Tag Archive for: civil war

New Study on National Division Finds Startling Results—43% believe civil war is likely.

A third of Americans now say political violence is “sometimes justified.”  

NEW YORKNY /PRNewswire/ — A new national study from nonpartisan group The Common Good in association with Emerson College Polling conducted October 8-11, finds the country dangerously divided with a third of Americans now believing that political violence is at least sometimes justified.

The group launched an annual index which quantifies and tracks the level of national division as it seeks to identify causes and potential solutions. The Common Good Index of National Division (TCGI) for 2022 is 71 and it highlights some dangerous and disturbing findings.

  • 62% believe the country is so divided, it can no longer operate effectively (30% strongly). 
  • 78% believe the greatest threat to the country is from internal rather than external forces. 
  • 61% believe national division is a threat to democracy.  71% Republicans, 61% of Democrats.
  • 43% believe a civil war is likely.  51% of Republicans, 40% of Democrats. 
  • 52% of Americans now say they have friends and family with whom they can no longer discuss politics civilly or respectfully. 

“National division is a clear and ongoing threat to our democracy,” said Patricia Duff, founder of The Common Good. “Our survey shows that the primary driver of this discord is party politics with news media following as the second leading cause.  We believe that only by quantifying, tracking, and understanding it can we develop real solutions, lower the temperature and promote a constructive and healthy national discourse.”

The study found widespread agreement on the top driver of national division with “the way political parties chose candidates” topping the list. The vast majority, 88%, believe it is an important contributor to national division. The news media was viewed as the second highest cause.

When asked what was most likely to unite us as a country “Shared Values” topped the list at 21% followed by a “National Crises” (17%) and “National Defense/External Threats” (17%).

“When looking at national division, there is greater intensity found in Republican responses,” said Duff. “Perhaps that’s because Republicans have heard many more intense messages from leaders in news and social media about stolen elections and rigged processes but the animosity and distrust clearly extend beyond party boundaries. The attack on Paul Pelosi is yet another indication that our rhetoric has gone entirely too far.”

The Common Good Index of National Division (TCGI) will be released annually. To get more details on this year’s results here: https://thecommongoodus.org/the-common-good-index

About The Common Good

The Common Good strives to inspire broad participation in our democracy through the free exchange of ideas and civil dialogue and seeks to find ways to bridge the growing divisions that threaten our nation. We are dedicated to finding common ground and, through forums and initiatives, encourage the civic engagement so essential for a thriving democracy.

©The Common Good. All rights reserved.



Pro-Life Centers 22 Times More Likely to be Attacked Than Abortion Facilities: Study

Leaked Documents Outline DHS’s Plans to Police Disinformation

Biden Gives Divisive Speech: We Will Steal It and You Will Like It (Or Else)

Biden calls ‘MAGA’ GOP a ‘threat’ to democracy

GOP Now Leads With Hispanics On The Generic Ballot

White House deletes tweet flagged by Twitter that credited Biden for Social Security payment increase

WSJ Poll: White Suburban Women Shift 15 Points In Favor Of Republicans In Congress


Did It Only Take Carlson 47 Seconds to Destroy the Paul Pelosi Narrative?: ‘Who Exactly Is David DePape?’

A Michigan man gave a strong kick to a pro-life sign located in front of a Catholic school’s statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You have to watch to see what happens next!


How the Democrats used Mail-in Ballots to try to steal the 1864 Election from Abraham Lincoln and now the 2020 Election from Donald J. Trump

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

The First Great Election Conspiracy

They say that history has a strange habit of repeating itself. So do politicians.

The Democrats have pushed the idea that mail-in ballots are the best solution for voters. This is not a new idea, but rather just another attempt to steal an election. The first attempt to use mail-in ballots occurred during the 1864 election.

In a eye opening column in The Washington Post titled Mail-in ballots were part of a plot to deny Lincoln reelection in 1864 Dustin Waters wrote:

Traveling to Baltimore in the fall of 1864, Orville Wood had no way of knowing he would soon uncover the most elaborate election conspiracy in America’s brief history.

Wood was a merchant from Clinton County in the most northeastern corner of New York. As a supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, he was tasked with visiting troops from his hometown to “look after the local ticket.”

