Opponents of nullification frequently appeal to historical episodes they believe demonstrate the unconstitutional or politically unviable nature of the “rightful remedy.” That virtually all of these deniers are not historians may be forgiven. However, it doesn’t help their case that spending ten minutes on Wikipedia reveals how shaky their arguments actually are, in the face of historical fact. For a more in-depth explanation, see my latest column at the Tenth Amendment Center.
Tag Archives: Nullification
Nullification isn’t radical, either. From my latest column at the Tenth Amendment Center:
Standing up and saying ‘no!’ when a group of sociopaths tries to commit a crime is not radical at all. Standing by and saying ‘yes!’ is the truly radical act. Just so we’re clear about terms, synonyms for radical are extreme, wild, or violent. Those just as easily describe the act of corralling human beings into stables like livestock and interring them indefinitely in prison camps. There’s nothing moderate, tame, or passive about declaring certain people to be sub-human and without rights, placing them in chains, and forcing them to return to labor as beasts of burden. And what other way is there to describe the act of marching men, women and children 2,200 miles at gun point into foreign land?
As might be expected, advocates of personal liberty are often smeared with the label “radical.” The reality is that libertarians aren’t radical at all, it’s quite the opposite.
Reject the premise that people who want to be left alone are the radicals. Turn the accusation around, and place that label where it belongs — with those who want to control other human beings and are okay with using brutality to that end.
I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but a trend I’ve seen over the last few months is an increase in Google Alerts for “nullification.” In my latest column at the Tenth Amendment Center I describe some of what has come through my inbox lately, and encourage folks to help keep this growing.
From the article:
While the opponents of a Jeffersonian remedy certainly have the upper hand in terms of media exposure, it’s quite clear they’re in way over their heads, historically and intellectually. Of course I’m not so naïve as to believe that most of these critics have any real interest in presenting an objective view, or that all they really need is a good rebuttal to set them straight. I know that instead they would prefer to bar the gates (despite the walls crumbling around them, as Gary North so eloquently put it) and try to hold back the rising tide of dissent against Washington’s illegitimacy. That’s what all this demagoguery from mainstream news sources is; it’s as clear an indication as any that their really scared and it’s why Tenthers ought to press the issue even harder.
Just last week the editorial board of Jackson, Mississippi’s McComb Enterprise-Journal breathed a sigh of relief when representative Scott Delano pulled a bill that would have assisted the state in nullifying unconstitutional federal legislation. The bill’s proponents are no doubt feeling defeated, but the board couldn’t be happier. They’ve suggested that the republican legislator “should be commended for his prudence” in the matter.
Ah yes, prudence, that virtue whereby one party grants another the unchecked leeway to determine the limits of its own power. What could possibly go wrong?
Read the rest here.
These are certainly anecdotal, but should be cause for encouragement nonetheless.
Over the past two weeks I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in my Google Alerts for “nullification.” Where I was getting alerts several times a week, and often from smaller websites and blogs, I’m receiving regular notices, usually from higher-profile organizations. This is no doubt the result of a near-nationwide push against the president’s new gun control proposals, and is likely to taper off, but its impact on the general public’s awareness of the “rightful remedy” shouldn’t be discounted.
The second indicator is from a local TV news station. In an advertising montage of recent news stories, a reporter says something to the effect that a recent proposal in the house would prohibit the implementation of the program. This is likely a reference to a Missouri house bill to nullify the Affordable Care Act.
I wonder if the 3×5 card of Approved Opinion has a reverse, or if it’s left blank in order to leave space for taking notes from our wise overlords. Tom Woods takes on yet another proponent of this narrow spectrum between Charles Schumer and John McCain, this time from a Catholic blog written by Mark Shea.
In this piece, Woods quotes a friend who sent the article by Shea:
What I find really disturbing about this whole exchange is the absolute refusal to even consider the possibility of a peaceful secession from the Union, and how such a level of disdain and thinly veiled aggression is directed toward those who want to discuss the issue. There also seems to be a blame-the-victim psychology at work here, what with the language of a military suppression of secession being “richly deserved”. In the hypothetical scenario, it doesn’t even occur to them that it might be the United States who is the aggressor. No, it would be little Vermont, who apparently would be “asking for it” and would deserve whatever they get.
This enthusiastic support for military aggression, in the event a state seceded or nullified a federal edict, is something I mentioned briefly in a recent column at the Tenth Amendment Center. I wrote:
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.
This is a point raised by conservatives and liberals alike, and as I suggested before, is quite disturbing. If anyone doubts the Left and Right aren’t all that different from one another, this example of both groups concurring that war on peaceful secessionists is legitimate should raise some questions.