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Clyde Wilson


Clyde N. Wilson is a contributing editor to Chronicles. A retired professor of history at the University of South Carolina, he is the author of numerous books, including Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew and Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. He is the editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun.

  • The Treasury of Virtue

    By Clyde Wilson | February 20, 2019
    "Contrary to widespread belief, evidence is accumulating that Western democracy is in continuous and serious decline," writes Claes Ryn in the opening of this eloquent, concise, and hard-hitting manifesto that goes immediately to the heart of our times.
  • The Life of an 'Old Republican'

    By Clyde Wilson | January 24, 2019
    Nathaniel Macon (Dec. 17, 1758-June 29, 1837), "Old Republican" statesman, the foremost public man of North Carolina in the early 19th century, was the sixth child of Gideon and Priscilla (Jones) Macon and was born at his father's plantation on Shocco Creek in what later became Warren County.
  • A Few Modest Suggestions for the Trump Administration

    By Clyde Wilson | September 06, 2016
    A few modest suggestions to keep President Trump and his team busy for the first 100 days.
  • Oh, Donald, Say It Ain’t So

    By Clyde Wilson | July 15, 2016
    Donald Trump has done his country great service by simply telling the truth, tearing a few holes in the great fabric of lies that makes up American public discourse. The American people have responded to his boldness and independence.
  • America Today: From Sea to Shining Sea

    By Clyde Wilson | February 16, 2016
    All but a few of the baker’s dozen contenders for the Republican presidential nomination advocate warlike measures against Russia, Syria, and Iran. Consequences are not discussed.
  • A VP For Trump?

    By Clyde Wilson | February 01, 2016
    If Trump should actually get the Republican presidential nomination, then the question arises of his Vice-President-to-be. Of course, we should not count our chips before the last hand.
  • More Annals of the Stupid Party

    By Clyde Wilson | January 04, 2016
    Will the Establishment hold their collective aristocratic noses and support Ted Cruz to cancel Trump? Cruz is intelligent, unlike the aforementioned, which means he is able to perceive reality and change.
  • Democracy in Action 3

    By Clyde Wilson | December 02, 2015
    Government is always about managing things for the rich. It makes no difference if you call it “democracy.”
  • Democracy in Action 2

    By Clyde Wilson | December 01, 2015
    Why is it that every time Muslims kill a bunch of people and declare it is because they are fulfilling their religion, the government tells us Islam is peaceable and we should import more of it?
  • Democracy in Action

    By Clyde Wilson | November 30, 2015
    How is it that the owners of big media and their lackeys control public discourse, but nobody ever voted for them? We don’t even know who most of them are.
  • More Maxims of American Life

    By Clyde Wilson | November 11, 2015
    Some maxims of American life: Abraham Lincoln was a kind and merciful man with good will towards all.
  • Maxims of American Life

    By Clyde Wilson | November 09, 2015
    People love us for our good intentions when we tell them to be like us. If a few bad ones resist we can bomb them. We must be right because after every war our enemies want to move to the U.S.
  • The Way We Are Now (with apologies to Anthony Trollope)

    By Clyde Wilson | August 06, 2015
    Americans are more upset by the killing of a wild beast in Africa than they are by chopping up babies and selling their parts.
  • The Dream Ticket

    By Clyde Wilson | July 13, 2015
    The run-up to the Presidential sweepstakes for 2016 is not very exciting so far. There are so many Republican wannabes that it is hard to keep track of them all.
  • Don’t Look Any Further—Mr. Republican Has Been Found!

    By Clyde Wilson | April 03, 2015
    Republicans have not been too happy lately looking over the long row of their Presidential wannabes. It is almost embarrassing—so many outstanding candidates.
  • A Day to Remember

    By Clyde Wilson | January 19, 2015
    Today, January 19, is a memorable date, the birthday of one of the greatest of all Americans. He was born in Tidewater Virginia in 1807.
  • More Things the Republican Congress Will NOT do

    By Clyde Wilson | November 10, 2014
    Some more things the Republicans in Congress will not do.
  • What the Republican Congress Will NOT Do

    By Clyde Wilson | November 07, 2014
    A brief list of issues the Republican Congress will not do not that they have the majority.
  • Goodbye, Bill Quirk. Jefferson Forever.

    By Clyde Wilson | September 24, 2014
    William J. Quirk, long-time professor of law at the University of South Carolina and a writer very familiar to Chronicles readers, passed away on September 22.
  • Weasel Words

    By Clyde Wilson | July 09, 2014
    Dr. Fleming, Mr. Cadfael, and now Mr. Navrozov in recent posts have opened a fruitful discussion of the American tendency to debase the language with prettified terms in order to disguise reality and enforce conformity of thought.
  • Carolina, I Hardly Know You

    By Clyde Wilson | June 17, 2014
    In the primary of June 10, the Republican voters of South Carolina gave a comfortable victory to Lindsay Graham, one of the most notorious and repulsive of the current “invade the world, invite the world” brand of U.S. Senators. Friends from elsewhere have questioned me repeatedly: how could this happen in such a traditionally conservative state?
  • Random Thoughts on Evolution

    By Clyde Wilson | June 05, 2014
    It is well to remember that ruling powers never exercise censorship to suppress falsehoods. They often themselves perpetrate falsehoods they find useful and are indifferent to others.
  • Weep for California

    By Clyde Wilson | May 10, 2014
    California, once the American Mecca of milk and honey, has fallen on hard times.
  • What is History?