New York legislators had only established the state’s mail-in voting system in April with the intent of ensuring the suffrage of White troops battling the Confederate Army.

This great “election conspiracy was conducted by the Democratic Party, known as the Copperheads. The Copperheads were:

[T]he Northern wing of the Democratic Party, which opposed the Civil War. These Peace Democrats urged an immediate, peaceful settlement with the Confederacy. Many supported slavery and blamed the war on abolitionists. They argued that Southern states had the right to secede and that the federal government’s policies under President Abraham Lincoln violated the Constitution. Republican writers labeled these Democrats Copperheads to suggest that they were poisonous snakes, betraying and endangering the Union. The Democrats accepted the label, reframing it as a reference to the image of Liberty on a copper penny. In some cases, members of the group were arrested for treason, tried, and imprisoned or sent into the Confederate states.

The Copperhead Catechism refers to Fernando Wood who was New York City’s mayor, and later, a congressman. Wood was an avowed Copperhead who, in 1861, had urged the city to secede in order to maintain revenues from the cotton trade.

Read more.

Dustin Waters noted:

The results of the 1864 elections would heavily affect the outcome of the war. Lincoln and his supporters in the National Union Party sought to continue the war and defeat the Confederacy outright. Meanwhile antiwar Democrats, also referred to as Copperheads, looked for an immediate compromise with the Confederate leaders and the end of the abolition movement.

Read more.

The Second Great Election Conspiracy

Fast forward to the 2020 Presidential Election. Like their predecessors The Copperheads the Democrats have rekindled the the old, and proven fraudulent, use of mail-in ballots. Their excuse? COVID-19. The Democrats have made this pandemic and the USPS an issue to blackmail states and force them to pass legislation allowing mail-in ballots.

In a Daily Signal column titled Potential for Fraud Is Why Mail-In Elections Should Be Dead Letter Hans von Spakovsky wrote:

Absentee ballots are the tools of choice of election fraudsters because they are voted outside the supervision of election officials, making it easier to steal, forge, or alter them, as well as to intimidate voters.

Going entirely to by-mail elections would unwisely endanger the security and integrity of the election process, particularly if officials automatically mail absentee ballots to all registered voters without a signed, authenticated request from each voter.

Voter registration rolls are notoriously inaccurate and out of date, containing the names of voters who are deceased, have moved, or otherwise have become ineligible.

Mail-in Ballot Election Fraud in New Jersey

A real example of the use of mail-in ballots and rampant voter fraud occurred in New Jersey. A Wall Street Journal editorial titled A Mail-Voting Redo in New Jersey noted:

New Jersey’s judiciary is calling an electoral mulligan. The state’s third-biggest city, Paterson, held a municipal election by mail in May, but the results fell into doubt after a startling percentage of the ballots were tossed out. Four men, including a city councilman and a councilman-elect, were charged with vote fraud.

On Wednesday a state court found that the election in the city’s third ward “was rife with mail in vote procedural violations,” and therefore it “was not the fair, free and full expression of the intent of the voters.” A redo will be held Nov. 3. “Of all ballots cast in the Third Ward City Council election,” Judge Ernest Caposela wrote, “24.29% were rejected.” By comparison, he said that in 31 municipal elections held the same day across New Jersey, the overall ballot-rejection rate was “only 9.6%.” For democratic legitimacy, that’s an alarming “only.”

Read more.


Today’s Copperheads are Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the DNC. They have all been named in Democrat Party emails as supporters of mail-in ballots.

The Democrats are bent on stealing and winning the 2020 Presidential Election, come hell or mail-in ballots.

Saving America is based upon free and fair elections. Mail-in ballots have a proven history of fraud, waste and abuse of our election systems

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: RUSSIA GATE 2.0? Dems Push USPS Conspiracy.

America Was Less Divided During the Civil War Than It Is Today

My latest in PJ Media:

There is growing worry these days about whether or not we are headed for another civil war, and whether the divisions in American society are as bad as they were in the run-up to what is still the bloodiest war in American history. In fact, there is no comparison between the divisions between Americans today and in the run-up to the Civil War. The ones today are far worse. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we are headed for a shooting war, but we certainly may be.

