Devastating

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In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot box, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone, — your interference is doing him positive injury.

 

January 26, 1865-Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and Republican –

 

 

I have had my eye on State Senator Elbert Lee Guillory (R.La) for a while now.  Go here to read an earlier post.  Now he has unleashed a devastating ad against Senator Mary Landrieu (D.La).  Robert Tracinski at The Federalist explains why this could have national significance:

This ad immediately needs to be given massive funding and run in a continuous loop on Louisiana television for the next month.

Guillory himself is exactly the kind of spokesman the Republican Party needs to recruit on the national level. He will be running for lieutenant governor of Louisiana next year, which should give him a good platform.

The power of Guillory’s message comes from a combination of the quiet dignity of his manner (he has an air of old-fashioned Southern formality), his roots in a down-at-heels black community, and the clear failure of the big promises made to blacks on behalf of the welfare state.

That’s the key issue. Since the launch of the Great Society, Democrats have thrown money into the welfare state, specifically promising that this would lift blacks out of poverty. Fifty years later, it is hard to claim that this has achieved any of what it claimed it was supposed to do.

The results are particularly bad in the big cities. I noted recently that the reason Democrats think income inequality is such a winning political issue is because the districts they control have been turned into two-tier class societies divided between a small enclave of upper-middle-class whites and vast blighted areas where poor black and Hispanic people live. Megan McArdle notes a similar way in which New York City has stratified itself by chasing the middle class into the suburbs while providing subsidies that keep the poor in the city without really ameliorating their condition.

So the federal welfare state and Democratic management of the big cities has not helped poor blacks; it has merely herded them onto vast urban reservations where their function is to serve as reliable political clients of the Democratic Party.

I have described this as the Southern Strategy in Reverse:

From the 1970s to the 1990s, the Republican Party flipped the votes of Southern whites—but they neglected and comprehensively lost the black vote. Now Democrats are hoping to hold onto their death-grip on minority voters, and they are counting on this vote to rise—but they are pursuing this strategy at the expense of throwing away the white vote. I’m not sure that this quite captures the awfulness of the whole “coalition of the ascendant” strategy. Because it hitches the Democratic Party’s future to voting based on racial and ethnic loyalties, it is basically a strategy that consists of playing the race card from now until the end of time.

As despicable as this strategy is, it is also contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more dependent Democrats become on the racial vote, the more vulnerable they are if they lose any of it.

Go here to read the rest.  If Republicans could get as little as 20% consistently of the Black vote, the Democrat party in most of the country would be in crisis mode.  In 1976 Gerald Ford won 16% of the Black vote.  Since the sixties Blacks have been taken for granted as permanent Democrats.  Like most things taken for granted in the world of politics, it is regarded as a permanent feature until it changes, as occurred with Catholics always voting Democrat, and the Solid South.  Great events can have small beginnings and I think this video may be such a small beginning.

 

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45 Comments

  1. Mr. McClarey.
    .
    As long as politicians are beholden to and benefit from special interests, policies will remain the same.
    .
    Those politicians who seek careers in “public service” or want a lobbying career upon their departure from public life bow to the status quo. It doesn’t matter whether they label themselves Republicans or Democrats.
    .
    Why are so many of our public servants middle or working class upon their entry into public service yet quite wealthy when they depart? Why are so many willing to subject the citizenry to legislation from which they exempt themselves?
    .
    Is the compensation paid to public employees really so generous that it causes so many of our public officials to live opulently. Sen. Mary Landrieu is not the only politician residing in a 2 million dollar house.
    .
    Let’s get real.

  2. “As long as politicians are beholden to and benefit from special interests, policies will remain the same.”

    Untrue since interests are always in flux.

    “Those politicians who seek careers in “public service” or want a lobbying career upon their departure from public life bow to the status quo.”

    Tell that at the graves of Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan. Great changes can be made rapidly if leaders are determined enough, especially if they are eloquent enough to sway majorities.

    “Why are so many of our public servants middle or working class upon their entry into public service yet quite wealthy when they depart? Why are so many willing to subject the citizenry to legislation from which they exempt themselves?”

    Because most politicians are scoundrels. That is the closest to a universal constant in the political world. However that universal constant has not stopped immense changes throughout the political history of the world.

    “Sen. Mary Landrieu is not the only politician residing in a 2 million dollar house.”

    Agreed. I trust you would agree that retiring her is a needed step in the right direction.

    “Let’s get real.”

    I always deal in reality which is why I am ever cynical about cynicism.

