Unified Patriots by Vassarbushmills
Make no doubt about it, in much the same way that Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 prompted the first Civil War, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 has prompted this second one.
While ostensibly over slavery, what the election of the Republicans in 1860 signaled was the end of an era, that era beginning in 1824-1828 with the creation of the original Democrat Party, whose cynical purpose was to hold onto political power by maintaining slavery well beyond any economic utility, around which almost all American politics would revolve so that the Union would be forever split into two camps of equal electoral size divided by an issue about which there could never be any agreement.
While the political parties were held in balance by slavery, they could then go about debating every other issue; taxation, tariffs, national banks, westward expansion in the back and forth fashion American politics has always been defined to be.
Cynical, it was still a masterful business model drafted by the Democrat’s original founders, Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson.
What the Democrats did not foresee was that it would only take a single generation, roughly thirty (30) years for that failing economic model to be etched into half the national fabric as a socio-cultural, religious and philosophic icon, as a way of life to be protected politically and a cause to die for.
I’d love to discuss this over a bottle of Scotland’s best, but fast forward to 2016 and consider the parallels, namely two intransigent sides fighting over the very root of what it means to be American, when only fifty years ago, two generations, “liberals”, as they were known then, largely agreed with the rest of Americans about the fundamental foundations, the institutional building blocks of the Republic, as designed by the Founders in 1776 and 1787.
I won’t wax poetic about the resume this still-imperfect union had built by the 1960s. But it is prodigious, and built entirely by men and women the rest of the world had cast off, it’s detritus. At the time of the first Civil War we were still largely an Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation, but by the early 20th Century, “the shoulders we all stand on” included cast-offs from eastern Europe, the Far East, and then Latin America and Africa, so that now every American shares that same one aspect, arising out of forbears who were low-born, all our generations, “risen”.
Why that all changed in the 1960s was not because America had fallen on hard times. In fact the generation of the 60s were themselves sired by a generation who had known hard times as no other Americans ever had, and then, just as they were bouncing out of it, had to postpone life for another five years to go fight two wars to liberate half the rest of the world, over a quarter-of-million of them postponing life for an eternity[…]