Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – You see and hear it every day on this show when people call me up and argue with me about incorporation and deny the history. It has to do with this idea that the United States Constitution was sent by God, that it was carried down from Mt. Sinai, which was Independence Hall, carved on stone tablets, and we’re all sworn a perpetual and never-ending oath to uphold and worship it. It was a document, ladies and gentlemen, written by mortal men. They were flawed. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I have a story here from Mississippi that I’d like to share with you, “Mississippi lawmakers seek sovereignty from law.”
Nearly six decades ago, Mississippi created a state Sovereignty Commission to try and block enforcement of federal laws.
This session, two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to create a committee to help neutralize federal laws and regulations “outside the scope of the powers delegated by the people to the federal government in the United States Constitution.”
Robert McElvaine, professor of history at Millsaps College, said the bill would do nothing but put Mississippi up for more ridicule.
“The neutralization of federal law?” he said. “I am astounded to see such a measure introduced in the 21st century. Do the authors of the bill see Mississippi as part of the United States?”
He pointed out that the issue of state sovereignty “was settled by a terrible war 150 years ago, as well as by numerous Supreme Court decisions. When John C. Calhoun and South Carolina attempted to nullify federal law in the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson forcefully rejected the concept.”
Mike: Now, I don’t know this professor from Adam, but if he’s drawing a salary from the State of Mississippi, you people need to rally and make sure he no longer draws that salary until he gets his history correct. He’s brainwashing your kids. Why does he bring up Calhoun when it comes to nullification? It wasn’t Calhoun’s idea; it was Jefferson and Madison’s idea. You notice that they always pick Calhoun. Why? He was a Southern, hick, hayseed, redneck slave owner, that’s why. He was also vice president. He was also secretary of war. He was also a United States senator. He was a member of the House of Representin’. If you want to go down Calhoun’s résumé, he was far more accomplished than this nitwit professor at Millsaps College ever will be. Why do they always, from Chris Matthews to college professors to anyone else that wants to attack and savage the concept of nullification, which, by the way, is part of the compact of the Constitution.
The states have equal authority and duty to enforce the agreement. That’s what nullification is. It’s the states saying you cannot be the judge of the extent of your powers. We have a document. We have an agreement. We have equal right to determine that you are abusing your power, are in violation of the agreement, and we’re going to hold you to it. That’s all nullification is. It doesn’t have anything to do with slavery. They want to attach it to slavery. Then they want to say that because there was a military victory that that ended state sovereignty. This is obviously to misunderstand what sovereignty is. Sovereignty is the existence of people who choose to congregate freely together, form geographical boundaries, we call them states or republics or countries, and then choose to form a government to secure their boundaries and to secure their property and liberty. That’s what sovereignty is. It is a will to enact and a power to enforce, end of story. It doesn’t have anything to do with slavery. I suppose that it could, just as it could have something to do with whether a woman can open up a cupcake shop.
These charlatans, any reporter is able to find them. Why aren’t they able to find Kevin Gutzman? Why aren’t they able to find Tom Woods? Why aren’t they able to find any professor in Mississippi that will tell them: nullification doesn’t have anything to do with Calhoun other than that he did correctly try and interpose against the general government and the abominable tariff. Actually, that was not a good instance of nullification because the general government did have the power to tariff. They abused it, so Jefferson probably would not have agreed with that, but he would have agreed with the principle.
One more thing on this before we move on, this cuts to the chase here of one of the things that we all are possessed of. You see and hear it every day on this show when people call me up and argue with me about incorporation and deny the history. It has to do with this idea that the United States Constitution was sent by God, that it was carried down from Mt. Sinai, which was Independence Hall, carved on stone tablets, and we’re all sworn a perpetual and never-ending oath to uphold and worship it. It was a document, ladies and gentlemen, written by mortal men. They were flawed. Their document was flawed, which is why it’s been amended 27 times. It ought to have been amended about 57 times.
