Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts

May 25, 2023

2024 election will be the new Battle of Fort Sumpter

 By Hal Brown

Battle of Fort Sumpter, Currier and Ives, Public Domain

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024 the equivalent of the Battle of Fort Sumpter which marked the beginning of the Civil War will begin.  The bombardment of the fort, which is near Charleston, was by the South  Carolina militia. It ended with the surrender by the United State Army. 

Not that anyone reading this blog needs a reminder, but briefly:

The Civil War remains the bloodiest war in American history with over 620,000 deaths. The war began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate soldiers attacked Union bases at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. It was fought for four years, three weeks and six days until Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. General Joseph E. Johnston subsequently surrendered on April 26, 1865, while Kirby Smith surrendered on June 2, 1865. Cherokee General Stand Watie was the last Confederate general to surrender on June 23, 1865. (Reference)

When the southern states seceded the country looked like this:

Slave and free states and territories at start of Civil War

There are several slightly different maps showing how the country looks today. Here is one of them. You get the idea.

The issue of the right of people to own people who were kidnapped from Africa (those abolitionists called accurately "slaves") and force them to work for them is what ultimately led to the Civil War.  It could be said to have started with the election of Abraham Lincoln.

The election of 1860 was one of the most pivotal presidential elections in American history. It pitted Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln against Democratic Party nominee Senator Stephen Douglas, Southern Democratic Party nominee John Breckinridge and Constitutional Union Party nominee John Bell. The main issue of the election was slavery and states’ rights. Lincoln emerged victorious and became the 16th President of the United States during a national crisis that would tear states and families apart and test Lincoln’s leadership and resolve: The Civil War.(Reference)

Today children learn to revere Lincoln as the president who freed the slaves... at least this is what they learn in school which teach history accurately.

The coming civil war could be said to have started with the defeat of Donald Trump in his attempt to win a second term and the election of Joe Biden. The beliefs in the superiority of white people which come under the general heading of MAGA have been present since the actual Civil War ended but they increased exponentially in the last century as minority groups became more and more empowered and their votes began to influence elections. 

The election of our first Black president brought American bigotry to a simmering boil but by and large it didn't blow the lid of the kettle off. These people breathed a sigh of relief and their kettle of rage and resentment was removed from the stove when Donald Trump was elected.

Trump coined the term MAGA. It was a big tent which included everyone from self-proclaimed NAZI's to Christian nationalists. His regime gave such people a sense of power they hadn't felt, well, since the Civil War.

Giving credit, or blame, where it is due I have to hand it to Ron DeSantis for turning the concept of being woke from something good and beneficial into something evil. Read about his latest bigoted balderdash here: DeSantis says he’ll turn 'woke military' away from 'gender ideology'.

The upcoming election will pit people who are woke, i.e., those with empathy and who believe in accepting everyone, against anti-woke warriors and MAGA forces. It will be a war fought  against those who believe that everyone should benefit equally from living in America and believe in the crucial sentence from The Declaration of Independence no matter whether they believe in God or not:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I'd like to say that it is unlikely that anybody will be killed on Election Day or as a result of a win by Biden. Only one person was killed and one mortally wounded in the Battle of Fort Sumpter. Tragically I can't say that the re-election of President Biden won't be met with violence and death. Just the other day a man threatening the president tried to crash a U-Haul truck though the White House barrier gates.

The quote, rephrased in various ways* "those who forget history are condemned to repeat it" is attributed to the American philosopher George Santayana. I could turn this quote around and note that there are those who do remember history, in the case of the United States the history of the Civil War, want to learn from what they consider the mistakes of the Confederacy and try not to repeat them in the civil war they intend to engage in if Joe Biden wins the presidency.

