Vital Signs

Power, Legitimacy, and the 14th Amendment

The justification for the vast, intrusive, and coercive powers employed by the government of the United States against its citizens—from affirmative action to hate-crimes legislation, from multilingualism to multiculturalism, from Waco to Ruby Ridge—is the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution adopted in 1868, or, more specifically, the authority conferred upon Washington, explicitly or implicitly, by the “privileges and immunities” and “equal protection” clauses of that amendment.  

Like the emperor’s new clothes, however, the 14th Amendment does not exist.  It was never constitutionally ratified, and, thus, acts of the government of the United States that are based on the 14th Amendment are actually illegitimate.  

Despite its subsequent “interpretation” by the federal judiciary to mandate federal intervention in state and local affairs, the original aim of the 14th Amendment was to ensure the political and economic hegemony of the Northern states over the South.  This was why Lincoln and Northern business interests waged total war against the South for four years: to transform the United States from a constitutional republic into a continental empire.  

Section Two of the 14th Amendment permitted the disenfranchisement of Southern white men “for participation in the rebellion.”  Since the word “participation”...

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