A few weeks ago a close acquaintance of mine wrote an impassioned letter intended for publication in a South Carolina newspaper. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, his letter was not printed by any media source in the state….Not because it was crude or appeared to incite violence; not because he employed foul language or insulting attacks against opponents. Indeed, the letter was well-written, well-argued, and based on widely-available facts.
But in the contemporary USA, intelligent, well-expressed presentations, even those factually based are no longer guaranteed a hearing if they come from someone who is not suitably “woke” or who does not buy into the constantly-advancing and society-altering Leftist tsunami. In fact, what we see and have experienced here in America in the last several decades has been a dedicated, largely successful effort to shut down, neutralize, or buy off any dissent from or disagreement with the actions and goals of the DC elites, the entrenched Managerial State and its engorged tentacles which now extend inexorably into the lives of nearly every American. The First Amendment be damned, if it doesn’t support those ideological aims.
Richard Hines, the author of the letter, is a long-time political player, not only in the Sandlapper State, but also on the national level. Over the years he has served in the South Carolina legislature, co-chaired a Ronald Reagan for president campaign, and was then appointed to various White House administrative posts in the Transportation Department and General Services Administration. After Reagan’s tenure, Richard formed a consulting firm to represent a diversity of clients in Washington.
But it is his role as a steadfast and outspoken defender of the old South, its history, its culture, and its symbols and monuments which has strongly characterized his subsequent years. As a fearless champion of Southern heritage he has expended tremendous energy and his own fortune in support of those ideals. He and I were both contributing editors to the old, and much-lamented, Southern Partisan Magazine. That is where we first met forty years ago, and our friendship since then has been based on our shared commitment to the traditions and culture of our native region.
Indeed, he has been bitterly attacked precisely for his positions and effective activity. In 2005 The Nation, perhaps the country’s pre-eminent far left journal, launched a vicious attack on my friend, terming him “Lobbyist for the Lost Cause,” parading its shoddy attempt at opposition research before its fanatical readers. But such assaults have not deterred him or his efforts.
Most recently Richard co-authored with Dr. Paul Gottfried in Chronicles Magazine an eloquent piece on the historic and artistically impressive Confederate monument in the Arlington National Cemetery (“The Fate of Moses Ezekiel and His Memorial to the Confederate Dead,” Chronicles, November 2022). The monument is surrounded by the graves of hundreds of Confederate veterans, buried with honor on the grounds of what once was the home of Robert E. Lee. No matter that the sculptor, Moses Ezekiel, was an internationally famed sculptor and that the monument is intended as a symbol of national reunification. The Feds, with bi-partisan support, decided that symbol of reunion and honor to the dead was a symbol of racism and “white nationalism” and had to go.
But Richard is also keenly aware that issues such as the survival of a Southern culture and heritage are inextricably bound up with the direction the American nation seems to be taking globally. Not only in the United States with its grassroots MAGA movement, but also in most European and other countries, there is a rising tide of popular opposition to this increasing control by unseen, unaccountable elites and bureaucrats, whether in the myriad of offices and agencies in Washington, DC, or in faceless buildings in Bruxelles and Geneva.
One uniting position for the various popular opposition movements is the return of power and authority to the people and, as well, to the historic regions which compose those countries—the application of the old principle of subsidiarity—that what can be done on a lower level of society should not be the responsibility of a higher level of governance. The modern state has become a Behemoth, unanswerable to the populace, incapable of being dislodged, as if an unapproachable cocoon of wealth and privilege. This “new aristocracy”—or better said, oligarchy—is far more venal, far more vicious, far less visible, and far more effective in forcing its iron will on society than any older form of aristocracy based on inheritance and family and rooted in service to the commonwealth.
Not just the various attempts to remove the leading Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, from the ballot in several states—all in the name of “our democracy”(!)—but recent calls by members of this elite that perhaps we have too many elections, illustrate that the intentions of the ensconced Managerial Class have far more to do with a globalist “great reset” and the retention power than with their hollow paeans to “democracy.”
In the United States the enablers of this Leftist march towards totalitarian globalism are the “neoconservatives” and a coterie of Republican “insiders” who have traditionally controlled the party and dominated GOP politics out of Washington. Their blinkered internationalism and desire to impose a Pax Americana on the rest of the world fit comfortably with the zealous Leftist goal of bringing “our democracy” (by force if necessary) to the most remote desert and the furthest jungle in the world.
Richard Hines understands this. He understands that if this country shall survive we must return to the wisdom of the Fathers of our country and to the constitutional, America First principles that once made this country great: decentralization, respect for our inherited rights, non-intervention globally, and the defense of our borders and not those of some faraway land that no one can find on a map.
Here is his letter:
To the Editor:
Our neo-conservative elites [who are not really conservative at all], as epitomized by Nikki Haley and Lindsey Graham, obviously think our election every four years is for a “President of the World” instead of a Chief Magistrate of the American Republic. Lindsey’s presidential ambitions ended in complete failure and are now happily forgotten. Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, you name it – Lindsey never met a war he didn’t like. In calling for an attack on Iran last week, Nikki Haley breathlessly repeated the mantra “Finish them! Finish them!” as if the annihilation of 92 million Iranians was the final round of a boxing match.
Sadly, much of the current chaos we find ourselves in is of our own making. Clearly we have learned nothing from Afghanistan, which was an unprepared and ignorant “lunge to defeat” in the words of one diplomat. The Washington-manufactured conflict in Ukraine, which helped create our current proxy war with Russia, is much the same. We turned a blind eye to the pre-existing ethnic conflicts which were fired by fictitious borders created in the years of the Soviet Union. The result, which should have been obvious even in the 1990’s, is that millions of ethnic Russians were trapped in a country whose regime outlaws their language and their religion.
Whether you like him or not, Donald Trump told the unvarnished truth when he said he could stop that war in twenty-four hours by turning off the dollar spigot in Washington which fuels the conflict. Not only would it end the war there, but this would have a beneficial effect in the Middle East. Former intelligence officer Scott Ritter has argued persuasively that Hamas terrorists are armed in part with American weapons obtained on the black market which we originally supplied to the Ukrainians.
The leaders of our young Republic, especially George Washington and John Quincy Adams, were prophetic when they warned Americans to beware of foreign entanglements. As Secretary of State, Adams said that “America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy… She is the champion and vindicator ONLY OF HER OWN… She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom…. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”
This statement is not a mere anachronism. Should we not return to a rational America First foreign policy, coupled by a return to Christian morality in our society, America as we have known it will certainly cease to exist.
Wise counsel, indeed.
Reprinted with the author’s permission.