In the election of 1860, southern Democrats in 10 states of the soon-to-be formalized Confederacy made it almost impossible for their own voters to cast ballots for Abraham Lincoln for President. In that sense, the Left in Colorado would have felt right at home in the ante-bellum South—erasing the name of a presidential candidate whom they loathed and by whom they were similarly terrified. In eerie fashion, and also similar to the old ethos of the Confederacy, the Democratic Left now believes in state nullification of federal statutes. So like the would-be secessionist states of 1860-1, over 550 jurisdictions, almost all in blue states, claim that federal immigration laws no longer apply to them. Thus they brag that they can breezily be defied. (Not so easily or willfully are federal gun laws, or EPA mandates, or federal endangered species lists, ignored in red-state jurisdictions.)
— Matt Bracken (@Matt_Bracken48) December 24, 2023
The essence of sanctuary cities is an arrogant sense that federal law means nothing to morally superior local and state governments. So they nullify federal immigration laws in the manner of defying tariffs by South Carolina in 1832, or racial integration by Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1963. Wallace tried to block integration by opposing federal implementation of the Supreme Court’s ruling against segregation of students by race in public schools and universities, as well as President Kennedy’s federalization of the Alabama national guard. This Confederatization of Leftist values and protocols is uncanny. And I wrote about the phenomenon in a recent New Criterion article” The Old South Shall Rise Again”. The echoes keep popping up periodically and predictably in the news, as we saw with the Colorado erasure of Donald Trump from Colorado’s primary and likely general election ballot.
Take also racial fixations and obsessions. Is the current diversity/inclusion/equity—woke movement based on similar racial essentialism? Or in Confederate terms, are we back to certifying one’s particular DNA (now by blood tests, but then by genealogists)? Does the South’s old one-sixteenth/one-drop rule (ask Elizabeth Warren) still determine racial status and privilege? Do our DEI/woke racially segregated campus dorms, segregated safe spaces, segregated graduations, and segregated events echo Wallace’s 1963 Inauguration Address chant—“Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”? Are blue-states becoming like one-dimensional “King Cotton” economies of the past? Just as a “King Cotton” economy ran the politics of the Old South through its unprecedented wealth, so too our modern leftist magnates are often one-industry “Big Tech” titans—of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—who more or less by their PAC and foundation “donations” (Mark Zuckerberg alone accounted for $419 million ) warped the work of registrars in many of the key 2020 counties. One mark of Confederates was the strangling of the southern middle class. A tiny plantationists elite sat atop a vast caste of black slaves and a poor hireling white population. Yet in terms of aggregate state income and wealth, by 1860 five of the wealthiest ten states in America were slave states and about to secede—given the unquenchable global appetite of the growing Industrial Revolution for southern cotton. (Was the desire for and power of Cotton then like iPhones and Google searches?)
Brilliant, insightful, and eye opening analysis of the Diseased Left in America!! Thank you Sir! Please continue bringing your wisdom to the minds of the public! Joe B
So the sheer power, wealth, and influence of the plantationists remind one of clout and superciliousness of California’s Silicon Valley and its $9-trillion dollars in market capitalization. Indeed, it is eerie in debates and declarations how California Governor Gavin Newsom brags about California mega-Big Tech success and wealth. Often Newsom talks grandly of his Bay Area, Silicon Valley sector, as if he was Sen. James Hammond, a southern plantation owner, and U.S. Senator from South Carolina, who boasted defiantly in 1858 that “Cotton is King!” But like Hammond, Newsom then predictably grows silent about the state’s one-fifth of the resident population below the poverty line, one third of all US welfare recipients, the crumbling infrastructure, the dismal schools, the huge multibillion-dollar state deficits, the shrinking and fleeing middle class, the exploding homeless, and the retribalization of the state’s society by race. Just as King Cotton seemed to ensure palatial homes amid an impoverished general population, poor roads, anemic industry and manufacturing, few rails, and bad public schools, so too does blue-state wealth reside disproportionally in the hands of the few atop a growing class of poor and a vanishing middle class.
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In the years before the Civil War and in the ante-bellum Jim Crow South, southern states bled populations fleeing to the new territories in the West or to the manufacturing and industrial boomtowns of the North. They were escaping a fossilized society of have and have nots—eerily representative of the current ethos of the blue-state paradigm. California has the richest zip codes and greatest number of billionaires, and near highest poverty rate. New York is close; both have largest number of residents escaping their states—ironically to a new South that is becoming as dynamic as the old bygone North. So the recent ballot erasing of Colorado fits this larger picture of blue-states emulating the values of ante-bellum southern states—erasing ballots, defying federal laws, fixating on race and racial privileges, and catering to a one-dimensional medieval economy and caste, amid a growing underclass struggling with neglected infrastructure, poor schools, and growing poverty. So what will be the new/old Democratic 2024 election mantra? “Vote for us—and ballot deletion, states’ rights, federal nullification, racial essentialism and segregation, and a one-party, one-economy plantationist nation”? – Victor Davis Hanson
More from Victor Davis Hanson… Always excellent pieces.
The Gospels, especially John, current news on Harvard plagiarism scandal, Israel and the Dept. of Defense.
— Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) December 24, 2023
- VDH with an eye opening description of the similarities of the Dem States of today compared to the pre Civil War South. The separation of the Silicon Valley Elite over to the homelessness, poor infrastructure, schools & class differences amongst the middle class & minority areas. TIM
— Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) December 22, 2023