The Voice of the Anglo-Saxons

The French have always had a fear of the Anglo-Saxons, as our British readers know it is why DeGaulle would not allow Britain to join the EU, but it goes back much further. R.T. Howard explains in the Spectator Australia.

Rarely spoken about or even admitted to in France, this psychological influence is a fear of the ‘Anglo-Saxons’. This vague term denotes English-speaking influences, mainly British and American, that are deemed to pose a challenge not just to the prevalence and integrity of the French language but also to France’s wider commercial and strategic interests across the world, notably in former colonies, where Paris often tries to retain its influence.

As Gérard Prunier, a former adviser to the French government, has written, these Anglo-Saxons have defeated France’s great figures, such as Joan of Arc and Napoleon Bonaparte, pulverised its armies at Agincourt and elsewhere, and stolen whole swaths of its empire, notably during the Seven Years War (1756-63). ‘Everybody in France knows,’ he concludes, ‘“les Anglais” are among the worst enemies the French ever had.’ Absurd though such sentiments may sound, they can be deeply sinister, as François Graner, a lawyer and researcher for a human rights group, has discovered about the bloody events that unfolded in Rwanda more than a quarter of a century ago.

Absurd? Really? I’m not so sure. I seem to recall that the only time the French actually won against the British was that time a while ago when they allied with the American colonists to help secure American Independence. And that cost the king his crown and his head. And just since 1900 British and American arms have twice rescued France from invaders (yes once with Soviet help). Not to mention they had so screwed up southeast Asia that not even the US, Australia, and South Korea, working together, could salvage it.

Maybe like American blue states they should quit resenting us and learn from us. Like this: Audre often sends me reports from the Florida GOP (and it’s an impressive outfit). Yesterday she sent me one. This story really floats my boat.

OCALA, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced today that Lockheed Martin and CareerSource Florida have partnered to develop and refine a registered apprenticeship program. Lockheed Martin, one of the nation’s leading global security and aerospace companies, has led the development of a regional workforce and education ecosystem and will model the program across its major regional operations in Florida and nationwide.

“Lockheed Martin’s new apprenticeship program with CareerSource Florida exemplifies many of the reasons why Florida is the best state to do business: we are focused on job creation, partnerships, innovation and workforce education,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The expansion of workforce education and training programs is an essential element of our mission to ensure Florida is No. 1 in the nation for workforce education.”

Lockheed Martin Corporation employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide. In Florida alone, the company employs more than 17,000 residents at 66 facilities across the state.

“Lockheed Martin is committed to creating 8,000 new apprenticeship and workforce positions within the company through 2023 and this program is one way we’ll do that,” said Monet Nathaniel, vice president of human resources at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “These students serve as a cornerstone of our future talent and the success of our workforce, and we’re proud to partner with CareerSource Florida to help us create highly skilled and high-wage career opportunities for Floridians.”

Those are some damn fine apprenticeships, even giving college credit, we need more of this, much more, and not only in Florida, this is where the next generation of technical people will come from and every one of them will know that 2+2=4.

Speaking of the voice of the Anglo Saxons, this weekend is CPAC, the annual American conservative talkfest. It brings out the best and the brightest, from America, from the Anglophone countries, and even elsewhere.

Here is the authentic voice of much of America from the time that Governor DeSantis of Florida welcomes the crowd until President Trump closes the proceedings on Sunday afternoon. Something you won’t see on the left is that every day opens with a prayer (Sunday opens with either a Catholic Mass or Protestant service) and Jewish prayers services are scattered throughout), the Pledge and the National Anthem, and I’d bet every dime I’ve ever seen that there won’t be one person taking a knee.

We’ll try to bring you the videos of the ones that we were most impressed with if we can manage to choose. I know (by reputation and history) many, probably most of the speakers this year. It should be one of the best.

And the picture above, sent along by the Florida GOP, is the Florida capitol. They should be commended for so recognizing one of the greatest Floridians ever.

End of Watch for an Indispensable Man

Last Wednesday, Freedom, (and American conservatism) lost our greatest spokesman since Abraham Lincoln, or perhaps Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson. Our police talk about ‘End of Watch’ when they retire or die on the job. It’s a good metaphor because like them, our mission goes on, but Rush has fulfilled his. He has reached the end of his watch, now it is up to us to carry on, to teach what we were taught, and to keep the fire of liberty burning brightly.

