We’re Still in Reconstruction

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The Civil War purportedly ended in 1865. Note that it was a Civil War, not a rebellion, as it was the governments that revolted, not just the discontented masses. We had a full-blown war between two governments with armies and generals and all that.

The era that followed is rightly dubbed “Reconstruction.” During this time, the devastated South was purported “reconstructed”. What really happened, however, was the North imposed their will on the South, in a vindictive and fascist style.

There were four battles being fought, wars if you will, after the Civil War ended.

  • Congress v. the Presidency
  • North v. South
  • Black v. White
  • Republican Party v. Democratic Party

The first battle is still unresolved today. The question is “Who ultimately controls domestic affairs?” Or rather, “Who should take the lead?” Thanks to President Johnson’s ineptitude, the republicans took control of congress, with a significant number of radicals, and for most of the reconstruction, at least the latter part of it, congress did whatever it pleased, damn the constitution or the opinions of the president.

This showed that congress, ultimately, carries the torch when it comes to domestic affairs. They are virtually unstoppable when they are united.

Since then, we’ve had several strong presidents try to reassert control over domestic affairs.

If I had to pick a side, I would choose congress. However, it requires that the voters understand how important it is to elect the right sort of person to office in congress. You need battle-hardened warriors who want to take the fight to the government, not mealy-mouthed sponges who see their job as acting as a buffer between the will of the people and the Deep State.

On the battle front of North v. South, the question was “Which trade policy should we have?” The North, thanks to its heavy manufacturing core, preferred high tariffs and no income taxes. This would all but force Americans to “Buy American” but at the same time, keep the workers out of the purview of the federal government. The South, on the other hand, relied more in farms and farming, so they were looking for more mouths to feed. They wanted low tariffs, expecting other countries to reciprocate. At the very least, they wanted cheap machines to work their soil.

This war is still being waged today. We cannot seem to make up our mind on what our trade policy should be. I believe the “no tariff” crowd is going to lose, as the only excuse that made any sense was we needed to strengthen the countries on the frontline of the Soviet threat. Now that threat is gone, and so it makes no sense to give preference to our “trade allies”, if there ever could be such a thing.

Yes, according to free market economics, tariffs are a bad idea. But so are any taxes. Tariffs are the least bad tax because they’re optional, and there is a strong incentive to keep them as low as possible. On the one hand, you raise less funds with high tariffs, and on the other hand, there are always going to be people looking to buy cheap foreign goods.

The Black v. White battle is raging even today. Really, this is a battle not of skin colors, but of ideas. On one side is the idea that whether or not black people are functionally different, politically speaking, from whites, that it is not just to give them different treatment. On the other side is the idea that unless two people are exactly the same, they should not have the same political power.

I draw your attention to the actual message of the Alt-Right. Note that they are not saying, “Fewer rights for blacks!” Instead, they are saying, “Preserve our rights; preserve their rights.” They want to maximize political power of whites and blacks alike by allowing people to form political bands based on the attributes they feel are important. One does not need American citizenship to enjoy their rights, after all. (They can form their own governments made of people who think like they do.) Thus, we do not need to grant citizenship to every inhabitant of planet earth.

I would hope that this debate would draw to a close soon, but democrats insist that because blacks have some differences with white, they should not have the same political power, so it keeps coming up time and again.

Finally, the war between Republican and Democrat. This is an ancient war, started long before the first shots of the Civil War were fired. It rages on today.

My take on this war is it is stupid and counter-productive.

The Democratic Party was wrong time and again, and why anyone would want to call themselves a democrat is beyond me. To me, calling yourself a democrat is like calling yourself a Stalinist or a Nazi. Sure, you might not agree with everything those political philosophies endorsed, but that doesn’t excuse preserving their name. At least modern Nazi sympathizers are smart enough not to call themselves Nazis!

The Republican Party, however, was also wrong. The two parties are reverse sides of the same coin: Government control. The Whigs were right, and it’s high time we went back to Whiggism.

What does Whiggism look like?

  • Minimal government.
  • Goverment by the wise, experienced and able, not the well-connected or wealthy.
  • Maximize the rights of the individual.
  • Maximize the powers of the smaller governments.

Whiggism would almost look foreign today. Imagine walking into a town where certain federal laws were of no force. Or moving to a state only to realize that they acknowledge a different set of rights than the state you came from. No one would think of appealing a matter to the federal government, since the federal government would only care about issues that crossed state boundaries or affected the federal government.

It would be a return to state politics, where each state carefully examined itself every 2 and 4 years to see how they were doing protecting the rights of their own citizens. If they had a bad report card, there would be no appeal to the Supreme Court, there would be no federal army to save them. Thus, the states would be the last line of defense against tyranny.

This is not a bad thing: Tyrannical states would be quickly depopulated. States that can’t manage their own economy would become poor. States that did protect rights would attract new immigrants from other states, and would have strong economies. By their fruits ye shall know them, as the Bible says.

Now that Janus has been decided, next on my political wishlist is the abolishment of the 14th, 17th, and 19th amendments. Yes, these are not federal matters, but state matters. Consigning them to the federal government turns our federal system into an imperial one. The abolition of these amendments would see the virtual elimination of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, as each state’s politics would be completely independent of the others.

The other three wars being waged today, I believe, would resolve themselves if we could fix this critical issue.

 

 

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