In the spring ofthe bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society.
The Z Man 1, words One of the unmistakable features of modern conservatives is their not-so-veiled hostility toward heritage America.
Some attribute this to ethnic hostility, given the infiltration of the Right by neoconservatives. Initially, these people made the journey from communism to anti-communism and were never conservative in Killing lincoln. Of course, the royal lifestyles of many conservatives has made them into unpleasant snobs.
All of that is true to one degree or another, but it obscures an important point about modern conservatives. The Official Right has a different interpretation of American history than most normal white people. Blacks, of course, fixate on slavery and segregation, so their view of American history is through hostile eyes.
Whites generally accept the conventional narrative. If you Killing lincoln a normal white American to tell the story of America, he will start with something about how the Puritans came to America to escape religious tyranny.
Once the colonist got things going, the King tried to tax the colonists, so there was a revolution. The Official Right has a different view of American history. They look at the Founding as an imperfect result. First and foremost, they view the tolerance of slavery, and the enshrining of it in the Constitution, as a great sin.
Rather than embrace the principle of liberty for all, because all men are created equal, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution created a compromise. While all citizens were free and equal under the law, slavery created a class of people who were not citizens.
In the view of the Straussians, the intellectual movement based on the writing and teaching of Leo Strauss, the Constitution was not just a flawed document, but an immoral one, because it violated that core principle of equality.
From this perspective, the Civil War was a purification of the country, removing the origin sin of slavery and forming a new Union, based in equality and universal liberty.
Those guys who wrote the Constitution are not entirely dismissed, but they are secondary figures in the story. His framing of the Civil War as the second founding, allowed the neocons to see themselves as proof of the concept. The original founding excluded them from the narrative, while the second founding not only included them in the story of America, it made them proof of its righteousness.
It was for whoever could get control of it. Since Reconstruction, the role of what passes for conservatism has been to fill the void after every great spasm of Progressive activism overturned the old order. The problem with this telling of history is it assumes a core immorality of the founding stock and the institutions they created.
It also locks in the notion that it is the role of Northern reformers to be the guardians of civic morality. The Left need only appeal to the notion of universal equality and liberty and their opponents were disarmed.
After all, the party of Lincoln, if it stands for anything, stands for universal equality and liberty. The conservatism of Harry Jaffa is nothing but a complex apologia for Progressivism.
The quickest way to get hurled into the void by angry Buckleyites is to quote Lincoln on the issue. The fact is, Lincoln was a man of his age, when it came to race, despite his zealous opposition to slavery. Like all abolitionists, he did not care about the slaves, he cared about the slave holder.
That was the soul he sought to save.
The slaves themselves were just props on the stage of the morality play that was abolitionism. The Official Right can never accept this. One of the criticisms of Harry Jaffa on this score was that he was not a scholar of Lincoln, so much as the chief polemicist for the cult that formed around him.
His telling of history left out anything that contradicted his concept of the second founding. This is true not only from an academic perspective, but also from a human one.
This telling of history leaves out most of the country. For anyone outside the northern alliance, their ancestors are either villains or non-entities in the narrative.Book Review: Killing Lincoln.
March 10, Sarah Dickinson Books to Read, History, Nonfiction 0 Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, Nonfiction – History (Released September, ).
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