Ben Rhodes: This Is No Time for Passive Patriotism

Ben Rhodes, who was Barack Obama’s speechwriter, thinks that his side lacks a compelling story to tell about American national identity.

The Atlantic:

“Every nation is a story. It’s almost never a simple one, and the story’s meaning is usually contested. National identity itself depends upon how we tell the story—about our past, our present moment, and our future.

Many national stories are rooted in a particular ethnicity or religion that forms the core of that national identity. Here in the United States, things are more complicated. Since our founding, our national identity has been the story that we tell ourselves and the wider world. Consider, for example: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. And: We the people, in order to form a more perfect union. Americans possess the beginnings of a fantastically good story, one based on something different from ethnicity or religion. Yet throughout our history, the most profound divisions in American society have required us to focus on the meaning of our loftiest words: Who is the we? What is the union? Put another way: What does the story mean, and who gets to tell it?

Rarely in our history have the answers to these questions been more contested, with the very fate of American democracy hanging in the balance. Former President Donald Trump’s Republican Party embraces fundamentally reactionary answers to these questions. In doing so, Trump taps into a vein that has run through the American body politic since our founding. The United States, in the most simplistic telling of the story, is a fundamentally ethno-nationalist construction: a white, Christian nation that embraces capitalism and a sense of its own exceptionalism. …”

What is our story?

What should we be telling the public?

A century ago, America at the end of the Victorian era was still basically the nation that it had been since the Founding – a White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant country with a federal and republican form of government and a capitalist economy. Slavery had been abolished. The black minority had become citizens and been granted civil rights. Women were being given voting rights by the 19th Amendment. This country which had come out of the 19th century was going through a profound transformation though.

Here are some of the key features of that 20th century transformation:

1. Urbanization – In the 19th century, America was a rural country. Most people lived on farms in the countryside or in small towns. The 1920s were the tipping point when America became a predominantly urban nation. New York became America’s metropole around this time. New York values began to dominate the emerging national culture of the country like Paris in France. Previously, American culture had been much more heterogeneous and regional due to the lack of fixtures of our 20th century world like automobiles, airplanes, electricity, mass communication, and so forth.

2. Immigration – In the late 19th century and early 20th century, European immigration changed the ethnic character of the Northern states. Millions of Jews and Catholic immigrants came to the United States from Europe. Much of what followed is the story of how their descendants elbowed their way into the American elite like the Kennedys in Massachusetts or the Cuomos in New York.

3. Mainstream Media – In the early 20th century, the rise of new technologies like film, radio and television changed American culture by concentrating cultural power in the hands of tiny elites in New York and Los Angeles. Mass circulation national magazines like Time, Life, Newsweek and so on which told educated people in the emerging metros what to think was also part of this trend.

4. Imperialism – The United States had played its hand well in the 19th century and came out of the gate in the 20th century extending its dominance throughout the Western hemisphere and across the Pacific. Americans won the 20th century too largely because European and Asian powers focused on destroying themselves which left us in a position to win by default.

5. The PMC – Over the course of the last century, the college educated population rose from less than 5% of the population to around 38% of the population, which has created a vast surplus of midwits who think they are smarter and better than everyone else and entitled to rule the country. Some of them are wonderful people with middle class jobs who are productive citizens while others, especially those who are fortified in our universities, are just a plague on society. This is especially true of the downwardly mobile Millennials who come from PMC families in our metros who join Antifa.

6. Modernism – Since around World War I, this aforementioned class of status-seeking midwit social climbers who live in our metros and who have college degrees have been absorbing the latest fashionable modernist and post-modernist trends that have been vomited out of Europe and which has left them profoundly alienated from America which they have pathologized as racist, sexist, nativist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic and so forth. These people have discarded traditional morality and values and our national identity (and sometimes their penis) in favor of various -isms and -phobias.

7. Progressivism – Also in the early 20th century, Progressivism emerged as the ideology of this rising class of people. Basically, the idea was that educated people and technocrats can solve all of our social problems. We just need a consolidated government and a centralized state. Once we give these people absolute power to wield over the rest of us, they can take care of the problems facing the country like COVID or people who say the wrong words. We need to flag those people and get them fired.