    By Clyde Wilson | April 30, 2014
    As a kind of belated conclusion to my "What is History?" series, I quote myself—with a few ideas about “history” that I have promulgated from time to time.
  • It Won’t Be Long Now . . .

    By Clyde Wilson | March 26, 2014
    Those who are still addicted to the useless and indeed pernicious vice of following U.S. politics—let me urge you to go into recovery now. The habit of abstinence must be well-established soon or you will be tempted by the hoopla of the 2016 Presidential sweepstakes.
  • Liberalsim and Its Discontents

    By Clyde Wilson | March 24, 2014
    Barack Hussein Obama’s triumphal progress to the presidential mansion was fueled by the utopian sentimentality that dominates the political thinking of large segments of the U.S. population.
  • Guvment Lookin’ Out for Me and You

    By Clyde Wilson | March 05, 2014
    Recently I ordered a bit of merchandise from a Carolina town about 30 miles away. It took some time to arrive. With a little research I discovered that the package had been sent by the USPS to Baltimore! And then to Charlotte, 90 miles from its destination and 120 miles from it place of shipping.
  • Who's the Boss?

    By Clyde Wilson | February 25, 2014
    The local “authorities” and the corporate media have tried to hide and then minimize the facts, but the blessed “alternative” sources got the news out. In the urban county just over the river, the sheriff’s department has been having “joint maneuvers” with elite Army units from Fort Bragg.
  • Who Decided? And When Did They Decide?

    By Clyde Wilson | February 20, 2014
    That collecting “the wretched refuse of the earth” was a good thing for the country? (Certainly, the Founders of the U.S. did not think so.)
  • State of the Union

    By Clyde Wilson | January 30, 2014
    There will be no master historian in the future, but if there was such a one, he or she would find a great subject in explaining the decline and fall of the American Empire.
  • Forlorn Hopes

    By Clyde Wilson | November 23, 2013
    . . . The American people ever understanding that government debt does not exist to cover necessary expenditures but to provide risk-free, tax-free income to capitalists.
  • Relax: It's Under Control

    By Clyde Wilson | October 22, 2013
    We have the best armed forces in the world. We can blow up poorly armed peasants on the other side of the world who threaten our freedom. We can even blow them up before they threaten our freedom.
  • Enormities and Other Irritations

    By Clyde Wilson | September 26, 2013
    Presumably like every live being in the U.S. 65 or older, I recently received from the government a 152-page paperback book explaining to me the glories and the ins and outs of Medicare. Being of a perverse nature, I became interested in the numerous photographs of happy Medicare recipients and caregivers that were spread through the book to spice up the text. Of the people pictured, 23 are black, 17 are white, and 14 are Asian. There is one who might be Hispanic and one who might be a Nativ
  • Looking for Mr. Republican

    By Clyde Wilson | September 13, 2013
    As is to be expected in an organization devoted to selling products, all the instincts of such men are commercial rather than political. They avoid confrontation and dogma, which would be taken by too many Americans as not nice and because they really have nothing to argue for.
  • History and the Mime

    By Clyde Wilson | September 09, 2013
    Anything not older than a half century past is not history but current events, a fact often lost on Hollywood. So perhaps we should be grateful for these two interesting though flawed dramatizations of the World War II era.
  • Pardon, Sam: A Slight Amendment

    By Clyde Wilson | August 09, 2013
    Our lamented friend Sam Francis scored big when he labeled the Democrats as “the evil party” and the Republicans as “the stupid party.” These telling characterizations have appealed to many later observers, as have other of Sam’s apt phrases, like “anarchotyranny.” Sam was always in earnest but his comments were often laced with humour.
  • The Revolution Is

    By Clyde Wilson | June 24, 2013
    It is all too easy to get lost in the hurly-burly of contemporary politics, which is mostly about appetite, and miss larger and more fundamental changes that are taking place.
  • Film Review: The Sweeney

    By Clyde Wilson | June 18, 2013
    Dr. Clyde Wilson reviews The Sweeney, directed by Nick Love.
  • Home Truths Again

    By Clyde Wilson | June 14, 2013
    The previous Republican President and his accomplices are war criminals. So the first Republican President and the probably last Republican President were war criminals.
  • More Random Home Truths

    By Clyde Wilson | April 25, 2013
    The federal takeover of education and medicine a half-century ago, known as “the Great Society,” has been a colossal failure if its goal was a better society. It has, however, made a lot of people richer than they were and provided politicians with endless opportunities for benevolent posturing, bribery, and patronage. Maybe that was its real goal all along.
  • Home Truths Again

