The Proposition

The other day, a long time reader and frequent commenter made the argument that America is a “propositional nation.” This is a popular assertion, one that has no basis in American history, but popular nonetheless. Its popularity on the Right is largely due to neocons peddling it as a part of their efforts to redefine and co-opt the Right. It has also been useful in justifying open borders and endless military adventures on the fringes of civilization. These days, the biggest fans of this idea are the Civic Nationalists.

The argument is that America is an exception among nations because it is organized around a set of ideas and principles, rather than blood and soil like other nations. The foundation of the proposition comes from the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” To be an American means accepting that and all that flows from it.

Over the years, lots of smart people have pointed out the errors in the propositional nation argument. The fact that the Declaration has no legal standing and that it is full of obvious contradictions should be enough to kill the idea. The Founders had plenty of time to figure out how to bake the argument into the founding documents, but were never inclined to do so. The “proposition” is nowhere in the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The proposition is nowhere in their deliberations or commentary on them.

There is, of course, the fact that America was a Christian nation at the time of the Founding. The men who wrote and signed off on “all men are created equal” rather obviously did not believe it in the modern, secular sense. They were Christians so they believed that only two people were ever created, everyone else was born. They certainly did not think people were born equal. To believe that all people are equal in the corporal sense or the political sense is to believe that reality is a social construct.

The Founders were not academics in a gender studies department. They were practical men of their age. They crafted practical legal documents, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to establish the political order of the new country. The men who wrote the Constitution did not craft a metaphysical framework, so the people would behave in a virtuous manner. They assumed a certain type of people with a common morality and common culture. They accepted reality and built a political order to reflect it.

Even so, nations create their own myths and legends in order to bind themselves together emotionally, as well as practically. Rather than dismiss the “propositional nation” idea, let’s take it at face value and say we accept that whatever the origins, America of today is a nation of ideas. The glue that binds one American to another is a common belief in that mythological founding creed. Regardless of race, religion or national original, you can be an America as long as you accept and believe in the civic religion that defines America.

The implication is that no one is born an American. You cannot be born in agreement with a proposition. At some point, you reach an age and level of understanding that allows you to accept the deal on offer. This assumes that the deal is offered, and that is the underlying assumption of the propositional nation. It is available to anyone. You get to be an American as long as you accept the organizational ideas that make up the civic religion of America. That is not the law or present reality, but that’s the theory.

The other side of this coin is that you can stop being an America as soon as you no longer accept the national creed. For example, if you don’t accept that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” then you are not an American. If the propositional nation is going to be anything more than lip service, the proposition better have some teeth. That means someone like former President Obama, who is an atheist and rejects the idea of natural rights, is not an American and he never was.

The bigger implication of the propositional nation is that it argues against having a country at all, at least in the physical sense. Rejecting the blood and soil definition of a nation does not stop at the blood. If America is just a collection of people, who agree on the same set of principles about the nature of man and his political relationship to other men, what’s the reason to maintain a physical space? The clear implication of the propositional nation is that the physical aspects of the nation are, so to speak, immaterial.

Finally, the nation of ideas cannot be a nation of permanent ideas, unless the the Founders were gods, who handed these ideas down to us. Agreements among men, even deeply principled agreements, are open to revisions over time. That’s central to the propositional nation argument. It is how the promoters get around things like slavery, limited suffrage and indentured servitude. If the propositional nation evolved, it means it will keep evolving into the future. That’s the Progressive argument in favor of a living Constitution.

To return to where we started with this post, the commenter stated that you cannot have a nation without a common set of organizing principles. This is obviously false, but let’s assume nation in this context is limited to those with a consensual government. If those principles are arrived at by consensus, it means they were arrived at by men. The nature of that consensus and therefore the resulting principles must spring from the nature of the men who forged them. In other words, we’re back to a nation of men, not ideas.

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tz1
Member
3 years ago

But what do the propositionists propose to do with heretics? Not burn them at the stake but maybe exile them (“you have to go back”)? Dismantle the democratic parts so the heretics can’t control the levers of power? The propositionists don’t say for two reasons: 1. they haven’t thought it through. 2. The few who have realize that the darkest pogroms of other purges are insufficient so worse would be REQUIRED. I find myself in the latter camp. I do not want to be an ethnonationalist, first, since I’m Polish (though their rosary anti-Islam crusade gives me pause) and not… Read more »

TomA
TomA
3 years ago

I don’t think you can have a nation without people, and I think this group of people must share at least one common denominator that unites them in some significant fashion. Most likely, these folks will share many common denominators, some of which may change over time and also the composition of shared beliefs may vary somewhat among them. In other words, asserting a singular correct definition of what constitutes a nation is an exercise in demonstrated stupidity.

Jak Black
Jak Black
Reply to  TomA
3 years ago

Hmmmm…it’s almost as if all of human experience might lend some insight here.

Wilbur Hassenfus
Wilbur Hassenfus
Reply to  TomA
3 years ago

Yes, for example, over time you may move from ordered liberty and yeoman farmers, to a Big Man and limited ceremonial cannibalism. Along the way the original population may be exterminated, but that’s OK, because the nation still has an organizing principle. The nation endures, because there are still people living on that patch of land.

