We Need to Boot the Neocons

Don’t get conned by the Neocons.

That should be a campaign slogan somewhere. Most Americans probably wouldn’t get it, but unfortunately most Americans have already been conned by the Neocons.

In both parties.

If you talk to people who have been around American politics for some time, they’ll tell you the Neocons weren’t much of a problem until the late 1970s.

Sure, they were around, but they were an almost insignificant minority in American politics, a bunch of disaffected liberals who wanted to go expand the American empire at all costs.

Their ardent Cold Warrior streak appealed to both conservatives and even some on the left. And they embraced at least the framework of the Great Society and the Civil Rights Movement.

You could say the same thing about many establishment Republicans beginning in the 1930s. Alf Landon’s 1936 presidential run didn’t look much different from Franklin Roosevelt’s. Landon even supported the Great Society later in life.

But the Neocons didn’t start playing much of a role in the general government until Ronald Reagan won in 1980. They were around in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but Reagan rolled out the red carpet, particularly after Mel Bradford was snubbed for an appointment to the NEH.

The Neocons always had a nose for power. That is their primary objective, even to this day.

Once embedded in Washington, they began dolling out federal grants and positions of power to their allies which allowed them to take over many of the important “intellectual” positions in the growing “conservative movement.”

One thing that made the neocons attractive to others on the right was their glowing support for Abraham Lincoln and the 1860s Republican Party. You see, only Southern conservatives (a group that has always been the real conservative backbone in America) found fault with “Honest Abe.” Old libertarians joined hands with their Southern brethren, but most other critics of “big government” thought St. Abraham was their patron saint, and they were willing to die on that hill.

They still are.

And that matters. You can’t conserve “conservatism” by supporting a 19th century leftist revolution. That will always circle back to the “remaking of America” in the 1860s.

That includes foreign policy, an area where he Neocons live and breathe.

They have never seen a war they didn’t like, particularly to “make the world safe for democracy.”

And now as Ron Unz points out in this superb piece, they are the establishment in both parties.

They dominate American foreign and domestic policy.

If we want to rid ourselves of the Neocons, we have to rid ourselves of their worthless 19th century progressive ideology. And that includes singing hosannas to Honest Abe.

I discuss Unz’s piece on Episode 816 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

We Should Listen to George Kennan

American foreign policy is a mess and has been since the early 1950s.

If we listened to George Kennan, that would not be the case.

Kennan is famously responsible for the “containment doctrine” following World War II, meaning that the United States should contain communism to the areas where it already existed.

Taken to its extreme, this involved the United States in several hot wars and extensive foreign adventurism during the last half of the twentieth century.

But Kennan was not responsible for the expansion of “containment” or “containment in action.” In fact, he worried that American foreign policy became far too militaristic and aggressive.

He also correctly understood that the American economy had become dependent on the “military industrial complex.”

The left needs the welfare state and the right needs the warfare state.

In both instances, we have a private/public cooperative that props up the economy.

If anyone thinks we are living in the free market, they are delusional.

Progressive “conservatives” like government spending as much as progressive leftists.

Those on the right want the “guns” while the left wants the “butter.”

The establishment likes guns and butter.

We get inflation and oppressive centralization along with a society dependent on government spending and easy credit.

Kennan predicted all of this. He also thought secession should be on the table.

We should have listened to George Kennan.

I discuss Kennan on Episode 815 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Is Secession Workable?

With secession becoming a much more relevant topic in 2023, the question then becomes can it work?

Syracuse Professor Ryan Griffiths studies the topic from a global perspective. He thinks secession can and does work, but not in the United States.

Yet, this is an amazing development. Griffiths doesn’t use the same tired arguments that secession is illegal or the War settled it.


He just doesn’t think the United States has the right cultural ingredients for it to work.

We can quibble about that point, but I love it that a mainstream academic has abandoned the tired Lincolnian arguments that come from Righteous Cause Mythologists.

Griffiths even produced a college level textbook on secession.

That would have been impossible two decades ago.

This means three things:

1. Secessionists need to be taken seriously.

2. “Decentralization” education is working.

3. The Righteous Cause Myth is facing a decline.

Griffiths also argues that the real solution for American political problems can be found in federalism.

This may also be true, as I’ve argued for a long time.

Regardless, secession and decentralization is now becoming mainstream, and that is a beautiful thing.

I discuss Griffiths’s piece on Episode 814 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Do We Need a Barbarian to Save Us From Barbarians?

What do you get when you mix the superhero complex with Lincolnian nationalism?

This piece at The American Thinker.

What we need, according to this pseudonymous writer, is a good barbarian to save us from the bad barbarians.

Someone like, say, Donald Trump.

We’ve been here before. If only we could get our guy in office, the guy who will mean Tweet, take it to the left, and punish them by draining the swamp.

How did that work out?