Footnote:

  • * This famous statement has produced several variants:
    • Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
    • Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.
    • Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.
    • Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.
    • Those who do not know history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

Related:

Violence is the new Republican grift, by Chauncey DeVega

Republicans know more death enhances their power

Excerpt:

In all, violence in its many forms (which includes random violence, terrorism, hate crimes, intimidation, and vigilantism) is central to the Republican fascists and larger white right and "conservative" movement's project to end America's multiracial pluralistic democracy by gutting the rule of law and the country's democratic and other societal institutions.

Trump's greatest appeal is how he gives his followers and others in the MAGA movement's orbit permission to be their worst true horrible selves. Violence bonds members of a social group together; this is especially true of political personality cults such as the Trump MAGA movement. Healthy democracies discourage and outlaw political violence because it is antithetical to normal politics with its rules-based deliberation and collective decision-making and other ways of attempting to be legitimate sources of authority among the governed.

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Blogs by Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist. More about me.


March 2, 2023

Chauncey DeVega's quote should be terrifying and mind-boggling

 By Hal Brown

Click above to enlarge image
Pictured above, would be Queen of the New Confederacy Marjorie Taylor Greene holding a $2400 Honey Badger firearm, because inquiring minds probably don't want to know. I am not an expert on firearms. I used Google Image search (here) to find out about the weapon.

The following paragraph is from Chauncey DeVega's article in Salon. 

Stop mocking Marjorie Taylor Greene

It's not just trolling. Republican threats of civil war should be taken seriously

We have just experienced a nightmare here in America (and the world) where what many "centrists" and "mainstream" political thinkers and voices said was impossible came true. If someone in 2015 or 2016 had told you that a professional wrestling heel, fake billionaire, willful ignoramus, white supremacist cult leader and TV host, a man credibly accused of rape many times, a failed casino owner and real estate developer, con artist would become president of the United States, make choices in response to a pandemic that would kill at least a million Americans, bring the country and its democracy to a breaking point, attempt a coup, surrender America's interests to its enemies such as Russia, commit an endless number of serious crimes while in office, be impeached twice and almost win reelection, and then announce a second presidential candidacy all the while not being held responsible for his crimes many people would – and did — mock any person willing to say such a thing. They labeled it "Trump derangement" syndrome. We all know what happened next.

Fo those who mercifully have forgotten:

Click above to enlarge

It should be as terrifying as it is mind-boggling that the things described above actually occurred. That there is a significant minority of the entire population of the United States who are happy about this is is beyond the pale, that is, outside the bounds of morality, good behavior or judgement in civilized society.

The reasons how and why the things DeVega describes in chilling words happened have been addressed by political and social scientists and by mental health experts. I don't feel like delving into these when others have done a thorough job.* I really am devoting this blog about it to share DeVega's description.

The portion of the DeVega article that Salon highlighted, the concluding sentence, follows:


Marjorie Taylor Greene and the other Republican fascists and the larger white right and their allies are very dangerous. Your laughter does not change that fact. Your laughter will not save you from them or the new American nightmare they are forcing into being. He who laughs last laughs loudest. The laughter of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the other American fascists will be very deafening indeed.
About DeSantis from: 

Introducing the first-ever, sort-of-annual Bulls**t Awards: Not just for Republicans! by Brian Karem in Salon


Mini-Me Bullshit award goes to Ron DeSantis, who while proving to be smarter than Trump (at least in some ways) has the charisma of roadkill and the smell of a dead skunk in the middle of the road. (That's a reference to an obscure song lyric — actually, DeSantis is so far to the right he's off the road). He mimics Trump's fascism in every move he makes, but takes it even further as he tries to turn the state of Florida into a Disney version of Germany in 1937. 

Here's Loudon Wainwright III singing Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

* Footnote:

 DeVega regularly addresses these topics. For example just in the past week:

The science behind why conservatives are so easily triggered


Addendum:

I wanted to use the sign I made to use to illustrate yesterday's blog, DeSantis's great Florida fascist experiment, with a new background. I changed the background and also added five new elements.

