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McConnell, when asked, fails to denounce racist ‘replacement theory’


Tue, May 17, 2022, 7:28 p.m.·6 min read

As Democrats have ratcheted up condemnation of “replacement theory” in the wake of Saturday’s mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, some Republicans on Capitol Hill have shied away from rejecting the racist idea that some members of their own party have espoused.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked repeatedly about his views of “replacement theory,” a conspiracy theory that holds that Democrats are trying to replace white Americans with undocumented immigrants and people of color in order to win elections.

He repeatedly avoided denouncing it outright.

PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news conference after a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol, on May 17, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news conference after a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol, on May 17, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

MORE: How ‘replacement theory’ became prominent in mainstream US politics

McConnell was asked whether he, as the party leader, had a responsibility to speak out against the theory, which authorities say was adopted by the 18-year-old white man accused of killing 10 Black people at a local food market.

He responded by denouncing the actions of the suspect, calling him a “deranged young man,” but making no mention of “replacement theory.”

Pressed again by reporters on whether the Republican Party is obligated to denounce the theory, McConnell condemned racism generally.

“Look — racism of any sort is abhorrent in America and ought to be stood up to by everybody, both Republicans, Democrats, all Americans,” McConnell said.

MORE: Biden labels Buffalo shooting ‘domestic terrorism’ after visiting scene

He then was asked whether he believed that Democrats are seeking amnesty for undocumented immigrants for the purpose of influencing and changing the electorate. He responded by criticizing the Biden administration’s policy at the southern border.

McConnell’s comments Tuesday came as the Senate GOP conference hosted Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, who has used language similar to the theory on multiple occasions​​.

Timothy P. Carney


The A paranoid conspiracy theory has taken over parts of the Left. It has found its clearest expression in an extremely vile op-ed at the Washington Post by author and filmmaker Brian Broome. The heart of his argument is this little pile of slander and hate: that the Buffalo shooter’s mindset is the same as the mindset of the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The same sort of thinking about race and birthrates now dominates the conservative Supreme Court,” Broome writes. “The leaked draft opinion isn’t about protecting babies. It is about protecting Whiteness. Specifically, White babies.”

These two sentences are an insane fever dream with no grounding in reality. Either Broome is a liar who hopes his readers don’t notice, or he is truly mad, living in a paranoid delusion in which powerful people are engaged in dark conspiracies disguised as normal politics.

To believe what Broome espouses, you first need to believe that Justices Clarence Thomas (formerly a black baby) and Amy Coney Barrett (mother of adopted black babies) don’t care about black babies.

But that’s not even the most absurd part of Broome’s argument.

If you reduced the number of abortions, the ultimate aim of all pro-lifers, you would increase the number of black babies and the black share of the U.S. population. Black babies are three times as likely as white babies to be aborted. Hispanic babies are twice as likely as white babies to be aborted.

Anyone trying to end or curb abortions is working to make the population less white, not more. That is just statistics. And this is why white supremacist Richard Spencer is pro-abortion.

“The people who are having abortions are generally very often black or Hispanic,” Spencer explains. Like Spencer, racist eugenicists have always favored abortion. Even the abortion lobby today agrees that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, peddled birth control and abortion because she wanted fewer nonwhite babies.

Nevertheless, Broome repeatedly asserts, using the fallacy or argument by assertion, that any concern about birthrates is part of “the great replacement theory.”

This is, frankly, idiotic. Birthrates are falling in every country, and the United States has been in a baby bust for 16 years. The result is small towns shuttering and schools closing. Eventually, it will mean an economy with not enough people to make things and perform services needed to keep the world running.

There are a million reasons to care about falling birthrates that have nothing to do with “replacement” conspiracy theories. That’s why the New York Times ran a front-page story in May 2021 warning of a “demographic time bomb.”

“All over the world,” the New York Times news story warned, “countries are confronting population stagnation and a fertility bust.”

Broome points out that the Buffalo shooter worried about white birthrates. That’s true — the Buffalo shooter was a racist who believed in baseless conspiracy theories. Conservatives like myself who worry broadly about birthrates are not fixated on white birthrates. We are happy to see more black babies, more white babies, more Hispanic babies, more Asian babies, more Native American babies, and so on.

