Has Trump Awakened the Concurrent Majority?

John C Calhoun

John C Calhoun

Has Trump Awakened the Concurrent Majority?

Ilana Mercer puts the Presidential contender in historical context

In his August 20 rally in Fredericksburg, Va., Donald Trump continued to say things surprisingly basic. Or, “insubstantial,” if you believe the presstitutes (with apologies to prostitutes, who do an honest day’s work and whom I respect). I paraphrase:

We are going to take our country back.

It is going to be a new day in America. It is going to be a great day in America.

Government will listen to the people again. The voters, not the special interests, will be in charge. Ours will be a government of, by, and for the people.

Our economy will grow. Jobs will come back. New factories will stretch all across the nation.

Families will be safe and secure. Crime will go down. Law and order will be restored to these United States of America.

In Charlotte, NC, on August 18, Trump spoke of embracing weeping parents whose kids were killed by illegal immigrants. Immigration laws will be enforced, he promised. Make every city a Sanctuary City for Americans, not for their killers (OK, the last line is mine).

We’re going to reject globalism and put America first. The neo-Conservative era of nation building is over.

And again: it’s going to be America first from now on.

It’s hard to keep up with the impassioned addresses that the high-energy Mr. Trump has given in the last week. However, his law-and-order speech in Charlotte was especially striking: one thing I’ll promise you, I will always tell you the truth. I will speak on behalf of the voiceless, return the government to the people; give the people their voice back. I will never let you down.

Let our kids be Dreamers too, suggested Trump. Was he was alluding to the affectionate legislation and terminology developed by the New York-Washington axis of power for its young, illegal-alien protégés?

In Trump you have a political outsider, despised by the media-congressional-donor complex, talking to the multitudes living in Rome’s provinces and groaning under the burden of its policies. To this voiceless Common America, Trump is giving a voice.

Also in Charlotte, Trump said he’d never put special interests before American interests, pointing out that none controlled him. “My only interest is the American people.”

And from West Bend, Wisconsin, on August 16, he declared: “I’m with you, the American People. We’ll once again be a country of law-and-order and unparalleled successes. I’m with you; I’ll fight for you; I’ll win for you.”

The American scheme of government was meant to be pretty basic—more about what government was to refrain from doing to its people than what it was to do to and for them. America’s Silent Majority is hankering for pitifully fundamental things from a government that has forgotten this.

As I argue in “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Reconstructed,” Trump is no “visionary vis-à-vis government.” If anything, “he is practical and pragmatic. He wants a fix for Americans, not a fantasy. I also attempted to place this hankering for things simple and universal within a uniquely American framework. This led me to posit a thesis developed by one of America’s greatest political thinkers, in the estimation of historian Clyde N. Wilson, John C. Calhoun.

In A Disquisition on Government, published in 1851, Calhoun developed the idea of “two different modes in which the sense of the community may be taken.” The one “regards numbers only.” The other invokes an entirely different quality or dimension, over and above the “numbers.”

“The former of these,” Calhoun termed “the numerical or absolute majority”; the latter “the concurrent or constitutional majority.” [EDITORIAL NOTE : there is a striking similarity between Calhoun’s concept of the concurrent majority and Rousseau’s concept of the general will.]  The numerical majority “regards numbers only, and considers the whole community as a unit, having but one common interest throughout.” Conversely, the constitutional majority considers “the community as made up of different and conflicting interests, as far as the action of the government is concerned.”

“So great is the difference, politically speaking, between the two majorities,” cautioned Calhoun, “that they cannot be confounded, without leading to great and fatal errors.”

The numerical majority Calhoun associated with the “tendency to oppression and abuse of power.” He recommended that “the numerical majority … be [but] one of the elements of a constitutional democracy,” but advised that “to make it the sole element, in order to perfect the constitution and make the government more popular, is one of the greatest and most fatal of political errors.”

As early as 1851, the prescient Calhoun was able to categorically state: “[T]he numerical majority will divide the community … into two great parties, which will be engaged in perpetual struggles to obtain the control of the government.” It was to the concurrent majority that Calhoun looked for unity and transcendence:

The concurrent majority, on the other hand, tends to unite the most opposite and conflicting interests, and to blend the whole in one common attachment to the country. … Each sees and feels that it can best promote its own prosperity by conciliating the goodwill, and promoting the prosperity of the others. And hence, there will be diffused throughout the whole community kind feelings between its different portions … instead of antipathy, a rivalry amongst them … Under the combined influence of these causes, the interests of each would be merged in the common interests of the whole; and thus, the community would become a unit, by becoming the common center of attachment of all its parts. And hence, instead of faction, strife, and struggle for party ascendency, there would be patriotism, nationality, harmony, and a struggle only for supremacy in promoting the common good of the whole.

