I have read numerous books on the Civil War. I have learned many things, but the one most consistent is that your view of the war depends on who wrote the book. I suppose that is pretty much a certainty as there are no first-hand witnesses left around. Most of the books are a little, or a lot, slanted to the writer’s opinions and even prejudices. For example, many writers would have the reader believe that the war was about slavery. Not true. The war was about states’ rights, with the issues of economics and humanity of slavery being just one of the many sub-segments.
The two positions continued to slog along for months toward hard and fast points until there was no chance of a resolution except for the southern states to secede and if that meant armed conflict then so be it.
I am one of those that see us tripping down that same path of hardening opinions with declining options to resolve the different views. However, there is one major difference between today and the events of the 1800s. The war back then had fairly defined boundaries. There were northern states and southern states with only a few border states that were not firmly north or south leaning.
One of the hard realities of today is that our country is not run by our elected officials, such as they are. Those elected pass laws and then leave the implementation to dozens of agencies that are run by hired professional bureaucrats with no responsibilities to the electorate. That fact simply compounds the issues of diverse opinions, sometimes even between these agencies.
Today we are not faced with a single issue like states’ rights. We are faced with many issues that divide us as a people and as a country. To list them all would be a herculean task, but a few of the more obvious are:
The security of our borders;
Gun control issues;
Law enforcement issues;
The division of our judicial officials;
Division within our educational institutions;
The always present foreign policy matters;
Sexual orientation issues;
The infighting within our two political parties;
Government budget, debt, and out-of-control social programs;
And of course, a mainstream media that has lost any ability to be believable.
If the worst should happen and civil war should erupt again, I’m not sure anyone can really define who the enemy is.
Ken great article. I believe we are now in a civil war. Red States vs Blue States. Free speech vs censored speech. Respect for Law and Order vs Chaos as evidenced by what is going on today in Nashville. It doesn’t help when the President of our country jokes about having ice cream after the horrific death of three school administrators and three young school children, We have lost our moral compass. We are maligned if we express our belief in god. Some of our educators are no longer teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, but are busy indoctrinating our children as to why they should hate this country. The professors at major university’s are worse. Patriotism according to the latest poll is no longer important to 38% of our country.
You hit a lot of the talking points about what this country is going through. There are some historians that have stated our country started to change during and after the Vietnam war. Thinking back to when I was growing up back in the 50’s and 60’s they may be right. If things don’t change I see more bad times ahead.
Thanks again for a great article.
Thanks for your thoughts, Tom. I totally agree with you.
What saved these United States back during that devastating civil war was a true leader who put the nation first beyond politics. If the assassin’s bullet could have been prevented, Lincoln’s plan of reconstruction would have solved many of our current problems. God was in the picture when Abe proclaimed a prayer and fasting to celebrate Easter. Little did he know that he would be sacrificed.
Great article Ken. Your understanding of the civil war is correct with excellent insight.
I have to wonder, Danny, if a large part of our problem (s) isn’t rooted in the elimination of God in our lives. We have denied him via our money, in our schools, many of our sporting events, and even in our government buildings.
Ken, I always look forward to reading your articles, they are full of Wisdom that comes with age. I have no doubt as you state that should we erupt in Civil War that the enemies would be unknown and no longer any boundaries.
Thanks, Lynn. We are seeing the biggening of a “shooting war” in some of our cities. Large and small companies are closing stores and pulling out of some of our more lawless cities, such as Portland. Where this trend will end is anyone’s guess.