For half a century historian Clyde Wilson has been writing about what he calls “our lost and stolen heritage of States’ rights.” As Dr. Donald Livingston, founder of the Abbeville Institute, has remarked of current devolutionary strategies, “Clyde Wilson had been plowing the ground long before any of us came to plant.
Excerpt from Nullification: Reclaiming the Consent of the Governed:
“The cause of states’ rights is the cause of liberty; they rise or fall together….We know the problems. Where should we look for solutions?….Thomas Jefferson gives us the answer: our most ancient and best tradition, states’ rights: ‘the support of the State government in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies’….Some of the Founders hoped that the division of legislative, executive, and judicial power in the general government would help…. these check and balances do not work. They ceased to work a long time ago. There is no serious conflict of power among the federal branches. The acts of all of them are directed toward checking the people of the States….States’ rights are historically sound, constitutionally sound, ethically sound , and sound from the point of view of democracy. Where they fall short is simply in the realm of political will and agenda….if we are to speak of curbing the central power, the States are what we have got. They exist. They are historical, political, cultural realities, the indestructible bottom line of the American system. It would be a shame if in this world-historical time of devolution, Americans did not look back to an ancient and honorable tradition that lies readily at hand.”