  3. “As long as politicians are beholden to and benefit from special interests, policies will remain the same.”
    .
    Untrue since interests are always in flux.
    .
    The “special interests” compensate cooperative politicians, directly and indirectly, by inter alia financing their re-election campaigns…. or their opponent’s campaign for a non-cooperative politician who refuses to play the game. Policies will change or remain the same depending upon the strategic interests of the “special interests” which influence the politicians they control and the legislative process. The interests of the citizenry, which should be of the highest priority, are relegated to secondary status. It remains irrelevant whether a self interested occupant of a political office wears the Republican or Democrat label.
    .
    .
    “Those politicians who seek careers in “public service” or want a lobbying career upon their departure from public life bow to the status quo.”
    .
    Tell that at the graves of Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan. Great changes can be made rapidly if leaders are determined enough, especially if they are eloquent enough to sway majorities.
    .
    I would suggest that persons occupying public office who have integrity don’t last long in public office. While I respect Ronald Reagan greatly…I am not convinced that Abraham Lincoln was great in light of the tariff issue and whether he abolished slavery to save the African Americans (which would have been a noble endeavor) or for political expediency to serve the policy demands of “special interests” in the northern industrial states. Moreover, those southern states which maintained slavery, always a despicable institution (rooted in eugenics, power, and dehumanizing the poorest among us), should never have been permitted to join the United States. George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson’s status as slave holders diminishes each of them in my eyes. Thomas Jefferson’s abuse of a slave as a concubine (who could not say no) is inhuman.
    .
    As long as politicians are guided by enlightened self interest, not the well being of the common good, and they have the capacity while in office to exercise great power, I remain wary of them.
    .
    .
    “Why are so many of our public servants middle or working class upon their entry into public service yet quite wealthy when they depart? Why are so many willing to subject the citizenry to legislation from which they exempt themselves?”
    .
    Because most politicians are scoundrels. That is the closest to a universal constant in the political world. However that universal constant has not stopped immense changes throughout the political history of the world.
    .
    We agree…most politicians are scoundrels….who should be limited to two term limits, denied a pension and other emoluments, and banned from lobbying for 20 years after they vacate office. This would allow people of integrity who want to serve the citizenry to legislate needed change with minimal interference from lobbying groups and the special interests they represent.
    .
    .
    “Sen. Mary Landrieu is not the only politician residing in a 2 million dollar house.”
    Agreed. I trust you would agree that retiring her is a needed step in the right direction.
    .
    We agree…she and many, many others should depart forthwith.
    .
    .
    “Let’s get real.”
    .
    I always deal in reality which is why I am ever cynical about cynicism.
    .
    I am cynical about politicians because they rarely fail to disappoint. The Founders were correct….men are not angels…and while this thesis was offered in support of limited government…it also assures me that corrupt politicians will ever be present among us and we should always view each and every one of them with a jaundiced eye.

  4. “Policies will change or remain the same depending upon the strategic interests of the “special interests” which influence the politicians they control and the legislative process. The interests of the citizenry, which should be of the highest priority, are relegated to secondary status.”

    You assume that special interests are nefarious by definition which is rubbish. Every type of organized group is a special interest and they change over time. For example Unions were quite powerful in 1944 and the NRA wasn’t on the radar. In 1973 the pro-life cause was in its infancy. Interests change all the time and wax and wane in power. The “citizenry” agree on little especially in regard to what interests should prevail.

    “I would suggest that persons occupying public office who have integrity don’t last long in public office.”

    John Quincy Adams, perhaps the most honest man of his day in politics, had a very long career indeed.

    “I am not convinced that Abraham Lincoln was great in light of the tariff issue”

    Really? You believe that Lincoln’s position in favor of a protective tariff detracts from his claim to greatness? How utterly bizarre. In any case the tariff was an unimportant issue in 1860, being at one of the lowest rates in the 19th century. Contra idiots like Dilorenzo the tariff was not a hot issue for Lincoln or anyone else in comparison to secession and slavery.

    “and whether he abolished slavery to save the African Americans (which would have been a noble endeavor) or for political expediency to serve the policy demands of “special interests” in the northern industrial states.”

    Lincoln did it to preserve the Union. He always had hated slavery, but he knew he had no power to touch it in a state except as a war measure.

    “Moreover, those southern states which maintained slavery, always a despicable institution (rooted in eugenics, power, and dehumanizing the poorest among us), should never have been permitted to join the United States. George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson’s status as slave holders diminishes each of them in my eyes. Thomas Jefferson’s abuse of a slave as a concubine (who could not say no) is inhuman.”

    Without those southern states there would have been no United States. Washington ended his life by freeing his slaves. If all slave masters had followed his example, slavery would have died a peaceful death. There is little evidence that Jefferson, as opposed to one of his relatives, had relations with Sally Hemmings. Jefferson by drafting the Declaration did more to ultimately end slavery than any other single man, but for Lincoln.

    “who should be limited to two term limits, denied a pension and other emoluments, and banned from lobbying for 20 years after they vacate office.”

    I differ only on term limits. I would prefer term limits of three consecutive terms in office. Congress needs some experienced members.

    “I am cynical about politicians because they rarely fail to disappoint.”

    Which is precisely why the Founders sought a limited government of checks and balances. In our Federal system today the biggest danger to this concept comes not from politicians but from courts.

  5. Sometimes I view excessive cynicism as a way of excusing indifference. If you throw your hands up in the air and say “Bah, they’re all the same,” you allow yourself to become disassociated from the political process, thereby allowing the status quo to remain unchanged.