So, the story that we are telling here is that America once had a stable national identity and a common morality … until the rise of this class of alienated people who live in their coastal metros wrecked it. It is not that we have changed. It is that they are the ones who have changed.

They don’t have an inspiring story to tell about America because their story is one of alienation, rootlessness and destruction. They are alienated from their own race. They are alienated from Christianity. They are alienated from our republican system of government. They are sunk in their own overwhelming narcissism which is why they abort their own children. When they aren’t toppling statues of George Washington, these weirdos are often so alienated that they repudiate their own biological sex. They have their own ridiculous calendar with things like “Pride Month” or “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

In their more honest and candid moments, they will tell you that what we need to do is get rid of the Constitution which is a relic of “white supremacy.” We need to abolish the Senate and Electoral College. We need to pack the Supreme Court. We need to get rid of the First Amendment to tackle “hate speech.” We need to get rid of the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment. Lately, they have begun to question the Fourteenth Amendment and repudiate racial equality, which is an obstacle to creating a new racial caste system in which Whites are explicitly placed at the bottom. Whiteness is our Original Sin. You’re also the intolerant one for objecting to this and opposing them.

The Republican Party has become an “authoritarian” party – meaning it is full of people who no longer take them seriously, who do not recognize their authority, who make fun of our pretentious elites on the internet, who do not see them as legitimate and who have tuned them out. This is what is meant by “Democracy in Peril” and the demise of “our democracy.” It is the creeping sense, not that we will cease having elections, but that the show is about to be over. It is over for them as a social class.

As a story, their story is one that begins around the 1920s. It reaches its highwater mark in the 1960s in the Great Society and Walter Cronkite era. The end is coming in the 2020s. Future historians will look back on it like we do “the long 19th century.” In spite of controlling all of the institutions, the panic, hysteria and pearl clutching about the imminent collapse of “our democracy” that we are seeing from our decadent elites is reminiscent of the demise of the Victorians when they knew they were going bankrupt.

Jim Acosta has been given a national primetime platform to preach at us on CNN, but are his sermons landing with the public? Is he controlling the narrative or flailing up there? Sometimes you get the impression that most people in this country don’t even respect “journalists” anymore.

Anyway, I could write a long essay about how the twilight of the PMC is the story of our times. Technology eroded their ability to control the national conversation. The geopolitical punch is clearly coming. They have ceased to be creative. They inspire contempt in their fellow citizens. Their loss of trust and prestige is transforming our culture and politics. The need for a “story” to legitimize their rule is itself an indicator of their downward trajectory.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
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  1. The USA cannot have a national identity because the USA is not a nation. The USA is a multinational empire, and the denial of that fact is the major root of its problems.

    The civil rights act is essentially a civic nation-state policy. It was an attempt to foribly unify and assimilate the disparate American peoples into a single national identity by breaking down racial and religious identity (mostly by attacking White identity).

    Accepting the fact that the USA is a multinational empire, rather than a nation-state, would require repealing the civil rights act and replacing it with something that allows for true pluralism, physical separation, and a degree of self-governance for the different groups in the USA. This would mean allowing White-only states, Black-only states, White-only cities, Black-only cities, an agreeable and fair division of resources (so that no one group has control over a disproportionate amount of resources or capital), etc.

    • Your excellent proposal is the only solution to save the USA from racial and economic disintegration.

    • We tried tried once and it worked out well until desegregation and the uncivil rights act and than it was gibs me this and gibs me that. Nothing will make them happy even if you give them their own states and cities. When they fail and they will ,it will Whitey’s fault all over again and it be back to gibs me this and gibs me that all over again.

  2. “authoritarian” party”

    Does anybody know, who was

    “..An apolitical hypocrite who does not believe in democracy but, as an acute supporter of authoritarianism, especially fascism, has terrified even his former supporters in the West. ”

    This what Soviet media told about Solzhenitsyn back in 1984.

    So nothing new in this world.

