I’ve been reading Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, by Nancy MacLean. Yesterday, I read about some of the lessons learned by James Buchanan. Mr. Buchanan is the main subject of the book and the key producer of 20th Century Libertarian (Koch/Mercer/Friedman/Rand) ideas behind the stealth takeover of America to maximize their elitist, individual liberty and minimize the freedoms of everyone else.
In the late 50’s, Buchanan and his team from the University of Virginia, were developing and sharing a plan to help the state of Senator Harry Byrd mount a major resistance to the Brown v Board of Education decision by SCOTUS. These good old white boys would rather close all Virginia public schools that attempted integration, and provide vouchers for private schools, than integrate. However, their ideas were no match for state Legislators who were more worried about getting reelected, many more citizens that supported the decision, and the court rulings that found their attempts to resist unconstitutional.
What Buchanan took from these losses, and started working on solutions for, was:
– Ameliorating the re-election fears of state legislators for both resisting federal intervention in state business and, at the same time, ignoring the wishes of their constituents. (Think Gerrymandering.)
– Making sure that our Constitution could no longer be used to block their “state’s rights” efforts to maximize their individual liberties and to force others to adhere to their minority view. (Think Constitutional Convention.)