The End of the Revival

Because America is run by a religious cult that rewrites history to suit the current fads, it’s easy to get history wrong. A good example is the Temperance Movement. Today children are taught that unhinged Christian fanatics banned alcohol. It was the good and liberal FDR, who beat back the lunatics and rescinded prohibition. The truth is, the lunatics banning alcohol were on the Left. Crusades against vice are the stock and trade of the American Left, but, history is written by the winners and Northern Liberals won the Civil War so we get an altered history.

Another example I like to use is the Great Awakening. It’s thought of as a Christian phenomenon and it was in the first iterations, but it was a northern phenomenon in America. It had a major impact in reshaping the Congregational church, which was the seedbed for Progressivism in America. One of the many things the American Left inherited from their spiritual ancestors is the frequent spasms of spiritual revival that result in fevered attempts to cure some societal ill. Even though they have dropped the language of their ancestors, Progressives are still moralists.

If you look at Progressive history in the context of the Great Awakening, you come up with a more complete narrative than when you look at the Left as a European import. Progressives go through periods of moral revival during which they make war on one bogeyman or another. These periods of revival are followed by a dormant phase in which the rest of society cleans up the mess and tries to get back to normal. The 1920’s, for example, were called the Return to Normalcy after Wilson’s excesses.

This current period of Progressive fanaticism got going in the 90’s, when the GOP won the ’94 election and Clinton tried to throw the Liberals overboard. The Green Party gained traction and the rumblings of discontent on the Left for the direction of the Democrat Party grew louder. The election of George W. Bush was the match that set the Left on fire. They saw Bush as a traitor to their kind. After all, his family is the bluest of true blue Yankees, but W rejected that and made himself into a Texan and an Evangelical Christian. “Witch!”

For Progressives, the Bush years were a provocation. Bush was not only a traitor to his people, he committed the cardinal sin of appropriating the ideas of the Left and then running with them. Bush spent extravagantly on education and the environment. He never stopped yapping about the wonderfulness of the “religion of peace” and the moral imperative of bringing democracy to the Mohammedan. This sent the Left into a purple-faced rage, in the same way that giving into a social justice warrior only makes them angrier.

To the Left, Bush was Fort Sumter all over again and it had to be answered. It was what they rallied around after the 2000 election. It’s also how we ended up with Obama. The bad whites, who put the apostate in the White House, had to be taught a lesson and what could be more horrifying to the bad whites than a black guy from a mixed marriage with a Muslim name? It’s why the Left never quotes Obama or pays any attention to his opinions. His utility is as a symbol, the Chi-Ro of the Progressive legions.

The last year strongly suggests that this Progressive Awakening is running out of steam. Participation in Democrat primaries was way down compared to 2008. The party was only able to muster two geezers to run for their nomination. Liberal support for Clinton is tepid, as they see her as a criminal loser. She was, after all, the person who tried to prevent them from spiting the bad whites in 2008. As far as the Left is concerned, Clinton is as a bad as those who sympathized with the South or sided with King George.

There’s also the fact that the Left has stopped mentioning George Bush. It’s not that they have forgiven him, or the Bush clan, for the 2000’s. It’s just that even the fiery passions of Progressive hate burn themselves out eventually.They inflicted homosexual marriage on the country. They allowed deranged men in sundresses to stalk little girls in public toilets. They toppled over the Confederate statues and angried up the blacks, to the point where they are killing cops. Like children throwing a tantrum, they have reached the point where they no longer remember why they are angry.

This is terrible news for Hillary Clinton, who imagines herself riding a wave of enthusiasm for old crones, into the White House. There may be some residual passion for finishing off the country, but the return to normalcy appears to be underway. The global revolt against globalism seems to be superseding old movements like American Progressivism. It turns out that puritanism is just as tied to national identity as everything else. In the post-national paradise, Progressivism becomes just another thing for the custodial state to regulate.

That may be the hidden strength of Donald Trump in the fall election. The New Right that is emerging is nationalist, but the old American Left was always nationalist. His appeals to national renewal resonate just as much with Progressives as they do for the alt-right. Hillary could very well be leading a party of sterile technocrats, who thought Mike Dukakis was sexy. A future run by colorless bureaucrats sounds wonderful to the managerial class, but it does nothing for voters, on the Left or the Right. People always vote for something over nothing.

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Uncola
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Uncola

Indeed. As the faithful heed their better angels and pray to vengeful gods regarding divine intervention in world affairs, they risk losing their zeal in the end. Whether it is the neocon crusaders delivering democracy to the middle-east or the social justice torch carriers heralding racial unity and world harmony via songs of hope and change; disappointment invariably follows leading to apocalyptic fatalism. This is why millions stayed home during the last presidential election rather than choose between a socialist mulatto or a plastic mormon. And why Bernie Sanders supporters must now select either a bombastic, bloviating billionaire or an… Read more »

SgtBob
Guest

Near Roswell, N.M., years ago, a Diogenian ship landed. Its single passenger decamped and began his journey to toss shafts of light into the darkness of shadowy politics. Thank you, sir, for not being captured and dismembered.

