David Barton Doesn’t Know Nullification

About twelve years ago I was invited to give a talk in Texas on the Founding Fathers. This was on the heels of my Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, and was at a large church with good people.

The talk went well, and afterward one member of the audience came up to me and asked if I had heard of David Barton. I hadn’t.

That was a good thing. Barton was a rising star in “conservative” circles then, and once he became Glenn Beck’s historical advisor, his popularity took off.

That’s the problem.

Barton worships at the cult of Lincoln and revels in disparaging the South. He also has an arsenal of fairy tales about the United States.

Take his position that the founding fathers “rejected nullification.”

This would be news to them. True, when Jefferson and Madison secretly authored the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, some New England States rejected them.

To Barton, the story ends there. But that’s only part of the story. Several Southern States sided with Virginia.

They were part of the founding generation.

And if we carry the story forward in time, New England embraced nullification during the War of 1812.

Daniel Webster, in fact, argued the nullification and secession might be the answer to the conflict.

That’s a far cry from Daniel Webster the nationalist during the 1830s.

Or even Daniel Webster in McCullough v. Maryland of 1819.

But Barton thinks nullification would destroy the United States. Isn’t the United States already destroyed, at least according to the original Constitution?

I’ll leave that up to you to decide, but if you are getting your history from David Barton, you’re already behind the eight-ball.

I discuss Barton and nullification on episode 569 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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