    And I get the cynicism and have fallen prey to despair myself. But it’s a losing proposition.



    I would also add to Don’s comments about special interests to note that special interests (an annoying term, by the way) do not give campaign money in order to induce politicians to vote a certain way, but rather they give money to those politicians who have voted or are likely to vote in a way that supports their cause. In other words, it’s almost more of a reward than a bribe (it’s really neither, but I use those terms to make my point). At the end of the day, the elected representative is far more likely to be swayed in his or her vote by polling numbers than the threat of a rescinded campaign contribution.

  6. Paul Zummo,
    .
    I don’t think we should throw up our arms in despair, just discern how to oust entrenched career politicians who undermine the well being of our citizens’ legitimate interests by serving other masters. Likewise, oust the administrative network which undermines and subverts our Constitutional legislative process by appointing (not publicly electing) administrators unaccountable to all except those who appoint and maintain them in office.
    .
    The Founders were right…our representatives should come from the citizenry of the states…stay for a short time…. offer service to ensure good and moral governance….receive a minimal stipend…then return to employment in the private sector. There should be no benefits which act to entice citizens to remain for a lifetime in public service and there should be no such animal as a career politician.
    .
    Our country is woefully undermined by special interests (ie., corporate as well as the military industrial complex) whose proposed policies and positions are not disclosed to the public at large or argued on their merits by citizens in town halls. (I don’t accept the proposition that as a nation we have outgrown town hall meetings.) Rather, these special interests present their schemes through lobbiests (oftentimes recently retired politicians with large rolodexes and expansive political networks) who directly pitch their schemes to individual legislators….rewarding those who vote in their favor and punishing those who decline to support them.
    .
    The intricate formulation of our American governing structure with counter-balancing branches suggest that some, if not all, of the founders viewed man with a healthy level of cynicism. They were aware that man (and woman) are fallen creatures. Our limited government was designed to restrain the excesses of that fallen nature.
    .
    Would that the Founders had paid greater attention to establishing countervailing structures within the Judiciary branch itself, we might, as a nation, have been spared of the judicial legislation which continues to undermine the common good and cause havoc in our society.

  7. There are always “special interests”. Always. Slaveowners were a special interests. Railroads were a special interest in the 19th century. Unions are a special interest. So is the Chamber of Commerce, etc.

    If the American voter bothered to get knowledgeable about the issues – and with the Internet there is no excuse not to be knowledgeable, as the permanent prism of the broadcast TV networks and major newspapers through which the news has long been bent has been destroyed – we would throw the bums out. Gingrich and his movement did this in a large way in 1994. The Democrats held the House for 40 years before 1994 and they have held it exactly four years since.

    Washington, DC is a thoroughly corrupt city at every level. It is surrounded by a bureaucracy-economy that feeds off of an ever growing government. While there will always be idiots who will pull the lever of those who enslave them, their victories are not permanent.

    If enough people did it, “throw them out” would work.

  8. rewarding those who vote in their favor and punishing those who decline to support them.

    Again, this is not really how it works. Special interests are often bemoaned, but of all the problems in DC, they rank far down the list of what plagues this city. If anything, they are a symptom, not the cause, of the expanded role of the federal government.

    I’ll go a step further. You want to know who is to blame for the state of the government, and why are politicians are so feckless. Take a look at your fellow citizens. It’s the easy route to take to blame some nebulous entity or entities, but the real culprit lies in a citizenry that frankly has no problem with a government that plays Santa.

  9. Paul Zummo,

    It’s both; not either/or.

    Self interest has replaced self sacrifice among a citizenry and public servants who have lost touch with morality.

  10. We have a representative government and it unfortunately seems to represent what much of our population has become. I recall reading of a older couple who moved back to Romania after Ceausescu was overthrown. They did not stay long. When asked why, they said the people were so changed by many years of Socialism that they simply could not abide them. I am loath to end the evening on a sour note so I’ll put it out of my mind. God is just a prayer away. Tomorrow’s a better day.

  11. Mr. McClarey writes:”…You assume that special interests are nefarious by definition which is rubbish….”
    .
    I don’t take issue or impute nefarious motives to all special interests…just those which directly or indirectly undermine the well being of the United States as a sovereign nation and/or the well being of the American people.
    .
    Specifically, I take issue with those special interests which cause U.S legislators to pass legislation like the “North American Free Trade Agreement” which promoted global corporate interests at the expense of the American worker. Specifically, this legislation facilitated the departure of manufacturing, industrial, and service sector jobs from the United States to foreign locales with access to labor at slave wage rates. While Americans lost jobs in these sectors, these same global corporations flooded our markets with cheaply made goods, undercut the price of American made goods, negated our sovereign borders, and converted our highways into international rights of way to facilitate transport of goods from Mexico to Canada, all with the cooperation of our public servants. American economic independence was traded in exchange for an interdependent role in a flat world marketplace. In this scheme, the U.S is the global policeman which assumes the cost of a military presence throughout the world force which never stands down and rarely exits where it enters (ie., troops still stationed in Germany..sixty nine years after WWII ended). This is not a role the Founders would have viewed favorably for our nation as it smacks entirely of empire.
    .
    Mr. McClarey writes: “….The “citizenry” agree on little especially in regard to what interests should prevail…”
    .
    I suspect the average American worker objects to providing payments to foreign nations while the U.S budget remains in deficit, and while Social Security and Medicare remain unfunded obligations, and while the nation lingers in bankrupt status (debts exceed income).

