Slavery

The Issue Of Confederate Statues And Monuments In Public Places Outside Of Museums

The controversy that erupted over the Charlottesville tragedy has led to a call to remove Confederate atatues and monuments in public places outside of museums.

The descendants of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis have called for the statues of their forebears to be taken down.

A call has gone out for Confederate statues in the US Capitol Rotunda to be taken down. Bills are being introduced to accomplish this goal.

We are talking here about people who were ultimately traitors to the United States.

To compare Lee to George Washington or Thomas Jefferson as slave owners is preposterous, as we are talking about TREASON, and nothing else.

It is time to stop commemorating and honoring people who wished to destroy the American nation.

We are not expecting everyone to be perfect, but treason is something unique, and realize these and other Confederate leaders ultimately caused the death of 360,000 Union soldiers and 250,00 Confederate soldiers.

Also, realize that Jefferson Davis worked to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.

So the time has come to say atatues and monuments belong in museums, but not in parks or in government buildings.

So, for example, the excellent Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia is an appropriate location for such statues and monuments, and this blogger has visited that museum and has no issue with them having such statues and memorials. I learned a lot at that museum, and appreciate that it is there, and is such a good museum in context.

Also, state history museums can have these statues and monuments, and record the history of the state, including the Civil War.

But in public government buildings, other than museums, and in parks, it is inappropriate and time to end the “worship” of people who committed treason.

Germany does not honor Nazi Germany in public places, and neither should we honor people who worked to undermine the American nation, and wished to keep slavery alive for the long term!

Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention Anniversary On July 19 A Reminder Of Struggles American Women Still Face In 2017!

On this day in 1848, 169 years ago, the Women’s Rights Convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, with about 200 women attending.

It was a two day convention to “discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women”.

The convention condemned slavery, and advocated women suffrage, along with property rights, education rights, equality in marriage and over children, and the rights of women to employment at a decent wage, all very advanced ideas for the time.

The idea that a group of women spoke up for their basic human and legal rights was seen at the time as revolutionary, and it would take to 1920 and the 19th Amendment for women to gain the right to vote nationally.

Here we are a century later, and still the fight for women’s equality is far from over, with the clear attack on women’s rights by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, the Republican Party, and right wing Christianity, including on equal pay, sexual harassment and assault, education, and court battles over privacy rights, including abortion rights and the equal treatment of lesbians.

We have an openly sexist and misogynistic President and Vice President, and even within the Republican Party, its women members, particularly in the US Senate, are shown lack of respect and equality in how they are regarded and treated by their male colleagues.

The fact that three women Republican Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia–helped to kill the attempt to end ObamaCare without protection for constituents on their health care, is leading to Trump being critical of them, and his disrespect for women is legion.

So the battle for women’s rights is suffering from retreat from earlier accomplishments, and the struggle goes on, and both women and men need to work together on fighting for those basic human rights for women, against women such as Ann Coulter, who has advocated repeal of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment, as we near a century since its addition to the Constitution.

The 4th Of July In The Trump Era: America Has Lost Its Way!

Today is the 241st anniversary of Independence Day, declared in 1776.

America was a great experiment in being a republic, and over the nearly two and a half centuries since, America ended slavery; opened its arms to scores of immigrants from all over the world; expanded the right to vote to all citizens over time, no matter what race, religion, nationality, or gender they were; promoted a social safety net; and expanded public education to all.

The Constitution was expanded to face modern realities; and both major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, contributed to the advancement of tolerance and justice and equal opportunity; and the Supreme Court became a body that dealt with expansion of civil liberties and civil rights.

There were many detours along the road to today, but overall, progress was made, and a sense of optimism reigned.

And then, September 11 occurred, and the nation’s politics veered from one viewpoint to another and then to what is now present, a dark view of our nation, its people, and the world.

We live in the Trump era, which is in process of delaying, deleting, and destroying so much progress that has been accomplished in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

We are seeing race, religion, ethnicity and gender being used in an abusive manner to take away basic civil liberties, civil rights, common decency, and a sense of civility.

