The Year of the Conservative Comeback

The Year of the Conservative Comeback

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The election of 1976 had brought Jimmy Carter to the White House as a different kind of Southern Democrat. His domestic policies failed to resonate with the American public and his standing as an international leader was badly damaged by the Iranian hostage drama that began in 1979 and continued until after the inauguration of his successor.

Nevertheless, the Democrats were not inclined to switch allegiance from an incumbent and Carter had no difficulty securing his party`s nomination. On the Republican side, the contest to oppose Carter was very active. Ronald Reagan had emerged from the 1976 as the clear favorite of the conservative wing. His opponents included George H.W. Bush, an Eastern establishment candidate, and John Anderson, a progressive Republican. Reagan was successful in the primaries, causing Anderson to drop out of the Republican Party altogether and Bush to switch some positions in order to remake himself as a running mate for Reagan.

As the campaign began in earnest after the conventions, Carter held a lead over Reagan, but Reagan did well in debates and was able to overcome the perception that he held radical positions that would be a danger to the country. In November, the voters entrusted him with the Presidency, and initiated a period of twelve years of Republican control of the White House.

Election of 1980
CandidatesPartyElectoral VotePopular Vote
Ronald W. Reagan (CA) George H.W. Bush (TX)Republican48943,898,770
Jimmy Carter (GA) Walter F. Mondale (MN)Democratic4935,480,948
John B. Anderson (IL) Patrick Lucey (WI)Independent...5,719,222
Ed Clark (CA) David Koch (NY)Libertarian...920,049

Conservative Momma's Blog

Allen West is one of a small group of black Republicans who hope to capitalize on the race card controversy being perpetuated by Obama supporters, in 2010.

Previously posted on our website, Political Integrity Now.

As has been reported on Political Integrity Now in the past, accusations of racism based upon political disagreements are not only wrong, but they do a disservice to those who are true victims of racism. PIN hopes that Allen West is on to something. It is a disgrace that so many citizens believe the hype that Democrats have always been a friend to black people.

As reported by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, on

When former President Jimmy Carter said racism was an underlying factor in attacks on President Obama, it’s safe to say he had no intention of boosting Allen West’s campaign for Congress in Florida’s Broward County.

But according to West, a retired Army colonel who is running for the second time against Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in Florida’s 22nd congressional district, that is exactly what has happened.

“Since (Democrats) have thrown out the race card, it has made me more appealing,” says West, one of a small but determined group of black Republicans running for seats in the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives in 2010.

Eager to overturn the “conventional wisdom” that the GOP is mainly a white bread party that offers few opportunities for minorities, these black Republicans believe they can attract increasingly agitated conservatives, as well as independents, to make 2010 their year.

They also conceded in interviews that the injection of race — a familiar theme since Obama’s election last year — has given them a certain edge and authority when they speak out against the president’s agenda. Because they’re black, they say, they can lead the charge against Democratic policies without being called “racist.” In fact, they say, their skin color may make them more attractive candidates.

“A lot of people who don’t want to be part of Obama’s policies are being called racist,” West said. “Then they say, ‘Hey, this guy, Colonel West — he’s black and I support him.'”

“It’s made me more appealing,” West told, “because it shows the contrast of our principles — how different we are even though we both have permanent tans.”

Continuing from the Fox story:

The GOP still calls itself the “Party of Lincoln” because of its historical ties to the abolition of American slavery, and blacks remained loyal to the party after Reconstruction as Southern Democrats established segregationist Jim Crow laws. But the scene began to shift during the Depression, as blacks voted in large numbers for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal policies.

The Democrats cemented their lock on black voters in the 1960s when President Lyndon Johnson pushed his Great Society programs and, more importantly, the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 through Congress. Four years later, in 1968, Richard Nixon wooed disenchanted Southern Democrats to win the presidency, setting the GOP on its current course, demographically, with voters of color. Read more.

The interesting thing to note about this particular segment is that the turning point for black loyalty to the Democrats is bathed in the facade that Democrats were the ones pushing for Civil Rights legislation under Johnson. This is something that Republicans had been pushing for over a long period of time, but were repeatedly shut down by Democrat majorities. Lyndon Johnson went against his party and some Democrats and a majority of Republicans came to his aid. THIS is how the Democrats clinched the black vote. They (as a party) did not wish to secure civil rights for blacks, however they repeatedly said that they did and expected that the public would believe them. They banked on this deception and the gamble paid off. To read more in depth and look at the Democratic and Republican party platforms, through the years (along with factual records to back up or debunk claims made in those platforms) see this document. This is a detailed 124 year side-by-side comparison of the two major political parties and their civil rights efforts–or lack thereof.

In order to maintain any level of political integrity, we must all do our own research. You sell yourself short if you just accept as fact what you see or hear reported. Find out if the facts back up the claims and then make your own decisions. Black or white, purple or green, we all owe it to ourselves to own our choices.

The Year of the Conservative Comeback - History

A lousy president with a head full of sawdust who is bent on proving that he can be even worse as an ex-president.

Abu Ibrahim al Hashemi al Qurashi, leader of the Islamic State

In response to the only good thing France has done in recent decades, which is to stand up once and for all to the kind of multiculturalism that Islamism feels comfortable with, the Islamic State has simply said, “We will crush you.” It’s a good time to crush Abu-Ibrahim what’s-his-name. It was easier to curse terrorists when they had short names like Bin Laden.

Xi Jinping, butcher

We will never forget this horrible 2020 thanks to the idiot Xi Jinping, who hid his country’s epidemic until it had already become a pandemic, who does not allow us to investigate the origin of the virus, and who continues to do the only thing a good communist leader knows how to do: mass murder his own people.

SpongeBob, talking sponge

I’m sorry to say this, but SpongeBob is a perfect idiot. And I think at this point we have a right to know if Hunter Biden is inside the sponge.

Malena Ernman and Svante Thunberg, snake-oil potion peddlers

Parents of a girl with mental problems who have chosen to expose and ruin her adolescence rather than protect her health. All for the money. And then something about climate change and something about an Atlantic crossing in a catamaran without an engine (it’s a magic engine that only starts up when the press leaves).

Jack Dorsey, trainee censor

When Twitter and Facebook censored the New York Post article on Biden, they did more than just invent a brilliant algorithm. Dorsey now says that it was wrong. But he doesn’t mean the fact they did it, but the way they went about communicating it. OK, Dorsey.

Justin Trudeau, a feminist man

A guy who censors the word “humanity” for not being inclusive enough is more than an idiot. Years ago some Spanish columnists created a glossary of all existing types of stupid. My favorite is the “fool with street-facing balconies,” which is a type of idiot who exposes his stupidity to the world with pride. Trudeau is a perfect fool with a street-facing balcony.

Itxu Díaz, a guy who writes things

Satirical bastard. Spanish from Spain. Sometimes he writes sober. Sometimes he gets his readers angry. Occasionally he makes someone laugh, almost always by accident. Ideal dance partner for a funeral. Brain-dead with his liver on its last leg. He likes blondes, especially the ones with a big frothy head and alcohol. DM only.

Gavin Newsom, governor of your business

Leftist multimillionaire, consequently, the most enthusiastic supporter of the total closure of California for as long as possible, especially if this generates more poverty. After all, he loves the poor. Well, and immigrants, and cannabis, and abortion, and Kamala Harris, and everybody riding their bikes to work. I would only be willing to take him off the list if he sends me a good collection of his best bottles of wine for Christmas. If I get enough bottles, I might even propose him as man of the year — at least until I sober up.

Nixon, Before Watergate

Missing from the retelling of the Watergate story are the astonishing achievements of that most maligned of statesmen in the 20th century.

It has been a summer of remembrance.

The centennial of the Great War that began with the Guns of August 1914. The 75th anniversary of the Danzig crisis that led to Hitler’s invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. The 70th anniversary of D-Day. In America, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And this week marks the 40th anniversary of the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Once again, aging liberals will walk the children through the tale of that triumph of American democracy when they helped to save our republic from the greatest menace to the Constitution in all of history.

Missing from the retelling will be the astonishing achievements of that most maligned of statesmen in the 20th century. And as this writer was at Nixon’s side for more than eight years before that August day in 1974, let me recount a few.

When Nixon took the oath in January 1969, more than 500,000 U.S. soldiers were in Vietnam or on the way, and U.S. casualties were running at 200 to 300 American dead every week.

Liberalism’s best and brightest had marched us into an Asian war they could not win or end. Yet by the end of Nixon’s first term, all U.S. forces and POWs were home or on the way, and every provincial capital was in Saigon’s hands.

Nixon had promised to end the war with honor. He had done so. Moreover, he had negotiated with Moscow the greatest arms control treaty since the Washington Naval Agreement of 1921-22: SALT I, setting limits on long-range ballistic missiles, and the ABM Treaty.

Nixon had gone to China and brought that enormous nation, then in the madness of its Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, out of its angry isolation.

He would rescue Israel in the Yom Kippur War at her moment of maximum peril, with a massive U.S. airlift and warning to the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev not to intervene as Moscow appeared about to do.

At that war’s end, Nixon would pull Egypt out of the Soviet Bloc into America’s orbit, where Anwar Sadat would later negotiate a peace with Menachem Begin. Golda Meir called Richard Nixon the best friend Israel ever had.

Though he took office with both houses of Congress against him and the media loathing him, Nixon ended the draft as he had promised, created the successful all-volunteer Army, and extended the vote to all 18-, 19- and 20-year-old Americans.

When he took office, only 10 percent of Southern schools were desegregated. When Nixon left, the figure was 70 percent.

During Nixon’s first term, 12 Americans, beginning with Neil Armstrong, walked on the moon. No American has ever done so since.

Nixon remade the Supreme Court, naming four justices in his first term, including a new Chief Justice, Warren Burger, who replaced Earl Warren, and future Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Nixon increased Social Security benefits to seniors and indexed them against inflation, as he had promised in 1966. Scores of millions of retired and elderly Americans today enjoy a far greater economic security because of Richard Nixon.

Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, OSHA, and the Cancer Institute, of which he was especially proud.

During the first 25 years of the Cold War, America bore almost alone the burden of rebuilding Europe and Japan, the defense of the West, and the hot wars in Korea and Vietnam to halt the advance of communism.

As U.S. dollars poured out, allies began to cash them in for Fort Knox gold. Nixon ended Bretton Woods, shut the gold window, let the dollar float and imposed wage and price controls. For better or worse, Richard Nixon was the father of the modern economic era. No future president has undone what he did.

As coalition builder, Nixon is rivaled in the 20th century only by FDR. As this writer relates in The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority, Nixon rebuilt his ruined career and reunited his shattered party after the LBJ landslide of 1964, and he led it to victory in a cliffhanger three-way race in 1968, the most violent year since the Civil War.

By 1972, that united Republican Party had rallied to its banners a coalition of more than 60 percent of the nation, giving Richard Nixon an unprecedented 49-state landslide and enabling Republicans to maintain control of the White House in 20 of the 24 years after 1968.

1968 had been the year of the Tet Offensive, the breaking of the Johnson presidency, the murder of Dr. King, race riots in 100 cities, the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, and the shattering of the Democratic Party in the convention hall and the streets of Chicago.

By 1972, Hugh Sidey of Time was hailing the “cooling of America” in the Nixon presidency. Then came Watergate.

Remember his other accomplishments, when hearing this week again of the horrors on the tape of June 23.

Republished with gracious permission from Mr. Buchanan (August 2014).

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The 1619 Chronicles

Journalism does better when it writes the first rough draft of history, not the last word on it.

If there’s one word admirers and critics alike can agree on when it comes to The New York Times’s award-winning 1619 Project, it’s ambition. Ambition to reframe America’s conversation about race. Ambition to reframe our understanding of history. Ambition to move from news pages to classrooms. Ambition to move from scholarly debate to national consciousness.

In some ways, this ambition succeeded. The 1619 Project introduced a date, previously obscure to most Americans, that ought always to have been thought of as seminal — and probably now will. It offered fresh reminders of the extent to which Black freedom was a victory gained by courageous Black Americans, and not just a gift obtained from benevolent whites.

