Disunionism, people, where “disunionism” is defined as the political position that the Union (the federal government of the United States) should be dissolved.
Yes, I know, we have not heard those words in quite some time here in the “United” States of America, which are seemingly rapidly becoming disunited as I write these words for posterity, this as we read in the Associated Press article “Trump seeks pause in legal fight with revised travel ban” by Sudhin Thanawala on 16 February 2017 as follows:
The Trump administration said in court documents on Thursday it wants a pause in the legal fight over its ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations, so it can issue a replacement ban as it strives to protect the nation from terrorism.
“In so doing, the president will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further, potentially time-consuming litigation,” the filing said.
Trump said at the news conference that a new order would come next week.
“I will not back down from defending our country.”
“I got elected on defense of our country,” he said.
Stephen Vladeck, who teaches at the University of Texas School of Law, said the states challenging the current ban — Washington and Minnesota — would likely change their lawsuit to focus on any revised order.
“It will surely be a mess — and perhaps a repeat of some of the chaos we saw the first weekend of the original order,” Vladeck wrote in an email.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the federal government was “conceding defeat” by saying it does not want a larger appellate panel to review last week’s ruling.
The lawsuit says the ban unconstitutionally blocks entry to the U.S. on the basis of religion and harms residents, universities and sales tax revenue in the two states.
Eighteen other states, including California and New York, have supported the challenge.
What incredible times we are living in, people, when a state, in this case, Washington on the west coast, can brag in the main-stream media about defeating the president of the United States, of which Washington is one, in federal court on matters of national security for all the citizens of the “United” States of America versus sales tax receipts for the state of Washington, all of which raises a very serious question of exactly what it is that is going on here.
Has the state of Washington, in defeating the Trump administration in the 9th Circuit Court of appeals, rendered the federal government a nullity in this country?
And if in fact, as it appears from the language above of Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson that the federal government was “conceding defeat” by saying it does not want a larger appellate panel to review last week’s ruling, what does this defeat of the president of the “United” States of America by the state of Washington portend for our federal system of government?
As we go further into the future here, it really seems as if we are receding back into a past in this nation where disunion and dismemberment of the so-called “united” states of America was a distinct possibility, both before 1787 and the eventual ratification of the United States Constitution, and after, when the debt assumption plan of Alexander Hamilton was being fiercely debated in the new United State Congress, a debate that served to alienate Alexander Hamilton of New York and James Madison of Virginia, and which served to cause the creation of the first two political parties in this nation, the Federalists of Hamilton versus the Republican party of Madison and Jefferson.
That split, which was between the American people of that time, not just Hamilton on the one hand and Madison and Jefferson on the other, was over the relationship of the federal government to the states, which is what we are once again confronted with in this contest between the states and Donald Trump as chief magistrate of the United States of America, just as Abe Lincoln was back in the times of the last disunion movement here in America.
Then, of course, it was Lincoln who emerged victorious over the states.
Today, it is the states which appear to be emerging victorious over a sitting American president, this notwithstanding the words of the political philosopher Oreste Brownson in his 1866 series of essays on the American Republic that:
I find, with Mr. Madison, our most philosophic statesman, the originality of the American system in the division of powers between a General government having sole charge of the foreign and general, and particular or State governments having, within their respective territories, sole charge of the particular relations and interests of the American people.
It is exactly that “general government having sole charge of the foreign and general” that is under attack today in this contest which Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson tells us he has won.
Getting back to history, Madison and Jefferson were both against a strong federal government, while Hamilton saw a strong federal or central government as essential to the preservation of the new union under the Constitution, a preservation which was never guaranteed by the fact of the ratification by 13 states at that time of a piece of paper starting out with the words, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
We forget, or perhaps never even knew, that before there was a United States Constitution, there still was a “united” states of America, that under the Articles of Confederation adopted by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, although ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781.
Of relevance to this discussion, and the position of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson back then, and the state of Washington and its allies today, the Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments.
With the adoption of the United States Constitution, a power struggle began between the federal government and the states, and once again, that power struggle is rearing its ugly head, as it did back in the 1860s in the form of the American Civil War, or “War of Northern Aggression.”
With respect to that power struggle, of further relevance to this discussion is this following language from the Articles Of Confederation, to wit:
To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting.
Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
I. The Stile of this Confederacy shall be “The United States of America”.
II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.
As we consider the words of Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson in the Associated Press article “Trump seeks pause in legal fight with revised travel ban” by Sudhin Thanawala on 16 February 2017 that the federal government was “conceding defeat” by saying it does not want a larger appellate panel to review last week’s ruling, and the lawsuit says the ban unconstitutionally blocks entry to the U.S. on the basis of religion and harms residents, universities and sales tax revenue in the two states and that it was supported by eighteen other states, including California and New York, doesn’t it very much seem as if Article III of the old Articles of Confederation has come back to life here in our nation, where we are seeing at least nineteen (19) of the supposed “United” States of America entering once again into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, this time against the federal government of the United States, as well as the Trump administration, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever?
Think on it, people, and please, stay tuned, for as always, in these turbulent times we now find ourselves in, in this troubled nation, there is much more to come on this subject of disunionism here in our America.
Or is it ours, anymore?
Something to think about, anyway, people as we watch this on-going drama go by.