Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews.com continues his explorations of motivations which underlie the extreme political right wing’s increasingly troubling policies and attitudes. He begins by reiterating the obvious when he says,
The Right’s hostility to “guv-mint” is not new. It traces back to the South’s fears that any activism by the national government, whether building roads or providing disaster relief, would risk federal intervention against slavery and later against segregation, perhaps even the end of white supremacy . . .
He later adds,
. . . the Founders recognized the need for order if their experiment in self-governance was to work. Even some of the more radical Founders, the likes of Sam Adams, supported the suppression of domestic disorders, such as Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts and the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. The logic of Adams and his cohorts was that an uprising against a distant monarch was one thing, but taking up arms against your own republican government was something else.
But the Tea Partiers are not entirely wrong when they insist that their hatred of “guv-mint” has its roots in the Founding era. There was an American tradition that involved resisting a strong and effective national government. It was, however, not anchored in the principles of “liberty,” but rather in the practice of slavery. (highlight added)
Parry details many of the machinations that Virginians such as James Madison, George Mason, and Patrick Henry undertook. Their goals were twofold: to find the means of ensuring ratification of the new Constitution by Slave States, and to assure them that slavery as an institution and way of life would not be compromised by any of the language and wording in the main body of the document. And in result:
Virginia’s delegates narrowly approved the Constitution on a 89-79 vote.
The key constitutional revision to allay the fears of Southern plantation owners was the Second Amendment, which recognized that “a well-regulated Militia [was] necessary to the security of a free State,” echoing Mason’s language about “domestic safety” as in the protection against slave revolts.
The rest of the Second Amendment – that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” – was meant by definitions of the day to ensure the right to “bear Arms” as part of a “well-regulated Militia.” Only in modern times has that meaning been distorted – by the American Right – to apply to individual Americans carrying whatever gun they might want.
But the double-talk about the Second Amendment didn’t begin in recent years. It was there from the beginning when the First Congress acted with no apparent sense of irony in using the wording, “a free State,” to actually mean “a slave State.” And, of course, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” didn’t apply to black people.
The Second Congress enacted the Militia Acts, which mandated that military-age “white” men must obtain muskets and other supplies to participate in bearing arms for their state militias. Thus, the South was guaranteed its militias for “domestic safety.”
After continuing with a remarkable and compelling recitation of historic details implicit in 18th, 19th, and 20th century’s ‘resistance’ (for lack of a better word) politics, Parry ends with his summation:
. . . the biggest secret withheld from the American people is that today’s Right is actually promoting a set of anti-government positions that originally arose to justify and protect the South’s institution of slavery. The calls of “liberty” then covered the cries of suffering from human bondage, just as today’s shouts of outrage reflect resentment over the first African-American president.
The roots of today’s Wingnut movement, whether it’s called ‘conservative,’ or ‘Tea Party,’ or ‘Libertarian,’ or even the umbrella word, ‘Republican’ — are clearly and constantly rooted in racism in one way or another. We watch daily as the collective ‘they’ rants and carries on about virtually any issue that involves skin color other than white, or religions other than “Christian;” languages other than English; ‘wimmin’ in positions of authority when they ought to be home, barefoot, and pregnant; sexual preferences other than “normal;” we listen to the constant and NeveR-ending screAms concerning gun “rights” . . . along with accusations that the “Communists” are behind EVERY tree, and that President Obama himself is a “Marxist-Communist-Fascist-Muslim-Terrorist,” that he is clearly NOT an American, that he was foreign-born with a Communist-Muslim BLACK father whose goal was to have his son become President and overthrow the Amurka we all know and love. One World Government, etc., ad infinitum.
Hate and fear is their mantra, and their racial hatred leads to fear of everything, esp. the ‘guv-mint.’ Racial fear and hatred defined America at her birth, and sadly, it continues to define, today, a major political segment of that same America.
I’m damn sick of it all. Sick of the ingrained and deeply embedded ignorance, sick of wanton gun violence, sick of hearing nonsensical narrations that are based in nothing other that hatred and fear, in fear and hatred combined with the (horror of horrors!) reality that we have a (twice-ELECTED!) black Aframerican President, and his family, occupying the White House. And ‘wimmin’ are in the work place, often in positions of authority. And Sharia Law is everywhere in the shadows, waiting to POUNCE! And gays are allowed in the military! And in lots of states gays and lesbians can marry! And blacks can own guns! And illegal Mexicans are everywhere . . . mowing my yard, trimming my trees, harvesting my melons . . . and voting for Obama, illegally! And a black guy is in the WHITE House! Oh Ick!
Their world is falling apart. So I have a suggestion to help assuage AND accelerate, a suggestion which I’ve made over and over again:
REPEAL THE SECOND AMENDMENT!
It’s based in racism, in hatred and in fear; it has NO practical basis, and accomplishes nothing worthwhile, nothing that ‘defines’ a civilization worthy of even a moment’s respect. And perhaps in the process, maybe we might also see to the repeal of each and every other Constitutional and legal proviso that encourages and/or enables Wingnuttistanian fears, along with their implicit hatreds of others based on nothing but skin color, or religious preference/belief, or sexual orientation . . . I’ve had enough of their NONSENSE.
Hope I’m not alone.