Member
Reply to  Wilbur Hassenfus
3 years ago

Actually, if you read what I wrote the other day, I said precisely the opposite though your sarcasm is noted. I said that because of a small group of people engaging in open rebellion against our organizing principles, the nation is in peril. We don’t lack organizing principles in the United States. We have a minority of the population which has decided to rebel against them without consequence. My point about the alt/dissident right remains though. There is no unifying organizing principal to whatever you want to define that group as. I read one of the commenters here the other… Read more »

Rob
Rob
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

The America you knew, is long gone, and not coming back. Western Civilization has long ago peaked and died. What you see now, are the maggots feasting on the carcass. We have no homelands left to call our own, and the people who control what were once our nations, have every intention of replacing our people. All of our moralities, philosophies, hopes and dreams will die with our people. Every institution our people have created, is now in some way being used against us. It is an error to think this mess just recently began, as over a century ago,… Read more »

Georgiaboy61
Member
Reply to  Rob
3 years ago

Re: “We have no homelands left to call our own, and the people who control what were once our nations, have every intention of replacing our people.” You re correct. As long ago as the 1950s, socialists like playwright Bertold Brecht were asking, “Would it not be better to dissolve the people, and elect another” – explicit proof of your statement, wouldn’t you say? The bad news is that western civilization has fallen to an ideology – cultural Marxism – which means to eliminate white (European) civilization. The good news is that what’s good for the goose is good for… Read more »

EBL
EBL
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

As a mixed-race person, whose family was subjected to racist, bigoted and unconstitutional actions by the US government before, during and after WWII; your red herring comment about alt/dissident right causing all societal issues pisses me off far more than the BLM drivel that we hear so often on MSM. I certainly don’t believe in purity of race elitism, but the so-called Nazi’s to which you referred, in absence of non-defensive assault, murder and criminal abuse, have as much right to their beliefs as you do. Use your bloody brain and think. What happened in Las Vegas last week and… Read more »

Vincent Benton
Vincent Benton
3 years ago

Google Wilbur Ross. Another Trump crook.

America was once a white Christian nation but thankfully is becoming something better. If you don’t believe diversity is an asset and that white supremacy is the evil That must be destroyed than you are not an American

Jak Black
Jak Black
Reply to  Vincent Benton
3 years ago

Other than Pad Thai, can you please give a short summary of the benefits of diversity? I’m genuinely curious.

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  Jak Black
3 years ago

You don’t need a Thai to make Pad Thai – you need a cookbook. Or you need a cook that went to a Thai cooking school.

Eskyman
Member
Reply to  Calsdad
3 years ago

The best Pad Thai I ever had was cooked by an Australian ex-SAS guy who’d lived several years in Thailand.

He reckoned the Thais didn’t make it hot enough.

His was blissfully hot. Deliciously hot. Hotter than the hinges of Hell, but wonderful: each part of it was distinct and full of flavor.

I will always wish that I could do that.

bilejones
Member
Reply to  Eskyman
3 years ago

My Grandmothers phrase was
“As hot as the Hobbs of Hell”.

Georgiaboy61
Member
Reply to  Jak Black
3 years ago

The founder of modern conservatism, Edmund Burke, understood well the balancing act that was required to maintain a healthy society – between the old and the young, between the native and the foreigner, between the familiar and the unfamiliar. A society which closes itself off to outsiders completely, as did some of the Chinese dynasties in the middle years of the last millennium, risks becoming sclerotic and crippled by their myopia. A society which embraces openness to too great a degree risks losing sight of its own past, identity and traditions. Clearly, a balancing act is needed in-between the two… Read more »

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
Reply to  Vincent Benton
3 years ago

I once again smell porch monkey, does it interject just to be insulted? It is the best argument against diversity.

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  Vincent Benton
3 years ago

LOL. “Something better”. I would like to see a return to reality. ZMan has laid out what reality is in a couple of his recent columns. One of the problems with this “Christian nation” is that they have the scourge of charity – in all the wrong places. I see the reality that ZMan laid out (blacks killing each other with wild abandon) – as a self solving problem given enough time. The actual problem there is not that they’re killing themselves off and that the term “black family” is an anachronism on the level of “military intelligence” – but… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  Calsdad
3 years ago

CD; Your analysis of gay marriage *assumes* that gayness is genetic and also dysgenic. It may even be genetic, but millions of research dollars have failed to find it in reliable (i.e. replicable) studies. As for qualitative evidence, if gays really believed gayness to be genetic, they’d be fanatical pro-lifers, but they’re just the opposite, if anything. OTOH, if gayness is created or spread by other, non-genetic, means such as, oh let’s just say, molestation of vulnerable boys by trusted, closeted gays (pedo-clergy, bachelor uncles, scout leaders, etc.), then the bad old ways make sense by creating deterrence. Deterrence of… Read more »

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  Al from da Nort
3 years ago

