Commander's Column: Let's Answer the SCV Charge
Our Confederate ancestors founded their nation to preserve the Jeffersonian principles of State Rights. They believed in a decentralized government, individual liberty, God and family as the bedrock of their society, sustained by individual responsibility and self-sufficiency. But today a growing portion of our nation relies on entitlements instead of working for their families. The federal government has grown into a behemoth which intrudes into every conceivable corner of our lives. Washington tells us what kind of light bulbs we can buy and use. The tires on our car are registered with the federal government. Our phone conversations are recorded. Our money is confiscated with income, property and sales taxes totaling up to 50, 60 or 70% of our hard-earned wages.
At the Alabama Division Reunion in Foley, Army of Tennessee Commander Tom Strain read CiC Givens’s address urging attendees to resist federal domination. At the Confederate Heritage event in Biloxi earlier this past spring, Past CiC Chuck McMichael bemoaned the long tentacles of the federal government. The irony in his words was that his speech was delivered in front of the beautiful new Jefferson Davis Presidential Library, funded primarily through Federal Emergency Management Agency monies. Recent editions of the Confederate Veteran magazine contain a full-page advertisement explaining the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs--the Veterans Administration--denying funding for government markers on the Confederate graves at Oakwood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.
A quote attributed to President Gerald Ford but actually originated by Harvard McClain of the Economic Club of Chicago warns, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have."
Thomas Jefferson declared in his first inaugural address in 1801, “A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
Lincoln waged a war on our Confederate forebears, a war on the Jeffersonian principles of limited government and self-determination. Our government has unceasingly expanded and infringed ever more on our inalienable rights and freedom ever since, for the past 150 years. As we are reminded, we have an “obligation to our forefathers, who gave us the undeniable birthright of our Southern Heritage and the vision, desire, and courage to see it perpetuated.” Our ideals as Sons of Confederate Veterans are relevant today perhaps as never before, since the War for Southern Independence. As Jefferson Davis foretold, “The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.” Let us carry the Charge and advance the Cause for our ancestors, for our families today, and for our future generations.