Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Saturday, April 10, 2010
  Treason Awareness Month

Jason Linkins gets it just about right:

Hey! Let's find people to defend the practice of celebrating traitors, and maybe have some pointless left-versus-right debates over it!

Look. I understand the concepts of heritage and history. My family fought for the South, for pete’s sake. I think a certain amount of regional pride is healthy. But this whole States-Rights-B.S. that propagates the white man’s modern day mythology of “Confederate Heritage” is really insulting.

Presenting the arguments of the Civil War (or the “War Between the States,” if you live down South) as though they are not completely resolved 145 years later is just stupid.

Being something of a Civil War buff and currently living in the South has made me realize one overarching fact:

"States' Rights" is about nothing more than the right of a state to allow enslavement of a portion of humanity. Period. Full stop. The prevailing aristocracy lost that "right" in 1865 and they've been fighting to get it back ever since. Maybe not slavery per se, but some sort of wage serfdom or indentured servitude. Marx was wrong about many, many things, but he was exactly right about the vampiric nature of Big Capital.

Make no mistake - having now been here for a couple years, there is a not-insignificant minority (and I'm convinced within the Majority caucus of the Georgia General Assembly it's not a minority at all) that would love to see the repeal of Amendments 13, 14, and 15. We thought we'd destroyed this "states' rights" mindset with Jackson, and then with Lincoln, but no, like a bad penny - or, more appropriately, like a malignant cancer on the body politic - it keeps coming back.

Wes, why do you suppose that this is true? I'm not doubting your statement, I'm curious as to what, after all these years - people moving north and south and education and alike, would cause a particular geographical area to maintain this collective mindset.
The mythology of the "Lost Cause" has a lot to do with it, I suspect. The stories are passed down from generation to generation.

Also, here in Georgia, we have the added "benefit" of location - this is where many, many battles were fought. There's a story that Sen. Milton Young (R-ND) asked Sen. Richard Russell (D-GA), "Dick, why are you so military-minded?" Russell replied, "Milt, you'd be military-minded too if Sherman burned Bismarck."

I don't have any more love for the Confederacy than you guys, but I disagree with the "nothing more" assertion in the first comment. For example, when California asserted the right to allow medical marijuana, in the face of attacks from Clinton and Bush's Justice Departments, that too was an expression of states' rights. This federalist concept was also understood by the founders to apply to the bulk of government action.
I'll buy that.

But let's be honest - do you really think the States' Rights movement in its current anti-Federal incarnation is even remotely about the balance of Federal and state government? For that matter, why weren't Californians in favor of the right of states to legalize marijuana waving the flag of States' Rights, the Confedealleged rate flag? Or, why weren't these modern day John C. Calhouns out marching for the legalization of marijuana, if it's a states' rights issue?

If you were to draw a Venn diagram showing the overlap of those whose approach to States' Rights involved the legalization of marijuana by states and those who are in the "Tea Party" movement, I'm wagering it would be a tiny overlap.

Even if you acknowledge the idea of Federalism, I won't for one moment believe the slackjaws waving the Rebel Flag and brandishing weapons in national parks (which they are only able to do because of the signature of that noted gun-grabber Barack Obama) are doing this because of any deep concern about proper Federal/state relations. For all the talk of States' Rights (or, as they say down here, "stayuhts rahuhts"), I'm not sensing a deep understanding of Federalism or constitutional principles - unless they believe the Constitution protects their right to not have a non-white non-male President.


(word verification: "downi" This reminds me, I have to do laundry soon.)
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