It showed, in a stunning photo essay, the places where human beings were once bought and sold as slaves — neglected scenes of American infamy. It illuminated the extent to which so much of what makes America great, including some of our uniquely American understandings of liberty and equality, is unthinkable without the struggle of Black Americans, as well as the extent to which so much of what continues to bedevil us is the result of centuries of racism.

And, in a point missed by many of the 1619 Project’s critics, it does not reject American values. As Nikole Hannah-Jones, its creator and leading voice, concluded in her essay for the project, “I wish, now, that I could go back to the younger me and tell her that her people’s ancestry started here, on these lands, and to boldly, proudly, draw the stars and those stripes of the American flag.” It’s an unabashedly patriotic thought.

But ambition can be double-edged. Journalists are, most often, in the business of writing the first rough draft of history, not trying to have the last word on it. We are best when we try to tell truths with a lowercase t, following evidence in directions unseen, not the capital-T truth of a pre-established narrative in which inconvenient facts get discarded. And we’re supposed to report and comment on the political and cultural issues of the day, not become the issue itself.

As fresh concerns make clear, on these points — and for all of its virtues, buzz, spinoffs and a Pulitzer Prize — the 1619 Project has failed.

Those concerns came to light last month when a longstanding critic of the project, Phillip W. Magness, noted in the online magazine Quillette that references to 1619 as the country’s “true founding” or “moment [America] began” had disappeared from the digital display copy without explanation.

These were not minor points. The deleted assertions went to the core of the project’s most controversial goal, “to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year.”

That doesn’t mean that the project seeks to erase the Declaration of Independence from history. But it does mean that it seeks to dethrone the Fourth of July by treating American history as a story of Black struggle against white supremacy — of which the Declaration is, for all of its high-flown rhetoric, supposed to be merely a part.

In a tweet, Hannah-Jones responded to Magness and other critics by insisting that “the text of the project” remained “unchanged,” while maintaining that the case for making 1619 the country’s “true” birth year was “always a metaphoric argument.” I emailed her to ask if she could point to any instances before this controversy in which she had acknowledged that her claims about 1619 as “our true founding” had been merely metaphorical. Her answer was that the idea of treating the 1619 date metaphorically should have been so obvious that it went without saying.

She then challenged me to find any instance in which the project stated that “using 1776 as our country’s birth date is wrong,” that it “should not be taught to schoolchildren,” and that the only one “that should be taught” was 1619. “Good luck unearthing any of us arguing that,” she added.

Here is an excerpt from the introductory essay to the project by The New York Times Magazine’s editor, Jake Silverstein, as it appeared in print in August 2019 (italics added):

“1619. It is not a year that most Americans know as a notable date in our country’s history. Those who do are at most a tiny fraction of those who can tell you that 1776 is the year of our nation’s birth. What if, however, we were to tell you that this fact, which is taught in our schools and unanimously celebrated every Fourth of July, is wrong, and that the country’s true birth date, the moment that its defining contradictions first came into the world, was in late August of 1619?”

Now compare it to the version of the same text as it now appears online:

“1619 is not a year that most Americans know as a notable date in our country’s history. Those who do are at most a tiny fraction of those who can tell you that 1776 is the year of our nation’s birth. What if, however, we were to tell you that the moment that the country’s defining contradictions first came into the world was in late August of 1619?”

In an email, Silverstein told me that the changes to the text were immaterial, in part because it still cited 1776 as our nation’s official birth date, and because the project’s stated aim remained to put 1619 and its consequences as the true starting point of the American story.

Readers can judge for themselves whether these unacknowledged changes violate the standard obligations of transparency for New York Times journalism. The question of journalistic practices, however, raises deeper doubts about the 1619 Project’s core premises.

In his introduction, Silverstein argues that America’s “defining contradictions” were born in August 1619, when a ship carrying 20 to 30 enslaved Africans from what is present-day Angola arrived in Point Comfort, in the English colony of Virginia. And the title page of Hannah-Jones’s essay for the project insists that “our founding ideals of liberty and equality were false when they were written.”

Both points are illogical. A “defining contradiction” requires a powerful point of opposition or inconsistency, and in the year 1619 the points of opposition were few and far between. Slavery and the slave trade had been global phenomena for centuries by the early 17th century, involving Europeans and non-Europeans as slave traders and the enslaved. The Africans who arrived in Virginia that August got there only because they had been seized by English privateers from a Portuguese ship headed for the port of Veracruz in Mexico, then a part of the Spanish Empire.

In this sense, and for all of its horror, there was nothing particularly surprising in the fact that slavery made its way to the English colonies on the Eastern Seaboard, as it already had in the rest of the Western Hemisphere.

What was surprising was that in 1776 a politically formidable “defining contradiction” — “that all men are created equal” — came into existence through the Declaration of Independence. As Abraham Lincoln wrote in 1859, that foundational document would forever serve as a “rebuke and stumbling block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.” It’s why, at the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery, Lincoln would date the country’s founding to “four score and seven years ago.”

As for the notion that the Declaration’s principles were “false” in 1776, ideals aren’t false merely because they are unrealized, much less because many of the men who championed them, and the nation they created, hypocritically failed to live up to them. Most of us, at any given point in time, are falling short of some ideal we nonetheless hold to be true or good.

These two flaws led to a third, conceptual, error. “Out of slavery — and the anti-Black racism it required — grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional,” writes Silverstein.

Nearly everything? What about, say, the ideas contained by the First Amendment? Or the spirit of openness that brought millions of immigrants through places like Ellis Island? Or the enlightened worldview of the Marshall Plan and the Berlin airlift? Or the spirit of scientific genius and discovery exemplified by the polio vaccine and the moon landing? On the opposite side of the moral ledger, to what extent does anti-Black racism figure in American disgraces such as the brutalization of Native Americans, the Chinese Exclusion Act or the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II?

Monocausality — whether it’s the clash of economic classes, the hidden hand of the market, or white supremacy and its consequences — has always been a seductive way of looking at the world. It has always been a simplistic one, too. The world is complex. So are people and their motives. The job of journalism is to take account of that complexity, not simplify it out of existence through the adoption of some ideological orthodoxy.

This mistake goes far to explain the 1619 Project’s subsequent scholarly and journalistic entanglements. It should have been enough to make strong yet nuanced claims about the role of slavery and racism in American history. Instead, it issued categorical and totalizing assertions that are difficult to defend on close examination.

It should have been enough for the project to serve as curator for a range of erudite and interesting voices, with ample room for contrary takes. Instead, virtually every writer in the project seems to sing from the same song sheet, alienating other potential supporters of the project and polarizing national debate.

An early sign that the project was in trouble came in an interview last November with James McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” and a past president of the American Historical Association. He was withering: “Almost from the outset,” McPherson told the World Socialist Web Site, “I was disturbed by what seemed like a very unbalanced, one-sided account, which lacked context and perspective.”

In particular, McPherson objected to Hannah-Jones’s suggestion that the struggle against slavery and racism and for civil rights and democracy was, if not exclusively then mostly, a Black one. As she wrote in her essay: “The truth is that as much democracy as this nation has today, it has been borne on the backs of Black resistance.”

McPherson demurs: “From the Quakers in the 18th century, on through the abolitionists in the antebellum, to the Radical Republicans in the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the N.A.A.C.P., which was an interracial organization founded in 1909, down through the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s, there have been a lot of whites who have fought against slavery and racial discrimination, and against racism,” he said. “And that’s what’s missing from this perspective.”

In a lengthier dissection, published in January in The Atlantic, the Princeton historian Sean Wilentz accused Hannah-Jones of making arguments “built on partial truths and misstatements of the facts.” The goal of educating Americans on slavery and its consequences, he added, was so important that it “cannot be forwarded through falsehoods, distortions and significant omissions.”

Wilentz’s catalog of the project’s mistakes is extensive. Hannah-Jones’s essay claimed that by 1776 Britain was “deeply conflicted” over its role in slavery. But despite the landmark Somerset v. Stewart court ruling in 1772, which held that slavery was not supported by English common law, it remained deeply embedded in the practices of the British Empire. The essay claimed that, among Londoners, “there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade” by 1776. But the movement to abolish the British slave trade only began about a decade later — inspired, in part, Wilentz notes, by American antislavery agitation that had started in the 1760s and 1770s. The list goes on.

Then there was an essay in Politico in March by the Northwestern historian Leslie M. Harris, an expert on pre-Civil War African-American life and slavery. “On Aug. 19 of last year,” Harris wrote, “I listened in stunned silence as Nikole Hannah-Jones … repeated an idea that I had vigorously argued against with her fact checker: that the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America.”

None of this should have come as a surprise: The 1619 Project is a thesis in search of evidence, not the other way around. Nor was this fire from the right: Both Wilentz and Harris were at pains to emphasize their sympathy with the project’s moral aims.

Yet, aside from a one-word “clarification” issued in March — after months of public pressure, The Times conceded that only “some” colonists fought for independence primarily to defend slavery — the response of the magazine has been, in effect, “nothing to see here.” In a pair of lengthy editor’s notes, Silverstein has defended much of the scholarship in the project by citing another slate of historians to back him up. That’s one way of justifying the final product.

The larger problem is that The Times’s editors, however much background reading they might have done, are not in a position to adjudicate historical disputes. That should have been an additional reason for the 1619 Project to seek input from, and include contributions by, an intellectually diverse range of scholarly voices. Yet not only does the project choose a side, it also brooks no doubt.

“It is finally time to tell our story truthfully,” the magazine declares on its 1619 cover page. Finally? Truthfully? Is The Times suggesting that distinguished historians, like the ones who have seriously disputed aspects of the project, had previously been telling half-truths or falsehoods?

Almost inevitably, what began as a scholarly quarrel became a political one.

About a month before the project’s publication, Silverstein reached out to the Pulitzer Center to propose a 1619 curriculum for schools. Soon thereafter, the project was being introduced into classrooms across the country.

It’s one thing for a newspaper to publish the 1619 Project by way of challenging its subscribers: After all, they pay for the product. It’s quite another to become a pedagogical product for schoolchildren who, along with their parents, in most cases probably don’t subscribe. This was stepping into the political fray in a way that was guaranteed to invite not just right-wing blowback, but possible federal involvement.

That’s exactly what has happened. When “1619” was spray-painted on a toppled statue of George Washington, many people took angry or horrified notice. When Hannah-Jones tweeted that “it would be an honor” for the summer’s unrest to be called “the 1619 riots,” the right took notice again. For many, the 1619 Project smacked of fake history coming from the “fake news” — with results that were all too real. As unbidden gifts to Donald Trump go, it could hardly have been sweeter than that.

Sure enough, last month Trump suggested he would cut off federal funding to any public school using it in its curriculum. He even proposed establishing a “1776 Commission” to help “restore patriotic education to our schools.” Many Americans shudder at the thought of what the president might have in mind by “patriotic education.” But ideas have consequences. They aren’t always the ones that authors — or publishers — anticipate or desire.

Beyond these political disputes is a metaphysical question that matters. What is a founding? Why have generations of Americans considered 1776 our birth date — as opposed to 1781, when we won our independence militarily at Yorktown or 1783, when we won it diplomatically through the Treaty of Paris or 1788, when our system of government came into existence with the ratification of the Constitution?

The answer is that, unlike other dates, 1776 uniquely marries letter and spirit, politics and principle: The declaration that something new is born, combined with the expression of an ideal that — because we continue to believe in it even as we struggle to live up to it — binds us to the date.

Contrary to what the 1619 Project claims, 1776 isn’t just our nation’s “official” founding. It is our symbolic one, too. The metaphor of 1776 is more powerful than that of 1619 because what makes America most itself isn’t four centuries of racist subjugation. It’s 244 years of effort by Americans — sometimes halting, but often heroic — to live up to our greatest ideal. That’s a struggle that has been waged by people of every race and creed. And it’s an ideal that continues to inspire millions of people at home and abroad.

For obvious reasons, I’ve thought long and hard about the ethics of writing this essay. On the one hand, outside of exceptional circumstances, it’s bad practice to openly criticize the work of one’s colleagues. We bat for the same team and owe one another collegial respect.