  3. Very good post and I agree with most of it. I do not fully agree however that “America once had a stable national identity and a common morality until the rise of this class of alienated people who live in their coastal metros wrecked it.” I think “America” which consisted of various colonial-imperialist commercial settler projects (dressed with a veneer of Christianity) from the very beginning, always required and still requires (now more than ever, at this mature stage) constant replenishment of human resources – cheap labour and new voters and consumers.

    • The history of American morality is not so cut and dry. Long before the era of jewish power, Hollywood
      trash culture and internet pornography this country had serious socioeconomic problems to contend with, eg, alcoholism, gambling, prostitution, men abandoning their families, sweatshop and child labor, anti-union violence and extreme poverty. Our old Anglo-Saxon governing elite did not always do a fantastic job addressing those issues.

  4. The USA was founded on betrayal and fraud. The Revolution was against The Bank of England and the Peace was founded on the Bank of US with the same owners. Everything is a lie.

  5. This is a basically accurate thumbnail history which could be useful for dipping normie toes into the edges of red-pilled water. The PMCs have not really changed in their overall direction and objective – to destroy the civilization built up over centuries by Christ’s followers. They’ve been led into this from their own rejection of Christ, which made them easy prey for the machinations of the Synagogue of Satan. Far too many normies take their cues from the PMCs, who present themselves as smart. If they are serious about changing the direction of things, they need to stop listening to these liars.

    You should think about an essay telling the story of the PMCs as it would also serve to introduce the normies who sense things have gone terribly wrong and are confused about why to some of the reasons things have gone this way. Your statement It is not that we have changed. It is that they are the ones who have changed. is not very accurate. The normies of 2022 are different from those of 1922. They are more degenerate in every measurable way. They’re actually closer to the products of the USSR’s “New Soviet Man” by that regime’s end in 1991 than they are to those living here in 1922. We’ve had a century of the corrosive effects of media, entertainment and public education (all owned by the oligarchy and run by its PMC step-n-fetchits) and the result is very apparent. Most university graduates in 2022 would fail a high-school exam from a century before. The only thing “taught” in academia is Church of Woke dogma.

  6. The salient core of the above regards the PMC’s and their evolution as an illegitimate aristocracy in the 20th and now 21st century.

    “These people have discarded traditional morality and values and our national identity (and sometimes their penis) in favor of various -isms and -phobias.”

    They haven’t discarded these things, they have instead committed themselves to their destruction along with those of us that hold these norms of morality and our now much diminished national identity by inculcating our children for generations (which means us too) in a culture of transgressive iconoclasm. This has culminated in their current status as a shrinking minority of fervently hated queers and their corrupt allies.

    We wouldn’t have been the first people in history to be oppressed by a corrupt and secular ruling class were it just that they discarded the values of the people they ruled. These people aren’t merely secular, humanist and technocratic. They are malicious, malevolent and bent wholly on our destruction.

    All of this fixation on the upcoming election, the growing signs of the collapse of their last shred of legitimacy, and the impending failure of the Brandon Administration is missing THE only point. This class of people aren’t confined to one party. They run both parties, are the apparatus of the state at every level, and wield the levers of cultural power as well. Further, their ideological allies run all the developing powers (Russia and China included), and we have no allies of any kind in the world besides other disenfranchised Europeans (some of whom are Russian).

    Nothing either side says or does, none of their media (their polls and statistics) are legitimate or can be trusted. There is no winning the upcoming election for us, only another round of the hamster wheel.

    National politics is a cul de sac. I’ve said this for years here now. Our hope rests in the delegitimization of the federal government (of which the media complex is a part), and the resulting reassertion of the states sovereignty (fundamental reduction of power distance).

    We don’t need a hero to “lead” us. We need states that represent us as people again, rather than deferring all governance to the coasts.

  7. What a dull article and dull writer, this Mr. Rhodes. Makes sense I could never stand listening to Obama’s speeches. He writes a lot of words that boil down to just another screed by an anti-white Jew who wants to write whites out of the story of this country, except where we’re cast as villains, and create the “multiracial, multiethnic democracy” of rootless goyim.

