America As Place or Idea? Carville and Campaign 2020

“You have to defeat Trumpism. You have to defeat the idea that America is a place and not an idea.”

James Carville

Even as an old man now, Carville continues ragin’ like the Cajun he is. However, this rage is refreshing if only because it lays bare the Democratic agenda.

Carville, in this interview, was going off on how the Democrats have to landslide Trump’s “fat ass” in the 2024 election in order to forever put to rest the idea of Trumpism, which Carville interprets, as meaning the vision that America is a place and not an idea. This is the old debate of “America as a propositional nation (Carville’s “America as idea”) and “America as place” characterized by people group identity, love of physical home, and love of forebears and descendants who together make America a identifiable place that can not be inhabited by third world denizens without destroying it as a recognizable place. It is the difference between America as an abstraction (Carville) and America as a concrete transgenerational entity (Trump in his better moments). It is the difference between the vision of the Globalists who intend to turn the whole world into their singular idea (call it what you will) and the vision of the Nationalists who desire to keep America for Americans.

In Carville’s and the Democratic vision America is welded together by people who affirm the same propositions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a feminist, an Asian, a sodomite, a trucker, a Black man, a transsexual, a business owner, an abortion doctor, a Homemaker, or an illegal Muslim immigrant from Somalia, because you can all affirm the same ideas and therefore can all be Americans. A shared history, a shared language, a shared kinship, a shared culture in the Democratic vision is verboten and is un-American. For the Carvillian Democratic vision America is an idea that can redefined according to the needs of the moment.

Actually, these two visions (America as a place vs. America as an idea) is really part of the larger philosophical debate between America as being and America as becoming. For those who see America as a place, America is definable, whereas for those who see America as an idea American is in process of being defined. Between those two beliefs stands the devil and the deep blue sea.

Of course it is my conviction, contra Carville, that America is and always has been a place before it is an idea. Alternately, it is my idea that America is a place and not an abstracted idea. I put it this way because I am fully confident that Carville sees America as a place as well as an idea, but Carville’s vision of America as a place is characterized by the idea that America is where people come if they want to live in a place that has no roots, no historical identity, no sense of kinship. Carville’s definition of America is Scripture’s definition of Hell.

If I were the Trump campaign I would run this Carville quote in a negative add spot and I may well make it the cornerstone of my campaign.

Commercial opens with Carville quote and the segues to the camera panning majestic American countryside. Shows farmers combining Wheat…. dockworkers unloading ships … ranchers feeding cattle … lobster-man working their boats. Scenes like this continue with the following voice over.

“Democrats desire America to be an idea… an abstraction. They desire to deny that Americans have reflected America. We are people of rugged individualism precisely because the place we call home is characterized by its rugged beauty.

America is not an idea. America is the place where our parents, Grandparents and Great-grandparents lived and died. It is the place where our children are growing up. America is no more an idea than the homes we live in are ideas or the family reunions we have are ideas. America is a place and if America ever becomes merely an idea — a set of propositions — America is finished as America.

Our Founders understood that. Listen to just one of them,

“Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, without which a common and free government would be impossible.” ~~John Jay, Federalist #2

America a place? Always if I am your President.”

I’m Donald Trump and I support this message.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

One thought on “America As Place or Idea? Carville and Campaign 2020”

  1. A vague religious idea … will not lead to that practical faith into which inner religious yearning is transformed, [but] only when it leaves the sphere of general metaphysical ideas and is molded into a well-defined belief. Such a belief is not an end in itself, but the means to an end. Yet it is means without which the end could never be reached at all. … We must always bear in mind the fact that, generally speaking, the highest ideals are always the outcome of some profound vital need. … Take from humanity … religious beliefs … that serve as moral standards in practical life, and abolish religious teaching without replacing it by anything of equal value, and the foundation of human existence would be seriously shaken. … Man does not live merely to serve higher ideals, but these ideals, in their turn, furnish the necessary conditions for his existence as a human being.

    All these ideals, no matter how firmly the individual believes in them, may be critically analyzed by any person, and accepted or rejected accordingly, until the emotional concept or yearning has been transformed into an active force that is governed by a clearly defined doctrinal faith. Such a faith constitutes the militant feature which clears the way for the recognition of fundamental religious ideals. Without a clearly defined belief, religious feeling would not only be worthless for purposes of human existence, but might even contribute towards general disorganization, on account of its various and multifarious tendencies. p. 260.

    Adolf Hitler, ‘Mein Kampf’, Murphy translation

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