It’s always about power in the House

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” — frequently attributed to Mark Twain

Most of those not in the know will tell you that the War of 1860 was based solely on slavery and a compassionate desire to end its cruelty. In reality, it was based on many factors with slavery, per se, a major issue. But it was not from simple compassion against slavery; it was from whether the North or South would hold the power in the House of Representatives.

The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, noted that states with slaves were given the right to count three out of five slaves as one person for representation in the House. The number of representatives was to be based on a 10-year occurring census (and still is).

As the year 1860 approached, the economies of the North and South became clearly delineated: The South was agrarian and dependent on slavery; the North, industrialized and operated as free states. The South was anxious to extend slavery into the Western Territories; the North, obviously against. As each side struggled to gain control, the situation deteriorated into war.

After the war, the 14th Amendment, enacted in 1868, granted census representation to all regardless of skin color.

Today, we stand at the exact same juncture as in the late 1850s. The Democrats tout compassion, an emotional issue to persuade the populace to allow illegal immigrants representation and free access into our country. Their true motive is obvious.

The Republicans counter with a census question they hope to intimidate illegal immigrants from taking the census or use for extralegal purposes later.

Can’t we compromise? Maybe go back to the three-fifths rule for illegal immigrants — a compromise that worked for a while.

John Thorngren,

Shady Shores

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