The New Confederates
For most of my adult life, I’ve considered Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address to be the most moving and compelling example of political rhetoric I’d ever read. In that appraisal, I’m certainly not alone. Having read it scores of times since my first ignorantly casual perusal in now what’s commonly referred to as middle school, its impression upon me has sharpened and deepened over the course of my years.
Lincoln had the ability to speak profoundly, but with a remarkable economy of words. The fact that when those words were uttered he had but a short time left on this Earth only increases their impact.
Today, on both sides of the widening gulf that makes up our growing political divide, there are those who truly believe we’re headed for another civil war. There are some whose honesty and integrity make it impossible to deceive themselves and deny the threat of that terrible eventuality, and sadly others who appear to blithely labor to bring just such a grim circumstance to full fruition.
“Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.”
Lincoln, even as late as April 1865, when so much blood had already been spilled, and he himself had been clearly vindicated by re-election, still saw the need to once more explicate a key moral distinction between the warring sides.
And if outright warfare between Americans erupts again, both sides, as in the past, will claim it is they who are fighting to uphold our most cherished principles. But they won’t both be right; there are always aggressors and defenders, provocateurs and responders.
Ominously, the jostling and maneuvering to claim the status of righteous warrior has already begun.
It’s no revelation that today’s Democrat Party -- the political descendants of the instigators of the original rebellion, and also the post-defeat outrages against freed blacks -- seeks once more to tar Republicans with their own past sins.
Recently, whenever some Republican governor -- typically one in a southern border state -- takes some common sense action in order to compensate for Washington’s calculated indifference to any semblance of border security or orderly, controlled immigration, the cry goes up among Democrats that they are engaging in an act of secession. And if like-minded governors of adjacent or even distant states lend their cooperation to these desperately needed emergency measures, voila, a new confederacy has been formed.
So just who are the present-day “rebels?” Who are those who seek to, in Lincoln’s pointed phrase, “dissolve the union, and divide effects?” Which side is working to make it impossible for our people to live together as one nation? The answer should be obvious, but let’s briefly review two current “woke” code words: transformation and equity and examine what in practice they’d actually entail.
Transformation is plainly nothing more complicated than the complete abrogation of the U.S. Constitution, which to progressives has for over a hundred years been a nuisance and an intolerable brake upon their intended reordering of American society according to “scientific” principles (we’ve sure gotten a good whiff of that daily shifting wisdom during this pandemic.) The fact that limiting excessive government intrusion into peoples’ lives is a key feature of the Founders’ genius means little to the proponents.
Equity, that unoffending, egalitarian term that only the hardest-hearted among us would possibly gainsay, is nevertheless fraught with subtle, but highly dangerous -- perhaps the most dangerous to our continued nationhood -- implications. It’s another, more erudite and legalistic way of shouting “you don’t own that!” You may think something is yours; that you earned it by work, sweat, and industry, but you’re mistaken. There’s an unwritten mortgage claim upon it of which you’re unaware, with holders’ names listed upon it that you won’t recognize. They are those who missed out on the opportunities afforded to you, and your success came at their expense. They’re people with whom you’ve never met, but they have suffered concurrently with your climb up the economic ladder. You’ve robbed them, just as surely as if by gunpoint, and the unjust balance must be redressed by such things as reparations and wealth redistribution.
Success is a zero-sum game in an America that demands equity, as currently construed by the wokesters. If you were born white, advancement came only via theft.
It is an irony of gagging proportions that a movement that calls itself Black Lives Matter -- a thoroughly reasonable proposition on its face -- should in practice position itself as the legatee of the segregationist beliefs of Jefferson Davis, George Wallace, and Lester Maddox. For the demands and conditions they present to the majority of their fellow citizens can only result in racial separation by means that can’t possibly be benign. And if it happens, if the races can’t peacefully coexist as equal citizens and we are ultimately forced to “divide effects,” it will spell the destruction of the United States.
But let the neosegregationists be warned: they won’t get their way merely by bluff or intimidation -- there will be a fight. This nation still possesses an abundance of those, young and old, white and “people of color,” Hispanic and Asian, who will “accept war rather than let it perish.”
So topple every statue of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson that’s ever been erected, and equate the stars and bars with the swastika to your hearts’ content, but don’t try to fool us about the identities of the real “Confederates.” January 6th numbskulls notwithstanding, nullifying our southern border is an assault upon minority citizenship as crippling as anything conceived in the Jim Crow era; unwillingness to properly prosecute crime creates a deadly, roaming confederacy of lawbreakers; and making a mockery of our elections constitutes a surreptitious, covered-window insurrection -- all cutting at the core of our nationhood far more sharply than the trespassing idiocy of those manipulated fools.
In fact, with the advent of the Biden-Harris administration and its collection of pernicious, hateful allies, we’re experiencing top-down secession -- the vacating of our constitutional structure with the concurrence of our highest elected officials. If it’s somehow to be thwarted, it will require the renewed dedication of individual state governments to the Framers’ original concept of federalism to accomplish the task. That’s what it will take to save the Union now.
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