…was nothing but amazing. I expected insults and bad logic, but I had no idea the areas it would spread to or the responses it would unleash. Let’s just say that there are some deeply unhinged people reading blog posts and responding to them. Let’s take a closer look at them.
My original post was The Constitution Is NOT the Bible and the point of it was to note how conservatives frequently paint the Constitution as a holy document and its creators as mythical beings endowed with such greatness and wisdom that they can’t possible be questioned and they couldn’t possibly have been wrong about anything. Secondarily, the point was that under the cover of that faith, they make the Constitution mean anything they want it to, despite a basic lack of reading skills and understanding of how law works. Sure, I used some strong language in the post, but everything I said is easily defensible based on evidence and logic (with the exception of a few hyperbolic turns of phrase here and there).
The first response is from some right-wing conservative blogger from Florida who I have no plans of naming or linking to, since that would only give him more traffic than he deserves. But he wrote a thorough, if somewhat pointless response, which he cross-posted to Red State:
In a brief respite from the joys of the circular firing squad fondly known as conservative politics, today’s column focuses on the left… the far left… the ‘progressive left‘, a.k.a. the Democratic Party.
He starts off with several bad premises, so the rest can’t be that good. The membership of the Democratic Party primarily identifies itself as moderate, not progressive or far left. And while I, personally, am far left, to equate that with the party is nonsensical and has been proven wrong by what has happened under Obama-Reid.
The Florida Progressive Coalition Blog put out a piece yesterday titled The Constitution Is NOT the Bible. Typically, I avoid the drivel coming from the far left for selfish reasons, namely to keep my head from exploding, however, this piece so accurately captures the state of mind of the far left that it makes an excellent case study.
Before I get into the content, a little background on the FPC Blog. It’s the product of Kenneth Quinnell, who describes it as “a network of concerned citizens, bloggers and activists that believe in a commitment to equality, fairness, justice, effective and efficient government, protecting our natural resources and moving our state and country forward.”
As always with conservatives, facts aren’t that important. While I am the primary writer at FPC, it is not my “product,” another half dozen or so people have posted to the blog in the last month or so.
Quinnell is a professor at Tallahassee Community College who teaches American history and political science – surprise, surprise. According to ‘Rate My Professor’, he’s “strict”, “very liberal”, “bitter” and “extremely anal about grammar” – he’ll have a field day with this column should he stumble across it.
Another frequent nonsense tactic from conservatives is to use nonrepresentative data that confirms some bias they have. Rate My Professor is a site largely used by unhappy students. It is most frequently used by students who get bad grades as a way to vent about the classes they got bad grades in and the teachers they don’t like. In the student evaluations that all students have to do, I get some of the highest ratings of any teacher on campus, even from conservative students. I will 100% cop to being “strict” and “anal about grammar.” These are things that every teacher should be. If you are strict about such things as grades and grammar, you are doing a disservice to your students. No one learns anything when a teacher is soft on students. As for “bitter,” I’ve had more than 4000 students pass through my classrooms. One of them called me bitter. I wonder what grade he got (and I’m almost certain it was a he). Nobody who actually knows me calls me bitter.
Finally, on this list, someone put “very liberal.” I am very liberal. But not in the classroom. The classroom is a place of science, not of ideology. I keep my personal views out of the classroom and present facts, arguing both sides when necessary to make sure that balance is preserved. And I’m very good at it. How do I know? Because, from the beginning of my teaching career, I’ve always offered students a half a letter grade of extra credit if they could figure out, based on class, what my political party and ideology are. You know how many students get that extra credit each year? 2-5. Never any more. No class has ever had more than two people get it. And you know how many conservative students have ever gotten it right? None.
He identifies himself as a “political activist” and has been an active blogger here in Florida for some time. He has written for Daily Kos, Crooks & Liars and a few other left wing outlets, occasionally under the moniker T Rex. He also advocates on behalf of SEIU and other union organizations.
Just a nitpick, but again it goes to the lack of fact-checking and ease of coming to false conclusions one notes in the conservative mind, I do not advocate on behalf of SEIU. I have a few contacts at SEIU that I use as sources, and I’ve written a few stories about them. I’m pro-union, so they were positive stories. But I’ve never done any work on behalf of SEIU (I have done paid work for AFSCME in the past, but that’s it in terms of working for unions). Some of the funding for my national blogging comes from unions, but I’m not really sure who from and I haven’t asked. It’s not relevant to what I do.
