Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. 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.


January 16, 2023

For those panicking over America becoming a fascist country let's not forget Russia is committing war crimes every day

 For those panicking over America becoming a fascist country, let's not forget Russia is committing war crimes every day

By Hal Brown

This is not the first time the then Soviet Union committed genocide in Ukraine. Stalin did it through starvation rather than missiles.

Click above to read article.

It is easy to think America first, not in the Trumpian way, but because we live here and what is reported in the news about the MAGA cult and its aspirations effects democracy loving Americans each and every day as we worry, even obsess, about the country becoming an authoritarian state. 

If you're a news junkie like I am you also follow what Russia is doing to Ukraine. Today those paying attention to international news saw articles like this on HUFFPOST:

Excerpt: About 1,700 people lived in the multi-story building, and search and rescue crews have worked nonstop since Saturday’s strike to locate victims and survivors in the wreckage. The regional administration said 39 people have been rescued so far and 30 more remained missing. Authorities said at least 75 were wounded.

Click above to read article in The Guardian

Russia is committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, on a weekly, if not nearly a daily basis. Killing civilians in order to demoralize the country is their primary strategy since they are unable to win on the ground. 


In addition to using the killing of Ukrainian civilians as a strategy Putin is able to use poorly trained convicts and reluctant conscripts to amass waves of 100,000 troops at a time to be basically cannon fodder. 

The NAZI buzzbomb strikes and bombing raids against London targeted civilians as well and supplemented their military engagements against the Allied forces. However from my understanding their main strategy was to win army vs. army, air force vs. air force, navy vs. navy.


Back to current day Russia:

We saw this in June:

It is a travesty that they even are members of the United Nations' let alone a permanent member of the Security Council where they have veto power.


Anyone who values democracy should be taking a stand against Russia. Unfortunately millions of Americans take Tucker Carlson's words like this as a gospel:


Putin is Stalin without a mustache. I wonder whose side the likes of Tucker Carlson would have been on prior to and during World War II. I expect he would have been a leader in the German-American Bund (read article):
German American Bund rally New York, Madison Square Garden, February 1939. Image courtesy of the Department of Defense.

Men saluting Nazi and American flags at Camp Siegfried, New York on October 1937. Image by University of Southern California.

Had the Allies not needed the Soviet Union to fight the NAZI army on the Eastern Front the alliance between this despot and the Allies would never have happened and we wouldn't have had the Yalta Conference and this amazing historic photo.

(From left) Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference, 1945. Click above to enlarge photo.

To conclude:

“Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”

This famous quote is attributed to the American philosopher George Santayana and it can be accurately quoted as “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” as stated in his work, The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense. His work speaks mostly about the role of rationality in moral philosophy and general ethics.

The problem is with those protofascists who do remember history and rather than wanting to repeat it are trying their damnedest to change the ending so their side wins. They want to avoid the errors of the NAZIS and turn the United States into the Germany Hitler envisioned for the greatest German Reich (read article).

Comment below or on Facebook or on Mastodon. You can make a reply on Twitter too.

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