That’s the logical conclusion of their arguments, anyway, as I argue in my latest column at the Tenth Amendment Center. It’s no longer the lead article, but go read “Progressives Resist Nullification at Their Own Peril.”
A few excerpts:
[T]he attempt to paint proponents of nullification as closet racists because of issues like segregation greatly undermines any credibility these critics may have had. Ad hominem is no way to argue, and the irony of raising the mistreatment of minorities in such a context goes to a whole new level. For it was by nullification that various Northern states subverted the fugitive slave laws in the 1850s. In fact, the refusal by such states to aid in the kidnapping of escaped slaves was cited by South Carolina as one of the principle reasons for seceding in 1861.
The declaration of secession by South Carolina stated that: “Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress [instituting slavery] or render useless any attempt to execute them.” So bring oppression of minorities into the conversation, but understand that nullification is a two-way street, and it’s done more to protect individual rights than just about anything the central government in Washington ever has.
Polman is also quick to remind readers of the carnage which accompanied the War Between the States, citing the 750,000 death toll; in effect, substituting that act of brute violence in place of a reasoned argument. This is not only intellectually lazy, but it reveals just how craven defenders of centralized power can be. So common is this appeal to ”might make right” logic that I’m beginning to wonder if, rather than just a poor argument, it’s more of a veiled threat. As if to suggest that, were enough states to push back hard enough, the federal government would respond with force. As quick as these proponents of centralized power are to cite the most destructive and unnecessary war ever fought in the United States, I’m afraid they would cheer such a totalitarian exercise.
Read the rest here.