He is also listed as a ‘Senior Advisor’ for Progress Florida, a nonprofit organization that promotes progressive values such as social justice, health care reform, environmental protection, economic fairness and strengthening public education.
In short, fellow tea partiers, this individual is the epitome of what we have been up against for the past three years.
That is very good to know and 100% correct. Don’t get used to it from th is blogger.
If you click on the ‘About’ tab on the Florida Progressive Coalition Blog web page, you will find the word ‘progressive’ used 6 times in a short description listed – and a cheap shot at Republicans. Typical of the left, there seems to be an intentional avoidance of defining what ‘progressive‘ means. Look the word up in the dictionary and here’s what you’ll find;
Go read our about page. It, in fact, does define progressive. Very clearly. Here’s how: “We believe in a commitment to equality, fairness, justice, effective and efficient government, protecting our natural resources and moving our state and country forward in ways that benefit us all.” Seems pretty clear to me. Also, the so-called cheap shot at Republicans?: “A number of them hold extremist ideologies that are in stark opposition to the progressive values that the majority of Floridians support.” This is not a cheap shot. It is a valid critique of the big difference between the position stances of many Florida Republicans and the expressed values of the citizens of Florida. Those two things rarely match.
[pruh-gres-iv] – adjective
1. favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters: a progressive mayor.
2. making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.: a progressive community.
This part was done to make it look like the blogger actually researches things. He doesn’t. Anyone can look up a word in the dictionary. Then he goes on to immediately reject the research he just did.
Now I’m sure that’s exactly what our progressive friends want you to think when you hear the term, but in reality, ‘progressive‘ stands for social justice, reparations, wealth redistribution and cradle to grave entitlement, the belief that the state is far more capable of caring for your needs than you are as an individual.
This is true right up until the word ‘justice’. The idea that the rest of this is what progressives stand for makes me wonder if there is something in the tea this tea party member is drinking. I literally have never met a single progressive who supports reparations. None. Wealth redistribution is something that happens in every society and always has. Conservatives want wealth redistributed upwards to the wealthy. Progressives want everyone to pay their fair share. The wealthy take more resources from society, so they should pay more in terms of taxes. Very simple concept. Progressives don’t believe in entitlement and, in fact, the programs that conservatives call ‘entitlements’ are, in reality, earned benefits. Take a look at the bottom of your next paycheck stub. You’ll see specific entries for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. If you look at what your employer pays you, you’ll also find that they pay for your unemployment compensation as part of your remuneration. These are by far the biggest ‘entitlements’ that conservatives complain about and they are all things that we, as workers, have paid for. The tiny amount of money, comparatively speaking, that goes into all other safety net programs is less than 1/2 of one percent of the budget and is there to prevent people, particularly children, from starving to death or dying due to exposure. Only an evil person would want poor citizens to die because they are poor. Finally, no progressives I’ve ever met believe that “the state is far more capable of caring for your needs than you.” What we believe is that the state is far more capable of providing a social safety net than the market. We know this because we tried it. Before the safety net was put into place, America was a much, much worse place to live than it has been since. We also believe that the market cannot, or will not (probably the latter), take care of all of the poorest in society who need help. Only government can do that and only a government that is accountable can do it.
Clearly, there’s little compatibility with Reagan’s view that “if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?”
There is no compatibility with Reagan. And there’s no belief that “no one is capable of governing himself.” I can surely govern myself.
To spare you the agony of reading it yourself, I’ll list a few highlights. Of course, you are free to indulge, but I recommend a role of duct tape…
Wait, is the duct tape for me?
Professor Quinnell’s premise is that those who support “bad policy” fall back on the Constitution as a means to support the position. He refers to this as “the nonsensical constitutional principle of “originialism”, where the founding fathers expectations are used to understand the original intent.
I’ve written about how nonsensical originalism is before, but the basic idea is explained below, but with one addition. Whose original intent are we supposed to look at? The original author of the text? The people who amended the text? The people in Congress who passed the text, even though they might have had different reasons for voting yes? The people in the states who voted for it, even though they might have had different reasons for voting yes? And whose language usage do we use? Do we use what words meant then or now? And what is a good arbiter of the changing meanings of words? (And if you don’t think words change meaning, go back to the Gay 90s and see if you can find any rainbow flags). The point is that a piece of text has no original intent and to ascribe one to it beyond the actual words themselves is nonsensical and legally indefensible.