I’m not on the same side as the murderer. Maybe Broome is. The shooter, probably like Broome, believes in human population control for environmental purposes. “There is no Green future with never ending population growth,” the atheist shooter wrote in his manifesto.

Broome’s slanderous dishonesty comes in a piece about “want[ing] the hate to stop.” But Broome’s entire op-ed is nothing but hate.

Because the data and facts cut against his tendentious thesis, Broome rests his entire argument on what he somehow knows to be the secret motivations of a shadowy cabal running America. The real reason Clarence Thomas opposes abortion, he surmises, is that he wants more white babies, etc. Never mind all the data!

Those secret intentions, Broome tells us, are evil, and they will result in something like genocide. Never mind that abortion has dramatically limited the nonwhite population.

Broome’s argument, grounded as it is in paranoid conspiracy theories and bigotry against entire classes of people, sounds a lot more like the Buffalo shooter’s thinking than anything else you’re going to find in print these days.


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Mainstream Promoter _ucker Carlson

Heather Cox RichardsonMay 16

Yesterday, an 18-year-old white man murdered 10 people and wounded three others with an AR-15. The shooter traveled more than 200 miles to get to a predominantly Black neighborhood, where he put on heavy body armor and live streamed his attack as he gunned down people grocery shopping. Eleven of those he shot were Black.

The Buffalo Police Commissioner, Joseph Gramaglia, said, “The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime. This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.”

Before his attack, the shooter published a 180-page screed on Google Drive. It is mostly a list of his weaponry, but in it he also explained his belief in what is known as the “great replacement theory,” embraced by white nationalists. This is the idea that white people are losing economic, cultural, and political power to Black people and other people of color. The name is usually associated with a French agitator who argued in a 2011 book that immigrants were destroying European culture, but the theory that an “other” is destroying traditional society has roots stretching far back in European history. In the twenty-first century, that theory has launched right-wing political parties and shootings around the world.

But the Buffalo shooter’s ramblings drew not only from the European theory—although there is plenty of that in his 180 pages of racism and anti-Semitism. They also drew from America’s own version of a theory of replacement.

That theory comes out of the 1870s and was explicitly connected to voting.

In 1867, Congress began the process of recognizing the right of Black people to have a say in their government. In the Military Reconstruction Act, it called for conventions in former Confederate states to write new state constitutions and permitted Black southerners to register to vote to choose delegates to those conventions. White supremacists scoffed at the idea that formerly enslaved people and those white men willing to work with them could produce coherent constitutions.

When their constitutions not only were coherent, but made adjustments to give more representation to poorer white men than the prewar constitutions had provided, white supremacists set out to make sure voters did not ratify the new constitutions. Needing to avoid the U.S. Army, still stationed in the South to protect Black people and their white allies, the white supremacists dressed up in white sheets to look like dead Confederate soldiers (no one was fooled) and tried to terrorize voters to keep them from the polls.

It didn’t work. Voters ratified the new constitutions, which guaranteed Black voting. Congress readmitted the southern states to the Union, but not until they ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. That crucially important amendment dissolved the state laws discriminating against Black Americans. It established that Black people were U.S. citizens and guaranteed that the U.S. government would see to it that no state could take away the rights of any citizen without the due process of law.

In 1870, white politicians in Georgia tried to undermine their new state constitution. The American people then ratified the Fifteenth Amendment protecting the right of Black men to vote. Congress also created the Department of Justice to enable the federal government to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, which it promptly did. Attorney General Amos Akerman, a former Confederate who had become a Republican, oversaw more than 1000 cases against the Ku Klux Klan.

With the federal government holding them to account for their racist attacks on Black Americans, southern white supremacists began to argue that their objections to Black equality were actually about voting. By 1871, they argued that Black men voted for leaders who promised roads and hospitals and schools. Those social investments would require tax levies, and since the Black population was poor almost by definition after enslavement, those taxes would fall almost entirely on the white men who owned property. In this telling, Black voting was essentially a redistribution of wealth from those with money to those without, from white men to Black men. It was socialism.

White supremacists began to say that they objected to Black voting and to the governments Black people elected not on racial grounds, but on economic ones. They promised to “redeem” the South from the profligate state governments that they said were bleeding tax dollars out of white landowners to provide services for the poor, generally characterized as Black, although there was no racial monopoly on poverty in the post–Civil War South.

