By Donald Livingston The Abbeville Institute
Self government and the secession required for it in oversized States are as much a province of the Left as of political conservatives. It was the left that raised the question of secession after Al Gore lost the presidency to George W. Bush. They wondered why they had to be yoked with the people and policies of the Red States which they deplored. Had the Red States raised the same question, the media would have ignored it or rolled out its usual rhetoric, that the Civil War settled all that. But coming from the left, it got some fairly sympathetic attention. I remember a call from Harper’s Magazine where I had published an essay on a related topic, asking if I thought secession was a serious possibility. When the left talks about secession the media listens with respect.
But not all secession contemplates dividing the Union into two or more federations. It is possible to secede from a State and form a new State. The western counties of Virginia seceded and formed the State of Kentucky. Virginia was again divided by secession when West Virginia was formed. Maine, Tennessee and other States were formed from secession. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York in 1967 on a platform that the city should secede and form the 51st State. Twenty seven counties in northern California voted to secede and form the 51st State in 1972. But the legislature refused to grant the request.
Today there is a movement in Arizona to detach the counties in the Baja region to form a new State, Baja Arizona. Tom Johnson, a leftist blogger in The Daily Wildcat urges the movement on
, observing that the Baja region is liberal progressive while the remaining part of the State is largely made of white conservatives. “Campaigning for new states, Johnson says, “could be the way disenfranchised populaces” gain political power. “Why, for example, should the liberal and non-white people of the American South have to have reduced political capital than their neighbors’ racism and conservatism?”
In presenting secession as a leftist strategy Johnson draws inspiration from Chuck Thompson’s book Better Off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession
. For two years Thompson traveled throughout the South seeking to understand the natives of the Southern Red States. The book expresses the author’s disdain for nearly all things Southern–country music, NASCAR, its Christian culture, its opposition to gun control, abortion, gay marriage, and the like–and he concludes that the nation would be better off if the South were allowed to secede and free a progressive America from its dead weight.
What Thomson finds disgusting about being shackled to the South, Tom Johnson finds disgusting about his own State which has long been divided between a left wing progressive section centered in Tuscon and a “right wing” section in Phoenix, “each pulling its shared state in a tug of war from one side to the other.” The solution would be secession and the formation of a new State, Baja Arizona. An attempt to put secession on the ballot in 2012 failed, but Thompson thinks, it should be tried again.
“After all,” he says, “the government can’t ignore partition supporters if they are loud enough for long enough …. Disenfranchised populations should be using this tactic [secession] as a tool to save themselves from old white people afraid of demographic death. And to Baja Arizona, those kinds of people are exactly the sort of vultures keeping this state down …. So cry havoc and campaign onwards for 2016 to bring Baja Arizona into being. And to be blunt, Baja Arizona does not deserve to be shackled to a populace whose interests it gets along with about as well as baking soda and vinegar do.” Though Johnson and Thompson have contempt for the South, we welcome their attachment to that most Southern of all principles: secession for the sake of self-government.
A brief commentary by Craig Maus, CSA President on Al Benson's article below:
Obama is probably the most egregious ‘president’ this country has ever seen and the Most Obvious relative to his Dogmatic IDEOLOGY hidden behind a veil of various charades that enabled him to get where he is enabling him to do what he has done.
However, although the most egregious as mentioned and probably the worse than any, combined with his apparent Muslim commitment that one can only presume cloaks his real religion (Islam), he is Not alone.
Since Lincoln’s Civil War, there have been a number of ‘president’s’ from the 2-Party Duopoly that have taken ‘liberty’ with their position, albeit with Congress in tow, resulting in a continued loss of OUR Liberty allowing for further Political Usurpation.
However, the worst of any prior to Obama is in-arguably Lincoln who totally shelved the U.S. Constitution he claimed he was ‘representing’ in pursuit of a Central Government Hegemony and waged an Undeclared War against another Country (the Confederate States of America) that Congress NEVER approved!He arrested and jailed civilians and military personnel alike (in the North) who protested and questioned his Illegal Actions without so much as due process UNDER THE Constitution and, like Obama, DIDN'T blink in the slightest.