In this regard, he states… “who cares what the founding fathers said? It’s not relevant for three reasons” -
1. The law is not what they said, it’s only what they passed
2. They are dead and didn’t live through any of the outgrowth of their original ideas or any of the changes to the way the world works that came after them
3. A lot of what they thought and was wrong or immoral
He then pursues the prerequisite task of denigrating the founders that is now standard fare from the left;
“The founding fathers are somehow thought of as immortal men who were perfect in every way. They weren’t. They owned slaves. They treated women and children as property. They killed Native Americans in significant numbers. They thought that only the wealthy — landowners — should have the right to vote.”
This is not denigration. This is an accurate representation of the historical record. Even revisionist right-wing historians can’t deny these things. I’m going to say this next part as if I’m talking to a child because people on the right don’t seem to get it. Slavery was bad. People who favored it were wrong. People who owned slaves were immoral. This is not debatable. Owning a human being is an immoral act, particularly when tied into the racism and xenophobia that were part of the institution. Treating women and children as property is wrong. Killing Native Americans and taking their land is immoral. Believing that only property owners should have the right to vote is immoral. Note that in the amended Constitution, almost all of these things are explicitly illegal and all of them are at least implicitly illegal.
He then directs his angst on the Constitution itself, saying;
Ooh, I’ve got angst! Does that mean I can start a grunge band now!
“While it has great symbolic value, it was also a very flawed document. There is not one sentence or clause of the whole document that is perfect and there is no logic in sticking with something just because that something is what we’ve always done. The simple fact is the Constitution is a guide and it is a living and unfinished document.”
Sound familiar? He adds… “Nowhere does the document limit the federal government’s power to deal with most issues.”
A truly scary concept that completely deviates from the basic principle of the founders that government is to be feared and restrained. Oddly, I don’t recall the far left having such confidence in government when G.W. Bush was sitting in the White House.
Obviously the founders thought that government is to be feared and restrained. That’s why we have a constitution. It’s why we have separation of powers and checks and balances. But these limitations are not unlimited. They are listed in the document. We don’t have to guess at the limitations of government, we can read about them. And, keep in mind, that the explicit purpose of the current U.S. Constitution was to reject the Articles of Confederation and shift power away from the states to the federal government. That’s the whole point. Under the Articles, the states had unlimited power. It didn’t work. It almost destroyed the country. So they threw out the idea that states should have unlimited power and replaced that with a federal government that had the most power. This is all historical record. You can look it up.
But were Quinnell goes completely off track is when he states;
“I deal with what is right and wrong, not what is legal or illegal. If the government and/or the Constitution say something immoral, then I’m not going to agree with them nor am I going to defer to their point of view or say that I have to because “it’s the law.”
As written in ‘A Nation Of Men Not Laws, author Robert Feinman explains that one of the founding principles of America is that it is to be a nation of laws, not men. He explains that “the flaws of the European history of power emanating from royalty and then passing down to the nobility and, via personal preferment, to court courtiers was all too real to the founders.”
If I had argued for a monarchy, this would’ve been a valid rejoinder. It isn’t because I didn’t. I, in fact, am being more consistent on this point than the conservatives are. I’m saying that if a flawed law is created by a flawed government (regardless of type), then it is my duty to reject it. This is, in fact, EXACTLY what the American Revolution was about.
Progressives seem to think that the institution of government was invented in the past 100 years. They forget or intentionally disregard the basic fact that the foundation for the Constitution was based on principles gathered from James Madison’s years of study about the history of government.
No we don’t. That’s nonsense. And keep in mind that Madison was massively in favor of federal power overruling state power. And he was certainly in favor of a Constitution that could be interpreted differently by different people. That’s why he wrote one that fit that description. And it’s why he didn’t lead a revolution against the government when he lost Marbury v. Madison the case that established judicial review.
This is all so critically important because the progressive left understands that it must circumvent the Constitution and the laws of this land to institute their ’statist’ agenda. We saw a clear example of this when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid shoved ObamaCare down the throats of Americans. This is where the real battle lies, folks.
I have not once advocated circumventing the Constitution. Nor has any other progressive. Just the opposite. I said that if the Constitution is vague on a point, then it’s up to the courts to decide what is allowable and not allowable. And I said if there is something in the Constitution that is wrong, we should change it. That’s not circumventing the Constitution, that’s Article V.
And what’s most scary thing about all of this is that Professor Kenneth Quinnell is teaching our children…
I actually don’t teach any children. I teach adults.