I think you’re applying too much logic when you say ” if gays really believed gayness to be genetic, they’d be fanatical pro-lifers”. There’s plenty of evidence out there that positions that people should logically support – are overridden by their ideological beliefs. ZMan and plenty of other people have documented copious examples of this from lefties. I don’t think your point holds up when compared against numerous other examples (especially on the left) of positions people have taken against their own self interest. My “gayness is genetic” argument – comes from gays themselves – who (at least at one… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  Calsdad
3 years ago

CD; I was saying that if one wants to know what folks, as a group, actually believe, one is better informed if they look at what they do, not at what they say. Based on that, plus the lack of valid scientific evidence for genetic gayness (not for lack of effort) I’m not inclined to put great stock in that theory. Of course you’re right that reliably inferring belief from actions is not 100% accurate. As you say, plenty of people individually believe dysfunctional things and act in dysfunctional ways. And for that reason alone deterrence can be needed. That… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Calsdad
3 years ago

If a gay “gene” were discovered (don’t worry, it won’t be), you would see a flip in the debate over abortion nearly overnight, along with calls to advance human embryo genetic engineering programs to ensure more gay babies are born.

Gar-un-teed.

bilejones
Member
Reply to  Calsdad
3 years ago

If “gayness” is genetic how come the wife of the current Mayor of NYC can never remember the clowns name) decided to stop being a dyke and married the clown?

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  bilejones
3 years ago

Because she’s a woman – and because like anything that’s a behavior – you have the capability of changing it. Especially if there’s a benefit to be gained.

D&D Dave in the Bubble
D&D Dave in the Bubble
Reply to  Vincent Benton
3 years ago

Diversity is not a strength, its a weakness or an excuse to cry racism. Perfect example, some years ago a good friend of mine (honky) takes the exam to become a state trooper in my state. Scores very high and should be a shoo-in for moving on. Whoa, not so fast there. He is told while he had a high score, none of the female black applicants passed the test. They failed, but the state requires a percentage of female blacks on the force. In order to meet the percentage, they have to take one of the females who failed… Read more »

Tully Bascombe
Tully Bascombe
Reply to  Vincent Benton
3 years ago

Oh look, Tiny Dick aka Trent Denton is back

Allan
Allan
Reply to  Vincent Benton
3 years ago

Your “diversity” is just a tactic for dividing society during the race war in which you’ve affirmed yourself to be engaged.

Joey Junger
Joey Junger
3 years ago

We’re back to a fundamental rule that addresses the causality underlying everything: “Das Urbild ist das Bild und Spiegelbild.” The original image is the image and the reflection. We do live in a propositional nation, proposed for and by Europeans whose worldview was an accretion of European thought and deed from antiquity to roughly the French Revolution. It’s the duty of white, Christian Europeans and their descendants to protect it, and anyone who is not white, Christian and European, and is invited to partake, should be grateful, and if they behave like a blackguard or don’t like the premise/proposition, they… Read more »

Jak Black
Jak Black
3 years ago

I’d say their idea was quite clear:

“WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

“POSTERITY — 1. Descendants; children, children’s children, &c. indefinitely; the race that proceeds from the progenitor… — 2. In a general sense, succeeding generations; opposed to ancestors.” An American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster (1828),

ffarkle
ffarkle
3 years ago

The “propositional nation” has a basis in world history. We gave it that basis. Big time. There is no need for the declaration to have legal standing for its proposition to be true, or widely accepted. The constitution and the bill of rights embody the proposition pretty well. The “contradictions” you purport are derived through misinterpretation. The founders did believe men were born with equal rights. Not identical in qualities. If anyone refuses to accept the social contract, there are ways to break it. If any malcontents need official legal structure for such it could certainly be created. That does… Read more »

Jak Black
Jak Black
Reply to  ffarkle
3 years ago

This is a totally sound argument…assuming you ignore all of human history.

Ideas mean nothing against blood and relations. Our “human nation” is currently in the process of unmitigated balkanization. How’s that working out for you?

ffarkle
ffarkle
Reply to  Jak Black
3 years ago

[The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”] Was Mr. Franklin ignoring all of human history here too? I never made any argument that a particular proposition or arrangement would last forever. I said the idea… Read more »

Jak Black
Jak Black
Reply to  ffarkle
3 years ago

That’s a nice anecdote, but you know that there were republics in the past that were not founded on propositions, right? Ideas last forever, but nations that are not based on blood and relations do not. I can cite examples from here to tomorrow if you’re interested.

Member
Reply to  Jak Black
3 years ago

We have a name for “blood and relations” groups of people: Tribes.

They don’t last because no blood lasts forever. Eventually the king dies without an heir.

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

You’re being obtuse because my point is that if you organize a society around blood and relations, you’re going to get a lot of inbreeding, for one, and you’re also going to not have anything that is based on popular rule, for two. That means a monarch, king, head tribesman, whatever, and those blood lines eventually die out.

It’s not like humans haven’t tried that a couple thousand times to no avail.

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

You’re not going to untangle that knot without some sort of organizational principles upon which you’ll build it that will actually attract people TO your society. You’ve decided that Christianity is just someplace men go on Sundays out of a sense of habit and obligation (you’ve written of this many times), and the Constitution is a musty old rag in a museum which no longer has merit or purpose (just today, but not the first). California is starting to figure this out with their own secessionist movement. Really the only parts that are truly secessionist are in the major urban… Read more »

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

Umm – what is blood? And what does a king have to do with it?

