12 / CHRONICLESnfact, both propositions are nonsense because the realn”original intent” of the Constitution (even with the 14thnAmendment added) is not a matter in which there is anynfederal power, nor any judicial power except in the mostnlimited sense.nThe simple truth is that the Constitution of our forefathersnis not very compatible with the commercial progressivismnby-way-of-federal-power of the “conservatives” andnnot compatible at all with the programmatic egalitarianismnby-way-of-federal-power of the “liberals.” Since these havenbecome the foremost American values (at least in effectivenpolitical terms), the Constitution has had to give. Thenquestion is not between “original intent” and interpretation,nit is who will interpret; not whether the Constitutionnwill give, but how much and in what direction.nSo incompatible is the Constitution with programmaticnegalitarianism that we have had to invent a secret history ofnabolitionism on the part of the Framers (which has beennalluded to in every bicentennial statement I have seen, withngreater zeal by “conservatives” than by “liberals”). On thenflimsiest evidence, against both the letter and the substantivenhistory of the instrument, we have postulated that thenFramers intended to do away with slavery but could notnquite manage it immediately. It is true that some, not all,nhad vaguely antislavery sentiments which in general had anlower priority than the interests of the Maine codfishnindustry, but no one believed—neither the Framers nor thenpublic—that they possessed the power to abolish slavery. (Itnis one thing to be pleased that the 13th and 14th Amend-n^ ;«nnnments did away with slavery three generations after thenFounding; it is another to attribute false motives andnanachronistic powers to the Founders.) Judging from thennumber of times this false history is alluded to, ournself-esteem seems to be bound up with it. Perhaps we have ansecret, unacknowledged fear to admit the Founders werenreally not entirely like us, because we would then have tonthrow them out completely.nAnyone who has honestiy and closely studied the Foundingnyears and the period that followed knows how large statenrights loomed in the understanding of the Constitution innthose days. Although there was some disagreement, somenambivalence, and even a few cases of disingenuousnessnamong the Founders about the locus of sovereignty, therencan be no doubt that most of the Founders and thensubsequent two or three generations of statesmen acceptednas natural and right the broadest possible idea of state rights.nTo most of the Founding generation, the Bill of Rightsnmeant primarily a binding of the federal government by thenstates. To most people of the time, the victory of Jeffersonnand his friends in 1800 signified primarily the defeat of a toonassertive federal power. Throughout the first half of then19th century, the absolute central principle of the JeffersoniannParty and of the Democratic Party which came alongnlater was state rights—the belief that the states were thentruest representatives of the people’s will and the bestnguardians of the people’s liberty. And this belief wasnmatched by democratic sentiment—the more faith one hadnin the people the more allegiance one gave to state rights.nAs recentiy as 1932 the Democratic Party went on recordnagainst the dangers of an overextended federal government.nIt is not likely that state rights will be affirmed during ourncurrent bicentennial, een in a historical context Whatnwould the Founders, or indeed anyone before 1932, havenmade of a situation in which the states have all butndisappeared except as administrative units and electoralncounters of the federal machinery ? And all in the name ofnfreedom and the rights of the indiiduaP Toda) the federalngo ernment, and usualh the unelected parts of it, determinenthe qualifications of the oters and the apportionmentn