Comments on his site were very entertaining:
When reading our Constitution you must first refer back to The Declaration of Independence which in its first paragraph refer to the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature’s and of Nature’s God entitle them. We broke away from England’s tyranny based on Nature’s laws and God that is the under pinning of our whole system of government.
Actually when dealing with the law, you don’t have to refer back to the Declaration at all, since it isn’t law. It was not adopted under the Constitution or the Articles of Confederation and has no legal power.
Our Founders realized basic human frailty based on their own frailty and a past history of governments. They came up with a pretty good set of Articles by section for good government with checks and balances that has worked for over 230 years.
Along comes Professor Progressive Egghead locked in his classroom who has solved all this countries problems and wants to tear apart the document that has given America greatest nation status throughout the world and its people the Blessing of Liberty. This idiot can’t even hold a candle to the likes of George Washington, James Madison or Thomas Jefferson. Why are we giving this sack of skin the time he does not deserve. It’s time for me to get off the toilet!
Okay, I’ll admit that I’m not as great as George Washington, James Madison or Thomas Jefferson. They were much more radical than I was. I would never start a war or illegally scrap the Constitution and start over. I’m glad they did, because my British accent is terrible.
Also, I’m not locked in my classroom. I have a key.
And I never said anything remotely close to tearing the document apart. I like most of it. But it is flawed, as is everything else. And I’m not sure how we got “greatest nation status,” since I’m certain that “throughout the world” most people don’t like us that much. Probably because of George W. Bush. And that “greatest nation” thing certainly isn’t based on any rankings of note that I’m aware of, since we aren’t at the top of many lists of good things (we’re #50 in infant mortality!). Maybe it’s a BCS thing?
American exceptionalism didn’t happen by accident. These progressives and their disdain for our founding documents are a real threat to liberty.
It didn’t happen at all. We are a country that has done a lot of good things. We’ve also done a lot of bad things. Like just about every other country. What makes us exceptional? How is it that by being born in the U.S., I’m superior to someone born in Japan? Or North Korea? Or Africa. Or Antarctica? No, scratch that last one, I am superior to penguins.
And if we’re so exceptional, how could the comments of a blogger “threaten” our liberty? That makes no sense.
What is maddening about the whole “living, breathing Constitution” thing is that the concept means that there is no Constitution at all, that whoever happens to be powerful simply exercises power (as distinguished from authority) and makes whatever rule that power wishes.
What, exactly, would the progressives replace a fixed constitution with? You have to press them on that question at every opportunity.
No, it doesn’t mean that slippery slope nonsense at all. This is where a study of constitutionalism comes into play. When the document is very explicit and clear, you follow it to the letter (no ex post facto laws). When it’s vague, you interpret it based on other factors, including popular will, history, legal doctrine, Supreme Court decisions, congressional elaboration, etc. (freedom of religion). This is not a difficult concept to grasp. And, because of the way the Constitution is written, it’s the only possible way to interpret it. What does the freedom of speech mean? The Constitution doesn’t say. So it has to be defined by someone. What if that first someone gets it wrong, despite being on a Supreme Court majority? Then the definition has to change (see Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education). By the way, colleges tend to teach this stuff, even to freshmen. It’s pretty basic law.
Tom, it is exactly people like this “teacher,” and others like him, which gives academia the stigma of being a cancer upon society and reinforces the adage, “those that can’t do, teach!” He IS poisoning the minds of what should be bright, successful and productive citizens.
No, it’s nonsensical conservatives who give academia that stigma and sane citizens across the political spectrum reject their claims by going to and graduating from college. Second, who says I only teach? Some of us have more than one job. Some of us volunteer as well. Conservatives make up shit that isn’t connected to facts when they can’t comprehend the facts. If I were “poisoning” minds, why do most of my conservative students like me and stay conservative? Because brainwashing is a myth. You can’t force people to believe things, you can only provide them with information.
Instead, this POS is producing vile haters of the very freedom that countless “better citizens” than this Kenneth Quinnell will ever be, fought for! Many that sacrificed their property, they fought and died to bring about this nation and that “We The People” will continue to fight for.
Isn’t it a bit ironic to condemn “vile haters” in the same sentence that you call someone a “piece of shit.” Also, the word “better citizens” in quotes in that context means that it has the opposite of the intended meaning, stating that the people he’s referencing aren’t actually better citizens. The people who fought and died for our freedoms (although few of them have lost their property) actually died so we could have freedom. Like the freedom to be a liberal. The freedom to say things that other people don’t like. The freedom to be wrong and write dumbass things in the comment sections of right-wing nutjob blogs.
