Thursday, April 16, 2009

What a difference 140 years make: Democrats now say secession is "anti-American"

Democrats used to be the party in favor of states' individual sovereignty over their own affairs. They were also staunch opponents of the tariffs that the Whigs introduced in 1828, which in fact were as much of an impetus for the South to secede as the issue of "states' rights." Lincoln had switched to the newly created Republican label, but he was still a Whig in every sense: a mercantilist who once declared, "I am in favor of a national bank. I am in favor of the internal improvement system and a protective tariff." These three, separate or combined, are the very antithesis of liberty: each is a different way that government robs people. Thus Lincoln's election in 1860 alarmed Southerners who saw nothing less than at least four years of continued Northern oppression.

Apparently Texas Gov. Rick Perry has hinted at secession, and some Texas Democrat had the hypocrisy to say, "Talk of secession is an attack on our country. It can be nothing else. It is the ultimate anti-American statement."

How ironic, for Lincoln said as much from his first inaugural address throughout the entire Civil War War of Southern Secession.

So will this Democrat tell us what the South, predominantly Democratic, was doing in 1861? Or maybe, since Obama signed the pork-laden omnibus bill because it was "last year's business," secession to Democrats is now "the 19th century's business"?

Then at Democratic Underground, some asshat said, "Any asshole who wants to secede now should simply renounce his citizenship and be done with it. But if he doesn't have the courage of his convictions, then he should shut the fuck up."

Yes, those demmed colonials in the 1770s should have just shut up and been good Loyalists, right? And so much for Democrats being "the party of Jefferson," as they like to say. Not only does that claim fly in the face of the anti-government, pro-individual Jefferson, it ignores that he said in his 1801 inaugural speech, "If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it."

I've previously laid out why states have the power to secede, and more importantly why individuals have the right and duty to nullify bad laws. Both stem from the basic principle that government is legitimate only when it has the consent of the governed. This isn't "consent" by the claptrap called "majority rule," either. There must be consent from every individual who is not doing anything to infringe upon the equal rights of others. Nearly all Americans would protest, "But that's impossible, there would then be little or even no government!" And that is precisely the point. If there's even just one person who does not consent to what the government is doing to him, then the government is illegitimate for exercising tyranny.

My comment today at my friend Karol's blog:
I'd hardly call Rick Perry "likeable." I can't "like" someone who wants to force young girls to get vaccinations for a disease spread mainly via sexual contact, all because he's getting campaign contributions from the manufacturer of the vaccine. Instead of talking about rights at the state level, how about rights at the individual level.

That said, while we can, for different reasons, laugh at the idiocy of both conservatives and liberals who don't know what they're talking about, don't forget that this country was founded on the very principle of secession. If things progress so severely, people have a perfect right to withdraw from a political jurisdiction that oppresses them. Jefferson wrote without any equivocation,
--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.
Government's powers come from the people, which is how people have the right to say "Enough!" and destroy the government that exists legitimately only by their consent. Thus the colonials properly gave careful consideration to what they were doing, and remonstrated with the governors and the Crown. The tyranny continued, so they were justified.

The Civil War rendered the idea of state secession moot, but only because Lincoln, that great consolidator of federal power who shut down opposition newspapers and jailed their editors, was willing to send hundreds of thousands to their deaths to prove his political ideology: "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union."

If Lincoln hadn't been such a bastard, like illegally blockading Southern ports to force Southern states into accepting trade-hindering tariffs (which since 1828 was far more of an issue than slavery), maybe the "house" wouldn't have to have fought itself.

So as drastic as it is, there are far worse options than secession. Even so, there's no comparison to the crybaby liberals who said they'll move to Canada or France. They aren't calling for secession as a matter of freedom.
What I didn't get into was, as detailed by the awesome Thomas DiLorenzo, Lincoln ordering the detention, without due process, of tens of thousands of Northerners merely suspected of opposing him. Add to that the forced shut-down of hundreds of newspapers who dared to publish opposing editorials, including jailing a few hundred editors.

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