Monday, December 16, 2002

LOTTS MORE: Great piece from Dave Kopel on NRO about the 1948 Dixiecrat platform, which "quoted from the 1840 Democratic platform, which was the platform of the great Democratic President Martin Van Buren. More than any other President, Van Buren faithfully followed the Constitution, so his platform — fewer than 1,000 words long — is an especially valuable guide for constitutionalists."

While Van Buren's platform offered a wonderful defense of federalism, the Dixiecrats just happened to delete this section: "that every citizen and every section of the country has a right to demand and insist upon an equality of rights and privileges, and to complete and ample protection of persons and property from domestic violence or foreign aggression." How convenient!

"That statement," Kopel writes, "is the principle on which the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments are based. States' rights were not a legitimate constitutional basis for states to violate the constitutional rights of their citizens."

Hence the Dixiecrats' support of lynching laws, and, presumably, of moves by state and local governments to disarm African-Americans. Is that what Trent Lott was celebrating?

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