by Al Benson Jr.
A recent headline in our local paper noted that "Democrats Push for Civil War Bill." It would seem, to the casual reader that the Democrats in our august Congress have suddenly become aware of their "duty" to commemorate the War Between the States as an event that changed our form of government in this country from that of a Republic to that of a consolidated democracy. True? Not hardly! But the Democrats are pushing hard for a federal commission to "commemorate" the 150th anniversary of the War.
So, why, you might ask, are they so interested? Perhaps a comment by Andrew Wilson, a spokesman for Rep. Je$$e Jackson Jr. of Illinois has let the cat out of the bag when he said: "It's important for the country to have an open, honest discussion about the war, including the reason it occurred." Please note that Mr. Wilson didn't refer to the "reasons" that it occurred. In his comment the word "reason" was singular. That should be a clue to the historically astute as to where this whole thing is going.
What these Democratic Congressmen really want is a federally sponsored committee that will broadcast far and wide that the only "reason" for the War Between the States was slavery. Their version of an "open, honest, discussion" will probably end up being a four-year-long harangue about slavery, and nothing else, being the sole reason for the War and how we all need to repudiate our "racist" attitudes (while they get to keep theirs).
All the things mentioned in the "news" article, the 13th Amendment, Lincoln's war propaganda measure, charitably called the "Emancipation Proclamation" (which never freed a single slave)--are geared to dealing only with the slavery issue to the exclusion of all the other issues.
If we are really to have an open and honest discussion about the reasons for the War that would be great. But, folks, let's be honest. After 150 years of Yankee/Marxist propaganda at all levels, you have to know that ain't gonna happen--no way!
To engage in that sort of dialogue would force people to deal with all the reasons for the War--the tariff issue, the cultural and theological differences between North and South, differing views of the Constitution between North and South, and the issue of states rights, and not just the right to own slaves. Only the truly ignorant confine states rights to that issue.
Trying to uncover the reasons for the War only through the tunnel vision of the slavery issue is an exercise in futility. Trying to reduce the varied and complex reasons for the War into the least common denominator of slavery does a historical disservice and injustice to all Americans.
Unfortunately, in the name of suppressing the truth, that's the real name of the game.