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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Nixon I Didn't Know

by Joseph Sobran
August 2, 2007

I liked Richard Nixon, and he seemed to like me. I
met him a couple of times after he resigned from the
presidency. He was nothing like the ogre liberals
described.

I found him kind, decent, gracious, intelligent,
well-spoken, charming, witty, easy to like, and, though
able to relax sociably with strangers, indisposed to
share his innermost thoughts. I realized I'd never really
know him.

He was impressive but not awesome. And he completed
my disillusionment with politics.

He had been the most powerful man on earth, with
life and death power over billions. I'd expected to be
awed. But the only thing that awed me was that he was so
little different from the rest of us. I was shocked and
awed that we should have permitted any man to hold such
power. You and I aren't fit to have it. Nobody can be.
Jesus didn't want it.

The genius of the original American constitutional
system was simple. It just dispersed power. The "free and
independent states" kept their sovereignty and
"delegated" (that is, lent them, with the right to take
them back) only a few specific legislative powers to a
congress. The executive was not royal. He could be
impeached and peacefully removed for any act the congress
deemed criminal. The federal courts were also weak.

The states, being sovereign, could secede for any
reason. That is, they could reclaim the powers they had
only delegated to the Union. In principle, they still
can. The "Civil War" was actually the North's war on all
the states and the Constitution. Michigan and Maine were
fighting to destroy their own sovereignty! Apart from the
late and accidental war aim of abolishing slavery, the
Northern victory was a defeat for liberty.-->-->-->-->-->
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