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June 24, 2015

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Autoguy

Cincinnatus, I agree with you - strongly. There is a caution that I must add.
Whenever we connect words with actions, we must have a view to possible implications. Specifically, Obama's deplorable record on race relations has certainly worsened things - and the public agrees. But giving Obama some measure of responsibility for creating the climate that led to this issue - there is a slippery slope concern here.
If Obama is peripherally responsible, then Sarah Palin is responsible for the attack on the Arizona senator because of the 'cross hairs targetting' thing. It's not the same thing, not by a long shot, but it is on the same continuum. So I believe that we have to be very careful here and very ready to make a clear and concise argument as to why the same principle doesn't apply in other areas.
Also, I am fundamentally opposed to anything that limits free speech in any way. Of course the speech of POTUS is held to a different standard. To be very, very clear, that is why I agree with you. I just see some dangers here that we, as conservatives, have to be ready for.

WiseGuy

It occurred to me while listening to the very weak arguments being presented in defense of the Confederate flag, why has it taken this long to finally remove it. The answer came when it was announced that Baltimore officials want to rename a park named for Civil War hero Robert E. Lee.
The reason the Confederate culture continues in the US is a direct result of the plan made by President Lincoln, who, faced with a bitterly divided nation, decided to welcome the southern veterans back into the Union as heroes rather than defeated losers. For this reason every National Battlefield has equal recognition of Union and Confederate heroes. Use of the flag in state government, for better or worse, is part of this plan as well as Confederate named parks, military bases, statues, memorials and other "reminders of slavery".
The question now is, how good an idea is it to now renege on Lincoln's plan 150 years after the slaves were emancipated?
I can't imagine how I would feel if the statue of my Civil War hero great, great, great, grandfather were to be unceremoniously torn down by a mob, as surely it will be. The wisdom of Lincolns plan is about to be tested.

Autoguy

Wiseguy, the argument in favor of the Confederate flag is not weak IMHO.
The Southern Confederacy was about a lot more than slavery. Much of the impetus to form the Confederacy was reactionism to what was being forced on them, but much was culturally based. And yes, there WAS a significant cultural difference, all the major historians of that time agree. Most people will agree that there is still a cultural difference between North and South today.
The symbol of that difference - the difference that was under threat at that time - was the 'Stars and Bars'. Yes, part of that difference was slavery. That doesn't mean that was the only difference, ergo the Confederate Battle Flag was about a lot more than slavery.
The vast majority of Confederate soldiers in the Civil War were NOT slave owners. Those soldiers resisted for far longer against terrible odds for far longer than most anyone thought possible. That kind of resistance is NOT based solely on slavery. It is based on the intense desire to defend your home.
I am not defending slavery. It is a horrible institution. The removal of slavery from the South did not give Lincoln the moral right to do what he did, which was force the Southern States to stay in the Union. The Southern States did not have the moral imperative to retain slavery, or to propagate it throughout the new states being formed out west. BOTH were wrong.
My take is that Lincoln fought an legally wrong war for the right reason. He should not have been able to do what he did, but he did it to get rid of slavery.
My point to all this is that the issue is not nearly so cut and dried as many would like to think.

Martin

Southern casualties in the civil war were in excess of 350,000 souls. If slavery was the root cause of the conflict,once fighting began and most of it took place in the South, simple defense of one's homeland and family became reason enough to fight on. The majority of Confederate soldiers would have had no direct contact with slaves, let alone the means to own one.
I don't see the flag as a symbol of hatred and violence. Most Southern courthouses have statues honouring the dead in this bloody conflict. Are they all to be torn down now in a misguided attempt at revisionist thinking?
If so , what of the monuments to Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, slave holders both? This is the problem of projecting todays values backwards 150 to 200 years.

WiseGuy

What is ironic now is that the left now wants to take down the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. A memorial for the man who wrote the treasonous words "... all men are created equal." putting his life on the line for human freedom. The first such utterance in history, on the most important document in the history of the world.

We have truly reached a dangerous point in history.

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