News Flash: The Confederacy Never Surrendered

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Southern Heritage Confederate Flag Rally demonstrators, 2015. Photo: Elvert Barnes CC BY-SA 2.0

Whether you call yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent, you likely consider this particular time in America to be, at best, a difficult one. As a nation, we have always had political differences of opinion about how much the Federal Government should be allowed to regulate businesses and people. It’s the beauty of having a two-party democracy. Our system lets our differences co-exist.

However, there have been times that our politics and politicians have gone beyond mere political divergence. Whenever basic moral imperatives have been put on the line, civility has broken down. The results have been violations of U.S. laws — including murders. One of those times, The Civil War, continues to haunt us.

The beginning of our current period of ugly divisiveness began in the contentious election season of 2016. When Donald Trump became President of the United States — despite having lost the popular vote — things only got worse. It has continued to escalate, resulting in a shooting of a Republican Senator, the murder of a liberal protester at a KKK/Neo-Nazi rally, and pipe bombs being sent to high-level Democrats and supporters. This is not politics as usual.

Why A Look Back into U.S. History is Necessary

The 2018 midterm elections, regardless of the outcomes we’ve seen, are unlikely to change this dangerous atmosphere. Fixing the schism in our body politic and in our nation is going to take a lot more time than a single election cycle. That’s because what we have going on now has been in the making for over 200 years.

Nevertheless, it is what happens next that will determine the fate of our democracy. As such, studying American history is critical. The ancient Chinese philosopher explained the reason for this some 500 years before the birth of Christ.

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

Pertinent Points in Modern US History

It’s not like people haven’t been looking back in time to try making sense of what’s going on now. There has been some excellent work dissecting specific times in modern history that have ties to our current political climate. It’s good to keep these factors in mind because ultimately they are part of the bigger picture.

For instance, many have discussed the similarities between this time of Trump and the corruption of, and around, President Richard Nixon. In particular, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has been on this link since Trump took office. She has approached comparing Nixon to Trump from many angles. Her recent podcast, “Bagman” — which looks at the criminal behavior of Nixon’s Vice-President — is one of her latest in-depth looks on the topic.

A more recent time in our history is covered by an excellent piece in The Atlantic. That article links today’s overt racism, uncivil discourse, and extreme partisanship, to the rise of Newt Gingrich in Congress. Given all the attention that is given to Nixon, it is interesting to note that Gingrich started developing his ideas during the aftermath of Nixon. He was distressed by his perception that the GOP seems resigned to being a “permanent minority.”

In the run-up to the 2016 election other publications chose to hone in on racist issues that have marred other Republican presidents. The New York Times said Trump and Cruz’s campaign ads were“Willie Horton” style. It was a reference to the 1988 campaign of the recently deceased George H.W. Bush. (The ad was created by a mentee of Roger Ailes — yes, the disgraced and deceased former head of Fox News.)

Now, Bush did not approve of that ad. It was run by a separate political PAC. However, as this Washington Post article points out, the 41st president was using the same Willie Horton story on the campaign trail months prior to the ad being run.

Going back even further than the Bush eras, the Washington Post did a deep dive on President Ronald Reagan, whom the old GOP still reveres. Their article pointed out that some of the racist policies that are front and center in the Trump era are also ones Reagan pushed back in 1980. Specifically, they assert that the whole idea of “reverse racism” is one that Reagan championed. He did so while working to undermine civil rights laws such as affirmative action. A primary way he had of doing this was taking federal agencies meant to help ensure civil rights and heading those agencies with people who were fundamentally against them.

Reagan’s tactic then is one Trump has used in virtually all his major service cabinet positions — not just the ones dealing with civil rights. He has anti-environmentalists running the Environmental Protection Agency and National Parks Service. The notorious Betsy DeVos — a proponent of for-profit private schools — is running the Department of Education, which is supposed to be protecting our public schools! Although the outrage has run high about these things from some “Reagan conservatives,” they rarely acknowledge that some of Trump’s practices are from their hero’s playbook.

