Brion McClanahan: John C. Calhoun’s Legacy

John C. Calhoun is also on my mind.

I feel like he has been resurrected and is here with us in spirit in 2022.

New York Times:

“The structural advantages that conservatives enjoy in our electoral system are well known. Twice already this young century, the Republican Party has won the Electoral College and thus the presidency while losing the popular vote. Republicans in the Senate haven’t represented a majority of Americans since the 1990s, yet they’ve controlled the chamber for roughly half of the past 20 years. In 2012 the party managed to take control of the House even though Democrats won more votes.

And as is now painfully clear to Democratic voters, their party faces significant barriers to success in Washington even when it manages to secure full control of government: The supermajority requirement imposed by the Senate filibuster can stall even wildly popular legislation, and Republicans have stacked the judiciary so successfully that the Supreme Court seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, an outcome that around 60 percent of the American people oppose, according to several recent polls. Obviously, none of the structural features of our federal system were designed with contemporary politics and the Republican Party in mind. But they are clearly giving a set of Americans who have taken strongly to conservative ideology — rural voters in sparsely populated states in the middle of the country — more power than the rest of the electorate.

Jan. 6 demonstrated that the choice the country now faces isn’t one between disruptive changes to our political system and a peaceable status quo. To believe otherwise is to indulge the other big lie that drew violence to the Capitol in the first place. The notion that the 18th-century American constitutional order is suited to governance in the 21st is as preposterous and dangerous as anything Mr. Trump has ever uttered. It was the supposedly stabilizing features of our vaunted system that made him president to begin with and incubated the extremism that turned his departure into a crisis. …”

New York Times:

“The Jan. 6 attack would not have happened in a genuine democracy.

The attack was the most acute symptom — so far — of the political crisis that Donald Trump incited by refusing to admit defeat in the 2020 election. But the roots of the crisis run deep into the undemocratic features of our constitutional system. …

At a more basic level, today’s Republican Party succeeds only because the Electoral College, the Senate and the Supreme Court all tilt in its favor. That system has handed conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, despite the fact that only one Republican has won the presidential popular vote after 1988. A party doesn’t have to persuade majorities that it has the best vision for the country. It only has to persuade a selective minority that the other side is a mortal threat. Its grasp on power may be too tenuous for the party to govern effectively, but it has offered conservatives a fine perch to weaken economic and environmental regulation, appoint conservative judges and launch attacks on the democratic system itself.

In a more democratic system, the Republican Party’s extreme elements would have been sent packing long before they stormed the Capitol because they couldn’t muster enough votes to win a national election. Instead, they have perfected minority rule as a path to political success. An antidemocratic system has bred an antidemocratic party. The remedy is to democratize our so-called democracy. …”

If this is the way the system works and it excludes toxic shitlib urbanites in coastal Blue States from wielding unchecked power, maybe it is our democracy?

The Guardian:

“An incipient illegitimacy crisis is under way, whoever is elected in 2022, or in 2024. According to a University of Virginia analysis of census projections, by 2040, 30% of the population will control 68% of the Senate. Eight states will contain half the population. The Senate malapportionment gives advantages overwhelmingly to white, non– college educated voters. In the near future, a Democratic candidate could win the popular vote by many millions of votes and still lose. Do the math: the federal system no longer represents the will of the American people. …”

I’m watching all this talk about “white supremacy” and “the insurrection” and the imminent death of “our democracy” and secession and “voter suppression.” What would John C. Calhoun do?

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  1. What would John C. Calhoun do? (1) Invade and annex Mexico, Haiti and Cuba, and move most of the inhabitants to reservations making room for U.S. settlers; (2) purchase and use dozens of slaves (or employees); and (3) champion the constitutional, sovereign right of all fifty states to allow slavery (if not chattel slavery, then wage slavery) within their borders.

      • I went way overboard on that comment, and your reaction is correct. While Calhoun did own dozens of Negro slaves and he did consistently champion states rights for Negro slavery, but he absolutely did not support U.S. foreign policy toward Mexico.

        As a pragmatic politician, his position on war ranged from being a chief hawk pushing for war with the British Empire to the appearance of almost an isolationist by opposing and vetoing the annexation of Mexico, when it would have been extremely easy for the Empire (U.S.) to do so, on the basis that the U.S. could not absorb, isolate or dispose of that many Non-White native Americans and half-White (“White”) Mexicans. He was also weary, or wary, after the near-loss of the War of 1812 (in which the U.S. failed to conquer Canada) and an immense war debt that was still being paid off. He would also not have supported adding territory by invading Cuba or other Spanish colonies, or Haiti, although he was such an enemy of Haiti that he opposed even diplomatic relations with Haiti. However, I lthink if he were alive today (you had asked “what would John C. Calhoun do”) as a pragmatic politician he would support U.S. policy toward Haiti, including the slow de facto takeover of Gonave Island, as well as most of the rest of U.S. imperialist foreign policy, that produces ummense wealth for the elites and does benefit ordinary White people by “trickle down” economics. The U.S. no longer has to invade and annex foreign countries, because Neoliberalism and neo-colonialism work so much better. I looked for a Calhoun quotation:

        “It is without example or precedent, wither to hold Mexico as a province, or to incorporate her into our Union. No example of such a line of policy can be found. We have conquered many of the neighboring tribes of Indians, but we have never thought of holding them in subjection—never of incorporating them into our Union. They have either been left as an independent people amongst us, or been driven into the forests. I know further, sir, that we have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union.”