The RESULT of his actions and his similarly grotesque cabinet of the time, all of whom were bonafide Socialists, Transformed this Country and what we have today is an Extension of those actions & events!
It took ‘Those People’ 150 years to get where they are today and Obama and his Minions both within and without of ‘government’, REPRESENT the Political Carnage that was created long ago.
Unless this Country SEPARATES, IT AND WE WILL CONTINUE OUR SLIDE INTO Oblivion.
Many of the things that Obama has done and made ‘Legal’
, just as what Lincoln did, will NEVER be reversed BUT WILL SERVE AS precedent FOR ‘OTHERS’ IN THE DAYS AHEAD that are NOT that far off!
What EVERYONE is seeing and witnessing are the IDENTICAL CONDITIONS
, but worse (if that is even comprehensible), as those surrounding Lincoln and his Band of Socialist Architects that decided the South’s position to Secede. It was, as stated, the 2nd American Revolution but WE did NOT initiate it!We Seceded Legally & were Invaded Illegally because of the actions of ONE MAN- ABRAHAM LINCOLN- and WITHOUT the APPROVAL of a ‘Constitutional’ Congress.It has been downhill ever since. The Nightmare of 150 Years ago was bound to catch up with us and have ultimate repercussions. It has come back to HAUNT us as the REPUBLIC that existed then… is now NO more because of it! That REPUBLIC will Only be again if we SEPARATE. ‘Played like a Fiddle and Washington remains the Riddle’
by Al Benson Jr.
The issue seemed clearer to some (but not all) in 1787. When the Constitution was presented for ratification in Virginia the issues were much better understood than they are today. Of course people back then had not had the dubious “benefit” of our government school system with its obfuscations and omittances regarding our history. It was pretty well understood in Virginia, as well as in other areas, that the issue was a strong federalism, or centralism, as opposed to a loose confederacy of state governments where states rights were to be the rule–the dreaded (by historians) Compact Theory!
In his speeches against ratification Patrick Henry noted that the delegates in Philadelphia had overstepped their bounds in that they had not been sent there with power to create a central government, but only to amend the Articles of Confederation. However, in light of the results of that convention it does seem that some went with other motives in mind. Henry warned the Virginia delegates that they were not to consider how they could increase trade nor how they could become a great nation, but rather how their liberty could be secured. Henry said, and quite accurately, “…for liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.” He made another prescient statement in this regard when he said: “If you give too little power today, you may give more tomorrow. But the reverse of the proposition will not hold. If you give too much power today, you cannot retake it tomorrow, for tomorrow will never come for for that.” In light of the direction this government has gone in from 1787 until now, does any sane person wish to argue with Mr. Henry’s logic?
Author, economist and columnist Gary North wrote a book almost twenty years ago now called Political Polytheism
which dealt with much of this. For starters he noted that: “…The Constitution removed Christian religious tests as the judicial requirement of the judges and officers of the new national government. That, in and of itself, delivered the republic into the hands of the humanists. Nothing else was necessary after that. From that point on the secularization of America was a mopping-up operation.” That’s a much different assessment than most of us have been fed regarding the Constitution, even in Christian circles, or might I say, especially in Christian circles? I have to admit that when I first saw North’s book and skimmed it, I was a little hesitant about his thesis. As the years have passed I have become much less so.
And he made another trenchant observation, one that many of us, myself included, had not even thought of at the time. I since have come to where I can see his logic. He said: “The sought-for Constitutional balance of the one and the many, apart from the Bible and Old Testament case laws, is unattainable.” In other words you cannot have the proper relationship between a central government and the state governments apart from Scripture. So the further this country departs from Scripture and God’s law the more impossible it will be for us to really do anything right, especially in the area of differing governmental jurisdictions. By the same token, the “checks and balances” we have been told will keep the different branches of the national government in their proper spheres won’t work either.
North also noted that: “Like Newton’s universe apart from God’s constant, active providence, the ‘balanced Constitution’ will eventually move toward centralized tyranny (the fear of the Anti-Federalists) or toward dissolution (the fear of the Federalists). Both movements took place in 1861-65.” The Anti-Federalists feared tyranny; the Federalists feared secession. North’s comments add a whole different perspective to the question of the Constitution and what it really says.