  12. cont.
    .
    Mr. McClarey writes: “…John Quincy Adams, perhaps the most honest man of his day in politics, had a very long career indeed….”
    .
    Sen. Ted Kennedy also enjoyed a very long career in public office…, while demonstrating few, if any, of the admirable traits possessed by Pres. John Quincy Adams. All public servants, even those with integrity, should relinquish public office after a reasonable number of terms (as Pres.Washington did) and allow other citizens to participate. Noone is irreplaceable.
    .
    Mr. McClarey writes: “…You believe that Lincoln’s position in favor of a protective tariff detracts from his claim to greatness?..”
    .
    I believe the tariff served to divide the United States by causing the north to benefit at the south’s expense. Before enacting a tariff, President Lincoln should have offset to the satisfaction of the southern states any financial detriment sustained by those states as a consequence of imposing the tariff against England, a long time trade partner and purchaser of the south’s agrarian products. The south was accorded little respect and its interests were discounted by a northern establishment and an increasingly powerful centralized government.
    .
    In the 1780s, post Revolution, had the citizens of the southern states understood how their concerns would be prospectively marginalized by the union, I doubt whether these states would have consented to join the union or be bound by the Constitution. The events leading up to the Civil War proved to the south that its fears of a strong centralized government were well founded. To compel unity/stop secession, President Lincoln used the military to crush the southern confederate forces, permitted Gen. Sherman to burn Atlanta, disrupted local southern economies for decades thereafter, and eventually reined in the south, not by securing a renewed consent of the governed, but through an overwhelming force of arms. The north treated the south in a manner not unlike King George III imperiously treated the American colonies in 1776. The benefit of the Civil War was the freeing of the slaves.
    .
    One wonders what set of circumstances would constitute a legitimate reason for a state to secede from the union today and, whether, if such circumstances arose, would that state’s actions be countered by overwhelming force to subdue the secession?

  13. “I believe the tariff served to divide the United States by causing the north to benefit at the south’s expense.”

    One of the very first actions of the new Confederate government was to levy an import tariff on all items, ranging from 25% to 5%. Until the new law went into effect, the Confederacy collected at the 1857 rates. By 1860 the tariff simply wasn’t an important issue North or South, especially since support or opposition to a protective tariff didn’t cut cleanly across sectional lines. By and large the South favored lower rates than the North, but there was enough differences within the sections on the issue that compromises on the tariff rates after 1832 were not difficult to arrive at.

    Ironically the Morill Tariff of 1861 which raised rates would never have passed the Senate but for Secession and the withdrawal of Southern senators. Lincoln had made it clear during the election campaign that he would neither fight for, or veto, a reasonable tariff. His attitude demonstrated that the tariff simply was not a critical issue by 1860, the political system, unlike slavery, having demonstrated that disputes about tariff rates could be handled by the normal give and take of politics in Congress.

  14. “Sen. Ted Kennedy also enjoyed a very long career in public office”

    I had already noted that most politicians are scoundrels. Whether they are term limited or not, I doubt that will change. In regard to Mr. Kennedy his misdeeds, including vehicular homicide, were well known to the Massachusetts electorate, and a majority each time he stood for election simply chose to ignore them. Gimmicks like term limits will not cure that type of tribal allegiance to a party and a family.

  15. “just those which directly or indirectly undermine the well being of the United States as a sovereign nation and/or the well being of the American people.”

    As defined by whom? It is fantasy to make such statements since people rarely agree on such issues. Presenting them in those terms merely is a lawyer’s brief and not a dispassionate look at particular issues. The North American Free Trade Agreement for example I think has been on the whole good for the country, a view diametrically opposed to yours. Of course I am in favor of global free trade, something you are obviously opposed to, because I believe such free trade is good for the American economy as a whole. On such issues one must debate the actual issues involved and not invoke Manichean terms in order to stack the debate beforehand.

  16. Slainte,

    It seems you are intent on blaming some cabal of nefarious interests for all of the policies you disagree with. Not only are you wrong (I believe) on the substance of NAFTA, but you are misdirecting your anger. NAFTA was a rare bipartisan moment – after all, you often don’t see Al Gore and Rush Limbaugh on the same page all that often. There are/were many Americans in favor of NAFTA in both parties, just as there was bipartisan opposition. It didn’t come down to who had the most money to curry favor, but rather which side had the stronger ideological and popular momentum.

    As I suggested earlier, sometimes it’s easier to just blame “the system” rather than acknowledging that our fellow citizens vote in ways that make us shudder.

