Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “If there is one great error in the “conservative / Tea Party” movement, that’s it right there, this fiction that Washington and company belong on Mount Olympus, and that there was some kind of great religious, spiritual meeting of the minds. The story of the Whiskey Rebellion, the story of Shays’ Rebellion, the stories of the rebellion over the Home Tax…Fries’ Rebellion tell a different story.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
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Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: From the brilliant mind of Clyde Wilson:
Here are a couple of simple truths, unknown to presidents and Supreme Court justices. [Mike: Well, Professor Wilson, I’d say that they’re also unknown to a vast majority of citizens because we have failed to educate our fellow citizens correctly. I just thought I’d throw that in.] Before the War Between the States, “United States” was always a plural in every legal document and public discussion. The United States are, not the United States is, was the universal usage, as in the Constitution itself. Second, nobody today ever calls the Constitution by its correct name, which is, as it says, “a Constitution for the United States”—not “the U.S. Constitution” or “the Constitution of the United States.”
Mike: You know what this is? This is just minor logic at work here. He begins his essay against blobism and against blobists – my terminology, not his – by getting the terminology correct. Just think about that “a Constitution for the United States.” If we deconstruct that sentence, what is the subject? The subject is Constitution. What’s the predicate? The United States. That’s plural. There’s more than one state. It’s not “the United State,” like the State of Pakistan or State of France. It’s the United States. If it’s a Constitution for the United States, then what is it? Quite simply it’s not a charter of rights then, it couldn’t be. It’s a plan, a constitution. What are you constituting? A form of government, a plan of government. When Edmund Randolph introduced the Virginia Plan in the Federal Convention [private |FP-Monthly|FP-Yearly|FP-Yearly-WLK|FP-Yearly-So76|Founding Brother|Founding Father|FP-Lifetime]
in May of 1787, what did he introduce? What’s the first line in James Madison’s draft? A plan of government for the United States is what it says. Back to Professor Clyde Wilson:
Let us see how this conception of the American Union was alive and well into the 19th-century heyday of centralized and supreme government.
Mike: Remember, we don’t have the U.S. Constitution. We don’t have a Constitution of the United States. We have a Constitution for the United States. That’s what it says. That’s what it is. If we reason through the construction of it, that’s what it says.
Thomas Jefferson was an American patriot. He was not a nationalist advocate of “one nation, indivisible.” During and after his time nationalism was becoming a dominant force in the Western world, including the plural United States. Nationalism meant a territory politically and economically controlled by a central state and an emotional attachment to that state. For Jefferson as for nearly all the Founding Fathers, one could be an American patriot without requiring unreserved obedience to the central government or believing that the people and their freedoms were spiritually inseparable from that government.
Mike: Unfortunately, Professor Wilson, most of your “conservatives” believe the exact opposite of what you’ve written here today. They do think that they are spiritually attached to the – [mocking] “We’re gonna enforce the U.S. Constitution.” You are? Or is it a Constitution for the United States? [mocking] “What difference does it make?” It makes a big difference.
American Nationalists glory in imagining Jefferson, having consummated the Louisiana Purchase, sitting in the presidential mansion celebrating the growing power and majesty of the mighty new nation, the United States. Not a bit of it. This picture is an invention of the imperialist late 19th century. At the time, Jefferson writes to a close associate,
“The future inhabitants of the Atlantic and Mississippi States will be our sons. We leave them in distinct but bordering establishments. We think we see their happiness in their Union, and we wish it. Events may prove otherwise; and if they see their interest in separation, why should we take side with our Atlantic rather than our Mississippi descendants? [Mike: By the way, this is a letter that was written to Joseph Priestley. I’m very familiar with it. There’s a Project ’76 webisode that has this letter as its central theme.] It is but the elder and the younger son differing. God bless them both, and keep them in union, if it be for their good, but separate them, if it be better.” [Mike: In other words, if Louisiana wants to go its own way, let it. If Mississippi wants to go its own way and form its own federation with Louisiana, now that we’ve taken it away from the French, let it.]
The Jeffersonian conception of a Union founded as a disposable alliance lasted a long time. In the 1830’s the famed observer Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America,
“The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their sovereignty, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. [Mike: In other words, this is an essay that refutes blobism.] If one of the States chose to withdraw its name from the contract, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so . . .”
