Recently my wife Marlene and I attended the Eighth Annual Abbeville Scholar’s Conference at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. The Abbeville Institute is the brain child of respected philosopher Donald Livingston of Emory University. The conference addressed current political and social issues, which have not been discussed in 144 years. The principles of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison of interposition and state nullification have again resurfaced as solutions to our current political crises emanating from an out-of-control corrupt Federal Government. These political abuses by the Federal Government are nothing new and frequently laws are passed which are in direct defiance of the U.S. Constitution. For example, the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 gave absolute power to President John Adams to take into custody any alien who he thought was a threat to the government and have him deported from the United States of America without any constitutional safeguards, thereby violating the First and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution. The Sedition Act gave the President the power to arrest and prosecute individuals who disagreed with and criticized his policies. It is interesting that most of those prosecuted and convicted were Republican newspaper editors. Many received fines and imprisonment.
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison addressed these unconstitutional laws in the Kentucky Resolution and the Virginia Resolution. The Alien and Sedition Acts were unconstitutional and were being addressed through interposition and nullification, which are States’ rights issues.
Today, numerous States have passed resolutions rejecting the current administration’s violations of the U.S. Constitution. One example is forcing citizens to participate in a corrupt healthcare system, which will bankrupt our already weak economy.
Since the 1900’s, so-called “progressives” are using the philosophies of Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky to destroy our great nation. Many of our elected representatives have been indoctrinated by these ideas and believe they are good for us. These representatives have no idea what limited powers are granted to the Federal Government and what rights are guaranteed to the States in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments by the U.S. Constitution.
The Abbeville Conference attracted approximately 90 people, many of whom are respected scholars from a variety of fields such as economics, political science, philosophy, and education. The lectures and discussions were extremely pertinent to our current political, economic and social problems. On the lighter side, a half day trip to the Confederate Museum, Secession Hall, and the Washington Light Infantry were narrated by Donald Livingston and Mrs. William R. Wells, director of the Confederate Museum and president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Mrs. Wells spoke with deep love and passion as she held up the Banner of Secession, which was on the table in 1860 as 169 delegates signed the Secession Order. Mrs. Wells became emotional as she spoke with pride and told everyone that she is a direct descendant of one of the signers.
South Carolina is truly blessed with many historical patriotic leaders from the American Revolutionary War, Nullification, and Secession today. Most of our problems are the direct result of elected leaders who refuse to abide by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Thank God for dedicated professionals such as Professor Donald Livingston for trying to resuscitate our Republic through the Abbeville Institute.