Member

Let us not forget that America’s progressive (regressive, actually) lunacy has always had a helping hand from the Jewish, who are majority hard Leftists, with a capital “H”. They have a disturbingly thick streak of communism that runs deep in their world views, it seems. I know my observation may not be kosher, but it’s still true.

These last ten years have made me fantasize, mightily, about selling everything and fending for myself, in the woods, like a grouchy hermit.

notsothoreau
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notsothoreau

Well, there is something to be said for being a grouchy hermit in the woods! I did that for a long time, but somehow wound up in suburbia anyway. Religion is the only way you can explain the closed minds of the Lefties. Got into a Facebook argument with one this weekend that insisted that Trump is a pathological liar. I asked for his sources and he gave me sites like Politico and the NY Times. Yet somehow he disagreed with the notion that Hillary lies every time she opens her mouth. I don’t see a way to ever come… Read more »

Member

You cannot have a reasonable debate or discussion with someone whose premise is both unreasonable and illogical. When I start hearing their lefty catch phrases, I immediately stop listening.

I would like to unplug my dangerous refrigerator, put John Kerry in it and dump them both in the woods. Problem solved.

Karl Horst (Germany)
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Karl Horst (Germany)

Germany, as well as most of Europe, has long lost it’s connection to the Church and Christianity. Membership has been in decline for decades, and churches in Germany are being sold off for 1€ (yes, one Euro) and turned into clubs, wine bars and private homes. The reason? So the Church can get them off the books and doesn’t have to maintain an empty building no once visits anymore. While we in Europe actually have a long history of being dragged into one war or another no thanks to the Church, there’s no collective memory of such an event in… Read more »

Fuel Filter
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Fuel Filter

“Meanwhile the AfD party is ironing their brown shirts and handing out newly published copies of “Mein Kampf” for the next revival meeting.” Gee, Karl, thanks for that. Your post was really going somewhere until you dropped that turd in the punchbowl. The AfD is the only party in Deutschland ready, willing and able to call out your East-German born-and-raised traitorous chancellor for what she is and stand with some balls against the musloid invasion of your country. The members of the AfD have been maligned, risked arrest, had water cannons shot at them (instead of your Leftist agitators) in… Read more »

Member

I agree. I read Karl’s German awakening, then I got to the last sentence and realized that he’s doomed. C’mon, Karl!

Member

In all fairness, the German people were and always have been a smart, industrious, hard-working people. They have been ruled by a puppet government since the 1940s, and brow-beat with the holocaust ever since. The end result of this generational shame/persecution is what you see now: a high-functioning people killing themselves. So, I wish for the Germans to open their collective eyes and take their country back… for good, this time.

Karl Horst (Germany)
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Karl Horst (Germany)

@ 5MilesOut – Thank you. This whole situation is an awakening of sorts for us. We take for granted that people will obey the law and follow the rules (we are very good at that as you know – it’s sometimes a character flaw, but it’s who we are). Like you Americanas, we expect people who ask to come here to play by our rules. When that doesn’t happen, we tend to look at each other and wonder why. In America, the cowboy’s independence is still celebrated, rugged individuality is promoted and respected. Not so here. In a small country,… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
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Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Fuel Filter – The AfD is not what this country needs, not on any level. We had Nazi here once, that didn’t work out well for anyone as we all know. The AfD may be getting some popular press because of their anti-Muslim, anti-Foreigner stance, but in case you missed that point, Frau Petry is from Dresden which was east Germany. And let’s be clear, when I say anti foreigner, that’s also anti-American, anti-Jew, anti-everyone who isn’t an ethnic German. You should read up on Frau Merkel and Frau Petry…you will be surprised how similar they are in background… Read more »

Nick
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Nick

Karl – I know two German expats – one 30 and one 60. Both great guys, both people who I would say have more of the American in them than many Americans. Neither are Nazis, hate filled, or ready to put on a brown shirt even. But they both think AfD is doing a necessary job. Which is trying to save German civilization. The problem is, I think, people like you that confuse respect and honor of your civilization and culture with racism. Its why Merkal and her evil buds will hand over the keys of Germany to the Islamicists… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
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Karl Horst (Germany)

@ Nick – I simply can’t support the basic principles of the AfD. It is hate filled racism disguised as intellectuals who are trying to convince us they have the best in mind for all Germany. There is no question Frau Merkel made a mistake. Point. But replacing a conservative Christian party with Nazi’s is not the solution. This isn’t UKIP pushing for leaving the EU because the foreigner situation is upsetting people. This is seriously dangerous ideology that has no place in German politics. We have laws, like you do, about immigration and they simply need to be enforced.… Read more »