A civil war is by definition a war between citizens of the same country, and the American Civil War was certainly that. Both sides revered Washington, Jefferson, and the other Founding Fathers. Confederate spokesmen often termed the war their own war for independence, insisting that it was a new iteration of the same desire for self-determination that had led to the American war of independence against Britain.

Both sides respected the United States Constitution to the extent that the Constitution of the Confederate States of America was essentially a copy of that of the nation the Confederates were leaving, with a few minor modifications. It protected the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and the freedom of religion; it allowed for “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” it protected citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, and contained numerous other provisions taken from the earlier Constitution….

No less an authority than Abraham Lincoln noted the similarity of the two sides in his second inaugural address, even as he pointed out the one thing that sharply distinguished them: “Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged.”…

Rating America’s Presidents shows how Abraham Lincoln’s unique and incisive articulation about what exactly was wrong about slavery, something that was not at all as clear to many of his contemporaries as it is to today’s woke mob, helped break the logjam that had existed in American politics for the previous half-century. It still took a long and bloody civil war to lead to national reconciliation and the binding up of the nation’s wounds….

There is much more. Read the rest here.


To Know American History is To Be Armed Against Those Who Would Destroy America

A Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Bishop Walked into a Mosque…

Germany: Muslim senator demands ban on alcohol in all Berlin pubs and bars

Brooklyn: Man converts to Islam, distributes bomb-making instructions, encourages ISIS to commit massacres in NYC

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Captain America battles the United Nations in Marvel film ‘Civil War’

spectre film james bondThere is a growing anti-collectivist theme in Hollywood films which is counter intuitive given the political leanings of those producing, directing and staring in them.

The film Spectre staring Daniel Craig has James Bond battling the “new world order (NWO).” A new world order where national sovereignty is passe and spying on everyone in the name of the collective is the new normal. Sophia Stewart from PC Magazine asks, “Can Bond survive an Orwellian dystopia where spy skills don’t count anymore and no one orders a dirty martini?”

Stewart wrote, “Spectre is a psychological battle between the old guard, the dying embers of British diplomacy, when the cut of a man’s suit, a gun, an accent and the right passport were all a chap needed to break hearts and rule empires, and the new world of surveillance networks analyzed by machines.”

Spectre is all about human operatives going after the enemies of the state (in this case including the state itself) and the growing concern about computer surveillance of everyone (including James Bond himself) by a global network controlled by the unelected bureaucrats, i.e. the NWO.

The latest Marvel film Captain America: Civil War has a similar theme. In Civil War political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. the debate escalates into an all-out feud.

captain america civil war posterThe Daily Signal’s Daniel Woltornist in his column “The Conservative Lessons of ‘Captain America’” writes:

Here’s the gist of the movie—the free market does something well and the government comes in to “fix” it. And—shockingly—the government wrecks everything.

[ … ]

But before you know it—the U.N. is knocking at the Avengers’ front door telling them that they aren’t doing a good enough job staving off world catastrophes like alien invasions and complete annihilation.

To force the Avengers to do their job better, the “Sokovia Accords” are signed by 117 countries to put the Avengers under U.N. jurisdiction. This is a great idea because when aliens invade next, let’s have the U.N. debate if the Avengers should fight the alien invasion.

If it turns out anything like regular U.N. deliberations, the Avengers would never be used again because Russia or China negotiated a backroom deal with the aliens so that they would be global governors in the new alien world order.

Presented with the Sokovia Accords, the Avengers are split between those who want to maintain the status quo and those who wish to effectively handcuff the organization with regulation.

Read more.

Sound familiar? It should because this has become the Obama administrations policy. To render America’s national security to the United Nations. This policy was best summed up by Secretary of State John Kerry at the commencement ceremony at Northeastern University. Kerry said:

For some people, that is all they need simply to climb under the sheets, close their eyes and push the world away. And shockingly, we even see this attitude from some who think they ought to be entrusted with the job of managing international affairs.

The future demands from us something more than a nostalgia for some rose-tinted version of the past that did not really exist in any case. You’re about to graduate into a complex and borderless world.

This statement rings of the nostalgia of James Bond and Captain America for a Great Britain and United States of America who were the beacons of the free world, battling the evil empire (former Soviet Union).

Donald Trump embraces an America First foreign policy. Is Trump like James Bond and Captain America?

