R U CONFEDERATE
By Charley Reese
Most of the political problems in this country won't be settled until more folks realize the South was right.
I know that goes against the P.C. edicts, but the fact is that on
the subject of the constitutional republic, the Confederate leaders
were right and the Northern Republicans were wrong.
For example, if you argue for strict construction of the Constitution,
you are arguing the Confederate position; when you oppose pork barrel
spending, you are arguing the Confederate position; and when you oppose
protective tariffs, you are arguing the Confederate position. But
that's not all.
One of the things that gets lost when you adopt the politically correct oversimplification that the War Between the States was a Civil War all about slavery is a whole treasure load of American political history.
It was not a civil war. A civil war is when two or more factions contend for control of one government. At no time did the South intend or attempt to overthrow the government of the United States. The Southern states simply withdrew from what they correctly viewed as a voluntary union. They formed their own union and adopted their own constitution.
The U.S. government remained intact. There were just fewer states, but everything else remained as exactly as it was. You can be sure that, with as much bitterness and hatred of the South that there was in the North, the Northerners would have tried Confederates for treason if there had been any grounds. There weren't, and the South's worst enemy knew that.
Abraham Lincoln's invasion of the South was entirely without any constitutional authority. And it's as plain as an elephant in a tea party that Lincoln did not seek to preserve the Union to end slavery. All you have to do is read his first inaugural address. What Lincoln didn't want to lose was tax revenue generated by the South.
As Northern states gained a majority in both houses, they began to use the South as a cash cow. Here's how it worked: Most Southerners who exported cotton bartered the cotton in Europe for goods. When the protective tariffs were imposed, that meant Southerners had to pay them. To make matters worse, the North would then use the revenue for pork-barrel projects in its states. The South was faced with either paying high tariffs and receiving no benefits from the revenue or buying artificially high-priced Northern goods.
Southerners opposed pork-barrel spending. Their correct
view was that, because the federal government was merely the agent of
all the states, whatever money it spent should be of equal benefit.
Their position on public lands was that they belonged to all the people
and the federal government had no authority to give the lands away to
So, regardless of where you were born, you may be a Southerner philosophically.
Copyright © 2001, Orlando Sentinel - Reprinted for educational purposes.