We are seeing the wealthy becoming the most stratified group in American history, and the middle class, created in the 20th century, destroyed, and the poor being treated in a shabby fashion.

One political party, the Republicans, has become the party of negativism, hatred, prejudice, and pure nastiness, and we have seen the shift of the Supreme Court toward a hard right conservatism that brings back memories of the Gilded Age Supreme Court.

It is as if we are in a time warp, and have reverted to 140 years ago!

So while we celebrate our national holiday, we have a lot to mourn, and it MUST make all of us determined to fight and resist with all our abilities combined, to resolve this crisis in a constitutional manner, with the removal of Donald Trump from the Presidency, as a tyrant and authoritarian figure who has met his match with our Constitutional remedy!

Republican Party History And Reputation Under Attack In Present Constitutional Crisis

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and included many abolitionists within its midst.

The Republican Party became the Party of the Union, and under Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, the Civil War was fought, and the Confederate States of America was defeated, and slavery was abolished.

The Republican Party then promoted citizenship and the right to vote for African Americans.

Then, the party lost its way and became the party of Big Business in the Gilded Age, and was engaged in widespread corruption.

But in the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and Congressional leaders such as Robert La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska and many others, the party became one of reform oriented ideas.

Then, in the 1920s and through the years of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the party became one of opposition to progressive ideas, with a few exceptions of leaders in Congress and in the states.

With the coming of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the rise of the liberal wing of the modern GOP, under Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, and George Romney. and many US Senators, the battle was fought against a takeover of the party by the extreme right, headed by Senator Barry Goldwater, but despite his defeat for the Presidency in 1964, the coming of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan ushered in conservative ideas, and the GOP became captive to the myth of Reagan.

The party became captive to a foreign policy of intervention in the Middle East, and promotion of massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and destruction of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were stopped in their quest by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Now, however, the Republican Party has become more extremist under the most corrupt President in American history, much more than Richard Nixon.

Donald Trump is for the wealthy elite, and that is why the Republicans in Congress are overlooking the disaster occurring before our eyes daily.

The Republican Party history and reputation are under attack in the present constitutional crisis, while at the time of the Nixon constitutional crisis, many Republicans spoke up and led the struggle against the illegalities of the Watergate Scandal.

The future of the Republican Party is at stake, and this could be the time that we will look back on and realize that it led to the demise of the Republican Party as we know it!

Donald Trump Has Divided America More Than Any Other President Since The Civil War, Including Richard Nixon!

America has had 44 men who have served as President.

We have had a person who had no issue with slaughter of Native Americans—Andrew Jackson.

We have had a person who chose to give his loyalty to the Confederate States of America in the Civil War—John Tyler.

We have had a person who warred with our southern neighbor, Mexico, on the basis of promoting slavery expansion and American imperialism—James K. Polk.

We have had a person who was openly racist after the Civil War, and was impeached, more because of his disagreeable personality and stubbornness—Andrew Johnson

We have had a person who presided over the worst, most scandalous Presidency of the 19th century—Ulysses S. Grant.

We have had a person who presided over the worst scandals since Grant, and was seen as very lacking in any intellect—Warren G. Harding.

We have had a person who was the most crooked President in American UNTIL NOW, and caused the greatest division since the Civil War a century earlier, and resigned from office under certainty of impeachment and conviction—Richard Nixon.

All of these seven Presidents had major issues and characteristics that undermine their historical reputation, but NONE, I repeat NONE, have divided America so much as Donald Trump. not even Richard Nixon, who actually had major domestic and foreign accomplishments, despite his many shortcomings.

But Donald Trump will go down as the absolute worst President in all of American history, and my prediction in February on History News Network, which went viral, still stands as of today—that Donald Trump will leave the Presidency by one method or another no later than the range of time between August 7, 2017–199 days of James A. Garfield and May 27, 2018–one year from today–or 492 days of Zachary Taylor!

History Tells Us Many States Are Not Protective Of Their Population: Reason Why We Need Federal Government!

