By BOB BIRD
Most amateur history buffs ignore what happened after the misnamed “American Civil War”. Churchill said, “War is rattling good history, but peace makes poor reading.”
So, when an occupied peace was imposed upon the South, Americans look upon the era of 1865-77 as a time to “Go West, young man”, of cattle drives, Indian wars, and gunslingers in lawless mining towns.
If we give any thought to what was happening in the South, we like to think that freed slaves were dancing joyously, the Ku Klux Klan was being tamed by northern occupation troops, railroads and cities were being rebuilt — and oh, yes, there was some corruption going on down there, too.
The honest politicians in Congress, meaning those that disdained bribes, were the most ruthless and brutal. They were called Radical Republicans, and they imitated the French Jacobins in their desire to humiliate and crush Southern culture, and anyone else who got in their way. Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, William Seward, Ben Wade, Salmon Chase, Henry Davis and Edwin Stanton led the way.
Sumner considered the seceded and defeated states as having committed suicide, and could only be readmitted on conditions laid out by Congress. Although Radicals were only a minority, they utterly controlled it by bullying and patronage.
Stevens was even worse, arguing that the South should be treated as conquered foreign territory, under military law with suspension of civilian rights.
Both got their way.
Why should this be important now? Because under these conditions, the 14th Amendment was passed, whose implications are even now rearing its ugly head.
It is the 14th that brought us Roe v. Wade, homosexual “rights”, feminism, the erasure of freedom of religion, speech, and press, CRT, transgenderism, and the entire lot of contemporary nonsense that passes as supposedly thoughtful political discourse.
And if you haven’t noticed, is now being used as an attempt to keep Donald Trump off the ballot. Supposed constitutional “scholars” have decided that Donald Trump is disqualified from ever running for president, despite the fact he has never been charged or convicted of encouraging a rebellion, and has twice defeated impeachments.
This brings hypocrisy to even higher levels we never dreamed of a few years ago.
But let’s go right to the bottom line: the 14th Amendment was illegally approved and violated Article V of the Constitution, which lays out how an amendment is to be passed. No constitutional scholar, even those who are trying to defend Trump, wants to discuss this because it is a bridge too far for them. The media would pounce on them with the usual tripe of being a conspiracy theorist, racist or zany. That’s because they cannot even look up the easily discovered truth of what U.S. presidents, senators, congressmen, individual legislatures and media outlets had to say, even as late as the 1960s.
The Deep State dog-pile on Trump should be seen as an opportunity not only to salvage our voting rights, but as a way to fundamentally correct the errors that have gone on for too long, and have morphed into an evil that not even the Radical Republicans would have desired. It is easy to see how the 14th is a deeply ingrained cancerous tumor into the body politic and has metastasized into a wanton killer of freedom, then and now.
A blatant self-contradiction existed when the 14th was allegedly passed. You need 2/3 of both the House and Senate to send an amendment to the state legislatures. But the south was not permitted to seat its elected officials in late 1865, which met the presidential conditions, formulated by Lincoln and implemented by Johnson, for readmission into the union.
This violated not only how an amendment should be passed, but also another vitally important clause of Article V, which reads: “And that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”
Thus, they were not in the union at all until the Radical Republicans permitted them. With such an overwhelming majority controlled by the Radicals, the 14th passed muster in both chambers, after much debate in committee and on the floor about its implications.
But it still needed to pass ¾ of the state legislatures. So — now the South was to be jolly-well considered as in the union, as a condition for re-entry! And so eventually, through an increase of occupation troops, corrupt southern “scalawag” politicians and rigged elections, together with a resignation of many people, led to the passage of the southern legislatures.
Are Puerto Rico, or Guam or the Virgin Islands in the union today? Of course not, because they are not states, but territories or a commonwealth. Anyone trying to get an amendment passed today, and wanting to include their approval, would be horse-laughed out of the room — yet that is exactly how the 14th was passed.
Even some northern states, watching this travesty, considered repealing their approval. Some constitutional “scholars”, even today, say that a state cannot do that. They obviously have completely ignored the 10th amendment. It’s a commonly held bad habit since the day it was approved — which followed the guidelines set down in Article V, by the way, unlike the 14th.
“You can’t have it both ways!” is a familiar complaint used a thousand times a day in our individual lives. But yes, you can, actually, if you are powerful enough to force your will upon your victims.
The Dobbs decision reversed only one of the evils of the 14th, the mass murder of our future generations, done in the name of “privacy” found in the “penumbra” (partial shadow) and “emanations” (gaseous fumes) of a spuriously approvedconstitutional amendment. The latest constitutional crisis (we’ve been in one since the beginning) should be seen as an opportunity to stop merely pruning branches, but to go to the root of our problems.
The Deep State is not finished. As Donald Trump has said countless times, “They are not after me, they are after you. I only got in their way.”
Bob Bird is chair of the Alaskan Independence Party and the host of a talk show on KSRM radio, Kenai.