ANNALS OF SEDITION : BREAKING UP THE AMERICAN NATION

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^ says “liberty,” means “sedition” : Ted Cruz of Texas

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Before our very eyes, as we watch stupefied, the American nation is breaking up, shattering into its 50 component parts. Actually, we aren’t merely watching. We — the good guys, of course — are actively participating in the break-up. We have no choice but to do so, bcause it is being done to us by forces that will stop at nothing, including the unity of the nation, to have their way with us. The forces I speak of are the billions of dollars, unleashed by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, to PACs that seek to shut down the Federal government, or to block it from working, and to purchase the election, in vulnerable states, of legislatures and governors hired to enact the billion-dollar agenda by which all money flows to the top, as the votes of those being sucked dry are suppressed as ruthlessly as their wages, hours, health insurance, and survival money are taxed and diminished inexorably.

Citizens United came at a time already portentous. The Republican party was already undergoing break-up, as extreme,y regressive donor groups assaulted the party’s governing core. The alarm bells should have sounded as far back as 2006, when the “right wing media entertainment complex,” as opponents call it, snuffed President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. But the warning passed, and even in September 2008, when the House GOP Caucus opposed Bush’s economy-saving TARP program -which passed only because many Democrats voted for it —  the danger was not heeded. Today the regular GOP knows that it has been kidnapped into sedition; it wants badly to get off the break-up train, but as I see it, things have progressed too far for that. Only the Democratic party can stop right-wing sedition, and that only by defeating the GOP seditioners in the states they now control.

Good luck with that. The Democratic Party has a hard enough time defending its own turf right now. It can contest a few states currently dominated by right-wing sedition, but not many. The really dominated stares, such as Kansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas, seem well out of reach, gone and moving even farther away.

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^ not ready to surrender : fighting sedition in North Carolina

Democrats are wont to blame GOP sedition on the significant vote provided to it by reactionary religion.  But these folks, who think they have a right to legislate and tell the rest of us how to live, would be a minor annoyance, a fringe fungus, were their numbers not blended into the “liberty” and “patriot” money bomb. For a while, we who live outside the regions purchased by the money bombers could stand amazed at what was going on. We could laugh at the “legitimate rape” comments, the antics of a Christine O’Donnell, the nazi-ish fulminations of a joe Miller, the selfie-ism of a Ted Cruz. We anger at the trash use of “liberty” to mean sedition and “patriot”: to mean gun brandishing; confident that our own, still respected civil rights are safe. But over the past year or more we have taken to travelling the same route — in the opposite direction. Our own money pools are now bombing the election wars and driving us, in states not Tea-publican at all, forward fast on all fronts : wages, union labor rights, civil rights, gun control, immigration.

We in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode island, Minnesota, Maryland, Hawaii, Washington, Illinois, maybe Oregon — and especially California, social justice’s go for broke democracy –recognize that the Constitution, in its very preamble, talks of “promoting the general welfare.” Not the welfare of only some, but of all ; because that is what “general” means. We recognize that if the rights and welfare of some are curtailed, so are the rights and welfare of all. We do not think that the Founding fathers were mistaken to commit to all, nor that it is wrong for us today to continue that commitment. We are glad for, not offended by, the social safety net. Most of us welcome immigration and dislike guns and ammo. We accept science.

Our money people mostly agree. Money interests in our states mostly understand that if everyone prospers, all prosper. And so we in the states where our views are shared by the monied classes among us are buying elections of like-minded legislators and governors.

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^ social justice goes for broke : Governor Jerry Brown of California

Yet we too are breaking up the nation. There is no longer one America but two; or should I say, fifty ? Such a fragmenting has always been implicit in our complex governing structure. The Constitition itself envisions states retaining significant local autonomy. Often that multifold autonomy has engenered leguslative experiment — recognized and written into many Supreme Court opinions by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who valued legal empiricism. But just as often state autonomy invited ghastly injustices — lynching and Jim crow laws, for example — and put them beyond the reach of Constitutional protection. We as a nation were only able to interrupt those injustices when the Federal Congress enabled laws to do so; and as anyone who has read the history of America from 1900 to 1960 knows, such laws were almost always blocked by representatives of unjust states. The nation might well have shattered to pieces, as it had done in 1860; because injustice is ananthema to most Americans and most states. But two facts, the remembered defeat and horror of our Civil war and the common threat that a nuclerar armed Soviet Union posed to all of us, held our fractured country together : all in gress could agree on the arms race. Today that common threat is gone, and the horror and defeat of our Civil war looks unnecessary : why secede from the union, and risk war, when you can simply stop the nation cold and then legislate your 1850s agenda in the states your money bombers can buy ?

We in the social justice states forget that many in the pre-Civil War north wanted to part ways with the slavery South. Break-up of he Union was advocated by some. (It was in response to northern break-up sentiment that Daniel Webster delvered the Senate speech in which he magnificently said “union and liberty, liberty and union, inseparable.”) Only when South Carolina forced the secession issue to war –attacking F ort Sumter in Charleston Harbor — did the North commit to war. Today, we know better. Why not just let the states of injustice do their thing while we do social justice in our states ? At least in our states we can do what citizenship is supposed to do. And if by doing so we render the Federal governemnt even more hors de combat than it already was, well, that’s just how it is.

Thus what was once called “America” is becoming two very different countries. Unless our polity can reverse course very soon, the break up is going to be a fact for a long, long time — and will aggravate. Because it has consequences. People are not going to live oppressed in regressive states. They will move, if they can, to states of justice and opportunity. Their children will move too. The more people who leave the injustice states, the more unbeatably injust they will become : because those who leave take their votes with them. In the same way, the more people who move to the justice states, the more just these will be. Thus will time break our nation farther aapart and to pieces.

The consequences will be huge. And not in a good way. I wish I could see a different outcome. But right now I cannot.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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