| February 5, 2019


or some additional thoughts on society in this age of divisive politics.

Here’s more musings from VoV about today’s political landscape, divisions among the populace, and we as a country have been here before.

I’ve been considering for some time the comment, “Not my president” and what that means to a Republic like ours. We seem to have reached a point where the politics of division matter more than the business of the nation. Where our distrust of that other side and its motives greatly limit, or even eliminate, our ability to consider bipartisan efforts to conduct the business of government or to reach compromise on difficult national issues that require action.

This is not an entirely new phenomenon, we’ve been experiencing it to some degree since the founding of the Republic. Many historical examples of serious political divisions exist from the post-revolution period right up to the moment the Union was broken and the Civil War began. Even afterwards there were some serious divisions in the politics of the nation. That’s a reality that is lost at times on those of us whose parents were from the greatest generation, largely because of the extensive and often unprecedented level of cooperation of that generation when they became politicians. Those politicians had worked together in spite of their differences to defeat the Nazis and the Rising Sun and when they came to DC they realized they still had those differences, but they could achieve more through compromise than they could by digging in their heels and refusing to work together.

The level of bipartisan work and basic respect for each other of the greatest generation has alway reminded me of Thomas Jefferson’s basic thoughts on how the Republic should work when one side doesn’t get its way. Jefferson felt that the Lex Majoris Partis (The law of the majority) was an important part of respecting the strengths of the Republic.

“The first principle of republicanism is that the lex majoris partis is the fundamental law of every society of individuals of equal rights; to consider the will of the society enounced by the majority of a single vote as sacred as if unanimous is the first of all lessons in importance, yet the last which is thoroughly learnt. This law once disregarded, no other remains but that of force, which ends necessarily in military despotism.” –Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, 1817.

The “not my president” crowd certainly represents the people who’ve not learned the lesson as Jefferson had hoped they would. The consequence is indeed what he considered, the law of force with street riots by Antifa, with publicly rude displays such as those recently witnessed throughout the nation against people wearing MAGA hats. There have always been lesser displays as well, the “You Lie” comment at the SOTU by Joe Wilson comes to mind. But the current displays of division are clearly far larger and ultimately far more grievous in nature. The idea that this man isn’t their president is not only inaccurate but does nothing to advance the business of the people. Some of us libertarians are always happy when the government is gridlocked, but the reality is that bipartisan efforts have resulted in some very good legislation for the nation and some of the worst legislation the result of the politics of division.

I’m not so naive that I expect everyone to join hands and sing, “Kumbaya” or “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke”. It would however benefit the nation to remember that we are stuck here together, that our mutual interests actually do depend on each other even where we differ in policy and viewpoints. We are all bound together through taxation, through geography, through the simple reality this is our nation. We can make it as unpleasant for each other as possible or we could make it somewhat more pleasant by simply understanding some basic realities. The nation was designed to operate this purposely, the founders wanted a house where new ideas would percolate and brew into legislation and then stagnate in the senate often ending there as no new legislation at all. That’s why the house was designed to turn over so often to keep new ideas coming in with the new blood. The senate was the cooling chamber by design. Today both the senate and the house have become filled with re-elected incumbents none of whom offer anything new, and are quite happy to gridlock the government to score points to achieve re-election.

I can only hope the veterans of the GWOT, male and female, who are finding their way to Washington will once again understand the benefits of cooperation with those whose views we don’t hold and whose ideas we find objectionable to craft compromise that benefits their generation and the ones to follow. I am confident that some of them already know the benefit and they will prove invaluable once again in service to this great nation.

For those content to remain divisive, content to remain chained to the politics of obstruction I am reminded of another Jefferson comment made prior to the comments to Humboldt.

“Every man cannot have his way in all things. If his opinion prevails at some times, he should acquiesce on seeing that of others preponderate at other times. Without this mutual disposition we are disjointed individuals, but not a society” — Jefferson to John Dickinson, 1801

That’s all for now…..

Category: Guest Post, Politics

Comments (65)

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  1. SGT Fon says:

    way too deep before my first cupa joe…

  2. GDContractor says:

    Thanks VOV for talking me down. I was “this close” to heeding Mencken and hoisting the black flag.

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      That is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite essayists….

      Another gem of his, “No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the record for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”

      Heinlein has several that I like as well but this one often comes to mind when I review proposed legislation from our, supposed, representatives….“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

      I fancy myself one of those surly curmudgeons at times….

