[quote=Senator Hatrack]To have a good discussion an apology for even thinking that my conservatism is in any way similar to the southern Democrat conservatives who wanted to bring back slavery or supported segregation. I have a website 272-words.com. The name of the website comes from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which is 272 words long. Someone who is a Lincoln fan like I am would not be a southern Democrat Conservative or a supporter of segregation. Those southern Democrat conservatives were very helpful in getting FDR's New Deal programs passed by Congress. That leaves the very odious stain of segregation on the New Deal.
Okay, that's a start. Please explain how your conservatism is different.
I am a huge Lincoln fan, too. He was the first good Republican, but not the last. But they have become awfully rare...
I am a member of the Republican Party for the lack of better one. Ideology is not important to the two major political parties. Their reason for existence is to win elections, legally if possible and illegally as long as they don't get caught.
Go back, again, and read the sentences you are responding to critically. I didn't say you were an unreformed segregationist, or anything like that. What I said was
Much of what you are espousing follows, faithfully, the tenets of "Lost Cause" mythology. I don't know if that is deliberate, or just a consequence of being rabidly "conservative" in your viewpoint, but it is not realistic or consistent with where the country is, now, or has been for over a century.
The paths are parallel
. I explicitly did not
say they were the same thing.
The lost Cause was lost before Fort Sumter. When those in the southern states quoted the Anti-Federalists, who were the real Federalists, they were talking about how our Constitution was both a federal
and a national
one. The federal
part was where the state government was in control of what happened in their state. The national
part was when the central government was in charge, it was in charge of foreign relations and related matters but very little else.
My point, really, is that the United States before, and after, the Civil War was and is a very different country than at the time of its founding. The "Lost Cause" mythology pretends that the war was about "states' rights", rather than slavery, to give it a "noble" feel. Adherents spend a good deal of time selectively quoting (anti-federalist) founders about how the central government is "limited" and real power remains with the individual States - when that has not been the case since 1790, or 1800 (consider the Louisiana purchase), or 1812, or 1846, or 1860... but that reality was made explicit with the 13th-15th Amendments. So, the desire to "go back" to the "good old days" is based upon something that never really existed.
Those supporters of the Lost Cause twisted (hijacked) the idea of states rights to support their economic system that was based on slavery. In doing so they rejected the idea that all men are created equal. (Slavery a Positive Good by John C. Calhoun
) That rejection started shortly after Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin and that crop became "King Cotton." It became set in stone after Calhoun's speech*. Because picking cotton was a very difficult job the need for slaves dramatically increased. What I seek is a return to the days when our Constitution was both a federal
and a national
one while remaining true to the idea that all men are created equal.
It is that yearning for a past that doesn't exist that creates what I consider the parallels between the "lost cause" and "libertarian"/"conservative" arguments. The labels are particularly instructive - preferring "constitutional republic" to "representative democracy", as if they were different things; identifying as "classical liberal" instead of "conservative". As is the argumentation - pretending that "the founders" were not motivated to create a strong central government, while ignoring the Supremacy clause and its implications (and all of the federalists among the founders); arguing that a "small government" was their goal, but ignoring the growth of the government from its inception
. Federal Government Growth Before the New Deal
(Foundation for Economic Education). The nation's population is 100 times what it was in 1790 and the land mass has more than tripled. How small a government can regulate such a situation?
A libertarian is not a conservative. They might sound like one but what they are is Southern Apologists. The libertarians have, thanks to Ron Paul, appropriated the label of conservative. Our Founders were split on how big our government should be. The Federalists wanted a strong central government as put forth by the Virginia Plan. The Anti-Federalists didn't and they proposed the New Jersey Plan. Their disagreement was settled by the Connecticut Compromise which made our Constitution a federal
and a national
one. The Federalists didn't get the strong central government they wanted and the Anti-Federalists didn't get the mild revision of the Articles of Confederation that they wanted. Which means when it first went into operation we had a small limited
government. It has grown due to the fact of human nature that people lust after power. A return to the small limited government we once had is indeed impossible. It is for the reasons you mentioned. What I advocate is to reduce the size of our government as mush as is possible. Return our government to being a Constitution that is both
federal and national instead of the predominately national one we now have.
*Here in Minneapolis, MN there is a lake named after John C. Calhoun. Ironically the neighborhood it is located in is a very liberal one, as is the city of Minneapolis.