for Mark Dankof’s America and News and Views
Re-post permission granted with full attribution
"For Mark, With highest regards, and a prayer that should this witnessing be required of us, we’ll be found faithful. Daniel New."
–Daniel New’s inscription accompanying a gift copy to Mark Dankof of Paul Schneider: The Witness of Buchenwald, by Rudolf Wentorf.
My mind travels backward in time today. I am thinking of a sky-blue, sun drenched afternoon in August of 1996 in San Diego, right after the closing of the Republican National Convention in that city. That afternoon, I was cruising in a borrowed green Buick Le Sabre, crossing a multi-lane highway/bridge leading from San Diego to Coronado Island, a span which seemed to encompass the entire breadth of the Pacific Ocean as it suspended me in space a few hundred feet above the blue abyss. The brilliance and intensity of the sun caused a sparkling sheen of light to travel on the very surface of the water, following me as it matched my speed across the bridge suspension in pursuit of the goal of the Hotel Del Coronado.
For the uninitiated, the Hotel Del Coronado is the oldest wooden hotel in the United States, situated in magnificent proximity to the sandy beach of a Pacific shoreline. That August afternoon in 1996, it stood in stark contrast to the plebeian surroundings I enjoyed at a Motel 6 in San Diego at the other end of the bridge span. My accommodations in the latter location had been arranged by the Buchanan for President organization in conjunction with their week of frenzied activity during the Republican National Convention. For me, those seven days comprised the most bizarre and disheartening turn of events I had ever experienced in politics. Concurrently, that sheer handful of days irrevocably changed the course of my life in ways perhaps yet to be played out or fully understood. But what remains in my memory from the time frame of August 11th-15th of 1996, is an aura of mysterious weirdness entering the realm of the eternally surreal. The drive across Coronado Bridge broke the spell for the better. My departure out of San Diego was a bridge crossed once with no regrets; I would never return to the Republican Party again.
In a New York Times op-ed piece emanating from that epochal week, and later in her book Stiffed, author Susan Faludi chronicled the tragic plummeting of the fortunes of the Buchanan wing of the Republican Party, and its subsequent wandering in the wilderness. Driven by their blinding rage at their own powerlessness at the hands of the mercantilist marriage of Corporate America and the Central State; the incessant employment of interventionism and militarism abroad in the enhancement of the glories of an American Empire whose power elite hated them; and the peripatetic cultural malignancy of a secular, post-Christian America, these Buchanan convention delegates and activists as understood and interpreted by Faludi, saw the tragedy of Roe v. Wade not simply as the unthinkable end game for an individual child of God, but a metaphor for their own certain, collective economic and political fate at the hands of future Neros and their minions, desirous of the destruction of the Old Republic and its replacement by a repristinated Roman Empire.
I was, and am, one of them, situated in my lifetime on the culturally and politically east side of the Jordan, wondering where the Promised Land had gone, and how and why its Joshuas had departed. These dark thoughts and an enshrouding feeling of emptiness became all pervasive the last time I ever saw Pat Buchanan. He shook my hand, and the hands of a few other friends and volunteers at a beachfront which served as the site of his last picnic party before departing California for friendlier confines. He then quickly disappeared into the far rear seat of a black, multi-door limousine. I remember how quickly his driver, clad with chauffeur’s cap and immaculate white gloves, drove away. The sandy, smoky dust created by the getaway made the car invisible in a handful of seconds. Perhaps another minute elapsed before the small, forlorn remnant began discussing amongst itself the glum departure itineraries for various locales around America. I indicated that before returning to Kerrville, Texas, I planned on a drive to Coronado Island, site of the National Convention of what is now known as the Constitution Party. I had previously believed that Buchanan would be making the same trek across the bridge as I, making some new and significant American history along the way. But although he decided to travel East instead, I drove my borrowed green Buick Le Sabre to Coronado across the Pacific and toward a different world, convening at the old, wooden hotel.
Constitution and Libertarian National Conventions are qualitatively different from their major party counterparts, chiefly in their inhabitation by people genuinely concerned with the exchange of political, philosophical, and theological ideas, followed subsequently by sincere soul searching for methodologies to employ in the honest attempt to bring these ideas into a coherently packaged philosophy of public policy, designed to serve as a honest platform for political and cultural change in a larger American milieu which alternates between indifference and open hostility. Somnolent septuagenarians Saran Wrapped in Old Glory while hawking Viagra, Archer-Daniel-Midland, UNOCAL, or Halliburton Oil are noticeably absent, as are their media flacks, the Establishment press, and the usual assortment of sleazeballs looking for late-night vice, after a day of successful deception of a simian public weaned on the sensory stimulation of major network news. Noticeably present at the third party conclaves are folks who have actually read the Old and New Testament, St. Augustine, the Protestant Reformers, the American Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. Their sources for news and analysis are luminaries like Joseph Sobran, Lew Rockwell, and Howard Phillips.