The name of Kenneth Quinnell is a curse, a by word, a pox, as is ALL those who subscribe to his twisted thinking!!! He is an academic terrorist and an enemy of The United States of America.
That is my favorite quote ever. I think I’m going to get it framed.
Wow, I never thought of it that way, Skyler, but what a great description – academic terrorist. Thanks for the insight!
The original blogger seconds the motion. All in favor of “The name of Kenneth Quinnell is a curse, a by word, a pox, as is ALL those who subscribe to his twisted thinking!!! He is an academic terrorist and an enemy of The United States of America.” say aye! The ayes have it.
Comments on Red State were just as much fun:
Sounds like someone who taught Obama
The left never has a sound argument because there is no basis for their out of the box thinking. The only thing they want to achieve is the downfall of America.
This type of statement is exactly what Obama is doing. Twist or outright lie to make himself sound either correct or picked on.
It is only a method to garner favor with leftist that have been taught not to think.
One could not be a rational thinker to fall for the socialist/communist propaganda.
So many problems with this comment that it’s hard to know where to begin. So I’ll just highlight the list of words that mean things other than what this person thinks they mean: “taught,” “the left,” “sound argument,” “no basis,” “out of the box thinking,” “downfall,” “exactly,” “Obama,” “twist,” “outright,” “lie,” “correct,” “picked on,” “only,” “method,” “think,” “rational thinker,” “socialist,” “communist,” and “propaganda.” At least he figured out the word “it.”
The Founding Fathers understood very well the imperfection of man
Something that ideal-case-only Statists don’t seem to be able to grasp. No reason to put limits on the all-powerful utopian state. Nothing like the total and final power of the government to produce a benevolent society.
I’m baffled by the right-wing use of the word “statist,” which is a European term that has nothing to do with anything any progressive says ever. And there are no progressives who believe in ideal case only scenarios, all-powerful governments, utopian societies, or total and final power. We actively reject all of these things.
And yes, the Constitution was much better than the men who produced it. 225 years later, and in it’s wake is the the beacon to the world.
It’s the “beacon” to the world in that almost nobody has copied it. 15 countries have Constitutions that are even vaguely similar to ours. Most of the rest of the world has copied Britain or France in setting up their form of government.
To borrow from Adam Sandler…Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Hirihito, not descendants of the Founders.
Yes, slavery was a terrible evil. Of course it would have removed untold suffering if slavery had never come to America.
We agree, then. So criticizing people who participated in this “terrible evil” is legit.
But it started in America in 1619 with the first slave. By the time of the American Revolution, the South and its evil plantations had come to depend upon it. Of course the colonies and the South should be criticized for engaging in it. (Little good that it does to dead people.)
It goes without saying that the earlier slavery could have been eradicated, the better. So next time, ask your not-so-friendly, simpleton neighborhood statist, what moves would you have made to hasten its end?
Shooting-the-moon for an abolition of it at the time of the Constitution would surely have led to a Southern/Confederate States separate from the Northern United States. And just as surely the tired North had neither the will nor the capacity to do anything about a late 1780s seceding South. What then frees the slaves in the Southern states as the status quo would have been a sovereign South? Perhaps there is an outside chance of some other issue provoking an earlier North/South war leading to an earlier freedom for the slaves, but I think the most likely case is freedom delayed for the slaves in the South well past the 1860s.
For the record, it isn’t necessary to come up with a solution that many people smarter than me didn’t come up with in order to say that slavery was evil and that people who engaged in it were immoral. It’s immoral no matter what the situation. That’s not debatable.
One of Thomas Sowell’s favorite questions for Conservatives comes to mind. Compared to what?
England can serve as a benchmark.
In 1787, the Constitution was adopted and British Parlimentarian and abolition champion William Wilberforce began his crusade against slavery.
Both the United States and Britain banned the importation of slavery in 1807. Along the way, America chipped away at slavery with Virginia banning the importation of slaves (even earlier in 1778), by Slave Trade Act of 1794 banning the construction or outfitting of slave ships before the 1807 Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves.
Unfortunately, the United States didn’t have a William Wilberforce to lead the United States to a total ban on slavery by 1833. But Abraham Lincolns, who I consider a Founding Father, don’t come around that often.
Fortunately, Lincoln played his cards in a manner that ended slavery, something I highly doubt he could have pulled off without indirect events (e.g. the idiot who fired on Fort Sumter) playing out almost as orchestrated by God
Pretty much every country that had slavery and got rid of it, did it with less violence and strife than we did. The reason that it lasted longer here than elsewhere was conservatives here made sure it stayed in place longer.