    By Clyde Wilson | April 15, 2013
    The U.S. Constitution is a dead letter except for some procedural matters. Nobody with high political power knows or cares anything about it—especially Supreme Court justices.
  • Some Things to Think About

    By Clyde Wilson | March 04, 2013
    Morally responsible people sacrifice in the present to invest in the future. Irresponsible people impoverish the future to enjoy more of the present. Which describes the United States today?
  • So Much for Democracy

    By Clyde Wilson | February 20, 2013
    Americans seem to think that they are citizens of a self-governing democracy. Find out why that is not possible in the current regime.
  • The Drone of Conquest

    By Clyde Wilson | February 18, 2013
    There has been considerable discussion lately about the federal government’s potential use of the U.S. Army against American citizen civilians. It might be worth a moment to pause and remember February 17, 1865.
  • More Fallacies

    By Clyde Wilson | February 08, 2013
    Here are some more dubious ideas that are taken for granted as true in American public discourse.
  • Fallacies

    By Clyde Wilson | January 28, 2013
    Probably all societies work better with a certain quantity of comfortable delusions, but America seems to operate with nothing but delusions. Large policies have been and continue to be based on an imaginary view of the world which trumps common sense.
  • Election Explained

    By Clyde Wilson | December 14, 2012
    Dr. Wilson explains the 2012 election (and the next one as well).
  • Did You Ever Think You Would See ... ?

    By Clyde Wilson | November 05, 2012
    Questions for people of my venerable age or even younger, down to about 50.
  • More Dubious Notions

    By Clyde Wilson | November 01, 2012
    It is theoretically possible to design a national medical system that is fair, workable, and affordable. However, Congresspersons, who are owned by drug and insurance corporations, will never enact such a system.
  • Doubtful Notions

    By Clyde Wilson | October 15, 2012
    ”Fighting does not solve anything.” A saw made up to persuade people toward pacifism. In fact, the only potential virtue possessed by fighting is that it sometimes does solve things.
  • Which Ones are the Enemy?

    By Clyde Wilson | September 18, 2012
    For Southerners, the hatred of so many of their “fellow Americans” comes so steadily and predictably that it is usually best simply to ignore it and let the heathen rage.
  • The One Over the Water

    By Clyde Wilson | August 28, 2012
    The latest scandal among the British royals will doubtless reenergize the long-running argument over the usefulness of monarchy in these times.
  • It's All Over

    By Clyde Wilson | May 18, 2012
  • A Fatal Blow

    By Clyde Wilson | September 02, 2011
    Alas, Tea Partiers, you may as well fold your tents and quietly leave the field. Salon (a website that apparently caters to members and would-be members of the national elite) has given your movement the coup de grace. They have uncovered the cruel truth that your movement is a "Southern" movement.
  • Strange Doings

    By Clyde Wilson | August 08, 2011
    Awhile back the folks out in Seattle got in a dudgeon when they learned that their county, King, was named after William R.D. King, who was elected Vice-President in 1852. They wanted the world to know that the county was ever after to be considered as named for The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Unsolved Mysteries

    By Clyde Wilson | August 01, 2011
    I have always been amazed at the sub-intellectual process by which liberals all know at almost the same time and in the same form what they are supposed to think. It is amazing.
  • Democracy's Dictionary (With Apologies to Ambrose Bierce)

    By Clyde Wilson | July 19, 2011
    Democratic Elections: When the rulers permit the voters to keep on voting until they get it right.
  • More and More Ugly Questions

    By Clyde Wilson | July 11, 2011
    How much “diversity” can the West absorb before it is no longer the West and thus ceases to be a haven for people escaping their own non-Western "cultures"—which they bring with them?
  • Even More Ugly Questions

    By Clyde Wilson | July 08, 2011
    Does television corrupt American morals or do American morals corrupt television? If there had never been any racist, sexist, homophobes, would the United States exist to give affirmative action to minorities?
  • More Ugly Questions

    By Clyde Wilson | June 30, 2011
    Isn’t a great example of bipartisan statesmanship that all our leaders got together to save “our” economy by giving billions to the New York banks and stock speculators?
  • What This Country Needs

    By Clyde Wilson | June 28, 2011
    A Presidential contender who has once in his life done something that is truly worthwhile, notable, patriotic, or unselfish.
  • The Return of the Mossback—With a Few Ugly Questions

    By Clyde Wilson | June 22, 2011
    Do you look forward to living in a majority nonwhite country, which the U.S. is predicted to be in a few decades? Will you take a lie detector test about this?
  • Three Score and Ten: A Meditation

    By Clyde Wilson | June 09, 2011
    Well, Old Man, 70 today. Who’d have thought? And still in pretty good condition, considering how little care I have taken of the old carcass. I understand now how the accumulation of minor miseries in aging is mercifully designed to let us down slow and easy till we are ready.

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