Could Donald J. Trump be tapping into our country’s still-extant concurrent majority?

Could he be uniting the American Tower of Babble behind things true and shared? These are: economic prosperity, national pride and unity, the pursuit of comity and fair commerce with the nations of the world, without compulsion to control them or save them from themselves, and a yen for recognizable neighborhoods. The last demands less Islam and immigration, and an end to the transformation of communities through centrally planned, mass immigration.

Given the disparate groups rooting for Donald Trump’s candidacy, it would certainly appear that he has awakened what Calhoun called the concurrent majority.

ILANA Mercer is the author of “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016), and “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2011). She has been writing a popular, weekly, paleolibertarian column—begun in Canada—since 1999. Ilana’s online homes are www.IlanaMercer.com & www.BarelyABlog.com. Follow her on https://twitter.com/IlanaMercer

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Der fliegende Holländer

Artist, Gustave Doré

Artist, Gustave Doré

Der fliegende Holländer

Der fliegende Holländer, Bayreuth Festival, Germany, August 2016. Director Jan Philipp Gloger, conducted by Axel Kober, reviewed by Tony Cooper

Wagner’s first mature opera written in 1841, Der fliegende Holländer, was directed with great flair and imagination by the German theatre director, Jan Philipp Gloger. Not only was it dramatically convincing, it was totally within Wagner’s world.

Daring in his approach, Gloger boldly shifted the scenario from a ‘nautical’ to a ‘business’ setting, taking on board Wagner’s socialist dislike of money, materialism and basic greed and turning the opera into a critique of capitalism.

The ‘sea’, for instance, manifested itself as a worldwide web of international money markets. And the Dutchman – a Master of the Universe, to borrow Tom Wolfe’s phrase – is happy to make money off the backs of others but, at the same time, is cursed to sail the High Seas eternally. He can only be redeemed by something non-material, a woman’s love. Continue reading

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Tristan und Isolde


Tristan und Isolde

Tristan und Isolde, Bayreuth Festival, Germany, August 2016. Director Katharina Wagner, conducted by Christian Thielemann, reviewed by Tony Cooper

This production of Tristan und Isolde by Katharina Wagner first saw the light of day last year, immediately finding success with the cognoscenti on the Green Hill, while also marking the 150th anniversary of its world première at Munich.

Widely considered to be one of the greatest eulogies ever written to pure love and evoking the legendary days of King Arthur, Tristan – which Wagner rated as one of his ‘favourites’ – is an emotional work to say the least. Continue reading

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Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival

Amfortas, photo: br-klassik.de

Amfortas (Ryan McKinny) photo: br-klassik.de

Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival

Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival, Germany, August 2016. Director Uwe Eric Laufenberg, conducted by Hartmut Haenchen, reviewed by TONY COOPER

Specifically written for the Festspielhaus, Parsifal was Wagner’s final work completed in January 1882 and was first seen in that year. This production by German director, Uwe Eric Laufenberg, marks its ninth outing at Bayreuth since its première.

The philosophical ideas of the libretto fuse Christianity and Buddhism but the trappings of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s 13th-century poem – focusing on the Arthurian hero Parzival and his long quest for the Holy Grail – are essentially Christian based.

The composer described Parsifal as ‘ein Bühnenweihfestspiel’ (A Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage) not an opera thereby underlying the deeply-religious overtones of the work. Herr Laufenberg brought this issue to the fore, especially at the end of Act I, when Amfortas, wearing a crown of thorns and covered only by a loin-cloth, re-enacts the Crucifixion with members of the Brotherhood (now seen as a community of Christian monks) gathered around him receiving Holy Communion and partaking of the Blood of Christ. It was a powerful and moving scene. The Christ-like figure of Amfortas was magnificently portrayed by the gifted American bass-baritone, Ryan McKinny. Continue reading

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Reality “under siege”

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, killed in Benghazi attack

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, killed in the Benghazi attack

Reality “under siege”

Ilana Mercer highlights left-liberal propaganda

The Clinton Media have gone from malfunctioning to mad, from “dishonest” to deranged. Their coverage of the 2016 election is no longer tinged by liberal bias, but is about moving viewers and readers into a parallel universe, an alternate reality of the media’s making.

The media monolith’s latest imbecility is to offer effusive plaudits for their candidate, Hillary, because this life-long politician whose ill-gotten gains have come via political means, not private productive means, has released her tax returns for 2015.

