It doesn't matter: it is now an unpleasant fact of life.
And now Pat Buchanan is defending groups like the "Sons of Confederate Veterans," (SCV) as nothing more than "Southern white Christian men," apparently without checking their backgrounds.
Kirk Lyons, who currently heads the SCV, has worked and spoken for several white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in the past. He has (according to the Southern Poverty Law Center) driven the moderates out of the SCV. Speaking to a racist audience, Mr. Lyons stated, "The civil rights movement I am trying to form seeks a revolution. We seek nothing more than a return to a godly, stable, tradition-based society with no "Northernisms' attached, a hierarchical society, a majority European-derived country."
Mr. Buchanan, they sound like a great deal more than "Southern white Christian men," to me. They sound like individuals who would like to re-establish the old Confederacy, with all of the African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, etc., as--at best--second class citizens. They sound like individuals who--if Andrew Jackson were still alive--would be candidates to have their secessionist butts strung up by Old Hickory in every tree from their state's capitol to the state's largest port, just as he would have done to rebels in South Carolina in 1833.
Any broad application of State's Rights was supposedly settled in 1865, when Lee surrendered to Grant. Anyone who supports an expansive version of State's Rights at this late date is, whether they know it or not, doing so at the expense of the rights of the individual. State's Rights supports the rich and the corporations in establishing their neo-feudal domains by undermining the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which, among other things, permits the Federal Government to establish minimum uniform standards for workplace safety in every state (It should be noted that the states still retain the right to establish higher standards, as California has done with auto emissions).
The ideas expressed by Thomas Jefferson about secession are, for me, the final word on the subject today:
"A spirit which should... countenance the advocates for a dissolution of the Union and for setting in hostile array one portion of our citizens against another... would prove indeed that it is high time for every friend to his country, in a firm and decided manner, to express his sentiments of the measures which government has adopted to avert the impending evils, unhesitatingly to pledge himself for the support of the laws, liberties and independence of his country; and... to resolve that for the preservation of the Union, the support and enforcement of the laws, and for the resistance and repulsion of every enemy, they will hold themselves in readiness and put at stake if necessary their lives and fortunes on the pledge of their sacred honor." (The Complete Writings of Thomas Jefferson; Memorial Edition volume 16 page 365, 1904.)
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