warming.
This last story on our own home-grown ClimateGate, ends with these quotes:
The revelations could prove embarrassing to Jackson, the EPA administrator, who said in January: “I will ensure EPA’s efforts to address the environmental crises of today are rooted in three fundamental values: science-based policies and programs, adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency.” Similarly, Mr. Obama claimed that “the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over… To undermine scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy. It is contrary to our way of life.”
“All this talk from the president and (EPA administrator) Lisa Jackson about integrity, transparency, and increased EPA protection for whistleblowers — you’ve got a bouquet of ironies here,” said Kazman, the CEI attorney.
Harvey concedes that Race and Liberty in America rediscovers “understudied authors.” Then he quickly moves on to the usual academic dismissal of any classical liberal “tradition” on race (academics love scare quotes to let the reader know that there really is no such thing).
Since the 1950s, if not earlier, left-liberal academics have argued that classical liberalism ended in the early 20th century. Left-liberals used to argue that there was no conservatism in U.S. history but they have rediscovered a tradition that they find useful to dredge up in contemporary debates. In short, all good things come from the Left.
Yet, Harvey asserts, his students still retain the core values of classical liberalism that I present in my book. Since my book is the first word on “understudied authors” it is subject to the usual criticism that I didn’t discuss everything about the writers, the tensions within their tradition, etc.
Pick up a course reader like Eyes on the Prize and you could make the same objection, except Eyes on the Prize says what academic gatekeepers want to hear (they turned it into a movie series which I use in my classes). I am not criticizing Eyes on the Prize, which is a fine reader laying out the standard academic interpretation of the black civil rights movement from the 1950s onward. Indeed, editor Juan Williams is an open-minded left-liberal who probably disagreed with many figures in my book; nevertheless, he wrote the following blurb:
“If you are interested in the real history of the Civil Rights movement in America—the radical ideas that set it in motion no matter where they came from—get ready for an intellectual thrill ride. There is no time for political posturing here. Race and Liberty in America is full of revelations and stunning in its honesty.” —Juan Williams, Senior Correspondent, National Public Radio; author, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 and Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary
Where did Harvey’s students get their ideas? Why do they believe in individual freedom, limited government and colorblind law? Ideas come from somewhere. Harvey himself admits that many of the authors in my volume are understudied or rarely paired with race (or misunderstood, as with Booker T. Washington). Let me be forthright: there was no classical liberal movement but there were classical liberal values that were coherent and inspired many different individuals (including Harvey’s students?). It’s about an intellectual tradition, not the social movement approach taken by most historians of civil rights. What held these classical liberals together were those values rooted in their understanding of foundational texts (the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution).
These values are rooted deep in American culture and shared by individuals who are very different. That is a problem for Harvey. A chief criticism of my book is that the contributors are “so different,” but I make that point on the very first pages!
“Classical liberalism is a philosophy of individualism; its history is peopled by a mix of iconoclasts, contrarians, lone dissenters, courageous rebels, and powerful political leaders.”
Throughout the book, I describe the clashes between classical liberals who burned the Constitution (William Lloyd Garrison) and those who saw it as a “Glorious Liberty Document” (Frederick Douglass). I also emphasize how Christians repeatedly clashed on the issue of race. Contrary to Harvey’s single-minded focus on Barry Goldwater, I discuss how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 divided classical liberals who valued freedom of association but favored the sections that struck down state-sponsored discrimination. While some classical liberals (Goldwater) were ambivalent about certain provisions of the Act, most believe(d) that judicious government action is proper to guarantee “life, liberty, property.”
Classical liberals and conservatives differed sharply over civil rights. The sharp contrast can be seen on the pages of National Review. Although William F. Buckley established the National Review (1955) as a forum for classical liberal and traditional conservative voices, the former were excluded from discussion of civil rights. The magazine’s conservative writers advocated states rights and “freedom of association,” thus ignoring government-sponsored discrimination in the South. Some of the early editorials and articles were insulting to blacks and sympathetic to Southern whites, even advocating white supremacy (“Why the South Must Prevail” 1957; Hart 2005). Others raised important constitutional questions, but nowhere did National Review offer constructive solutions to racial discrimination. Instead, the magazine read like a law review where authors escaped into abstractions and ignored the cold, hard reality of racism.
By contrast, classical liberals believed state-sponsored discrimination was a problem. Federal laws that struck down such discrimination were not only constitutional but appropriate to achieving individual freedom from state interference (Rothbard 1963, 437). White supremacy, by government fiat, violated classical liberal principles. On the other hand, classical liberals—Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, and Barry Goldwater—opposed laws that limited an individual’s freedom of association or that required him (or her) to prefer one race over another. Yet, like conservatives, left-wing liberals had no compunction about using government to discriminate in favor of some and against others (see below).
