As of late I have been immersing myself in some good old Civil War history. I just finished McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom and I have been enjoying David Blight’s lectures on the subject from his class at Yale, as well as the amazing discussions and ideas over at TNC’s place on the subject.
Great stuff. And through it all–almost as background–has been the political discourse of our day. As these two streams of information overlaid each other in my day to day musing one thing became pretty clear: the modern ‘Conservative’ movement and the TeaBagger movement are distinctly Confederate in rhetoric, historical myths, Constitutional understanding, talking points, memes and goals. Natuarly, a neo-FireEater from South Carolina like Jim DeMint is in the lead as are quite a number of Old South Confederates and more than a number of neo-Copperheads from the rest of the Country. It is also no surprise to find the age-old bedwetting Blue Dogs acting in 2010 much the same way they acted in 1860–some things never change.
In many ways it should not be a surprise that a political fight that led to so much blood letting 150 years ago is still an active force in American politics. Around the planet many other Nations and Peoples still fight about issues with much deeper roots. America is not exempt from this kind of ongoing multi-generational political battles. We are in one today.
Now some think the goal of the Astroturf TeaTards is to roll things back to pre-Obama. Other think pre-Clinton or pre-LBJ or pre-FDR. And yes, they would like to roll past all of the laws, rules, traditions and regulations of all of these guys. But the real target is Lincoln.
It was Lincoln changed the term “United States” from a descriptive term about States sometimes working together into a proper noun that named our Nation. It was Lincoln who began the move away from gold and issued paper money. It was Lincoln who could multi-task with an eye to the future. While he was kicking Confederate ass he also financed a transcontinental railroad, land grant schools and education and land for homesteaders. It was Lincoln who worked to protect free labor and to end slavery. Ending slavery, he also set up the first government run welfare effort to help former slaves transition to freemen. And it was Lincoln who led our Nation to soundly defeat the Confederacy and deliver to these traitors a well-earned ass whopping. Their ideological descendants are still holding a grudge towards the America that Lincoln shaped.
In all of these efforts and many more, Lincoln changed the rules of the American economy to favor the working class, the poor and to create new entrepreneurial opportunities. He totally screwed the Southern oligarchs who were used to running the Country. To protect their power, those Southern planter oligarchs created the Confederacy. The modern oligarchs in America have created the TeaTards to protect them from market forces. Then as now, the appeal to the gullible is racism, fear and the promotion of ignorance as a source of strength.
When I listen to these fuckers these days all I can hear is the echo of Confederate bullshit in their every statement, their every word. Their understanding of the US Constitution is a Confederate understanding. Their understanding of the Founding Fathers is completely informed by Confederate myths, memes and spin. When they wrap themselves in the American flag you know that they would rather wrap themselves in a Confederate battle flag snuggie. And when the chant USA! USA! USA! USA! you can be sure that they really mean CSA! CSA! CSA! CSA!
It is a common line of these wankers to state that “We need to take our Country back”. I believe them, but the Country they seek to rescue is the Confederate States of America. As for the United States of America, they are always quick to tell you that that government is their enemy. It is ironic that this group of neo-Confederate deadenders have captured Lincoln’s Party and killed it. Now they seek to do the same to the Union and Nation Abe gave his life for.
These neo-Confederates are serious in their goals. It is time to push their failed ideology back into the dustbin of history. We ignore them at out personal and National peril.