In 1876, the “Redeemers” took over the southern states, thanks partly to the rhetoric that made them sound reasonable to northern observers and largely to the violence that enabled them to keep Black men from the polls. The “Solid South” would stay Democratic until Arizona Republican senator Barry Goldwater, running for president on a platform that called for the federal government to leave states’ racial discrimination alone, won five deep southern states in 1964.

The violence of the 1876 election, along with fears of what their lives would look like in its wake, led Black Americans to leave the South in a movement known as the Exodus. In 1879 and 1880, about 20,000 Black southerners went west to Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. “[T]he whole South…had got into the hands of the very men that held us slaves,” one recalled, “and we thought that the men that held us slaves was holding the reins of government over our heads…. [and] there was hope for us and we had better go.”

About two thousand of those migrants went to Indiana.

Indiana was a contested state in which the Republican and Democratic parties traded power. In 1876, it had gone to the Democrats by a few thousand votes.

When Black Americans began to come to their state, Indiana Democrats immediately howled that the Republicans were importing Black migrants to shift the state back toward the Republicans in the 1880 election. Their clamor was loud enough to cause a Senate investigation. The Democratic majority on the select committee concluded that the Republicans must have induced the Black southerners to leave their region because there was well-paid work and no violence in the South; Republicans retorted that if they were really trying to flood the electoral system, they would have left Black Americans where they were.

But the conspiracy theory took root. White Hoosier Democrats met Black migrants with showers of rocks and vowed to “clean out all the g–d d– –n***ers in the county before the [1880] election.” After a political rally in Rockport, Indiana, Democrats attacked local Black inhabitants, shouting: “Kill them, kill them.” After they shot Uriah Webb, one rioter stood over his body and said, “One vote less,” while the others cheered Democratic presidential candidate Winfield Scott Hancock.

Racial hostility kept the Black population of Indiana small, but it also fed the cultural and social discrimination that made Indiana the beating heart of the resurgent Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. Under violent con man David Curtis Stephenson, who raped, mutilated, and murdered a female state employee, the Indiana Ku Klux Klan developed the idea of “100% Americanism,” which argued for a hierarchy of races in which the white race was uppermost. Immigrants and Black Americans, that theory said, were destroying traditional America.

That argument has poisoned American politics since the 1870s. Yesterday, the Buffalo shooter echoed the modern European great replacement theory, but he also echoed the racial “socialist” argument of the U.S. He railed against Black Americans, whom he wildly insisted take, on average, $700,000 apiece from white Americans. He urged those who thought like him not to pay taxes, which he said would be wasted on such people. Then he warned white Americans not to become a political minority because minorities are never treated well.

Today’s Republican politicians, including Elise Stefanik of New York, the third ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, have pushed the great replacement theory for years and even after yesterday’s massacre have refused to denounce it. That theory is based in racial hate, but it is not only about racial hate. It is also about politics, and today Republicans are using it to create a one-party state.

“I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World,” Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson, who is one of the country’s leading proponents of the great replacement theory, said on his show. “But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening actually. Let’s just say it: That’s true.”

It was not true in 1879, it is not true now, and people making this argument have blood on their hands.


Campney, B.M.S. (2015). “This Negro Elephant is Getting to be a Pretty Large Sized Animal”: White Hostility against Blacks in Indiana and the Historiography of Racist Violence in the Midwest. Middle West Review 1(2), 63-91. doi:10.1353/mwr.2015.0017.

Report and Testimony of the Select Committee of the United States Senate to Investigate the Causes of the Removal of the Negroes from the Southern States to the Northern States (1880), Senate Report 693.




