On "the frequency with which people bring up 'civil war'" being "bizarre".

    In 1971-1972 there were almost 5 bombings a day in the US...


    I don’t follow Mathews, but I’m guessing the trigger for his response was a WaPo article linking Conservatives to the pro-slavery activists of the 1800s.

    From the article

    Not all these figures identify as right-wing. They typically dislike President Trump but say they’re being pushed rightward — or driven to defend the rights of conservatives — by intolerance and extremism on the left. The reasonable right includes people like Shapiro and the radio commentator Dave Rubin; legal scholar Amy Wax and Jordan Peterson, the Canadian academic who warns about identity politics; the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt; the New York Times columnist Bari Weiss and the American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, self-described feminists who decry excesses in the feminist movement; the novelist Bret Easton Ellis and the podcaster Sam Harris, who believe that important subjects have needlessly been excluded from political discussions. They present their concerns as, principally, freedom of speech and diversity of thought. Weiss has called them “renegade” ideological explorers who venture into “dangerous” territory despite the “outrage and derision” directed their way by haughty social gatekeepers.

    So it felt frustrating: When I read Weiss, when I listened to Shapiro, when I watched Peterson or read the supposedly heterodox online magazine Quillette, what was I reminded of? 

    My childhood home is just a half-hour drive from the Manassas battlefield in Virginia, and I grew up intensely fascinated by the Civil War. I loved perusing soldiers’ diaries. During my senior year in college, I studied almost nothing but Abraham Lincoln’s speeches. As I wrote my thesis on a key Lincoln address, Civil War rhetoric was almost all I read: not just that of the 16th president but also that of his adversaries.

    Thinking back on those debates, I finally figured it out. The reasonable right’s rhetoric is exactly the same as the antebellum rhetoric I’d read so much of. The same exact words. The same exact arguments. Rhetoric, to be precise, in support of the slave-owning South.



    It might sound strange that America’s proslavery faction styled itself the guardian of freedom and minority rights. And yet it did. In a deep study of antebellum Southern rhetoric, Patricia Roberts-Miller, a professor of rhetoric at the University of Texas at Austin, characterizes the story that proslavery writers “wanted to tell” between the 1830s and 1860s as not one of “demanding more power, but of David resisting Goliath.”



    But wait, I thought David vs Goliath was the revisionist thinking that came out around 1910, *not* one of the causes and disgruntlements leading to the war in the pre-war era?

    Connecting Trump to the Civil War is not uncommon 

    Today, more than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, America is again divided, by geography, party, ideology, economics and race.

    Like the election of 1860, the forthcoming election will be fought over the kind of existential questions which, in the mid-19th century, shattered the nation. As the 2020 campaign unfolds, candidates on both sides are offering dire predictions of what will result if the other side wins.

    Such a rupture was foreshadowed in 2016. Since then things have only gotten worse, with the president recently suggesting that each of four women of color serving in Congress “go back" where they came from and that Democrats hate America and are trying to “destroy our country.”


    Jean-Pierre said that since Trump was inaugurated, he's shown he "is not a president for black people. He’s not a president for women. He’s not a president for brown people. He’s not a president for the LGBTQ community. He chooses to just double down and triple down on bigotry and racism.”


    Trump’s racist tirades make it easier for people to connect Trump and Conservatives to the Civil War

    Trump’s claim that there had been “very fine people on both sides” was a comment that will live in infamy. This week he did it again, tweeting that progressive congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib should “go back” to their countries. Then, at a rally on Wednesday night, Trump again tore into Omar, a US citizen born in Somalia, and remained silent for 13 chilling seconds as the crowd chanted: “Send her back! Send her back!”


    Trump’s racial bias is clear. He rules like an authoritarian. Thinking about the worse possible outcome does not seem far fetched.


    Here is Russ Dothat’s attack on the WaPo op-ed 

    Then move to Fairbanks’s critique of the supposed “Confederate” style in center-right pleas for intellectual diversity. It is not white nationalism to believe that growing ideological uniformity in the commanding heights of culture makes American politics more polarized. That belief can be expressed in whiny or self-pitying fashion, sure, and it can be expressed in ways that ignore the political power that conservatism obviously wields, sometimes to tremendously ill effect. But fundamentally, it does not rebut the people Fairbanks absurdly analogizes to slaveholders, the people who worry about the ideological monoculture on campuses or the power of groupthink in elite newsrooms, to say, “Donald Trump is president, what are you complaining about?” — not least because Donald Trump is president in part because of a toxic interaction between the left’s cultural power and the right’s bunker mentality!

    Of course conservatism’s concern about its own exclusion from cultural influence is self-interested. (How could it not be?) But that exclusion is still real, and no serious post-Trump conservatism could stop challenging and critiquing it — both for the right’s own sake and for the sake of escaping our present political-cultural derangement.



    Here is the Conservative portrayed as victim. The problem with Conservatism is that Conservative policies are not popular.


    Republicans have use gerrymandering and other techniques to steal elections.


    Until Republicans admit their real problem, they will be criticized. The fact is that they are many a white party willing to cheat to win. 




    What in the world does this have to do with what I wrote?

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