Donald Trump made a major foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. to a gathering of The National Interest Magazine, and its parent institution, The Center for the National Interest. Trump first laid out why America’s current foreign policy has failed. He then outlined his “America First” foreign policy.

Trump stated that U.S. foreign policy under President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had, “No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.”

trump as captain america

Trump as Captain America from Facebook.

Trump then set the his vision, purpose, direction and strategy for an “America First” foreign polity:

  1. America is going to be strong again.
  2. We’re getting out of the nation-building business and instead focusing on creating stability in the world.
  3. I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win.
  4. The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.
  5. Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction.
  6. In the Middle East our goals must be, and I mean must be, to defeat [Islamic] terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change.
  7. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.
  8. Finally, we must develop a foreign policy based on American interests.

Is Trump’s Make America Great Again mantra shared by those in Hollywood? Looking at the latest Hollywood feature films, one would believe so. Is Hollywood getting ready for a Trump presidency? Time will tell.

If this flag offends you, you need a lesson in history

During America’s first but not last civil war, over 620,000 Americans from both sides died.  Today in 2015 liberals and non-Americans are condemning the Confederate flag being flown throughout the south.  Anyone who shows any support or sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of Confederate soldiers who were killed or injured, are labeled haters, racists, and bigots.

This act of ignorance of facts and history should be familiar to Americans who denounce Islam (and rightly so).  Americans who respect the history of America should not be labeled.  Branding and labeling is expected from Islamic terrorists and their supporters (such as CAIR and Obama), but not from educated conservatives.  Yes, even some conservatives have jumped on this political bandwagon.

The American civil war did not start based on the issue of slavery.  Only the wealthy were able to own slaves and very few people from the South (Confederacy) had anything to do with slavery.  Of course slavery is wrong, but it has been a part of world history from the very beginning.  The history of slavery needs to be taught in America, but the facts about this issue should be accurate.

Some historical facts about the American Civil War:

  1. Again slavery was not the primary focus of dispute between the Union (North) and the Confederacy (South).  The Union wanted to expand the power of the federal government and the people of the South did not want this.  They felt the federal government was already too big and powerful.  Does this sound familiar even today?
  2. Slavery had been around for thousands of years before it appeared in America.  Black and white people had been slaves and also slave owners.
  3. The majority of black slaves were captured and sold into slavery by black owners for economic profit.
  4. Islam has always advocated slavery and continues to this day to authorize Muslims to own slaves.
  5. During the American Civil War wealthy people from both the north and south owned slaves.
  6. President Abe Lincoln was the first U.S. President elected from the Republican Party.  Therefore the Republican Party was responsible for the abolition of slavery and not the Democratic Party.
  7. Slavery continues to thrive around the world and even today in America.  Liberal women continue to support a religion (Islam) that promotes slavery and always has.
  8. President Obama is a powerful and influential supporter of Islam and therefore supports the worldwide institution of slavery.

For many Americans we had past relatives from both the North and South. There were brothers fighting brothers and fathers fighting sons.  Innocent children from both sides died as the result of the war being fought in their states and towns. The American Civil War was a result of power and ignorance by politicians from both sides of the aisle.  The Confederate flag does not promote slavery, it promotes the will of people who do not want to live under the thumb of big government.

Two weeks ago in my town of Roanoke, Virginia, several thousand people in cars, trucks, and motorcycles drove through several towns covering hundreds of miles.  Each had a Confederate flag flying from their vehicle.  They were received by the populace with clapping and praise for their effort to let the federal government know there are people who had relatives killed in the civil war, slavery was not the primary issue during the war, and there are millions of Americans from both the north and south today who will fight to prevent politicians from destroying America.

I encourage all Americans to fly both the Union and Confederate flags.  Do not allow a few liberals who support the institution of Islam and Islamic slavery to label you as racists and haters.

Just as I mourn my past relatives from both the north and south who died in the civil war, I support another unpopular movement in America. I support advocating to our children that all lives matter and not just black lives.  We have seen the ranting’s and ravings of black and white racists who promote the idea that it is fine to say “Black Lives Matter”, but will fight and are willing to kill if a white person were to say “White Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter”.

What Should Libertarians Think about the Civil War? by Phillip Magness

The current national debate over the display and meaning of the Confederate battle flag has reopened a number of longstanding arguments about the meaning of the American Civil War, including within libertarian and classical liberal circles.