        Of course the politician is telling lies that there was never any “example of such a line of policy” and that the indigenous people are either being “left independent” or “driven into the forest” and are “never incorporated.” There was, in reality, violent conflict, dispossession of land, and outright genocide going on constantly, and the survivors were being driven into desert wastelands to the West – not into lush, useful forests – and there was always plenty of incorporation: inevitable interracial mixing of natives and White settlers. Calhoun’s political support and personal practice of African chattel slavery, that also inevitably leads to interracial mixing, also contradicted his position against the conquest of Mexico on the basis of harming White racial purity:

        “To incorporate Mexico would be the very first instance of the kind of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that (…) The greatest misfortunes of Spanish America are to be traced to the fatal error of placing these colored races on an equality with the white race.”

        Calhoun is the one who called African slavery (importation, domestic breeding, sales and use) “a positive good” for White America, that should never be apologized for or legally restricted. Calhoun also slightly praised Native Americans as “Our noble savages—for noble I will call them. They, for the most part, had free institutions, but they are easily sustained among a savage people.” If the Native Americans had not been so easily dispossessed and destroyed, the sentiment of “nobility” might have been different.

      • Yeah, we should have just nuked the land from the Border to about 100 miles north of Mexico City, making it a ‘death zone’ for the next 20,000 years.
        Now, THAT’S a WALL.

      • Calhoun did not vote against but actually abstained from the vote on the declaration of war. Northern Whigs were generally opposed to the war on principle, but Calhoun was calculating that adding more territory could create more free states, and that introducing Negro slavery into Mexico would be very difficult.

        Revolutionary Mexico had long since abolished slavery, had too few Negroes to begin with, and there was frightening discussion in the Senate, including the Wilmot Proviso, of forbidding the introduction of slavery in any annexed Mexican territory.

        Yet Calhoun did not oppose annexation of Texas, and rest of the entire northern half of Mexico, including Colorado, New Mexico, California, all of trhe Southwest, even though it was full of full-blooded Indians needing to be disposed of, because the presence of half-White Mexicans was sparse and the influence of revolutionary Mexico was tenuous there. Calhoun is no hero of the anti-war movement. I think if he were in office today he would support U.S. global imperialism.

  2. . The notion that the 18th-century American constitutional order is suited to governance in the 21st is as preposterous and dangerous as anything Mr. Trump has ever uttered.

    Sounds like something out of the Clichés of Socialism. A book that I have in my library.

  3. The kikes & commie race traitors have shrieked for a solid year about Dump trying to overturn an election result – while they’re trying to overturn the constitution.

    May these scum have ever more to shriek about,

    • I know, right? They didn’t give a DAMN during the EIGHT YEARS of the Obamanation about ‘our democracy’ – but now, they’re bitching?

      Cry me a river.

      “An ‘honest’ politician…. is one that stays bought.” – Robert A. Heinlein, American sci-fi writer

      “… the existence of a common and distinctive quality of all humans need not imply their social, political, or existential equality, any more than the fact that all material objects have mass imply that they all have the same weight…’.

      ‘Even granting a “brotherhood of men” under Christ, “the brotherhood of men does not imply their equality.” He continues: “Neither does men’s equality before God imply their equality as among themselves.” Even if God, from his divine and lofty standpoint, views us all as equals, any putative inter-human equality “is entirely irrelevant”…’.

      ‘The historical and psychological researches of the past century have rendered the theory which lies behind the practice of modern democracy entirely untenable. Reason is not the same in all men; human beings belong to a variety of psychological types separated from one another by irreducible differences.’ ” – A. Huxley – all from

      “A Christian who worships Christ in spirit and truth will not worship democracy. And the democratic heresy is the first obstacle that must be overcome before white self-defense can begin. A white Christian will not refuse to fight, in the fullest sense of the word, when such fighting takes him outside the parameters of democracy.”-

      • ‘The historical and psychological researches of the past century have rendered the theory which lies behind the practice of modern democracy entirely untenable. Reason is not the same in all men; human beings belong to a variety of psychological types separated from one another by irreducible differences.’ ” – A. Huxley

        The constitution was created by White men to govern White men. The legal constraints that will control most Whites are ineffective on most niggers because their deadly combo of abysmal IQs & sky-high testosterone mean that they don’t possess the foresight to see the consequences of their actions. And millions of innocent Whites have paid for this with their lives & the lives of their loved ones.

  4. Calhoun had a much different and probably much better vision for the US. We probably wouldn’t have Mexicans here (or Texas) for example. Africans would probably have been repatriated. The South would be much more like Europe. We probably would not have had steamship immigration either making the US much smaller in population. Hard to say. Calhoun was popular in the North also. Many towns and counties named after him.

    • Interesting takes, KT-88. The War Between the States destroyed the original USA, which was roughly akin to the Roman Republic, and replaced it with a latter-day Roman Empire.

    • “Africans would probably have been repatriated”:

      Very unlikely.

      More likely it is that more would have been shipped here from Africa, and that the vast farmlands of the new western states and terrritories could have been developed much faster thanks to a greater supply of the “human farm implements.” Instead, developing California had to rely on the indigenous (who didn’t work well) and Chinese coolies (very good workers) and finally, desperate White “Okies” for wage slaves.

  5. It seems odd watching liberal wackos moaning and bitching about a minority of the population having too much say so on things. These are the same people for my entire life have never shut up for more than a minute about 12% of the population, are they being treated fairly? how do they feel? The rest of us must ask every five minutes if we’ve done something to offend them, meaning of course the sainted negro.

    I thought liberals loved minorities, it’s all they’re ever able to think about.

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