Wednesday, September 12, 2018

State Rights was About Federalism, not Slavery

I just finished reading From Founding Fathers to Fire-Eaters by James Rutledge Roesch. It’s a new book (2018) on an old subject, but it’s an excellent, entertaining, and both an enjoyable and easy read considering the complexity of the subject and the brilliant minds of the Southern political theorists whose works Mr. Roesch has compiled and edited into a succinct outline of the state rights doctrine of the Old South. [Take that in conjunction with Alcorn’s comment in his 1870 inaugural speech about how Southerners should quit political theorizing and jump in and wallow in the trough with the Yankees.]

The doctrine did not begin with the abolitionists or the Missouri Compromise or even the Constitutional Convention, and it was never about slavery. As Mr. Roesch shows to any reasonably intelligent person with only a modicum of knowledge regarding this nation’s history, the doctrine was there at the beginning, inherent in the colonial charters, the oldest of which was Virginia’s. I highly recommend anyone interested in truth regarding the state rights doctrine vis-a-vis the post-republic egalitarian/centralization doctrine get the book, devour it, and share it.

The nationalists (centralizers) have been part of our government from the start, much like the serpent was integral to the Garden of Eden. They were the Tories who reluctantly joined the Patriot cause after the short-sighted British Parliament refused to stop interfering with home rule, undermining their influence at home. [This is me talking here. Mr. Roesch is kinder to all the founders.] Embracing the cause of independence, these self-aggrandizers embarked on the quest to build a new economic empire. To realize their goal, they needed a supreme, centralized government and a national “democracy,” served by said government.

Patriots to the republic managed to forestall them for the bulk of the next century, first with the Articles of Confederation, then with federalism, hallmarked by the state rights doctrine woven into the Constitution. Nevertheless, with the ratification of said Constitution, the states had sown the seeds of their demise. The destruction of the Southern Confederacy ended the federal republic and gave the ghosts of those old Tories their long-coveted crown. Hopefully they celebrated their victory in…, well, never mind where.

Today, some neo-cons still give lip service to the republic, or the Lincolnites’ perverse take on it, but with the Left picking up their banner of egalitarianism/pure democracy and exploding it, the neo-cons should be rethinking their position [Lincoln’s on the chopping block, too, and it’s not us Southerners putting him there]. Instead, they appease. Truth is the nationalists and the Left are both statists. Both need all references to state rights (true federalism) gone.

The nationalists have hidden behind the holy crusade to end slavery to justify their egregious violations of the Constitution since halfway through the “Civil War.” [They had other unifying causes before the abolitionists gave them slavery]. The farther time moves from those long-ago events, the more clouded the historical memory of everyday folk, and lack of education on the subject of both that War and the founding of the republic hastens the encroaching shadows. That is by design. There is no difference in the goal of modern Democrats and Republicans in regards to the republic.

Today’s attacks on the South not only go unchallenged by “so-called” conservatives, who by default the South supports, but are actually echoed by these same people, who mollify their treachery by stating something to the effect that we need to keep the history, but annotate it to remember our mistakes (sins). Pittance, I guess, is what these curs are trying to foster. Problem is slavery isn’t the operative mistake here, and what really needs to be remembered is being buried deeper and deeper beneath their obfuscation. The gutless wonders fear the PC crowd and believe they are protecting themselves from the Left’s onslaught by tossing such bones. Believers in the republic, or perhaps those who simply respect its memory, whether Southern or not, have no champion. Granted the republic is dead. The majority of Americans rejected it long ago. Today most don’t even know what it was, its having been perverted by self-aggrandizing politicians into something it wasn’t. But we Southerners being told to piss on our ancestors’ graves, all too often now by other Southerners, in order to further the ambitions of one statist group over those of another, is going too far.

One can pinpoint a number of places in our antebellum history highlighting the states’ and the peoples’ rejection of our federal republic. The states’ failure to support Kentucky's and Virginia's resolutions against Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts and later South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis; the application of the Constitution to the states by the Supreme court under Marshall; and the Northern states’ answering Lincoln’s call for troops to invade the South. The Missouri Crisis was a biggie. That’s when the South should have left the Union. It was clear then that sectional interests were simply too conflicting.

Reconstruction itself abounds with violations, but those violations may not have been so pervasive had the Northern populace not given Congress to the Radicals in the fall of 1866. But what did it matter at that point? The South was in shambles, and Northerners as a block had already shown how little they cared about our founders’ republic. They had, in fact, rejected it. They wanted a centralized Union, and they created one by force of arms. Today the old republic is only a memory being twisted into something evil, the final step before the statists feel comfortable in eradicating it altogether.

We need to keep that history untarnished, y’all. It’s what our Confederate ancestors fought for. In another time and another place, Patriots will need a foundation on which to build again. 

Thanks for reading,