  8. If there is anything lower that a beta male it is an Acosta Male! I saw him cry like a baby when Trump rebuked him and CNN as “fake news” and wouldn’t take his questions! He literally sank in his seat and cried on national TV! One thing they cannot deny is there were no non-whites who signed the Declaration of Independence. Nor were there any non-whites at the Constitutional conventions. Add to that the first federal citizenship law under the new constitution limited citizenship to free white property holding males 21 and older! They can’t take that away but they can make it null and void via racial replacement.

  9. Your identity Ben, is the Moshiach, the man of destruction, the anti-Christ. Where do you go from here Ben? It is either Christ or hell….Ben. Your choice.

  10. In the Dead of Night, House Speaker Filler Corn Removed Confederate Statues for $83K — and Lied About the Documents, Lawsuit Claims October 8. 2020 Corinne Murdock

    Mike Dickinson:
    01-27-2022 at 6:15 PM

    In July of 2020- Democrat Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn ordered the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee as well as 8 busts of various leaders from the Virginia State Capitol. This was not a vote, it was not a legislative action- it was all by the stroke of pen as Speaker of the House.

    Today I am calling on Republican Speaker Todd Gilbert to restore these items to their rightful place in the State Captiol by using his pen to order it.

    Who cares if Louise Lucas or Jeff Bourne get upset and throw a tantrum? Treat them like they treated us. Don’t ask, just do.

    Elections have consequences. Leave no doubt!

    Restore the statues.

    Would a Republican ever find enough backbone to do something like restoring Confederate statues that had been taken down without a vote? Sounds like an impossibility and out of “character” for these anti-South Republicans to do.Would be a big surprise if it happened.

  11. That bottle-blonde whore got in a huff because Ailes was pressuring her for pussy (no doubt it would’ve been very different if he hadn’t looked like Jabba the Hutt), so she just switches sides for profit & revenge. Easy.

  12. I’m going to take a stab at a national narrative of sorts, one that “Rides The Tiger” of the existing CRT narratives on White Supremacy, one which appeals to the Normies of 2022 while also challenging them to cast out old copes and delusions about “colorblindness” and “Martin Luther King.”

    -Once upon a time, the Pilgrims and Cavaliers came to North America from Europe – specifically, from Britain. The Pilgrims established their own colony in Massachusetts Bay, while the Cavaliers established colonies in Virginia and all along the Atlantic seaboard. The Pilgrims claimed they were escaping “Religious Persecution,” while the Cavaliers were looking to make a quick buck in the brave new world of post 1492.

    -Both the Pilgrims and Cavaliers did some harsh, dirty things to get their way and do what they thought was right by themselves and their people. The Pilgrims waged war with the Indians and physically removed them from their land. The Cavaliers eventually did all that and also bought slaves from Africa. Both actions would have consequences that reverberate to this day.

    -The Indians, though removed forcefully and unwillingly from their lands, were not exactly innocent, peaceful, pure natives. The Declaration of Independence had valid reason to call them “Merciless Indian savages.” They waged war for centuries on each other before Europeans arrived, and naturally, they waged war on the White settlers as well. We shouldn’t feel too bad about it, because removing the Indians from their land paved the way for the United States of America to be established. For a 1st world nation to come into existence. It was worth it, and there’s no going back.

    -As for the Cavaliers, they and their descendants built what became the American South. Two radically different conceptualizations of “America” emerged from this, one of which was put forth by Thomas Jefferson, the other by Alexander Hamilton. Spurred by the rise of the Abolitionist movement, which destroyed a tentative peace that existed during the Antebellum days, the two competing visions clashed in the Civil War, and Hamiltonianism triumphantly won in 1865- for better and for worse.

    -In the post Civil War world, America became a battleground for competing ideologies, values, and movements. Reconstruction was just the first. Blacks went from being slaves during the Antebellum days to second class citizens under Jim Crow. The frontier was closed in 1890, cementing White rule over Indian land, forever. All sorts of clashes and struggles took place, such as Labor vs. Capital, or Progressives vs. Traditionalists, or Science vs. Religion. In the end, Modernism triumphs.

