Editor’s Note: I’m running this in its entirety. I am pretty sure that I have copied and pasted the whole thing this time. My response is below.
Dear Mr. Wallace:
For a second time you have not honored my stipulation that the material I sent you “be run in its entirety and without edits.” In “Response to Thomas Main 2” you edited out the following key paragraphs:
So you are explicitly admitting my central contention, which is that you reject “all men are created equal” and hate America. You offer long and unconvincing defenses of these positions. But they are not to the point, which is that you and Alt-Rightists dishonor American founding principles and America.
If, on another occasion, you want to debate the truth of those iconic five words, I will participate. In that event let’s be clear the phrase refers to political equality and nothing else. That not everyone is equally strong, fast, or smart is too obvious to insist upon. But I insist, along with progressives, that in spite of real differences, all have the same rights and are political equals while you do not.
You did not even bother to indicate with ellipses or otherwise that you had edited out this important portion of my response, which is simply dishonest.
It is telling that you edited out my point that all men are created equal “refers to political equality and nothing else.” So all your talk about how the strong and the weak, the intelligent and the dimwitted, etc. are not “exactly equal in every single way” is true as far as it goes but not to the point. Jeffersonian equality means only that people are equal in one way, that is, politically equal. You and the Alt-Right will not admit that people of all races, sexes, and conditions are politically equal, which is radically at odds with American principles and the America progressives and others are working to build.
I wrote that if you did not run my piece “without edits…you will be admitting that you cannot respond to a fair presentation of my argument.” And so you have.
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”
First, I would like to apologize for not running your entire response earlier this morning. This was an oversight on my part. These exchanges are running into thousands of words now. Hopefully, you will now agree that I have posted everything above in full from your latest email.
Second, as I have explained at length your central contention is historically false. The phrase “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence referred specifically to republicanism. The American Revolution was fought to secure American independence and to establish a republican form of government. In addition to being a fight between American colonists and Great Britain, it was a civil war between Patriots and Tories, a slave insurrection, Indian wars along the frontier and a global conflict that drew in foreign German mercenaries and other European powers most notably France.
The Founding Fathers implemented the vision of “all men are created equal” by establishing a republican government. In the U.S. Constitution, the principle of political equality announced in the Declaration of Independence took the form of “equal Suffrage in the Senate.” The American Founding secured equality between the states in Congress. Each state had a republican form of government and was left to determine matters such as citizenship, political rights and regulation of morals.
In spite of what you seem to so ardently believe, the American Founding and specifically the text of Declaration of Independence was not a progressive liberal wishing well. The text of the Declaration condemns King George III for inciting “domestic insurrections amongst us” and“the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages.” The Constitution says our government was established “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” It does not say that our government was established to secure political equality among men. In fact, it refers to “excluding Indians not taxed” as well as “three fifths of all other Persons” who were flatly not citizens.
The Founding Fathers created a White Republic that limited naturalization to “any alien, being a free white person.” This standard which was established by the Founders remained in effect until the 1950s. As the Dred Scott decision made clear, “no one of that race had ever migrated to the United States voluntarily; all of them had been brought here as articles of merchandise.” They were excluded by the Second Congress in 1792 from serving in the militia. They were excluded from the U.S. Navy in 1813. “They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” Blacks were not American citizens in 1861.
Now, I know that may sound harsh to modern ears, but it is factually true. The American Founding did not establish the principle of political equality as you understand it. This did not occur until the Reconstruction era and that required the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (the first federal civil rights law in American history) and the Reconstruction amendments to establish birthright citizenship. On the eve of the War Between the States, only five New England states recognized black citizenship – Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire. Even after the war, Connecticut was still voting against it. Such was the state of the principle of political equality!
Thomas Jefferson who wrote the words “all men are created equal” was a race realist, a white supremacist and a White separatist. He was also an ardent republican. He believed that free blacks could enjoy equal rights, not in the United States, but in their own polity in Africa. The colony of Liberia was set up for this purpose of returning blacks to Africa. The American Colonization Society was supported by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. The capital of Liberia is named in honor of President Monroe. Blacks did not gain American citizenship and voting rights until the Reconstruction era.
The American Founding secured the natural rights of life, liberty and property. Republican citizenship did not automatically imply voting rights. In the state of Rhode Island, it wasn’t until the Dorr Rebellion of 1841-42 that even most White men acquired the right to vote. Free blacks lost voting rights in Pennsylvania in 1838. There were property requirements that limited voting rights in the Early Republic and Antebellum eras. Women and American Indians acquired voting rights in the 20th century.
