There is a story about the man who surprised another man in bed with his wife. “What did you do about it?” his friend demanded. “Hell,” replied the fellow in disgust, “the sonofabitch lied his way out of it!”

My inclination, on this 15th day of February 1999, is to take the anecdote as a parable about the government of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, and the American Republic, in that order; the only problem I can see with this interpretation being that the original story is, to use the words of the President’s men over the last few months, “just about sex,” while the parable has to do—in a wav the 13 House managers would understand—with several millennia of Western political theory. Like most of my journalistic colleagues with whom I’m acquainted, I spent 13 months dismissing people whose first—and often last—question in any conversation was “When is he going to resign?” with a little of the impatience I used to feel when Easterners with an interest in American regional politics sought to discover from me when the Western states were going to secede finally from the Union (as if I’d know!).

I still don’t believe that the fate of the United States hangs on Bill Clinton’s going or staying, just as I still don’t believe in the likelihood of Western secession. But since the constitutional “crisis” (no more acute in itself than a quadrennial national election), I have to admit that the Western landscape—this vast, open, glorious, and gloriously inhospitable spaciousness, this metaphysical opening away to the region of the gods—has new meaning for me in a “civilization” (since termites are allowed to have civilizations, too) in which the constriction of mental space leads to a felt lack of physical space as the end of consciousness approaches, heralding the end of truth. “Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it,” Mephistopheles tells Faust in the play by Marlowe. Does the current economic prosperity really convince Americans they’ve arrived in the Promised Land? There is a terrible story in one of Orwell’s essays where a wasp the humane author has snipped in two at the waist as it dines on strawberry jam realizes the terrible thing that has happened to it only when it tries to fly away. If the Lewinskiad has taught me nothing more, it is that the country I was born into and grew up in no longer exists, that an evil facsimile or shadow country has taken its place. In order to be loved, Burke said, our country must be lovely. And more and more, it seems to me, the American land—the shrinking little that has not yet been destroyed in order to “develop” it, that is—is all that remains to be loved of this once glorious America.

Of course, we are told by our government leaders and opinion-makers that Destruction is actually Progress, but a few of us—a remnant which is also shrinking—know better. When words lose their meanings, people lose their freedom, Orwell warned. And Unamuno reminds us that Progress, being the result of the Fall, is only the best man can hope for in this life. (But why am I quoting Burke, Orwell, and Unamuno? They aren’t taught in the schools anymore, and continuing, adult education—”Education is Forever!”—means that their books are removed from the publishers’ warehouses, owing to a cretinous decision some years ago by the IRS, pulped, and rerolled into soiled-looking gray paper marked RECYCLED and used by pollutive utility companies to bill their customers with.) Terrifying as the 20th century was, the 21st promises to be more terrible still.

The impeachment fiasco may have been nothing in itself, while history conceivably will record that Bill Clinton was no more than town trash from a state whose name is rumored to be an old Indian word for trailer park. (Unfairly, perhaps, the Duke and the Dolphin having been natural aristocrats by comparison with much of what proceeds from Arkansas to the District of Columbia nowadays.) If not the proximate cause, the impeachment fiasco amounted certainly to a critical demonstration of the extent to which the mania for diversity has degenerated into demonic divisiveness and a vicious, quite literally insane hatred of the type whose emergence throughout history has consistently preceded political and social catastrophe. I doubt seriously that anyone—in particular, anyone happening to be male, white, of European extraction. Christian, and anti-“progressive”—who listened to the floor debates on the four Articles of Impeachment in the House of Representatives heard the procession of so-called New Democrats (blacks, Hispanics, feminists, secular Jews, a few Muslims probably) to the microphone without perceiving that here was the new America speaking: glowering, ranting, raging, threatening, foaming at the mouth on behalf of the aggravated, aggrieved, indulged, precivilized, barbaric, and unsexed “minorities” that together lack—for the time being, anyway—the majority status to send the rest of us packing to the concentration camps they so evidently believe to be our historically determined and much-deserved end. “All right: we are two nations,” John Dos Passos wrote in the 1930’s. Two nations —only two? Today, we probably amount to about a dozen of them, thanks to imperialism, the global economy, multiculturalism, and the nearly open immigration policies that produced it. Is the country already in a state of civil war, which the cultural war has so often seemed to adumbrate? No, because the nation (it seems quixotic to call the United States a “union” anymore) is divided along fault lines separating class from class, race from race, men from women, and sodomites from heterosexual couples producing and nourishing children created in tire image of God—not geographic or regional boundaries. How can people so intermingled geographically—many of them more or less forcibly so, by order of the federal government—possibly disentangle themselves from one another and withdraw; assuming, of course, that they wished to do so? So far no one has discovered such a means, but where the will is, there’s a way. And if physical separation should ever come to pass, the result will surely be big trouble: not so much secession as a sorting out, perhaps of the kind that our leaders in Washington are simultaneously prohibiting and promoting in Eastern Europe.

