The latest Leftist hissy fit (you can’t describe a bunch of arrested development children any other way) over the “national congressional vote” or the “national Senate vote,” or the “national popular vote for president” is indicative of a real problem in American politics.


This would have been a hard thing to say seventy years ago, though any good Jeffersonian could have made the case even then.

America was winning. It had just knocked out the Nazis and the Japanese Empire and had the best economy in the world. Its population was fairly homogeneous, and being an “American” had meaning.

No longer. This Lincolnian Americanism was a myth solidified by two American victories in World Wars I and II. What most Americans don’t realize is that this sense of American unity was the exception and not the rule in American history.

American nationalism was always the enemy of the federal republic and the original Constitution, and the majority of Americans knew it both before “the War” in 1861 and after.

Unified American support for World War II lulled the baby boomer population into a belief that America had always been unified and that every issue should be national.

That does nothing but create problems. There are many examples throughout American history but one stands out: the reaction to nationalism in the 1870s and 1880s.

Following the disastrous 1876 election, Americans figured out that nationalism was an anathema created by the Lincolnian distortion of the American experience. Reconciliation involved a modified restoration of federalism. That agreement would last until the FDR administration, and then would be obliterated following World War II.

The razor-thin elections of the 1870s and 1880s showed that the “popular vote” was not necessarily a reflection of the American spirit. The Left knows it which is why they want to eliminate the “federal” component of American politics while concurrently advancing stupid ideas like the “national Senate popular vote.”

If they had their way, there would be less than a dozen congressional districts for most of the country and over 400 for LA, NY, and every other major urban center. Urban votes matter.

Our modern political conflicts are nothing new, but a case could be made that the Left’s reaction to modern elections is only made possible by a modern “education’ system that indoctrinates rather than educates.

Thankfully, some of the Left gets it. A recent piece in the NYMag offered a balanced look at secession, nullification, and decentralization. This would have been unheard of even twenty years ago.

That gives me hope. So do the thousands of people who listen to my show and who write emails telling me they have used “think locally and act locally” as the basis of their political creed. This episode is for you!


Brion McClanahan
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