by Thomas DiLorenzo
In his new book Nullification: Reclaiming Consent of the Governed, Clyde Wilson pinpoints the folly and futility of “presidential politics” – of hoping against hope that some Great Savior will somehow restore American liberty. Only those who are almost completely ignorant of American history could be fooled by such a farce. Unfortunately, that seems to include most Americans.
Early Americans were never so naïve as to believe that national politicians could preserve their freedom; that was their job. They are the ones who, acting through their state-level political societies, created and gave authority to the Constitution. The government was to act as their agent and was delegated by them only a few specific powers. Moreover, the government itself could never be the judge of its own powers, for that would lead to “nothing less than a government of unlimited power, a tyranny,” writes Wilson. Of course, that is what Americans have now lived under for generations with the “black-robed deities” of the “supreme” court announcing for all of us what freedoms we shall have.
A monopoly or “national” government was always understood to be the greatest threat to liberty by such American statesmen as Thomas Jefferson, author of the Kentucky Resolution of 1798 that enunciated the concept of nullification. (He was invited to author the Resolution by friends in the Kentucky legislature). It was a response to the first totalitarian power grab by the New England, leftist establishment led by John Adams who enforced the Sedition Act, an abominable law that outlawed free political speech in America. “Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government,” Jefferson wrote in the Resolve. “[A]nd that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” Kentucky would not allow the enforcement of the unconstitutional Sedition Act within its borders. James Madison authored the Virginia Resolution of 1798 that said the same thing. If “consent of the governed” were to have any real meaning, that consent would have to be enforced through such political vehicles as nullification and secession.