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This Christmas I’ve been trying to find some glimpses of good cheer in a country that for decades, as Tom Piatak, wrote earlier this month, is far more Pottersville than Bedford Falls, even under national Republicans. Maybe especially under national Republicans.
But something we still have, if we can keep it, is freedom of religion and the press. That’s no longer true in Canada and most of Europe, where politically correct speech codes severely censor what people say, even in the pulpit.
One cheerful thing is Chronicles magazine, which I have read for more than 30 years, and for which I have written for five. When each new issue plops in the mail box, I head for a café and spend a couple hours reading, a real pleasure.
Since at least the mid-1980s, Chronicles was about the only publication warning of the immigration crisis. I actually wrote a letter to it in the fall of 1987 backing liberal border laws. A couple of years later I changed my position. Unlike some people, I’m not afraid to alter how I think when the evidence points in a different direction. I actually enjoy having a debate in my head over what is the right stance. I’m not talking about doubting a dogma, such as the Trinity; but a political or social opinion.
Why did I change my mind? One thing was reading a lot of Chronicles articles on the problems of uncontrolled immigration. Another was Pat Buchanan’s articles, some in Chronicles, and his political campaigns, all of which I supported. Even though I always have been non-partisan, I briefly registered to vote as a Republican in 1992 and 1996, and for the Reform Party in 2000, to vote for Pat in the primaries.
A third factor was just living in California, Ground Zero for uncontrolled immigration. Politically, immigrants vote about 70 percent Democratic. Republicans, as mentioned above, are less then worthless at the national level, enacting their obsession with global wars and Pottersville financial plunder. But at the local level, Republicans often are the only thing preventing the Democratic Party from imposing socialism and Cultural Marxism. When modern Democrats (not the party of Truman, let alone Grover Cleveland) run things, you get massive tax increases, P.C. rules on everything and regulations that push up housing costs for the middle class – while Democrats’ constituents get Section 8 housing.
A second area where Chronicles shed light in the darkness was leading up to the 2001 Iraq War, when it warned of the impending disaster. A recent issue chronicled Chronicles’ opposition to the war before it started. That was at the same time Canadian David Frum, writing in National Review – a magazine grew up on in the late 1960s and 70s – branded right-wingers who opposed the war “unpatriotic conservatives.” His Enemies List included Chronicles Editor Thomas Fleming and contributors Buchanan, Justin Raimondo, Joseph Sobran and Sam Francis – the latter two no longer with us. Of course, now almost everyone concedes the war was a total disaster. And today’s unfolding horror of ISIS in Iraq, murdering what’s left of the country’s ancient Christian community that Bush’s war didn’t destroy, even has brought a new escalation with U.S. troops.
I was against the Iraq War from the beginning. But Chronicles’ incisive articles about the war helped inform the editorials I wrote for the Orange County Register, such as this one. Along with other Chronicles readers, I knew what really was going on with what the late Gen. William Odom warned was “the greatest strategic disaster in American history."
Finally, Chronicles loudly has sounded the alarums about the War on Christmas, such as this article by Piatak.
So how about making a donation to keep this great magazine growing and prospering, including its expanding presence on the Internet? The Donation Page reads:
“Since our founding in the bicentennial year of 1976, The Rockford Institute has worked to preserve the critical institutions of the Christian West: the family, the Church, and the rule of law; private property, free enterprise, and moral discipline; and high standards of learning, art, and literature.
“The Rockford Institute, publisher of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. We receive no money from government grants. Instead, we rely on you, our gracious donors, for operating expenses and to fund our programs.”
Click here to donate. The civilization you save may be your own
"When each new issue plops in the mail box, I head for a café and spend a couple hours reading, a real pleasure."
That's a sign of good reading material. You are part of that real leisure, or pleasure as you put it. I wish you and all the contributors a Merry Christmas. And yes I know, you appreciate the compliment but cash or checks are even better, and I will do that too. But the last thing without the first thing would be fraudulent and counterproductive to my small mind.
It matters not how tired I am, the day my copy of Chronicles comes in the mail, I read it cover to cover. I have saved every copy which I have received over the years. I attempt to engage relatives, friends and colleagues with the understandings and insights which Chronicles brings to me. That has proved not to be an easy task because most relatives, friends and colleagues are shadow conservatives as defined by Robert Dabney, men pointing with their shade to the past but dutifully and inexorably plodding along behind their master liberalism. I must admit that over most of might life I have been one of those conservative shades. Chronicles has proved to be an instrument by and with which I have begun my painful emancipation.
Chronicles is a blessing! My January issue arrived today - my early Christmas present.
In addition to supporting this wonderful enterprise directly, might I suggest choosing Chronicles as the charitable cause that some retailers will support when you buy from their website; I've done so with my Amazon purchases for awhile now. Since the disappearance of Borders and the movement of the remaining bookstores away from serious reading material, my reliance on internet purchases has only grown, sad to say, so at least if I can benefit the Rockford Institute my concession to modernism feels a bit less painful.
Robert of Mudville: Thank you so much. And I wish you, too, a Merry Christmas!
Robert of Coushatta: I appreciate your kinds words for Chronicles. I also have saved every issue, although finding them in my book-and-magazine-cluttered apartment is another matter!
Merry Christmas to all at Chronicles and the Rockford Institute and also to the wonderful folks down here in the comments section! I wish the best to all, and my contribution is on its way.
To comment on this article, please find it on the Chronicles Facebook page.