These gatherings are also populated by people whose commitment to intellectual integrity and the Old Republic is matched by their courage and tenacity in pursuing transcendent ideals as an alternative to enslavement to mammon and the vapid power brokers of our age. One such man is my friend, Daniel New of Conroe, Texas. He is a horticulturist by profession, a former Christian missionary abroad, and an impassioned defender of the American Constitution and unswerving advocate of the American Right’s return to the principles of the Old Right, in opposition to the Warfare-Welfare State and its twin offerings of a domestic police state and unending expansion of Empire abroad.
My conversations with Dan that fateful weekend in 1996 at the Hotel Del Coronado mirrored many of the open, public sessions. The implications of the enumerated powers doctrine of the 10th Amendment in curbing the Federal Leviathan were throughly examined, as were the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, the 2nd Amendment’s guarantee of the right-to-bear arms, the 4th Amendment’s strictures against unlawful searches and seizures, and the 14th Amendment’s relationship to the unwavering commitment of all in attendance to an inalienable Right-To-Life and the American Constitution’s concomitant dedication to the concept of due process of law. I especially remember Dan’s articulate, impassioned explanation of the need to reassert in the American mind and consciousness, the essential character and observance of Constitutional War Powers in Article I, Section 8–granted to the Congress of the United States exclusively, and not to any American President masquerading as a European monarch and despot.
On this last issue, Daniel New and his family, in the personage of his son Michael, would find themselves having to give painful public testimony to their continued belief in the essential character of the Constitution according the original intent of its authors and signatories. On October 10, 1995 in Germany, Michael New would refuse, on the basis of existing American law and the Constitution, to accept the validity of President Bill Clinton’s unlawful deployment of American Army troops including Michael’s battalion (First of the Fifteenth, 3rd Infantry Division), to Macedonia to serve under UN command. Mike would point out Clinton’s duplicity in referring to the deployment as a Chapter VI deployment ("humanitarian" deployment), when 27 U. N. Security Council resolutions made it clear that the said deployment to Macedonia was a Chapter VII deployment ("combative" missions). Under the U. N. Participation Act of 1945, the latter utilization of American troops would require specific approval from the United States Congress, never asked for or obtained by Mr. Clinton. Mike similarly refused to remove the American flag from the right shoulder, the senior side of the U. S. Army Battle Dress Uniform, to the left shoulder, in deference to the donning on the right side of the United Nations patch, badge, and insignia. This was to be accompanied by the jettisoning of regulation United States Army berets (Green for Special Forces, Black for Rangers, Maroon for Airborne) for the blue helmets and berets of the United Nations. Michael New pointed out to his Army superiors that none of the seven United Nations uniform accouterments had made it into the U. S. Army’s regulation handbook for soldiers–because Congress had never approved the wear of any aspect of the United Nations uniform or other foreign entity for American Army soldiers. For this, he was given a Bad Conduct Discharge, and a subsequent protracted legal struggle in both civilian and military courts that has never rendered a satisfactory result, either in terms of the categorization of his discharge, or the court system’s rendering of legitimate answers to the legal and Constitutional questions presented by Bill Clinton’s unilateral deployment of American forces in the service of The New World Order, not only in Macedonia but around the world. The failure of Congress and the courts in this arena would lead to another undeclared war abroad, and the USA Patriot Act’s police state measures domestically, under a Republican Presidential successor. The New family is neither gratified–nor surprised.