That doesn’t make it any easier for those of us who considered him a friend, even if we never met him. I worked nearly all my life in the field, sometimes with a radio in the truck, usually only an AM one, at lunch as I was coming up we listened to Paul Harvey (another man who understood us) and in later years as much of Rush as we could till it was time to go back to work. I found them comparable, their calm good sense, their humor, their understanding of the working American, and a friendly voice, always.

But Rush was more, he almost single-handedly recreated AM radio, many European car radios do not receive AM (or MW as the British accurately call it) radio, no American radio doesn’t, and that is likely a legacy of Rush Limbaugh. Now there are many excellent talk radio shows, once there were none, and then there was, for many years: one, Rush.

But he did more, the entire alternative media, TV, radio, blogs, whatnot owe, in great measure, their existence to Rush. I doubt many of them would ever have started without his pioneering, and the number of bloggers and reporters commenting yesterday about his reading of one of their articles lends credence to the claim. And not just here, Guido Fawkes, the big British political news site said this yesterday:

Rush Limbaugh, the monumentally influential media icon who transformed talk radio and American politics in his decades behind the microphone, helping shape the modern-day Republican Party, died today at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced. His wife, Kathryn, made the announcement on his radio show.

And that is just, without the voice of American freedom, and the strength of American resolve to keep ourselves free, there will be no freedom in the world. Rush was one of the foremost proponents of that freedom, and he will be missed, but like his friend Andrew Breitbart who considered him a mentor, we have been taught that we all must stand fearlessly for our beliefs.

I’m not going to give you links to the dozens of articles I have read about Rush since Wednesday, about his courage, his patriotism, his humor, his humility, his love of God, and all the rest. Every conservative site has one and often more, often with personal reminisces of the author’s interaction with Rush.  From American Greatness to  President Trump and far beyond

Yesterday’s Morning Report at Ace’s collected many but not all of them, I’ve read them all and I think you should as well.

Mark Levin:

I’ve recounted previously the first time I was asked to guest-host, back in 2006, when I happened to be down in Australia and the Prime Minister, John Howard, asked me to some or other event a day or two hence. And I politely declined, saying I had to get back to America to host The Rush Limbaugh Show. “I hear that’s a pretty big show,” said the PM.

“Yeah,” I replied. “Twenty-five, thirty million listeners.”

“‘Strewth,” said Mr Howard. “Rush has more listeners than we have Australians.”

Indeed. And all these GOP clever-clogs never explain, once you throw Rush and his millions overboard, what’s going to replace them.

And he reminds us, as his father taught him (so did mine) that: the graveyard is full of indispensable men. It’s true enough, the only exception I know of may be George Washington for the United States. and we’ve struggled along for better than 200 years without him.

But that doesn’t mean Rush wasn’t important. I see him as a better informed, more intelligent Thomas Paine for our century. For as Paine wrote in his time it is again:

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”

Ann so, Rush Limbaugh has reached End of Watch, but ours has merely begun, so think and stay alert, and it will never be amiss to ask “What would Rush say?”

Godspeed Rush.

Press On; An American Story

Many of you know that my frustrated childhood dream was flying an American bomber. The reasons it didn’t happen are fairly numerous and unimportant at this point. But there were reasons for that dream. American bombers are one of the most potent weapons that we can damage an enemy with, they are truly offensive weapons, whereas fighters are a defensive weapon, and just as I preferred playing offense in football, I believe in winning wars. When I was a boy and still to this day, I marvel at those magnificent men and their flying machines.

I recently ran across a film I want to share with you about one of the bombers that proved the case for daylight bombing, in fact, the very first one to complete the 25 missions that were deemed enough for any man, Here is that story, of the missions and the restoration to a place of honor of the Memphis Belle, a B-17E aircraft of the 8th United States Army Air Force and it’s 91st Bomb Group.