Conservatives and libertarians love to promote the propaganda that “states rights” are the best government, and that state governments are there for their population’s needs.

History tells us otherwise, clear and simple.

“States rights” promoted 76 years of slavery under the Constitution, until it was ended by the Union winning the Civil War over the Confederacy.

“States rights” promoted segregation of the races for nearly a century after the Civil War until the 1960s.

“States rights” promoted laws against marriage, including blacks and whites, and gays and lesbians.

“States rights” promoted vigilante justice, including lynchings, chain gangs, and overly harsh criminal justice laws.

“States rights” promoted men having dominance over their wives in marriages, and resulting abuses toward women.

“States rights” promoted inferior education, including denial of historical facts, and of science, favoring religious ideas over facts.

“States rights” promoted violations of voting rights, with the intent of ruling white upper classes controlling who could vote.

“States rights” promoted denial of health care to people, while insisting on all fetuses being taken to birth against a woman’s wishes.

“States rights” promoted resistance to the Bill of Rights, and to federal government political, social, and economic reforms that made America pursue the goals of democracy, equality, and justice.

Those states that have regularly promoted “states rights” have been the most backward, the most discriminatory, the most regressive. the poorest, and have depended on the more advanced and open minded states for their economic existence.

It is the “Red” states, those in the old Confederate South, and in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain West, where we see the worship of “states rights”, as long as the elite political and religious hierarchy keep control over their populations, and keep them ignorant and under mind control.

History tells us that these states are not protective of the needs of their population, the reason we need a strong, assertive federal government, ready to step in, and having bettered life for people who are seemingly unaware how they have been manipulated by corrupt state governments.

“Change” Elections: 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1912, 1932, 1960, 1968, 1980, 2000, 2008, And Now 2016?

America has now had 58 Presidential elections, and it can now be said that 12 of them, about 20 percent, have been transformational elections.

In 1800, for the first time. the “opposition” won the Presidency, when Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams.

In 1828, the “common man”, Andrew Jackson, was elected over John Quincy Adams, and all white males over 21, whether or not property owners, were able to vote, and Jackson was perceived as representing the western frontiersman and the urban worker.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln’s victory ushered in a new political party, the Republican Party, as dominant for the next half century, and the Civil War developed out of the split over slavery and its expansion between the Union and the Confederacy. But the sectionalism of that period still exists in many ways in 2017.

In 1896, William McKinley’s victory over William Jennings Bryan promoted the growth of industry and urbanizastion over the previously predominant agricultural and rural nature of America, but in reality, that conflict still exists in 2017.

In 1912, the high point of progressive reform, and the evolution of government playing a major role in the economy from that point on, became a long term reality, with three Presidents–the past President Theodore Roosevelt; the incumbent President William Howard Taft; and the future President Woodrow Wilson—all competing in promoting what one could call the most reform oriented election, with all three Presidents being “progressive” to different degrees.

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s victory over Herbert Hoover, was the time of the beginning of Democratic Party dominance, and ever bigger national government, even beyond the Progressive Era of the early 20th century.

In 1960, the election of John F. Kennedy was the triumph of overcoming the “religion issue”, as our first non Protestant President, a Roman Catholic from Massachusetts, was accomplished.

In 1968, the election of Richard Nixon marked the beginning of a turn to the Right, although Nixon actually continued and expanded elements of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson in domestic affairs.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan’s victory marked the sharpest turn to the Right since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s, and began an era of conservative government, that in many respects, continued under his successors, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

In 2000, the Supreme Court intervention in the Florida vote count, and the awarding of Florida to George W. Bush by 537 votes, giving him the Presidency, was a revolutionary change that changed the course of history, when Al Gore won the popular vote by more than a half million, and with the economy having improved during the Clinton years, should have led to Gore in the White House.

In 2008, Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain was a sharp turn to the left after what were arguably 40 years of conservative government to different degrees, including under Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and Obama overcame the race issue, in becoming the first African American President.