And the New Yorker and American patriot James Fenimore Cooper writes in The American Democrat (1838) that the Union is “a compact between separate communities.” [Mike: Of course it is. This was not in dispute until Daniel Webster and Joseph Story and Andrew Jackson came along.] “The union of these States is founded on an express compromise, and it is not its intention to reach a benefit, however considerable, by extorting undue sacrifices from particular members of the Confederacy.” This last is a remark against the Whig tariff, which profited wealthy Northerners at the expense of the South. Cooper is suggesting that the South might justly consider such to be a violation of the compact.
In 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared in pseudobiblical language that our forefathers had brought forth “a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” and that “we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”
Mike: This is a fact that I’m about to read to you that many of you just will not rap your heads around, will not acquiesce to its truth, and continue to operate in error. The longer we continue to operate in error, the specter that is the aristocratic dictatorship that we suffer under is going to increase while we decrease. Federalism may have been able to combat it once upon a time. That time has passed. Back to Professor Clyde Wilson:
Lincoln at Gettysburg committed a quadruple lie that has since become standard American doctrine about the Revolution. First, what was created in 1776 was not a nation but an alliance.
Mike: Folks, I have made this point 1,064,000 times to you blobists. It doesn’t matter. True or not – it is true – [mocking] “This is our nation, man, ‘Merica. ‘Merica was made in the Declaration of Independence. Yeah, there, American made and Declaration of Independence there. We’re one nation under God. Pledge of Allegiance was written the same day, too.” Uh, no, it wasn’t, sir. Back to Professor Wilson:
At that time there was not even the Articles of Confederation . . .
Mike: I pointed this out, again, over and over and over again. The Articles of Confederation would not be ratified until 1781. It is ridiculous – as a matter of fact, we sound like – it is imbecilic to state that the Declaration of Independence created anything. There’s not a word in it that creates anything other than a compact, an agreement. Let me explain this in terms that everyone can understand. You, Connecticut, are agreeing to play, your team is now in the NFL. You’re joining the NFL. We’ve got a board of directors and call these guys the Congress. We kind of have a commissioner and we kind of don’t. The Congress had less authority than the NFL has over the teams. Congress could request things. It couldn’t order anyone to. It had no authority. You know why? Because there was a compact. There was no union of states. The Articles of Confederation, all that did was make the compact more official and establish some more ground rules that all the member teams – remember, Connecticut being an NFL team or a baseball team agreeing to be in the pro league. Back to Professor Wilson:
Second, he elevated the bit of obiter dicta about equality above the Declaration’s fundamental assertion of the right of societies of men to govern themselves by their own lights, attaching a phony moralistic motive to the invasion and conquest of the South—what Bradford called “the rhetoric of continuing revolution.” Third, Lincoln was not engaged in preserving the Union. The Union was destroyed the moment he had undertaken to overthrow the legitimate governments of 15 states by force. He was establishing the supremacy of the government machinery in Washington, which he controlled, over the many self-governing communities of Americans. Fourth, he cast the Revolution in a mystical way, as if the forefathers had met on Mount Olympus and decreed liberty.
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Mike: If there is one great error in the “conservative / Tea Party” movement, that’s it right there, this fiction that Washington and company belong on Mount Olympus, and that there was some kind of great religious, spiritual meeting of the minds. The story of the Whiskey Rebellion, the story of Shays’ Rebellion, the stories of the rebellion over the Home Tax, Fries’ Rebellion tell a different story. You read the letters written by lay people at the time and you don’t get any of this sense of Mount Olympus. You get the exact opposite.
Daniel Shays and his men thought they had actually fought for independence, meaning Massachusetts to govern itself. Even though they were ultimately unhappy with what the government of Massachusetts did, they didn’t go whining off to a supreme court. They didn’t go whining to Congress under the Articles of Confederation because they knew it didn’t have any authority. People continue to insist that this Olympian, this pseudospiritual transformation had taken place. You may want it to have taken place because you’ve lost connection to the actual spirit and the actual God and have replaced it with this god that is ‘Merica, ‘Merica. You’ve done that by positive affirmation. That doesn’t mean that it was actually done.
End Mike Church Show Transcript