Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – This is a complicated political question. Congress and the Lincoln administration did not reach a legal determination; they reached a political determination. There is a difference between the two. As a matter of fact, one of the subjects on tonight’s video presentation at MikeChurch.com will be Professor Brion McClanahan on this subject of the Constitution and secession. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: John is in South Carolina. Hello, John.
Caller John: Good morning, Mr. Church. I thank you for everything you’re doing on the show.
Mike: You’re very welcome.
Caller John: I recently became a Founding Brother and I definitely appreciate what you’re doing. I have a question about the Constitution.
Caller John: Yes, sir. My question is about secession. Is there some place in the Constitution that doesn’t allow it, that President Lincoln determined it wasn’t legal?
Mike: This is a complicated political question. Congress and the Lincoln administration did not reach a legal determination; they reached a political determination. There is a difference between the two. As a matter of fact, one of the subjects on tonight’s video presentation at MikeChurch.com will be Professor Brion McClanahan on this subject of the Constitution and secession. I want to walk you through a quick — if you have any doubts as to whether or not — you heard President Reagan, and I’m going to play some of the 1987 bicentennial address by President Regan because I think it’s great prose and you’ll enjoy it if you missed it the first hour, and I’m sure most of you did, because you lead busy lives and busy schedules and don’t hear all three hours of the program.
Reagan said “indissoluble union.” That word is nowhere to be found until Daniel Webster and Andrew Jackson come along and invent it in 1832. It’s nowhere to be found. Nowhere is this uttered in any official correspondence having anything to do with the union of states under the Constitution. As a matter of fact, President Washington, former president at that time, sends Patrick Henry in March of 1799 a letter. Henry is dying. He’s got, what’s it called when there’s a blockage between your stomach and the next stage? I can’t remember. It’s the book Patrick Henry American Statesmen, which we are making available for modern audiences for the first time ever, very, very soon, with lots of embellishments and enhancements.
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Washington writes to Henry and tells Henry he needs to get off his sick butt and carry his butt down to Charlottesville and run for an office in the assembly. He needs to get elected and get into the assembly and stop Madison and Jefferson. Washington knows, and Taylor of Caroline knows who’s behind all of this. We call it nullification and interposition today. Washington sends Henry on a mission to go try and thwart the Virginia legislature’s efforts to nullify or interpose against the Alien and Sedition Act. In his letter, Washington says he fears there will be a schism in the union. He doesn’t say there will be an illegal schism. He doesn’t say we know this can’t happen and we’ll have to have an army go in there and kill every Virginian that wants the schism. He just says he fears the schism.
You have it on good authority from the man known as the father of this country that the schism was possible in 1798. If we go backwards in time a little further, let’s go back to May 1789 and the first Congress. There’s a gentleman from South Carolina who has been elected by South Carolinians to take a seat on the first Congress. Some members of Congress say that this Mr. Smith gentleman is not a naturalized citizen and therefore he cannot be a member of Congress. Guess who rises to defend Mr. Smith? James Madison. This is in a Project ’76 webisode on my website. Madison gives a speech on how you define natural-born citizen or naturalized citizen. In that speech in defense of Smith, he also lays out the possibility that if we don’t seat South Carolina’s representative, they will leave the union. He doesn’t say we’re going to bomb them back into the stone ages or sic General Washington on them to make them comply. He just says we know if we don’t seat members of this delegation, they might leave the union. There is no protestation against it. There’s no warning: You better do this because you’re going to start a war. There’s nothing of the sort. There is only the possibility that South Carolina might leave.
You can go read Jefferson’s inaugural address in March 1801. Jefferson says: If there be members of this union that wish to break it because they think it’s for their peace and safety, we should wish them well. No, there is nothing, not a shred, not a scintilla in the Constitution or in early years of life under the Constitution that says anything about the Constitution being anything other than a compact, meaning a voluntary agreement between member states and parties to a compact.
As a matter of fact, I’ve been talking all day about how to veto and get rid of Obamacare using the constitutional reasoning of President Franklin Pierce because he vetoed a similar act in 1854. In this veto address, Pierce keeps referring over and over and over to the voluntary nature of the compact. He keeps saying compact. A compact is a voluntary agreement. You volunteer to enter into a compact. It’s not indissoluble and for the rest of your life. It’s like any other compact. A party can breach it or parties can agree to leave it. To answer your question, the answer is no.
Caller John: One quick thing to add to that. I wrote a paper for my American Government class recently about nullification. I mentioned President Jackson after South Carolina nullified, I believe it was a tax law on or about 1830. President Jackson threatened to send 100,000 troops to South Carolina to stop them from nullifying. The governor of Virginia said he would not allow that.
Mike: Governor Barber.
Caller John: Unfortunately, they did not secede.
Mike: Governor Barber told Jackson: You try to march an army through Virginia, buddy, and you’re going to have a war. You are not going to send an army to go make another state in this union comply. Governor Barber also told Jackson, that madman, there’s no rebellion in South Carolina, no insurrection. They still have a republican form of government. There’s nothing you can do, Andrew, stand down, sir.
End Mike Church Show Transcript