Your mind is a terrible thing to waste—which is what will happen if Chronicles and its web go under because of lack of support.
The election is over, and the Republicans have won their much predicted victory. It was only a matter of days before GOP legislators began to run away from the big issues: No action on Obamacare, no move to to stanch the festering wound that is our southern border and not even a word about slowing this country’s plummet into the moral abyss.
Most Chronicles readers will probably laugh out loud at the notion that this election settled anything: When did the Republicans last make a principled stand against the perpetual revolution that is destroying the moral and political institutions that underly our Western and Christian civilization?
The Republicans—including most “conservative” Republicans are as much responsible as the Democrats for the revolutionary crisis we have been sinking into since the 1930’s. No, Republicans did not launch most of the revolution against the good and the true, though they did, whenever possible, wrap themselves in the pious mantle of compassion, human rights, and women’s liberation. At its best, the Republican leadership has been saying to FDR, LBJ, the Clintons, and Barack Obama, “Not so fast. You can have your revolution, but slow down and give us time to take a breath before we go back to our shadowboxing opposition.”
I am not a political idealist. Politics is a rough game of interests and corruption, and I decided to vote, this time, against the party of Obama. Of course, I am aware that few of the politicians I voted for will lift a finger to do what needs to be done, but, I reasoned, at least they don’t hate the very sight of me and my family; at least they have not sworn an unholy oath to destroy all that is best in the American and European way of life.
The Republicans are stupid, corrupt, and indifferent to everyone who supports them except for the very rich. The Democrats, by contrast, openly hate our guts. They tell us we cannot shut the border with Mexico because that is cruel to aspiring Latin American immigrants who are trying to escape from the governments they have empowered, governments that reflect all too accurately the character of their people. For the same reason, they cannot close our border to visitors from West African countries with Ebola cases, because it is better that Americans should fear--and actually face--death than it is to deprive any of the President's fellow-Africans of the right (not the privilege) to come to America and sponge off the taxpayers.
It is a sick and crazy world that leaves us little room for naive illusions like progress, human rights, and freedom of religion, which always turns out to mean freedom from religion. If you want to go through life with a kick-me sign tattooed across your forehead, do not send us a contribution, drop your subscription to Chronicles, and stick to all those nice “conservative” go-along-to-get ahead publications, foundations, and websites that cannot seem to run fast enough into the arms of the left. (If you do not know the ones I mean, either count yourself fortunate or consider yourself branded as a fool.)
If Chronicles magazine and the Chronicles website were nothing but a voice crying in the wilderness, it would deserve your support, but that is only a part of what we do. Chronicles writers are in a very real sense the present embodiment of the great tradition. In the November issue we dissected the media-made political campaigns, but we followed it with an issue on Dante with articles written by people who actually know Italian, understand Dante, study Christian theology, and Medieval history. The current issue is one in a series of no-holds-barred discussions of immigration that began in 1989, when the kind of people who now run National Review and The Weekly Standard did everything they could to put us out of business.
They failed then and they have failed in every subsequent attack. That is because there are still a few courageous and intelligent readers who know that there is nowhere else where they can find the qualities that characterize Chronicles: a courageous (even reckless) devotion to truth and an informed respect for our cultural traditions?
For over half our budget, we depend on contributions from readers. Some day, if we survive the coming decades, you can look back and say proudly, “I did what I could to help.” Otherwise, you may find yourself explaining to your grandchildren why you had to give your money to your evil alma mater or squander it on upgrading your cable TV.
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Thomas Fleming is the former editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of The Politics of Human Nature, Montenegro: The Divided Land, and The Morality of Everyday Life, named Editors' Choice in philosophy by Booklist in 2005. He is the coauthor of The Conservative Movement and the editor of Immigration and the American Identity. He holds a Ph.D. in classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Before joining the Rockford Institute, he taught classics at the University of Miami of Ohio, served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education, and was headmaster at the Archibald Rutledge Academy. He has been published in, among others, The Spectator (London), Independent on Sunday (London), Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, Classical Journal, Telos, and Modern Age. He and his wife, Gail, have four children and four grandchildren.