September 23, 2021

States’ Rights Deception

By Glenn

Big Government conservatives like to hide behind the slogan States’ Rights.  They want you to believe they are standing up for you against the mean federal government.  They have relied on this deception since the beginning of the Republic.

Southern planters knew America’s revolutionary rhetoric threatened their vast wealth and power.  The Declaration of Independence clashed with legalized slavery.

They were slave owners that told the world “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the `pursuit of Happiness.”

Southern conservatives were afraid this rhetoric would turn around and bite them.  The slave owners demanded a Constitutional Amendment to protect the right to own “negro slaves.”   The Tenth Amendment striped the federal government of its power to regulated anything not mentioned in the constitution—slavery—and delegated to the states powers not prohibited by the Constitution—slavery. 

This awkwardly phrased amendment secured for the wealthiest Americans protections against the egalitarian rhetoric of the revolution.  Southern planters secured for states the right to legalize the buying and selling of human beings.

Southern conservatives were right to worry.  In the American free states, the declaration of human equality gradual spread to include African Americans.   Even racists whites in the North came to understand that slave labor threatened free labor.

In the 1860 presidential election, Abraham Lincoln convinced enough voters that America needed to stop the spread of slavery.  He believed stopping slavery would lead to its eventual extinction.

No election was more divisive in American history.  The loss motivated Southern Conservatives to break the constitution and write a new one.  The new Confederate Constitution protected their “peculiar institution” of “negro slavery.”

Since most white southerners owned few, if any slaves, the planters needed to find a way to rally them to the cause of the 1% of property owners.  That cause was White Supremacy and States Rights.

States had the right to secure the blessings of liberty for white property owners.  States’ had the right to protect the white male’s ownership of black men, women and children.  They convinced southerners that one day they too could own slaves.

This deception worked.  Poor whites took to the battlefield to protect their states against a tyrant—Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln vowed to expand freedom.  Southern conservatives used the states to block him.  Time and again the wealthiest southerners repeated this failed States’ Right agenda.

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