Wherein a most intriguing case is made in support of a somewhat unusual proposition: the origins of our national woes, pretty much all of them, are directly traceable to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
For over fifty years, it has been a recurring promise of conservative candidates running for election that they will stand up for our constitutional rights and support the appointment of judges and Supreme Court justices who will uphold the Constitution.
Yet time after time, the left seems to win both ideological and legal battles on monumental issues such as abortion, marriage, gun control, immigration, racial preferences for minorities, and the ever-expanding size and scope of government — no matter what the text of the Constitution actually says.
In The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties, (2020; ISBN 978-1-5011-0689-7) author Christopher Caldwell advances the thesis that the Constitution of 1788 has been effectively nullified by our elites and supplanted with a “new constitution” that originated in, and reflects the values of, the “Civil Rights Era” of the 1960s. Though the civil rights movement began as a reformist movement within the old order, it evolved into a “revolution” that has nearly triumphed over the polity created in the 18th century:
The changes of the 1960s, with civil rights at their core, were not just a major new element in the Constitution. They were a rival constitution, with which the original one was frequently incompatible[.]…Much of what we have called “polarization” or “incivility” in recent years is something more grave — it is the disagreement over which of the two constitutions shall prevail: the de jure constitution of 1788…with centuries of American culture behind it…or the de facto constitution of 1964, which lacks this traditional kind of legitimacy but commands the near-unanimous endorsement of judicial elites and civic educators and the passionate allegiance of those who received it as liberation.
Caldwell argues that the new “de facto constitution” has been used to supersede the Bill of Rights and the black-letter law of the traditional Constitution. Forced busing and forced integration violated the First Amendment right to freedom of association, as did affirmative action for blacks and women. Racial and sex-based preferences offend the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. These policies were enacted despite opposition from most Americans. Speech codes and political correctness designed to cater to the sensitivities of minorities infringe on the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The “right” to an abortion, which existed nowhere in the traditional Constitution and was opposed by a majority of the people (with limited exceptions), was essentially created by the Supreme Court.
Lest anybody be inclined to assume that Demonrat-appointed Justices and Presidents are entirely to blame, or nearly so, that erroneous notion is handily dispensed with. After the infuriating way in which Trump’s eagerly-anticipated USSC picks have performed so far, that comes as no big shock. Caldwell even goes so far as to rip Saint Ronald of Reagan a new ‘un for his own not-insignificant contribution to the national trainwreck. Then, from there:
If Caldwell’s thesis can be criticized, it is for understating his case — things have proven to be worse than he described.
In hindsight, the Trump presidency exposed the fact that the elites and the Deep State are now completely untethered by the original Constitution of limited and enumerated powers and by the Bill of Rights. They have demonstrated that they are willing to use the FBI to surveil presidential candidate and to fabricate a false narrative for the purposes of impeaching him. They have demonstrated that they will side with illegal aliens over American citizens, and that they will freely let black BLM and communist Antifa agitators run riot in the streets while ruthlessly prosecuting and suppressing as “domestic terrorists” patriotic and nationalist groups who caused a ruckus at the Capitol. They have demonstrated that they are willing to turn a blind eye to vicious and violent attacks by blacks against whites, but drop the hammer of “hate crimes” on any “deplorable” white who has the slightest dispute with a black, or on any cop making a traffic stop of a black criminal. They have demonstrated that they will continue to expand so-called “civil rights” to include all manner of insanity and freakishness, such as “transgenderism.”
Caldwell does not propose a solution to this situation. But recognizing the problem is a necessary first step in finding one. “Civil rights” has been used as an effective battering ram against conservatism and against the Constitution of the 1780s; conservatives can no longer allow themselves to be browbeaten by “civil rights” activists. The rigged election of 2020 and the double-impeachment of Trump should have awakened conservatives to the fact that merely voting Republican and asserting your “constitutional rights” is no longer enough. But it may be too late.
In 2014, Gov. Cuomo sneered that conservatives have no place in the state of New York. Increasingly, our elites have adopted the attitude that conservatives have no place anywhere in the country, and they are willing to act on it.
They’ll do precisely that, unless/until enough Real Americans nut up and demonstrate a willingness to act on a few things their own selves…in a way that won’t soon be forgotten, is impossible to ignore or minimize, and will leave a smarting, stinging welt.
It’s not all that unusual on the dissident Right, Mike.
Re: “he changes of the 1960s, with civil rights at their core, were not just a major new element in the Constitution. They were a rival constitution, with which the original one was frequently incompatible[.]”
It is germane to note that the late great Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona) voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act for precisely this reason. Goldwater, who was no bigot and had worked in the deep south on behalf of black civil rights, foresaw that the proposed act would bifurcate our society into privileged and less-privileged classes, which is precisely what has happened. He also foresaw the degree to which these “new values” would undermine the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the Founders.
What would Senator Goldwater say today about the “reverse apartheid” the cultural left has set up in the years since his death?
Re: “In hindsight, the Trump presidency exposed the fact that the elites and the Deep State are now completely untethered by the original Constitution of limited and enumerated powers and by the Bill of Rights.”
Undoubtedly, this is one reason for the unrestrained rage directed against DJT. As long as the deep-state elites were able to maintain the fiction that “we are all in this together,” they could continue reaping their profits and secretly undermining what remained of the Founder’s republic. Trump tore that mask off, and exposed these swamp creatures for what they are.
I have no issue with the editorial – but for this:
“While most white Americans outside the Deep South supported fairness for blacks at the time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed…”
Just another fucking outside the South asshole that knows nothing about his own backyard. I grew up in the South so I know all about pervasive institutional Southern racism. It’s the same pervasive racism that existed in just about every other part of the country. The only real difference was we admitted to it and “they” didn’t. It still exists today, largely outside the South where we have always gotten along with our darker skinned friends. Go to any democrat controlled city outside the South and it’s on display everywhere you go.
As with all lefty things, whatever they say it’s going to do, both the intent and the effect will usually be just the opposite.
Everyone is worse off from the abomination called the civil rights act, especially the black folks. It destroyed the black family and the result is the welfare state of today.
Heh. Note, please, that I grew up in the Racist South in the ’60s and ’70s, and then behold:
“[Black]” was left unsaid, but we can stipulate from the context, no?
Now, when I said, “Racist South” up above, I mean that “nigger” was a word used in casual conversation in working class circles, and both working class whites and blacks, used it. Both whites and blacks drew a distinction, too, between “nigger” and “negro”, and everyone knew what the distinction was. We had segregated lunch counters and such up until the Civil Rights Acts in places, even.
And I will tell you for a fact that not one, not the most racist, bigoted white trash that I ever met growing up, would have said that, “It’s perfectly normal for black teens to engage in knife fights; they’ve been doing it for ‘eons'”, or that it was just part of the culture. Not one.
I’m sure that people being what they are, somewhere in DFW there was someone who might have said that out loud and in public, but I never met them or heard them. And if I’d said it as a kid, my “racist” dad would have slapped my mouth out the other side of my head.
I’m not completely sure where I’m going with that, but it plays into what you were saying there, Barry.
I got it.
Good. Now you can explain it to me. 🙂
Getting it and splaining it are entirely different…
Not with steel knives, for sure. Subsaharan blacks never did learn to refine iron ore. Or to make a wheel for a whetstone. Or any number of things.