On the other, the 1619 Project has become, partly by its design and partly because of avoidable mistakes, a focal point of the kind of intense national debate that columnists are supposed to cover, and that is being widely written about outside The Times. To avoid writing about it on account of the first scruple is to be derelict in our responsibility toward the second.

All the more so as journalists, in the United States and abroad, come under relentless political assault from critics who accuse us of being fake, biased, partisan and an arm of the radical left. Many of these attacks are baseless. Some of them are not. Through its overreach, the 1619 Project has given critics of The Times a gift.

Scout 80 Campermobile

Camp culture in the 1950s and early 󈨀s was huge. The Scout 80 helped foment the enthusiasm for the outdoors with its special Campermobile variant, released in 1963. Among the rarest variants out there, you’d be lucky to find one of these out there, and luckier still if it was in reputable shape. The quintessential 80s all-integrated camp vehicle was cutting edge for its time, with sleeping bunks that folded out of the sides, a built in dinette set, stand-up galley, and toilet. Due to the scarcity of orders, few were produced, and even fewer bought. Shoddy manufacturing led the Campermobile to be prone to falling apart in rough terrain, and little affection from the public for the design led to fewer than 100 being purchased.

Photo: New Legend 4ࡪ

Biblical Chronology and Dating of the Early Bible

Until a few years ago, I thought that if one accepted the idea that the early Genesis chronology is reliable, one would automatically arrive at a date of about 4000 BC for the creation of the world. It turns out that may not be quite true. In this chapter, we will look at several different methods of dating these early events. This chapter is an upgraded and expanded revision of an article that I wrote, published in Bible and Spade magazine.. Curt Sewell, Biblical Chronologies Compared, in "Bible and Spade," Vol.8, No.1, Winter 1995, pp. 20-31.

First, however, we should understand that secular scientists and others who do not accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God think the world must be extremely old -- 4-1/2 billion years is the usual age cited for Earth, and several million years for Homo sapiens, or human beings. These ages completely disagree with the Bible, and therefore must be rejected by those who take the Bible to be an accurate historical record.

Archaeologists also usually differ somewhat with a 6000-year age for the earth, but not by nearly as wide a margin. These scientists have studied the artifacts left by civilized people, and usually agree that civilization began no more than about 10,000 years ago. Although some of their age-dates are too old to agree with most Biblical interpretations, they are at least in the same ballpark.

We'll use two different systems to indicate dates -- AM and BC (sometimes called BCE, meaning "Before the Common Era"). The AM system, meaning "Anno Mundi," or "Year of the World," begins with year 0 as the date of Creation, and the numbers increase as time moves toward the present.

The year 1 BC, meaning "Before Christ," is the first year before the assumed birth-year of Jesus. The following year is called AD 1, meaning "Anno Domini, the year of our Lord." Secularists often call this CE, meaning "Common Era." There is no year zero.

The Bible contains enough information so that we can calculate AM dates directly, with just a little addition and subtraction. In this way, we can show exact AM birth and death dates for all the major patriarchs from the Creation to the Exodus from Egypt. Converting these to the BC system is more difficult, as we'll show later.

Sources of Biblical Differences

There are three ancient text versions of the Old Testament -- the Septuagint, the Masoretic, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. Although scholars say that all agree on the important doctrines, there are noticeable differences between them. Of particular interest to us now are the different numbers in the genealogies that are given in the 5th and 11th chapters of Genesis, which record the number of years from the Creation until the birth of Abraham.

There are also at least two different methods of calculating genealogical timing. We will refer to them as the "Ussher Method" and the "Patriarchal Age Method." These will be described in later paragraphs.

The Three Ancient Text Versions

We do not possess any of the original Biblical manuscripts (or autographs). There are several theories as to how they were first written, but most conservative scholars agree that they finally appeared in paleo-Hebrew script early in the history of the Israelites, and this was probably in the land of Israel.

However, by the end of the fourth century BC, many Jews were living in Egypt probably most of them had immigrated there during Nebuchadnezzar's invasions and his destruction of Jerusalem shortly after 600 BC. They undoubtedly took copies of their Scriptures with them.

When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and the Middle East in 332 BC he began to unify his world -- a process called "Hellenization." He had the great library at Alexandria built, and brought with him a form of Greek known as koine Greek. It quickly became the common language of the known world and later was used in the original New Testament writings. But the Jewish Scriptures were still in Hebrew. Many Egyptian Jews, however, spoke koine Greek, but not Hebrew.

In the early part of the third century BC, a group of 70 (or 72) scholars were brought to the Alexandrian library by the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy-1, to translate the Hebrew scriptures into Koine Greek. The result of their work became known as the Septuagint text (meaning "70," and sometimes called the "LXX"). This became the Bible for the "man on the street" for many centuries. It was the Bible used in Israel during the time of Jesus and the writers of the New Testament. There are internal evidences showing that Luke probably used the Septuagint when he wrote his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles.

The Samaritan Pentateuch is used today by the several hundred people known as Samaritans, who live in the central part of Israel. They are descendants of intermarriage between native Israelites and settlers brought in by the Assyrians and Babylonians after their conquests in the eighth and sixth centuries BC. It is said that the nephew of Sanballat (see Nehemiah 2:10,19, 4:1-8 etc.) came from Egypt in the mid-400's BC and brought a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures with him. The Samaritan Bible consists only of the "Pentateuch," the first five books of the Old Testament.

Finally, in about the fifth century AD, a group of Jewish scholars known as Masoretes met in Jerusalem to consolidate their Scriptures. The resulting text is called the Masoretic text. It is the basis for most modern Old Testaments. It is generally considered to be extremely faithful to the original manuscripts. But it is based on sources that are certainly much more recent than those of either the Septuagint or the Samaritan Pentateuch.

Many people including this writer believe, as an article of faith, that the Bible in its original writing was inerrant, that is, was inspired by God and was absolutely accurate in all respects and, as copies and translations were made, God preserved all important facts and doctrines. One principle used by scholars to judge manuscripts is that, barring other factors, the oldest one is probably the most accurate. Therefore let us compare the relative age of the sources for these three text versions.

The Samaritan Pentateuch is said to have been brought to Samaria from Egypt during the fifth century BC. Many modern scholars do not consider this to be a valid claim. But the fact that it has only the first five books, and none of the later ones, is a point in favor of the extreme antiquity of the Samaritan text. However there are many spots where it's apparently been altered at some early date. The oldest copy in their possession today dates from about AD 1200.

The Septuagint is known to have been translated from Hebrew into koine Greek in the early third century BC (about 275 BC).

The Masoretic text was produced by Jewish scholars beginning in about the fifth century AD, and continuing until almost AD 1000. They are thought to have worked from manuscripts that were copied in about the second century AD. Thus, this is the newest version in terms of source material. However, the old Jewish scribes were noted for their extreme care and accuracy.

The main argument used by those who favor the Septuagint text is that this is the one that was used during the first century AD it is the Bible that Jesus read, and that the New Testament writers must have used when they quoted from Old Testament verses this shows up in a number of spots. For example, in Luke's genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:36), the name Cainan appears between Arphaxad and Shelah this name is shown in Genesis 11 in the Septuagint version but not in the others. However, it's not in the short list given in I-Chronicles 1 in either the Septuagint or Masoretic. It's even missing in Genesis 11 in some of the older Septuagint manuscripts. This name is probably the result of a copyist's error, possibly in one of the early Luke manuscripts. Scholars still debate the source of this discrepancy.

One strike against the Septuagint is the fact that, when a time-line chronology is calculated by the usual "Ussher Method" (described later), Methuselah died some 14 years after the Great Flood of Noah. (Could he have been able to swim for a year? Not likely!) Thus there must be some numerical error somewhere. These issues as well as many others are discussed in an excellent article by Pete J. Williams, "Some Remarks Preliminary to a Biblical Chronology," in Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, Vol.12, No.1, 1998, pp.98-106. Dr. Williams professes belief in biblical inerrancy, and offers explanations for a number of discrepancies between the different ancient texts, as well as probable reasons for these discrepancies.

There's a point that favors the Masoretic. Several spots in Genesis 15 to 21 mention that Abraham thought he was too old (at age 100) to become a father. But the Septuagint puts all of his ancestors at least 130 at the birth of their heir, thus putting Abraham at a good child-bearing age. If that were the case, there would be no problem.

One obvious difference between the sets of numbers in the two texts is in the age of the patriarchs at the birth of their heir -- in a surprising number of cases the Septuagint shows them to be exactly 100 years older than does the Masoretic. Their ages at death are, in most cases, the same in both texts. This difference might be partially explained by the fact that the Hebrew alphabet doesn't have characters for numerals it uses an alphabetic character to represent a number.

Most modern Bible scholars prefer the Masoretic, even though there are some (disputed) arguments favoring the Septuagint. But only a few people have chosen the Samaritan Pentateuch. Most present-day Bibles are based on the Masoretic version, often simply called "the Hebrew text," and that's what we'll do in this book you're reading now.

Flavius Josephus was a famous Jewish historian who lived in the first century AD. In his Antiquities he wrote:

That history [of the Jewish race] embraces a period of five thousand years, and was written by me in Greek on the basis of our sacred books.

Note that "five thousand years" is a Septuagint number, not from the Masoretic text.

Another famous historian was Eusebius, who lived in Caesarea during the third century AD. He published charts comparing the three texts spoken of above he preferred the Septuagint, as did Julius Africanus, a church writer who lived in AD 170-240.

Jack Finegan, in Handbook of Biblical Chronology , wrote:.

In general he [Eusebius] thinks that mistakes and inconsistencies are evident in the extant Hebrew text and that the Septuagint was translated from ancient and accurate copies of the Hebrew text and therefore to be preferred. [Jack Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology , Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964, pg. 156.]

Table 3 shows a summary of some key dates, taken from Eusebius' Chronicle. It is obvious that this came from the Septuagint.

The genealogy in Genesis 5 covers the time span before the Great Flood of Noah Genesis 11 takes it from there, up to the birth of Abraham's father Terah. In each case, a patriarch is named, his age at the "begetting" of the next generation is stated, and his age at death is given. The next verse describes the next patriarch in a similar way. There are no apparent gaps. A typical entry is in Genesis 5:25-27:

And Methuselah lived 187 years, and begat Lamech: And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech 782 years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died. (From the KJV,or King James Version, sometimes called the Authorized Version -- this came from the Masoretic text.)

Other than different numbers, the only big difference between the texts is that the Septuagint inserts the name "Cainan" between Arphaxad and Salah in Genesis 11:13 and a few other places. This is not the same Cainan who appears in Genesis 5:12-14, over a thousand years earlier.

The Ussher Method of Calculation

Almost all chronologists, except for one whom we will discuss later, have considered the verses quoted above to mean:

When Methuselah was 187 years old his son Lamech was born then Methuselah lived another 782 years, and died at the age of 969.

This is true for Josephus, Africanus, and Eusebius, as well as Ussher and many more recent writers. With a little simple arithmetic, the elapsed time from Adam to Abraham can easily be calculated.

Most people have heard of the "Ussher Chronology," which used this method of interpreting the data. James Ussher (1581-1656) was archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. His chronology was published in 1650 in Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti, and was inserted in the margin of reference editions of the King James Bible, which had been first published in 1611. It follows the Hebrew (that is, the Masoretic) text, and puts the Creation at 4004 BC and the Flood at 2349 BC. Table 4 shows a number of Ussher's dates, for the period we're interested in in this book you're now reading.

Tables 5 and 6 are revisions of this sort of information, based on newer estimates of ancient history, and what I think is a more correct interpretation of the Biblical text. The biggest differences between Ussher's numbers and mine are that I show the Great Flood of Noah to have begun in 2519 BC, and the initial Creation of the earth to have occurred in 4175 BC. These discrepancies are discussed later in this chapter.