When I can send in some skin cells from the inside of my mouth – and get a result back from the gene testing lab that says : ” You’re 34% Nordic/German heritage, 55% English heritage, 7% French, and 4% Jewish heritage” – I’d say that’s a pretty good sign that blood for all intents and purposes – does last “forever” – or at long enough in human terms that it definitely is something to be taken into account.

Member
Reply to  Calsdad
3 years ago

See above. The discussion is about organizing principles for a society, not your sperm count.

Humans have already tried organizing around “blood and relations”. It played out in feudalism, monarchies, etc.

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  ffarkle
3 years ago

Again – another LOL. Two in one column. 50 years? Where the hell have you been? I see this kind of historical ignorance among right wingers all the time. If you’re talking about the Republic the way it was originally conceived and constructed – the problem goes back more than 50 years. The fact that so many on the right don’t seem to grasp this is a good part of the problem why we have such a pervasive leftie problem these days. “Conservatives” just want to conservative an older version of the left wing’s vision of what this country should… Read more »

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Calsdad
3 years ago

let’s put a number on it: 1861

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

The entire Preamble was put into effect through the Revolution itself, and the Government(s) formed afterwards. The indictments themselves led to many of the restrictions on the Federal power, led to specific amendments in the Bill of Rights (such as quartering of troops, and the rendering of the military as subordinate to Civil power). The Declaration was an explanation of “why”. The Constitution was the Founders’ attempt at “how”. Both are imperfect. Both did assume a relatively uniform citizenry – even though the founders were of quite a few different Christian sects, with Protestants, Catholics, and even some Deists. They… Read more »

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

In a propositional country, things change, and that is not always and everywhere a bad thing. The key of course is that the people doing the organizing have to agree and compromise on what those organizing principles need to be.

That being said, there are a large number of very specific elements of the US Constitution which have a straight line back to the Declaration, of which I mentioned two. But I could also add the power to tax residing in the Legislature, specifically the House, and other grievances they had against the King and Parliament.

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

You’re correct in your observations about current events specifically because I am correct in my understanding of organization. No shared organizational principles = chaos. The alt/dissident right is chaos too, because the alt/dissident right ALSO has no shared organizational principles. At least not anything the vast majority of this country would buy into. At some point, if you’re going to have a movement, you’re going to have to convince people to join it. They’ll show up for a meeting or two because it’s fun complaining about how the honky is everybody’s asshole today (to paraphrase Steven Miller), but they won’t… Read more »

james wilson
james wilson
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

“The difference between a Constitutionally-limited republic and Leviathan is about four score and seven years.”

Member
Reply to  james wilson
3 years ago

I’m beginning to think that the difference between a Constitutionally-limited republic and a Leviathan is a lot of people complaining about something that largely doesn’t affect them at all on a day to day or even a year to year basis. Remember, the Government Party doesn’t hate government shutdowns because of the damage those shutdowns do. They hate shutdowns because shutdowns remind people that the Government has almost no influence on them whatsoever for months and months on end. Basically, if you pay your taxes on time, you can go many years without ever encountering the Feds or needing the… Read more »

Ryan
Ryan
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

The country was founded on a coherent set of propositions. The country was founded by people who didn’t really agree with each other and enacted some shaky compromises. Pick one.

Member
Reply to  Ryan
3 years ago

I’m not the one who seeks to throw it all away, so it’s not up to me to re-litigate the past. The burden is on the people who seek to replace it with….well….something….it’s not clear what….or when….or how or who or where….and the why is a little murky too. Results matter. I can look out my office window – in fact, I am looking out my office window – and survey a landscape which 150 years ago was buffalo and Indians and sage brush. It is today a sprawling, wealthy, suburban paradise where I can snowboard, mountain climb, bike, pick… Read more »

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

I suggest you sit in your lovely office and watch the revolution on tv.

Ryan
Ryan
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

Throughout this thread you have astutely avoided clearly stating what the “coherent principles” you keep referring to are. Beyond no man is nobler than another by virtue of birth, I have no idea what you think you mean.

Wilbur Hassenfus
Wilbur Hassenfus
Reply to  ffarkle
3 years ago

“and are true to them in organizing and running society”

Mexicans and Somalis and Indians (dot) will never be true to our ideas, which are alien to them and are no part of their history. They prefer their own varied ideas. Even Irish and Italians and Scandinavians reinterpreted our founding ideas to mean something different and more congenial to to them. Jews generally seem to see our founding ideas as a set of rules to be gamed to benefit their own people.

Or by “true to them” do you just mean meaningless lip service to a set of symbols?

Member
Reply to  ffarkle
3 years ago

This guy said it pretty good: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether… Read more »

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Z, if you’re going to have a movement, it’s going to have to start accepting people into it. It’s going nowhere if Lincoln gets shown the door. There’s a small number of people who think Lincoln was a dictator, but about 98% of the country disagrees.