If the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “worked,” as Harvey argues, then why doesn’t he discuss the many authors I included who want to get us back to 1964?! Nathan Glazer, Shelby Steele, Clarence Thomas, Ward Connerly, Linda Chavez, and Janice Rogers Brown—they argue that Left-liberals abandoned the bright shining moment of 1964. “It’s about race-neutrality, stupid!” (To paraphrase Bill Clinton).
Even when these classical liberals opposed constitutional amendments or civil rights bills, it was because they believed the Constitution already protected rights given to us by God.
To wit: before the Civil War Frederick Douglass, influenced by Lysander Spooner, opposed amending the Constitution. Why? Because he believed the Constitution already prohibited slavery! In the mid-twentieth century, contributors like Zora Neale Hurston, George Schuyler, Rose Wilder Lane, and R.C. Hoiles believed NOW (the 1940s) was the time for freedom, not a time to wait for Congress to pass bills to “give us” our rights. The 14th amendment guaranteed those rights NOW, they argued. The NAACP (unmentioned by Harvey but praised in my book) repeatedly turned to the 14th amendment and Justice Harlan’s dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson (”Our Constitution is colorblind”). I discuss how NAACP lawyers, many now forgotten (Moorfield Storey, Louis Marshall), won Supreme Court victories from 1917 onward. How? By invoking the 14th amendment. They didn’t wait for civil rights acts. Likewise, there is a libertarian case for legal activism today (see Clint Bolick, David’s Hammer).
Much of Harvey’s review is taken up with ad hominem attacks on individuals who deserve better. Yeah, yeah, R.C. Hoiles opposed Japanese internment but he didn’t believe in public schools and he “defended private discriminatory behavior.” You can imagine Hoiles leading a “private discriminatory” mob. Another word for “private discriminatory behavior” is what most Christians do on Sunday: they “discriminate” between churches. We “discriminate” when we date, accept jobs, etc. Harvey omits the context of the unnamed document: Hoiles was praising a court decision that struck down school segregation. As for public schools, classical liberals led by Milton Friedman have advocated school choice, an issue explored in the book.
Discussing the National Review crowd circa 1964, Harvey writes
“[t]hey drew from the same reasoning as does Pat Buchanan, whose recent diatribe against Sonia Sotomayor and affirmative action and his extolling of the ‘white man who built this country’ simply update arguments extending down from a long line of classical liberal thinkers, including John C. Calhoun, Alexander Stephens, the Southern Dixiecrats, James J. Kilpatrick, William Rusher, and Glenn Beck. In contrast to them, Frederick Douglass’ words lie smoldering in his grave.”
This isn’t reviewing, it is cock-eyed guilt by association.
Harvey does his best to prove me right. In the introduction, I write
“the standard academic dismissal is to lump classical liberals with unsavory conservatives rather than address classical liberal thought as a distinctive tradition separate from right-wing conservatism and left-wing liberalism (although there is overlap with those traditions).” I quote Angela Dillard to that effect: She cites classic liberals and then writes that “the conservative movement, overall, is predominantly white and Christian and has, in both the past and present, used racism, ethnocentrism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism . . . to achieve its goals.”
Wow! Who would want to be associated with such filth?
Harvey repeats the same old tired cliche:
There is no “of course” about it! As I make painfully clear in my introduction (and throughout), I am examining the classical liberal perspective on race. It simply is not possible to argue that slavery is consistent with classical liberalism. On the GOP, Harvey is half-right but his point is irrelevant. Yes, the Republican Party was the party of Big Government in the 19th century. In the introduction, I write:
“One of the initial objections to this project was that the ﬁgures chosen were predominantly Republican from the 1850s onward, and since the Republican Party was the “centralizing” party of the nineteenth century, it was not classical liberal. My response is twofold. First, this project focuses on racial freedom, not on other policies that were possibly antithetical to classical liberalism. Second, the “centralization” argument misses the point: while the Republican Party was more “statist” at the national level with regard to the tariff and other issues (for example, Prohibition), it was less statist with regard to race.”
By the time I got to a mention of Pat Buchanan and Glenn Beck (!), I was expecting Harvey to throw up Ann Coulter or David Duke. After this litany of people who are not in my book (for good reason), one would get the impression that the figures in my book were for everything racially illiberal (segregation, lynching, immigration restriction, forced sterilization of “inferior races”) rather than the ones fighting it, except perhaps up to Frederick Douglass’s day (safely in the past).
