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The Fight for Independence vs. The Secession Mistake

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During the Fourth of July holiday some supporters of the Confederate battle flag asked why Americans celebrate the colonists breaking away from Britain, but condemn the attempt by Southerners to separate from the federal government. Actually, a key slogan of the Revolution was “no taxation without representation” – Parliament had full taxing power, but no representatives from the colonies. But Southerners were well represented in Washington and dominated the government most of the time before the Civil War. Among the 15 presidents before Lincoln, a big majority – nine – were from the South. Of the five presidents who won election from northern states, every one of them had a Southern Vice President. Southerners were also over-represented in the House of Representatives because their 4 million slaves counted as three-fifths of a person for apportionment purposes under a notorious Constitutional compromise, even though they weren’t allowed to vote. American Independence has been a blessing but Southern secession was a tragic, ill-conceived mistake.

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  1. Jack Brooks  •  Jul 8, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I agree that Secession a mistake, And I believe that we in the Republican party should be ready to rid ourselves of the last vestiges of the Democrat party institution of slavery and the vestiges of it that continued for another 100 years in the form of the militant arm of the Democrat party, The Ku Klux Klan and segregation!. It is my firm belief that the welfare state and legalized abortion are nothing but continuations of the slave state, even today! The confederate battle flag may be a symbol southern heritage but we it is a also for too many a reminder of a an institution that many of the founders did not want included in the Constitution or this great country.

    • Keith  •  Jul 10, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      I must agree. I know all about the arguments for freedom of speech, southern heritage, etc., but I cannot think that 13% of our population would not be terribly offended by the sight of such a thing. It symbolizes a fight for the right to make black men and women slaves. It also symbolizes rebellion and war against the US. How can that be something to proudly show? Sorry, I just don’t buy this southern pride crap.

      Keep it in museums. If people want to fly it over their homes, that’s their constitutional right. But, to make all the people pay for its display over public structures I must vehemently disagree with.

  2. Sean Flynn  •  Jul 8, 2015 at 9:48 am

    The vast majority of the modern “welfare state” spending is Social Security and Medicare, which represents 50% of the total federal budget. Both programs are overwhelmingly popular among Americans. As are other things, like unemployment compensation for laid off workers, disability payments for injured workers, etc.

    Are all those whom favor Social Security and medicare and the like, “pro-slavery” in you view?

  3. Sean Flynn  •  Jul 8, 2015 at 10:22 am

    “Among the 15 presidents before Lincoln, a big majority – nine – were from the South.”

    And of the 28 presidents since Lincoln, only 3 have been from the South (LBJ, Jimmy Carter and Bush Jr.) and all ended their terms in disaster, with very low approval ratings and presidencies that most historians view as failures.

    • Laura Johnson Los Angeles  •  Jul 9, 2015 at 12:41 am

      Um, Bill Clinton was from Arkansas, Sean Flynn. Did you forget about him? Arkansas is in the South.

      • Sean Flynn  •  Jul 10, 2015 at 10:17 am

        Got me on that one.

    • Tom Bell  •  Jul 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Sean: I think it is too early to judge W’s presidency as a failure or success. Cleary the invasion of Iraq was poorly done at best and arguably a financial and geopolitical disaster (again still early to judge final impact). The knock on impact of diverting needed resources from the Afghanistan campaign was the first negative result coming from our strategic overstretch, championed by policy wonks who have little to no military training.

      If you want to talk about political failures ask why the Democratic party has changed so much since the 60s. The watershed IMO was the 1968 convention where the party structure started to change. Special interest caucuses, deriving power from bottom up, supplanted top down power exercised in party politics. This has increasing driven the party left away from the center and from conservative elements favored by a majority of Americans in pursuit of the American Dream.

      If you look at JFK policies you would see: strong national defense, anti-communist focus internationally, mixed economic policies but not LBJs great society. Until 1968 economic basis the Dems were center left and GOP center right. Having lost the southern conservative element of the party sealed by Reagan’s election in 1980, the Dems have increasing been on the wrong side of the economic issues. Furthermore forceful international interactions have been largely resisted by the Democratic party now controlled by McGovernite minions who have driven the economic and international conservatives from the party.

      I’m 57 and remember Sam Nunn. He would never have risen or remained in power in the Democratic party of today. Until the party can attract a conservative element back into the party, they will be doomed to gaining power during the interludes when the GOP has exercised power and smooched the pooch ..i.e. Baby Bushes 8 years and a GOP congress that broke the brand on conservative spending restraints.

