Friday, August 13, 2010

The Republicans, the Party of the Confederacy

This post by Dennis G. in Balloon Juice deserves to be widely read. It is a powerful and devastating takedown of the attempts by the American conservatives to rewrite American history and portray the Confederate movement as "honorable" and "noble". And Dennis makes these points loudly and clearly:

There are many myths about the Confederacy, but one of the biggest is that it was a political movement built around honor. It wasn’t. It was a movement built around protecting a system of stolen labor and the ‘rights’ of a selective few to grossly profit from that system. Selling ideas of honor, states rights and outright racism was how a small group of 19th century Southern Oligarchs built an army to fight for injustice. Ever since their defeat these Confederates and their idealogical descendants have worked hard to spin their treasonous racist enterprise into an honorable ‘lost cause’ and in recent decades they have completely captured the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement.

In the beginning of the last century the Confederates were early adapters of new technologies to spread their myth. It was D.W. Griffiths’ “The Birth of a Nation” that spread the myth of Confederate honor across America and presented millions of white immigrants a narrative of white supremacy and shiftless, lazy, untrustworthy and threatening blacks. It was a narrative that generations of immigrants embraced as they and their children became Americans and it was a narrative that spread the reach of the Confederate Party and its ideology of hate to all 50 states.

Read the whole thing, and keep it in mind when you hear Republican governors proclaiming "Confederate Heritage Months" or keeping Confederate flags as sacred relics (as does Mississippi's Haley Barbour), or when right-wingers rewrite American history curricula to present the Confederacy as a virtuous "Lost Cause", or when a Republican congressman from Georgia refers to the Civil War as "the War of Yankee Aggression". Roll it over in your mind: the so-called "patriots" of the Republican Party are the biggest fans of the worst group of traitors and murderers in American history, Jefferson Davis and his friends. They remember the greatest act of mass treason in American history with fondness. They are sentimental about the war that killed more Americans than all other wars in which the U.S. has been involved combined. They rhapsodize about a war that was fought for two reasons, and two reasons ONLY:

1. to perpetuate human slavery
2. to tear the United States of America apart.

The Confederate cancer used to live in the body of the Democratic Party, but beginning in 1948, the Democrats began cutting it out of themselves in a difficult but necessary procedure. But now the Confederate cancer has found a new and enthusiastic host: the radical, deeply anti-American right wing that dominates the modern Republican Party and which comprises its "base" of voters. Remember, folks, that it is the CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS WHO ARE YAMMERING ABOUT SECESSION. Remember that CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN GLENN BECK IS TALKING ABOUT A NEW CIVIL WAR. Remember that when the malcious adolescents that make up the conservative "leadership" in this country lose an election, they start threatening violence and revolution.

And if you, my beloved Democrats and Democratic leaning independents, don't bother to vote this November, the Confederate Party will win control of the Congress. So yes, it really does matter. You can vote to keep a flawed, often inept but basically correct Democratic Party in power.

Or you can let Jeff Davis and company drag this country down the drain.

It's up to you.

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