Yes, I know, you had to go to YouTube to see that, and I hope you either did or will, well at least you didn’t have to go to St. Nazaire. She’s there now at the National Museum of the US Air Force, the pioneer of all the Forts, the Libs, the B-29s, B-36s, B-47s, B-52s, B-1s, and B-2s that have followed her contrails. And yes, to a point the V Bombers as well, for their mission was the same. There is, after all, a reason why the organ at St. Clement Danes in London, the home church of the Royal Air Force is a gift from the United States Air Force.*

About a year after the Belle came home for her war bond tour, the Americans and the British won air superiority over Europe, making the invasion possible. We still hold that superiority all around the world and that is one reason why, and a big one, as to why the world has been a much more peaceful place since 1945. The crews called the fort simply the queen, and so she was and is.

Like many of us of my age, most of the men I knew growing up were veterans of World War II and/or Korea, and a few from Vietnam. They epitomized what I thought a man should be, and they still do. I never heard one say it was too hard, nor did I ever hear an excuse from any one of them. Some of the ones I met were famous like Generals Doolittle and LeMay, but most were the guys down at the coffee shop, just doing their jobs as well as they could, loving their families and going down to the Legion post for a beer on occasion. Something I noticed as a boy was that they almost never talked about the war and snorted in derision and contempt of anyone who did. Our world is the monument to what Tommy Adkins and GI Joe accomplished.

And so many of those guys are still there, at Cambridge in England, 3811 of our war dead, and a listing of the 6127 still missing, that list includes Major Glenn Miller by the way.

The crew of the Belle are all gone, and those men who restored her have moved on to other projects, but they together have left an indelible monument to the valor and hard work of the Americans who paved the way (at the cost of more casualties than the US Marine Corps took in World War Two) did for the liberation of Europe and the world.

Governing a Free people

We often say, rightly, that our states are laboratories for governance. That means that states can try things and programs that if they work other states can copy. It also means that states can do things that don’t work and a sensible state will do different, smarter things. In the last year, we have seen much of that,

We have watch states like New York, California, Oregon, Illinois, and others as they legislated from fear, and for the pseudo glory of politicians, leading to entire cities being burned in riots that mayors and governors did absolutely nothing to stop if they didn’t actually support them. At the same time. these states almost all wasted vast amounts of borrowed money while crushing small and medium businesses causing what always happens in such cases. The productive members of society from executive to police officers vote with their feet for something better. And too often these people forget they are refugees, not missionaries. We have watched Colorado turn from one of the strongest states to an incipient blue sh^thole state in the last 20 years. One that I personally will not go to without serious reason, where it used to be one of my favorite places. We’ve also watched New York State claim the title as the hardest hit by Covid in the world, made far worse by its governor and government.

Next week we will witness our federal government make that same turn and no doubt it will hurt our nation’s people seriously, caused, like in our blue states at least partially by fraud, avarice, and personal ambition run amuck.

But there is another story in America, as well. You have heard me call Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota the best governor in America several times and I mean it. There is some competition such as Governor DeSantis in Audre’s Florida, and a few others. But sadly, not very much.

I could talk about Governor Noem at length, she is one of America’s new breed of conservative women, who lead effectively and well and make our states something almost unheard of: well-governed, fiscally responsible governments. Most of them come from out here in the heartland. I think that is not coincidental, we are still, even in our cities, still close to the land and the lessons it teaches about what works, what doesn’t, and reality.

If we are lucky, these women will play a bigger and bigger role in American governance, and America will thrive because of them.

Recently Governor Noem gave her State of the State speech, so we will let her tell the story of the state that has done it right in the last year by following the old American saying, as put by Ronald Reagan, the best government is the one that governs least. Here’s the state of the state of South Dakota:

I think and hope we will hear much more of this farmer’s daughter in the years to come.

St. Crispan/Crispians Day

Yesterday was St Crispins Day again, and that makes it a day to talk of the bravery of English and American armed forces, not that there is ever a bad day for that. St. Crispin’s Day is a pretty good encapsulation of our military histories though, always brave, sometimes badly led, and more often than not, victorious. I was going to write something else this year but don’t have anything especially earthshaking to add.

From Wikipedia: “Saint Crispin’s Day falls on 25 October and is the feast day of the Christian Saints Crispin and Crispinian, twins who were martyred c. 286.” That’s where the day gets its name. What it’s famous for is the battles of the English-speaking peoples that have been fought on it.

