Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – I would say to anyone that harbors this point of view, if you’re so convinced that it was the confederacy that was the antecedent for Hitler’s regime or for Lenin’s regime or for Mussolini’s regime and that’s what gave rise to it, then you might as well go across the next bridge and say it was Madison and Mason and Martin and Sherman and heaven forefend Washington who came up with the original idea. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Scott Galupo yesterday afternoon at American Conservative magazine posted this, “Parsing the Confederate Constitution.”
I appreciated Ben Domenech’s takedown of Michael Gerson’s recent efforts at policing the borders of the Republican mainstream, which, according to Gerson, cannot include Sen. Rand Paul.
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In defending Paul against the smear that he’s some sort of neo-Confederate, Domenech points out that the actual Confederacy, however briefly it existed, was no friend of liberty, at least as today’s liberty movement defines it.
Mike: I’m going to read what this particular gentleman writes about this. If you’d like to see my written response to this, at least in partial as I dig into and delve into this issue — I try not to demagogue these things. I try to actually go back and find what is in the historical record and use that as opposed to what I would like to think happened. If you would like to read my partial, just a small beginning of some of the research and time I’m going to put into this task, it’s posted in today’s Pile of Prep. There will be much more later today and tomorrow. Here’s what this Ben Domenech individual posted about this. Are you ready? Ladies and gentlemen, you may want to gird your loins, as Joe Biden once famously said.
Gerson’s depiction of the libertarian view of the Confederacy is simply fraudulent. … Paleoconservatives may find much worthy of defense in the Confederate state, but consider . . .
Mike: By the way, I don’t know very many people that defend the Confederate State or the Confederate Government. I believe most of the defense is limited to whether or not there was a constitutional right to choose your own form of government and to secede. This is a very important question. I think it’s the most important question of all. If you answer it incorrectly, then you’re the Soviet Union. No, we’re not even the Soviet Union. If you answer it correctly, you actually are the land of the free and the mobile home of the brave. Do we have the right of self-determination or do we not? It’s a very simple question. Is the Constitution a compact between willing parties that voluntarily agree to cobble together a government and live under it for the sake of some peace and amity? Keywords are compact meaning contract, meaning agreement between or among parties, and then voluntary meaning you stay in it because you want to stay in it and you believe it to be to your advantage. Any other form or mode of government doesn’t sound very free to me. Some people take great offense to this. I always ask the question: Why? Why are you so offended by that? Give me your definition of what the right of self-determination is or the right of the people to reform, alter, or abolish their forms and mode of government….
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Back to Ben Domenech:
The Confederate Constitution amended the US Constitution to better facilitate technocratic rule. The Confederacy was the first to introduce mass conscription. The Confederacy staged a series of repressions and massacres against local autonomy. The Confederacy imposed an internal-passport regime for civilian travel later echoed by European autocracies. [Mike: In other words, it was the Confederacy that was the model for Hitler, if you can believe that.] The Confederate state took over most of its own economy by war’s end. And the Wilsonian “progressives” contained a surprising number of Confederate sympathizers who saw it as a noble experiment and set about applying its principles in the form of the segregating the federal government, fomenting the Klan, and more. …
[F]or those who actually study history, [Mike: And I take great offense to this because I actually do.] the idea that the Confederacy was a liberty-oriented alternative to Lincoln and the Union is absurd – in many ways, its worst aspects were the forerunner of the modern technocratic top-down state.
Mike: In other words, again, it was the Confederacy that was the model for communism and fascism of the European states in the early 20th and middle part of the 20th century. Then Galupo writes:
This is all to the good. However, if I may, I think Domenech is a bit too harsh on Gerson. [Mike: Actually, Scott, I think that Domenech is full of it.] This revisionist, they-were-actually-the-opposite-of-what-you think appraisal of Southern ideologues will strike some as counterintuitive because it’s all too easy to confirm the stereotype that apparently exists in Gerson’s mind. (This is why it’s typically been left-liberals who snicker ironically at the antilibertarian legacy of the Confederacy.)
Here, for instance, is Randall G. Holcombe, writing for the Mises Institute in praise of the Confederate Constitution’s signal improvements on the Federal Constitution, with the latter’s “General Welfare” invitation to crony capitalism and pork-barrel spending. [Mike: Then he quotes what Holcombe has written.]
Domenech writes, further, that he hears “far more defenses of the South’s approach from Pat Buchanan sympathizers than from libertarians.” I’m not sure why this would be so, as the Confederate Constitution prohibited protective tariffs—putting it squarely at odds with the central feature of Buchananomics.
Listen: I’m as turned off as Domenech is by the pseudo-enlightened exclusionary tactics that Washington establishmentarians are employing against Paul. I’m equally turned off, though, by this “It’s the liberals who are racist Nazi totalitarian Klansmen” game that has become the hallmark of the Obama-era right. One need not make the case that the Confederacy was in truth a species of the left to defend Rand Paul against the ludicrous charge that he sympathizes with the Confederacy.