When you try to clean out Washington from Washington, you’re going to fail.

But wait, maybe Trump wasn’t hard enough on these people. Nope. He needed to be more like Patton and LeMay, two men willing to bomb the enemy into oblivion, literally.

Many conservatives have embraced this mentality. If you can’t beat them, eliminate them.

Except what happens when we don’t have the political nuke codes and the nuclear football? Which, by the way, is going to be most of the time with current demographics.

Do we want the other side using the same tactics against us?

They sometimes do. Big government has always been about punishing your enemies.

Fortunately, it’s not as bad as it could be.

This is why I continually hammer “think locally, act locally.” Do you think people in Florida are as worried about President Brandon?

Same for the citizens of Alabama.

I don’t think much about Biden. If your State is on the right track, your life looks pretty good.

Take care of your family first, your community second, and your State third, and thinks will look up.

If you can’t live the way you want in your State, try to get out.

But never, I mean NEVER, think that voting for a better U.S. Rep, Senator, or President is going to change much of anything long term.

It has to happen at home.

I discuss this silly piece on Episode 813 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Lincoln Wasn’t Conservative

Tim Scott has announced he’s thinking about running for president.

We’re at that point in American politics. Let everyone know you are “thinking about it” so you can raise money.

A lot of money. We will be in the “billion dollar” campaign territory very soon.

Scott’s first fundraising video was filmed at Ft. Sumter.

You see, Scott argues that Ft. Sumter defined American history because this is where the bad guys eventually lost.

Lincoln saved the day and the United States became the proposition nation.

“Conservatives” have been using this selling point for several decades.

And it’s stupid.

You know how we know this? Because leftists know that Lincoln and the Republicans weren’t conservative.

Take this Scott hit piece at The New Yorker.

From the piece:

“The Confederacy, of course, was the most profoundly conservative political movement in U.S. history. Its spokesmen constantly evoked ancient and early modern precedents — from the slave-based “democracy” of Athens to the aristocratic Cavaliers of the English Civil War and the enslaving founders of our own republic. But claiming the violent suppression of the Confederacy for conservatives isn’t Scott’s only 180-degree departure from reality.”

Now, the progressives can’t wait to equate conservative with slavery, but the piece correctly identifies the conservative nature of the South and their rock solid understanding of history. It was the progressive Lincoln and the radical Republicans that stood apart from history.

By trying to make the 1860s Republicans “conservative,” the West Coast Straussians and their infectious intellectual disease have destroyed American conservatism. That is where Scott gets this nonsense.

But don’t fear. This is why you listen to my show.

As usual, I destroy the bad Straussian arguments on Episode 812 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

What is “Nationalism”?

I’ve spent a lot of time on my show railing against American “nationalism.”


Simply put, it’s one of the most pernicious myths in American history. There never has been an American “nation.”

This expertly development narrative only appeared after the War. Granted, Americans used the terms “nation” and “one people” prior to the War, but everyone knew that this was an attempt by “innovative” opportunists to make America into something it wasn’t, a consolidated government.

Lincoln just batted cleanup during the War.

Besides, “nationalism” and “patriotism” are two distinct “isms.”

The latter is vital for a free people and a vibrant political culture. It reflects a love of land, home, family, and place, not the worship of some fabricated place or an abstract government sealed by borders.

Southerners were patriotic during the War, as were some Northerners (particularly Democrats who opposed the War), but going off to fight to maintain a “government” or to force a region and a people you do not possess to bend to your will is not patriotism.

We must also dispense with the idea that Northerners were committed “nationalists” at any point before the War. Their goal was simple: sectional domination.

As Charles Sumner consistently chirped, he wanted to make America New England.

That isn’t real “nationalism” and it certainly isn’t “patriotism.”

Either way, our current political discourse has involved a lot of talk about nationalism.

This piece at Law and Liberty attempts to define the word
. I don’t think it does a very good job, but at least the author shows that “nationalism” has become worthless as a useful political term.

I discuss the topic on Episode 810 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Are We Headed for a “French Revolution” in America?

Victor Davis Hanson thinks we are headed for a “French Revolution” in America.

He is rightly worried about the culture war, but like all Lincolnites, Hanson does not understand that we’ve already had a “French Revolution.”

It took place between 1861-1865.

This is why I constantly say if you wish to “conserve” Lincolnian Republicanism, you are conserving a leftist revolution.

Leftists are starting to lean into this narrative.

They call the Constitution after the 14th Amendment the 1868 Constitution as opposed to the original Constitution.

They know they own it, and American “conservatives” who argue that Lincoln was, in fact, a conservative don’t have much evidence.

The 1860s Republicans called their opponents “conservatives.”

If we correctly view the 1860s as a revolution, then we would understand that the South was the last section in America attempting to resist the centralizing forces of the nineteenth century.

American conservatism has to be based on the Southern tradition or it never existed.