This is the first time I have ever responded to a review, partly because the reviewer didn’t bother to relate what the book is about:
What topics does it cover? (Slavery, Chinese Exclusion, lots on immigration, anti-imperialism, the NAACP, Japanese internment, Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, racial intermarriage, opposition to racial preferences, sports, business and much more).
What is the target audience? Clue: Pat Buchanan won’t like my book judging from my interviews on radio shows with individuals who hold his views.
A response is also required because I expect more of the same. The Right doesn’t like the advocates of open immigration, the Left doesn’t like any one crashing their “civil rights party” (just keep “progressive” Justice Holmes, the eugenicist, in the closet!). That is why I describe the classical liberal tradition of civil rights as “neither left nor right.”
Readers who want to learn more about the book—including other reviews, op-eds and my radio interviews on diverse stations (Right, Left, Christian, black urban radio), may go to here.
That thought came to me as I read about the demise of an institute (at Hamilton College) that did everything right, yet the overlords of Political Correctness purged themselves of enemies and “deviationists.” I use these terms because the notion that all-is-political, enemies-must-be-destroyed is linked so strongly to communism and its close cousin national socialism.
In the above unhappy story, Mark Bauerlein tries to see a silver lining by noting that the Institute survives outside the college. Students can go there and read books for which they receive no academic credit, of course. If ever there was a case study in how much the Left prizes control of higher education, this is it.
The next time you are tempted to think that much of what happens is a “misunderstanding” or “good intentions gone awry,” please banish the thought. When push comes to shove, there are those who would put a bullet in your head if this were a different place and time. Instead, they kill ideas by depriving them of air space on campus. No institute, no nonconformist faculty.
Or, as Stalin put it: “no people, no problem.” We, the few, will retire some day and then there will be nobody to speak out against the barbarians.
Limbaugh’s defense highlights several problems for libertarians and conservatives:
First, playing defense 24/7 is no way to move forward. It places libertarians and conservatives in the untenable position of answering “when did you stop being a racist?” Repeated denials inspire the race hustlers to keep asking the same question. To Rush Limbaugh: You wanted to purchase a football team that played both offense and defense. There is a lesson here.
Second, the Left dominance of higher education really does matter. Conservatives and classic liberals are in a state of denial about the insidious influence K-16 education has on the professions that shape public opinion: schools of journalism, education, law, social work are monoliths of the Left. Add the power of left-wing accreditation bodies and you have “the sound of one hand clapping”—the left hand, of course.
Above all, there is the problem of ignorance and miseducation of our youth. Yes, surveys may show that graduates retain some of the values they had prior to entering college. Yet they are not educated well enough to refute left-wing attacks.
Let me give you an example: Since 1995, I have advised College Republicans and Campus Libertarians. The knowledge base of libertarian and conservative students has seriously eroded. If I ask “why are you a libertarian? Why are you a conservative?” The answer is superficial: “because I am not a liberal.”
These students may retain a vague belief in individual freedom, nondiscrimination, limited government and meritocracy but they fail to argue effectively against the Left. Why? Because they have never been exposed to information subverting the smug assumption that Leftists have always have been “the angels of history.” Conservatives and libertarians are (and always have been) the villains, according to this fairy tale.
That brings me to my book Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader (2009). This reader debunks the crazy notion that belief in individual freedom, capitalism, and colorblind law = racism. The book highlights how Frederick Douglass, Branch Rickey, Zora Neale Hurston, Clarence Thomas and others consistently championed the bedrock belief that all discrimination is wrong—and they embraced a philosophy of limited government. They experienced first-hand how the State acts as sponsor of discrimination.
Back to the football analogy. Here is the offense: those “angels of history” on the Left—labor unions, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and LBJ—committed some of the worst racist actions in our history. The Left ignores (or “contextualizes”) Wilson’s segregation of the federal government, LBJ’s declaration that an anti-lynching bill was worse than lynching itself, or FDR’s defense of quotas to keep Jews from overwhelming Harvard (where he sat on the Board of Trustees). FDR also wrote that interracial “mingling” (marriage) produced “horrific results.” As president, FDR blocked Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and interned Japanese Americans during World War II. Not surprising.
It is time for so-called liberals to give up the race hustle and learn their history. In so doing, they may discover some heroes of the classic liberal sort—neither Left nor Right—but committed to racial freedom and equality.
Why is it good? Because a majority of the workforce is now made up of women; and blacks have not been hurt as much as whites (the media seem to have forgotten about Asians and Hispanics but what else is new?). This is an advance in gender, if not racial, diversity. Whooo. One wonders how those women married to unemployed men think about their gender’s “advance.”