Back in August of 2004, Gary North wrote an article called Conspiracy In Philadelphia
. He also wrote a book by the same name. He observed: “In 1787 the states, with one exception (Rhode Island) were explicitly based on faith in God. In most cases, elected state representatives were required to swear their belief in the Trinity. The new constitution made all such oaths illegal for federal office (Article VI, Clause III). By means of the 14th Amendment (1868), the U.S. Supreme Court has applied this prohibition to state governments completing the transformation in the case of Torcasso vs. Watkins (1961). I told this story fifteen years ago. In response, the silence has been deafening.” Mr. North, like many of us over the years, has learned that the movers and shakers, the ruling elite, the country’s “other masters” will simply ignore what they do not want dealt with, and they press their lackeys in the “news” media to do the same, and the media bombards us with sports extravaganzas and “reality shows” to the point where we do not have the time or inclination for any serious reflection. If the truth can be out there and almost totally ignored by the general populace, Christians included, they don’t even have to bother shoving it down the “memory hole” anymore. Most people today will gaze at the plans for their own destruction and that of their kids–and yawn.
However, for the unusual few that may be concerned about the truth and how it might affect their children and grandchildren, Mr. North has posted his book Conspiracy In Philadelphia
on the Internet, from which it can be downloaded. My son downloaded it for me and for a friend of mine at church. It can be found athttp://www.garynorth.com/philadelphia.pdf
and I would encourage those who have genuine concerns about our “founding document” and its background to download North’s book and see what he has to say. Knowing about Mr. North, I am sure his analysis will be penetrating and worth your time.
By Brion McClanahan
Brion McClanahan holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of South Carolina and is a faculty member at Tom Woods's Liberty Classroom
. He is the author or co-author of four books: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes
(Regnery, 2012), The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution
(Regnery History, 2012);Forgotten Conservatives in American History
(with Clyde Wilson, Pelican, 2012); and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers
(Regnery, 2009). Courtesy of Lew Rockwell.com
The Republicans won. What’s next? In a November 5 opinion piece for the Washington Times
, Charles Hurt postulates that this could be the “most dangerous two years in 150 years.” President Obama, Hurst fears, now has nothing to lose and will become more partisan as he moves farther to the Left. Hurst contends this is a time for statesmanship, for Obama to channel his inner Abraham Lincoln and “save the Republic” as Lincoln did one-hundred fifty years earlier, to look to Lincoln’s bust in the Oval Office for inspiration.
Certainly, Hurst has correctly assessed Obama’s chosen path. His post-election press conference was little more than a doubling down on the King Barack agenda. Unfortunately, Obama is
doing what Lincoln would do. That is what makes him dangerous. Lincoln did not unite anyone except those who insisted on the complete annihilation of the South and the shredding of the Constitution as ratified by the founding generation. Consider Lincoln’s actions before the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861:
1. Lincoln privately wrote Republican Senators urging them to reject all compromise measures, including the famous Crittenden Compromise of 1860.
2. Lincoln publically insisted that compromise was not an option in several speeches before his inauguration.
3. Lincoln refused to meet with commissioners from several Southern States who were sent to Washington in an effort to settle issues related to federal property and debt. He, in fact, wanted Secretary of State Seward to feign sick to stall negotiations. He did and negotiations never took place.
4. Lincoln ignored the Washington D.C. Peace Conference of January 1861, convened by some of the most respected men in the United States for the express purpose of avoiding war.
5. Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address was combative and defiant and placed the burden of compromise on the South, a section which had already left the Union, and not the North, a section which had relentlessly agitated the bonds of Union over the previous eighty years.
6. Lincoln began polling his cabinet the week after taking office about provisioning Fort Sumter. All except his Postmaster General were against the move. Lincoln supported sending a fleet knowing it would lead to war. As he later wrote in his diary, the action had the desired effect. The South fired first and Lincoln could call for troops by insisting the South started the War.
7. The highest ranking general officer in the United States, Winfield Scott, argued against any action that might incite violence. He was quickly dispatched from any advisory councils and later made irrelevant by the Lincoln administration.
