“Of the People, by the People, for the People”?

Well, we now have the current Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott (R), advocating for, if not secession, something very much like it. This is, I think, far more serious than former Governor Rick Perry’s mention of it (as unfortunate as that was). I wrote about this in the conclusion to Loathing Lincoln, where I quoted Congressman Ron Paul, who in his book Liberty Defined predicted, perhaps accurately, that “no constitutional amendment will be passed to explicitly permit nullification or secession,” but “through a new relationship evolving out of current economic and political chaos, something approaching this goal is about to come” (page 328, Loathing Lincoln).

This, from the “Party of Lincoln.” (for a contrary view, see here and read at your leisure). I wish Abbott would read this piece, from Timothy Sandefur. I’d also be interested to hear what current candidates, Republican and Democrat, have to say about these ideas.

As I’ve stated on this blog before, people ask me from time to time to quantify anti-Lincoln sentiment, and my standard response is that this is impossible to do (although it increasingly seems that one could simply tally votes). But, it is there, and quite prevalent in our country, with all the deleterious consequences that follow.

Abbott’s recommendations reminds me of Sheldon Wolin’s book, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, which if I understand it correctly, argues that we can maintain the forms of democratic rule, when in fact they have largely ceased to exist. Is this where, as Lincoln once put it, “we are tending”, a society where, as Wolin said, “inequalities will be taken for granted, rationalized, perhaps celebrated” (page 157)? Where government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” is paid lip-service only?





One thought on ““Of the People, by the People, for the People”?

  1. Calling for a constitutional convention of the states, as provided for by the US Constitution as a means to curb the power of the federal government is not the same as succession, so I don’t follow your logic there. I would also be wary of relying on commentary from liberal sites such as the Huffington Post to explain conservative views. A convention, that Governor Abbott and others have called for is also very much in line with the sentiments expressed by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: ” That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” A constitutional convention to discuss ways to reign in an overreaching administration and supreme court seems to me a civilized and constitutionally legal way bring about change, much more preferable than succession or civil war.

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