Eugene Faulstich, of the Chronology-History Research Institute, refined the above Ussher method. He knew that Biblical months always began on the evening of a new moon, and that years began on a vernal equinox. So Faulstich used a computer program to calculate many timing cycles, including precise moon phases, vernal equinoxes, Sabbath and Jubilee years, priestly cycles, astronomical events such as eclipses, and also backward-extrapolated Gregorian (modern calendar) equivalent dates. By careful study of Biblical texts, as well as some extra-Biblical sources such as Babylonian king-lists, he arrived at what he considers much more precise dating of most Old Testament events. For example, his creation week occurred March 20-26, 4001 BC, at a time known to have a highly unusual planetary alignment. He based his work on the Hebrew (Masoretic) text.. [E.W. Faulstich, Bible Chronology and the Scientific Method, Part II : Creation Through the First Temple. , Spencer, Iowa: Chronology-History Research Institute, 1990]).

Patriarchal Age Method of Calculation

Harold Camping, in his book Adam When? , (Oakland, CA: Family Stations and Alameda CA: Frontiers for Christ, 1974) uses a completely different way of interpreting verses such as Genesis 5:25-27 (quoted above). As a result, his dates are more ancient, especially for the earliest entries. For example, according to his calculations, the creation took place in 11,013 BC.

Camping's method is highly unorthodox. What is significant, however, is that many of his dates correlate very closely with those of secular archaeologists and historians. And, even though it is a very unusual way of interpretation, this writer cannot find any obvious violation of Scriptural integrity, only long-established custom.

Camping noticed that in a few places the verbal formula quoted above is different. Instead of simply saying "begat," some of the verses insert the additional phrase "called his name." He also noticed that in some texts (Matthew 1:8 for example) "begat" means a descendant, not an immediate father-son relationship. There are also several places, such as Genesis 10:31, where the word "sons" is used in other than immediate father-son relationships. But where the phrase "called his name" is used, there is always a direct next-generation relationship.

Camping repeatedly emphasizes his belief in the integrity of the Bible as the Word of God he also realized that Genesis 5 and 11 contain so many numbers that these must have been important to God, and therefore should be important to us. But he concluded that many of them do not necessarily represent direct father-son descendants. So he proposed the "patriarchal age" concept, as explained below.

If the phrase "called his name" is used, or if there's some other means of definitely showing direct father-son relationship, then the verse is to be interpreted in the same way that Ussher and others have done. But if such evidence is not present, then Genesis 5:25-27, for example, should be interpreted as:

When Methuselah was 187, he had a son who, in turn, had a direct descendant named Lamech. Methuselah then lived another 782 years, and Lamech was born in the same year that his ancestor Methuselah died at the age of 969.

According to this "patriarchal age" theory, we have no way of knowing how many generations actually occurred between Methuselah and Lamech, but we do know how many years this took. In that way, the "age of Methuselah" lasted for 969 years, and was then immediately followed by the "age of Lamech," which lasted another 777 years, according to Genesis 5:31.

The men who were clearly the direct sons of those mentioned just before them were Seth, Enos, Noah, Shem, and Abram. All others in those two chapters, according to Camping, were indirect descendants of their predecessor.

The effect of this "Patriarchal Age" method, as compared to the more familiar "Ussher Method," is to greatly increase the number of years in the Biblical record of ancient times. These results are so different from what is generally believed that it is at first shocking. See Chart 4 near the end of this chapter. But we must admit that it seems to fit history, and it seems to solve what has always been a vexing problem. However I don't know of any other Bible scholar who accepts this method -- we won't here either.

Calculating Dates A.M. (Anno Mundi, or year of the world)

It's not possible to obtain conventional BC dates directly from the Bible, because there's no solid temporal connection between the two Testaments, and no solid connection to a confirmed date of ancient history. Thus the only authentic set of Biblical dates possible must be referenced to the beginning, or "Dates After Creation," sometimes called AC or more often AM, meaning Anno Mundi or "Year of the World." This statement applies to the period from the Creation to the Israelites' Egyptian exile.

Table 5, "Dates AM" (see next page), illustrates these dates for the events between the initial Creation and the death of Joseph. Most of the data are given in chapters 5 and 11 of Genesis, as is shown in Table 1, "Comparing Three Texts." Notice that we're restricting our study to the Masoretic text.

The notations in the right-most column of Table 5 show scripture references that provide the data for each item. Most of the calculations use straight-forward arithmetic, but a few require some additional logic. These are shown as NOTE-1, NOTE-2, and NOTE-3.

To make a set of AM dates, begin at the top, and add the ages at which each patriarch begat the next significant son. For example, Adam was "born" in the year 0 AM, Seth was born in 130 AM, Enos in 235 AM, etc. The list goes on smoothly through Noah, who was born in 1056 AM. But the Biblical text is somewhat different there, since it says, in Gen.5:32, "And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth." Does that mean that Noah had triplets? No, a little logic, shown in NOTE-1, gives the definite answer that Japheth was born in 1656 AM (when Noah was 500), Shem 2 years later in 1658 AM, and Ham sometime after that.

A similar problem crops up regarding the birth of Abram. NOTE-2 explains this one. It shows that Abram had an older brother who was born when their father Terah was 70, but Abram wasn't born until Terah was 130. In this case, we don't know which of Abram's brothers was the oldest.

A third problem area relates to Jacob's age at the time Joseph was born. When we look in the Genesis chapters describing the birth of those sons, we find the numbers to be completely missing. In fact, many people have pondered how long Jacob lived in Haran, and how old he was when he first went looking for a wife. I've seen several guesses, and some of them were wrong. As it turns out, that information is irrelevant for purposes of chronology. We need to go forward into Genesis 41 - 47 for that information. That logic is explained in NOTE-3.

At this point in the Genesis chronology we run out of easy links. Almost no details are given for the period the Israelites lived in Egypt. And the history of Egypt doesn't help much either. But to come up with a BC date for any of what we've discussed so far, we have to have some link with secular history.

There are two verses that can help with that. The first is Exodus 12:40-41:

Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.

And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the self-same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

The phraseology here certainly sounds as if it's intended to be used as a chronology verse.

The beginning of this "sojourning of the children of Israel" must have begun with the entry of Jacob and his family into Egypt, when he was 130 years old, that is, in 2298 AM. Thus the Exodus from Egypt must have been in 2298 + 430 = 2728 AM.

The next step toward secular reality can be found in I-Kings 6:1, which says:

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he [Solomon] began to build the house of the LORD,

We can thus figure this date for the start of Temple construction as 2728 AM + 480 = 3208 AM.
This is within the range of secular history, and is the most recent event that can be directly linked, through straightforward Biblical data, back to the Creation of the world.

The section above established a set of "Dates AM" (Anno Mundi, or "Year of the World"), which are useful for comparing the relative ages of the characters from Adam through Joseph, and for seeing how their lives may, or may not, have overlapped. But these aren't of much value for correlating with world history such as interactions with other nations or known world events. For that, we need "Dates BC" (or BCE, which is preferred by many secularists).

To do that, we need some event that is accurately known in both the AM and the BC systems. The most accurately known such event is the destruction of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar. This took place in 586-587 BC. However the Biblical trail for this is not clearly defined. Different scholars have different ways of tracing the exact number of years leading up to this. Length of reign for the various Hebrew kings is given, but there are conflicts in a number of spots, so that this "paper trail" is not clear.

Therefore, the most practical choice for an AM / BC correlation point, in this writer's opinion, is the beginning of construction of King Solomon's Temple. We've shown above that this occurred in 3208 AM. Many conservative Biblical scholars, and several secular historians, agree that this took place within a few years of 967 BC.. This date of 967 BC is taken from E.R. Thiele's "The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings," (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965). Thus these two numbers occur at the same point in time, and the correlation becomes a matter of fairly simple arithmetic.

This is the spot on the charts where we should begin our calculations. We've developed the intervals between various events so we simply add those intervals to the known BC dates. For example:

(Temple Start) + 480 = (Exodus Date)
967 BC + 480 = 1447 BC

(Exodus Date ) + 430 = (Egypt'n Entry)
1447 BC + 430 = 1877 BC

(Egypt'n Entry) + 130 = (Jacob's birth)
1877 BC + 130 = 2007 BC

(Jacob's Birth) + (Isaac's Beget Interval) = (Isaac's Birthdate)
2007 BC + 60 = 2067 BC

This process can be continued in a "daisy-chain" manner all the way back until we find the BC Date for the Creation of the World, which might be called Adam's "birthdate."

The numbers built up in this manner can be used to compile the data for Table 6, "BC Date Calculations." Notice that we've duplicated the two left-most columns, the Biblical data for the "Age at Beget" and the "Age at Death" of the various patriarchs. These were also shown in Tables 1 and 5. The data in Table 6 can be used to build the time-line of Chart 3 (next page).

Some Confusing Scriptures

There are a few spots in the Bible where some number of years is given, and it's not easy to see how these verses fit. One of these is Genesis 15:13-21. Here God told Abram that

". thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them and they shall afflict them four hundred years . But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again. "

Many people have wondered about this. I have a few guesses, but no positive explanation. It doesn't seem to fit properly into this chronology. Most scholars think this refers to the Israelite's Egyptian exile. But the details don't fit properly. However, "four hundred years" doesn't fit well with "fourth generation." This will take special explanation from God.

Another verse that has puzzled many people, especially those who choose the "short Egyptian sojourn," is Galatians 3:17,

"And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul. "

This one is easier. At first glance, this seems to say that Moses' trip to Mount Sinai, where he received the Ten Commandments, took place 430 years after God made His covenant with Abram in Genesis 15. This would contradict other more definite scriptures.

But notice that this verse doesn't refer to when the covenant was given, it refers to when it was confirmed. It was first given to Abraham in Genesis 15:13-21, then was later passed on to Isaac, and then to Jacob. The final confirmation (as mentioned in Galatians 3) is described in Genesis 46:1-5, at Beersheba, just before Jacob and his family entered Egypt. This mentions the same things as did the original covenant -- that God would be with Jacob, that he would go down into Egypt, that his descendants would become a great nation, and that they would come out again. This occurred in 1877 BC, according to Table 6.

The giving of the law was at Mount Sinai, just a few months after the Exodus from Egypt, in 1447 BC. Thus the period of time that Paul mentioned in Galatians 3:17 is

This shows perfect agreement between Paul's statement and the Old Testament record.

Comparing Two Sets of Dates

The dates that we've given here are different from those given by Archbishop James Ussher in 1650, that are shown in Table 4. There are two main sources for this difference. One is that Ussher used a "correlation date" for the start of construction of the Temple of 1012 BC, while I've used the more modern date of 967 BC. (This difference is still a matter of debate among scholars of different views.)

Another major difference, which I think is important, is the length of time between the entry into Egypt by the Israelites and their Exodus from Egypt. This is clearly given in Exodus 12:40-41 as 430 years. But Ussher used an interval of

The logic behind his use of this number is debatable. Ussher didn't publish his reasoning for choosing his dates, so we can't know for sure. But we can make some reasonable guesses.

It's known that rabbinical Jews in about the 1st century AD felt embarrassed about the Israelites' long period of Egyptian enslavement, and tried to reduce the record to show 210 years, instead of 430. This apparently started a tradition, which Ussher must have used in his chronology. Several chronologists have considered this so-called "short sojourn" to fit better within their framework. But this writer chooses to stay with the simple and very explicit statement in Exodus 12:40,41. This seems to say clearly that they had spent 430 years in Egypt.

There's another sort of consideration that might be pondered on. It relates to the question of "long-vs-short-sojourn" and population growth rates. We'll use the simple equations often used in growth analysis, shown in a box at right.

We're told in Genesis 46:11 that Kohath (son of Levi and grandson of Jacob) was one of the group who moved to Egypt with Jacob. Numbers 26:58-59 says that Kohath was the father of Amran, whose wife was Jochebed, and whose children were Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. Exodus 6:16-20 says that Levi died at age 137, Kohath at 133, and Amran at 137. Moses, of course, was 80 when he led the Israelites out of Egypt. The language of these verses sounds like these are direct father-son relationships. However, the ages given don't allow for more than about 280 years at most for the interval between Kohath's entry into Egypt until the Exodus from Egypt. This argument favors the "short sojourn" of 210 or 215 years. However, even though a number of chronologists use this number, there is no Biblical verse that informs us of this. Many people, including this writer, argue for unmentioned intermediate generations here, and there are other problems.

