Friday, February 15, 2013

Senator John Calhoun

"The complicated truth is that the 'minority-interest' theory... can be employed to safeguard the institutions of racism as well as the individual liberties of racial minorities," writes Scott Galupo — Why Conservatives Still Share a Tent with Calhoun.

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Great essay -- Calhoun is vastly misunderstood today largely because his latter years were spent supported the horror of chattel slavery as a "positive good" (to use his phrase). But for most of his career, Calhoun was a balanced and prudential statesman who understood that the only way for the Union to thrive was for concerned national action on a host of issues (the strength of the Navy, internal improvements, a robust tariff to support American commerce, etc.). It is only when it becomes clear that a thriving Union was one where the institution of slavery was on the road to eventual extinction that Calhoun becomes the Great Nullifier in defense of the barbarism of chattel slavery.

His work on the Constitution is brilliant, if flawed (as all works are). Kirk was quite right to study Calhoun in the Conservative Mind, although Kirk was also right to note that the kind of conservatism that Calhoun represented was a complete failure -- a failure that brought misery and destruction the the very South it was hoping to preserve.

February 16, 2013 at 1:50 PM  

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