Like I said, fully 1/3 of just the white people in the US don’t accept the proposition that people need to vote their race. If you cannot persuade people on your team, you’re done, and there is no movement.

Tully Bascombe
Tully Bascombe
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

Give it time. A few short years ago that number was significantly less than 1/3.

Jak Black
Jak Black
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

“Civic Nationalism is just Progressivism in a tricorn hat.”

I’m totally stealing that.

roger
roger
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

yes, Lincoln is the father of the country if you accept the notion of a propositional nation. It was Lincoln worshippers who started the notion. Mainly, i think, to justify the “War of The Rebellion,” Reconstruction, and the first American Empire. As history instructs dead dictators are useful.

Member
Reply to  roger
3 years ago

I don’t have the “accept the notion of a propositional nation”. We are living in one as a matter of literal fact. There are things I do not like about our present state. That does not erase the fact that our utterly failed and contemptuous propositional state has produced a country where the average person earns $46K per year when the average globally is about $18K and 1/3 of the world earns under $900 per year. That there is no country now or ever that stands a prayer against us militarily (virtually no threats). And we have a population on… Read more »

Optingout
Optingout
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

“Civic Nationalism is just Progressivism in a tricorn hat.” If you said it in precisely those words before, I missed it. Either way, very well put. I’m going to steal it and use when the urge to comment (rather infrequent of late) strikes. Kudos, I guess, re your patience in arguing with idiots. I have none. I just want them all dead and gone.

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Doesn’t bother me in the least. He was a product of the age in which he lived, and he was correct that living together would likely be impossible in terms of social and political equality.

And he issued the Emancipation Proclamation anyway.

What am I to make of a movement that discounts so many members of its own team on the trip to Lake Wobegon?

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Which is why having an organizing principle is much, much, more preferable than sort of vague aspirations of “Well, we don’t know exactly that it’ll be, but it won’t be Christian because nobody goes to church other than out of obligation or habit, and the Constitution was a disaster from Day 1 all observational evidence to the contrary aside. Whites can barely agree on anything, but will suddenly come together to vote their interests, but we’re not sure what those are because ideas are no basis for …..” ugh. You can’t base law on blog posts either, Z. The burden… Read more »

Member
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

^^ all those negative votes up there? After that guy did what he did, the United States within 80 years would conquer the planet and produce the strongest, wealthiest, freest, nation the world has ever known…and that just gets us up to 1945.

I’m waitin’ on the alternative….because whatever you guys have in mind, it better produce a hell of a lot better results if you hope to win over any support.

RDG
Member
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

I support your argument. Except for Europe, is anyone trying to get into any of the worlds sh@tholes? No. How many Americans have illegally moved to Mexico or Venezuela or Cuba. Not even Michael Moore or Sean Penn. Liberal hated of America is so much fake self-centered crap. God would I love to deport every liberal to Sudan or Mogadishu or even North Korea.

Member
Reply to  RDG
3 years ago

When something bad happens in the world, an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, etc. NOBODY ANYWHERE hopes that the Russians and Chinese are on the way.

The flag and faces which bring hope to the world are American.

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  ffarkle
3 years ago

The Constitution was a coup. This has been covered extensively by people who have looked at what actually happened – IN SECRECY – in that hall. https://www.garynorth.com/philadelphia.pdf ——- This book is the history of a deception. I regard this deception as the greatest deception in American history. So successful was this deception that, as far as I know, this book is the first stand-alone volume to discuss it. The first version of this book appeared as Part 3 of Political Polytheism (1989), 201 years after the deception was ratified by representatives of the states, who created a new covenant and… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Calsdad
3 years ago

It is almost as if the country was in trouble due to paralysis of the government, as then organized, and the Powers That Be of the day cast about for an acceptable alternative. Once a marginally acceptable governmental alternative had been drafted and implemented, then it was dressed up with trappings that suggested permanence and moral righteousness. Just pondering here.

smitty1e
smitty1e
3 years ago

“There is, of course, the fact that America was a Christian nation at the time of the Founding. The men who wrote and signed off on “all men are created equal” rather obviously did not believe it in the modern, secular sense. They were Christians so they believed that only two people were ever created, everyone else was born. They certainly did not think people were born equal. To believe that all people are equal in the corporal sense or the political sense is to believe that reality is a social construct.” The units of analysis in Christianity (here on… Read more »

Member
3 years ago

“That means someone like former President Obama, who is an atheist and rejects the idea of natural rights, is not an American and he never was.” This is a true statement, and that is central to why he rejected the propositions captured in the Constitution, and just went about doing whatever he felt like at the time…which were generally against the better interests of the “blood and soil” Americans he was elected to govern. “Agreements among men, even deeply principled agreements, are open to revisions over time. That’s central to the propositional nation argument.” Which is why the Constitution has… Read more »

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

I’m arguing that borders change. Manifest Destiny had everything to do with borders. We also fought two wars to make it happen. Ask Mexico if Manifest Destiny had nothing to do with borders. Hawaii was annexed by the US in 1898, mainly because we didn’t want any European countries to annex Hawaii. We had a lot of business interests there at that point (e.g. sugar). It wasn’t ceded to us by anybody. The Brits were the first ones there (Cook, 18th century). We recognized them as an independent country in the 19th century, got deeply involved in their trade throughout… Read more »