There were approximately 19-20 million africans imported to the New World as slaves. Of those, only about 7% came to North America. America did not invent slavery. It was the Islamist, Portuguese,Africans, and Dutch. Where and by whom is it practiced today? Africa and the Islamist countries. Those blacks in this country should get on their knees and thank the Lord that they were not born in the “homeland” of Africa, of which they seem to be so proud, because they could be living in the Sudan, the slums of some western Africa country, or Zimbawe.
And yet none of them do. I wonder why not? Also, almost all of our slaves came from the region that is now Nigeria. Not a lot of slaves there these days.
I see none of them who can afford it moving to the “homeland” of milk and honey. Comparing the ending of slavery in the UK vs the US is like comparing apples and oranges and space limits an explanation.
I’d like to see that explanation because it is actually really easy to compare apples and oranges. They are both fruit, you compare taste, texture, etc., you can make juice from them, make them into desserts. In fact there are few things that are easier to compare than apples and oranges.
Lincoln should not be consider a founding father because he was the first to rape states rights as established by the Founding Fathers. He was a tyrant. It is said he “saved the Union” and I ask, “Saved it from what?” A country based on fedralism rather than a central, statist government that has evolved to what we have today? Slavery was on its way out and would not have lasted another 20 or 30 years.
Ah, now lets get into the meat of the argument. Racism (and a little bit of sexism for good measure). The founding fathers took power away from the states by getting rid of the Articles. This isn’t debatable. Under the Articles, they were like sovereign nations. Under the Constitution, the federal government’s power is supreme (see Article VI). This, by the way, is not an appropriate use of the word “rape.” Finally, no serious historian thinks that slavery was on its way out. It was getting stronger and, in fact, there was a move in Congress to overturn the ban on the slave trade because slavery was growing more and more profitable. No state would’ve seceded if it thought that slavery was going away. The logic of that is “I know slavery is going away, but I’m going to commit sedition and treason and engage in war to protect it anyway.” Nonsense.
I believe that slavery may have been the worst thing to happen to this country as for no other reason its legacy is a group of people who feel they are entitled to what other people have. This is not a racist comment. It echoes that of such great black Americans as Walter E. Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Shelby Stelle.
This is a racist comment. The worst thing about slavery is, you know, the millions of dead people. Quickly after that, you’d have to talk about hundreds of years of bondage, violence, breaking up of families, sexual assault, murder, forced illiteracy, etc. Then you’d have to point to outgrowths of slavery such as Jim Crow, lynching, sharecropping, the prison-lease system and decades of forced economic inferiority. In fact, on a list of hundreds of bad things about slavery, ‘black people being entitled’ is nowhere on the list, since it’s a made up conservative concept. Just because a black person says something doesn’t make it true and doesn’t make it not racist. Not familiar with Williams or “Stelle,” but I’ve read Sowell and he’s very, very far away from being a great anything.
The legacy of Lincoln isn’t the freeing of slaves its the ascension of the all powerful federal government. Few wish to learn the truths of Lincoln they prefer the myth.
Except there was never, not then, not now, an all-powerful federal government. And it was much more powerful both before and after Lincoln. The whole reason the South seceded is the federal government didn’t have the power to stop them.
“a group of people who feel they are entitled to what other people have”
Yes, they’re called Democrats. They don’t need history for that.
Nonsense. Progressives believe that everyone has to pay their fair share for the things they take from society. Conservatives say that the wealthy should be able to leach off of society and not pay for it. We call shenanigans.
Usually, Lincoln is hailed as the Great Republican proof that Republicans can’t be racist, because Lincoln freed the slaves! This is not the truth no more?
It was never true that because Lincoln freed the slaves that Republicans can’t be racist. Lincoln was a leftist as were all Republicans in those days. The two parties switched ideologies, particularly over race. It happened in the 1950s and 60s. Political History 101.
So, what about this once popular notion that present day blacks should be grateful that their ancestors were slaves, and get to live in the Greatest Nation on Earth, instead of in Africa …. I still don’t get why that doesn’t bring more blacks into our ranks.
And you never will get it because this is an idiotic conclusion. It doesn’t bring people into your ranks because it’s bullshit.
I look to Reagan, not Lincoln,
as the Great Republican. The invasion of the South instead of economic blockade gave us the disaster of our bloodiest war and the emancipation of the slaves without provision for repatriation of the slaves gave us a disaster for both races. Ending slavery was a noble goal however in my view a truly great man would have handled it better.