Something Donald Trump has yet to do. For the candidate is under audit and has been advised to refrain from doing anything that’ll give the most corrupt and dangerous of government agencies a lien on his assets—or liberty, for that matter. Continue reading

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Late Summer Wine 2016

Sheppy's Late Summer Wine and Cider 2016

Em Marshall-Luck’s selection

Such changeable summer weather calls for a variety of wine types, from warming reds for the cold days of drizzle and overcast skies, through to refreshing rosés and dry whites for those all-too-infrequent days when the sun deigns to grace us with its welcome presence. The beverages listed below cover all bases in terms of flavours and price ranges; all come highly recommended.

Let us commence with a cider. Award-winning craft cider maker, Sheppy’s, has brewed up yet another cidery concoction, this one ideal for summer drinking. Their new Cider with Elderflower is very probably my favourite Sheppy’s cider thus far, with its lovely golden colour, nose which combines crunchy apples and floral elderflower, with just a hint of grapefruit as well. Continue reading

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The Big Short


The Big Short

Film review by Robert Henderson

Director: Adam McKay

Main cast

Christian Bale as Dr. Michael Burry, a fund manager running Scion Capital
Steve Carell as Mark Baum, the manager of Wall Street hedge fund, Front Point Capital
John Magaro as Charlie Geller, one of the founders and partners of a wannabe hedge fund, Brownfield Capital
Finn Wittrock as Jamie Shipley, Geller’s friend and partner at Brownfield Ryan Gosling as Jared Vennett, a bond salesman at Deutsche
Brad Pitt as Ben Rickert Charlie and Jamie Shipley’s trader and mentor, who previously worked at the JPMorgan Chase Bank in Singapore


The Big Short falls halfway between The Wolf of Wall Street and the documentary The Smartest Guys in the Room. Its subject matter is the biggest heist in history, the suckers being the US taxpayer and eventually the taxpayers of the developed world.

In 2005, Mike Burry (Christian Bale) concludes that the US mortgage market is built on sand because huge numbers of mortgages have been given to people who had no business being given mortgages as their financial situation is hopeless. He correctly predicts that the market will collapse in 2007 and when it does his fund makes a 489% profit. Continue reading

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The Bath Arms

downloadThe Bath Arms

Reviewed by Em Marshall-Luck

The Bath Arms is tucked away in the sleepy village of Horningsham, near Warminster, in a handsome two-hundred year old stone building that commands a view of the village green, flanked by twelve 380 year-old lime trees and surrounded by thatched cottages, well-maintained hedges and flowering magnolias. Although a hub of the closely-knit local community, the pub is a hotel as well, with seventeen rooms split between the upstairs, and what was originally the stable block outside. All rooms are individually furnished, many of them with Eastern themes. Continue reading

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Of Human Bondage


Of Human Bondage

ILANA MERCER puts slavery in historical perspective

First he exposed the History Channel’s miniseries “Roots” as root-and-branch fiction. Now, the courageous epistolary warrior Jack Kerwick has turned his attention to correcting lies about slavery, promulgated in media and scholarly circles.

A point forcefully made by Kerwick is that although a vibrant, indigenous slave trade was conducted well into the nineteenth century in the interior of West Africa, slavery has become the White Man’s cross to bear.

Also omitted, in the course of the “honest” conversation about race directed by our political masters, is that credit for the demise of the slave trade in Africa belongs to Europeans. In his compact study, The Slave Trade (London, 2006), British historian Jeremy Black highlights the “leading role Britain played in the abolition of slavery [as]… an example of an ethical foreign policy.” Britain agonized over this repugnant institution, failed to reconcile it with the Christian faith, and consequently abolished it. Continue reading

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Philip K Dick mocks Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

Philip K Dick mocks Dawkins

Duke Maskell considers a passé discourse

The recently published The Divine Madness of Philip K Dick, by Kyle Arnold, proves, beyond question, that Dick was mad. But Dick, the science-fiction writer, wasn’t so mad that he couldn’t see better than the supposedly sane Richard Dawkins, scientist and would-be theologian, where science comes to a stop and religion begins. He wasn’t so mad that he confused the two. It would be stretching a point to call Dawkins insane. But faith in reason can take forms that are irrational and Dawkins’s faith in the scientific method—in evidence, experiment, verification, proof, probability—goes well beyond the rational, if not into madness, then deeply, into stupidity. And, unlikely as it might seem, Dick, the barmy science fiction writer, shows us how. Continue reading

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