Looking at Modern History Isn’t Enough

Despite all of these excellent connections being made by comparing modern conservative politics and Trump, they don’t fully explain how we got here. Focusing on Nixon on up suggests that America’s current problems stem from only recent history. Granted, more recently there have been some saying the U.S. is in a new, albeit cold, civil war. This is closer to the truth than terms like “extreme partisanship,” “tribalism,” or “the cultural wars.” While these terms do have validity, they do not get to the root of the problem.

The truth is the original Civil War never ended — it just went cold. All of these modern history points are being discussed as if US current events only stem from the time of Nixon. There needs to be a realization and discussion about the fact that what we are facing with Trump is part of a continuum that goes back to the very founding of this country. Furthermore, those events only contained the seed of the problem. It’s what we let grow from that seed that haunts us now — and that is the Civil War.

A Quick Note About History and Political Party Names

Before looking back at our history, it is necessary for us to drop the terms Republican and Democrat because the meaning of those terms shifts over time. Today the ideas and tactics of the Confederate South are those of the modern Republican party. Yet, today’s Republican agenda once flew under that of the Democrats.

Case in point, in this Smithsonian magazine article, historian Heather Cox Richardson describes this strategy of President Andrew Johnson — a Southern Democrat from Tennessee. What underlies his argument is basically what today’s GOP uses to rile up their base.

“Johnson argues that Republicans in Congress are planning to use tax dollars to give advantages to African-Americans that whites don’t have, by keeping the military in the south after the Civil War. Therefore it is a redistribution of wealth from hardworking white people to lazy African-Americans.”

The Republicans represented the Northern perspective. Johnson’s goal was to keep them from getting a “super-majority” in Congress. He then went on to allow Jim Crow laws and voter suppression to take over the South.

This is why attempting to follow “the Republicans” or “the Democrats” throughout history is a confusing waste of time. Instead, follow the ideologies of the Union North and the Confederate South and ask yourself what values the party is aligning with. After all, it’s the values that matter, not the name ascribed to the party championing them.

Understanding the Civil War

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The Civil War Battle of Bentonville (NC) Reenactment March 21, 2015. Photo: Bruce Guthriel, CC — 2.0

The average person probably doesn’t think of the Civil War as one that has continued. After all, the Confederacy surrendered and we became one nation again. Nevertheless, when you go back and read the terms of surrender by the various Confederate generals there is a huge piece missing.

At the urging of President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant, the terms of surrender presented to the Confederacy was an oath to not take up arms against America. What was not included was any admittance of being wrong. Nowhere in any terms of surrender do the generals of the Confederacy have to say that slavery was an indefensible institution.

Lincoln’s Priorities

Being that the heart of the Civil War was over the issue of slavery, you would think that having the South surrender this point would have been imperative. Unfortunately, President Lincoln took a similar view as our Founding Fathers. They agreed to the Three-Fifths Compromise which stated that every five slaves in a state’s population would count as three people. This capitulation to the slave states was done in order to keep the 13 states unified. It also allowed those slave states — who were in the minority opinion about slavery — gain a majority voice in Congress. Righting the wrong of slavery took a back seat in order to keep the U.S. as one country. Lincoln’s choice, while it did, in fact, end the practice of slavery — still put unity over fairness.

Early in his presidency, Lincoln wrote this in a letter to Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune.

“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that,” I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.”

Lincoln’s primary goal was to keep the country from splitting apart. He was trying all kinds of things to appease the Southern border states — including offering to pay them 400 dollars a slave in a process of voluntary slave emancipation. It was the final rejection of that plan that led him to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

By the time the Confederacy was ready to surrender Lincoln had come to the conclusion that slavery had to come to an end across the nation. Nevertheless, his desire to unite the North and the South as quickly as possible had him push for leniency for the Confederacy. He rejected the idea of calling all who fought for the Confederacy traitors. In doing so, he lost the opportunity to put a definitive stamp on what America stood for. Instead, in the name of peace and unity, amnesty was granted to the enlisted men.

Even with this leniency, those in the South were furious. The idea that slaves would be not only free but treated as equals to whites was too much for some. The news led to Lincoln’s assassination. Ironically, Lincoln was in heated opposition with the Congressional caucus known as the Radical Republicans about how the South should be treated. Had he not been assassinated there is a possibility that there would not have been a 14th amendment passed so quickly.