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

“No people, no nation”. I never said otherwise. Borders, Language, Culture as the man put it. What I have said is that those people need a set of organizing principles that are elevated above mere personal identity. Race is the tie breaker in a sea of choices. Obama and McCain were pretty much the same candidate. Race – the opportunity many saw to cleanse the nation of its original sin – was the tie breaker. It didn’t work out the way they hoped, in fact they made things worse, but I’ve always been glad that that tinpot senator didn’t win.… Read more »

Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Hawaii was ceded to us by the Spanish. Actually, this isn’t correct, and I don’t say this simply to be a pedantic dick. The story of the annexation of Hawaii has some relevance to the current topic. A native kingdom was established in the Hawai’ian Islands in 1795, and it tried in fits and starts to “modernize” as the islands came increasing in contact with the West, initially through the American whaling fleet (though of course Captain Cook was the first to show up). Sugar plantations were established by foreigners (often American missionaries and their descendants). These big business interests… Read more »

Wilbur Hassenfus
Wilbur Hassenfus
3 years ago

Here’s a visual demonstration of a Proposition Nation in action:

https://youtu.be/5fXN7x7a5So

Severian
3 years ago

I never realized how spergy the “proposition nation” argument had gotten. I always assumed that “proposition nation” was shorthand for “those who come to America, and other not-fully-assimilated subgroups within America, should do their best to act like White Western Christians.” It’s an ideal to aspire to, not a club with membership requirements. Similar to being a “Roman citizen” in the 1st century AD — some hick from Spain will never hobnob socially with the Catones, but if he’s “Roman” enough to fight his way to the top of the legions, he could be Emperor. I thought this was obvious…… Read more »

Severian
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Oh, I dunno – the Confederates had a “proposition nation,” too. 🙂 Their propositions were front-and-center; the main one being slavery. Funny how the “proposition nation” folks never mention that, or the Hartford Convention (if the Founders intended us to be able to propose new nations at will, they surely would’ve said so in 1814), etc. Why, it’s almost as if they’re committed to ahistorical twaddle…. “Civic Nationalism is just Progressivism in a tricorn hat.” I’m stealing that.

Optingout
Optingout
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

A nation of Elliot Rogers or Emma Sulkowicz look-alikes? No thanks.

There’s a reason, however, that historically American mothers who married foreigners could not transmit American citizenship to their offspring. I can’t recall from my long-ago consular course specifically when the law was changed to permit it, but the original idea was the same. Still, even then racial considerations also held sway. There were some real issues for the WWII servicemen who married Japanese women. Change your suggestion to specify said females are White Europeans and said American males are at least 4th generation and it might work.

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  Severian
3 years ago

Severian; You are on to something with the Roman example. What you illustrated was that ‘Rome’ was a civic *culture* and not a ‘nation’ as that term came to be defined starting with the French Revolution. The Romans had no (or not much of a) civil *religion* but it was pretty clear what it meant to be ‘a Roman’ and what one had to do, affirm, and avoid to be part of that culture. Rome’s civic culture encompassed creation myth, language, laws, economic arrangements and social norms, but not ‘blood’, ‘soil’ or ‘religion’ (other than the divinity of Caesar). As… Read more »

Alex
Alex
3 years ago

This strikes me as a defeatist argument in that we are well beyond the stage where organizing around blood and soil is feasible. The “hispanics have entered the barn”, to mangle a saying. I just don’t know how we get to the other side of it. I agree with your assertion that an “American” is someone more than just a person with their feet on the soil of one of these fifty states. I’m just not quite sure how we go about defining it given the facts on the ground (“minority majority” in thirty years, and all that…). I am… Read more »

Alex
Alex
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Uhh no. I think that unfortunately we’re in a “Possession is 9/10ths of the law” situation right now, as it pertains to minorities inside the wire.

I’m looking for a practical/feasible way out of the mess the Boomer/Progs created over the past 60 years. I am not sure (but could be wrong) that rallying around a position that defined by a soon to be minority status will work.

Also, as a recovering History Major, I’d like to confirm we’re never past it, or biology.

Toddy Cat
Toddy Cat
Reply to  Alex
3 years ago

“minorities inside the wire” A very good argument for moving and re-stringing the wire, with most minorities outside, in their own countries, where they can live according to their own lights, and accept any propositions that they like. Look, guys, it doesn’t really matter whether America was founded on a Proposition, a people or some combination of both. America was a great country once, and I still love it deeply, in the way that a man loves his deceased parents, but it’s done, it’s over, it has ceased to be.If someone you love is gone, there’s no sense in propping… Read more »

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

I will enjoy reading the plan which un-bakes the cake, and which resorts the ingredients – unspoiled – into their respective containers.