Research for Good writing


Autocrats, dictators, people in power all seem to tell us that what they are doing to us is for our own good and somehow many of us believe it. If we are paying attention, we can see what the GOP is doing and saying the same thing while enacting repressive laws on voting, reproduction and installing “their choice of judges” while stopping passage of infrastructure legislation. Is this for our own good? The current GOP is almost a mirror image of the1850’s political group then called southern Democrats or Dixiecrats. The times have changed but the issues and activities are the same. The basis of the party is to control government and make laws that benefit big business and thereby benefit themselves. These activities do not and have not benefitted the voters (all voters pro and con), too many voters fail to understand that following someone who promotes falsehoods disguised as facts amounts to abdicating your rights as a citizen. A casual glance around the world should show how people in power will lie to your face while continuing their nefarious deeds “on your behalf”. A shining example is the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, this was done “in the best interests of Ukraine” no matter how many Ukrainians died and how devastated the landscape become. This is what is quietly done when the party of the “right” is in power with no checks from the left and center. It is unfortunate that the United States has entered a stage where “Civil War” is possible especially since the effects of the last one is still with us.



Facts wherever I find them


WE have always been led to believe that the people we elect to office are good folks and will act in good faith on our behalf. The truth is that throughout the years (200 plus) we have had good and bad representation. During the 1800’s the bad fomented a divisive war that still resonates today only not by firearms. The Recent laws that regulate voting with rules that make voting difficult for primarily people of color, much like the post-Civil war period up to the 1960’s. If we as voters do not pay attention to the rhetoric that is so pervasive in our public discourse, we will again be on the brink of a civil war that will not benefit any of us and potentially relegate all of the great things accomplished to the historical trash heap. The Unted States has long been seen as champions of the people by most of the world however many countries also recognize that we belie our championship by the actions we take on our own people e.g., abortion rights, criminal justice, civil rights to name a few. President Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex and how it could be detrimental to the country, our so-called honorable members of Congress ignored that advice and continued their malfeasance while lying to our faces each election cycle. If we just look back at former President’s “reign” we will see that his historically bad actions were tacitly condoned by one major party while they selected Judicial members that served their needs. At best we have 535 seat fillers who appear to have our back but just say whatever it takes to remain in office until they can comfortably retire.