Mike: There are a bunch of comments here if you want to slog through them. I warn you, your blood will probably boil and your day will be ruined and you’ll wonder how civilized people can think and write some of the things that the editors at American Conservative magazine approve as comments. Far be it from me to get into a long, drawn-out discussion about the merits of the Confederate government or the Confederacy because I don’t know it. I am not imbued with and am not scholarly or well-learned in that subject matter. I can tell you this, and I can tell you this unequivocally. I have read and have committed an awful lot of time to reading what led to the creation and to the move to create that government. I am well aware and have well-documented, if you’d like to read it or listen to it, many of the events that led to this.
I would say to anyone that harbors this point of view, if you’re so convinced that it was the confederacy that was the antecedent for Hitler’s regime or for Lenin’s regime or for Mussolini’s regime and that’s what gave rise to it, then you might as well go across the next bridge and say it was Madison and Mason and Martin and Sherman and heaven forefend Washington who came up with the original idea. It is an undeniable fact that when those 37 men signed the Constitution on 17 September 1787, that they codified into law the peculiar institution known as slavery. The Northern states signed off on it just as well as the Southern states. This is an undeniable fact of history.
If you’re saying that the effort to amend the former constitution and correct some of its mistakes while keeping almost entirely the clauses, structures, article numbers and what have you intact was ultimately to be used by the evil people and the despicable men of the 20th century, then you may as well lay the blame for the Holocaust and whatever else you want to lay at the feet of Lee and Davis and the rest of them in the Confederacy, you may as well lay it at the feet of Jefferson, too, even though Jefferson and Adams were in France at the time. Still, they’re founding fathers. You may as well lay it at all their feet, too. This is then the fault of anyone that signed and ratified the Constitution, because it is the document that contains the legality of it in the first place. It’s the original sin. That is the argument that I would present and probably will have to present against some of these people.
I thought that this was all and we could all agree that this could just be settled, that we could just move along and maybe talk about some of the massive problems we have today rather than trying to go back and rewrite the history books or to interpret the history books so that they support our point of view today. It’s far easier, I think, and it’s far more honest and intellectual an exercise to actually be a fair reader of the history that is available, and it is more than adequately available, and to try to reason a middle ground out of what those times were like and what living at that time may have been like, what kind of law, what kind of tradition, what kind of customs they lived under, and using that to inform your decisions of today and be done with it, instead of looking for all this incriminating evidence and instead of looking to ruin and destroy people.
That’s what this is all about. These people wish and desire to destroy and to render as inert any possibility that someone like a Rand Paul could rise to prominence in national politics. We can’t have that. That guy is just too far on the liberty side of the equation. He must be stopped and he must be stopped now. Think of the irony of that. The guy that goes to the floor of the United States Senate in his early days as a senator and talks about — here, I’ll play it for you. He talks about this:
[start audio clip]
Senator Rand Paul: With regard to the idea of whether or not you have a right to healthcare, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. That means you believe in slavery. It means that you‘re going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses. If you have a right to their services, basically once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services, do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have a right to food? You’re basically saying you believe in slavery. You’re saying you believe in taking and extracting from another person. Our founding documents were very clear about this. You have a right to pursue happiness but there’s no guarantee of physical comfort. There’s no guarantee of concrete items. In order to give something concrete or someone’s service, you’ve got to take it from someone. There’s an implied threat of force. If I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to healthcare, do you have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away, and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free healthcare would be.
[end audio clip]
Mike: We can’t have that kind of thinking. What’s this slavery stuff? That only happened in the South. That didn’t happen anywhere else. No one else has ever tried to enslave anyone through the tax code or anything like that, no, no. So the gentle senator from the State of Kentucky who goes to the floor of the Senate and says things like that, that’s just unacceptable in 2013. This many is a lunatic and he must obviously be stopped before he ruins our party. Just think about that. What is it that they so fear that the candidacy of Rand Paul could ruin for them? It is that 3.7 trillion-headed hydra, that trillion-headed leviathan monster known as the federal government and all of its attendant lieutenants and colonels, all its corporals and privates and sergeants and what have you. They’re all part of this grand wealth transfer scheme that these people have cooked up and that they live so exorbitantly and so comfortably under. We’re not going to allow that to happen.
So, ladies and gentlemen, before you have these pipedreams and fantasies about reclaiming your Constitution and reclaiming your liberties, look at what happened to little Jack Hunter. This is just the beginning. If Mr. Paul were to actually begin to gain traction in any of the groups necessary — he’s reaching out to them — to field a national campaign, I shudder to think what the elite — and they’re both libs and “conservatives” — are going to do next to stop him and anyone, like yours truly, or you truly looking in your rearview mirror, that have the unmitigated gall to support these atrocities.
End Mike Church Show Transcript