And now, in 2016, Donald Trump’s victory MIGHT be a sign of another “change” election, with the white working class voting for Trump, giving him the victory in the Electoral College, even though rival Hillary Clinton won the biggest popular vote margin of a losing candidate (2.85 million), greater than many Presidents won on their road to the White House,

But it may eventually be seen as a “fluke” election, and may not be long lasting, and only time and events will tell us what the reality is.

The 2017 C Span Presidential Survey First Impressions: What It Tells Us

The new 2017 C Span Presidential survey, the third in a series with earlier surveys in 2000 and 2009, reveals a lot about how scholars evaluate Presidents and their performances in office.

The survey is based on 91 Presidential historians judging our Presidents on ten categories, and adding up points to rank the Chief Executives.

What stands out as glaring is that two Presidents with earlier higher ratings have dropped dramatically, as a result of recent research.

Woodrow Wilson’s racism and civil liberties abuses in office have dropped him from 6 to 9 to 11, but with his overall performance still seen as significant enough to be in the top quarter of our 44 Presidents.

Andrew Jackson has dropped from 13 and 13 to 18, and is now behind other 19th century Presidents, including James Monroe, James K. Polk, and James Madison, who he used to be above, and that is clearly due to his anti abolitionist viewpoint and defense of slavery; his native American policy (Trail of Tears); and his destruction of the Second National Bank (causing the Panic of 1837).

One might argue that we should not judge Presidents by our own time and changing views, but it is clear historians do precisely that.

Presidents Judged On Compassion And Empathy: Few And Far Between

The traits of compassion and empathy are not automatic parts of any person’s makeup and character, but rather needs to be cultivated from childhood on by a family environment that emphasizes commitment to others, rather than exploitation of others for one’s own gain.

Difficult childhood experiences can, of course, affect personality, and often cripple any sense of compassion and empathy for others.

So one could argue that any President who had owned slaves, as ten Presidents did, are lacking in compassion and empathy, as they were able to separate their willingness to exploit others for personal gain.

One could also say that anyone who grew up in an environment that overlooked the human rights of native Americans, or displayed racism and nativism toward people of other races, nationalities, and religions, also would be seen as lacking in compassion and empathy.

So by this standard, the number of Presidents with elements of compassion and empathy are few and far between. However, there are some who have background that would seem to eliminate them from this category, but who, in reality, demonstrated growth and recognition of shortcomings and overcame them in the Presidency. In other words, they changed over time.

So who would fit on the list of compassion and empathy in office?

In the 19th century, we would place John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and James A. Garfield in his few short months in office before the tragedy of assassination shortened his life.

In the 20th century and since, we would include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama.

This does not mean that one cannot find criticism of these ten Presidents’ policies, for surely one can.

But even with elements that can be seen as shortcomings, these ten Presidents in general can be seen as the most compassionate, empathetic Presidents we have had.

Which Presidents would be seen as having the least compassion and empathy in American history?

This author would say Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, with Trump at the head of the list.

The Mental Instability And Hatred At Trump Rallies Totally Terrifying!

We are living in dangerous times, and the most scary scenario is being at a Donald Trump rally.

We have white supremacists there.

We have Neo Nazis and Ku Klux Klan types there.

We have “Birthers” and conspiracy theorists there.

We have misogynists, racists, Islamophobes, nativists, homophobes, and xenophobes there.

We have women who could be imagined as Nazi concentration camp guards torturing people.

We have what could best be described as the most ignorant of the ignorant, who drink too much, use drugs too much, and think women are to be controlled by men.

We have people who want the “good old days” of segregation, lynching, and even slavery.

We have people who hate anyone who speaks a foreign language, or who is darker skinned than they are, and believe in an Aryan race mentality.

We have people who claim to be “good Christians”, but have no concepts of the true teachings of Jesus Christ, and are also anti-semites, who do not realize Jesus was a Jew.

We have people poorly educated, and reveling in that fact, and love their own ignorance.

We have people who would, willingly, in 21st century America, salute and obey an Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini.

The mental instability and hatreds of Trump crowds are stunning, shocking, and terrifying!

What has happened to our nation that we love, that we have such warped people within it, who have no interest in facts or truth?