The first we will look at took place during the “Hundred Years War”. Henry V of England with a small army was on his way to Calais, getting chased all over northern France by Constable Charles d’Albret of France. The French King (Charles VI) was mentally incapacitated. Henry was heavily outnumbered and decided to arouse his exhausted army before the battle by giving a speech.

The English won the battle with ridiculously low casualties while wreaking havoc on the French forces. The reason for this was the English (and Welsh) longbowmen, making this the first battle since Roman times when infantry was anything but a rabble for the knights to ride down.

Battle number two for the day wasn’t so kind to the British.

This one was a cavalry charge against Russian Artillery. It was commanded by Lord Raglan (Yes, the sleeves are named for him). The orders he issued were vague and Lord Cardigan (Yes, he designed the sweater) executed the worst possible interpretation of them. The charge was carried out by the British light cavalry brigade which consisted of the 4th and 13th Light Dragoons, 17th Lancers, and the 8th and 11th Hussars, whose bravery we have never forgotten. It was too well immortalized.

Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

It should be added that Great Britain didn’t do a great job of taking care of their veterans (neither did the U.S.) in those days.  Rudyard Kipling had this to say:

The Last of the Light Brigade

There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, “Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites.”

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant’s order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighten the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and “Beggin’ your pardon,” he said,
“You wrote o’ the Light Brigade, sir. Here’s all that isn’t dead.
An’ it’s all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin’ the mouth of hell;
For we’re all of us nigh to the workhouse, an’ we thought we’d call an’ tell.

“No, thank you, we don’t want food, sir; but couldn’t you take an’ write
A sort of ‘to be continued’ and ‘see next page’ o’ the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an’ couldn’t you tell ’em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now.”

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with “the scorn of scorn.”
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

They sent a cheque to the felon that sprang from an Irish bog;
They healed the spavined cab-horse; they housed the homeless dog;
And they sent (you may call me a liar), when felon and beast were paid,
A cheque, for enough to live on, to the last of the Light Brigade.

O thirty million English that babble of England’s might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children’s children are lisping to “honour the charge they made – ”
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

OK, that’s two, only one more to go, 90 years later, to the day, halfway around the world

The Battle of Leyte Gulf

This time it’s the US Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Japanese realized that losing the Philippine Islands meant losing the war put everything they had left into this battle. Here a chart that shows the relative strengths.

Navy Large carriers Small Carriers Aircraft Embarked Battleships Cruisers Destroyers
United States 8 24  1712 12  24 141 
Japan 1 117 9  20 34


From the chart, you can see how amazingly the USN had recovered from Pearl Harbor and the early battles of the war. You should also note that if the ship is not engaged in the battle it doesn’t count for much, so here we go.

The Japanese had a complicated plan depending on close timing between forces coming from various ports and operating under what we call EMCOM now. Essentially radio silence; meaning they couldn’t coordinate their attacks.

The Japanese carriers which had essentially no planes or pilots were used as a decoy force to try to pull Halsey’s 3d fleet away to the north. This worked, although it took them a long time to attract the American’s attention. When they were finally spotted Halsey went charging off after them until he was almost in gunshot and then turned around to help 7th fleet (which we are coming to). This also ended up being too late, so America’s premier naval force mostly sailed around burning oil and accomplishing not much of anything.

The Japanese Centre Force was first spotted in the Palawan Passage by the submarines Darter and Dace. Darter sank the Heavy Cruiser Atago which was Admiral Kurita’s flagship and Dace sank the Takao and severely damaged the Maya, which was forced to withdraw.

Halsey’s force made 259 sorties against the Centre Force eventually sinking the battleship Musashi with her 18.1 inch guns. They also did damage to some other ships. But Kurita made for the San Bernadino Strait at night with 4 battleships and 6 heavy and 3 light cruisers all fully operational.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Southern force including two elderly battleships under Admirals Nishimura and Shima were spotted on the morning of the 24th and Admiral Kincaid who realized they would attempt to attack the landing through the Surigao Strait was preparing to meet them. Kincaid’s 7th fleet had plenty of power for this.

