Despite appearances, there is no natural law that says history repeats itself. As inventive as we are, there are only a limited number of ways that humans can screw things up. We keep trying to come up with new ways, but until we evolve a new brain with more folds on the surface we will keep repeating ourselves.
No matter what our race, culture, or creed; whenever you get a lot of people together in a restricted space, some sort of political order and structure arises. Anarchy as a human ideal is about as fact based as the Land of Oz. And even Oz had a Wizard, sundry Witches, Munchkin Mayors, and probably Alpha and Beta Flying Monkeys.
People have different temperaments; some are more active, some more passive, some are dominant, some less dominant. Then there is the matter of talents, and lacks thereof. People end up being sorted out in various power relationships inside and outside of their family groupings.
It does not matter what the basis of the structure is, be it feudal, democratic, aristocratic, results oriented merit-based, or who has the biggest club and is more willing to use it on everybody else. They share two things. First, whatever the rules of the game, the social contract if you will, with the exception of a criminal fringe pretty much everybody in the society accepts and supports the rules actively or tacitly. Second, if a sufficient percentage refuses to accept those rules, the whole thing falls apart until a new order arises. The new order may or may not be better than the old, but it will be different than the old.
Our country and fairly unique society came into existence through that process. This is in part because we diverged demographically from the parent society. Our population was made up of exiles [including self-exiles], ne’er do wells, criminals, religious fringe elements from the British point of view, and a sufficiency of foreign elements to render the population no longer homogeneous with the old country. Couple that with the detail that in Britain there was much higher percentage of the population that had a vested interest in the existing system, and that a relatively small percentage of the minor nobility and none of the higher nobility and royal family bothered to cross the pond.
What we ended up with is a majority of the population who had no memory of serfdom, were not slaves [Leftist fantasies notwithstanding, slaves were always a minority of the population], and who were used to both being politically and economically free compared to the old country. And the aristocracy here really did not have the pull to make generations of sycophancy attractive and profitable as a lifestyle.
It started with a rejection of the laws coming from England, made with neither input nor consent of the local population. The response of the Colonists was to ignore, oppose, and . . . nullify those laws, which could literally only be enforced at bayonet point. And that started a pattern.
So we diverged, and the old system collapsed. It is said that during the Revolution 1/3 of the population were Patriots, 1/3 were Tories, and 1/3 were indifferent and just wanted to stay out of the line of fire. That may be a first order approximation of the size of the percentage necessary to reject the old structure to bring it down. Also in passing, it is said that only 3% of the population actually took up arms against the British, which indicates that the structure was more vulnerable to active opposition than one would think.
The pattern repeated itself in the middle of the 1800’s as the societies in the different sections of the United States diverged from each other. The differences were expressed violently on the floor of Congress [Democrat Representative Preston Brooks (D-SC) beat Republican Senator Charles Sumner (R-Mass) on the floor of the Senate, nearly killing Sumner.]. Earlier, during the term of President Andrew Jackson, South Carolina passed a statute declaring that they refused to collect tariffs passed by Congress and signed into law. It was called an Ordinance of Nullification.
While the British were not able to muster and apply sufficient bayonet points to enforce the laws nullified by the Colonists; President Andrew Jackson was able to aim sufficient bayonets at South Carolina. Formally, he stated:
I consider, then, the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which It was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed.
Less formally, Jackson threatened to march the US Army south to hang the Democrat government of South Carolina. It worked and delayed the First American Civil War by a generation.
When the First American Civil War finally came, it was started as an act, if you will, of “pre-emptive nullification”. The election of 1860 was a triumph for the new Republican Party. They won the presidency, and with allied minor parties that agreed with them had a veto-proof majority in both Houses of Congress. The Democrats only held the Southern states’ congressional seats and state governments. And they knew that the abolition of slavery and increased tariffs were a priority for the Republican Party. Lincoln’s conciliatory statements notwithstanding, they knew it was coming and that the only way to avoid being crushed in Congress and having any law on any subject forced on them was to secede from the United States. They were nullifying the laws they “knew” were coming. Kind of like the now sadly defunct California secession movement today.
Those who created and ran the government of the Confederate States of America, with only a couple of exceptions, at the national, state, and local levels were Democrats. And the first secession was not surprisingly South Carolina, and the secession became open war in South Carolina.
Once again, the only way to overcome nullification of law and to preserve the existing structure was at bayonet point. And it was done. It cost 4 years, 3 weeks, and six days of actual warfare inside our borders. It cost 1,692,000 military killed, wounded, and captured on both sides. It cost 50,000 civilians dead on both sides. And it cost 80,000+ slaves killed. But it established, for what they believed was for all time, that the laws and the Constitution of the United States were supreme over any sectional or political interest inside the boundaries of the United States.
It held for a century before being challenged again, and the challenge and attempts at nullification came from the same source. The First American Civil War ended slavery and made Blacks citizens. That did not make America the home of total racial equality. Blacks were still second class citizens who were usually denied the vote by the descendants of those Democrats who created the Confederacy. Native Americans were third class citizens. And my ethnic fellows, Chinese, were not considered human beings under American law until 1943. But when you consider that actual chattel slavery of human beings still exists throughout Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia [As it has for thousands of years. Contrary to what the Left teaches in our schools, America did not invent slavery, it has led to the end of slavery in much of the world.]; we were and are better than most of the world.