The Civil War Was Absolutely About Slavery

In some revisionist versions of American history, the Civil War was not about slavery. Those versions basically ignore the facts in order to make their case, because the Civil War was absolutely about slavery. The conflict had been brewing from the beginning of American history. (If you want a detailed understanding of how slavery led to the Civil War, history.com has a good straightforward breakdown.)

Without getting into all the players and parties, there were basically three points of view in the run-up to the 1860 election that led to the American Civil War. The clear and obvious one is that of Southern politicians. They believed slavery was right, just, and should be allowed to expand into all of the new territories of the United States.

In the North though, the views on slavery became split in two. There was the staunch abolitionist view that slavery was absolutely wrong. This group felt that it should not be allowed in the new lands and future states. Furthermore, they believed that it should be abolished in the South. A second group was considered to be the moderate ones. They did not approve of slavery and did not want it allowed to expand into the new territories. However, they did not believe the Federal government had the right to end slavery in the states that currently had it. Lincoln would eventually become the leader of that second group.

Because the Three-Fifths Compromise gave the South more power in Congress than their actual voting population warranted, they were able to push forward two laws to further their goal: the Missouri Compromise and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Both of these laws helped expand slavery into new territories. The latter one led to led to “the party of Lincoln” being born.

In 1857 came the beginning of the end. The Supreme Court (again, filled with justices chosen from the Southern-view majority senate) handed down the Dred-Scott decision. It stated that no black person, whether free or a slave, could claim U.S. citizenship. Therefore, black people could not petition the court for their freedom. The decision infuriated the majority in the North and led to violence erupting in 1859 (Harper’s Ferry) and the election of President Abraham Lincoln. In turn, Lincoln’s election led to the Southern states leaving the Union and starting the Civil War.

Where America is Today: The Curse of the Compromise

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By Evan Nesterak — Nazi Salute, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61723722

What is happening in America now is not new. It is the extension of a civil war that never really ended. Furthermore, that civil war was nothing but the natural progression of the Faustian bargain of the Three-Fifths Compromise. That bargain on the issue of slavery reflects the ugly marriage of racism and commerce that was forged in the making of America.

The practice of slavery is one that economically benefited a select few. It kept those comparatively few white families rich and kept most white people poor. Historian Keri Leigh Merritt wrote a seriously in-depth book called Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South (it’s available on Amazon) that thoroughly documents this part of American history. However, her work builds on what abolitionists of the time also knew. These are the words of Hinton Helper, from his 1857 book, The Impending Crisis of the South.

“The lords of the lash are not only absolute masters of the blacks, but they are also the oracle and arbiters of non-slaveholding whites, whose freedom is merely nominal, and whose unparalleled illiteracy and degradation are purposely and fiendishly perpetuated.”

The effect of the African slave trade on America and the world cannot be underestimated. Today’s racism, which has become a distrust and fear of “black and brown people” is a direct descendant of the practice of slavery and of the culture that developed from it. Although slavery is something that had existed since before Biblical times, the injection of race as an inescapable hereditary brand was a unique form born out of the Transatlantic slave trade. Suddenly skin color, more than class, country, or religion, became the defining and inescapable mark of inferiority in the modern world.

The Curse is Worldwide

Even though today’s racism developed from ideas that started in Europe, some would argue that today America has the worse case of racism within its society (bbc.com). This is certainly debatable. For starters, there is also South Africa’s painful journey in trying to recover from its apartheid system.

Of course, the history of South Africa’s apartheid system — which started in 1948 — was a horrifying combination of America’s history with Native Americans and our Jim Crow laws. It’s not like they came up with implementing apartheid all on their own. As such, using them as an example of “worse than America” is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.

The truth is that today there is no country that hasn’t in some way been affected by racism. In an insightful interview promoting his show, “Hate Thy Neighbor” (a documentary TV series on racism and hate groups around the world) the British comedian Jamali Maddix had this to say about how racism works in England.

“We think subtle racism is OK. So English racism comes from subtlety, while American racism doesn’t.”

Now, that seems fair. What can be said with a hundred percent accuracy about America is that it has a serious problem with racism — and it certainly is not subtle.

Racism joined a list of despicable world practices that see one group of people as intrinsically inferior to others. In particular, sexism, tribalism, and anti-semitism, were in place long before skin color ever became an issue. What makes racism different is how clearly its birth can be pinpointed in history.

