Posted by Curt on 27 November, 2016 at 3:00 pm. 1 comment.


Mark Levin:

I would like to discuss something rather foundational.


What do you think about this “new nationalism”? Do you think it’s new? What does it mean? Does it mean putting America first? Does it, in fact, put America first? Has this new nationalism been tried before? It very much has.

The phrase “new nationalism” was actually coined by Theodore Roosevelt in a speech he gave in Kansas on Sept. 1, 1910. In that speech, Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, later to become a Progressive Party candidate, in essence denounced the Declaration of Independence, and embraced the new nationalism.

He rejected the American heritage, in many respects, the limitations placed on the federal government, and he argued for a powerful central government that would take care of the general welfare of the people. It was a quintessential, aggressive, progressive speech. This is a speech that the Left venerates. In fact, Barack Obama, just a few years ago, visited the exact site where Theodore Roosevelt gave this speech. He gave his own speech and was extremely complimentary of Roosevelt’s.

Roosevelt thought that the general welfare of the people — their health, education, basic jobs and wages, and so forth — should be determined by the federal government. The Republican Party was the progressive party. The Democrat Party became the progressive party. You had two Progressive Era parties. The Republican Party, under Theodore Roosevelt, then William Howard Taft (albeit less so), and then of course Woodrow Wilson, who took the Democrat Party to the hard Left in what’s known as the Progressive Era.

Now before Theodore Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson, there were a few decades of what was called the Populism Era. There was even a political party called the People’s Party. The People’s Party was a populist party. It would become, in effect, a branch of the progressive movement and it was eventually devoured by that movement.


These terms — populism, nationalism, progressivism — are not the same as Americanism. Americanism is the embrace of our founding principles. Americanism is the embrace of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Americanism is the embrace of free market capitalism, not crony capitalism. But for free market capitalism, there wouldn’t be a great middle class in this country. But for free market capitalism, we could have gone the way of Russia or these other communist regimes — the so-called proletariat rising up.

People forget the results of free market capitalism — our trajectory from electricity in every home to heat and eventually air conditioning. Free market capitalism gave birth to new forms of energy, which massively improved the lifestyles of almost all Americans. It made possible everything that runs on fossil fuels, including automobiles, engines, things we take for granted. It made possible the production and the refinement of steel. In other words, it created this great explosion of industrial America, making us the greatest, most powerful economic force on the face of the earth (and eventually, the greatest military force on the face of the earth). That’s what free market capitalism gave.

The progressives are an offshoot of the European socialists. Of course, there are 15,000 types of socialism. Broadly speaking, it is a mentality. The Europeans never had a Declaration of Independence. They had their own history to deal with, including monarchies and feudalism. We never had that in America. We were a clean slate. In many ways, that’s what enabled us to do what we did.


When the framers of the Constitution met in Philadelphia, they didn’t sit there and think about how to create the most powerful central government they could to regulate trade. In fact, they included a Commerce Clause in our Constitution, the purpose of which is to promote commerce and trade between and among the states and between and among countries. Because we were getting killed with protectionism, from state to state and from our country to other countries. We couldn’t compete.

The purpose of the Commerce Clause is not to prohibit commerce. It is not to enable big government.

It is also true that they used tariffs at the time, after the Constitution was adopted, because they didn’t have an income tax, and in part, those tariffs were necessary to fund the federal government. But they weren’t for the purpose of empowering far-off Washington bureaucrats and politicians to manipulate the economy.

But back to the Progressive Era. These words — nationalism, populism, progressive — they’ve been around a very long time. They gave us, in 1909, the 16th Amendment — the income tax amendment, the federal income tax amendment. The vehicle for government to “let’s get the rich,” to get American companies to “pay their fair share.”

These words gave us the 17th Amendment in 1912. In the name of populism, we get to elect our senators directly. It’s very appealing, but we’re not supposed to be a pure democracy. We’re not supposed to be a populist society. We’re supposed to be a republic. Two of the worst ideas during the Progressive Era: the 16th and 17th Amendments — pushed by Republicans. Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Both parties strongly supported it.

Then came President Herbert Hoover. President Hoover was a very successful businessman, and he believed he could manage the economy. He was very concerned about free market capitalism; he was very concerned about the loss of American jobs, the loss of American industry and so forth.

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