Remember also that Lincoln was elected with less than forty percent of the total popular vote, was not on the ballot in several States, and did not receive one Electoral College vote south of the Mason-Dixon. He was a minority president with an agenda that sixty percent of the American population rejected in 1860.
Lincoln’s partisanship and resolute dedication to the “party line” led to the War in 1861. He refused to compromise, refused to work with those who opposed him, refused to listen to those who wanted to avoid war, and refused to deviate from his agenda. Sound familiar?
Hurst has bought the Lincoln myth of the grand statesman unwillingly dragged into war by hell-bent “fire-eaters” in the South, and who through skilled maneuvering rescued the federal republic of the founding generation and preserved a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” The story is much more complicated. American collective infatuation with “Honest Abe” is a mental roadblock and destructive to a civil society based on “consent of the governed.”
Republicans, for all of their faults, should be ready for a Lincolnian executive, one in which the rule of law is trumped by executive action, separation of power is held in contempt, and the Constitution is nothing but an unenforceable piece of parchment. But to do so, they need to end their love affair with the sixteenth president and recognize President Obama as part of the Lincolnian tradition. That would take a manly determination and a critical reassessment of their core beliefs.
Let’s hope the outcome in 2015 isn’t the same as in 1861.
By Robert Ferguson
It’s time for the majority of people in the United States to realize what the federal government really is; the most violent, out of control, destructive entity on earth and is by far the greatest purveyor of suffering the human race has ever experienced. Countries require an equilibrium to continue to have peace and stability within them. Factors such as shared social and cultural lineage, religion, language and more. That is why you see so much chaos in the “countries” of the Middle East, Africa and South America. The boundaries on the map do not accurately reflect those shared social and cultural bonds, they were carved out by imperial powers over the course of centuries of colonialism. The reality is that the United States should most likely be two or three countries with autonomous legal authority to their own. Perhaps north-northeast, the south, Midwest-west.
We are all fed the big lie that the Civil War was fought over slavery but more and more people, now with the Internet, are discovering the truth that Lincoln was, rather than a national hero, probably one of the worst presidents we ever had. His legend is a myth and a lie, which is why it has to constantly be repeated and reinforced starting at a very young age, our kindergarten children being put in Lincoln beards and made to recite the Gettysburg Address in front of the whole school. The recent movie “Lincoln”, which of course racked up Academy Awards, is based on a novel written by an admitted plagiarist (Doris Kearns-Goodwin), and lo and behold our dear savior president fights vampires as well!! It doesn’t matter who the person is sitting behind the Truman desk in the Oval Office, the whole lot of them are filth if only made so by the system of which they are a part. Countries in Europe are already clamoring for secession from the corrupt European Union which has taken a once rich and productive continent of peoples, with a long and beautiful history spanning more than a millennium, and bankrupted them in 21 years (1993 est.).
Secessionist and nullification movements are gaining momentum in every state in the union. Beltway boys in Washington, along with their counterparts in Brussels, would say yet “united we stand, divided we fall!!”. Perhaps, but only within equitable boundaries of human coexistence. The truth is the only thing they want to “unite” is more and more human beings under a single umbrella of taxation and control. We must simply say “NO” to and ignore federal decrees. No more printing money out of thin air corrupting our economy and robbing our wealth through inflation, no more imperial wars, no more CIA and NSA spooks, no more government brain-washing centers called “public schools”. No more. Oh but that exciting and very significant US Presidential election is coming up!! Long live the empire.
By James Bovard
James Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan, Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, Terrorism and Tyranny, and other books. More info at www.jimbovard.com;.
Copyright © 2014 James Bovard
This is the 150th anniversary of one of the Civil War’s most destructive and controversial campaigns. Union Gen. Philip Sheridan unleashed a hundred mile swath of flames in the Shenandoah Valley that left vast numbers of civilians tottering towards starvation. Unfortunately, the burning of the Shenandoah Valley has been largely forgotten, foreshadowing how subsequent brutal military operations would also vanish into the Memory Hole.
In August 1864, supreme Union commander Ulysses S. Grant ordered Sheridan to “do all the damage to railroads and crops you can… If the war is to last another year, we want the Shenandoah Valley to remain a barren waste.” Sheridan set to the task with vehemence, declaring that “the people must be left nothing but their eyes to weep with over the war” and promised that, when he was finished, the valley “from Winchester to Staunton will have but little in it for man or beast.”