      • GDContractor says:

        Yes. I think that one of Mencken’s true gifts was the constant reminder that we have the capacity, and habit, to be supremely stupid. This might be my favorite quote of his: “Have you ever watched a crab on the shore crawling backward in search of the Atlantic Ocean, and missing? That’s the way the mind of man operates.”. Although I’m not much of a student of Jefferson et al, I don’t know if they ever factored in enough our collective capacity for stupidity. As for neighbors, until recently I lived in a neighborhood of self righteous altruistic geniuses. It was horrible. I moved. I now live in an area with far fewer Beto signs. My new neighbors are less judgemental and actually kind to each other, while being far less #woke.

        • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

          In small number people are great and I love meeting people from all over the world.

          In large numbers that mob mentality sets in and we become collectively as stupid as the least intelligent people in the mob, that’s when it gets dangerously stupid.

          • David says:

            The collective IQ of a mob is equal to the lowest IQ of any member divided by the number of mob members.

          • Ex-PH2 says:

            Herd instinct is a difficult thing to break, VOV. Therefore, a pussy march will seem to have more power than a simple well-written letter or editorial.

            It’s that old safety in numbers mentality. Unfortunately, it can also backfire instead of support.

          • ArmyATC says:

            That reminds of a quote by Tommy Lee Jones playing Agent K in the movie ‘Men in Black.’ “The person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it!” Yeah, I know. It isn’t Mencken or Heinlein, but it works.

      • Eric says:

        Who is Heinlein?

    • SFC D says:

      These days, I keep the black flag attached to the halyard at all times, ready to hoist at a moment’s notice.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    “…filled with re-elected incumbents…score points to achieve re-election.”

    And that, boys and girls, is the major problem with our Republic. Not just in these past several decades, but going back for several generations. The professional politicians have done their best to keep a strangle hold on their power. That is exactly why President Trump has had such a struggle. As we have preached on here for a long time, even before the Trumpster, drain the swamp. Both sides now realize that enough people are fed up with their crap and the congress critters are running scarred.

    The socialistic nefarious ones know that the only way to overthrow a system is from within. They have been plotting and scheming for decades to “fundamentally” change these United States of America. They were well on their way to that goal when Trump’s voters upset their little apple cart. The country dodged a very big bullet when the Bitch of Benghazi was defeated. If she had of won in ’16 she would have been re-elected in ’20. By 2024, the country as we knew it and most of us were born in would have ceased to exist.

    The clear and present danger is still out there!

    Be aware. Be very aware! Vote!!!

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Red Line was the president for eight years and I hated his domestic and foreign policies, his politics, his appointments and nominations, and his inability to throw a baseball properly. I could not identify with him at all. Now, Lars and others elsewhere would dismiss my views of him as racism, no doubt, because it’s the easier than hell to do so and allows them the sanctimony they enjoy. I’ll let them. It’s no skin off my nose. The point is that I despised Red Line’s being president and, on a personal level, I wished him failure. I suppose the Democratic Socialists regard Trump as I did Red Line. I actually like that they hate him so because it gives me pleasure to know they are suffering him. It is only the Constitution that keeps us intact, and I wonder just how long that will last. We are pieces of a whole in conflict and our elected representatives in Congress reflect exactly that. Statesmen we do not have. And that’s a shame.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      Wait. I misspoke, as it were. Red Line had no discernible foreign policy, unless fomenting rebellion counts.

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        I think the policy he executed could reasonably be called, Concession or Appeasement….

        Although Drone Strike works as well as he did increase that program ten fold beyond Bush’s previous efforts.

        I remain unaware of any actions taken that were worthy of the Nobel Peace prize, beyond being a smooth talking non-Bush president.

        • SEAL TWO says:

          Actually, his entire Presidency was worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize, which is an indication of what that thing is worth.

    • GDContractor says:

      “Statesmen we do not have”.

      Amen to that. And I don’t think we’re ever again going to get any. Beto is off on his excellent adventure, holding a wet finger in the air the entire time, trying to cobble a platform that will be more left of Bernie and AOC. That is our future. A polularity contest for the stupid and photogenic.

    • MK75Gunner says:

      Here, here, 2/17 Air Cav!

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Gee whiz, I don’t know if this is unique, but I wouldn’t have liked or voted for Red Line if he’d been white.
      He was an idiot, a slacker and a babbling, stammering dorkwad. The more he appeared in public, the more he came off as a tent preacher, not a president.
      Never once did I feel bad about voting for the other guy. It took votes away from that moron.

