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Suddenly I feel for Responsible Republicans.
 
There is such a breed. I know some of them personally. Some of my best friends are Republicans!
 
They’re more conservative than I am – on most things. But they’re responsible people. Generally, they feel that America would be better off if government spent, taxed and regulated less. They’re more conservative on social and cultural issues. But nothing extreme or nutty.
 
Most of the Republican leaders in the legislature, like Speaker Thom Tillis and Senator Richard Stevens, strike me as being that way.
 
But hold the mayo here: A Public Policy Poll found that fully 65 percent of North Carolina Republicans either wish the South had won the Civil War or are not sure it was a good thing the North won.
 
Really?
 
The question was:  “Are you glad that the North won the Civil War or do you wish that the South had won?”
 
Among North Carolina GOP voters, 35 percent were glad the North won. Thirty-three percent – almost the same – wish the South had won. And 32 percent weren’t sure.
 
The poll didn’t delve any deeper, so we’re left to wonder. Do those 65 percent think it would be better for today’s America to be divided into two – or more – smaller nations? After all, if the Confederate states could secede, might not Texas, California, Oregon and Washington, the Mountain West, etc., etc., have decided to go on their own?
 
We could be just like Europe! Whatever happened to American “exceptionalism”?
 
Or is it that they think slavery really wasn’t such a bad thing?
 
This explains why a lot of Republicans got upset over the legislature – including Republicans – pardoning a Reconstruction-era governor who stood up to the Ku Klux Klan.
 
It also explains why Republicans risk blowing their best chance in decades to become a majority party in America.
 

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5 comments on “The Party of Lincoln No More

  1. Chris says:

    Of course the poll didn’t delve any deeper — it got *precisely* what it wanted: results that could be used against Republicans in the fall elections. Remember that Public Policy Polling is a liberal organization.

    It’s possible to do equally embarrassing polls of Democrats — ask them their opinions on gay marriage or if they’re in favor of “Suffrage for women.” Ask the right questions in a poll and you can make any group look like a bunch of raving morons. Heck, why not ask the democrats the same question asked of the republicans? Do we have any reason to believe that Democrats wouldn’t come up with equally silly responses?

  2. Reaganite says:

    Actually, Gary, the repudiation by modern Republicans of the big government policies of Lincoln is nothing that new. I remember the late State Senator Hamilton Horton (R-Forsyth) giving a keynote speech to the state convention of a GOP auxilliary group about 40 years ago, in which he noted that ”holding a Lincoln Day Dinner in the South is like holding a Cromwell Dinner at Buckingham Palace”. For decades in North Carolina, many counties have called their annual dinner the Reagan Day Dinner, as a more fitting leader to honor.

    Most of your version of history is the northern spin that is usually taught in our schools these days. You even use the northern name for the war ”Civil War” rather than the most common southern name ”War Between the States”. Other southern names are War for Southern Independence, War of Northern Aggression, and Second American Revolution.

    A more accurate version of why the war occured and what was at stake can be found in the US history book written by the 20th century’s greatest statesman, Sir Winston Churchill. In his book, ”The Great Republic”, Churchill pointed out that the root cause of the war was a long simmering tension in American politics between the individualist / linited government views of Thomas Jefferson, represented by Jefferson Davis and the South, and the big government views of Alexander Hamilton, represented by Lincoln and the north. Churchill was hardly the only one to downplay slavery as a cause of the war. A contemporary observer, Karl Marx, wrote that ”the war is not about slavery, it is a war of economic subjugation by the north against the south.” Another contemporary, novelist Charles Dickens, a prominent anti-slavery campaigner himself, also rejected Lincoln’s spin that the war was about slavery. Even Union General William T. Sherman commented after the war that ”the war was not about slavery; if it had been I would have fought for the south”.

    Lincoln was the closest thing to a dictator that the US ever had, having illegally suspended habeas corpus by decree, arrested elected officials (Maryland legislators sympathetic to the South) without charge as political prisoners, issued an order for the arrest of the Chief Justice of the United States when Lincoln thought he was about to issue a writ of habeas corpus for those Maryland legislators, muzzled the press, and caused an elected US COngressman, Rep. Clement Van Landingham (D-Ohio) to have to flee the country to avoid himself being arrested as a political prisoner,the only time that has happened in American history.

    As to what would have happened if the South won, an alternative history essay written in the 1920’s by Sir Winston Churchill entitled ”If the South had not won at Gettysburg” gives a good answer. He begins by writing that Lee’s great victory at Gettysburg might not have happened, that the success of the fabled Pickett’s Charge was a near run thing and it might have failed if JEB Stuart’s cavalry had not simultaneously hit the Union rear, and goes on to paint a picture of the world of the 1920’s after a Confederate victory in the War Between the States. He shows how World War I would not have happened nor the rise of Communism in Russia. Although it was later, of course if there had been no WWI, neither would there have been a World War II.

    So, Gary, I concur with Sir Winston Churchill that North Carolina, and the world, would have been a much better place if the Confederate States of America had sustained its independence in the War Between the States. But now I guess you will call Sir Winston Churchill ”extreme” or ”nutty”.

  3. dap916 says:

    “65 percent of North Carolina Republicans either wish the South had won the Civil War or are not sure it was a good thing the North won.” Haha…polls can come out any way ya want depending how the question is asked, and, of course, how you interpret the answers you get. After reading what you’re trying to say here..maybe making an end-around accusing the GOP of being majority racist?

    You’re from the South, right Gary? Lotsa folks here…blacks included…are pretty proud of our area of the country and make no bones about it. It’s no different in the North…only thing the Union/North was more correct in their objectives during the Civil War than the South…at least to a lot of people…and almost ALL northern liberals.

    Everything is relative…conspiracy theories aside.

  4. Carbine says:

    Gary, are you “glad” North Carolina and the other southern states were defeated? Do you realize what all that entailed, in terms of human suffering?

    One can (and should) be glad that the country was eventually reunited and that slavery was abolished. That doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to be “glad” that the north won, especially when one considers what that cost the south, and North Carolina in particular.

    The question was poorly worded. A better one would have been, “Do you think North Carolina is better off now because the Union won the Civil War, or do you think it would be better off had the Confederacy won?”

  5. Huh? says:

    It was a stupid question that leaves us with more questions than answers. I participated in this poll and am one of the 15 of Democrats that voted for wishing the South had won. Why? Because I am a born and raised North Carolinian with both sides of my family having fought for the Confederacy. We were invaded by a foreign country ( if you consider secession in 1861 constitutional ) and defended our homes. How could I possibly disrespect my ancestors by voting any other way? Especially since the question (and the question of secession) was decided 146 years ago. Now everybody go read a Harry Turtledove alternative history novel.

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