  17. “….sometimes it’s easier to just blame ‘the system’ rather than acknowledging that our fellow citizens vote in ways that make us shudder.”
    .
    Excellent point – it reminds me of 1st Samuel 8:5:
    .
    “…now appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations.”

  18. Getting back to Sen. Landrieu, this liberal pro abort Catholic needs to go! Thirteen years ago at my brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner in NOLA, the locals at our table scoffed at Sen. Landrieu saying that she had done NOTHING for the state of Louisiana. These were relatives of the bride who knew the senator personally and were also in business in New Orleans.
    Devastating indeed was St. Sen Guillory’s video. In theory I decry out of state money influencing state elections, but I’m sending a check in support of this video.
    Liberal Democrats are all about keeping an underclass in existence, which is inhumane.

  19. Paul Zummo,

    Any piece of legislation (NAFTA) that causes a nation to cede its ability to produce what it needs to sustain itself as an independent actor weakens that nation and undercuts its viability. We are not England whose access to natural resources traditionally made it dependent on trade. We are a self sufficient country, blessed by God, who has the ability to feed and clothe its own people and assist others throughout the world. Manufacturing, industry, and service production must be brought back to our shores.
    .
    Producing things at home matters for the well being of the nation and, in particular, our unemployed neighbors. Producing locally invokes the principle of subsidiarity because it allows generations of extended families to live and work close to one another while supporting each other. Families are the heart of the nation…and if we want a moral citizenry, we should promote whatever keeps families together. Globalism promotes scattered and disjointed families living in far distant places because of work demands.
    .
    I don’t support NAFTA (or the public servants who made it possible) because it undermines the family by exporting the production necessary to maintain thriving local communities. Keep it local.

  20. Mr. McClarey, Why do you surmise the southern states wanted to secede from the union? Do you really believe there is no set of circumstances that would warrant states withdrawing from a union which no longer served, and might actually threaten, their existence?
    .
    As to Ted Kennedy, I am part of the tribe (Irish) and I would not have voted for him. As a New Yorker, I always assumed something got added to the water around election time up there in Massachusetts which caused temporary insanity. : )

  21. “Why do you surmise the southern states wanted to secede from the union?”

    I don’t have to surmise their reasons. They said so at the time, defense of slavery. As Jefferson Davis said in his first message to the Confederate Congress:

    “The climate and soil of the Northern States soon proved unpropitious to the continuance of slave labor, whilst the converse was the case at the South. Under the unrestricted free intercourse between the two sections, the Northern States consulted their own interests by selling their slaves to the South and prohibiting slavery within their limits. The South were willing purchasers of a property suitable to their wants, and paid the price of the acquisition without harboring a suspicion that their quiet possession was to be disturbed by those who were inhibited not only by want of constitutional authority, but by good faith as vendors, from disquieting a title emanating from themselves. As soon, how ever, as the Northern States that prohibited African slavery within their limits had reached a number sufficient to give their representation a controlling voice in the Congress, a persistent and organized system of hostile measures against the rights of the owners of slaves in the Southern States was inaugurated and gradually extended. A continuous series of measures was devised and prosecuted for the purpose of rendering insecure the tenure of property in slaves. Fanatical organizations, supplied with money by voluntary subscriptions, were assiduously engaged in exciting amongst the slaves a spirit of discontent and revolt; means were furnished for their escape from their owners, and agents secretly employed to entice them to abscond; the constitutional provision for their rendition to their owners was first evaded, then openly denounced as a violation of conscientious obligation and religious duty; men were taught that it was a merit to elude, disobey, and violently oppose the execution of the laws enacted to secure the performance of the promise contained in the constitutional compact; owners of slaves were mobbed and even murdered in open day solely for applying to a magistrate for the arrest of a fugitive slave; the dogmas of these voluntary organizations soon obtained control of the Legislatures of many of the Northern States, and laws were passed providing for the punishment, by ruinous fines and long-continued imprisonment in jails and penitentiaries, of citizens of the Southern States who should dare to ask aid of the officers of the law for the recovery of their property. Emboldened by success, the theater of agitation and aggression against the clearly expressed constitutional rights of the Southern States was transferred to the Congress; Senators and Representatives were sent to the common councils of the nation, whose chief title to this distinction consisted in the display of a spirit of ultra fanaticism, and whose business was not “to promote the general welfare or insure domestic tranquillity,” but to awaken the bitterest hatred against the citizens of sister States by violent denunciation of their institutions; the transaction of public affairs was impeded by repeated efforts to usurp powers not delegated by the Constitution, for the purpose of impairing the security of property in slaves, and reducing those States which held slaves to a condition of inferiority. Finally a great party was organized for the purpose of obtaining the administration of the Government, with the avowed object of using its power for the total exclusion of the slave States from all participation in the benefits of the public domain acquired by all the States in common, whether by conquest or purchase; of surrounding them entirely by States in which slavery should be prohibited; of thus rendering the property in slaves so insecure as to be comparatively worthless, and thereby annihilating in effect property worth thousands of millions of dollars. This party, thus organized, succeeded in the month of November last in the election of its candidate for the Presidency of the United States.