Is this recession different? We won’t know until later but with “diversity accomplishments” now part of our academic job descriptions, there is reason to think that we may be evaluated accordingly when (or if) layoffs occur. After all, what better way to “diversify” the faculty than to adopt the slogan:
“First thing we do, fire all the white males!”
Employers are fearful of employment-related lawsuits and this is the first recession to seriously threaten academic jobs since 1982. The Diversity Machine has grown enormously since 1982, when it was only a glimmer in the eyes of campus social engineers. Today it is an industry that influences accreditation bodies, professional associations, and university practices (think of the money set aside for “diversity hires”).
If universities can make diversity hires, why not make the same decision when firing people?
Time to dust off your computer screen and search for labor relations law in your state. Those of us with unions ought to contact them too if the proverbial four-letter word “hits the fan.”
Even more important, soldiers of all ranks have blogged their way into history, thus writing what we used to say of newspapers: “the first pages” of history.
Read the following from the above “American, Interrupted” blog:
“I look up at the now familiar Arabian night sky and gaze at the stars, my close friends over this past year. Those same stars will ever hang in the sky and endure – like our love. Under those same points of light we’ll lay not too long from now, and those stars will smile just for us, because they know how long we’ve wished upon them to be together again. I love you, I’m so thankful for you, and I can’t wait to spend forever with you.
Sometimes I wondered if we were not unintentionally promoting anarchy because of this war on terror. I mean, we were encouraging and supporting rebellious elements of the population in their struggle against Saddam Hussein – thinking their struggle was one to free themselves of his rule. Sometimes I wondered if the struggle was to free themselves of all rules so they could establish a Shia theocracy. That would explain why Americans were in the crosshairs of Shia rebels. Many of them comprised the poorest and worst educated parts of Iraq, but it was these very people who we were making the masters of Iraq in the period of a year. This belief in empowering the weak and oppressed is noble, but it has to be done carefully. Sometimes it seemed the transfer of power bordered on a form of Bolshevism.”
That corporal’s blog made it into a video and Sundance Festival. For those interested in military blogging, the best one-stop database is http://milblogging.com/ There is always pressure to restrict blogging but the degree of freedom is somewhat remarkable given our policies in past wars.
But on to the heart of my story: Through the Independent Institute’s email and blog, I found Rich Stowell (actually, he found me!). After much interesting correspondence, I asked permission for this Oakland, California scholar-soldier to disseminate his blog address. SPC Rich Stowell (Public Affairs Correspondent) has a lot to say about freedom, war, and the socialistic style of Army bureaucracy. A stickler for grammar, I am sure he will point out my split infinitives but he spends more time skewering inane army sayings. Read here. Or describing the Animal Farm image he has of the Army. Obviously, this is NOT my father’s military!
Thanks go to Rich for reading my book Race and Liberty in America, and for keeping us up on the world “over there.” Rich is due back in two months – godspeed.
Stowell introduces himself
“As a proud member of the United States military, I see the power that we wield around the world. Our power is not in our arms, though, it is in our ideas and way of life. Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors are ambassadors of the American Way of Life, based on the U.S. Constitution. Our service men and women ought to know it and live it. Furthermore, the best defense of our freedoms is provided by dedicated citizens who know exactly what they are sacrificing for.”
To read his blog, go to http://my-public-affairs.blogspot.com/
In Part II, I offer the following information to shock you into how little privacy you have via e-mail or the Internet. In short, if you use a university email account--even off campus--the university owns that electronic "property" and may archive it for years....
For more, read
With my book launch complete ("Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader"), I have time to revive my several blogs. I have been most active over at "Beacon" so I will crosspost several recent links before plugging away here at HNN, there at Beacon, and at my Digital History web site ("eHistory"). No rest for weary bloggers, eh?
FYI: My new book on the classical liberal tradition of race and immigration is aimed at the classroom market and general reader, and priced accordingly.
(**End of shameless self-promotion***).
"Democracy is Dead":
"Classical Liberalism and the Fight for Civil Rights":
and my July 4th celebration of Frederick Douglass, the pivotal figure in my book:
"Why Frederick Douglass Still Matters":
(this blog entry continued over at my FreeU site: http://freesiu.blogspot.com/2009/03/great-depression-and-college-life.html
This is wrong. We can fashion a model for economic recovery from the porn plan. Moreover, we can do so in a way that draws upon the New Deal's efforts in two areas:
Click here to read more.
At the risk of being labeled “insane,” here goes. . .
In 1995, economic historian Robert Whaples published a survey in the Journal of Economic History asking “Where Is There Consensus Among American Economic Historians?” (Vol. 55, March 1995). Half of the economists and a third of historians agreed, in whole or in part, that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression.
For the rest, see here.
As Frederick Douglass put it,
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."