And a conservative wouldn’t have handled it at all.
Lysander Spooner was correct
Spooner was both an abolititionist and secessionist. This was because both derived from self-ownership.
Neither side sought to abolish slavery. That cancels out.
Except the side that ran on an abolitionist platform and, you know, freed the slaves.
The north wanted to keep the union, while the south wanted self government.
Revisionist history that is NOT found in documents from the actual time period. The states rights argument was created by Southern historians AFTER the war to make their side look less evil. The South wanted slaves. Period.
The south had the moral high ground.
Only if you are racist.
However, had the goal of the north been to end slavery, I would give them the moral high ground.
So then you give the North the moral high ground?
I had expectations of some sort of new twist or angle and yet it is the same old mantra of socialism.
Socialism means government ownership of private enterprise. 100% off topic from my essay.
There is a need to realize how important this is, “the epitome of what we have been up against” and to confront them face to face. I am in the middle of five college area of W/Mass, I have been confronting them for about three decades and my head has yet to explode, close but not yet. I find it disappointing that so few want to debate here, face to face with them and it is not that hard. You only need two thing, knowledge of the Natural Law or Common Sense written in to the Constitution and a reference of history like – A Patriot’s History of the United States. Your head will not explode, you may experience a headache and nausea but no exploding heads except for these socialists, when you see them turn red in the face please step back.
I debate conservatives face-to-face all the time. Note, for the record, that none of these references is a legal document with any bearing on anything in the conversation. While things like Common Sense influenced the founding fathers, the only things that matter in terms of what the Constitution means and doesn’t mean is the actual text and the legal interpretations that flow from that.
As soon as A observes something which seems to him wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or, in better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X… What I want to do is to look up C… I call him the forgotten man… He is the man who never is thought of. He is the victim of the reformer, the social speculator, and philanthropist, and I hope to show you before I get through that he deserves your notice both for his character and for the many burdens which are laid upon him.
—Summer, p.466 of The Forgotten Man and Other Essays
Pointless blather. C gets more from government that he puts into it. No matter who C is. That’s the whole point of government.
We know from English history over the last almost one thousand years, what they did about it, and kept doing about it. I hope it never has to come to that, but if we don’t want it to die and be forgotten, then we must contemplate our options should the utilization of the political processes fail.
Sounds a lot like a threat of violence to me.
and a reason why Liberals are dangerous. They actually live in this insular bubble of thought and can’t think outside the box they created around themselves. As he likely preaches to his audience, I am sure there are liberal circle jerks happening right now. It is people like that who must be engaged in their own forums and taken down. It is actually a rather amusing exercise….
For the record, I’m not inside a box and I have never been to a liberal circle jerk. Never even been invited. I’ve also never been taken down by a conservative, although I’m sure they convinced themselves that they did. I’m not writing for them. I’m writing for the outside observer who doesn’t know what side he or she is on. I’ll take my chances in that battle.
So he chooses willful disregard,and denigration
for laws as they exist. He slams them to hell and gone ,but yet what does he offer in place of what we have?
Not in the slightest. I never said to disregard anything and only denigrate things that are wrong. I also didn’t say to replace what we have, but to continue to tweak it to make it more perfect. You know, that whole “more perfect union” thing.
He espouses this bilge and yet we are supposed to honor what those such as himself would create, absent the restrictions/’chains’, of The Constitution.
Who said I should be honored? I didn’t.
So Quinnell couldn’t cut it at Florida State or FAMU, huh?
No wonder he is bitter. Bless his heart.
Ah, it’s been a while since the old “attack the academic choices” card was played. For the record, I never tried to teach at a university. Not interested in it. I’m interested in helping people who are trying to better themselves and who need help more. That’s why I have only taught at community colleges and will only do so. I actually turned down a chance to teach history at FSU, thanks for asking.
okay, it might be a straw man but still
according to tomtflorida (or some site he quotes), Quinnell is “extremely anal about grammar”.
Yet, from his blog: “And those who argue that it does these things can never legitimately site what part of the document agrees with them.”
I just thought that was kinda funny.
Caveat: I don’t really know if that professor really IS anal about grammar, “Rate my Professor” could be lying about that, but if he is, it’s ironic.
“Anal about grammar,” doesn’t mean “makes no typos.” If I were grading my blog post, I would’ve marked that error off. By the way, that’s not what the word “irony” means.