Racism in America

What makes racism in America unique is that the country was born with it. Since then, every step that’s been taken in an attempt to remove this defect has been met by the same Southern minority viewpoint that forced the Three-Fifths Compromise. Those racist ideas, regardless of the party’s name that championed them, are the ones that led to the official Civil War, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the rise of the KKK and the encoded Jim Crow laws.

It’s this same minority viewpoint that drives the current Republican party. Although no one today believes in slavery, the racism of today’s Republican party is a direct descendant of the Confederacy. As such, one can argue that the Confederacy really never surrendered and that only the huge bloody battles of the Civil War ended. The heart of the war was allowed to live and grow.

Just think about the fact that the KKK — which is basically a Confederate terrorist organization — has been alive and well since the Civil War “ended.” Furthermore, the ending of slavery did not end the treatment of African-Americans as less than equal. The battle to end Jim Crow was a long one, filled with lynching, lies, and church bombing. Under the leadership of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, the nation began to try to live up to the ideals of equality within our Constitution. Republicans, starting with Barry Goldwater, embraced the Confederacy ideals of racism and division as a means of gaining control of the government.

The New Confederate Strategy Has Been the Courts. Will They Win?

Right now America is a dangerous situation. Make no mistake, the ideals of the historic and current political majority are the same as the ideals of our Constitution. The ideals of the minority — best spelled out by the Civil War’s Confederacy — are not. This is why it’s so worrisome that the minority viewpoint has held control of Congress long enough to stack the courts — including the Supreme Court — with conservative ideologues.

The extreme conservative branch of the Supreme Court is made up of Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Trump’s appointees, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. Nevermind that two of the four — Thomas and Kavanaugh — will always have an asterisk by their name due to their questionable appointments. Their overall judicial records are appalling for our democracy.

As Supreme Court Justices, Thomas and Alito have consistently voted for the conservative point of view. Even more troubling is knowing Thomas and the two Trump appointees claim to adhere to an originalist ideology of Constitutional interpretation. The term originalist sounds benign, but its meaning is not.

“The idea of Originalism/Textualism is that the Constitution means no more or less than what it meant to those who originally wrote and ratified it.” (Lexicon.com)

Originalism forces a 1776 mindset and culture onto a 2018 world. Following the logic of originalism, these justices would never have given African-Americans or women the right to vote! (Ironically, Judge Thomas has been noted by those on the Left and the Right to be the most extreme originalist on the Supreme Court. He embraces a theory of law that would negate his own position on the bench.)

Luckily, the courts can’t overturn a Constitutional Amendment. However, the insistence on using the lens of the societal norms of the 1780s for deciding laws in 2018 should scare every person who is not a rich white male.

Lessons From Our History That Can Help Us Now

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Photo: Miroslav Vajdić @ openphoto.net

This look at U.S. history shows we are also in a similar political situation as what went on leading up to the Civil War. That’s because the underlying battle of the Civil War was about racism, and it has never ended. It has continued in our American politics and at times has erupted into violence.

Over the years, issues such as sexism and anti-semitism have strongly entered the Confederacy mix. Adolf Hitler actually states in his notorious book, Mein Kampf that he took ideas from America’s Jim Crow laws to create his ideology of Nazism. (It is one of history’s ironies that the U.S. helped defeat Nazism in the 1940s but would not defeat the ugly American Jim Crow laws until the 1960s.) The good news is that we can learn from our past and make corrections now.

1. It’s Time to Stop Being Nostalgic About the Old South

One of our historic errors has been an unwillingness to definitively say that what the South was fighting for during the Civil War was wrong. Period. That’s the only reason today the United States has statues and monuments honoring leaders of the Confederacy. The South was allowed to keep that they fought for some noble cause. The idea of this is akin to Germany having memorials to Hitler and those leaders who helped carry out his plans because he, “fought to preserve Germany.”

Celebrating things like Southern cuisine is one thing. Every region has pride in its culture. This is not about trying to take all of that away. However, the South was never made to face the reality that buried within the bedrock of its cultural heritage is slavery. There are no Southern belles & Southern gentleman without it because the wealth of the antebellum era came directly from the use of slaves. Furthermore, whether rich or poor, the Southern pride of that era was built on the idea that being white was better than being black. Yet, within the South and in America overall, the fiction that this time in history had some kind of real honor and nobility still exists.