April 13, 2022
Heather Cox Richardson
Apr 14“Democrats need to make more noise,” Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) told Greg Sargent of the Washington Post. “We have to scream from the rooftops, because this is a battle for the free world now.”Sargent interviewed Schatz after the senator called out Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) on the floor of the Senate on April 7 for the profound disconnect between the Republican senator’s speeches and his actions. Hawley has placed a hold on President Joe Biden’s uncontroversial nominee for an assistant secretary of defense, saying that Biden’s support for Ukraine was “wavering” and that he wasn’t doing enough.Of course, the Biden administration has been central to world efforts to support Ukraine in its attempt to hold off Russia’s invasion. Just today, Biden announced an additional $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other security assistance to Ukraine. In contrast, Hawley voted to acquit former president Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress when he withheld $391 million of congressionally approved aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to cook up a story about Hunter Biden.Hawley’s bad-faith argument goes beyond misleading statements about aid to Ukraine. Hawley has vowed that he will use his senatorial prerogative to hold up “every single civilian nominee” for the Defense Department unless Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin resigns. He has vowed the same for the State Department, demanding the resignation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.Hawley says his demands are because of the withdrawal from Afghanistan; he also said that Biden should resign. This is a highly unusual interference of the legislative branch of government with the executive branch. It also means that key positions in the departments responsible for managing our national security are not being filled, since Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer must use up valuable floor time to get nominations around Hawley’s holds.In February, for example, Hawley blocked the confirmation of the uncontroversial head of the Pentagon’s international security team, Celeste Wallander, a Russia expert and staunch advocate for fighting Russian aggression, even while Russian troops were massing on the Ukraine border. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) noted in frustration: “He’s complaining about the problems we have in Russia and Ukraine and he’s making it worse because he’s not willing to allow those nominees who can help with that problem to go forward.” (The Senate eventually voted 83–13 to confirm Wallander.)Hawley is not the only Republican to be complaining about the administration even as he gums up the works.Texas governor Greg Abbott has ordered Texas state troops to inspect all commercial trucks coming from Mexico after the federal government has already inspected them. Normally, Mexican authorities inspect a commercial driver’s paperwork and then officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection thoroughly inspect the vehicle on the U.S. side of the international bridge, using dogs, X-ray machines, and personal inspections. At large crossings, officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Transportation will make sure that products and trucks meet U.S. standards. Sometimes after that, the state will spot-check a few trucks for roadworthiness. Never before has Texas inspected the contents of each commercial vehicle.Abbott instituted the new rule after the Biden administration announced it would end the pandemic emergency health order known as Title 42. This is a public health authority used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect against the spread of disease. It was put in place by the Trump administration in March 2020. Title 42 allows the U.S. government to turn migrants from war-torn countries away at the border rather than permitting them to seek asylum as international law requires.Abbott said the new rule would enable troopers to search for drugs and smuggled immigrants, which he claims the administration is not doing. But journalists Mitchell Ferman, Uriel J. García, and Ivan Pierre Aguirre of the Texas Tribune report that officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety do not appear to be examining the trucks and have not announced any captured drugs or undocumented immigrants.Wait times at border crossings have jumped from minutes to many hours, with Mexican truckers so frustrated they blocked the roads from the southern side, as well. Truckers report being stuck in their trucks for as much as 30 hours without food or water. About $440 billion worth of goods cross our southern border annually, and Abbot’s stunt has shut down as much as 60% of that trade. The shutdown will hammer those businesses that depend on Mexican products. It will also create higher prices and shortages across the entire country, especially as perishable foods rot in transit.On Twitter, Democratic candidate for Texas governor Beto O’Rourke showed a long line of trucks behind him in Laredo and said: “What you see behind me is inflation.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement today saying: “Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country. Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Governor Abbott to reverse this decision…. Abbott’s actions are impacting people’s jobs, and the livelihoods of hardworking American families.”Tonight, Abbott backed down on his rule, and normal traffic seems to be resuming over one of the key bridges between Mexico and the U.S., but his stunt indicates that Republicans plan to use inflation and immigration as key issues to turn out their base for the 2022 midterm elections. Today, pro-Trump Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who replaced Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) as the House Republican Conference Chair, the third-highest Republican in the House, tweeted: “We must SECURE our southern border.”Abbott has also ordered the Texas National Guard to the U.S. border with Mexico to conduct “migration drills” in preparation for an influx of migrants. But Abbott’s use of the 10,000 National Guard personnel last fall for a border operation to prevent an influx of migrants seemed to be a political stunt: it led to complaints from National Guard personnel of lack of planning, lack of pay, lack of housing, and lack of reason to be there.Abbott has deployed troops in the past while he was under fire for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the February 2021 winter storm that left millions of Texans without heat or electricity for days and killed 246. This deflection seemed to be at work last February, too, when Abbott issued a letter saying that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services should investigate any instances of care for transgender children as child abuse. That letter appeared just as it came to light that Abbott was behind the extraordinarily high electricity prices in the 2021 storm. Although Abbott’s office had said he was not involved in the decision to charge maximum electricity prices, in February, Bill Magness, the former CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that runs the state’s electrical grid, said Abbott had personally ordered him to keep prices at their maximum: $9,000 per megawatt hour.And so Abbott grabbed headlines with a bill attacking transgender children.Today, Abbott sent a bus of migrants seeking asylum to Washington, D.C., where they were set down right outside the offices of the Fox News Channel, which filmed them disembarking. These migrants have been processed by federal authorities and are awaiting decisions from federal judges about whether they will be allowed to remain in the U.S. “I think it’s pretty clear this is a publicity stunt,” Psaki said.And finally, tonight, under the category of bad-faith arguments, it is clear that the current Supreme Court has run amok. Republicans attack “activist judges” who want to protect civil rights in the states by using the Fourteenth Amendment’s rule that the states cannot deprive a citizen of the equal protection of the laws. But Republican justices are making up their own law outside the normal boundaries of the court.On April 6, five Supreme Court justices agreed to reinstate a Trump-era rule that limits the ability of states to block projects that pollute their rivers and streams. The court did so under the so-called “shadow docket,” a form of decision previously used to address emergencies, in which the court makes a decision without arguments or written explanations. Last week, Chief Justice John Roberts indicated just how far off the rails the current Supreme Court has slid when he joined the dissent against the majority’s decision out of concern for the use of this shadow docket as a way to hand down unbriefed and unexplained decisions.
Hawley is not the only Republican these days operating in bad faith.—

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After many years for many of us, we seem to have forgotten the evils of our politics. There have and always will be people we elect whose motives are not in our best interests no matter the rhetoric. The article below explains in an older missive recreated by writer Heather Cox Richardson:

