by Steve Lancaster 1/20/14
The War Between the States was fought over the issue of slavery but the implicit purpose of the war was to define what style of government would dominate in North America. The battles of Vicksburg and Gettysburg are the last breath of the Jeffersonian concept of small republic. After the first week of July 1863 the interventionist progressive state could not lose the war and the old Republic could not win. Control of the most massive governmental apparatus ever to exist on earth fell into the hands of statists no different than the Europeans the founders had fought in 1776. Although, libertarian and republican supporters of individual liberty and minimal government would continue the political battle with some small success until the passage of the 16th and17th amendments. These amendments which established an income tax and the direct election of senators forever restricted the individual states ability to preserve their liberty and independence.
Lincoln, better than any politician of the age, speaking at Gettysburg in November 1863, understood the dramatic changes in the political system that is the result of the war. The address at Gettysburg speaks to a new and more forceful federalism and an inferior position for the states. The tone is one of government that does more of everything for the people, “that government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Lincoln stresses the power of government to achieve the goals set out by the government, but never mentions the cost to individual liberty. Lincoln never asks, just because you can do something, does it mean you should do it? Lincoln’s focus was the destruction of slavery and the reformation of the union. From this time forward it did not matter which side would be the victor of the war the true conqueror would be larger and more intrusive government. The outcome would be the same even if the Confederacy attained independence.
Until the passage of the 16th amendment the federal government was financed by land sales and excise taxes principally on alcohol. The 16th amendment changes the funding of the federal government to the income tax and creates a financial method for continued expansion of the government by taking money from one group of taxpayers and giving it to another, the dream of modern progressives and social democrats, unlimited funds and millions of “needy” to distribute that money to. It was during this period, 1890-1930, that private charities, like Hull House, lost their independence and became the conduit for federal government largess. The rationalization was to better assist the less fortunate, the objective of the officials in DC was to buy votes with public money. In addition to directly funding charities, tax exemptions were structured to organizations involved in charity work creating dependence on the government by those organizations. The ability to buy votes with taxpayer money expanded exponentially and Democrats and Republicans both embrace the largesse.
The 17th amendment limited even more of the power and influence from the states. The founders understood that the federal government, although, a creation of the states, could amass unbelievable power if unchecked by the people and the states; it was with this thought in mind that the senate and its members were to be the representatives of the states and indirectly represent the people of the state. Changing the Constitution to direct election was a transfer of power from state government to the voting public, thus, senators become nothing more than super congressmen with a six year term of office and pay only lip service to their responsibility to represent the sovereign state.
The populist political party, in the latter quarter of the 19th century and early 20th century, contributed to the feeling on the part of rural people that large corporations, especially railroads, were conspiring to keep farm prices down. In addition, the use of gold as a basis for currency impacted the purchasing power of farmers. Demands for the government to fix problems increased with anti-trust legislation encouraged by Theodore Roosevelt, Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson.
By the end of the century populism in this form had worn out its welcome however, new and more pathological strains of the populist type infection develop, the most popular and despicable is eugenics. Eugenics is the study of human genetics to cull out, (read improve the race) or limit undesired traits. In the eyes of many popular political leaders of the time this meant limit the growth of the Black population. This unproven theory supported by Theodore Roosevelt, Howard Taft, Margret Sanger, Woodrow Wilson and countless others throughout the country and around the world establishes eugenics as an accepted academic study, supported by government and universities, in states, like California, thousands of men and women would be sterilized at places like Patton State Hospital in Highlands CA, and/or imprisoned without a court order merely on the determination that they were the wrong race, or “simple minded”.
It was during this period, 1890-1929, that most Jim Crow laws were passed limiting the ability of Blacks to vote, travel and exercise their constitutional rights. The majority of these laws were passed by members of the Democrat party and only changed under political pressure by Republicans in the 1950’s, (Brown v Board of Education 1954) and by 1964 the civil rights act, which was opposed by most of the leadership of the Democrat party North and South.
Although, general revulsion of policies like eugenics faded after the Second World War due in large part to the fascination with eugenics by the Nazis and the Holocaust. The progressive movement moved covertly to distance itself from its Eugenics history however, it did not die out. The growth of the civil rights movement in the late 1940’s, led by men like Thurgood Marshall, and later Martin Luther King challenged the progressive establishment of the democrat party. The modern democrat party embraced eugenics in the 1960’s in the form of the “right to choose” abortion on demand philosophy. By 2000 over 50 million abortions had been performed in the United States primarily among lower classes and poor Blacks. The right to choose became code for modern racists for Negro elimination.
In America today, almost as many Black children are aborted as are born. A black baby is three times more likely to be murdered in the womb than a white baby. Since 1973, abortion has reduced the black population by over 25 percent. Twice as many African-Americans have died from abortion than have died from AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined. Every three days, more African-Americans are killed by abortion than were been killed by the Ku Klux Klan in its entire history.
About 13 percent of American women are black, but they submit to over 35 percent of the abortions. Planned Parenthood operates the nation’s largest chain of abortion clinics, funded in large part with tax dollars, and almost 80 percent of its facilities are located in minority neighborhoods.
Margaret Sanger and Woodrow Wilson’s dream and that of other of 20th century progressives has come true with court approval and general public acceptance of abortion on demand. In their view intellectual and social inferiors are being eliminated for the good of the population. Of the 50 million abortions since 1973 at least 35 percent have been for Black women or 15 million dead, a score that would surprise but please even Mengele and Eichmann.
Slavery was evil, but compared to the abortion industry, slavery was a temporary aberration. It is impossible to consider that the founders would continence abortion on demand as the ultimate expression of human freedom, even the freest thinking, like Jefferson, would recoil in revulsion at the numbers of infants murdered. Jefferson would cite the ancient Spartan concept of infanticide as more compassionate for the new born than death by D & C.
Thus, by little deaths, the old republic transformed into the modern progressive federal state. On a moral level the concepts of the 10 Commandments and the parallel development of natural law in the Bill of Rights are in retreat and secular ideas replacing God with the state are the new norm.
Over the last 150 years the federal government continues to expand until today it is presumed by voters, congressmen and senators that government is essential to provide the safety net for plethora of social ills, real and imagined. Government will now “assist” people to solve social problems that people had been successfully dealing with for thousands of years; the new federal state is loco parentis and is charged to provide a “fair and equal” solution to everything. That government assistance comes with a price of self-respect and slavery to the state.
The republic that the founders envisioned, even by Federalists like Hamilton and Washington, was forever ended by the War of Northern Invasion. The possibility of a rollback is slim, if not impossible, however it is conceivable that limiting the growth of the federal state can be accomplished with aggressive attention to the Constitution and reflection on the values of the founders. • (1978 views)