If you think this is not a fact, consider that the film Gone With the Wind, with its pastoral view of slavery and Southern womanhood, is still a beloved American classic. Better yet, look at how many streets are named after KKK members, or how many housing developments have the word “plantation” in them. You’ll find these things across the nation, but especially in the states that supported slavery. Case in point, there is actually a town called “Plantation, Florida.”

Even more telling are things like this. In the 2018 elections, Mississippi elected Cindy Hyde-Smith to the U.S. Senate. This is despite a series of disturbingly racist statements recently made by her, the unearthing of a history of racism, and her history of wanting to glorify acts of the Confederacy. This was posted on her Facebook page along with several photos of her posing with Confederate weapons and wearing a Confederate hat.

“I enjoyed my tour of Beauvoir. The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library located in Biloxi. This is a must see. Currently on display are artifacts connected to the daily life of the Confederate Soldier including weapons. Mississippi history at its best!”

Most in Germany would not be proud to say their ancestors fought in Hitler’s army. Nor do they see that period of time as “its best” part of history.

John Hopkins Magazine states that “other nations could learn from Germany’s efforts to reconcile after WWII. In German, you will not find that the home of the Nazi leader is maintained as a museum. His main residence, which was badly damaged in the war, was completely razed in 1952. The reason was, “to prevent the site from becoming a tourist attraction.”

Another thing you will you never see is a modern German flag incorporating the Nazi flag into their own. …This is the state flag of Mississippi:

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Members of the Mississippi Army National Guard (ANG) Delta Company. Source: The U.S. National Archives

Germany has also made a determined effort to change the names of streets named after Nazis. Any memorials for World War II are to victims of German aggression, not The Third Reich. No one in German pretends that there was anything good about a concentration camp. As such, people do not live in places with names like “Concentration Court.” (Yes, there are housing complexes in the South called “Plantation Court” — Google it.)

To be fair, maybe Germany took a better tact in their reconciliation after seeing how badly America handled the physical end of our Civil War. This highlighting of Germany is not to suggest that they have completely stamped out its Nazi past or that the country has no issues with its own history when it comes to the slave trade. They still struggle with it all. For instance, Germans are only recently coming to terms with their atrocities committed during African colonialism.

However, the bottom line is that in Germany, there are no illusions about World War II. They’ve made it a policy to take full responsibility by owning that what they did as a country under Hitler, and what he stood for, was 100 percent wrong. Here in America, we’ve never had that officially said about the Confederacy. As a result, there is a certain percentage of Americans today who have consistently refused to own the wrongness of the Civil War. It is something that the rest of us have let slide for way too long.

2. “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice”

The above quote is credited to Dr. Martin Luther King. What makes this reference even more powerful is knowing that the idea behind it came from the abolitionist Theodore Parker. The framework is found in a book of his sermons published in 1853. Former President Barack Obama brought the idea into our 21st Century consciousness when he referenced it in a 2009 Time magazine article. We can now literally trace this idea and the changes that have come with it from before the Civil War up until the present. We can see that there is truth in the words.

Note that the arc bends, it does not break. It is as remarkable as Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa. The tower was a grand idea placed on a weak foundation. Had they tried to build the tower all at once, it would have collapsed. Instead, because of circumstances beyond anyone’s control, the tower was built in stages. That is why this marvel of architecture is still standing. Granted, this tower that was meant to stand straight, it leans. At the same time, the lean is what makes it a remarkable achievement.

The tower also has required special maintenance and interventions to keep it from toppling over. It will constantly need this care if it is to stay standing. Yet, the building’s unique placement and construction is the thing that has kept it from falling during earthquakes. Its weaknesses are also its strengths. The same can be said about America, and, like the tower, our country needs constant attention to keep the weaknesses from destroying it.

3. Acceptance of the Past: Why America’s Foundation is Soft Soil and Not Granite

American history shows that this nation has much in common with the leaning tower. Despite the cancer of racism built into America’s being, the country did end slavery. One hundred years later, it ended the Jim Crow laws. This is because the school of thought that championed slavery and the racism that grew out of it has never reflected the majority of people in America.