April 9, 2022Heather Cox RichardsonApr 10On April 9, 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant got out of bed with a migraine.The pain had hit the day before as he rode through the Virginia countryside, where the United States Army had been harrying the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, for days.Grant knew it was only a question of time before Lee had to surrender. After four years of war, the people in the South were starving, and Lee’s army was melting away as men went home to salvage whatever they could of their farm and family. Just that morning, a Confederate colonel had thrown himself on Grant’s mercy after realizing that he was the only man in his entire regiment who had not already abandoned the cause. But while Grant had twice asked Lee to surrender, Lee continued to insist his men could fight on.So Grant had gone to bed in a Virginia farmhouse on April 8, dirty, tired, and miserable with a migraine. He spent the night “bathing my feet in hot water and mustard, and putting mustard plasters on my wrists and the back part of my neck, hoping to be cured by morning.” His remedies didn’t work. In the morning, Grant pulled on his clothes from the day before and rode out to the head of his column with his head throbbing.As he rode, an escort arrived with a note from Lee requesting an interview for the purpose of surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia. “When the officer reached me I was still suffering with the sick headache,” Grant recalled, “but the instant I saw the contents of the note I was cured.”The two men met in the home of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Lee had dressed grandly for the occasion in a brand new general’s uniform carrying a dress sword; Grant wore simply the “rough garb” of a private with the shoulder straps of a lieutenant general. But the images of the noble South and the humble North hid a very different reality. As soon as the papers were signed, Lee told Grant his men were starving and asked if the Union general could provide the Confederates with rations. Grant didn’t hesitate. “Certainly,” he responded, even before he asked how many men needed food. He took Lee’s answer—“about twenty-five thousand”—in stride, telling the general that “he could have… all the provisions wanted.”Four years before, southerners defending their vision of white supremacy had ridden off to war boasting that they would beat the North’s misguided egalitarian levelers in a single battle. By 1865, Confederates were broken and starving, while the United States of America, backed by a booming industrial economy that rested on ordinary women and men of all backgrounds, could provide rations for twenty-five thousand extra men on a moment’s notice.The Civil War was won not by the dashing sons of wealthy planters, but by people like Grant, who dragged himself out of his blankets and pulled a dirty soldier’s uniform over his pounding head on an April morning because he knew he had to get up and get to work.

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since before the civil war the political right, conservatives and other “small” government folks have made it their business to reduce the government’s actions in the lives of the voters. To be clear, no one wants a heavy-handed government however there are things that the Government can do that the states and municipalities cannot do. If we as citizens fail to look beyond the trees and look at the forest, then we will repeat the failures of the past namely the events that preceded the Civil War. Totus aka Donald Trump, Numpty or whatever you want to call him purposely used racial slurs, inuendo and outright lies to and about everyone to get what he wanted no matter the consequences. The Rightists religious, who have for years wanted to return America to the days of the religious extremists who thought the church should have a bigger say in Government no matter the consequences eagerly followed and supported Numpty as his support allowed them to push their agenda, consequences on the nation as a whole does not matter. This along with the Extreme Liars we call Congress are pushing us to a familiar and infamous split that was the precursor of the past “Civil War” only now it is no longer just about Race, it is about money and power, power to make laws that restrict voting, control the right to proper Heathcare and instill what “they” consider correct as opposed to what is correct from a medical viewpoint. The politricks has taken over reasonable government all for $$$ and power with nothing left for the voters.


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March 21, 2022
Heather Cox Richardson
Mar 22