Member

If the AfD isn’t it, what kind of opposition is there that is acceptable to you? If there isn’t one, why is that the case? Or is it that the mainstream press there is doing such a good job making any opposition whatsoever look like Nazi’s? If our press could convince everyone that Trump is Hitler they would do it in a heartbeat. Maybe you don’t have an evil opposition party. Maybe you just have a bad case of Hitler Fever.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I have an inkling that your thought on the press has more than a grain of truth. American’s are much more skeptical of the press. Considering the news of the press’s collaboration with the Demonrats and how the German press sat on the islamic rape stories, I am thinking that the two are no different.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I trust the German media like I trust ours. Here’s another one from Der Spiegel.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/euroskeptic-party-alternative-for-germany-popular-with-right-wing-populists-a-919332.html

I will have to ask my German friends about your claims.

Severian
Guest

“It’s why the Left never quotes Obama or pays any attention to his opinions.” Yep. It’s still fun asking them, “what’s so great about this guy?” From about 2010 they still had a talking point list of his “accomplishments,” but not even Maddow can still pretend that he lowered the national debt and reduced unemployment. They’ve even stopped proclaiming every one of his speeches the new Gettysburg Address. If they ever had an answer to the question “what, exactly, do you people WANT?”, they forgot it long ago (toddler-style, as you say). At least the Right has an answer: “to… Read more »

BillH
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BillH

They’ll only scream and squeal louder. Remember the Bush2 years, e.g. the marches against hunger by all the obese welfare recipients and their tubby kids?

notsothoreau
Guest
notsothoreau

The one I enjoyed this weekend was Bernie talking about people without health insurance. Have they honestly forgotten about Obamacare? It’s like a loop in their heads. When they jam their legislation through, they still say we need to solve the same old problems.

and I’d welcome their squeals of outrage.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

I find it very difficult to triangulate the birth of our Republic in the NE region with the religious revival you mention and the evolution of that same area into a socialist paradise that it seems to represent today. It is popular to put-down or blame Christianity for society’s ills but if you look at descriptions of what the First Great Awakening meant in America, it seems to have been a natural outgrowth of the Protestant Reformation that occurred in Europe under the auspices of Martin Luther and John Calvin. A personal relationship with Jesus, the Son of God, The… Read more »

Severian
Guest

“I find it very difficult to triangulate the birth of our Republic in the NE region with the religious revival you mention and the evolution of that same area into a socialist paradise that it seems to represent today.” Puritans have always been socialists. “Yankee” used to be an insult that latter-day Puritans applied to their own apostates (see here, for example). The Founding Fathers from MA were Yankees, not Puritans… but the Puritan spirit never died, it came back with a vengeance in the Great Awankening, and then they caught the Abolition bug… and they’ve never let it go.

Severian
Guest

There should be a link to this (http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674325517) for “here.” Me no HTML good. Sorry.

Ken Eiler
Guest
Ken Eiler

How the Progressive movement derives from Liberal Protestantism and its Social Gospel is described very well by Joseph Bottom in the first part of his book, “An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America”, Image Books, 2014. A key figures was the Northern Baptist minister and theologian Walter Rauschenbusch. In 1907 he published a seminal book entitled “Christianity and the Social Crisis”. In short, the kind of thinking that said that our mission as Christians is to improve society, secularized into a progressivism where the Christianity had been stripped away but the societal goals were still there.

UKer
Guest
UKer

Hillary must be bitterly regretting she didn’t grab her chance in 2008. Older, but no wiser now, she must see her chance slipping away no matter how many jokes she makes about “Pokemon Go to the polls” to amuse the young.

Whether she would have saved America if she had won back then is a moot point, but now she may never know what it is to have Bill as First Lady

Nick
Guest
Nick

I caught 20 seconds of the Demonrat Convention. During a non speaker moment. On the big screen was the devil himself, GWBush. Now, the Bushies are horrible, but not for what the left typically hates them for… Mostly for their betrayal of conservatism. So, the left may have forgotten about Bush, but Clinton and her evil cronies aren’t above trying to stir them up with him.

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Good piece and yes, the history of Progressivism and it’s roots have largely been rewritten. Wilson was a scary dude. Can personally vouch for the temperance folks having no sense of humor. Lived for three years in college next the the HQ of the WCTU. The end of quarter ritual was to pick the locks on the top floor fire escape and heave cases of saved beer bottles onto the roof of their building across the alley. They were not pleased. And resulted a few campus police dragnets through the dorm.

Member

.”The truth is, the lunatics banning alcohol were on the Left.”

-In the late 19th century, yes (look at where the Prohibition Party had its best performance). By the early 20th, no.

Member

“The 1920’s, for example, were called the Return to Normalcy after Wilson’s excesses.”

-Wilsonianism had the same constituency as Bushism. If it was left-wing, it was not Vermonter or elitist, but southern/Appalachian populist.