    In the meantime, under the mild and genial climate of the Southern States and the increasing care and attention for the wellbeing and comfort of the laboring class, dictated alike by interest and humanity, the African slaves had augmented in number from about 600,000, at the date of the adoption of the constitutional compact, to upward of 4,000,000. In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with careful religious instruction. Under the supervision of a superior race their labor had been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of the wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South; the white population of the Southern slaveholding States had augmented from about 1,250,000 at the date of the adoption of the Constitution to more than 8,500,000 in 1860; and the productions of the South in cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable, had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourths of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to the wants of civilized man. With interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced. With this view the legislatures of the several States invited the people to select delegates to conventions to be held for the purpose of determining for themselves what measures were best adapted to meet so alarming a crisis in their history. Here it may be proper to observe that from a period as early as 1798 there had existed in all of the States of the Union a party almost uninterruptedly in the majority based upon the creed that each State was, in the last resort, the sole judge as well of its wrongs as of the mode and measure of redress. Indeed, it is obvious that under the law of nations this principle is an axiom as applied to the relations of independent sovereign States, such as those which had united themselves under the constitutional compact. The Democratic party of the United States repeated, in its successful canvass in 1856, the declaration made in numerous previous political contests, that it would “faithfully abide by and uphold the principles laid down in the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1798, and in the report of Mr. Madison to the Virginia Legislature in 1799; and that it adopts those principles as constituting one of the main foundations of its political creed.” The principles thus emphatically announced embrace that to which I have already adverted – the right of each State to judge of and redress the wrongs of which it complains. These principles were maintained by overwhelming majorities of the people of all the States of the Union at different elections, especially in the elections of Mr. Jefferson in 1805, Mr. Madison in 1809, and Mr. Pierce in 1852. In the exercise of a right so ancient, so well established, and so necessary for self-preservation, the people of the Confederate States, in their conventions, determined that the wrongs which they had suffered and the evils with which they were menaced required that they should revoke the delegation of powers to the Federal Government which they had ratified in their several conventions. They consequently passed ordinances resuming all their rights as sovereign and Independent States and dissolved their connection with the other States of the Union.”

  22. Slainte,

    None of your objections to NAFTA – which I disagree with, but are meritorious and worth consideration – have anything to do with why it was implemented. People came to a different policy conclusion than you. They weren’t bought off.

  23. Slainte, a mile from our farm is the former plantation of Robert Carter III, a contemporary of Jefferson and Washington, who in 1791 signed his Deed of
    Gift. The document extended protections and privileges to his almost 500 slaves and provided for manumitting them incrementally during his lifetime. In fact Carter got ahead of his own timetable. The First Emancipator by Andrew Levy is a well research biography of Carter. I am not a fan of Lincoln because the Emancipation Proclamation provided no such timetable – no 40 acres and a mule, which caused hardship across the South.

  24. CAM,

    Thanks for your insight. It appears from your comment that Mr. Carter was a good and worthy man.

    As for President Lincoln, I am sure he is responsible for many fine deeds.

    In these troubled times though, it concerns me that there is precedent for a President turning the military against American states and a civilian population. A diplomatic resolution would have been preferable.

  25. “A diplomatic resolution would have been preferable.”

    Lincoln offered a constitutional amendment to safeguard slavery or compensated emancipation. No settlement short of complete independence was acceptable to the Confederates.

  26. Mr. McClarey writes: “No settlement short of complete independence was acceptable to the Confederates.”
    .
    When does a state or states have a right to secede? What conditions need to exist?
    .
    Why was it ok for the 13 colonies to secede from Great Britain but not ok for the southern states to secede from the union?

  27. You are confusing a right to secession slainte with a right of rebellion. The right of rebellion is spelled out in the Declaration of Independence by Mr. Jefferson and the conditions that justify it:

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    There is no right of secession under the Constitution of the United States.

  28. Mr. McClarey writes: “You are confusing a right to secession slainte with a right of rebellion.”
    .
    The state of Virginia in its ratification documents (of the U.S Constitution) reserved for itself a right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers.
    .
    Since Virginia entered the union as a slave state, with the full knowledge and consent of the other states, and Virginia’s citizens claimed property rights in slaves, interference and abrogation of those property rights constituted grounds to resume powers delegated, withdrew its ratification of the Constitution, and secede from membership in the union.
    .
    None of the enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S Constitution granted the federal government a right to “prevent” either a secession by Virginia or a rebellion by the remaining southern states.
    .
    Similarly, none of the enumerated powers granted the federal government empowered President Lincoln to use military force against the civilian population residing in the south.
    .
    The Declaration of Independence provides:
    .
    “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government … Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.”
    .
    When the federal government uses military force to strike against a civilian population, it has demonstrated overt oppressive behavior which even James Madison would recognize as providing a substantial basis to justify secession from the union and rebellion.