“Robert Feinman explains that one of the founding principles of America is that it is to be a nation of laws, not men.”
What’s your point? That we shouldn’t oppose bad laws, like Roe v Wade? Or does Quinnell argue for a return to nobility etc.?
No, that isn’t what Quinnell argues.
The ‘landowner’ comment is a misnomer.
Back when that was the norm:
1) Land was cheap-to-free (‘free’ meaning there were still areas of the country open to settlement – you build on it, you own it)…
2) The majority of the country was employed in subsistence or cash-crop farming, making ‘land ownership’ a vital part of employment.
We weren’t old-Europe, there were no serfs & lords (except down south, with slavery)…..
A modern-day equivalent to that rule would be ‘only the employed can vote’. Still not great, but hardly ‘only the rich may vote’.
This is not true. Cheap to free land for settlement was not offered until long after the Constitution was written and founding fathers were all dead. Less than 5 percent of Americans at the time of the Constitution were white males who owned land. Land ownership was, in the North, only available to a smaller minority because of overcrowding. And, since slavery counts and was legal from D.C. to Georgia at the time of the Constitution’s passage, the serfs and lords comment is irrelevant.
Trex likes today’s nectar.
He’ll feed without principle.
Sure he hates conservatives. Conservatives ask questions.
Total nonsense. Conservatives not only don’t ask questions, if they get told the answers they automatically reject them without any consideration of anything that doesn’t fit their worldview.
Trex wants to feed upon the unthinking. The garden variety college student. He’s a predator.
I actively teach my students to think for themselves and tell them not to take my word for anything. College students, on average, are more thinking than non-college graduates. It’s kind of the whole point.
“Nowhere does the document limit the federal government’s power to deal with most issues.”
Uh, so what’s the 10th Amendment? Chopped liver?
No, it’s not chopped liver. But it also doesn’t mean what conservatives say it means. Well, except this next guy.
The 10th limits the power to deal with issues that shouldn’t be federal….
The enumerated powers, as literally written, are rather broad, and usually not limited by another part of the Constitution except where they intersect with the 1st/2nd/4th/5th, etc (eg, there’s no ‘limit’ on the President’s commander-in-chief power, or Congress’ money-creation-and-valuation power, other than the ballot box – and the 10th doesn’t confer any limits of it’s own on enumerated federal powers)….
That’s a big part of it. But note that even a basic understanding of the English language would make it clear that the Tenth Amendment does not only refer to enumerated powers. When the founding fathers wanted something to be explicit, they said it. They, in fact, specifically did not use words like “enumerated” in the Tenth Amendment, when using such words elsewhere. The inclusion elsewhere and exclusion of such words in the Tenth means that implied powers count, too. And under the Elastic Clause and the Ninth Amendment, and the Preamble, it is obvious that there are implied powers and Article VI makes it clear that the federal government’s power is supreme (it actually says those exact words). Anything that falls under the enumerated powers or the broad categories in the Preamble, or any extension of the enumerated powers, or the Commerce Clause is fair game for federal power and the federal government’s power is supreme.
Thomas Jefferson was right
We should have added a Constitutional amendment prohibiting borrowing by the Federal government.
But we didn’t because it wouldn’t have passed. So it’s not relevant.
Perhaps the Civil War could have been smaller or never have happened. Can’t argue with that can you?
Sure can. Slavery existed, the Civil War was inevitable as long as slaveowners wouldn’t stop owning slaves.
There were also a few commenters who came over to FPC after the conservative posts went up:
You are a college professor and you wrote this nonsense? You should be fired on-the-spot for gross incompetence!
Except that it’s not incompetence, it’s historical fact. Look it up.
“Unless the Constitution explicitly says the government can’t do something, then it can do that thing up to and until it is determined that the Constitution says otherwise. Explicitly. Powers are implied. Limitations aren’t. They’re specifically listed.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Perhaps you should have bothered to take a look at the Tenth Amendment before writing such nonsense:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Addressed above. “Delegated” is a different word from “enumerated.” Both are used in constitutional law. “Delegated” includes implied powers and the Preamble, Commerce Clause, Elastic Clause and Ninth Amendment open this up for a lot of leeway.
On the contrary, KQ is actually just another pretentious, sanctimonious leftist jerk.
I’m not even slightly pretentious. I’m kind of an anti-hipster. The only people that ever think someone is sanctimonious are people on the other side. A few people think I’m a jerk, but usually they’re conservatives or students who got bad grades, so they aren’t valid judges of my character. I am, however, a leftist.