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        You are unique Mi’Lady, but not in the sense of your voting choice then. I didn’t/couldn’t support Barry either, and not because of his mixed race, his sketchy diplomas, citizenship, being an Illinois demon rat Chitcongo Political Machine appointee, but because, IMO he was not really qualified to be President of these United States. A 1st term Senator, community organizer? dahell? YGBFSM

        I held my nose and voted for the other dude. To be honest I was voting a whole lot more for Sarah P than I was Mcstain. I do believe that if it had of been Palin and anybody else, she might would of won. Some of this picking and choosing of the people running goes back to the deep entrenchment of the professional politicians.

        Flip side of some of this is if Barry had of been running against das Hildabeast, he’d got my vote. Isn’t life strange?

        Oh, and yeah, BTW, for those that don’t know, in addition to all of Ex’s other uniqueness, she can cook too!

        • USMC Steve says:

          A lot of us thought/hoped that if McCain got in there, he would stroke out in the first few months, and Palin would take over. Never got to find out, but I bet she would have done all right in that seat. Certainly better than what we ended up with.

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        Ex, I think anyone reasonable understands that the opposition to Obama had little to do with race and far more to do with actual real qualifications.

        As 5th/77th FA points out a freshman senator with zero executive experience and no introduction of substantive legislation written by him, Obama was an under qualified candidate on every level.

        I experienced eight years of being called a racist by people who have no idea who members of my family are, what they look like and what race(s) my family contains. Simply because I had the audacity to criticize the Cool Black Guy regarding policy.

        That experience and some others when criticizing politicians on the right only reinforce the notion in my head that neither side is without its tender snowflakes ready to bark at any criticism of their side regardless of factual reality.

        We should all of us vote how we believe, but understand to some degree my ending paragraph above.

        You ain’t always gonna get what you want, and life won’t ever be fair. So ruck the f$#k up and drive on…

    • SFC D says:

      I had no love for Obama, based on his lack of experience and qualification to become POTUS. I held him to a low standard, which he failed to achieve. His race, creed, color, preferred gender pronoun, or favorite dessert meant absolutely nothing as far as how I felt about him. HOWEVER… my disapproval of him automatically tagged me as a racist. Bullshit. The true racists elected him. Twice. Narrow-minded, lock-step marching liberal bigots put him into office and then nearly put Hillary in. These people who elevate their elected political leaders to a godlike status (and every party has them) frankly scare the shit out of me.

      Rant over. For now.

  5. Comm Center Rat says:

    “But I will tell you what is right about America just totally dwarfs what’s wrong about Washington. And 535 people are not going to mess up 315 million over time.” ~ Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

    (From a CBS Sunday Morning interview broadcast on January 20, 2013.)

  6. AW1Ed says:

    Two wings on the bird, and it can’t fly with one. That’s why I welcome commentators like LC- He knows he’s going to get shellacked here, yet he comes anyway and states his points articulately and, mostly, without rancor. I frequently disagree with him, but gladly let him state his case. The First Amendment is something we all here fought to defend, after all.

    I disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
    — Voltaire

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      Agreed LC is all good with me…what a boring world should we live in an echo chamber.

      Lively discussions fit the second (alternate) definition of malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem which is, I prefer the tumult of liberty, to the peace of servitude”

    • Commissar the sock puppet. says:

      Hey AW1Ed,

      I believe you. You have shown yourself to be and honest and sincere operator.

      However, I do not think it is true that those moderating this site want to be outside an echo chamber.

      My posting privileges seem to be suspended often with no explanation and then eventually returned to me a week or so later with no explanation.

      Maybe it is on my end and is user headspace and timing with my phone but it feels like a get temporary suspension of privileges often.

      • AW1Ed says:

        Sorry, Ctp, I don’t have an answer for you. I’m limited in what I can and cannot do here- my privileges are mostly administrative. Also, we Admins are not a single unit, we are autonomous and post what we like without a lot/any input from Higher. If you’re under moderation it’s not from our level, and if it was I’d tell you as much.
        So perhaps someone is trying to get your attention? Dial down the rhetoric a bit and see if that helps.

    • Slow Joe says:

      Voltaire didn’t say that.
      It was Evelyn Beatrice Hall who wrote that in “Friends of Voltaire” in the early 1900s.

      Oh shit. Me get smartz!

    • Twist says:

      Lars can learn a thing or two or twenty from LC. LC doesn’t come here being an insufferable asshole know it all that is also so full of shit his eyes are brown like Lars does.

