Former AEI President Christopher DeMuth Says Electoral College Saved the 2020 Election — Not So Fast, Chris

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Source: Google Images

In the January 8th edition of the Wall St Journal, conservative lawyer, former Reagan administration official and American Enterprise Institute president, Christopher DeMuth informed readers that, “The Electoral College Saved” the 2020 presidential election and that it had proved its “ democratic value.”

Right out of the gate, DeMuth hyperbolically takes aim at,” Scholars, pundits and progressives,” who, “widely despise the Electoral College,” as if they were the only ones who have been critical of the institution. What he conveniently, or perhaps lazily, leaves out is that in the past, a number of prominent Republicans including, Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush also indicated support to abolish the Electoral College — the latter two voting for an amendment to do so when they were members of the House of Representatives in 1969. Likewise, in 2014, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich also called for a national popular vote. And just a year ago, former chair of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele and Saul Anuzis, the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, made the case that Republicans should ditch the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote. Even Donald Trump got into the act, ironically tweeting on Election Day 2012 that, “the electoral college is a disaster for a democracy” and “this election is a total sham and a travesty. …


Unity and Healing for Everyone!…Except Progressive Democrats, BLM and Socialists

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Last week leaked audio of remarks made by Virginia Representative Abigail Spanberger, while on a House Democratic Caucus conference call caused something of a stir. The gist I got through the media-land ether was that she said calls to “defund the police” and the fact that some Democratic office holders refer to themselves as “democratic-socialists,” had ruined the Democrats’ chances to increase congressional majorities and had even cost several Democratic House members their seats. This charge was echoed by South Carolina Rep Jim Clyburn and others. But I decided to focus on the Spanberger audio clip, since it has been so widely discussed. …


Himmler Would Have Been Proud: Allegations that ICE officers used torture to force Cameroonian asylum seekers to sign their own deportation orders

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On Thursday October 22, The Guardian reported that US immigration officers allegedly tortured Cameroonian asylum seekers to force them to sign their own deportation orders, in what lawyers and activists describe as a brutal last ditch effort to get them out of the country before the presidential election. …


Written Out of History: The GI Movement Against the Vietnam War

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In September 2020, President Donald Trump attacked “left-wing indoctrination in our schools” and proposed to counter it with a commission to restore “patriotic education” or in other words, to promote and reinforce the more traditional indoctrination that is already prevalent in American schools and universities. Former war correspondent, journalist and author, Chris Hedges, describes how it works during an August 23rd interview with Professor James W. Loewen on his RT Network show, On Contact (worth watching in its entirety).

The teaching of history in our schools is not an impartial or neutral discipline. It is at its core about justifying the power of the ruling elites in the present by deifying the ruling elites in the past. This means that history, as it is taught in our schools, is distorted and at times fabricated to achieve these ends, racism, injustices, lies, and crimes of the ruling elites are minimalized or ignored. Problematic historical figures, such as the overt, racist, and imperialist Woodrow Wilson are transformed into mythical social archetypes whose darker actions, including the decision to re-segregate the federal government, are whitewashed or ignored. In America, in the America of history textbooks, equal opportunity exists for all. America exemplifies the trajectory of human progress, constantly improving and perfecting itself, the great leaders of the past, almost always white men are courageous and wise, bringing enlightenment and civilization to the lesser breeds of the earth, the lives of figure such as George Washington, one of the architects of the slaughter of Native Americans and a slaveholder are held up as heroic models for imitation. The dark lust for conquest and wealth which lay behind the enslavement of Africans and the genocide of Native Americans that was carried out by the Euro Americans and Americans is papered over. Those who are poor and oppressed are taught, often subtly, that they deserve their low status and those who resisted often at the cost of their own lives for equality and justice, are erased from historical memory or trivialized.


Maybe It Should Really Be Called Pinzon Day

Statue of Martin Alonso Pinzon in Palos de Frontera, Spain — Source: Google Images
Statue of Martin Alonso Pinzon in Palos de Frontera, Spain — Source: Google Images
Statue of Martin Alonso Pinzon in Palos de Frontera, Spain — Source: Google Images

Leaving aside, for a moment, the question of whether Christopher Columbus should be honored with a celebration day at all (and for the record, I’m sympathetic to the idea of replacing it either with Indigenous Peoples’ Days or a day to honor other more worthy Italians), there is an interesting and highly significant aspect of his story that is usually left out.