I take you now to a little bit of Southern history, since we’re talking about Mississippi, and the works of Edward Pollard who wrote a book called The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates. This was published in 1866. Richard Weaver, who wrote the book The Southern Tradition at Bay: A History of Postbellum Thought – this is a phenomenal book. It’s very difficult to find. It’s out of print. I had to buy my copy from a bookseller, a very expensive copy, which is why I have not written in it. Pollard wrote this about the Constitution and what I just said. Weaver wrote this about Pollard. I have the actual source document and checked it. What Weaver has written is correct. I always do that on your behalf, folks. We’re very thorough here.
By the way, time out real quick. I like to correct the record when I have been in error and I had a slight error yesterday. I wondered out loud why Rand was referring to the original 9/11. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this. It was because the Benghazi attack happened on 9/11.
AG: I hadn’t made that connection.
Mike: Neither one of us thought about it but somebody brought it up. I apologize for not getting that correct, or not thinking of that. I asked, “What is he talking about? Why is he calling it the original 9/11?” Well, because Benghazi happened on 9/11, too, just to be clear. To the Pollard work and what Richard Weaver wrote about it in The Southern Tradition at Bay.
Pollard viewed the Constitution as a highly defective instrument, the ambiguity of which had allowed two political parties to develop over a fundamental point of interpretation. The final document was a vote getting compromised, salvaged from a convention which had met with vague purposes and had deadlocked over sectional differences. “The language in the call of the Convention was singularly confused. The men who composed it were common flesh and blood, very ignorant, very much embarrassed, many of them unlettered, and many educated just to that point where men are silly, visionary, dogmatic, and impracticable.” Yet the agreement which they contrived, though “actually one of the loosest political instruments in the world,” had been celebrated as of almost divine origin by three generations of “American demagoguism.” All that with certainty could be deduced from it was that the central government could reach individuals within the states through some restricted channels of authority. And yet when the South presented its interpretation of the restricted authority of the Constitution, the North through the use of cunning political nomenclature, fastened on its spokesman the names of “nullifier” and “disunionist.” It will require a long time, Pollard declared in a summary passage, for the world to learn “that the system of negro servitude in the South was not Slavery; that John C. Calhoun was not a disunionist, and that the war of 1861 brought on by Northern insurgents was not a “Southern rebellion.” Calhoun, known in the north as the man who would have destroyed the union, had introduced a proposal which “certainly would have realized a beautiful idea of political association.” But from 1787 to 1861, as it happened, the South and the North had lived together as two political aliens, with slavery furnishing “a convenient line of battle between the disputants.” From this analysis Pollard passed on to a history of Northern aggression, and to the diverse characters of Southerners and Northerners, which seemed to him the decisive factor in the case.
Mike: The only reason I bring that up is to comment on this unfortunately widely-held belief that somehow the U.S. Constitution is of divine creation and that it is without flaw, and if we all just got back to constitutional government. It’s such a catchphrase, so carelessly thrown out there. [mocking] “What we care about is constitutional government.” No, it’s not what you care about. What was the Constitution at the end of the day? It was an attempt to organize thirteen separate political entities so that they wouldn’t wage war against each other, so they would find some kind of common ground to keep themselves at peace.
Here’s the operative question, and I always tell audiences this whenever they invite me to speak anywhere — and I am available — whenever they bring the Federalist Papers up. If you read the Federalist, it says all you have to do is abide by this little document and man will live in peace and harmony with other men in the other states for the rest of our existence. We’ll have a utopia. This is the greatest thing that’s ever happened. The results of the Federalist, therefore, are incorrect. It did not result in universal happiness; it resulted in universal rancor; it resulted in universal alienation. In other words, it produced the opposite of what it advertised it was going to produce. Of course, this culminated in a war in 1861.
The Constitution made slavery, enshrined it as legal, the institution of slavery, and the Constitution also brought forth the conditions under which that war was engage, and the conditions under which certain states decided they no longer want to be a part. People want to leave that out of the equation. You cannot leave that out of the equation. Our modern fixation on it as perfect is just, what’s the word, not productive. You have to view it as the most noble and gallant attempt by — and I disagree with Pollard that they were imbeciles, they weren’t — very educated and very wise men. It can only be as good as the people that live under it and swear an oath to it, as we have ample evidence of.
End Mike Church Show Transcript