Numbers 1:1-47 tells us that, when the Israelites left Egypt at the Exodus, the total number of Israelite men over age 20 (omitting the tribe of Levi) was 603,550 men (not counting women and children). We can guess that the total people might have been some two million. Genesis 46:8-27 tells us that the total number of men, women and children who entered Egypt with Jacob was 70. If seventy people multiplied to two million in 215 years, the growth rate must have been almost 5% per year, an extremely large figure, but possible. However, if 430 years is available, the rate would be reduced to 2.4% per year, still twice as high as the highest rate achieved for the U.S. at any time during the last 150 years. This argument bolsters the "long sojourn" position. Partly for this reason, but mainly because of scriptural reasons, within the context of this present book, I'm staying with the more conventional dating scheme given in Table 6. We'll see that this will allow correlation with Egyptian secular history, and also agrees with the dates used by many archaeologists.

Actually, Biblical chronology, which sounds as if it should be a fairly simple thing, turns out to be quite a controversial subject, not nearly as easy as I had thought a few years ago. I'm including a couple of short descriptions, at the end of this chapter, of two chronologies prepared by men who've given this a lot of study, and have reached conclusions different from those I've described here. Each of their lines of reasoning follow good arguments, and might be correct, but I'm not quite convinced.

Archaeologists and historians have found many artifacts of ancient civilizations which they date back to at least 3000 BC. Civilization in the Mesopotamian valley is thought to be at least a few thousand years older than that. This record can not be easily reconciled with Ussher's date of 2349 BC for the Great Flood of Noah (see Table 4), or my date of 2519 BC (see Table 6).

And yet archaeologists don't date their finds by dubious methods such as comparing them with fossils, or by other methods based on the assumption of evolution, as most anthropologists, paleontologists and geologists do. Any sort of dating based on the fantasy of evolutionary theory and millions-of-years age of the earth should be rejected by the Bible believer.

Archaeological dates are sometimes based on historical records, or occasionally, on C-14 dating or other scientific methods. But the two most common dating methods for archeologists (at least for Bible-land artifacts) are 1) observing the material and/or design of various pieces of pottery and 2) in the case of shards having fragments of writing , by the shape of the characters. Styles of writing do change, down through the years.

Even these are subject to a good bit of debate among people of different backgrounds. A later chapter in this book discusses, in some detail, the dating of the destruction of Jericho. That argument hinges on some particular styles of pottery decoration, and just when this style was used in the Jericho area. This one is an important debate, because the belief about the historicity of the Biblical account of Joshua's conquest of Jericho is strongly affected by the outcome, and there are strong opinions on each side.

In the late 1940's, a shepherd boy found a cave with pottery storage jars, filled with ancient scrolls. Later many more were found, near that Qumran site by the north-west corner of the Dead Sea. Many scholars have spent thousands of hours since then, carefully scrutinizing the thousands of fragments of text. Paleographers (those who study ancient texts) were able to date these important documents to within a few decades of when they were written, over 2000 years ago. Carbon-14 tests have agreed with almost all of these paleographic determinations. A great deal of information has come from these studies, many of which have confirmed that Old Testament texts haven't really changed since 200 BC.

There is a strong disagreement between the dates arrived at by archeologists, compared to the beliefs of evolutionist paleologists. The latter speak of millions of years of development of the human race, culminating in people gradually becoming civilized many tens of thousands of years ago. But their dating methods are based on much speculative belief in evolution, and therefore lack validity -- they're faith, not fact.

The great William F. Albright wrote:

Archaeological research has established that there is no focus of civilization in the earth that can begin to compete in antiquity and activity with the basin of the Eastern Mediterranean and the region immediately to the east of it. . The Obeidan is the earliest clearly defined culture of Babylonia, where we find its remains underlying nearly all of the oldest cities of the country such as Ur, Erech, Lagash, Eridu, etc. This proves that the occupation of the marshlands of Babylonia by human settlers came rather late in history of the irrigation culture, probably not far from 3700 BC. [William F. Albright, From Stone Age to Christianity , New York: Doubleday, 1957, pg.32.]

David Livingston also describes a number of evidences from archaeology and ancient literature,. David Livingston, The Date of Noah's Flood: Literary and Archaeological Evidence , in "Archaeology and Biblical Research, Vol.6, No.1, pp.13-17. showing that when any sort of "hard evidence" is discussed, there's very little reason to date civilizations earlier than about 3000 BC.

Some dates in the range of 5,000 to 10,000 BC have been reported in the Babylonian region, but they have not been as solidly established. Dates in Egypt range back to about 3200 BC. No other area in the world is seriously thought to predate these civilizations.

Let us now consider when, and by whom, writing was developed. Sir Leonard Woolley said:.

All the archaeological evidence available seems to prove that true writing was first developed in southern Mesopatamia, and in view of the incalculable importance of the invention for human progress everywhere we are entitled to ask the further question, why was that invention made by the Sumerians rather than any other ancient people? . It is not possible to trace the development of writing in Egypt with the same detail as in Sumer . [but] the simple but sufficient reason for this is that the Egyptians took over the principle of writing ready-made from the Sumerians. . The earliest examples of the Indus Valley script that have yet been found date to about the 24th century BC . that India owed its art of writing to the Sumerians cannot be proved, but it is highly probable. . On the whole it is probable the Chinese derived from Sumer the principle of writing. [Leonard Woolley, The Beginnings of Civilization, New York: New York American Library, 1965, pg. 364.]

The Bible agrees that Mesopotamia (the area included in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys) was the beginning of civilization, as we know it. There is no way of knowing where the Garden of Eden was located -- the Great Flood almost certainly changed the features of Earth's surface. But Noah's ark landed on the mountains of Ararat, which are in Turkey, just north of the heads of both of these rivers. Abraham came from the city of Ur, not far from where the Euphrates flows in to the Persian Gulf.

We read in Genesis that the early patriarchs lived for what sounds like ridiculously long lifetimes. Look at Chart 5 above. The first ten men mentioned in the Bible (Adam through Noah) all lived for about 900 years, except for Enoch, who didn't die but who "walked with God: and he was not for God took him" (at the age of 365).

The next several generations showed decreasing lifetimes. Shem died at the age of 600. The next three men lived for between 400 and 500 years, then there were several who lived over 200 years, then for a few hundred years the lifetime seems to have been between 100 and 200. How can we account for these extreme ages, and the fairly sudden decrease in lifetime?

We can only speculate. Let's start with God's statement in Gen.1:31, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good." He found no defect with the early world and its inhabitants. Those first humans had not experienced any mutations -- their cell structure was still perfect, as the Creator had planned, and presumably they could have lived forever if they hadn't sinned. Indeed, we're told in several Biblical spots that death first came into the world as the result of human sin.

Notice on the chart that the real change in human longevity began just after the Great Flood, which must have almost completely changed the environment of Earth. Shem was born a century before the flood, but most of his life was post-flood. His descendants were all born, lived, and died in the post-flood world. The environmental disruption of the Flood must have been the primary factor that caused decreased longevity.

There's an interesting article that discusses genetic factors involved in the aging process.. Carl Wieland, "Living for 900 Years," in "Creation ex Nihilo," Vol.20, No.4, Sept. - Nov. 1998, pp.10-13. Research was done on the ancestry of Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122 and was called the longest-living person in modern history. It was found that for five generations back, each of her ancestors were also very long-lived. Their average death-age was 10.5 years longer than others who were contemporary with them.

Scientists have found cap-like tips, called telomeres, on each cell's chromosomes, that control the aging process. These shorten with each cell division, and when they get short enough, the cell can no longer divide. This amounts to a genetic factor that controls the maximum lifespan for each individual. It's obvious that mutations can easily have an effect on the lifetime, not only of a person who experiences that mutation, but on all of his descendants. We know that environmental factors have a strong effect on mutation rate.

Most Bible-believing scientists say that some sort of water vapor canopy surrounded the early earth, and that it became almost depleted at the time of the Flood. It's been shown conclusively that this canopy couldn't have been the source of more than a few inches of floodwater over the entire globe -- most of the water for the Flood came from the "fountains of the deep," undersea volcanoes most likely. But even a moderate water vapor surrounding our atmosphere would have had beneficial results in at least two ways.

Many of our health problems are caused by defects in body organs, most of which must have originated with mutations caused by radiation from outer space, cosmic rays, etc. Much of this radiation would have been stopped by water vapor surrounding the earth. There's also good reason to believe that the earth's magnetic field was much stronger in those early days -- this too would have repelled much of the radiation. Thus mutations must have been rare during the early centuries. However, when the Flood removed the vapor canopy, this protection would have been lost.

We've shown in earlier pages that the Patriarchal Age Method and the Septuagint text have attractive features, in that they show more ancient years in which to shove secular history. Even so, there are reasons to cause us to doubt whether their use is proper or justified.

Most conservative Biblical writers who attach dates to events in times prior to Abraham's lifetime use the Ussher Method (but not his dates) with the Masoretic text, even though there are a few conflicts with some archaeological and historical data. The data given in the time-lines of Charts 1, 2, and 3 illustrate this dating system. This is the one that will be used in the remainder of this book.

There's another factor that we haven't discussed in this chapter -- the exact numerical chronology is not the most vital aspect of the Biblical record -- gaining the proper relationship with God through His Son Y'Shua (or Jesus) is our ultimate goal. It's much more important for us to accept God's account of the activity when He created His wonderful world and all of its inhabitants, rather than quibble about the exact dates or ages of those long-ago patriarchs. It's vitally important for us, that we acknowledge His claims -- that we yield ourselves to Him, respect and love Him, and try our best to obey Him. Jesus came to Earth to die as an atonement for our sins. He's given us the Bible as a "user's manual," a guide book for us to follow throughout our lives on His earth. Let's use it carefully and prayerfully.

Table 1: Comparing Three Texts Patriarch Masoretic
Begat Died Septuagint
Begat Died Samarian
Begat Died Adam 130 930. 230 930 130 930 Seth 105 912 205 912 105 912 Enos 90 905. 190 905 90 905 Cainan 70 910. 170 910 70 910 Mahalaleel 65 895. 165 895 65 895 Jared 162 962. 162 962 62 847 Enoch 65 365 165 365 65 365 Methuselah 187 969 187 969 67 720 Lamech 182 777 188 753 53 653 Noah 502 950 502 950 502 900 Flood began 600 600 600 Shem 100 600 100 600 100 600 Arphaxad 35 438 135 535 135 438 Cainan --- --- 130 460 --- --- Salah 30 433 130 460 130 433 Eber 34 464 134 404 134 404 Peleg 30 239 130 339 130 239 Reu 32 239 132 339 132 239 Serug 30 230 130 330 130 230 Nahor 29 148 179 304 79 148 Terah 70 205 70 205 70 145 Abram 100 175 100 175 ? ?

NOTES: Columns show that patriarch's age at birth of the next generation, and at his own death. The Flood began when Noah was 600 years old.
(These numbers are taken from Teachout's study.). R.A. Teachout, A New Case for Biblical Chronology , in "Bible-Science Newsletter," Vol.9, No.1, January, 1971, pp. 1-7.

Elapsed Time Summary
Number of Years Time Period Masoretic Septuagint Samaritan From Creation
to Flood 1656 2262 1307 From Flood to
birth of Abram 352 1232 1002 (?) Total, Creation to
birth of Abram 2008 3494 2309 (?)

(when calculated by the "Ussher Method.")

Table 2: Date AM Calculations
Using Septuagint Text

Calculated Dates AM
"Ussher Method" Patriarch Name Age at Begot Age at Death Date atBirth Date atDeath Creation 0 --- 0 --- Adam 230 930 0 930 Seth 205 912 230 1142 Enos 190 905 435 1340 Cainan 170 910 625 1535 Maleleel 165 895 795 1690 Jared 162 962 960 . 1922 Enoch 165 365 1122 1487 Mathusala 167 969 1287 2256 Lamech 188 753 1454 2207 Noe 502 950 1642 2592 Flood Began 600 2242 Sem 100 600 . 2144 . 2744 Arphaxad 135 535 2244 2779 Cainan 130 460 2379 2839 Sala 130 460 . 2509 2969 Heber 134 404 2639 . 3043 Phaleg 130 339 2773 3112 Ragau 132 339 2903 3242 Seruch 130 330 3035 3365 Nachor 179 304 3165 3469 Tharrha 130 205 3344 3549 Abram 100 175 3474 3649 Isaac 60 180 3575 3721 Jacob

NOTE: This Chart showing dates obtained from the LXX (or Septuagint text) are included here for the purpose of giving the reader some information, even though this writer doesn't consider it to be the literal truth. Later discussion will show several reasons to consider that this text probably was "tinkered with."