Throughout the United States, Herrenvolk Democracy was the political mainstream in the early 19th century everywhere outside of New England:
“Between the 1820s and the Civil War, mass democratic politics arrived in the United States. For the first time in the history of the republic, the franchise was expanded significantly and requirements for officeholding were lessened. Elections involving a statewide and national electorate became commonplace. The routine of elections attracted vigorous competition among candidates and new political parties. Rituals of popular politics – barbecues, parades, and pageantry – became hallmarks of this new mass democratic system. The partisan press grew significantly, carrying the message of political debate to a loyal audience. At the same time, especially in the South, this was limited democracy: women could not vote, and non-whites were barred from the franchise. The emerging, Jacksonian political system was what sociologist Pierre L. van den Berghe calls “herrenvolk democracy,” a democracy composed only of white male participants.
An expansionist, aggressive racism – seeking to establish white supremacy as a governing political value – drove the democratic impulses evident in the antebellum South. The American political system, said Alabamian William Lowndes Yancey in 1860, was built on two ideas: “The first is that the white race is the citizen, and the master race, and the white man the equal of every other white man. The second idea is that the Negro is the inferior race.” As politics became a more democratized cultural event, paradoxically white supremacy dominated the political culture. Herrenvolk democracy became hostile to nonwhites, manifesting itself in phenomenon as diverse as Indian removal, treatment of free people of color, and effort to solidify the racial bases of the slave system.”
In this period, the states also wielded vast powers and defined who was citizen, who could vote and how morals should be regulated without interference from the federal government:
“Among self-descriptions, the sense of coming from a locality loomed large. When Henry Augustine Washington looked at the Virginian world inherited from the colonial period, he saw localism as its characteristic. Virginia was but “a number of little societies scattered through the country, each with a distinct organization,” a colony which “proceeded upon the principle of leaving each of these little societies all the power which could abide there, and carrying to the great central society only so much as was absolutely necessary to the ends of social order.” A decade earlier, John C. Calhoun had said of Daniel Webster: “I do not censure him for his local feelings. The Author of our being never intended that creatures of our limited faculties should embrace with equal intensiveness of affection the remote and the near.”
Locality took many forms. There were states, regions, counties, and cities. Of these, most important was loyalty to a state, because it was in states that law, culture, and manners most powerfully intermingled. States had widely different origins, and all were idiosyncratic, something of which their residents were acutely aware. The Marylander was conscious of Catholic toleration, the Virginian of Jamestown and George Washington, the South Carolinian of Francis Marion and Charles II; each state had its peculiar mix, an awareness of which the antebellum years enriched.
Whatever else a state was, it was a legal fact. It had a constitution and laws which defined rights and obligations, controlled property, including that of slaves, possessed a politics, structured marriage and divorce (or the lack of it), monitored many of the rules of finance and trade, provided higher education, and represents its citizens to the nation and the world. As between state and nation, the state was imcomparably the more influential upon the life of citizen and noncitizen alike. As Abel P. Upshur put it, “In the daily business of life, we act under the protection and guidance of the State governments … There is nothing dear to our feelings or valuable in our social condition, for which we are not indebted to their protecting and benignant action.”
You claim the Alt-Right hates America.
You claim that we dishonor the American Founding principles and America. Presumably, this is because we are not toppling statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson like violent leftist mobs.
The essential difference between us on the American Founding boils down to this: our view is supported by the historical record while yours is obviously not. Your interpretation of the Declaration of Independence is approaching it as if it were a reflecting pool, seeing ideas in the document that were never there like, say, feminism or “black trans” liberation and disingenuously attributing it to Thomas Jefferson instead of tracing the true genealogy of these ideas. In the case of Critical Social Justice Theory, its origins are unquestionably in the Marxism and postmodernism of late 20th century continental Europe.
Everything I have said here is true. This is why violent leftwing mobs are toppling statues. Actually, we are right and the American Founding was racist, sexist, nativist, xenophobic, homophobic and transphobic. BuzzFeed News is right that there wasn’t a single “black trans” woman who signed the Declaration of Independence or who was consulted at the Constitutional Convention. Even George Fitzhugh in his darkest moments didn’t anticipate the full train of absurdities that is progressive liberalism.
Lucifer was the first egalitarian. He was swollen full of pride and rebelled against God and was cast out of Heaven. He didn’t know his place. In that sense, you could say he is like the mascot of progressive liberalism. You can see how the bodies and souls of his followers have been twisted and disordered by sin. This is the sort of progress that liberals are working so hard to build in their attempt to pervert the natural order and turn it upside down. It has been one long march straight toward perdition.
Yes, we are opposed to this politically and spiritually as well. July the 4th is ours!