So, if slavery was not the will of the majority, why didn’t the Framers of our Constitution nip this problem in the bud from the beginning? Well, it’s not like they weren’t racist themselves. It was an irony of the time. Even as most of the Founding Fathers from the Northern states saw the practice as wrong, many of them also owned slaves.

Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner who thought “blacks were racially inferior” — even as he bemoaned the practice of slavery and wanted it abolished. George Washington owned slaves as well, but his ideas about slaves and slavery changed during the Revolutionary War. He also wanted slavery abolished, but his opinion of the capabilities of black people was much higher than Jefferson’s. His opinion changed largely because he saw that they had equal abilities to whites during the war. (For more on the Founding Fathers and slavery, check out www.revolutionary-war.net.)

Maybe the Founding Fathers thought the world wasn’t ready for the end of slavery? Possibly. They seemed to have an idea about phasing it out, but that could be because they believed the practice was dying out anyway. That’s an argument made by historian R. B. Bernstein, in his book, The Founding Fathers Reconsidered. He theorizes that they felt slavery was becoming economically unsound and would come to end in time. That’s why they agreed not to attempt any legislation regarding the end of slavery until 1808, and to the three-fifths compromise. As Bernstein says:

“The approach of the Founders was, ‘We’ll fix it now and let posterity sort it out.’ ”

In other words, they agreed to kick the can down the road figuring that the financial unsustainability of slavery would be enough to end it. Unfortunately, that theory was blown to bits six years later by the invention of the cotton gin. Instead of the agricultural model of using slaves dying out for economic reasons, it became more profitable and expanded.

In looking back at this history, it’s clear that the intention of most of our Founding Fathers was for slavery to end eventually. They didn’t have the pure moral fiber to do so immediately though — despite knowing it was wrong. Instead, they all chose to compromise the vision in the for the sake of unity.

While it is easy to judge the Founders now, one also should consider this. Had those who wanted the practice of slavery to end pushed to do so then, it’s possible we wouldn’t have a country now. Nevertheless, there are things we must do now in order to fix the problems created by what was done then.

Remembering and Preserving the American Dream

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Photo: TheDigitalArtist

Our Constitution enshrines the heart of American values with its beginning statement.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The Constitution does not say we are to promote the welfare of a few and the rest be damned. It makes programs like social security, food stamps, and yes, the Affordable Care Act, as American as apple pie.

It is true that as a nation we have not always lived up to the American values encoded in the opening of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Still, it is also true that the majority of “We the People” do strive for them. Whenever there are temporary political gains by those who would adhere to the values evolved from the Confederacy we come back to the meaning of the words that gave birth to our nation. These words give the majority of us the resolve to ensure that, as a nation, we live up to them.

Furthermore, we do not only hold these values for Americans. They are what we, as Americans, work to preserve and protect for others. It is why we helped forge the United Nations after World War II.

When as a nation we have failed to live up to our core beliefs, our democracy, much like the Tower of Pisa, has wobbled and threatened to fall. This is where we are today. The news is full of stories from the White House on down that makes one wonder if, “We the People” truly are being heard and listened to.

One of the most recent undemocratic moves is happening in the states of Wisconsin and Michigan. In those states, the Democrats won resounding victories in terms of overall votes. It gave them control of the Governorship and other state-wide positions such as attorney general. However, because of gerrymandered voting districts, Republicans, with a minority amount of the vote, maintained the majority of the legislative seats. They are currently passing laws to limit the power of the governors and attorney generals, as well as passing laws that make it harder for people to vote.

That last move is straight out of the Jim Crow era — aka the first attempts of those loyal to the Confederacy to circumvent the laws of our nation. It brings us back to the point made at the beginning of this article. The truth is that the Confederacy has never surrendered, they simply changed their tactics.

In the past, despite the consistent attacks on the ideas of liberty and justice for all, the American majority who support those words have always managed to intervene. Because of this, after every cultural battle and political skirmish, America has shored up her foundation and the nation has moved closer to its ideals.

This time the stakes are much higher — it’s the fundamental rule of law and the spirit of our democracy. Hopefully, the will of the majority will continue to intervene in our current political crises, and eventually truly prevail. Only time will tell.

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