Table 3: Some Entries From Eusebius' Chronicle Event Years fromAdam Dates BC/AD Adam's creation 0 5200 BC The Flood 2242 2959 BC Birth of Abraham 3184 2017 BC Last year before the Exodus 3689 1512 BC Foundation of the Temple laid, in the 4th year of Solomon 4168 1033 BC First year of Babylonian captivity 4611 590 BC Rebuilding of the Temple, in the second year of Darius 4681 520 BC Birth of Jesus 5199 2 BC Jesus' death and resurrection 5231 AD 31 Destruction of Jerusalem 5270 AD 70

NOTE: The column showing BC and AD dates was added by Jerome's Latin translation in AD 381.

Table 4: Some Ussher Dates (taken from an old 1924 Family Bible BC Date Event Calculated AM Date 4004 BC The Creation 0 3874 Seth born 130 3769 Enos born 235 3679 Cainan born 325 3609 Mahalaleel born 395 3544 Jared born 460 3382 Enoch born 622 3317 Methuselah born 687 3130 Lamech born 874 2948 Noah born 1056 2448 Shem, Ham, Japheth 1556 2349 Great Flood of Noah 1655 2346 Arphaxad born 1658 2311 Salah born 1693 2281 Eber born 1723 2247 Peleg born 1757 2218 Nimrod born 1786 2217 Reu born 1787 2185 Serug born 1819 2155 Nahor born 1849 2126 Terah born 1878 1996 Abram, Nahor, Haran 2008 1921 Terah died 2083 1897 Isaac born 2107 1837 Jacob & Esau born 2167 1729 Joseph sold into Egypt 2275 1706 Jacob moved to Egypt 2298 1689 Jacob died at age 147 2315 1635 Joseph died 2369 1571 Moses born 2433 1491 Exodus from Egypt 2513 1490 Tabernacle completed 2514 1451 Moses died 2553 1056 King Saul died 2948 1048 David king of all Israel 2956 1012 Start of Solomon's Temple 2992

Calculation : AM dates = 4004 - BC dates Note 1 -- Noah's three sons: Gen. 6:1 Noah had 1st son at age 500. Gen. 7:6,11 Noah was 600 when Flood began. Gen. 11:10 Shem's son was born when Shem was 100, 2 years after the Flood. Thus Noah was 502 when Shem was born and Noah was 602 when Shem's son was born, and Shem was not the oldest son. Gen. 9:24 Ham was Noah's youngest son. Thus Japheth must have been the oldest, Shem was in middle, and Ham was the youngest. Gen. 9:28-29 Noah lived for 350 years after Flood, and died at age 950. Gen. 11:11 Shem died 500 years after birth of son, at age 600. Note 2 -- Terah's three sons: Gen.11:26 At age 70, Terah had the first of 3 sons. Gen. 11:32 Terah died at age 205. Gen. 12:4 Abram was 75 when he left Haran, soon after Terah had died. Thus Terah must have been 205 - 75 = 130 when Abram was born. Thus Abram had one brother who was 60 years older than Abram. We don't know whether that was Haran or Nahor. We don't know whether Abram was son #2 or #3. Note 3 -- Jacob and Joseph: To calculate Jacob and Joseph's relative birthdates, begin with Genesis 41 - 50 and find their relative ages. Then work backward. Gen.37:2 Joseph was 17 when sold into Egypt. Gen.41:46 Joseph was 30 when he became Chief Food Administrator. Gen.41:46-48 The 7 good years began at that time, followed by the start of 7 years of famine. Gen.45:6,11 During the 2nd year of famine, Joseph's brothers made their 2nd trip to buy grain. Joseph must have been 30 + 7 + 2 = 39. Gen.45:16 - 46:7 Joseph's brothers went home and brought Jacob and their families to Egypt. Gen.47:9 Jacob was 130 at that time. Therefore Jacob must have been 130 - 39 = 91 when Joseph was born.

Table 5 -- Dates AM
(Using Masoretic Text and Ussher Method)

Bible Ages Calculated Dates AM (from Creation) Patriarch Name Age at Begot Age at Death Date at Birth Date at Death Bible Reference Creation 0 . --- 0 --- Adam 130 930 0 930 Genesis 5:3-5 Seth 105 912 130 1042 5:6-8 Enos 90 905 235 1140 5:9-11 Cainan . 70 910 325 1235 5:12-14 Mahalaleel 65 895 395 1290 5:15-17 Jared 162 962 460 1422 . 5:18-20 Enoch 65 365 622 987 5:21-24 Methuselah 187 969 687 1656 5:25-27 Lamech 182 777 874 1651 5:28-31 Noah 502 . 950 1056 2006. 9:28-29, 11:10 See Note 1 Flood Began 600 1656 . 7:6, 7:11
See Note 1 Shem 100 600 1558 2158 11:10-11
See Note 1 Arphaxad 35 438 1658 2096 11:12-13 Salah 30 433 1693 2126 11:14-15 Eber 34 464 1723 2187 11:16-17 Peleg 30 239 1757 1996 11:18-19 Reu 32 239 1787 2026 11:20-21 Serug 30 230 1819 . 2049 11:22-23 Nahor 29 148 1849 1997 11:24-25 Terah 130 . 205 1878 2083 11:26-27, 11:32, 12:4 Note 2 Abram 100 175 2008 2183 21:5, 25:7-8
Note 2 Destr. Sodom 2107 17:17, 18:10, 19:23 Isaac 60 180 2108 . 2288 25:26, 35:28 Jacob

91 147 2168 2315 See Note 3
and Chart 1 Joseph

33 110 2259 2369 Israelites into Egypt 2298 Genesis 47:9 Exodus from Egypt 2728 Exodus 12:40 Start of Temple 3208 I Kings 6:1

Table 6: BC Date Calculations Using Masoretic Text Bible Ages Calculated Dates B.C. "Ussher" Method Patriarch Name Age at Begot Age at Death Date at Birth Date at Begot Date at Death Creation 0 --- 4175. 4175. --- Adam 130 * 930 . 4175. 4045 3245 Seth 105 * 912 4045 3940 3133 Enos 90 905 * 3940 3850 3035 Cainan 70 910 * 3850 3780 2940 Mahalaleel . 65 895 * 3780 3715. 2885 Jared 162 962 * 3715 3553 2753 Enoch 65 365 * 3553 3488. 3188 Methuselah 187 969 * 3488. 3301 2519 Lamech 182 * 777 3301 3119. 2524 Noah 502 * 950 3119. 2617. 2169 Flood

2519 -- 2518 Shem 100 . 600 * 2617 2517 2017 Arphaxad 35 438 * 2517 2482 2079 Salah 30 433 * . 2482 2452 2049 Eber 34 464 * 2452. 2418. 1988 Peleg 30 239 * 2418. 2388 2179 Reu 32 . 239 * 2388. 2356 2149 Serug 30 230 * 2356 2326 2126 Nahor 29 148 * 2326 2297 2178 Terah 130 * 205 2297 . 2167 2092 Abram 100 * 175 2167.. 2067. 1992 Destr. of Sodom

2068 Isaac 60 * 180 2067 . 2007 1887 Jacob 91 * 147 2007 1916 1860 Joseph

32 110 1916 --- 1806 Entry to Egypt

967 B.C. + 480 = 1447 B.C. = Start of Exodus (See 1 Kings 6:1)
1447 B.C. + 430 = 1877 B.C. = Start of Egyptian Exile (See Exodus 12:40,41)

Population Growth Equations
Equation Where
PN / P0 = ( 1 + R )N P0 = Orig. Population

log ( PN / P0 )
N = --------------------
log ( 1 + R )

PN = Final Population
R = Growth Rate / Yr.
R = ( PN / P0 ) 1/N - 1 N = Number of Years

Barry Setterfield's Biblical Chronology

And it gets more complicated. Australian scientist and Bible scholar Barry Setterfield wrote his article "A Revised Biblical Chronology," which can be found on the World Wide Web of the Internet at the following URL:

Setterfield's primary "anchor date," which he uses as a reference, is 586 BC, the destruction of Solomon's Temple by Nebuchadnezzar. From there he interprets the prophecy in Ezekiel 4:1-5 as referring to Israel's 390-year period of idolatry, which had begun with the division of the monarchy into the northern and southern kingdoms, at the death of Solomon. He takes this to mean that Solomon's death was in (586 + 390) BC = 976 BC. Since Solomon reigned for 40 years, and 1 Kings 6:1 says he started the Temple in his 4th year, that must have been 36 years earlier than his death, or in 1012 BC.

From scriptures given in Acts and 1-Kings, Setterfield sums up the time from the Exodus to the building of the Temple, as follows: 40 years in the wilderness (Acts 13:18), 450 years during the time of the Judges (Acts 13:20), 40 years under King Saul (Acts 13:21), 40 years under King David (1 Kings 2:11), and the first 3 years of King Solomon's reign (1 Kings 6:1). This totals 573 years. Thus the Exodus would have been in (1012 + 573) = 1585 BC.

He describes a technique that he refers to as the "Omission Principle." He writes "Briefly stated, it asserts that the years during which the Children of Israel were out of fellowship with the LORD are often omitted from the Divine record. There are a number of examples of this. It is not only done in the Bible, as kings throughout history have omitted from the record their years of servitude to foreign powers. In this King Solomon was no exception."

Using this Omission Principle, Setterfield lists several periods of bondage in the book of Judges -- 8 years under the king of Mesopotamia, 18 years under the king of Moab, 20 years under the King of Canaan, 7 years under the Midianites and 40 years under the Philistines, a total of 93 years. He adds this to the 480 years of 1 Kings 6:1, and got 573 years, leading to an Exodus date of (1012 + 573) = 1585 BC. Notice that's the same date arrived at above. He considers this to be a confirmation.

Using several rather complex calculations like this, and using the Septuagint text, Setterfield arrives at a date for the Exodus of 1585 BC, the birth of Abraham at 2304 BC, the Great Flood at 3536 BC, and the initial Creation at 5792 BC. Notice that all these dates are considerably more ancient than the ones I've given in Table 6.

Setterfield's other work, too complex to be described in this book, attempts to solve the question of, "How did light from distant stars get to the Earth in less than 8,000 years?" He suggests that the speed of light was originally very much faster than it is today, and has been slowing ever since the Creation. His chronology lists various calculated speeds down through ancient history. This work is supported by a number of historical measurements, however not many other scientists have accepted it.

The table below shows a few dates from Setterfield's list. In addition it shows several of the calculated C-values (speed of light) as factors higher than the present value. It also shows "atomic time" for these few events, calculated from these higher speeds for C. His chronology doesn't explain this calculation -- that's the subject of a different work.

News From An Alternate Universe (one not filled with idiots):

[January 20th 2014 (From an Alternate Universe)]:

His first year in office has been a hectic but rewarding one…depending on who you ask. According to Republicans Romney has presided over the greatest economic recovery in the nation’s history while reestablishing America’s place in the world as the shinning city on the hill. According to Democrats he is taking credit for gains made by former president Obama, targeting his political adversaries, making the world unsafe while hurting the average American.

The battle between narratives began even before Romney began his term of office. Shortly after Romney squeezed a close victory over Obama. Aided by several close calls in Senate races Romney had apparently not only won the White House but also a GOP controlled House and Senate. However this victory was not one that would give Romney much pleasure. Within hours of the election Democrats filed numerous lawsuits claiming voter irregularities (which eventually led to Justice Scalia asking White House counsel exactly which Obama voters were turned away by the Black Panthers). Screams of the Republicans stealing the election continued throughout the month (and never fully stopping through the first year of Romney’s presidency with news outlets like the New York Times running at least

one story, on inconsistencies of the election every month).