      One historical note. Internationally the McGovern style left leaning policies have had terrible consequences for our influence abroad. Foreign leaders considering supporting the US remember the Democratic controlled congress that pulled away all military funding away from S. Vietnam leading to its collapse in 1973. Dishonorably disregarding our promises made to get their support to the Paris Peace settlement that ended our involvement in that tragic conflict.

      I believe Obama’s hasty retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan is symptomatic of the party’s aversion to exercising political and military power aboard. Interesting side note: this has added in the rise of ISIL in the Middle East. This barbaric malignancy may force a reaction among the Middle East regimes that the Bush wonk’s Democratic Iraqi was to have done. Unfortunately, the direction they choose to follow in each of their countries may not be what W’s advisors had envisioned.

      • Gary Liniger  •  Jul 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm

        JFK would have instituted the war on poverty if he had faced Goldwater and won by that margin. JFK’s liberalism is underestimated by both the left and the right. He was close to his brothers in beliefs and they were both quite liberal. As for Sam Nunn the same would be true of Jacob Javits in the Republican party. Both liberals and conservatives of the 1960’s wanted conservative and liberal parties and they got them in spades. Thus the politics of the 21st century. Politics that thus far look to be fruitless.

  4. Lance  •  Jul 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    It is very shallow to look at the American Revolution as a simple tax revolt. In fact it was a long protracted constitutional crisis that among the representation issue included colonial indictments against king and parliament for breaking with constitutional customs, rights and traditions. The evidence for this understanding is laid out very well in Trevor Colbourn’s Lamp of Experience, Jack P Greene’s Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution, John Reid’s Constitutional History of the American Revolution, among others.

    To then take a simplistic understanding of the causes of the American Revolution and point out how that doesn’t apply to southern session is a nice lawyer’s trick but doesn’t convincingly prove that the American Revolution could not be considered the antecedent a second American secession. In fact, if one will take the time to review SC’s Declaration of Causes for secession they frame their arguments as just such a constitutional crisis that I think would have been familiar to our founding rebels.

    • Scot  •  Jul 10, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      Looking at the South Carolina declaration, the first specific complaint that I see is that the Fugitive Slave Act wasn’t always enforced in the North. In fact, the complaints deal with the fact that the, as the declaration names them, ‘non-slaveholding states’ weren’t accepting of the expansion of slavery. They also objected to some of the Northern states granting citizenship to blacks.

  5. Lance  •  Jul 9, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I will add that Michael is absolutely correct when stating that the Confederate “Stars & Bars” is a representation of secession but I would also add that it symbolizes home rule, the importance of state and community over national and the impersonal and compact over coercion.

  6. Sylvia  •  Jul 10, 2015 at 2:52 am

    I agree with Lance. As a person born and raised in the South and still living in the south, I have a very strong attachment to my home state. I am an American. But I am also a Georgian. Georgia is my home{land} so to speak. If Georgia was attacked today I would fight for her. Life is complicated. War is complicated. Politics are complicated. Being Southern is a state of mind. We even have our own magazine, Southern Living. I have never heard of “Northern Living.”

  7. Sylvia  •  Jul 10, 2015 at 3:00 am

    The Civil War was fought by the common man for the most part. Not mostly by wealthy people, and not by the politicians. By simple farmers etc.

  8. Keith  •  Jul 10, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Thank you thank you thank you Michael! I know this is probably a sensitive subject for you, especially since your wife is eligible to be a Daughter of the Confederacy, and you undoubtedly have a lot of listeners who have Neo-Confederate sympathies. For everyone who’s interested in this from a conservative perspective, I can’t recommend highly enough Vindicating Lincoln by Thomas Krannawitter.

  9. Marshall Lawson  •  Jul 10, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    The constitutional delegates at Philadelphia believed they were delegating limited and enumerated powers to a nascent federal government for the purposes of promoting the common defense and trade. They didn’t know it but they we really creating an early version of the Soviet Union with a tyrannical government that would completely overshadow and subsume the States and from which they could never leave under penalty of death.

    And according to the Lincoln worshipers like Mr. Medved, the North was not only morally right in attacking and subjugating a peaceful neighbor but Southerners are to blame for the crime of simply wanting their own nation. Under that line of thinking, one should conclude that Stalin was a real mensch!

    • ulyssesmsu  •  Jul 10, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Baloney. Southerners were to blame for the heinous crime of slavery, and for refusing to give full human and civil rights to all people, including the black people they had enslaved within their evil empire. Nothing they try to say, then or now, will take away the shame of what they did to those black people, and the crimes they committed both before and after the Civil War against the blacks and against the rest of the nation to try to preserve their demented “way of life.” Most of the problems the US has faced in its history have been associated with the South and its twisted mentality, its inbred connection with the Democrat political party, and all the sick, evil behavior that has come from all of that in the meantime. Nothing can justify the damage the South has done to this nation, and if we’re lucky enough to survive another 200 years, the South might be able to repay and repair all the damage it has caused. Maybe.

