Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Right Wing Plan to Repeal the U S of A



The right wing ideologues and self-styled populists of today are not satisfied with their efforts to repeal the progressive programs of the twentieth century --they want to repeal effectively social security, federal aide to education, medicare, health care reform, the regulatory powers of the FTC, and the progressive income tax which redistributed wealth in our country in a way that created the greatest middle class society in the western world.  Now, they  are  challenging the underlying concepts of our country developed in the 19th century and would have us go back to the 18th.

Virginia has passed a law saying that no citizen of that state need obey the new national health care law.  This is known as interposition and was one of the Calhoun pre-Civil War philosophies.  It held that a state could interpose its’ sovereign powers between its’ citizens and their federal government.

They have a new version of nullification - change the constitution  to allow 2/3 of the states (regardless of population) to repeal any federal law.  Under their plan it would be done not by popular referendum nor even specially called and elected state conventions but by the legislatures of the states whose members are elected most often on personal and local issues.

Many of the right wing are behind the effort already approved by 31 states to call a new constitutional convention .  They need only 6 more states.  Undoubtedly at such a convention  they would push for  repeal of the direct election of US Senators(returning that task to the state legislatures) as well as the income tax.  Make no mistake about it some of them would take us back to the Articles of Confederation with a weak limited federal government and all powers to the states. .

A runaway constitutional convention (which strictly speaking is what the convention of 1787 was) can if it wishes propose a new constitution which when ratified by a designated number of states would take effect.  We could have some states operating under that new constitution and others staying with the current document. We could find ourselves with the fait accompli of two national governments. Or assuming the emergence of the right wing doctrine of secession (already advocated by at least one Governor) multiple nations.

We need to challenge the philosophy behind these ideas.  We need to educate our people especially those in their 30's and 40's about the social compact, community covenants and why we are a common wealth. Why a government exists to help all and keep us united. These precepts were the underlying basis of all the political arguments of the 19th and 20th centuries.  Jefferson and Hamilton,  Lincoln and Douglas,   Roosevelt and Wilson may have differed as to how to accomplish the ends and what means to use but they never differed on the underlying precept that we were a nation committed to a government to protect and help it’s citizens.

Let us take those words that we learned to pledge and challenge the right wing with them.  “One nation, (not Fifty) under God (and we shouldn’t let the right wing monopolize him) indivisible with Liberty and Justice for All. “ Yes - Liberty and Justice for ALL.  You know that  means it’s ok Sarah Palin you can take a gun and shoot a caribou in the wilderness of Alaska - and a couple of the same sex who live in Pennsylvania should have the liberty to get married.

We are One nation - with a National Government.  That was settled by a great civil war - the major battlefield of that war is here in Pennsylvania.  Some 600,000 men died in that war.  And they did not die in Vain.  We became and we will remain one nation - indivisible. Patrick Henry said it best during the first continental congress – we are no longer Virginians or New Yorkers or Massachusetts men  we are AMERICANS.