In the 1850’s the push to end slavery began in earnest and led to the First American Civil War. In the 1950’s the push to make Blacks equal in actual fact began, and almost led to a Second American Civil War. The push for equal Civil Rights was opposed by the then solid Democrat former Confederacy. Those who lynched civil rights workers were southern Democrats. Those who supported segregation were southern Democrats. Alabama Governor George Wallace, who stood in the schoolhouse door, was a southern Democrat. Robert Byrd, longest serving US Senator [Democrat-W. Va.] founded his local chapter of the KKK and was its leader [“Grand Cyclops”]. Strom Thurmond, Democrat Senator from South Carolina, gave the longest filibuster by any individual Senator ever to try to block the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and he fought the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965.
The picture that most exemplifies the resistance to civil rights for Blacks is of Commissioner for Public Safety [Sheriff] Bull Conner of Birmingham, Alabama personally sic-ing police attack dogs on Blacks attempting to desegregate lunch counters. At the time, he was the elected Democratic National Committeeman for Alabama.
The Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1964 and 1965 WERE passed. But the votes in Congress came from the Republican Party and from the Democrats of the NorthEast. The Democrats in the South solidly opposed equality for non-Whites. Look it up.
Having learned, to some extent, that formally nullifying Federal laws and the Constitution would meet with Federal force; Southern Democrats instead waged a functional guerilla war to maintain segregation and prevent Blacks from voting and going to school. And they murdered civil rights workers trying to register Blacks to vote and planted bombs in Black churches where their community was organizing.
It took bayonets again, and handcuffs, to end the guerilla nullification of the Federal Civil Rights Acts. The Democrat Governor of Arkansas, Orville Faubus, called out the Arkansas National Guard to block Black children from Little Rock schools in violation of the 1957 Civil Rights Act. Republican President Dwight Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard, ordered them to stand down, and then ordered troops from the elite 101st Airborne Division to escort Black children to schools. The sure knowledge that they would do far more than escort if there were interference with the children helped break the nullification. As did the Federal government arresting, trying, and convicting those who murdered civil rights workers.
Democrats had tried again to declare Federal law nullified. And again they were blocked. If they had succeeded, both Federal law and the Constitution would have been nullified.
Which brings us to today.
For just under a decade, the Democrats have been nullifying Federal law by Executive Order, blocking and changing Federal statutes, ordering law enforcement to ignore the law if the criminal was a protected class, and attacking the entire Bill of Rights, with the exception of the Third Amendment. They have not found a use for quartering troops in our houses . . . yet.
For their efforts, the Democrats have lost first the House, then the Senate, most Governorships, and the Presidency. While they still control the Federal bureaucracy still trying to maintain the nullification of Federal law, they have lost control of most of the nation. Taking the 2016 presidential vote by county as a proxy for which party controls which county, we see that the Democrats have been reduced primarily to a string of “islands” of urban areas along the perimeter of the country, referred to sometimes as the Clinton Archipelago.
And in those islands of Democrat control, we are seeing both formal declarations of nullification of Federal law [“sanctuary cities/states” where they deny the validity of Federal immigration law] and guerilla warfare against the Bill of Rights. Now the Constitution gives the field of immigration and naturalization to the Federal government. Congress has passed statutes controlling immigration and naturalization. And the Federal courts have upheld the validity of those laws. Democrat cities, counties, and states are currently and formally declaring that they will protect illegal invaders violating those laws. A declaration of sanctuary status is no less a nullification of Federal law and defiance of the Federal Constitution than the Ordinance of Nullification passed by the state of South Carolina. And in the end deserves the same response. It is not a joke; it is not a game. It is a deadly serious attempt to dismantle the Constitution and the Union itself, replacing it with the rule of power instead of law.
I think it will not be considered by future historians to be purely a coincidence that every such attempt to do that has been by the Democrat party.
At the same time, in the islands of the Clinton Archipelago, we are seeing street violence by Leftist supporters of the Democrats under various names; Antifa, By Any Means Necessary [BAMN], Black Lives Matter, The Resistance, and endless permutations of others. Organized by Democrat politicians, Democrat academics, and Democrat media figures, they are advocating the use of force and violence to prevent “hate speech”. Hate speech functionally means disagreeing with a Leftist on any topic. They believe that they have the legal and moral right to silence others, to void the First Amendment rights of others, and they claim [and this was done literally by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who also was the Chairman of the Democratic Party and ran for their presidential nomination] that there is a “hate speech exemption” in the First Amendment. They claim that public expressions of religious faith are offensive to those not of the faith, and must be suppressed. Unless, of course, the faith is Islam. And they believe that they can silence assemblies of people they do not agree with and bar them from petition for redress of grievances if the Leftists are the cause of those grievances.
They act on those beliefs. Their street thugs under whatever name, or under the umbrella name of Antifa, physically attack those who legally try to speak out in opposition to the Democrats and the Left. They vandalize businesses. They start fires. They use clubs, pepper spray, bottles, and sap gloves on those they disagree with. And they do so with impunity.
Time and time again, most recently and regularly in Berkeley, California; they commit crimes against persons and property while the police watch and do nothing under the admitted instructions of their Democrat political bosses. In the Clinton Archipelago, it is not a crime to assault a non-Leftist. Democrat controlled polities protect the street thugs’ violence just as the Democrats in the 1960’s protected the KKK’s.
The First American Civil War began at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. If the rule of law and the American Constitution is not re-imposed in this country by the courts and if necessary by the same point of the bayonet that has held back the forces of nullification before; then Berkeley may be the Fort Sumter of the Second American Civil War.