Judging by the hate-filled voices, hysterical with the sense of approaching triumph, lately arising from the floor of the House, the people who have succeeded in deconstructing America —together with their beneficiaries and janissaries have concluded that the displacement of the old America by the new is already accomplished, and that all that is left is the task of mopping up the messes left by the last senescent English spaniels, trapping or poisoning the few remaining mice hiding out in the wainscoting of the family manse. Yet, as Sam Francis has suggested in an article published recently in this magazine, the awakening—however late—of the Euro-American majority is all but inevitable, while history offers no reason to suppose that, once aroused, they will not fight, and that, fighting again, their valor and martial spirit rediscovered, they will fail to give battle better than they receive it. The specter of this awakening is what progressives fear most: It is why politically correct opinion in this country reflexively and massively retaliates against the slightest show of resentment evinced, the briefest note of anger sounded, by the old American majority.

The House impeachment hearings that so glaringly revealed social and racial divisions in this country set the United States Senate up, however inadvertently, by forcing its hand to reveal the moral and political corruption of the American ruling class. Cicero, in his On Moral Duties, insisted that the citizen’s highest duty is to his commonwealth and the society that produced it. Unamuno, a couple of millennia later, believed that the social entities we call nations share with the “I”—the individual man—personality as well as continuity: that they, in fact, are persons too. You might suppose that no act is too monstrous to expect of a class of people who, after they have been duly elected by their fellow citizens to act as public servants and custodians of the commonweal, choose instead to betray their trust by assassinating the national “I” in a blizzard of knife wounds behind the arras—and you’d be right, of course.

Among the cutlery to hand are products forged by a deliberate and systematic misuse of language and logic, to the end that “criminal” is redefined as “inappropriate,” adult men and women cannot determine whether the fondling of genitalia is intended to “arouse,” and the word “immoral” is blotted from the dictionary of the English language. As late as the days of Abraham Lincoln’s youth, lawyers were the most respected figures in American society, including that of the backwoods: Since approximately the time of the Lincoln presidency, their reputation has declined so far as to make them the butt of a popular humor far more deadly—on account of being more deeply felt—than any ethnic joke ever heard of (“I’d like to speak with Lawyer Jones, please.” “I recognize your voice! You’re the man who called yesterday, and the day before that. I’ve told you three times. Lawyer Jones is dead!” “I know that, ma’am. But I just love hearing it.”) Last January, a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled—about the time President Clinton was being “acquitted but not exonerated”—that three major arms manufacturers had violated the law by “oversupplying” guns in Southern states where gun control laws are relaxed, in the hope and expectation that the “excess” sales would find their way north into the hands of the Yankee criminal class. With legal arguments like this being rewarded with a verdict in a court of law, it hardly matters that the underclass has been so corrupted and envenomed by the ruling one that the jury system is close to breakdown anyway. When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom. Orwell might have added that when people have no freedom (verbal or otherwise), meaning has no words to express itself.

Nor should we Westerners be illusioned: The rot has spread as far as here—the mythical apotheosis of American truth, firmness, honor, and strength—as Eastern ideas. Eastern manners, and (above all) Eastern people have arrived to dilute and pervert the old Western culture through the creation of a liberalized, effete, dishonest, and increasingly dangerous political climate.

As the whole world knows, the International Olympic Committee is being investigated on charges of having accepted bribes from the commissioners sent by Salt Lake City to bid to have their great municipality chosen as the site of the Winter Olympic Games in 2002. The worthy ambassadors, it is alleged, offered sexual favors, sports equipment, scholarships, and other emoluments as a means of furthering their suit. And how does counsel for the plaintiffs plead? This way, according to a report broadcast by National Public Radio:

The good people of Salt Lake City and the State of Utah are a highly moral and principled people. They are good people who deeply desired the chance to host the Olympics in February, 2002. They therefore sent trusted commissioners to bid for the honor on their behalf A terrible thing, alas, befell these commissioners in the course of their mission. Having ventured bravely into the gentile world beyond the Salt Lake Valley to meet with the IOC and plead their case, they made a shocking discovery. Ultramontane peoples fail to share, or they ignore, the principles and morals of Salt Lakers and Utahns! What to do? The good people of SLC and the State of Utah wish desperately to host these games; therefore, they deserve to. Their representatives must, in consequence, bow to reality and lower the moral bar that would prevent them from running the good race and attaining the laurels by offering “contributions”—just like in a democratic political campaign!—to the most sympathetic of the IOC members. And so, “This is what has brought us here today”; this is what has led, not to criminal actions, but simply to what might be termed—how does one say it?—”inappropriate” activities. . . .

So: The Blob-the Sludge, the New World Order, the Pod People from Mars who have taken over Washington, D.C.; the Horror!—is coming for those of us, too, who wish for nothing more in life than to be left alone in peace, at home on the range. You can run, but you can’t hide. It’s the last lesson of the frontier and the hardest to learn, too: the Discouraging Word. If only we old Americans can have Cascadia when we need it, perhaps the best we may hope for is to cut a deal with the noble Chicano, allowing him to take the southernmost half of the Great American Desert and build his beloved Nation of Aztlan there. We get the upstream water rights, though.