In 1990, as the 500th anniversary of Columbus first crossing of the Atlantic approached, Spain built replicas of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria with the the intention of recreating the “voyage of discovery.” The modern-day adventure was recorded in the2007 documentary, The Magnificent Voyage of Christopher Columbus , which can be still viewed in its entirely on YouTube. Early on, we are told that the “Catholic Monarchs,” Ferdinand and Isabella’s acceptance of Columbus’s proposal was a “dream come true” for him but for the people of the small port town of Palos, “it was trouble, a burden and a punishment.” On location in Palos, Naval historian and author, Mauricio Obregon (1921–1998) tells us that the voyage of Columbus started in the Church of St. George in Palos when a royal proclamation was read which informed the people that because of “certain misdemeanors” committed by them, they were being ordered to provide the crown with two caravels fully equipped at their own expense for the Columbus expedition. Palos provided two seaworthy caravels, the common cargo ships, Nina and the Pinta. The third ship, the cumbersome, Santa Maria was chartered. The narrator then asks the question, “But who would man them? …


Template for Trump? Allegations of Voter Intimidation Carried Out by Rudy Giuliani and the Republicans in 1993 NYC Mayoral Election

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While watching a September 30th Democracy Now! interview with Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi who now seeks to disengage people from violent extremism, at one point during the discussion, which centered Trump’s encouragement of voter intimidation and perhaps election related violence, co-host Juan Gonzalez made the following statement:

Well, Christian, you mentioned the issue of calling people to be, in essence, vigilantes at the polls. I recall, clearly, back in 1993 in a mayoral election in New York City, when Rudy Giuliani was attempting to unseat David Dinkins, who was then the first African American mayor in the city, and there were literally hundreds of off-duty police officers and off-duty correction officers who Giuliani mobilized to go into the Black and Latino neighborhoods of New York to intimidate the voters. And I remember, the night of the election, asking the campaign manager of David Dinkins, Bill Lynch — I said, “Bill, why aren’t you protesting this? We’re getting all these reports.” And it was a very close election, but Lynch and the Democratic machinery at that time basically accepted the result, even though they knew that there was massive intimidation occurring. …


Revolts Before the Revolution — Part I: Prendergast’s Rent War of 1766

Image of Prendergast’s Rent War in Upstate New York in 1766 Source: Google Images
Image of Prendergast’s Rent War in Upstate New York in 1766 Source: Google Images
Image of Prendergast’s Rent War in Upstate New York in 1766 Source: Google Images

As Gary B. Nash recounts in, The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America, much of the land in colonies like New York and New Jersey was controlled by a few wealthy families or investor “proprietors who sought to recreate the European estate-based system of landlords and tenant farmers. For example, in the Hudson River Valley, Rensselaerswick Manor totaled 1 million acres, Philipse Manor 200,000 and Beekman Manor a mere 100,000. According to Nash, by 1710 every acre of some 800 square miles of Duchess County had been patented to a handful of absentee landlords for token amounts of money. Most of these tracts were acquired as virtually free gifts from royal governors and some obtained by fraud. Henry Beekman received his vast patent in the 1690s from Governor Benjamin Fletcher for 25 pounds. …


May-June 1940: The Victory that Shouldn’t Have Happened

Hitler Tours Paris, June 23, 1940 Source: Google Images
Hitler Tours Paris, June 23, 1940 Source: Google Images
Hitler Tours Paris, June 23, 1940 Source: Google Images

Eighty years ago, the world was stunned when Nazi Germany conquered most of Western Europe in less than a month. The climax of this effort was the May-June 1940 defeat of the combined armed forces of Britain and France and the humiliating capitulation of the latter. At the time French historian, Marc Bloch, later executed by the Gestapo for his role in the French resistance, wrote a lengthy essay on the fall of France entitled, Strange Defeat — and it was. Although a series of myths have grown up around the German victory in 1940, it was totally unexpected at the time. …


With 1.7 Million Viruses Out There We Better Make Some Changes Real Fast

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Oil drilling rig in jungle of Gabon — Source: Google Images

Let’s lay it on the line in the starkest terms possible, we humans are going to have to make some big changes in the way we interact with nature if we want to survive as a species. There are an estimated 1.7 million unknown viruses infecting the Earth’s animal population of which somewhere between 631,000 and 827,000 could potentially infect human beings. And what is causing increasing human contact with zoonotic diseases (ie those that primarily exist in animals but can also be transmitted to people)? According to Dr. …


The Republican Party’s Red Roots

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Joseph Weydemeyer (1818–1866) a Marxist who fled Germany after the wave of revolutions that hit Europe in 1848. He was an early member of the Republican Party and later a lieutenant colonel in the Union Army. Source: Google Images

Whenever I observe the never-ending barrage of social media posts by Republicans decrying the evils of “socialism,” I can’t help being struck by the irony that the Republican Party was in part founded by genuine socialists and foreign socialists to boot. In fact, Abraham Lincoln, one of the party’s most important founding members, though not a socialist himself, undoubtedly read a great deal of Karl Marx’s work via American socialist Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune, where Marx served as foreign correspondent for a decade. In addition, several of Lincoln’s socialist Republican Party colleagues (comrades?), …

About

Al Ronzoni

Al Ronzoni is a writer, historian and political activist based in New York City

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