My friendship with Daniel, Suzanne, and Michael New would continue in the years that followed the weekend at the Hotel Del Coronado in August of 1996. Dan and I would spend time together on the Executive Committee of the Constitution Party of Texas; later we would be reunited at the Conservative Caucus’ Y2K Conference at the University Club in Washington, D. C. in 1999. Over the years, many messages would pass between my e-mail address and Dan’s. Those reading this essay who correspond with him regularly will affirm his constant devotion to his friends, his constant offerings of both the contemplative and the serious, the timely character of his response to notes and inquiries, and the occasional gifts which arrive unannounced at one’s U. S. Mail Box at home. For me, this would include the poignant and the humorous. The former includes a photo of Michael New and his wife now situated next to my computer. It is situated there as a constant reminder of American patriotism and sacrifice, and my own commitment each day to pray on their behalf. The latter includes a package which just came to my suburban Philadelphia home a few days ago. Inside the package, was a bona fide roll of toilet paper–complete with the United Nations seal of incorporation on each piece. Each time one of these gifts arrives, I am reminded of Daniel New’s unique synthesis of dedication to Biblical and Constitutional principles to the point of death, with an accompanying humor and recognition of the fleeting character of this temporal life. Whether fighting the New World Order, advancing the cause of literacy in Mexico, or accepting an appointment as the Texas State Chair of the League of the South, Dan has never lost sight of the Latin maxim, Verbum Dei manet in aeternum (The Word of God abides forever.). He’d tell you that the loss of the Old Republic will more than be compensated by our eventual entrance into the Kingdom of God in eternity, a place reserved for us by the Crucified and Risen Jesus Christ. That is the New family’s bottom line in the end.
For those interested in encountering this fabulous man and his mission in this temporal world, check: http://www.MikeNew.com http://www.UNWatch.com, http://UN-freeZone.org, http://www.Sochiapan.org (Mexican literacy), and the League of the South (Texas) web site at http://www.TexasLS.org. One will be treated to the same pearls of thought I receive in each communication with Dan, which include the crown jewels from his last personal communication with me:
On Government and Church
". . . my relationship to this government is determined very much by whether I am the Citizen King, or a Conquered Subject. I am convinced today that the Republic we all loved is dead as can be, and is beyond revival, and while we might mourn, we as the Bride of Christ need to learn something never even talked about these days, and that is "Survival in the Empire," and certainly the First Century Church offers us some leadership examples in that area once we are awake to the reality. It certainly transforms what we do in regard to politics, to say the least. Talking survival is not ever going to happen in a 501.3 Franchise of the State. I’m sure that’s apparent to you [Dankof] on its face. They cannot survive as an institution if they counsel their members to become an invisible community. Those are mutually exclusive paradigms. Well, my Brother, as for me and my house, we are more interested in seeing the Body of Christ do what it should than we are in seeing religious professionals use our money to prop up a corrupt civil government which has become alienated from its previous rulers, the People."
Revolutions and "Freedom"
"Most revolutions are apparent, because Blood is generally evident. Shots are fired. The losers are shot, or languish as they await trial. But I fear that our government slowly subsided under the weight of socialist chains, over the entire course of the 20th century. Lenin’s prediction was fulfilled–the USA fell like an overripe fruit into the hands of his minions, or those who financed him. Moot point. Just as the Comintern "disbanded" in 1944, the UN was formed in 1945, effectively replacing it. That tired old red horse we called "Communism" finally collapsed in 1991 or so, but with two Marxists in the White House for eight solid years (sandwiched between two socialists), and a State Department that has been in their hands since FDR, how on earth can we even begin to think that, ‘Freedom won’?"
The Old Republic
"I believe the destruction of the First Republic was complete by 1865, and the second probably died by 1932, but in any event, that’s a historian’s job, not mine. The important thing is that, if we are no longer in a nation where we are the rulers, then we have been swindled, and the solution is either to take it back (tell me how!), or prepare to live under bondage."
American Revolution and Revival
"What good is a second American revolution without the moral underpinning so essential to the first? I wouldn’t want to see the results. So we’re back to Revival as the First Step. If the real Cradle of Liberty was 150 years of fathers reading the Word of God to their children every morning and evening in the creation of an atmosphere where Liberty could be achieved, then we are a long, long way from realizing, or even conceiving of such an atmosphere. It begins on our knees. It may end in blood; it may end in chains. It may end in catacombs. I kind of like catacombs, at least better than I like cathedrals."
By God’s grace and leading, I crossed a bridge with Daniel New over the Pacific toward Coronado seven years ago. In my mind, I still see the sparking sheen of radiant sunlight skimming the surface of the deep, blue sea as I approached the Island. Perhaps yet other Americans will take the same irrevocable journey in the same Divinely destined direction, while there is yet an opportunity. For the sands of time continue to wash away with each undulating wave, while the sun begins its process of final disappearance beyond the western horizon of the endpoint of linear history and time.
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