  29. “The state of Virginia in its ratification documents (of the U.S Constitution) reserved for itself a right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers.”

    They could have reserved the right to eat moon cheese and it would have had the same impact on their rights and responsibilities under the Constitution.

    “Since Virginia entered the union as a slave state, with the full knowledge and consent of the other states, and Virginia’s citizens claimed property rights in slaves, interference and abrogation of those property rights constituted grounds to resume powers delegated, withdrew its ratification of the Constitution, and secede from membership in the union.”

    Nope. Such a unilateral statement had no impact on the binding nature of the Constitution.

    “None of the enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S Constitution granted the federal government a right to “prevent” either a secession by Virginia or a rebellion by the remaining southern states.”

    The Insurrection act of 1807 certainly did. Additionally the Constitution presupposes the ability of the Federal government to fight against rebellions: “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” Section 8 provides: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;”
    Section 10 of Article One also says “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation”

  30. “The Declaration of Independence provides:
    .
    “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government … Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.””

    There was no long train of abuses justifying rebellion. The Confederates bolted over a purely phantom menace to their precious right to treat Black people like property.

  31. There was no long train of abuses justifying rebellion.

    Bingo. I have never heard a person adequately explain what the long train of abuses was supposed to have been. If anything, it was the southern states which had completely dominated the political landscape in the decade leading up to the war. After all, the northern states had more to complain about – repeal of the Missouri Compromise, Dred Scot, etc.

  32. Paul Zummo quotes Mr. McClarey: “There was no long train of abuses justifying rebellion.”
    .
    Who gets to decide whether any list of abuses is sufficient to justify seceding?

  33. The Augustinian preconditions of Just War would apply to rebellion against an established government gone astray. Would not succession be a required alternative, perhaps last among others, to seek before resorting to violence?

  34. For your consideration Mr. Zummo and in response to your request:
    .
    “…Lincoln….could not tolerate… a dissolution of the Union, loss of revenue from the South, and a low-tariff zone on his southern border. This was the consistent thread running through Lincoln’s policy from 1860–1865. He would not recognize the conventions of the people of the southern states, and he would not negotiate with their commissioners. He would go to war immediately to coerce the states of the deep South back into the Union. And it was this act that Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas could not tolerate. They had been opposed to the radicalism of the deep South, and their legislatures had voted firmly to stay within the Union. But they would not answer Lincoln’s call for troops to coerce a state into the Union; this they considered not only unconstitutional, but immoral. And in this they were correct. But so strong is the Lincoln myth and so interwoven with American self-identity that Americans have never been able to confront the stark immorality and barbarism of Lincoln’s decision to invade the South and to pursue total war against its civilian population….”
    .
    “…To treat, as Lincoln did, the peoples of entire states who had engaged in deliberate and legal acts of self-government as common criminals and as “domestic foes” aroused deep emotions of resentment and injustice that could be felt only by an American who had received with his mother’s milk the principle, framed in the Declaration of Independence, of the self-government of independent moral and political societies. As the case of Robert E. Lee makes clear, this feeling of resentment had nothing to do with slavery, an institution he thought was on its way to oblivion. It was this deeply felt American resentment that enabled the entire South, 85 percent of whom did not own slaves, to mobilize and to make spectacular sacrifices to keep out an invading army, the government of which was intent on destroying, and did destroy, the corporate liberty of their political societies. It was this sense of state honor that Hamilton had in mind when he said in the Federalist that the central government could never make war against an American state, and which he again asserted again before the New York State convention: “To coerce a state would be one of the maddest projects ever devised. No state would ever suffer itself to be used as the instrument of coercing another.” One cannot imagine the great Virginians of his time disagreeing….”
    .
    “….Herman Melville, who had a good eye for the hypocrisy of northern industrial unionism, wrote:
    .
    Who looks at Lee must think of Washington
    In pain must think and hide the thought
    So deep with grievous meaning is it fraught.
    .
    To this conservative and backward-looking image, we should add the forward-looking and “progressive” image:

    “He who looks at Lincoln has seen the consolidationists Bismarck and Lenin.”

    “…The argument of Lincoln and the Republican party that secession was unthinkable because the Union was indivisible now appeared as the self-serving hypocrisy it was. States could not secede from the Union, but they could be expelled, or more precisely, obliterated…”
    .
    “…It has been said that the War of 1861–1877 decided once and for all the question of whether an American state could secede. But this is only another way of saying that might makes right, a principle that cannot sit well with the American doctrine of government by consent. The great Scottish philosopher David Hume taught a deeper truth; namely, that political authority is founded not on power but on opinion. A change in opinion at a strategic point can transform, in time, an entire political order…”
    .
    Source: Donald Livingston, PhD*

