I was born in a watershed year, 1945, a month after Japan surrendered. It was the year my country became an Accidental Superpower, as brilliantly described by Peter Zeihan in his prescient 2014 book. It’s sub-titled “The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder”, and as far as I’m concerned it’s spot on the money.
For almost 3/4 of a century we’ve lived in that postwar world described by Zeihan, and it’s coming apart as I write. You read about it on the internet every day. In Alaska, spring break up is a very big deal, as the whole state watches the ice on the Tanana River. This year breakup came just three weeks ago, and $267,000 was awarded to the winning guesses in the Nenana Ice Classic.
When the breakup of the postwar world order really hits, and the ice jams break, and the swollen river begins to send great chunks of ice careening downstream, the time will be right for a new order. But we’re not there yet, and contingencies abound. Unless we completely blow it, by the time a new order emerges, the U.S.A. will be sitting pretty. Geography, geology and American ingenuity will see to that.
1945 was also the year racism became not just wrong, but un-American. The Holocaust showed where racism could lead, even for an enlightened nation like Germany, and the American people, collectively, wouldn’t put up with it any more. In reaction, strident racist Strom Thurmond’s 1948 campaign for President was run on the States’ Rights ticket, and from then until now states rights has been code for racism.
It still is, in some quarters. The federal government may be the enemy to a lot of Americans, but it has to have a special place in the hearts of black Americans. It was the federal government that took on racist Governors like Orville Faubus and George Wallace, and it was the federal government that gave blacks in the South the right to vote and killed Jim Crow.
Racial justice and the federal government are still associated with each other, and that’s not going to change. But it’s been taken too far. Once the great civil rights advances were won, victory should have been declared and everybody could have gone about their business.
But an industry had been created, a lucrative one, and racial grievances are now big business. It’s a scab that the left won’t let heal. They keep picking at it, making it worse.
So even though most Americans have about had it with the federal government, the same cannot be said of blacks. And black Americans are at the heart of the modern Democratic Party.
But all Americans, blacks just as much as anyone else, have a stake in keeping their country out of national bankruptcy. We hope and expect to see a lot of Commissioners from Democratic states at the Phoenix Convention of States. A fair number of them will surely be blacks.
We can’t expect to detach them from the federal government. But we can expect them to help us save it from itself.