Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – If you want to read an 18th century breakdown, from a strategic point of view, what republicanism is and how it should work, it’s on the website. It’s written by a guy named David Hume. Hume wrote about this, he called the essay “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth.” He wrote about this in 1774, I believe. In “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth,” he lays out how you divide political power and how you try to see to it, knowing that men are evil, knowing that designing men are always going to be designing men, knowing that designing men always want to accrue power to themselves, knowing that consolidating government always leads to tyranny, always leads to corruption, always leads to abuse. Hume set out to try to fix the problem. Check out the rest in today’s transcript…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: If you want to read an 18th century breakdown, from a strategic point of view, what republicanism is and how it should work, it’s on the website. It’s written by a guy named David Hume. Hume wrote about this, he called the essay “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth.” He wrote about this in 1774, I believe. In “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth,” he lays out how you divide political power and how you try to see to it, knowing that men are evil, knowing that designing men are always going to be designing men, knowing that designing men always want to accrue power to themselves, knowing that consolidating government always leads to tyranny, always leads to corruption, always leads to abuse. Hume set out to try to fix the problem.
The men that you call founding fathers, most of them, including James Madison, certainly read David Hume, and they read that essay “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth.” They took great, great care to try and use what they learned from Hume, and of course the history of the world and experiments at republics. They took great pride and great care trying to design republicanism and trying to put it into the Constitution. At that time it was a difficult process. Today would be impossible. You’d have to have 10,000 members of Congress in order to have any form of republicanism. It should be instructive that in Hume’s “Perfect Commonwealth,” the largest number he has is 10,000. That’s exactly how many representatives there would be in Congress.
The Republicans are getting ready to sell out and getting ready to put taxes on the board and make a deal with the president. In February, the debt ceiling will expire and have to be raised by another $2 trillion. That is going to happen. How do you people feel about that? Is secession an appropriate answer to that? I believe it is. Is nullifying federal dictates or interposing twixt you and the federal government a legitimate response to this? I believe it is. How else can you protect yourself? The problem is, if you secede, you’re still going to be stuck with those that make up the 47 percent of the non-productive class that live in your state. It doesn’t address the issue, although we have a non-virtuous people. That’s the caution with which you have to proceed in this.
I have a letter here from Thomas Jefferson. Ron Paul starts this controversy last Tuesday by posting “Secession: Are We Free To Go?” Paul concludes, on his congressional website:
In a free country, governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. When the people have very clearly withdrawn their consent for a law, the discussion should be over. If the Feds refuse to accept that and continue to run roughshod over the people, at what point do we acknowledge that that is not freedom anymore? At what point should the people dissolve the political bands which have connected them with an increasingly tyrannical and oppressive federal government? And if people or states are not free to leave the United States as a last resort, can they really think of themselves as free? If a people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly be considered free.
Mike: Bingo, Congressman Paul. He draws from Thomas Jefferson on this. I have the letter that Jefferson wrote on Christmas Day 1825. Why wasn’t Jefferson hanging around the house wondering if there was going to be a day-after-Christmas sale and writing letters to people asking them if they would meet him down at Charlottesville so they could go shopping together, instead of writing about silly things like the union dissolving? In his letter to Giles, here’s what Jefferson wrote, 83 years old at the time.
That here was nothing which might not be attempted, to rid themselves of it. That he had information of the most unquestionable certainty, that certain citizens of the Eastern States (I think he named Massachusetts particularly) were in negotiation with agents of the British government, the object of which was an agreement that the New England States should take no further part in the war then going on; [Mike: He’s recalling what Timothy Pickering, who is featured in my brilliant docudramedy, which all of you should have a copy — talk about making a great Christmas gift that keeps on giving. Get What Lincoln Killed on a 3-CD set or digital download. He’s talking about Timothy Pickering.] that, without formally declaring their separation from the Union of the States, they should withdraw from all aid and obedience to them; that their navigation and commerce should be free from restraint and interruption
by the British; that they should be considered and treated by them as neutrals, and as such might conduct themselves towards both parties; and at the close of the war, be at liberty to rejoin the confederacy. He assured me that there was eminent danger that the convention would take place; that the temptations were such as might debauch many from their fidelity to the Union; and that, to enable its friends to make head against it, the repeal of the embargo was absolutely necessary. I expressed a just sense of the merit of this information, and of the importance of the disclosure to the safety and even the salvation of our country; and however reluctant I was to abandon the measure, from that moment, and influenced by that information, I saw the necessity of abandoning it, and instead of effecting our purpose by this peaceful weapon, we must fight it out, or break the Union.
Mike: The reason this is instructive is because at no point does Jefferson say that the New England states can’t leave. As a matter of fact, he says the opposite. He says if you’re going to do that, you ought to make plans to leave. Why would the Sage of Monticello, in his 83rd year, make such a statement? Why would he respond in such a manner? You’d have to read all of Jefferson’s correspondence to know that Jefferson believed, after the Missouri Compromise, and these are his words, “the knell of the Union is near.” TJ saw 1860 coming long before it happened. It is nothing short of miraculous, and I would say a testament to the political skills of the political class twixt 1820 and 1860, that the schism or separation didn’t happen sooner.
End Mike Church Show Transcript