    • SEAL TWO says:

      “I would rather be ruled by a lion, than by two hundred rats of my own species.” -Voltaire

  7. 3/10/MED/b says:

    I told myself to read all the comments before I posted the first thing that came to mind.

    Well. I did, and the first thing that still came to mind was,
    “How is Canada treating all you sorry fuckers,(you know who you are, and how you professed your intentions with pride,) the ones who weren’t too fat to get through the border gates, anyway?”


    I may have missed the point, which is not the first and will not be the last time.

    Just my first thought…

    And waiting on Sister Mary Grace…

  8. OWB says:

    Never figured out the real message of those who speak those words. Are they part time citizens? What? Makes no sense at all.

    Folks who say such stupid stuff really are not worthy of much consideration. Sure, just because they ain’t right in the head doesn’t mean that they can’t be dangerous so we must always be watchful of them.

    Maybe next time one of them displays that level of ignorance we should ask them, “So, you’ve relinquished your citizenship and will not be voting in the next election? Good to know.”

  9. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    VoV can write!

    I have a very short attention span lately …

    Be back later … a gray and brown squirrel are fighting just outside my window … so cool.

  10. Perry Gaskill says:

    Personally, I see a lot of moving parts to this starting with the fact that when Hillary Clinton lost the election to President Trump, she refused to bow out gracefully. Instead, she announced that she was going to join the #Resistance and apparently do everything possible to throw sand in the gears of the current administration. This put a high-level stamp of approval on the idea that if you don’t get your way, it’s okay to throw a tantrum.

    An additional consideration is that the throwing of political tantrums can now be a lucrative business. Current laws make it almost trivial to set up a non-profit NGO and use it to collect funds. Mikey Weinstein and his anti-Christian crusade mentioned on TAH in the past is a typical example. One of the eco-rad political moves put in play last month was the draft of a bulk mail letter targeted at members of Congress. According to the letter, it was supported by 626 mostly environmental NGOs that most people have likely never heard of, we are all going to die soon unless fossil fuels are eliminated entirely and immediately:

    Wag the dog.

    Something else that shouldn’t be discounted, like the old New Yorker cartoon, is the idea that on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. One of the things to come out of the Mueller probe, for example, is that Russian election interference has often been in the form of advertising designed to disrupt the normal discourse. The anonymity of current social media also means that grassroots-level discussions can be hijacked not only by sociopathic trolls, but also by agents of a hostile nation-state working an agenda.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I just love it when these clowns weep and wail and pound their little fists on the table, forgetting entirely that the things they think are wunnaful (like wind turbines) are the very things that will kill off the critters of all kinds that eat disease-carrying insects and rodents, and other unpleasant things.

      • Perry Gaskill says:

        Ex, there’s that, but for what it’s worth, the link to the climate change NGOs wasn’t intended to go off topic from VOV’s original post. The main purpose was actually to demonstrate that as few as one person can establish an NGO and attempt to portray it as some sort of SJW “movement” instead of what it actually is, which often amounts to part of a jobs program for the anonymous and perpetually discontented with a lot of free time.

  11. Slow Joe says:

    VoV doesn’t understand that it is not us, it is them, the lefty crowd, that does not want to compromise.

    Personally, I am way pass bipartisanship, and I see as the only possible goal to defeat them at the pols.

    So I refuse to compromise the principles of free market, small government, and our constitutional freedoms, with these people, who only seek the destruction of America as founded.

    They started this.

  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    Good article, VOV. Keep it up.

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      Thank you Ex…trying to keep things interesting where I can…I tend to wander a bit from time, my interests in the state of the union drives me around different thoughts and issues of the day at times. Sometimes for the good, and sometimes not so good.

      Appreciate the kind words from you and so many others here at TAH. It’s rather humbling that more than a few take the time to consider my thoughts.

  13. Jeffery Monroe says:

    That Lowlife POS Maxine The Marxist Waters Said We All Should Not watch STOU Maybe She Should Take Care Of Her District Infested With Rats Fleases and Typhus

  14. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    “America will never be a Socialist nation”

    Donald J Trump

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      “America will never be a Socialist nation [unless those idiots in white seated here have their way.]”

  15. OWB says:

    With all due respect to VoV, whose article here is GREAT, this seems like the best place to go somewhat off topic.

    That was, without an iota of doubt, the greatest SotU address I ever heard or saw. In every way. I have listened to/watched every one of them since sometime in the mid 60’s except for a stray one or two here and there due to being deployed, at work or some such.

    When he had the opposition standing and cheering – wow, just wow. Masterful.

