Are We To Become The Nation Of Jefferson Davis Or Abraham Lincoln?

This is the question that our 2020 election will answer. For those of you who are quite young or if you are one possessing a historical time horizon that extends no farther out than thirty years, Jefferson Davis was the president of the Southern States that seceded from the Union in 1861 — the leader of the slave states that for economic and political reasons formed a sperate nation, the Confederacy, insisting that Blacks (Negros), being an inferior people, were better off as slaves than living free.

Lincoln, taking a stand as the recently elected President of the remaining free states, claimed that the Southern States had no right to leave the Union in order to preserved their institution of slavery. And so there resulted a bloody civil war in which 600,000 Americans perished. This represents more Americans killed than all the wars combined since the time of the nation’s 1861–1865 intermural carnage.

Though the North won on the battlefield, the conflict of race, a tribal war, has eversince continued to be waged in this great nation, “the home of the free and the brave.“ First the forces of racial darkness assassinated Lincoln, and then later, when Blacks in the South were protesting the Jim Crow system meant to keep Blacks in an inferior place, the despicable ones shot and kill the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., followed by a string of killings of other civil rights leaders.

Ever since Presents Kennedy and Johnson made the decision to support civil rights in the early 1960s, the GOP has responded with what was euphemistically called the “Southern Strategy.” Republicans saw that future demographics were favoring folks of color that voted Democratic, and so the choice was made to make a play for bigots of all sections and political parties of the United States. This dog whistling of White bigots has been gone on for more than forty years, though moderate Republicans turned a blind eye to the process, continuing to stress their conservative values as Republicans.

That brings me painfully to one of my favorite MSNBC Trump bashers, former Republican and George W. Bush operative, Nicole Wallace. Nicole is a heartwarming, enthusiastic political show host that sees her former party with Trump as its leader as having made a pack with the Devil. Though I love her passion dearly, she naively seems to want to believe that her former party’s awesome racism was born with the Trump takeover — no, girl, no way.

What did she think the Southern strategy was about? What did she think the Willie Horton campaign of George H. W. Bush was designed to do? Yes, gather up racists to the Republican Party. Indeed, racism wasn’t incidental to the GOP’s success for many a years. It long ago became the rock upon which it is built. Now, at last with the help of Donald J. Trump, 99.9% of America’s racist’s have been bundled into a single political unit, the Republican Party, but apparently it required Trump’s crudeness and blatant racism to wake up Nicole and her ilk to what should have been obvious to political sophisticates of their level long ago.

Now here is the deal, Nicole. Yes, I want to see you keep on bashing Trump in your adorable way, but I also want to see you own up to the fact that wittily or unwittingly you were complicit in helping build the racist political foundation upon which Trump has built his empire of hate. Yes, my love, I know it will be hard, but I’m sure when you think back on your political life you will see how you deceived yourself. You’ve already done much to atone for your sins, now I’m asking you to do the hardest thing of all, admit to them.

Much of which fork in the road the country will talk in 2020 will depend on folks like Nicole Wallace owning up to a reality that they have for years denied. Their actions will go a long way toward deciding whether the Dark forces of Jefferson Davis’s Confederacy will rise up and rein supreme or weather Abraham Lincoln’s desire for a more perfect Union for Americans of all colors and ethnicities (our better angels) will lead America and the world into a shiny new future.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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