    http://mises.org/daily/6374/Lincolns-Inversion-of-the-American-Union
    .
    *Donald Livingston is a professor of philosophy at Emory University with an expertise in the writings of David Hume. Livingston received his doctorate at Washington University in 1965. He has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and is on the editorial board of Hume Studies and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. Livingston is a constitutional scholar and an expositor of the compact nature of the Union, with its concomitant doctrines of corporate resistance, nullification, and secession. The doctrine coincides with federalism, states’ rights, the principle of subsidiarity. His political philosophy embodies the decentralizing themes echoed by Europeans such as Althusius, David Hume, and Lord Acton and Americans such as Thomas Jefferson, Spencer Roane, Abel Parker Upshur, Robert Hayne and John Calhoun, which holds the community and family as the elemental units of political society. As Livingston affirms, the compact nature of the Union is opposed to the innovative nationalist theory of Joseph Story, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln which contends for an indivisible sovereignty, an inviolable aggregate people, and that the American Union created the States following the American War for Independence. This theory as articulated by Lincoln has been characterized by Livingston as “Lincoln’s Spectacular Lie.”

  35. So your proof of the long train of abuses that justified secession is a bunch of vague perceptions of what happened after secession. Unless south Carolina had in its population the precogs from the movie Minority Report, that makes absolutely no sense.

    All right. I’m done, because this is obviously going nowhere.

  36. “Lincoln….could not tolerate… a dissolution of the Union, loss of revenue from the South, and a low-tariff zone on his southern border.”

    Slainte, stop embarrassing yourself, trying to present neo-Confederate fantasies as history. The von Mises institute has long been a sponsor of neo-Confederate tripe attempting to masquerade as history. Livingston is a founder of the Abbeville Institute, a group dedicated to attempting to give neo-Confederate myths some shaky intellectual foundation:

    http://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/

    History is very important to me, and I will not allow you to fill up the comboxes with this type of bilge.

  37. slainte: “Mr. McClarey, Why do you surmise the southern states wanted to secede from the union? Do you really believe there is no set of circumstances that would warrant states withdrawing from a union which no longer served, and might actually threaten, their existence?”
    .
    Jefferson Davis (1808 – 1889) President of the Confederate States of America. The schism had already occurred. Davis as President of the Confederate States of America had proposed secession and had accomplished secession. It may be said that the Civil War was indeed a war to protect and maintain the Union. The North had Freedom, fulfilling our Constitution. The South had slavery, denying and violating the substance of man. The North had the industrial revolution. The South had slavery, King Cotton. The North had free men. The South had free men who owned other (free) men.
    .
    Ted Kennedy was given a free pass (to hell) because of the assassination of JFK. It was not up to the people of Massachusetts to indemnify Ted Kennedy for the loss of his brother, and they did Ted Kennedy no favor.

  38. Mr. McClarey, when 11 of the 34 states of the U.S chose to secede from the union, they did not do so for inconsequential reasons.
    .
    Prof. Livingston is a native southerner and a long time professor at a respected southern university….Emory U. in Atlanta Georgia. I thought it worthwhile to consider what caused the civil war from a southerner’s point of view. The civil was undeniably a tragedy of great proportions that scarred our nation for generations.
    .
    It’s not enough, in my opinion, to say that a war was waged to save the union when the history books are not clear regarding the reasons why 1/3 of the states wanted out. Livingston’s position clarifies that the issue is not a settled one.
    .
    As I mentioned earlier, in my opinion, slave states should never have been admitted to the union regardless of expediency; and no central government should ever burn an American city or cause its military to fire upon a civilian population…not even “that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom”.
    .
    I recognize this issue is divisive and has become unpleasant…I apologize for upsetting you and will let the matter rest. Pax tecum.

  39. Prof. Livingston is a native southerner and a long time professor at a respected southern university….Emory U.

    FWIW, that is my alma mater. Emory U may be located in the south, but it is not a southern university. (Think of Georgetown and its label as a “Catholic” university.) I say this not as a criticism of your remarks, but am just throwing that out there. In fact, if anything, Dr. Livingston is probably an outlier in his viewpoints among the faculty.

    At any rate, enough has been said. Peace.

  40. In the 1860’s, the federal government destroyed the institution of slavery and the South – lock, stock and barrel, so to speak. Nothing was done for the individual freed slave who found himself a free man in a desert with no capital, no possession. Neither side sufficiently thought things through to the resultant man-made catastrophe.
    .

    Was it worth the violence and the hatred? A destitute, destroyed south was forced to remain among the United States, all of which surrendered power/sovereign rights to the national government.

  41. “Mr. McClarey, when 11 of the 34 states of the U.S chose to secede from the union, they did not do so for inconsequential reasons.”

    They did so pursuant to a purely phantom threat against their ability to own slaves slainte. The historical record really could not be clearer on that point.

  42. “Was it worth the violence and the hatred? A destitute, destroyed south was forced to remain among the United States, all of which surrendered power/sovereign rights to the national government.”

    The South lagged behind the rest of the nation economically after the War largely because it treated Blacks as fifth class citizens.

    It is a pity that the White South did not take up the Atlanta Compromise offered by Booker T. Washington in 1895:
    http://almostchosenpeople.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/booker-t-washington-and-the-atlanta-compromise-speech/

    The Federal government was returned to miniscule size after the War with an army of 25,000.

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