    And, yeah, That was MY president speaking. He wasn’t my first choice, or even my second choice, but he did us all proud tonight.

    Amen, Mr. President.

  16. Mike MacDonald says:

    When I hear “not my President”, I am quick to add, “it’s national nacho day, Hillary is still nacho President!”

  17. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    With the Donk governor of Virginia caught posing in sheet-head attire, having a bunch of Donks dress up in white for the State of the Union was remarkably tone-deaf.

    Trump played the Donks like fish on several occasions.

    He also threw several gauntlets in faces. Bigly

    And the Speaker often looked like a poster for “Report stroke F.A.S.T!”.

  18. JohnB says:

    The historical American nation is dead and has already been replaced by an unstable multiracial, multicultural empire. The divisions are racial and permanent. Central Americans, Africans, and others are not capable, on the whole, of building or maintaining an advanced society and if they want to have a semblance of a first world lifestyle they must vote to sponge off of those who can (and they vote their hate as well). It’s this solid, racial, anti-white immigrant vote that has allowed the rise of the far left. They increasingly don’t have to worry, even when they fail, about a backlash from the so-called (white) Silent Majority. Comparisons to the politics of the past are irrelevant. The “Greatest Generation” (puke) doomed America by setting it up to be invaded, conquered, and destroyed. It was they who passed all the radical legislation that wrecked historical and Constitutional America, particularly “immigration reform.” These people pretty much ruled this country until the 1990s.

    All of which brings me to something I’ve always wondered about blogs like this – what the hell is the point? Third-world population = third-world nation = third-world military. All this GI Joe stuff is going to come to an end once the political effects of open borders truly kick in. Texas will go blue and that’s the end of the Republicans as a national political party. The military pays a lot of lip service to diversity and tolerance but the reality is that they have kept the leadership remarkably white, in contrast to other government agencies in which blacks and other minorities are grossly over-represented as a form of welfare for the reason I wrote about above. That’s because it matters. But they won’t be able to do this for much longer. Not only will the military be less competent at all levels but the sort of society that elects Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t going to be very interested in spending a lot of money on the military or fighting brown people across the world. Of course you can still be interested in the (mostly non-existent) threats of today, just as the German army mentioned in the post was once intensely interested in defending the Rhine, but in the not-so-long run isn’t it all a bit futile? You’re dying for Vietnamization.

  19. Not my president? Well Obama was not my idea of presidential. He was and is a fool but he was the president for eight years. Did I like it? NO. But in every discussion, election, fistfight, traffic accident someone comes out second place. Children who boo the winning team eventually figger that out after we teach them sportsmanship. Our kids are not learning that maybe because Daddy or Mommy never took a switch to them when they disobeyed. Time outs. Bullshit! When I mouthed off because I did not like what my father did I suddenly heard his belt slapping thru his beltloops in preparation for a not so gentle stroping of my butt. Uh oh I came out second place in that ‘discussion’. I often did not come in first in the 100 yard dash often because some black guy outran me. I did not mouth off to him because it was obviously could not get away from him and I might come out second in that discussion too. But now we give first place medals to all that compete. No wonder neither kids or adults know how honorable it is to run in the race, first or not. What ever happened to the loyal opposition. We owe our inability to accept second (a loss?) in our public schools where everyone is a winner all the time—where there are no arguments, where little boys cannot have a fight with another little boy because then both parties get thrown out for a week. No more ‘battle ball’ where it was an honor to be the last guy standing and have the shit battered out of him by the other team until the coach called it off. In the Marine Corps I loved pugil stick fights even though I generally got the crap beat out of me. Why? Because after winning one fight, evenly matched, my next opponent was always larger, then larger until I eventually lost. Losing teaches. These losses never made me cheat, lie or steal anything from the victors. Loyal opposition. In high school, touch football, I was assigned opposite a friend of mine at least fifty pounds heavier. I thought he would not hit me, his much smaller friend, hard. Well he bounced my ignorant ass into the next county. The lesson of that lesson was great. Big Ed was a lifelong friend and the lesson I learned that day, however painful, probably saved my bacon, maybe even my life, several times over the years.

    Moral to that story is that losers should just try harder next time. They will win if they get better, not if their opposition gets worse.

  20. LCpl Rhodes says:

    I’m just glad Trump backed off his promise to pull out of Syria. Anti-war liberal snowflakes were cheering in the streets over that shit. If I wanted a pussy President that didn’t have the courage to stick to victory, I would have voted Democrat. I hope the wars continue forever.