But December turned to brighter news when 230 companies in The Fortune 500 announced that they would be putting in place major expansions in the US and around the world, similar moves by smaller companies were seen in every industry. At this point, Obama, in what critics have described as the pettiest speech in presidential history, took to his last televised speech to state that these massive expansions were proof that his policies worked and that all of America would come to regret their choice and Romney’s policies would erase all the gains that they were now beginning to see. Republicans and several CEO’s responded that the sudden economic growth was in response to Obama leaving and the hope that came with a new president–but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from calling the past year’s growth the Obama Renaissance. Those economic gains in average increase of take home pay of $3,000, unemployment dropping to 6.3% despite record high workforce participation numbers, a slowing of inflation (believed partly due to the ending of quantized easing they immediately followed President Romney’s signing of a bill to audit the Federal Reserve). Part of this economic growth is being attributed to the lower regulatory burden due to Romney revoking 95% of all Obama and Bush era executive orders regulations within the first 3 months. But also being attributed to this is the complete hiring freeze for all non-military positions put in place by the Romney administration in an attempt to lower federal work force due to attrition, and through the mass exodus in many government offices after Romney put in place internal reviews in all department in the wake of the IRS scandal.

A main point of the early days of the Romney administration was seeing the immediate repeal of Obamacare. Pushed through with only minimal support from Democrats (although insiders on the Hill admit the bill was not stopped in the Senate as no one wanted to be blamed for the disaster they believed would come from more provisions being put in place). Republicans have charged that their putting in special funds for preexisting conditions, repealing the bans on insurance crossing state lines, and reform of patent laws and FDA regulations regarding drugs have already helped to lower insurance prices and increase overall coverage. Democrats have charged that this has still left millions uninsured, even though more companies are now offering medical insurance plans as group plans that can cross state borders have dropped rapidly in price. Vice President Paul Ryan spoke specifically on this point saying that if Obamacare had been allowed to stay in place then millions would have had their insurance canceled and the Republican plans have saved Americans from this outcome. In rebuttal the always erudite former Vice President Joe Biden called Ryan’s statement “Not just malarkey but fucking bullshit. There is no proof that anyone would have lost coverage. That’s just a Republican lie. No one would have lost their coverage. No one would have lost their doctor.”

As the Republican takeover of the Senate has allowed Romney to pass over 42 points of his 59 point plan already, the
reduced spending and regulations are being claimed by business to be responsible for most of the economic recovery being seen across the country as well as helping economic recovery in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Republicans specifically point to the fact that fuel prices have dropped by nearly a dollar on average with the advent of higher levels of fracking, shale oil production and the construction of the Keystone pipeline.

President Romney has not been as lucky abroad in all foreign matters. With the support of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and Qatar (and the rumored support of the Egyptian military and Jordan) the U.S. and Israel conducted heavy tactical strikes on all Iranian nuclear bases and Revolutionary Guard bases. While publically condemning the actions of Israel and US, Middle Eastern governments have made no move against Israel. Democrats in the US have claimed that Romney is a warmonger like Bush before him. The Romney administration and Secretary of State John Bolton have been quick to point out that Hezbollah has made no attacks on Israel since the strike on Iran and has begun to disintegrate as the brewing civil war in Iran has dried up all funding for the terrorist network. However this has not saved the President from critiques from his own party. Senator John McCain has pointed out that without Iran to funnel Russian resources to former Syrian dictator Assad, Assad regime quickly fell. McCain has called Romney a butcher for letting Syria fall to al-Qaida linked terrorists, stating that “only a fool would have backed butchers like the rebels in Syria.” Some have claimed hypocrisy on McCain’s part for early support of the rebels and that he is merely continuing in a pattern of always attacking his own party when it will get him good press, but the McCain spokespeople have dismissed this.

Secretary Bolton has also pointed out that American strength has caused China to relinquish its saber rattling efforts in the South Seas and put more pressure on North Korea, where a military coup has resulted in placing the military in power and Kim Jong-Un in front of a firing squad. While there are claims that there was CIA help in the coup, which has resulted in record numbers of relief workers being allowed into North Korea and claims that the work camps are being disbanded, liberals like former Senate Leader Harry Reid state that the US foreign policy had nothing to do with this and Kim’s regime would have toppled even under Obama’s leadership.

As President Romney has encouraged increased trade in Eastern Europe with three new trade treaties, Easter Europe is also feeling an economic boom. This has placed Russia on an odd footing as Poland, and Hungary have put orders with American defense contractors for large shipments to reinforce their militaries. This has been signaled as a sign of strength against President Putin’s attempt to flex his muscles over Eastern Europe. Putin has been attempting to make new in-roads around the world since the fall of his allies in Syria and the Iranian attack, but has been thwarted repeatedly by economic prosperity being brought by American investment across the globe.

President Romney pointed to his policies having helped make Iraq and Afghanistan more stable in a long term process to fully get out of Afghanistan and to remove even advisors from Iraq earlier this month from a speech in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, once the site of a major battle during the early days of the Iraq War. Romney was heavily criticized for responding to Iraqi requests for more advisors, weapons, and Special Forces units near the beginning of the year. “We have made great strides to bringing peace to both Iraq and Afghanistan,” Romney said in his Fallujah speech, “but as much as we might want to just leave these two battle fronts, that is merely a short term vision. We have to make it so that we not only can leave, but that we don’t have to come back.”

Romney has also taken heavy criticism from the right. Commentators like Mark Levin and other pundits associated with the Tea Party have repeatedly said that while his economic plans are doing wonders he has not pushed hard enough on social issues. “Yeah sure, stopping all funding from going to Planned Parenthood is a start, but this RINO has made no effort to push to outlaw gay marriage or abortion.” Romney has responded to some of these critiques often with his repeated line, “Just as I said I found it odd when the Massachusetts Supreme Court found the right to gay marriage in the Massachusetts Constitution John Adams wrote, I also find it odd that some people seem to find powers over state business in the Constitution Madison wrote. I am personally opposed to some of these things, but I don’t see anything in the Constitution that gives me the right to do anything about this.”

Attorney General Rudy Giuliani has also been a sticking point for the Romney administration’s first year. Hitting the ground running with investigations in the Fast and Furious, Benghazi and IRS scandals (among others) has drawn nothing but calls of partisanship from Democrats. While IRS official Lois Learner and former UN Ambassador Susan Rice have been indicted on numerous charges the actual targets of the investigation, former Secretaries Holder and Clinton are still unindicted—but rumors continue to swirl about their eventual trials. Also a contention point with civil libertarians is the prosecution of former NSA contractor who after leaking sensitive information to reporter Glen Greenwald about the inner workings of the NSA was captured and extradited from China. He currently has no access to the press and is under indictment for espionage and treason. Both Secretaries Bolton and Giuliani assure the press that Snowden will stand trial and that they will seek the death penalty. While the full extent of what information he stole from the NSA is still unclear, sources within the intelligence agency suggest he stole more than enough information to ruin US intelligence.

While there have been some critiques from the Tea Party that Romney has not put in long term reforms on the budget, Vice President has pointed out, “Look, we spent most this year cleaning up the mess left by the last presidency. We have bills on the table to reform Medicaid, Medicare, other long term debt issues, and immigration coming up this year. We couldn’t get everything done in one year if we wanted to do it right. We are actually in the black for this coming year, if only by a small amount, and with any luck we will place major reforms that will allow us to start paying deep into the principle of our debt next year.” Ryan added, “You have to deal in reality, while we have control of the Senate we still have to make sure we have enough support to get past filibuster rules. I know some pundits want us to revoke those rules but that would degrade everything the Senate stands for in being a deliberative body and we have no desire to ruin the nature of the republic just to get a few more bills passed.”

Overall, despite the booming economy, President Romney’s first has been met by attacks from many sides, with both the left and the right unhappy with him. Still the White House seems confident that they will be able to put in all of their desired reforms within the next three years and keep the economy growing and American stable. “My hope is that I don’t have to run ever again.” With the State of the Union just a couple days away it is believe the the President’s theme of the speech will be a continuation of his campaign theme taking the form of line which has been leaked by White House insiders “If you believe in America and get out of its way, which we have, you will see a force of innovation, creation and hope that can never be rivaled.”

Flared jeans to halter tops & tie dye: ALL the 90s trends that are making a COMEBACK

History repeats itself and so does fashion trends and while it’s 2021, it feels like we’re still living in the 90s when it comes to fashion. It’s the year of reminiscing the past trends and 90s seem to be the obvious choice. While there are still modern elements that help create a statement, we do see a lot of 90s fashion being the point of reference. From corset tops to flared jeans and tie-dye, here are all the trends from the last leg of the 20th century that are making a comeback.

Halter tops

Metallic halter tops with backless details are all the rage right now. Right before the second wave of Covid hit India, celebs like Janhvi Kapoor and Disha Patani already showed the world how to rock it right. They are definitely a statement piece that can easily add that bit of extra oomph to any and every occasion.

Remember when people wore bandanas as tops? Well, to our surprise, it’s the hottest summer trend right now and people are getting innovative by the day. From Kylie Jenner to Kapoor sisters, celebs are making the most of their colourful scarf tops and we’re in awe!

Corset tops

This trend is inspired a lot by the corset transitions we saw in the 90s. Unlike the traditional corset from the start of the 1900s, this is a modern twist inspired by the 90s. These are used to enhance and cinch the waist while blending perfectly with trendy silhouettes.

Flared Jeans

Known as boot cut jeans back in the day, these flared numbers are making a comeback this summer. They are comfy, easy to wear and when paired with the right tee, it’s bound to make a statement. So, if you’re a hoarder and still have your boot cut jeans lying in your closet, it’s time to bring them out!

No matter what the silhouette or style, celebs are going gaga over tie-dye. Colourful dyes outfits are what most celebs are picking out for the summer and we’re definitely no complaining! It’s a fun print to rock and a refreshing change from the summer florals.

What are your thoughts about these 90s trends making a comeback? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Conservative 1960s

ON July 16, 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater, of Arizona, approached the podium at the San Francisco Cow Palace to accept the Republican presidential nomination. Many moderates in the audience expected a conciliatory speech pledging party unity. But Goldwater gave them something very different. "I would remind you," he thundered, "that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And . moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Liberal Republicans were shocked. The party they had controlled for so long had fallen into the hands of extremists. Political commentators were equally taken aback. After hearing the speech, one reporter expressed their dismay: "My God, he's going to run as Barry Goldwater."

Journalists were equally contemptuous. In 1962 a writer in the The Nation suggested that conservatives were more interested in thinking up "frivolous and simple-minded" slogans than in developing intelligent proposals to meet the complexities of post-Second World War America. The Washington Post described members of one conservative group as people who liked to "complain about the twentieth century." And even a sympathetic commentator in Commonweal wondered whether a right-wing student group was a new political voice or "merely a new political organization out to repeal the twentieth century?"

More than three decades later Americans are still struggling to understand the rise of modern American conservatism. Much of this is the fault of scholars and journalists. Very little has been written about the rise of the right in the 1960s. From today's vantage point, this is arguably the most significant development of that decade, yet scholars and journalists have focused almost exclusively on the new left, civil rights, and the decline of American liberalism.

Allen Matusow's The Unraveling of America (1984) is a case in point. The author explains that the book is "a history of domestic liberalism in the 1960s," telling "the story of how liberals attained political power and attempted to use it for extending the blessings of American life to excluded citizens." He also examines the "great uprising against liberalism in the decade's waning years by hippies, new leftists, black nationalists, and the antiwar movement--an uprising that convulsed the nation and assured the repudiation of the Democrats in the 1968 election." Matusow writes, "Thus, in a few short years, optimism vanished, fundamental differences in values emerged to divide the country, social cohesion rapidly declined, and the unraveling of America began." John Morton Blum's book on the 1960s, Years of Discord, is dedicated to the "liberal spirit" and is essentially "a reexamination of American liberalism." And The Sixties (1987), by the sociologist Todd Gitlin (note the definitive title), focuses on the hopes, dreams, and disappointments of the new left and the counterculture. "What," Gitlin asks, "did 'the Sixties'--the movement, the spirit--accomplish?"