The Battle of Surigao Strait

Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf had 6 old battleships (5 of which had been sunk at Pearl Harbor), 4 Heavy and 4 Light Cruisers, 26 destroyers, and 39 PT Boats. He deployed his lighter ship along the side of the strait and formed his battle line. PT 131 made first contact and for 3 and a half hours the squadron attacked the Japanese force without a hit but, providing contact reports to the force. As Nishimura’s forces entered the strait the American destroyers attacked; hitting both battleships, the Yamishira was able to continue but, Fuso blew up and sank. Admiral Shima with the 2d Striking Force was much discouraged when he came upon the burning halves and other wreckage of the destroyer attack and decided to withdraw. So as Admiral Nishimura emerged from the strait to engage Oldendorf’s battle line, he had 1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser, and 1 Destroyer. Oldendorf crossed his “T”. Parenthetically this is what Lord Nelson risked with his battle plan at Trafalgar that we talked about a few days ago. The American Battleline started firing as they got range information (some had radar rangefinders and some didn’t) at about 30,000 yards. The Battleship was sunk, the Cruiser wrecked and somehow the Destroyer escaped. This was the last surface gun action in history.

The battle off Samar

USS Hoel (DD-533)

7th fleet had 18 escort carriers divided into three task units. They were equipped for fighting submarines and providing air cover to the landing, not for a full-on naval battle. These are usually referred to by their radio call signs Taffy 1, Taffy 2, and the most northerly, Taffy 3 under Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague. It was a routine morning until at 0647 Ensign Jensen from the Kadashan Bay sighted (and attacked) a force that he accurately reported as 4 Battleships and 8 Cruisers. The surprise was complete. A few minutes later heavy shells began falling around the carriers.

Admiral Sprague was in trouble. He was being chased by heavily armed warships which were considerably faster than his escort carriers and were already in range. He also had very few weapons that could hurt them. He started chasing shell splashes, making smoke, running away, and yelling for help, from 3d fleet, 7th fleet, a merciful God, or somewhere. At 0716 he also ordered his three destroyers, the Hoel, the Herrmann, and the Johnston, to counterattack the Japanese which they did with incredible bravery. At 0750 the Destroyer escorts also attacked. Remember these are anti-submarine ships with 5 in and 3 inch guns going on the attack against Battleships and Heavy Cruisers. Not terribly different from charging the Russian guns 90 years before. They attacked with torpedoes and guns and managed to disrupt the Japanese formation enough to give Sprague a chance to get away. All the available aircraft also attacked even though they weren’t carrying the proper (if any) ordnance for this work, they strafed and buzzed and annoyed the Japanese though.

By 0945 the Johnston, the Hoel, and destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts had been sunk. and the escort carrier Gambier Bay was hit repeatedly by 8 inch shells and sank at 0907.

But Kurita had lost control of his formation (and was probably worrying about when 3d fleet would turn up) and broke off the action at 0911.

While Taffy 3 was doing all this, Taffy 1 was subjected to the first organized use of that new weapon: the Kamikaze, Taffy three would be so attacked in the afternoon.

And so we have St Crispin’s Day, a day of mostly victorious battle for the English-speaking peoples. The English win one with a “Band of Brothers”; the British lose one heroically and gloriously, and the Americans win one part easily, live through a terrible nightmare, while the American varsity is off hunting empty carriers.

American Integrity

A reminder of just how young the United States is. According to the Daily Wire, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., died Sept. 26 in Franklin, Tennessee. Who? I hear you ask. Well, he was an attorney and a teacher, teaching at both The Virginia Military Institute and at The Citadel. All in all a very admirable man as the linked article shows.

But what is really striking is that 175 years before his death, his Grandfather left the presidency of the United States. He was John Tyler, the first President to succeed after the death of the President, in his case William Henry Harrison, the victor of the Battle of Tippecanoe, which pretty much ended Tecumseh’s Confederacy, and propelled him to become the first Governor of the Indiana Territory, and then the first Whig president of the United States. The campaign slogan that you may remember from school was “Tippecanoe and Tyler too”.

John Tyler was the president who annexed the Republic of Texas, at its request, in 1845.

“Perhaps John Tyler wasn’t the greatest of presidents,” Tyler reflected. “He was a great man, a loving husband and father and was a servant of the people. You can’t beat that. Who knew the unknown president would be an example to us all (through his integrity)?”

