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The political party of Republicans, not to be confused with republicans, is giddy with the expectation of a mid-term (November) election “Red Wave,” washing over the “nation” in what is being coined as a conservative landslide. This wave may be politically red, but if it isn’t cultured with Bonnie Blue, it will be no different from the usual Republican bilge of nationalism, wars, and the old Reagan-Goldwater claimed of love fantasy but lying-truth underneath. And probably not conservative.
Lying truth? Let’s see.
On the Greg Gutfield (May 13, 2022) show recently there was a piece dedicated to a recent editorial by the Washington Post suggesting that George Washington University change its name because George Washington was a “slave trader”, the Post wrote.
Gutfield et al did not gloss over the irony of the Washington Post suggesting a name change of “Washington.” It was almost laughable to Gutfeld et al, as to the media-missing-moment. But the media isn’t celebrated for its strong mental maneuverings.
Back to the point.
Washington wasn’t a slave trader but what’s the truth got to do with history—he was a slave owner. Yankee New Englanders were the slave traders. No slave ship ever sailed FROM a Southern port. But again, for the modern “publicly educated” child of historical darkness, what the hell?
But to the point of this here Dixie boy’s diatribe. The piece on Gutfield’s show, fortunately, brought up the concept (no one actually used the word) of “presentism.” This of course, to the untoward contemporarily publicly educated, is the concept that what people thought or did or said in the past is not necessarily dishonorable. It may have been acceptable in good conscience at the time, not simply because most everyone did it, but because their consciences were clear within a born-into-sin person.
Slavery, of course, is the “beast” of the past. Now judged by the present—along with some of us but not others.
Christians are not good because they are Christians, but are Christians because they are NOT good. Otherwise, what’s the point? “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” Mark 10:18
History is replete with examples of “good” people who were fraught with good intentions but today we would be aghast at their former methodologies and the results.
Today, for example, many of us believe in capital punishment not for revenge, but for eliminating a killer- blood criminal who will kill again. However, 400 years ago some of the best minds dealing with justice saw that drawing and quartering plus decapitation was not “cruel and unusual” capital punishment. Today’s presentism would condemn some of the great English and French legal minds as horrible, tortuous monsters. Why not simply a quick dagger to the heart? Nope. Suffering fits a true bill better.
Two thousand years ago, stoning (ouch!) someone to death as an accepted capital punishment was exercised among God’s chosen people. Did he choose them because they were cruel?
Isaac Newton, one of the genius minds, post Reformation, would be deemed by “presentism” today as a fool—he accepted, as most (who “followed the science”) that bleeding patients was appropriate in the field of medicine. And even closer to the present Louis Pasteur would invite similar ridicule for similar reasons.
And fools that they were, Newton gave us Calculus, and Pasteur gave us homogenized milk (not baby food shortages).
But, returning to Gutfield et al. Tyrus, a regular on the show, made at least a genuine attempt to point out the Post’s fallacy: He was a bit cutesy with his remarks but was prescient enough to point out the understanding and measure of slavery in the 18th and 19th century against today understanding. We probably would have acted much the same, he indicated. The audience seemed to agree.
Slavery, for anyone who has not had his mind cluttered with public education, was not one side of an equation where slavery equals racism. The term racism when used, is used by politicians to gain votes or discourage votes against them.
From essays by Clyde Wilson, Professor Emeritus of American History, The University of South Carolina:
“The slavery that ended more than a century and a half ago has still today a powerful emotionally-driven presence in American public discourse. Some of those who talk about ‘slavery’ use it as a weaponized word. They have no knowledge, understanding, or interest in what life was like in past times for Americans, black or white. Some historical perspective is needed. Before the invention of labor-saving machinery, beginning in Britain in the later 1700s, the master-servant relationship was normal in almost every human society. Terminology and circumstances might differ in law and custom, but it was primarily a matter of the control and use of labor. Servitude was the everyday condition of great numbers of people who did most of the world’s hard and dirty work.”
“Contrary to what most Americans seem to think today, slavery of black people flourished in black Africa for as long as we are able to find record—longer than in any other part of the world. The United Nations reports that it still exists today in some corners.”
What’s this got to do with a fallacious “red wave”?
The South, old Dixie or modern airconditioned Dixie was and is an agrarian land of republican thinking people in 1861 and is so today regardless of recent Yankee immigration. Its place in historical slavery is/was no more part of their special politics then than it is now. No more than it was a system that they originated nor held a unique patent on.
Statements by John C. Calhoun or Alexander Stephens seemingly glorifying slavery were honest statements of the time realizing that certain conditions would be altered for the good of black and white both by a republican government of the people and not a national state of political thieves, nor pirates and psychopathic murderers like John Brown.
But the presentism crowers of today put themselves on a spiritual pedestal as God’s anointed ones who have seen and understood all sin since Adam and would always be on the right side of God!
But the red Republicans of today, especially Southern ones, posing as conservative republicans, seem to think they must fall in line and promote themselves as anti-Southern racists (the presentism word for slavery), to win votes and bring the sorrowful South, and its plethora of votes into the glorified color of red Republicanism. To them, the Bonnie Blue is just as Blue as the Democrats’ blue. They are wrong on all counts.
These Republicans, as much as the blue guys, tear down monuments of great men, whether George Washington or Robert E, Lee because they cannot bear the thought of a republican government within their Republican governmental lobby.
The truth is they would probably tear down a statue of Dwight Eisenhower if their guardian dark angel, The Military-Industrial complex, paid for the stone-cutting.
These are the same fellows who truly believe in a “National” Anthem as opposed to The Star-Spangled Banner.
There surely may be a red wave in November, but if it doesn’t have the heart of the Bonnie Blue Flag standing honorably next to Old Glory then the red wave will be a wave of red ink and a wave of blood, probably in Europe.
Few Democrats are Bonnie “blue.” Fewer Republicans are republicans.
“Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star.”
My iPhone ring plays Dixie. I get a lot of calls.
By Paul Yarbrough
Paul Yarbrough is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative. He writes novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. His first novel. Mississippi Cotton is a Kindle bestseller. His author site can be found on Amazon. He writes political commentary for CommDigiNews.
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