Wilbur Hassenfus
Wilbur Hassenfus
3 years ago

“They were Christians so they believed that only two people were ever created, everyone else was born.” Are you serious? At the time people referred to God as their “creator”. They knew where babies come from but they thought God was your Creator. That’s the way they looked at it. It didn’t strike them as a contradiction, so if it strikes you as one, you’re not “getting” them. They meant that the English class system was invalid and immoral. This is old English dissident theology/politics, centuries old even then: “When Adam delved and Eve span, Who then was the gentleman?”… Read more »

Wilbur Hassenfus
Wilbur Hassenfus
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Ok, that sentence was a distraction. Never mind.

George Orwell
George Orwell
3 years ago

The proposition nation so beloved of Responsibile Republicans is “…the Progressive argument in favor of a living Constitution.”

Proving once again, Conservatism Inc. has been and will remain the trailing edge of the Prog wing.

Guest
Guest
3 years ago

I have a lot to write about this topic but no time today. In the interim, here’s a dispatch from the front lines. Short story: another bleeding heart hit piece on deportation of illegal alien. Daughter, a senior at Yale, attends on scholarship and is about to graduate with a degree in ethnicity, race, and migration (WTF?) and hopes to attend law school in the fall, where she’ll no doubt focus on immigration and poverty law. And this is how Americans subsidize the army that attacks our values. http://www.denverpost.com/2017/10/17/colorado-man-detained-getting-green-card/ You can see the hate in her eyes when she’s looking… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Reply to  Guest
3 years ago
Member
3 years ago

I am one of those who supports the ‘nation of ideas’ concept, primarily due to the singular protection of individual rights and liberties the Constitution provides. I’m also aware of the limitations therein, and the fact that the Prog elites took over the management of the nation in a way that has largely destroyed those protections, and continues to redefine the tenets so as to further erode the rights of those who are not considered to be worthy of protection (i.e. non-elite whites, Christians, straight people, etc.) The freakout these groups are having is that the non-protected Americans aren’t accepting… Read more »

Member
Reply to  A_Livingstone
3 years ago

“Beyond that, what would any of you have us do?” I agree with a lot of what I read here, but I’m at a loss to answer that question short of genocide and ethnic cleansing. You cannot un-bake a cake. Californian’s who want secession are figuring this out. They’re fun to watch because all the maps I see show the present State of California sort of cleaved off into its own country. The reality? Pretty much anything 70 miles inland stays with the United States, to include the mountains, farmland, and all of the water. Most of N. CA stays… Read more »

Member
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

I’ll say this much for the tan nationalists – they want ‘justice’, and they say explicitly how they want it: make white people give them jobs, money, prestige, and power. The pushback against them, however, comes in two forms – pleading ‘how dare you’ and ‘you’d be nothing without us, darkie.’ That is completely insufficient, and even the efforts to point out the failure of the documents to protect us from the predations of elite overlords – while a great diagnostic tool – fails to even hint at what can be done about it. In a previous comment, I’m made… Read more »

james wilson
james wilson
3 years ago

Since Madison actually wrote the Constitution we might want to know what he thinks of propositions. “I am unable to conceive that the people of America, in their present temper, or under any circumstances which can speedily happen, will choose, and every second year repeat the choice of …men who would be disposed to form and pursue a scheme of tyranny or treachery….who would either desire or dare…. to betray the solemn trust committed to them. What change of circumstances time, and a fuller population of our country may produce requires a prophetic spirit to declare, which makes no part… Read more »

Member
3 years ago

Yes, people can become Americans. And being born in the US does not grant anything but legal citizenship. I offer a proof of either argument: Sarah Hoyt, the author. Born in Portugal, I would say she epitomizes that which is required to “Be American”. My mother and father, too – born in Panama, both came to the US in their childhood and both served in the armed forces, naturalized, and earned professional degrees. To demonstrate the fallacy of birth as justification for being American, I can offer Barack Obama….but he perhaps was not born in the US: Despite being President,… Read more »

Optingout
Optingout
Reply to  Flight_Er_Doc
3 years ago

And you, of course, would claim self-interest has no bearing on your position. What you are offering, bub, is Portuguese and Panamanians in tricorn hats. Still not Americans.

Member
Reply to  Optingout
3 years ago

I was born here (the first in my generation in my family). I’ve also served defending the US (and was wounded in combat) and received professional degrees….

Self interest? Maybe, but if you seriously wish to claim I am not an American, GFY.

Optingout
Optingout
Reply to  Flight_Er_Doc
3 years ago

“I was born here.” Bully for you; no such thing as magic dirt.

“I’ve also served defending the US. . .” No war of the American Imperium in the last 100 years involved defending America or its people.

“. . . and received professional degrees.” High IQ fetishist much? Because earning degrees is another job Americans just can’t do?

Self-interested economic and professional opportunist/=American patriot.

Member
Reply to  Optingout
3 years ago

OK, so you are not an American and disdain the concept. Good for you. Now, GFY.

