Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A History Lesson from BigGovernment.com Via Michael Zak

An important read from BigGov.com:

In 1854, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency.  Their top priority was to repeal the Missouri Compromise prohibition of slavery in the northern territories.  The author of this infamous legislation, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was Stephen Douglas, a Democrat Senator from Illinois and owner of a slave plantation in Mississippi.

Senator Douglas claimed the law would be a final solution to the slavery question, so that Congress could move on to other issues.  In fact, the Kansas-Nebraska Act sparked a political firestorm.  Opponents of slavery – and the police state and economic stagnation that went with it – understood that, if unchecked, the slave system would expand throughout the territories and then the entire nation.

As the Democrat-controlled Supreme Court would soon prove with its 7-2 Dred Scott decision (both Republicans dissenting), pro-freedom Americans feared that the judiciary would uphold the expansion of slavery.  Many Democrats were already touting slavery (not for themselves, of course) for poor whites, too.  “Free Society!” declared a prominent Democrat newspaper, “We sicken at the name!”

Every American was forced to choose sides.  One was either for the free market system or against it; there was no middle ground.

As Alexis De Tocqueville observed: “Socialism is a new form of slavery.”  Today’s congressional Democrats who voted to impose socialized medicine on the nation while exempting themselves should bear in mind Abraham Lincoln’s words: “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

Denouncing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Lincoln warned against submitting to political masters:
“If there is anything which it is the duty of the whole people to never entrust to any hands but their own, that thing is the preservation and perpetuity, of their own liberties, and institutions.
Not all Democrats went along with the Kansas-Nebraska Act.  In protest, Charles Sumner, Salmon P. Chase and others – who would soon join the Republican Party – issued an Appeal of the Independent Democrats in Congress to the People of the United States:
“We arraign [the Kansas-Nebraska Act] as a gross violation of a sacred pledge; as a criminal betrayal of precious rights; as part and parcel of an atrocious plot to exclude from a vast unoccupied region immigrants from the Old World and free laborers from our own States, and convert it into a dreary region of despotism, inhabited by masters and slaves.
Language fails to express the sentiments of indignation and abhorrence which it inspires; and no vision less penetrating and comprehensive than that of the All-Seeing can reach its evil issues.
We appeal to the people.  We warn you that the dearest interests of freedom and the Union are in imminent peril.
We entreat you to be mindful of that fundamental maxim of Democracy – EQUAL RIGHTS AND EXACT JUSTICE FOR ALL MEN.  Do not submit to become agents in extending legalized oppression and systematized injustice over a vast territory yet exempt from these terrible evils.
We implore Christians and Christian ministers to interpose.  Their divine religion requires them to behold in every man a brother, and to labor for the advancement and regeneration of the human race.
Whatever apologies may be offered for the toleration of slavery in the States, none can be offered for its extension into Territories where it does not exist, and where that extension involves the repeal of ancient law and the violation of solemn compact.  Let all protest, earnestly and emphatically, by correspondence, through the press, by memorials, by resolutions of public meetings and legislative bodies, and in whatever other mode may seem expedient, against this enormous crime.
For ourselves, we shall resist it by speech and vote, and with all the abilities which God has given us.  Even if overcome in the impending struggle, we shall not submit.  We shall go home to our constituents, erect anew the standard of freedom, and call on the people to come to the rescue of the country from the domination of slavery.  We will not despair; for the cause of human freedom is the cause of God.”
Hey, America!  They’re talking to you.