Republicans Seeking Repeal of 13th Amendment

Let’s face it. The United States is on the ropes, economically speaking. Our demand is way off and the collapse of the dollar, while only a remote possibility, is nevertheless a possibility. The recent health care debates have been ferocious, but I never thought I’d see the day our nation got so desperate that we would seriously entertain the notion of repealing the 13th Amendment and re-introducing slavery.

I’ve learned that, in exchange for support of Obama’s health care plan, the Republican congressional delegation has mooted the notion of repealing the 13th amendment in order to drop labor costs by bringing slavery back. It’s happening anyway, what with illegal immigrants getting stuffed away into sweatshops and working farms and construction sites all over the nation. They’re treated terribly and paid worse. But rather than fight it, it seems as though we’re going with the legalization route – which makes me wonder which direction the War on Drugs is going to take in the near future.

The proposed language for what has a strong chance of becoming the 28th Amendment goes like this:

1. The thirteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. The text of this amendment shall be held in supremacy over other amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

2. Slavery and involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to United States jurisdiction.

3. Persons that have entered the United States by illegal means shall, upon arrest and detainment for such activity, have the option to enter the United States legally as slaves, the sale and disposition of such to be ordained and established by Congress through appropriate legislation.

4. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which compose the United States, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and three fifths of all other persons. Legally constituted corporate entities shall not be considered persons for purposes of this clause.

5. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation.

6. All persons born to two free persons or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

7. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

8. The article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

I find this document utterly reprehensible. First off, it enslaves illegal immigrants. I know it says they have a choice whether or not to become slaves, but come on. Seriously. Those guys are going to get pressured and will make a disastrous decision. Children born to those slaves are going to remain slaves. See that “born to two free persons” part added to the 6th clause, which overrides the 1st clause of the 14th amendment? And this one trumps all other amendments with that first clause’s supremacy statement – which makes me wonder if this monster could ever be repealed if passed?

The 3/5ths compromise comes back, and I bet the states with large agricultural sectors are going to love the boost to their populations from their new slaves. Instead of being “illegals that drain our treasury,” they’ll now be slaves that make a positive impact on the bottom line. Crass, disgusting, and dangerously popular.

Clause number 5 is the biggest punch in the gut to civil liberties: it legalizes the slave trade. If it’s legalized, we can tax it, right? Well, that’s in there. Congress can’t end it – only each state can make that call – but it can harvest dollars from the traffic in humanity.

The proponents try to defend it by saying slavery won’t be racially defined, as somehow allowing anyone to be branded a slave regardless of race, creed, or color rehabilitates the idea of owning people that should live free. By allowing an option for indentured servitude, it’s a gateway for America’s poor to exit citizenship and leave off being counted in all kinds of ways. Poor kids at your school not doing well? If their families become slaves, their failing grades don’t have to come up – those children can be left behind. Slaves don’t have teenage pregnancy problems, won’t go to jails, and otherwise won’t mess up social statistics any more. Taking them off the official stats makes America shine all the brighter on paper.

What disturbs me most is how slavery fits into the health care debate. Most of the people that would elect to go into slavery are already uninsured or on government-run health care. As slaves, they no longer count as uninsured citizens. With a stroke, the health care problem solves itself with the creation of an underclass that will labor until it dies in order to bring benefits to the economically lucky. Social Security gets its boost, as well: slaves don’t retire and they can support the system until they drop dead.

I love freedom. I am going to write my Republican Congressman and Senators to do the courageous thing and kill this proposition before it even gets to a committee. Any freedom-loving American should do the same thing.

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