The Southern Political Tradition is Winning

Nationalist Jeff Sessions gets canned and a nullifier takes his job.

This is actually an odd twist of fate. A friend of mine knows Sessions personally, and he continually expressed disappointment at Sessions’s actions as AG. Jeff Sessions is from Alabama and is named after two famous Confederate heroes, Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard.  His replacement, Matthew Whitaker, hails from that great bastion of federalism, Iowa. But Whitaker said he supported nullification not once, but twice in 2014. Sessions never took such a stand.

You almost couldn’t make this up. The North is out “constitutioning” the South.

Of course, the Twitter legal scholars jumped all over Whitaker after CNN published a November 10 hit piece. So did the “actual legal scholars,” most of whom just regurgitate the same tired nonsense about the supremacy clause, racism, and slavery. Middle school students could get more creative. And most probably know more history.

One Twitter legal scholar said that nullification was acceptable for weed, but anything else should be off the table. This passes for deep thought in 2018.

You see, according to the “actual historians” and “legal scholars,” Whitaker is nothing more than a “hack.” Why? Because he also had the nerve to criticize Marbury v. Madison in addition to saying that the founding generation supported nullification.

He is right on both issues, but to our modern intellectual overlords, Whitaker exemplifies everything they hate, namely people who think independently and have the nerve to say it.

Of course, the Left (and some neoconservatives as well) are challenging Trump’s temporary appointment as unconstitutional. They don’t want a man who won’t bend to their will to have such power. The vanilla Eric Holder was so much better. To be honest, Whitaker probably couldn’t get through the spineless weasels in the Senate, so his time as AG will be short-lived, but even so, this is the first time since the middle of the 19th century that a man with even marginally supportive views of nullification held that position.

The most important takeaway from the Whitaker appointment is that the Southern political tradition is gaining traction and the agents of the state can’t stand it.

Take, for example, the hit piece Think Progress published about the Abbeville Institute’s recent conference on “The Revival of Secession and State Nullification.” I could have written it before the event took place. The “reporter” probably did.

Mention white supremacy and the Confederacy: check.

Mention the SPLC: check.

Mention segregation and slavery: check.

Mention John C. Calhoun and George Wallace: check.

Media outlets like Think Progress really think throwing out these bogeyman comparisons works on anyone with more than a quarter of a brain. That says a lot about their readers.

The “reporter” who attended lied about what organization he represented and only relented after speaker Michael Boldin pressured him into giving up the ghost. What transparency. One Think Progress acolyte wanted to let them know he has been “tracking” the Institute for years if they needed any further information. This makes it seem like the Institute hides in dark corners of the web and holds secret conferences with secret papers that only its secret participants can read. Let me help. The Institute has a FREE website that contains virtually every lecture from every conference FREE of charge along with a FREE podcast, FREE articles, and a YouTube channel with FREE videos. The organization has so much to hide.

This “reporter” understated attendance at the conference, failed to mention that two of the seven conference speakers were Leftists, and conveniently omitted that Boldin used Rosa Parks as an example of nullification. Yes, these speeches were seething with George Wallace inspired white supremacist rage.

Most people who read the Institute’s material or attend its conferences walk away with the impression that the Southern tradition is the American tradition, that so much of what makes America great was born and bred in the South. The Institute’s message is a positive affirmation and academic exploration of what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition. That includes a rich cultural heritage of music, food, literature, and art as well as people (Calhoun, Upshur, Taylor of Caroline, Randolph of Roanoke), symbols (Confederate monuments and flags), and ideas (state nullification and secession) that many in the mainstream political class and media find deplorable. The South is a beautiful mosaic, or better, as Dr. Robert Peters called it, a bountiful garden in need of cultivation.

The Southern political tradition is finding currency in the age of Obama and Trump because unlike the drones at Think Progress and other “mainstream” media outlets, thoughtful people across the political spectrum are seeking solutions to modern problems that don’t involve Washington D.C. They are being distinctively American. But according to the SPLC, that makes them “political extremists.” I wonder if they would use the same classification for Hillary Clinton, or better yet Jefferson and Madison? Clearly not, but the examples of Whitaker and Clinton also means we are winning.

Think Progress and CNN just don’t want you to know it.

About Brion McClanahan

Brion McClanahan is the author or co-author of six books, How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America (Regnery History, 2017), 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America and Four Who Tried to Save Her (Regnery History, 2016), The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, (Regnery, 2009), The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution (Regnery History, 2012), Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012), and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes, (Regnery, 2012). He received a B.A. in History from Salisbury University in 1997 and an M.A. in History from the University of South Carolina in 1999. He finished his Ph.D. in History at the University of South Carolina in 2006, and had the privilege of being Clyde Wilson’s last doctoral student. He lives in Alabama with his wife and three daughters. More from Brion McClanahan

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