    -1914 to 1945 mark the most critical years in history, not only for America’s narrative, but the narrative of the West and Europe. The rising nationalist sentiments of the 1800s boil over into WW1, and following a remarkable interlude in which we simultaneously experience the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression, WW2 marks the ultimate clash of values. White Supremacy and White Identity are challenged, confronted, and discredited. New narratives are written in their wake. America becomes a “Nation of Immigrants” trying to reconcile its “Racist” past. Europe confronts its “legacy of colonialism.” America and Europe alike pursue a cultural project of racial integration and formal equality.

    -The triumphalism of the 1960s, particularly the Civil Rights Movement, gives way to a new series of clashes, reactions, and struggles from 1968 onward that come to define the world as we know it in 2022. Neoliberal Capitalism becomes victorious under Reagan and Thatcher. The Culture Wars become a feature of American political life, and, increasingly, European life. Technology stagnates and yet also moves inexorably in an upward direction. There is a trend away from socialization and towards individualized atomization.

    -The 2010s and 2020s mark a struggle for control between competing political groups, many of which have a defacto racial basis. The grand visions of a New World Order from the end of the Cold War fail to materialize. From the 2000 U.S. Presidential election on out, power switches from one clique to another, with none of them being able to consolidate power and legitimacy one way or another. Bush and the Neocons give way to Obama’s “post racial” vision, which gives way to Trump and his “authoritarianism,” which gives way to Biden and his PMCs, and the pendulum keeps swinging, destabilizing the whole political system.

    -The racial question has never been answered. Peace has never been secured. There is a direct line between the concerns of 1619, 1861, and 2022. Nonwhites feel humiliated and subordinated by slavery, Jim Crow, colonialism, and removal of the Indians (now affectionately called “Native Americans). Its useless to argue about how they have materially benefited compared to their old condition, because no amount of material benefits can compensate or make up for looking up and seeing a hateful, arrogant, smug White face.

    -There are two solutions to the racial question: Total integration, like the countries of South America, or separation, like the different tribes under Roman Rule and Medieval Islamic rule. The integration project is failing, and it is failing because the “Racists” and “White Supremacists” were correct about something fundamental and immutable: We arent all the same. We arent interchangeable cogs. We want different things. We have different visions of the “Good Life.” To insist on integration is to insist that all races must adjust themselves and subordinate themselves to a single, universal standard, which invariably is a White standard. Blacks, Mexicans, Asians, and the rest of the worlds peoples have no obligation to do this.

    -It is at this point I will interject my own opinion: Most of us “regular folks” have no interest in power or ruling. We are Folk Libertarians at heart, as Hunter so eloquently said. I want people in charge who won’t actively wage war on me or make my life worse, which has been the primal scream of all my comments through the years. The way I see it, White Rule is bad for the majority of regular White people, to say nothing of non-whites and the humiliation and pain we have, objectively, subjected them to. Whites have proven ourselves incapable of crafting a global order that makes things better instead of worse. We keep on breaking things, only to make things worse in our attempt to fix them.

    -The 21st century must become a balanced, unipolar world, a sort of “Concert of Europe” on a global stage. The EU, NATO, and the USA can exist as a regional bloc, but no longer must they enforce their will on the world as global powers. The traditional powers – USA, Britain, France, and Germany – while keeping their 1st world standards of living through exploitation of their own natural resources, and through global trade agreed upon by both sides, must be cut down to size in terms of geopolitical power. White Rulers created and enabled a world where a cabal of child rapists and pedophiles such as Jeffrey Epstein were allowed to seize institutional power through legal means and create a global syndicate of the most evil men to ever exist. White Power allowed it. Never Again.

    -The 21st century must normalize, once and for all, the promise of Popular Sovereignty from the 18th century: We the people – the vast middle of regular, good, honest people, mostly White, but comprising other races as well – are the center of existence. The world exists to make *our* lives better, as opposed to the aristocrats above or the degenerates below. The Highs and Lows must be smashed and erased from existence, and all forms of moral warfare are justified in pursuing this project. The lust for power and control among White Rulers is evil and Satanic. House Lannister shall be annihilated. House Stark shall inherit the Earth.

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