Today is the anniversary of Georgia Senator Alexander Stephens’s Cornerstone Speech, given in 1861 just after he became the provisional vice president of the Confederacy. All these years later, the themes of that speech are still with us.Stephens spoke in Savannah, Georgia, to explain the difference between the United States and the fledgling Confederacy. That difference, he said, was slavery. The American Constitution was defective because it based the government on the principle that all men were created equal. Confederate leaders had corrected the Founding Fathers’ error by basing the Confederate government on the idea that some people were better than others.In contrast to the government the Founding Fathers had created, the Confederacy rested on the “great truth” that “the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”Their determination to promote their new philosophy meant that the southern states insisted on states’ rights. The majority of Americans, speaking through the federal government, insisted on reining enslavement in, restricting it to the southern states where it already existed, while southern enslavers wanted to expand their “peculiar institution” to the nation’s newly acquired western lands. In white southerners’ view, federal oversight was tyranny, and true democracy meant that state legislatures should be able to do as their voters wished.So long as a majority of voters in the southern states voted for human enslavement, democracy had been served. Those same states, of course, limited voting to a few wealthy white men.The Republican Party had organized in the mid-1850s to stand against this version of American democracy. Those who joined the new party recognized that if enslavers were able to take control of new western states, they would use their votes in Congress and in the Electoral College to take over the federal government and make slavery national.The government, Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln warned, could not “endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided,” he told an audience in June 1858. “It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new—North as well as South.”For his part, Lincoln insisted on basing the nation on the idea that “all men are created equal,” as the Founders stated—however hypocritically—in the Declaration of Independence. I should like to know,” Lincoln said in July 1858, “if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop…. If that declaration is not the truth, let us get the Statute book, in which we find it and tear it out! Who is so bold as to do it!”Less than a month after Stephens gave the Cornerstone Speech, the Confederates fired on a federal fort in Charleston Harbor, and the Civil War began. When it ended, almost exactly four years later, southern state legislatures again tried to circumscribe the lives of the Black Americans who lived within their state lines. The 1865 Black Codes said that Black people couldn’t own firearms, for example, or congregate. They had to treat their white neighbors with deference and were required to sign yearlong work contracts every January or be judged vagrants, punishable by arrest and imprisonment. White employers could get them out of jail by paying their fines, but then they would have to work off their debt.To make the principle that all men are created equal and entitled to equality before the law a reality, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and sent it off to the states for ratification. The states added it to the Constitution in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”That’s quite a sentence. It guarantees that no state can discriminate against any of its citizens. And then the amendment goes on to say that “Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”This is what is at stake today, both in the Senate hearings on the confirmation of the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson, and more generally. Is our democratic system served so long as state legislatures can do what they wish without federal interference? Or should the federal government protect equality among all its citizens?Ideally, of course, states would write fair laws without federal interference, and to create those circumstances after the Civil War, Congress passed the Military Reconstruction Act, permitting Black men to vote, and then passed and sent off to the states for ratification the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing the right to vote to Black men. When the Fifteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1870, the system had been fixed, most American men believed: the right to vote should protect all interests in the states.Quickly, though, southern states took away the vote of the Black voters they insisted were trying to redistribute wealth from hardworking white taxpayers into public works projects to benefit the states’ poorer inhabitants. With Black voters cut out of the system, state legislatures enacted harshly discriminatory laws, and law enforcement looked the other way when white people violated the rights of Black and Brown citizens.After World War II, the Supreme Court used the due process and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to overrule state laws that favored certain citizens over others, and Congress passed the 1965 Voting Rights Act to give Black and Brown Americans a say in the state governments under which they lived.Now, the Republicans, at this point to a person, are echoing the pre–Civil War Democrats to say that democracy means that states should be able to do what they wish without interference from the federal government. So, for example, Texas—and now other states—should be able to ban abortion regardless of the fact that abortion is a constitutional right. States should be able to stop public school teachers from covering certain “divisive” topics: Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked an apparently nonplussed Judge Jackson, “Is it your personal hidden agenda to incorporate Critical Race Theory into our legal system?” And states should be able to restrict the vote, much as southern states did after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and as 19 Republican-dominated states have done since the 2020 election.Members of the new Republican Party in the 1850s recognized that, in that era, the doctrine of states’ rights meant not only the continued enslavement of Black Americans in the South, but also the spread of enslavement across the nation as southern enslavers moved west to create new states that would overawe the free states in Congress and the Electoral College. The spread of their system was exactly what Stephens called for 161 years ago today.Now, in 2022, as Republican-dominated states lock down into one-party systems, their electoral votes threaten to give them the presidency in 2024 regardless of what a majority of Americans want. At that point, the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection before the law will be vitally important, if only the Supreme Court will enforce it.And that’s a key reason why, 161 years to the day after enslaver Alexander Stephens gave the Cornerstone Speech, the confirmation hearing of a Black woman, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the Supreme Court matters.—Notes:

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