Yes, there were Northern conservatives, and some were interesting like Fisher Ames and some of the New England secessionists, but the real center of American conservatism was located south of the Mason Dixon.

Everyone knew it, even in the antebellum period.

Regardless, Hanson’s essay made for great Podcast fodder, so I cover it on Episode 809 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Do We Need a Bigger Congress?

If anyone thinks they have adequate representation in Congress, they are either clueless or rich.

Maybe both, because the only “people” represented in Congress are corporations, special interest groups, and political action committees.

In other words, not you.

In fact, the representative ratio in Congress is somewhere around 750,000:1.

When the Constitution was written in 1787, George Washington insisted that for good “republican” government, we needed a representative ratio of 30,000:1.

This has been a problem for a long time, but because most Americans are functionally illiterate and lack basic knowledge of American government, we think “the people” are still in charge.

Progressives are starting to take notice.

This is good and bad.

You see, they think every issue needs to be settled at the “national” level and therefore want to add more members to the House of Representatives.


But the real solution isn’t expanding the House or reforming Congress.

It’s federalism and the original Constitution.

If Congress only handled issues of a “general” concern, like commerce and defense, we could live with a 435 member House.

They would be virtually irrelevant.

And the people of the States would have greater control over the issues that matter most. Every State, even California, has a better representative ratio than the United States Congress.

But this issue always makes for great Podcast fodder, so I discuss it on Episode 808 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

A Mainstream Conservative Praises Calhoun?

Maybe we are winning.

When a mainstream conservative can write glowingly about John C. Calhoun
, perhaps the Straussian smear tactics against the man aren’t having the desired effect.


This helps American conservatism.

I know the other argument. Calhoun was a racist. How can we support that?

This is a stupid argument made by historically ignorant and stupid people.

You could probably count on two hands the number of prominent people who weren’t racists in the 19th century.

And that list doesn’t include St. Abraham or Burn ‘Em All Billy Sherman.

Calhoun was arguably the most important and original American political thinker of the nineteenth century.

His prognostications about the Union and the nature of democracy and the Constitution have been proven correct too many times to count.

Of course, SLAVERY!

When you can’t win the argument, use pejoratives.

Calhoun thought a dual presidency might be a good idea. He also favored checks on simple “numerical majorities” in order to protect minority rights.

That is why “conservatives” despise the man. They can’t see that American conservatives are, in fact, a numerical majority that needs protection. When all you care about are progressive talking points, you are going to lose the war. They think of “minorities” in 1960s terms.

We don’t live in 1960s America and the “silent majority” isn’t the majority any longer.

Calhoun, of course, did not favor this type of system at the State level, because the States were the check on unconstitutional federal power. His focus was always on the impact of one section plundering the other.

Either way, the fact that a real mainstream conservative penned an article in a mainstream conservative publication praising Calhoun is noteworthy.

Keep it going.

I discuss the article on Episode 804 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

The Truth About the Iranian Hostage Crisis

During the 1980 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Ronald Reagan continually hammered President Jimmy Carter for being too soft on communism and too weak in the Middle East.

He was on to something with the Reds, though you could make a case that Carter wasn’t really aware of how many commies were floating around D.C.

But the charge against Carter’s policies in the Middle East were based on several brewing problems in the region and amplified by the Iranian hostage crisis.

For nearly a year, Americans had been held by the Iranian government, and Carter seemed unable to bring them home.

That was supposed to be the “October Surprise.” Carter would secure the release of the hostages in time to win the 1980 election.

Except it never happened, and according to a new bombshell accusation, the Reagan campaign is the reason.

This was an open secret in D.C., but no one had any conclusive proof. Congress investigated. A major book charged the Reagan team with underhanded activities. But no one could find a smoking gun.

Lips were sealed and pinky promises were made. It probably helped that the C.I.A. was potentially involved. No one crosses them and lives to tell about it.

At least one Republican who really wanted to be in the administration made sure Reagan would not be undercut by Carter. Former Texas Governor John Connally took a little trip to the Middle East during the election to let it be known that Reagan would cut a better deal for the hostages than Carter.

It worked. Carter lost, Reagan immediately capitulated to the Iranian demands once he was sworn in and the hostages came home.

This was his first glorious victory as President, and Reagan took a victory lap.

Zero evidence exists that Reagan knew exactly what was happening, but he probably knew something, just not enough to destroy deniability. But these decisions weren’t make in a vacuum.

At the very least, his team knew what they were doing.

And Jimmy Carter paid the price. This does not mean Carter would have won had the hostages come home. He was defeated in a landslide, but the hostage crisis didn’t help his chances.

We like to think of politics as a principled game where people run on the issues and are upright members of society who want to do what is right for “the people.”

If they are in politics, think twice.

I discuss this new hostage crisis revelation on Episode 803 of The Brion McClanahan Show.