Some Union soldiers were aghast at their marching orders. A Pennsylvania cavalryman lamented at the end of the fiery spree: “We burnt some sixty houses and all most of the barns, hay, grain and corn in the shocks for fifty miles [south of] Strasburg… It was a hard-looking sight to see the women and children turned out of doors at this season of the year.” An Ohio major wrote in his diary that the burning “does not seem real soldierly work. We ought to enlist a force of scoundrels for such work.” A newspaper correspondent embedded with Sheridan’s army reported: “Hundreds of nearly starving people are going North . . . not half the inhabitants of the valley can subsist on it in its present condition.”
After one of Sheridan’s favorite aides was shot by Confederates, Sheridan ordered his troops to burn all houses within a five mile radius. After many outlying houses had been torched, the small town at the center – Dayton - was spared after a federal officer disobeyed Sheridan’s order. The homes and barns of Mennonites – a peaceful sect who opposed slavery and secession – were especially hard hit by that crackdown, according to a 1909 history of Mennonites in America.
By the end of Sheridan’s campaign, the former “breadbasket of the Confederacy” could no longer even feed the women and children remaining there. An English traveler in 1865 “found the Valley standing empty as a moor.” Historian Walter Fleming, in his classic 1919 study, The Sequel to Appomattox, quoted one bedeviled local farmer: “From Harper’s Ferry to New Market, which is about eighty miles, the country was almost a desert… . The barns were all burned; chimneys standing without houses, and houses standing without roof, or door, or window.” John Heatwole, author of “The Burning: Sheridan’s Devastation of the Shenandoah Valley” (1998), concluded: “The civilian population of the Valley was affected to a greater extent than was the populace of any other region during the war, including those in the path of Sherman’s infamous march to the sea in Georgia.” Unfortunately, given the chaos of the era at the end of the Civil War and its immediate aftermath, there are no reliable statistics on the number of women, children, and other civilians who perished thanks to “the burning.”
Some defenders of the Union tactics insist that there was no intent to harshly punish civilians. But, after three years of a bloody stalemate, the Lincoln administration had adapted a total war mindset to scourge the South into submission. As Sheridan was finishing his fiery campaign, Gen. William Sherman wrote to Gen. Grant that “Until we can repopulate Georgia, it is useless to occupy it, but the utter destruction of it’s roads, houses, and people will cripple their military resources.” Sherman had previously telegrammed Washington that “There is a class of people – men, women, and children, who must be killed or banished before you can hope for peace and order.” President Lincoln congratulated both Sheridan and Sherman for campaigns that sowed devastation far and wide.
The carnage inflicted by Sheridan, Sherman, and other northern commanders made the South’s post-war recovery far slower and multiplied the misery of both white and black survivors. Connecticut College professor Jim Downs’ recent book, Sick From Freedom
, exposes how the chaotic situation during and after the war contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of freed slaves.
After the Civil War, politicians and many historians consecrated the conflict as a crusade for freedom and the grisly tactics were consigned to oblivion. The habit of sweeping abusive policies under the rug also permeated post-Civil War policy towards the Indians (Sheridan famously declared “the only good Indian is a dead Indian”) and the suppression of Filipino insurgents after the Spanish-American War. Later historians sometimes ignored U.S. military tactics in World War Two and Vietnam that resulted in heavy civilian casualties.
The failure to recognize how wars routinely spawn pervasive brutality and collateral deaths lowers Americans’ resistance to new conflicts that promise to make the world safe for democracy, or rid the world of evil, or achieve other lofty sounding goals. For instance, the Obama administration sold its bombing of Libya as a self-evident triumph of good over a vile despot; instead, chaos reigns in Tripoli. As the administration ramps up bombing in Syria and Iraq, both its rhetoric and its tactics echo prior U.S. debacles.
Since 1864, no prudent American should have expected this nation’s wars to have happy or uplifting endings. Unfortunately, as long as the spotlight is kept off atrocities, most citizens will continue to underestimate the odds that wars will spawn debacles and injustices that return to haunt us.