The American Civil War Has Never Ended

From the very beginning of the American Republican there has been civil war at work. At the start, the battle for the soul of America was spearheaded by democratic ideals coming out of Boston Massachusetts vs. the Southern planter class autocracy as exemplified by the firebrand secessionist of Charleston South Carolina.

It was a fight between those progressives that saw the role of government as promoting the most good for the most folks and traditionalists that assumed government was meant to serve a privileged few. Ironically when war finally erupted 1861 between these competing forces it was the so-called radical Republicans, the abolitionists that were pushing freedom and dignity for all — then the good guys was the party of Lincoln. And as we know things since those days, politically, have completely reversed. It’s now the Republicans who most want to feed the rich and starve the rest.

From April 12, 1861 until April 9, 1865 formal war raged between democratic forces of the North and the anti democratic forces of the South. And though in practical terms the North of course eventually won the official war when R.E. Lee and J. E. Johnston surrendered the main Confederate armies there was never a formal surrender between the Union and the Confederacy. After 600,000 battlefield deaths from civil war, fighting between democratic ideals and anti democratic ways has simply morphed into other methods of opposition.

There is currently this silly notion bandied about that the Republican Party itself is about to engage in civil war. The only war within the Republican Party is a war of style between the establishment and the Trump folks. Policy wise Trump and the Party are in lockstep, accepting that Trump’s erratic nature is making policy difficult to implement for the GOP.

For years the GOP has been all about rewarding its rich donors while pretending to be on the side of average folks, particularly average White folks. But as the GOP’s tactic was the dog whistle to Whites, Trump has barged in with his foghorn approach to bigotry. And so after all is said and done the only difference between, say, Senator Jeff Flake and Donald Trump is Trump’s crudeness of style. Otherwise they both push policies that will greatly enhance the wealthy and hurt average Americans. Indeed, the GOP has adopted in every meaningful way the backward and repressive ways of the old Confederacy. The American Civil War goes on.

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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