These studies have greatly enriched our understanding of America after the Second World War. But by neglecting the rise of the right they have left us with an incomplete and one-sided view of the 1960s.

That view is about to change. Mary Brennan's Turning Right in the Sixties is the first on what will most likely be a lengthening and important list of detailed studies of the rise of American conservatism. (In recent years a handful of books have been written about the right, but these have tended to be sweeping accounts offering few insights into the nuts and bolts of the conservative movement.) Brennan, an assistant professor of history at Southwest Texas State University, chronicles the conservative capture of the Republican Party from 1960 to 1968. In doing so, she not only advances our understanding of the rise of the right she also offers a more balanced and, ultimately, more accurate view than we have had before of the most tumultuous decade of the century.

BRENNAN effectively addresses one of the central questions in modern American politics: how conservatism transformed itself from an obscure fringe movement into one of the most powerful political forces in the country. She argues that the Trilling-Hofstadter analysis of the right was deeply flawed. By the late 1950s conservatives had established a strong base of support in the growing Southwest. For much of the century wealthy easterners had controlled the Republican Party, but in the postwar years a growing number of businessmen and political leaders from the Sunbelt, many of whom had prospered in the postwar industrial boom, began playing a greater role in national politics. Stressing individual initiative, free enterprise, and a militant anti-communism, conservatives formed a variety of single-interest groups to challenge the ideas and programs of the liberal eastern establishment.

In the early 1960s conservatives continued to benefit from large-scale social and demographic changes. In the South the growth of the civil-rights movement, industrial expansion, and the rise of an urban middle class revitalized the Republican party. The policies of the Kennedy Administration also helped the conservative cause. As President, Kennedy courted many eastern business leaders, drawing their support away from liberal Republicans. He also undercut much of the appeal of moderate Republicans: his position on civil rights, for example, was virtually indistinguishable from theirs. As conservatives began to develop positions on key issues which increasingly appealed to voters, liberal Republicans had trouble distinguishing themselves from Kennedy-style liberals.

Much of this is well known, and Brennan recounts it cogently. What she adds to our understanding is how conservatives transformed themselves into successful political organizers.

AT the beginning of the 1960s conservatives were in a better position than at any time since the 1930s to challenge moderate Republicans for control of the party. But large obstacles remained. Not only were conservatives widely viewed as wild-eyed fanatics but they squabbled among themselves, had trouble articulating a positive program of reform, had few grassroots organizations, and lacked the funding to make the movement a serious political force.

The year 1960, though, brought a turning point for the conservative movement. That year Barry Goldwater published The Conscience of a Conservative. Generally dismissed in the national media, the book stands today as one of the most important political tracts in modern American history.

As the historian Robert Alan Goldberg demonstrates in Barry Goldwater, his fine new biography, The Conscience of a Conservative advanced the conservative cause in several ways. Building on William F. Buckley's pathbreaking work at National Review, Goldwater adeptly reconciled the differences between traditionalists and libertarians. The expansion of the welfare state, he wrote, was an unfortunate and dangerous development that undermined individual freedom. Suggesting that New Deal liberalism marked the first step on the road to totalitarianism, Goldwater argued that government should be removed from most areas of American life. Yet he was no strict libertarian. Appealing to those on the right who longed to recapture lost certitudes, he argued that the state had a duty to maintain order and promote virtue. "Politics," Goldwater wrote, is "the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social order."

Goldwater also united disparate conservative factions by focusing their attention on the dangers of Soviet communism. He wrote,

Goldwater rejected the containment strategies that had guided U.S. foreign policy since the late 1940s, and called for an aggressive strategy of liberation. Conservatives might disagree about the proper role of government in American life, but surely they could unite to defeat the "Soviet menace."

Goldwater also dispelled the notion that conservatives were a privileged elite out to promote its own economic interests. "Conservatism," he wrote, "is not an economic theory." Rather, it "puts material things in their proper place" and sees man as "a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires." According to one right-wing magazine, Goldwater gave conservatives humanitarian reasons for supporting policies usually "associated with a mere lust for gain."

But perhaps the greatest achievement of Goldwater's book--and the reason for its startling success with the right--was that it gave conservatives, for the first time, a blueprint for translating their ideas into political action. In his introduction Goldwater rejected the idea that conservatism was "out of date."

Supporting states' rights, lower taxes, voluntary Social Security, and a strengthened military, Goldwater emphasized the positive in his philosophy and demonstrated "the practical relevance of Conservative principles to the needs of the day."

altered the American political landscape, galvanizing the right and turning Goldwater into the most popular conservative in the country. By 1964, just four years after its release, the book had gone through more than twenty printings, and it eventually sold 3.5 million copies. "Was there ever such a politician as this?" one Republican asked in disbelief. The Conscience of a Conservative "was our new testament," Pat Buchanan has said. "It contained the core beliefs of our political faith, it told us why we had failed, what we must do. We read it, memorized it, quoted it. For those of us wandering in the arid desert of Eisenhower Republicanism, it hit like a rifle shot." The book was especially popular on college campuses. In the early sixties one could find Goldwater badges and clubs at universities across the country. Expressing the sense of rebellion that Goldwater's book helped inspire, one student conservative explained the phenomenon: "You walk around with your Goldwater button, and you feel that thrill of treason."

REPUBLICAN Party leaders, however, ignored the "Goldwater boomlet." Vice President Richard Nixon, the front-runner for the 1960 Republican nomination, believed that the greatest threat to the party came not from the right but from the left. In July, Nixon met with Nelson Rockefeller, the governor of New York, and agreed to change the party platform to win moderate-Republican support. Conservatives were outraged, referring to the pact, in Goldwater's words, as the "Munich of the Republican Party."

A few days later, at the Republican National Convention, an angry Goldwater called on conservatives to "grow up" and take control of the party. And that, according to Brennan, is exactly what they set out to do. At a time when "liberal and moderate Republicans, like the rest of the country at that time and like historians ever since, continued to view conservatives in a one-dimensional mode," conservatives believed that Goldwater's popularity, the rise of a conservative press, and the growing strength of conservative youth groups boded well for the future.

Increasingly disillusioned with Republican moderates and with the whole tenor of American political debate, the right began to see organization as the key to political power. In the midst of the 1960 presidential campaign, for example, William Buckley, the conservative fundraiser Marvin Liebman, and almost a hundred student activists met at Buckley's estate in Sharon, Connecticut, and formed Young Americans for Freedom. Within six months the organization could claim more than a hundred campus and precinct-level political-action groups and at least 21,000 dues-paying members. Using newsletters, radio broadcasts, and frequent rallies, YAF had almost overnight become a powerful nationwide movement.

Had Young Americans for Freedom and other grassroots organizations remained isolated from one another, their impact would have been weak. But in 1961 the political activist F. Clifton White organized a movement to nominate a conservative for President. Traveling around the country, White exhorted conservatives to seize control of their local party organizations and elect conservative delegates to the national convention. The movement orchestrated by White gave conservatives control over the Republican Party and helped to persuade Goldwater to run for President.

Capturing the presidential nomination was one thing winning the presidency proved much more difficult. In the early 1960s conservatives tried to distance themselves from the radical right. No group troubled conservatives more than the John Birch Society. With organizations in all fifty states, thousands of members (who, according to Brennan, were "zealous letter writers, demonstrators, and voters"), and a full-time staff, the society wielded significant influence. But Birchers, many of whom believed that Dwight Eisenhower and other government officials were Communist agents, tarnished the reputations of more-rational conservatives. Buckley understood the problem: conservatism, he explained, had to bring "into our ranks those people who are, at the moment, on our immediate left--the moderate, wishy-washy conservatives. . I am talking . about 20 to 30 million people. If they are being asked to join a movement whose leadership believes the drivel of Robert Welch [the founder of the John Birch Society], they will pass by crackpot alley, and will not pause until they feel the warm embrace of those way over on the other side, the Liberals."

But in 1964 Goldwater could not escape the taint of extremism. Brennan points out that despite their sporadic attacks on the radical right, conservatives were still political neophytes. Goldwater and his supporters believed that all they had to do was expose Americans to conservative ideas. But Goldwater had no positive program, and spent much of the campaign railing against Social Security and threatening to roll back the Communist tide. Moderate Republicans labeled him a racist and a warmonger, and Goldwater seemed to confirm such charges when he threatened to "lob" missiles "into the men's room at the Kremlin." Perhaps most damaging, the media condemned him as a kook who sounded more like Adolf Hitler than like a Republican presidential candidate. Norman Mailer, writing in Esquire, compared the Republican National Convention to a Nazi rally. The columnist Drew Pearson described the "smell of fascism" in the air. Roy Wilkins, of the NAACP, told readers of The New York Times that "a man came out of the beer halls of Munich, and rallied the forces of Rightism in Germany" and that "all the same elements are there in San Francisco now." When Democrats mocked Goldwater's campaign slogan, "In your heart, you know he's right," by adding, "Yes, extreme Right," Goldwater's candidacy was doomed.

Poor campaign management, Goldwater's image, and the lack of unity in the Republican Party contributed to the Democratic landslide in November of 1964. But whereas liberals saw the election results as the final repudiation of the American right, conservatives took solace in Goldwater's 27 million votes and vowed not to repeat their mistakes. What appeared to be a defeat for conservatives was actually a dramatic success: Goldwater had paved the way for a generation of Republicans by appealing to the "forgotten" and "silent" Americans "who quietly go about the business of paying and praying, working and saving." He had also raised new social and moral issues that would prove vital to future conservative successes. As early as 1962 he lamented the moral crisis afflicting America, the "meaningless violence and meaningless sex" on TV, and the barbaric quality of modern art. As Robert Alan Goldberg astutely puts it in his biography, "It was only a beginning, but Goldwater had begun to validate the concerns of social conservatives, and in time they would grow bolder in shaping the movement's agenda." Cliff White, meanwhile, had taught conservatives the value of grassroots organization and had given thousands of people their first taste of political action. Out of the ruins of the 1964 campaign emerged a well-organized, experienced movement that was more determined than ever to win political power. In the mid-1960s movement activists severed almost all ties to more-radical groups, organized a tremendous direct-mail fundraising drive, and created a more positive platform that emphasized the benefits of local power. And, as Brennan argues, conservatives put themselves in a position to take advantage of the growing disillusionment over civil rights, student protests, and Vietnam.

By 1968 conservatives dominated the Republican Party. In 1960 Nixon had wooed those on his left eight years later he employed the conservative speechwriter Pat Buchanan, chose the fiery Spiro Agnew as his running mate, and trumpeted his anti-Communist credentials and his opposition to busing to win southern delegates. Nixon was not an ideological conservative, but to gain the nomination he had to appeal to the party's new conservative majority.

WITH so much attention currently being focused on the Contract With America, the Republican presidential nomination, and right-wing militias, Turning Right in the Sixties will appeal to anyone interested in a thoughtful, serious discussion of the origins of modern American conservatism.

Brennan is less successful in her treatment of the larger events of the decade. Her writing is often dry, and one finds missing much of the drama of the sixties. Brennan also fails to explain why so many middle- and lower-middle-class Americans were drawn to conservative causes in the 1960s. Grassroots activism, she makes clear, was instrumental in the rise of the right. But what motivated so many people to contribute money and volunteer time to the conservative movement?

Many observers have cited a white backlash to civil rights. Surely this played an important role, but conservatism seemed to benefit from a complex convergence of forces, only some of which had to do with race. Unprecedented prosperity, for example, gave rise to a new middle class that was hostile to high taxes and to many of the social programs they financed. Social unrest--most notably urban riots, violent crime, and student protests--also pushed many Americans toward conservative candidates who promised to restore law and order. But perhaps most important was a growing disillusionment with the federal government. Vietnam, deteriorating conditions in the cities, and forced busing affected the lives of working- and middle-class Americans in profound and often unsettling ways, and led them to believe that government no longer served their interests.

Although Brennan's book does not sufficiently address these issues, it is valuable, shedding much-needed light on a key aspect of the conservative revival and giving us a deeper understanding of why conservatism continues to be the most powerful political force in American life.

Illustration by Lisa Adams

The Atlantic Monthly December 1995 The Conservative 1960s Volume 276, No. 6 page 130-135.

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