Anglo-Saxon Democracy

British Library, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms
The Eadwine Psalter, Canterbury, ca 1150
On the left Christ freeing Adam & Eve from hell; center, an angel announcing Christ's resurrection to the myrhhbearing women.
British Library, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms
The Eadwine Psalter, Canterbury, ca 1150
On the left Christ freeing Adam & Eve from hell; center, an angel announcing Christ’s resurrection to the myrhhbearing women.

The rump faction of Pro-Trump America Firsters in Congress have announced a bold, new America First plan to rescue us all from strictly imaginary dangers like election fraud, immigration, solar power, public health lockdowns, the Chinese Commies, and, my personal favorite “progressive indoctrination and enrichment of an out-of-control elite oligarchy,” which I’m pretty sure is me and my friends. Except they spelled “progressive” as “progessive” so maybe they are talking about someone else entirely.

The whole agenda is the unappetizing meal left under the heat lamps on the buffet table of the Trump administration. This, however, caught my eye:

The America First Caucus recognizes that our country is more than a mass of consumers or a series of abstract ideas. America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions. History has shown that societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country, particularly without institutional support for assimilation and an expansive welfare state to bail them out should they fail to contribute positively to the country.

That whole “Anglo-Saxon political tradition” has an interesting history. I’ve touched on some of this before when I wrote about W. Cleon Skousen, right wing “scholar” beloved of neo-Confederates, right-wing paramilitary troops, and Charles Koch (who says conservatives don’t have a big tent?). His terrible book, The 5,000-Year Leap is filled with references to the Anglo-Saxon traditions upon which this country was supposedly based. As it happens, there is an interesting history in American political thought being invoked here and, of course, it is a racist one. Let’s dig into the Angles and the Saxons and how Americans have abused their name!

5 thoughts on “Anglo-Saxon Democracy

  1. I doubt the majority of the English descend from Angles and Saxons. But, even if that were true, I know for a fact that the majority of Americans don’t descend from the English. American ethnic and regional culture has always been mixed from diverse sources. That shouldn’t surprise anyone with even the most basic historical knowledge.

    It’s interesting that Thomas Paine, as an Englishman who preferred to identify as a citizen o the world, justified American independence based on the known fact at the time that a lot of the colonists were not English. Multiple colonies had non-English majorities and largely unassimilated (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, etc).

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  2. “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions”
    That’s going to play well with the Irish-American vote?
    And actually as a Brit I would point out that these ‘anglo-saxon’ traditions actually have their roots in the Magna Carta which was put together by a group of nobles with strong Norman (that’s in France these days) family ties.
    I would pass another comment, but this might be a family friendly site

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