I think we can safely say the same about his grandson.

Over at Ace’s where they speak plain English, occasionally the Anglo-Saxon version, CBD has some thoughts about how TDS got so prevalent.

President Trump is their worst nightmare of an Alpha Male; he gets the hot chicks, he has lots of money, he is physically imposing, and worst of all, he doesn’t run away from a fight the way they were taught by their mothers. That’s why they snipe at him behind the anonymity of Twitter, and the protection of the crowd during press conferences.

But deep down in their frightened and intimidated hearts, they know that Donald Trump and his immense shock of hair would punch the bully and bang the prom queen…and they wouldn’t and couldn’t. […]

And even worse! he loves America, and America loves him back.

As CBD says the idea comes from Dennis Prager.

He and many other Americans (we will soon know how many) who support the president’s Republican policies will vote for the party that stands for almost everything they oppose because they will “vote for the man, not the party.”

I find nothing admirable in this position — morally or rationally. At this time in American history, to care more about an individual candidate than the party is to support the unraveling of America. It is so irrational as to be incredible.

Voting for any Democrat — whether for mayor, district attorney, state legislature, state governor, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate or president — is to vote for someone who will enable the left to destroy America as we know it. (That is their wording, not only mine.) The Democratic Party was once largely liberal. But today, it is left, and the left readily acknowledges it wishes to “transform” America, which means to destroy America as we have known it.

Yep, for years, I was one who voted the man, but that was in the days of the ‘Uniparty’. Those days have gone, The only possible vote today for an American patriot with any claim to integrity is to pull the Big Red Lever marked Republican. There’s that word again: integrity. It’s something that runs through American history in a flood rare if not nonexistent in the rest of the political world. We’ve spoken of this before. In one of Jessica’s articles on John Ford/John Wayne (and Maureen O’Hara) movies, she said this ( about A Quiet Man):

[…] It works because the great John Ford conjures up the things which matter in real life including greed, pride and ambition – and he makes a good story out of them. We can identify with Sean as the outsider with a secret – and a heart as big as a city, and we can sympathise with his ignorance of the local customs. But we also see a humility there too – a willingness to try to learn and to fit in – without losing his integrity. Mary Kate is almost a Bronte heroine – fiercely proud and independent, but trapped by her sex and times into a place where the option open to her seems to have narrowed to being a house-keeper to her bullying brother – to whom she gives almost as good as she gets. But there’s a sense of life being wasted and yet, heavily as she falls for Sean Thornton, she, too, will not do so at the price of her integrity.

That word, integrity, seems to me at the heart of so many of Ford’s films. Men, and women. make choices, and often the rewards for a loss of integrity seem greater than those for retaining it – but Ford gets what we want from him – that his characters choose what is right. His worlds are complex reflections of reality, but he never loses us in relativism; men are men if they make the sacrifices necessary to sustain that identity, and Ford shows us them in many dimensions.

And that is one of the things that connects us, from now in the 21st century, all the way from Trump and the Duke through Lincoln, and Polk, to Jefferson and Washington himself, the man who no less than George III of England called, “The Greatest Man in the World”.

Integrity is that important to free men. To the point that the great founder who designed the economic system that made America the greatest economic power the world has ever seen, a guy by the name of Alexander Hamilton, President Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury, who had a running feud with Jefferson, which was current during the election of 1800 (The ugliest in American history including 2020) said this:

“In a choice of Evils let them take the least – Jefferson is in every view less dangerous than Burr.”

And so, a deal was made, to protect the Federalist economic program, while electing Thomas Jefferson to be the 3d President of the United States. In Hamilton’s view, Jefferson for all his faults (and there were quite a few, in Hamilton’s, and my, view) did, and it was an overriding characteristic, believe in liberty, and in their knowledgeable view, all Burr believed in was Burr and Burr’s pocketbook.

And that is exactly the situation we face again in 2020, 220 years later. President Trump, whatever his faults (and he too has plenty) believes in liberty, while Biden believes in Biden and Biden’s pocketbook to the exclusion of anything else.

Like Hamilton almost said then, we can vote for the United States or we can vote for Burr Biden.

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