Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Audio and Transcript – This Clip of The Day was originally aired and published on Jun 29,2012 and is part of the Founders Pass Flashback Collection.
I’d like to share with the audience the thesis of my upcoming smash hit docudrama, wildly entertaining ride through the 1790’s and early part of the 19th Century called What Lincoln Killed: Episode I that will world premiere debut right here this coming Wednesday, Independence Day is that there are two kinds of Americans today. There are Jeffersonians and Lincolnians, but once upon a time, almost everyone that called themselves an American was a Jeffersonian. What in the hell happened? That’s what the What Lincoln Killed project seeks to answer. In answering the question, maybe, just maybe, we revive Jeffersonianism. That’s what is missing here.
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Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I want to take you back to 2011 again. I already covered Patrick Henry’s response to an equal act of tyranny. His counsel was not to lie around and take it and believe that you could reform or fix the current system in the 1760’s. I believe that Mr. Henry has been proven correct. He’d be a radical today. I was on my way into the studio this morning. I heard one of the bubbleheads on Fox and Friends Early Report or whatever it’s called say that people that were defrauded by Bernie Madoff are demanding that his brother fork over some money to make reparation, and that these people were victims of the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, which elicited from me a shout at my radio, “No, people that live under the current government of the United States of America are victims of the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the planet.”
Clyde Wilson, the great Clyde Wilson, he co-wrote the book Forgotten Conservatives in American History with my good friend Brion McClanahan. McClanahan’s previous book was The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution. Professor McClanahan will be with us the last hour of the program. The great Clyde Wilson is one of the best writers about the antebellum and about the mid-1800’s period and section of American history. He knows it like the back of his hand. Wilson wrote a piece for Chronicles magazine titled “A Little Rebellion” on November 3rd, 2011. I read almost the entire essay on the air. I’d like to just read the last couple paragraphs and refresh your memory on that. I think that they apply today.
As Gen. R.E. Lee wrote to Lord Acton the year after his surrender, “the consolidation of the States into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home,” was the precursor of American ruin. Lincoln rightly remains the truly representative American. He is the symbol of the highly successful synthesis of capitalist oligarchy, puritan conformity, and perpetual social revolution from the top down that is the mainstream of American life. There are many who find that synthesis beautiful, though most often they do not really understand what it is, identifying with one or another of the elements and not with the combination itself. Money rules and permits a politics that consists almost entirely of sham battles between the old puritans, the “conservatives,” and the secular ones, the “liberals.” From time to time they all join together in a messianic war to destroy the latest menace to Lincoln’s vision: the South, the kaiser, the Red Menace, drugs, terror, etc.
They share the sense that the meaning of “America” is a mission to bring the abstract ideals of the American standard to all mankind. The only difference is that the “conservatives” want to do it by force, and the “liberals” by welfare. A Jeffersonian, if any still existed, [Mike: Professor Wilson, pick me! Pick me! I’m a Jeffersonian. Pick me! I’m going to ask Professor Wilson if he would consider me a Jeffersonian, just for giggles.] A Jeffersonian, if any still existed, would insist that Americans are not here to be used for anybody’s mission, and the proper point of reference is what is good for them.
The Jeffersonian spirit survived for a while underground, and now and then a weak and confused revival occurred, as in the days of William Jennings Bryan and populism. The last significant appearance was perhaps the agrarian, non-Marxist critique of capitalism in the 1930’s. Nowhere to be seen now are the old Jeffersonians, once a major American type, rebellious men who dared defend the rights of themselves and their communities from outside impositions. But buried somewhere deep in the American soul is a tiny ember of Jeffersonian democracy that now and then gives off an uncertain, feeble, and futile spark.
Mike: Beautiful words. Beautifully written. Dr. Wilson, I would like to suggest to you today, sir, that that seed got watered yesterday morning and is germinating in the ground. I’d also like to share with the audience that the thesis of my upcoming smash hit docudrama, wildly entertaining ride through the 1790’s and early part of the 19th Century called What Lincoln Killed: Episode I that will world premiere debut right here this coming Wednesday, Independence Day, the thesis of it, and this is in the first part of it, is that there are two kinds of Americans today. There are Jeffersonians and Lincolnians, but once upon a time, almost everyone that called themselves an American was a Jeffersonian. What in the hell happened? That’s what the What Lincoln Killed project seeks to answer. In answering the question, maybe, just maybe, we revive Jeffersonianism. That’s what is missing here. You’re not going to fix – what was it, I was just thinking of David Huddleston, the actor who played the elder Big Lebowski in The Big Lebowski when he tells Jeff Bridges, “I cannot solve your problems, sir, only you can.”
End Mike Church Show Transcript