December 24, 2007

The Paul Southern Strategy

Ron Paul articulating his southern strategy and other oddities.

"Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war…. [President Abraham Lincoln] did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic," Paul said. "Every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn't sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach."

Sounds like a pretty reasonable approach if it had any connection to reality and actual historical events. Every other major country used slaves, mainly in their East Indies and South American plantation system, but only in the American south had the institution evolved into a slave economy dependant on slavery for its very economic survival. Northern politicians made a series of slavery compromises over the course of the first 75 years in the interests of holding the Union together. It was the radical Fire-eaters in the south and the Barnburner Democrats in the north that were willing to go to war over the question of abolition. Lincoln was not an abolitionist initially, he preferred to contain slavery within its current borders in the hopes that it would eventually die. The south equated containment with abolition. Once South Carolina seceded he was determined to settle the question once and for all.

If Ron Paul is trying to link Lincoln to some conspiracy to undermine the Constitution he is more of a loon than I suspected. Perhaps Mr Paul's longing for a return to the original intent of the republic includes the return to the "3/5ths" Compromise.

He goes on to say he'd vote against the Civil Rights Act as it was passed in 1964. "If it were written the same way, where the federal government's taken over property--has nothing to do with race relations," Perhaps the lost property that Paul laments was the black man. The act overturned 100 years of Jim Crow suppression in the south and to argue otherwise is to embrace the type of rhetoric that oozes from the dark side of the Internet. Ron Paul is not the type of man that should be anywhere near the reigns of power.

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