Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis). A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)
Apparently there’s been a series against me over at the Daily Kos by a left-liberal lawyer. I no longer pay attention to left-wing attacks. It’s the same arguments every time. They pretend I haven’t answered them. I have. They idiotically call me a “neo-Confederate” (have they really not seen the zombie video, or are they trying to caricature themselves?).
The most recent one is only slightly different. For some reason, central to his argument is his claim that Thomas Jefferson was an Antifederalist. He was not. Jefferson was a supporter of the Constitution, though he wanted term limits for the president, as well as a Bill of Rights. This is all explained in a basic text like David N. Mayer’s The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson.
I am then accused of “mendacity” (because I stand to gain a lot by lying about nullification!) because I do not note that nine states spoke out against the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, which laid out the doctrine of state nullification. By my count, seven states issued statements against the Resolutions, and I have discussed them repeatedly, both in my book (which the author has not read, naturally) and online.
I am “mendacious” for leaving this out, even though I didn’t leave it out, but my critic is absolutely not mendacious for himself leaving out the reason that six of those seven states opposed Virginia and Kentucky: they favored the Sedition Act, and the principle that journalists should be thrown in jail for criticizing the president. Oops!
In fact, only one state actually spoke against the compact theory of the Union on which nullification is based. That was not controversial.
And as I also note in my book, within less than a decade, some of the very states that were lecturing Virginia and Kentucky in 1799 were suddenly all in favor of nullification when a Virginian president was in charge. Ever heard the expression “actions speak louder than words”?
And finally, my critic says I defend a “right to oppress.” This is preposterous, needless to say. I have repeatedly made clear that I hold no brief for the states. They are states, after all, and I am a libertarian (not a “neo-Confederate,” whatever that Marxoid neologism is supposed to mean). The point is that the federal government is far more likely to be a threat to our liberties, indeed to civilization itself, than the states — from which, in any case, exit is rather easier. There is absolutely nothing the states could do that would amount to a grain of sand on the beach compared to a new Middle Eastern war, but I am supposed to be super worried about what Montana might do next. Nice priorities.
And of course, nothing centralized regimes do ever, ever, ever discredits centralization.
As usual, I refer people to my Nullification FAQ.
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