\
Thanks to Chauncey DeVega for his retweet:


October 11, 2022

The horror of a second Trump presidency

The horror of a second Trump presidency

A Washington Post Magazine article excerpted by Hal Brown

If you don't subscribe to the WaPo here are the bullet points from this article:


What Will Happen to America if Trump Wins Again? Experts Helped Us Game It Out.

The scenarios are ... grim.


October 10, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. 

From the article:

To help game out the consequences of another Trump administration, I turned to 21 experts in the presidency, political science, public administration, the military, intelligence, foreign affairs, economics and civil rights. They sketched chillingly plausible chains of potential actions and reactions that could unravel the nation (if Trump is reelected).


Based on what these experts described, here are the three phases described in the article:

Phase 1: Trump seizes control of the government

… He installs super loyalists.

... He governs without Senate advice and consent.

... He creates a MAGA civil service.

Phase 2: Trump deploys the military aggressively at home, while retreating abroad.

... He uses the military to promote his own political power.

In such a scenario, the response of other elements of the federal government and federal law enforcement could be unpredictable. “What that order does is that it fractures the American federal government, because you give an order like that to fire on American civilians and then maybe some agencies will pick it up and some won’t,” says Timothy Snyder, a historian at Yale University who writes about freedom and tyranny. “There’s a very real possibility that giving an order like that leads not to protest being put down, but it leads to some Americans in uniform firing on other Americans in uniform, with the people on both sides being convinced that they are doing the lawful and correct thing.

... American global leadership is finished — much to Putin’s delight.

... Intelligence work is harmed.

Phase 3: Political violence and democratic collapse? It’s possible.

... Ideological, racial and ethnic tensions ramp up.

... The bonds that bind the Union loosen.

... The chances of civil war increase.

That’s when the potential for violent conflict is real. For those studying the implications of these trends, “there’s no scenario that worries us more than that the wheels just come off completely from the restraints against violence in the United States,” says Diamond, of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute. “My biggest concern is what citizens would do to citizens, and what citizens might do to legitimately constituted government authority.”

... 

Could it happen here? Would it be that bad? The message of prophets of democratic doom can sound over-the-top — “crackpot, practically,” acknowledges Wilentz, the Princeton historian. But to dismiss it, they say, would be naive — and they urge vigilance and civic engagement to prevent the nightmare from coming true. 


The article concludes:

After four more years of nihilistic energy like that, the experience of being American could well have been transformed into something unrecognizable. “If Trump wins, I don’t imagine some kind of normal inauguration in ’29,” (Timothy) Snyder says. “If we want a normal inauguration in ’29, we need one in ’25 which involves somebody else.”


Author profile, David Montgomery

Washington, D.C.

Staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine

Education: Princeton University; University of Michigan

David Montgomery was a reporter at the Buffalo News before joining The Washington Post in 1993. He covered Prince George’s County, politics in Maryland and life in D.C., then became a feature writer in the Style section. Now he writes features and profiles for the Washington Post Magazine.
Honors and Awards: 2022 Climate Narratives Prize, 2nd Place, Arizona State University, for "The Search for Environmental Hope" ; 2018 Excellence-in-Features, 2nd Place, Society for Features Journalism, for "After the Fall," the story of a Confederate statue in Demopolis, AL 

Languages spoken in addition to English: Spanish

Afterword: 

Michael Cohen isn't an expert in any of the fields that would provide the type of bonafides that the author of the Post article sought to ask their predictions about the consequences of another Trump presidency. However, he is the only one who knew Trump up close and personal, who was very familiar with his modus operandi and, significantly, helped him implement his nefarious schemes. With this in mind it is worthwhile to consider what he predicts in this article: 




They also cross-publish with Salon, and summarize article published on websites which you need to subscribe to in order toe read them, The New York Times and Washington Post for example. They have an active c0mment section.


Amazing! Trump just got some bigots pissed off. By Hal Brown, MSW

  I had to read the RawStory article shown above three times to figure out what happened. Trump was showing his supposed support for law enf...