We warned this was coming many months, even years ago, in this very space. Many readers gave me grief saying that I had no idea what I was talking about, that I was blowing smoke, that I was a dumb ole redneck looking to secede from the Union. None of that was, nor is, true. The fact is that I live in the real world where people are not afraid to speak their minds.
Some months (possibly even years) back, I pointed out to readers there was information that indicated there were, at that time, 22 active secessionist movements within the United States. That information was brushed aside. So, we come to today.
Today we have lawmakers, in the state legislatures of at least 20 states, introducing bills to assist their states in re-establishing their constitutional sovereignty from the Federal Government. The federal government has just become entirely too overbearing as strong central governments always do. You might even say… as our current federal government has become.
There is an excellent article on this HERE.
Now, as an amateur historian, very amateurish, I stress, I have spent a good deal of time studying the period in the early to mid 1800’s when the US had reached a point similar to the one we find ourselves at today.
You see, by 1860 the Gross National Product of the southern states of America was three times that of the northern states. The southern states were providing well over 60% of the money necessary to keep the US afloat. The US government was demanding more and more of the southern states and simply would not listen when my southern ancestors complained about it to the Congress. Finally, the southern states threatened to leave the Union and set up their own country. The US Constitution did not; repeat… did not … forbid the secession of any state, at any time, for any reason. (The Articles of Confederation did bar secession unless all the states seceded. Not so, the Constitution which followed.)
Eleven states, plus parts of two more states, left the US and formed the Confederate States of America with a Constitution, a Congress, a President, an Army, a Navy, a Marine Corp, and a land area several times larger than that of the 13 original colonies when they left the Mother Country to form their own nation.
Unfortunately, the history of what happened next, over the next four years of war and then the abomination called reconstruction, has been rewritten to favor the Federal Government’s side of the dispute and it has given a permanent black eye to my region of the country. I maintain that the south would be a separate, prosperous, country today had my ancestors not been dragged back… forced back… into the Union at the point of a bayonet… all quite illegally.
I expect that many of you will be will be surprised to learn that the Federal Government was created by the states to act as a agent of the states, taking direction from the states. That has all been changed today. Today the states take orders from the Federal Government, which was originally meant to be an inferior agency. Some people around the 50 states are beginning to wake up to this fact and when enough get riled up, there will be hell to pay… all over again.
The Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution says:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution says:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Now, you can argue this point every which way from Sunday, and it has been. But, when the smoke clears away, the tenth Amendment makes it absolutely clear that the Federal Government is limited only to the powers granted to it in the Constitution. It says so… right there in the tenth amendment!
To see that the Federal Government has exceeded it’s authority all you have to do is look around you.
We, the people, are swamped with rules, and regulations, and laws handed down by the Federal Government that are smothering the states and draining our state treasuries, just as the Federal Governement did before the American Civil War. It is plain to see that the states and the Federal Government are headed for some kind of confrontation … and it won’t be pleasant.
I am convinced that the Congress we have seated today, and the President in the Oval Office today, will do more to bring about the dissolution of the United States than any government since that of Lincoln in 1860. We warned, even before the President was sworn in, that his government would over-reach. They began almost immediately. The so-called “Stimulus Bill” could well be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Eight states have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, including Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington (state). Some analysts expect that in addition, another 20 states may see similar measures introduced this year, including Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine, and Pennsylvania. We recommend you read an article titled: “State Sovereignty Movement Quietly Growing.” You’ll find it HERE.
No less than James Madison, himself, one of our Founding Fathers, wrote in “The Federalist” the following: “The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.”
Interestingly, James Madison was one of the chief writers of the US Constitution. I think it is safe to take his word as an authority on what it meant.
The plain fact is… as one state lawmaker has said… the states are tired of being treated as branches of the Federal Government. The profligate spending by the Federal Government and those unfunded mandates dumped on the states are strangling the states… just as they did to the Southern states in the 1800’s.
We Americans don’t know our own history. America has a couple of generations of Americans who believe history started they day they were born. Those of us, who have studied the past, see the warning signs flashing all around us. We are headed for a constitutional crisis, which may tear the country apart. And I am not writing of this recession, which is nowhere near as bad as the current government would have you believe. I am pointing to a power struggle between the “creator”(the states), and the “created” (the federal government).
This Americans, who do know their history, know, all too well, that America is in another situation very similar to the one over which she fought the American Revolution and, approximately 80 years later, the American Civil War.
Am I worried? You’d better believe I am worried!
© J. D. Longstreet
J. D. Longstreet is a conservative Southern American (A native sandlapper and an adopted Tar Heel) with a deep passion for the history, heritage, and culture of the southern states of America. At the same time he is a deeply loyal American believing strongly in “America First”.
J. D. Longstreet blogs daily at INSIGHT on Freedom