      • Gary Liniger  •  Jul 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm

        Ulyssesmsu: You need to change Democrate to conservative.

  10. Darwin Wyatt  •  Jul 11, 2015 at 6:00 am

    I wonder where the 20 SC R’s who voted against taking down the flag over the memorial stand on the missing 30 million black people aborted? Just a guess but I bet these 20 R’s oppose abortion?

    How many Frederick Douglas’s or Martin Luther King’s or Ben Carson’s or Neil deGrasse Tyson’s were lost? Or discoveries like cold fusion or a cancer cure?

    From abortion to failing schools to inner city disasters to destruction of the family, the last thing blacks should be worried about is the confederate flag. I think it’s obvious they should be worried about democrats.

  11. ELI  •  Jul 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm


  12. Claude  •  Jul 16, 2015 at 9:59 am

    The southerners are the worst. Even Amazon thinks so.
    You can’t buy that evil Confederate battle flag. Only good and decent flags, representing true freedom and human dignity.
    Like ISIS and the Soviet Union. And I saw a Waffen SS flag.
    But not a Confederate flag. It’s official now. Being from the south is worse than being a Nazi.

  13. mark e larson  •  Jul 16, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Please help san diego listen to the Medved Show. The Davis/Boze incompetence caused KCBQ to cancel the last hour of the Medved Show. We no longer get Call of the Week, Disagreement Day, and Open Mind Friday. Please call the asst program director at 1(888)344-1170 between the hours of 6 and 9 am Pacific Standard Time and demand the Medved Show,

    • S.D. listener  •  Jul 17, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      San Diego has many independent-minded listeners who want to hear some real debate, not just ideological affirmation. This is the only conservative show I listen to on a regular basis. I usually check the website or listen to 1st few minutes to see if the whole show is going to be devoted to one topic like “conspiracy day”. In the past, the first hour often has Michael inviting people to call in to defend some dubious Democratic political stance; this is usually the most partisan hour, and I usually focus on some tasks I need to do.

      The 2nd hour often involves a real give-and-take discussion between the host and someone with a different view on some cultural issue. Some of the topics, like intelligent design, are when Michael is at his best. The listener is truly informed, especially when Michael is moderating a debate between two guests. The 3rd hour is usually open enough to keep my interest.

      Lately, the 1st 2 hours of the show have been nothing but partisan “agit-prop”, a constant parade of conservative politicians running for president. For God’s sake, the election is still many months from now! The only tough question came from a listener who pointed out to Rick Perry that the reason Texas students were graduating at a higher rate was because the number of requirements had been reduced; Michael himself had to stifle his amused reaction!

      The slogan on the network used to be “intelligent talk radio”; now it’s “The Answer”. Maybe this is why the show has become more partisan and why many San Diego listeners are tuning out.

  14. stephen  •  Jul 16, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Oh yeah, I as a southerner will never ever vote for a Republican for South Carolina Governor. I have never been more offended by a paid for political party radio host in my life. They have taken the Confederate flag off of my Great Grandfathers’ grave. The privileged political oligarchy that Mister Medved supports is just as bad as the Reconstruction. We as poor dumb ignorant Southerners do not have the right to disagree. Mr. Medved, I have raised my sister’s biracial son as my own. I have traveled in middle of the night to help her daughters. I despise what you stand for. Unlike you people not from the South, we down here were poor. Sharecropping, Mill Company Stores, and despised as Segregationists. Well that came from Woodrow Wilson, a PHD.
    College degrees are nice. The chosen few basking in their feeling of superiority because you grew up in the enlightened North or West Coast also nice.
    Whites and Blacks who were poor lived together in neighborhoods. They worked the same deadly jobs for scrip that could only be redeemed in the Mills the Carpetbaggers brought down South. We know how to live together and when we finally realize that both parties are full of lies and deceit. I hope on that day we stop donating to those corpulent putrid parties and vote for someone, anyone else. There is no two party system. We have the very best politicians and radio personalities that MONEY CAN BUY…..

  15. Chris Johnson  •  Jul 18, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I wish some of you ill conceived people had the understanding that some of those people did a 150 years ago about the South, and the enemy the fought, like general Grant, Sherman , and yes Lincoln. They wanted to simply heal the Nation again, and looked again to the southerners has their countrymen. Not an enemy.

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