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The Civil War Red States vs. Blue States

It is generally agreed that our country is divided again. I say “again” because any student of history knows that we have had our family feuds ever since we broke our ties with the Brits in the late 1700’s. We came to blows in the bloodiest conflagration over a) slavery or was it b) States’ Rights during the a) Civil War or b) The War between the States? We lost more Americans in that war than any other war simply because Americans were on both sides of the battle lines. Whether it was a “Yankee” or “Confederate” who died on the battlefield, an American died both times. That War lasted four years for most; for some the war is STILL going on 155 years later.

If anyone wonders if many Southerners are sore losers, all they have to do is follow the course of the Jim Crow laws, and Lynchings of the 1930’s, and the Ku Klux Klan, and more recently the a) White Supremacists / b) White Nationalists, and the Segregation and Integration battles of the 1950’s, and need for Civil Rights Laws. The construction of statues commemorating the officers who LOST the war only demonstrates that “losers” don’t always go away quietly.

Things were tough in the 1950’s despite its reputation as the quiet decade. Joe McCarthy took care of that. In the 1960’s the Viet Nam War started the ball rolling, a ball that rolled up women’s rights, minority rights, and youth rights. Heady times, and commonly accepted ideas that remain with us today. Good ideas, great ones.

All the men and women and their family members who filled the streets on January 21st, the day AFTER the inauguration of the most divisive of all Presidents included many “activists” from the sixties. When asked by my cousin what we were protesting, could I please tell him, I let him know he had come to the right place: Women’s rights, Muslims’ rights, Minorities’ rights, Students’ rights, LGBTQ rights, Environmental rights, “Cool Earth” rights, Disabled persons’ rights, and more. Isn’t it sad that after all these victories they all under attack by the current administration?

Long-time friends and even close family members who decided it was good advice not to ever discuss religion or politics find themselves embroiled in heated discussions not about religion…but politics. Angry, hate-filled arguments. What has happened? Why are people so angry? Why are they so unwilling to “agree to disagree”, to allow others to have their own opinions? Why? Because for the first time, the phrase, “You’re entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to you own facts” has a whole new resonance.

For the first time FACTS come into question with accusations of FAKE NEWS tossed about when someone disagrees with your position on a topic, one you expressed and supported with commonly accepted FACTS. Then, when you pin them down, they duck and hide behind the term ALTERNATE FACTS, aka : LIES. They are actually defending their RIGHT TO LIE.

Fake News Organizations like Fox News, a group of right wing idealogs who not only put their own “spin” on the stories of the day, but make up stories if the news they find doesn’t match their preconceived ideas of what “should be.”

It doesn’t help that the Russians, a hostile foreign power have figured out how to influence our elections by hacking into private emails and more recently revealed social media. That’s right, the Russians purchased Facebook pages that posted ads and stories they made up, propaganda right out of Herman Goering’s playbook. It’s bad enough that a foreign power is messing with our electoral process but it’s beginning to look like the President’s son has been working with the Russians to dig up, or make up dirt on his father’s opponent in the last election. I think he was heard on tape saying, “ I love it.”

So when beloved family members start sending out memes about how great Trump is, quoting imaginary statistics, it’s like someone celebrating serial killers or child molesters then insisting it’s their opinion and you should just agree to disagree, when the ideas that are on the table are about our core values as Americans, as Citizens, as Human Beings.

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