by Kung Fu Zu 8/2/15
A robust discussion has been taking place in response to Brad’s article “Re-Fighting The Civil War”. I skimmed the comments, not having strong feelings one way or the other about it. Then I noted a remark by William which sent the needle of my “bull-shit” detecting meter off the chart.
Williams comment was,
Oh, and lastly, your comparison of the South to Nazi Germany is entirely ridiculous on its face. It’s desperate hyperbole likening two situations and governments that absolutely nothing alike to score emotional points on the cheap. Nothing more.
This was in response to Brad writing:
One could say the South believed they were justified, but that says little. Hitler believe he was justified. Stalin believed he was justified. Nearly any evil, mindless, or aggressive act is justified in the minds of those who perpetrate them. The acts themselves have to be judged on different criteria.
Now, I am sure William is a clever fellow. And if he is, he surely understood what Brad was actually doing. Brad used the extreme examples of Hitler and Stalin to drive home the unquestionable fact that simply thinking one is justified in some action does not make it so. The only commonality which Brad stressed was all three parties, thought their actions were justified and yet all were wrong. Justifications built on false premises are not justifiable.
This leads me to what, I am confident is, the real intent of William’s hysterical response. It smells of the same odiferous tactics used today by Leftists and the PC police. They feign “being surprised, upset and insulted ” by truthful and logical remarks from their opponents. We know why they play-act as they do. It is in order to try and smear their opponents so as to shut down debate. Their phony holier-than-thou pose should not fool anyone. One should pay the same amount of respect to such bleats as one would to Captain Renault’s protestations when he declared, “I’m shocked, shocked to find gambling going on in here”.
So from the moment I read William’s “Nazi” cry, I knew I needed to go through his comments once more to determine if there was more such dishonesty or flaccid logic.
Once I started, I came upon a few other things which confirmed my initial suspicions. I will give two examples.
The Declaration insists, as Lincoln referenced in 1848, that there comes a time to dissolve the political bonds which previously connected them to another.
And follows it up with;
ask yourself why Licoln (sic) the prairie lawyer was so wholeheartedly in favor of secession in 1848, if it was such an egregious and unconstitutional act.
I have read a couple of biographies on Lincoln in addition to a fair amount on the Civil War and events building up to it. At no time have I come across any utterance from Lincoln “favoring” secession” in 1848 or at any other time. I decided to do a little research and find out where William might have come up with such an idea.
It did not take very long to find out Lincoln’s actual words, which have a quite different meaning than that claimed by William. In January 1848, Lincoln wrote, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better.”
I am assuming that is the sentence on which William hangs his rather moth-bitten claim.
I don’t know about you, dear reader, but nowhere in that sentence do I find the word “secede”. What Lincoln said is nothing more than the obvious fact that everyone can rebel if they so desire. He does not, however, say a state rebelled against has to legally accept such a rebellion. Such a rebellion only becomes valid once it has, in fact, succeeded. Note the most important part of Lincoln’s remark, “and having the power”. That is the way of necessity in the world.
So William’s claim that Lincoln was “wholeheartedly in favor of secession in 1848” is, to be generous, a stretch of the truth. We are beginning to see a pattern.
Let’s continue exploring this pattern. William writes;
that the right for states to secede from the voluntary Union is far more supported in law by the Declaration, and also in the fact that it was an implied assumption when Constitution was ratified – and declared explicitly in the annexation of Texas in 1845.
The above claim notwithstanding, I have never read the document which gives Texas the right to secede. I would appreciate advice as to where I might find this. But let us assume William’s statement is correct.
Surely, if secession were a right, there would have been no need to “explicitly” declare this right in the case of Texas. If the argument for secession were inherently so strong, Texas would not have needed this clause be included in any documents of annexation.
If there truly were such a clause, would it not more logical that, since Texas’ entry into the Union was unique, Texas could demand such a clause be inserted into the agreement? And Texas would have done so as the right to secession was in no way clear or self-understood. Certainly, no other State had such a guarantee.
There are other things which I might question, but it soon became clear to me that William was playing somewhat fast and loose with fact, and was somewhat lax in logic. In order to get a feel for his perspective, I connected to his site, “Political Palaver”. This was very informative.
My dictionary defines “palaver” as, “confused or pointless chatter or fuss”. I immediately knew who I was dealing with. William must be one, or some combination, of the following;
1) one who either does not have a very good grasp of the language
2) one who favored alliteration over clarity/meaning
3) one whose site truly is confused and fussy
I leave it to the readers to decide which. On second thought, don’t waste time going to the site.
In closing, I wish to point out I don’t particularly care about the South’s right to secede or Lincoln’s “abuse” of power. Clearly, the South as a political unit had the theoretical right to rebellion and the North had the equal right to attempt to put down the rebellion. We know how that ended.
But I do care when people twist historical fact and misuse words to support a premise, i.e. I dislike dishonest discussion. I like it even less when they insult others who disagree with them, especially when the insults are based on falsehoods, bad information and poor logic. I have no idea what William wrote in his article, but some of the comments he made under Brad’s piece were, at the very least, disingenuous. Others were simply wrong. Being wrong is not a crime, but one should not expect to be respected for it, particularly when one is obnoxiously wrong.