So let me get this straight.
Colin Campbell
66

The question of federalism vs. sovereign states was settled in favor of federalism when the Constitution was ratified. It superseded the Articles of Confederation — what you’re describing as the “originalist view” — no ifs, ands, or buts. The Founders had convened in order to make adjustments to the Articles and found they couldn’t do it in any way that would alleviate the economic disaster the Articles had created. There had to be a strong central government. This was understood by everyone who could vote (men of property) and everyone in the state legislatures who voted to ratify. There were various objections to it, but the main one was that if the concept of a league of sovereign states were abandoned and a federal government created, it would inevitably lead to tyranny — and the United States must pull back from the brink. But it was done, and the idea behind the Articles became a dead letter.

That the Confederacy was founded on a racist view was made explicit by Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens in his speech in Savannah, March 21, 1861. He stated that while “the prevailing ideas entertained by him [Jefferson] and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature,” “those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error.” He then stated that “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.” This is the definitive statement by the second-highest officer of the Confederacy. The arguments of today’s fans of the Confederacy — that it was about “states’ rights”, the refusal to acknowledge that the Constitution was the law of the land, and the “tyranny” of the federal government — is a dodge. Even if that were true, it would be an acknowledgement that the Southern states were rebelling against a duly constituted government.

And finally, the notion that destruction of the Jews by the Nazis, and the effort to get rid of racist symbolism in the South, are in any way comparable, is fatuous. No one is rounding up Southerners and killing them in gas chambers. It isn’t about trying to destroy Southern culture any more than Hitler was trying to destroy Jewish culture. Hitler didn’t give a shit about culture. He was trying to destroy us Jews. He considered us subhuman vermin who needed to be exterminated, and he managed to kill a third of us worldwide. Spare us the hyperbole.

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