Member
Reply to  Flight_Er_Doc
3 years ago

This is why they’re marginalizing themselves. My wife is Vietnamese, a physician, naturalized US citizen, and smarter than fully 90% of the people on this blog. The SAT tests prove it! hahaha Her dad fought with the US against the Viet Cong, and the USAF got them all out of the country before they could be killed or sent to re-education camps. She, like me, also served in the USAF. She has more appreciation for what being an American means than just about everybody I’ve read here today. But she’s not allowed in the club because, you know, reasons and… Read more »

Member
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

Well, I can trace my lineage back to the people who loaned the colonies the money to buy ammo. BTW, we never got repaid…

Ryan
Ryan
3 years ago

The proposition behind the proposition nation is nothing but post war left wing activism. America was founded on the prog agenda, donchano. They really believe it too. Last Christmas my mom told me she believed America was designed and founded to be multicultural/multiracial society. I told her that was the most historically inaccurate thing I had ever heard. “You do realize that the first immigration law passed by congress was explicit in only allowing white people to be naturalized, right?” No matter, articles of faith aren’t about facts. I’m not mad at my mom, reason’s not a girl thing. But… Read more »

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

The Manchus pushed the idea that China was a propositional nation. Since they followed the Confucian rites,(and incidentally lost their language and culture) the Manchus told the Hans that they shouldn’t complain about being ruled by racial foreigners.

Amateur Brain Surgeon
Amateur Brain Surgeon
3 years ago

Do the neocons and other members of The Tribe ever take the time to look u the definition of “nation?”

Doug
Doug
3 years ago

I am born an American.
Thats puts myself and my fellow natural born American’s interests, politics, prosperity, happiness, faith, freedom & liberty, natural law & God given rights before any cockamamy proposition invented out of whole cloth and backed up by an artificial series of narratives, fabrications, wishful thinking or otherwise, by a cult of consummate pathological history revisionist liars.
I don’t give a rats arse about any of their stuff.
Thats the beginning and end of it for me.
Everything else is total bullshit and unacceptable.

Member
Reply to  Doug
3 years ago

^^ Nihilism, it’s what’s for dinner.

bilejones
Member
3 years ago

As I’ve said before, the importation of 2 million Eastern European Talmud Parsers between 1980-1920 was an utter fucking disaster.

Jimmy
Jimmy
3 years ago

Excellent post and accords with my way of thinking and comments in the past (ergo, excellent post 😉 ).

One other point that irks me is the presumption of such civic nationalists that this “propositional nation” malarkey is uniquely American.

What about the first French republic? liberte egalite fraternite?

What about the Soviets? From each according to his ability, to each according to his need?

I wonder if the results of those two nations are related to the curious silence in popular opinion when discussing “propositional nationhood”.

James LePore
Member
3 years ago

Life (now see Roe v Wade), liberty (now see the 1964 Civil Rights Act) and the pursuit of happiness (now see Harvey Weinstein).

Member
3 years ago

Nihilism is not a governing principle either. Having read all the comments today, the list is long in complaints and short in solutions. Also, others stated that my original post the other day claimed we are a propositional nation. Somebody else chose to interpret what I wrote that way, but I never used the term, and didn’t imply it. I said that the alt/dissident right lacks organizing principles. I can point to a Declaration which more or less sets out Why, and a Constitution which sets out How, and historical events from the Revolution to the various rebellions to the… Read more »

TomA
TomA
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

“long in complaints and short in solutions.”

Exactly. Endless eloquent bitching may be cathartic and a therapeutic way to pass the time, but it doesn’t enable (or even enlighten) the path to a solution to the mess we are in. Why not offer up some constructive ideas for winning once in a while?

Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

If the message is complete and total hopelessness, that the country is incurable evil, nobody will care, and the odds that they’ll participate in reforming things rather just just blow it all up and start over is highly unlikely. Was 1789 a really long time ago? Yes. Could anything even remotely similar be accomplished today at any level? Nope. That’s why when Mark Levin writes books to make money spouting about Article V conventions he gets ignored. Why? Because even though that convention can legally be limited, everybody knows that half the country would show up just to tear up… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  hokkoda
3 years ago

Hok; You make some excellent points. IMHO, what you are talking about re organizational principles is a *civic culture*. The Roman’s had one (as well as a cap. C larger Culture) By contrast, the Classic Greeks had a larger Culture that overlaid the varied individual civic cultures of the many Polii (plural of polis_?) of the time. A civic culture can be a religion, blood and soil ‘nation’ but need not be. Being a Roman did require adherence to Roman civic culture but did not require Italian birth or any particular religion (aside from affirming the divinity of the current… Read more »

Mark_Taylor
Member
3 years ago

I would think the Colonists saw themselves as British with a different ideological bent. The Declaration was a rebuke of not just the Monarchy but the idea of a monarchy and the letters of Confederation and Constitution support the idea there was no blue bloods or royalty. When the said all men are created equal I think they had the idea of royalty in mind so I don’t think the proposition is a fantasy. Like fish don’t know they’re on water we don’t think about that as a proposition of consequence since monarchies have been essentially dead so long nobody… Read more »

Reed Hill
Reed Hill
Reply to  Mark_Taylor
3 years ago

Yes, the equality clause in the Declaration of Independence was an explicit rejection of the Divine Right of Kings and the British noble caste’s discriminatory practices in the various social and political institutions. Like many things the Founders did and wrote, it has been warped into a cudgel so that the Progs can beat us with it.

I tend to agree with you that the country as currently composed has a real chance of avoiding the coming balkanization.