Because of its emotional subject matter, lasting political legacies of race and slavery, transformative effects upon American constitutionalism, and sheer magnitude as the most destructive military episode ever to occur on American soil, the Civil War exhibits strong tendencies toward politicization in the modern era.

Unfortunately, bad history often accompanies this politicization, and libertarians are by no means immune from this tendency.

Two common interpretations of the Civil War stand out as particularly problematic:

  1. libertarian support for the Confederacy; and
  2. libertarian support for the Union.

The Problem with Pro-Confederate Libertarianism

The first and perhaps best known “libertarian” approach to the Civil War attempts to find sympathy with the defeated Confederacy because of its resistance to the federal government and northern military authority or its professed cause of free trade and political self-determination.

Some aspects of this position have intuitive appeal that produces sympathy for the Confederate cause: it professes outrage against a Union that is said to have conquered by force, trampled on the rights of states and individuals, unleashed a military invasion, suspended civil liberties, denied government by consent, elevated Lincoln to a “dictator,” and effected a lasting centralization of federal power. In this view, the Union cause and victory is the foundational work for the modern state and all that is anathema to political libertarianism.

This interpretation falters in what it neglects: slavery.

This is no small irony, either, as the anti-slavery cause was arguably the preeminent political occupation of libertarianism’s classical liberal antecedents. A continuum of classical liberal thinkers from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill and J.E. Cairnes forged the main intellectual case against the slave system.

Abolitionism was also always a preeminent political cause of liberalism, extending from 18th-century statesman Charles James Fox to the 19th century’s Richard Cobden in Great Britain and strongly influencing such figures as William Lloyd Garrison, Lysander Spooner, and Frederick Douglass in the United States.

This is no small matter for the libertarian intellectual tradition either, for in sidestepping the slave question’s intimate connection to the Confederacy, pro-Confederate libertarians also inadvertently abandon what is perhaps the single most important and beneficial contribution that classical liberalism has made to the human condition: the abolition of slavery.

This is not to suggest that libertarian defenders of the Confederacy share its historical affinity for chattel slavery or the plantation system. Rather, they are guilty of turning a tin ear to the one unequivocally beneficial outcome of the war in the permanent destruction of American slavery.

The Problem with Libertarian Unionism

A smaller set of libertarians gravitate to a second common interpretation of the Civil War, defined primarily by its consequential outcome.

Unlike the pro-Confederate position, these libertarian defenders of the North are keenly aware of both the centrality of slavery to the conflict as well as the importance of the abolitionist cause to the liberal intellectual tradition. Standing as a direct antithesis to the pro-Confederate arguments, these faute de mieux Unionists recognize the inherent and fundamental contradiction between slavery and human liberty.

Their position embraces the Union victory on a consequentialist acceptance of the resulting emancipation of the slaves, and disavows any conceivable association between libertarian thought and a brutish Southern slavocracy, born of no other motive or purpose but to entrench and expand that pernicious institution — and deserving of nothing short of a violent and warring elimination by any means or justification.

The argument is both morally appealing and marked by its clarity, but it also suffers from its Manichean simplicity and a tendency to read an inevitable “irrepressible conflict” into the hindsight of the Civil War’s destruction.

This view recognizes slavery and celebrates its abolition, but it tends to neglect or even rationalize the war’s uglier features and consequences: a dramatic weakening of the constitutional federalism laid out in 1787, a rapid acceleration of the scope and power of the federal government, a precedent-setting assault on habeas corpus and expansion of presidential war powers that persists to the present day — and the horrendous destruction itself.

Measured by deaths alone, current estimates place the war’s military toll at 750,000 soldiers. Civilian deaths are more difficult to estimate, though the most common number given is 50,000. And perhaps most telling of all, between 60,000 and 200,000 slaves likely perished as a result of disease and displacement caused by the war.

Why a New Interpretation Is Necessary

Where then does this leave the conscientious libertarian in assessing the Civil War’s legacy?

To address the faults of both the pro-Confederate and pro-Union positions, I’ll offer two propositions for libertarians to consider:

  1. One needn’t be for the Union to be against slavery.
  2. One needn’t be for the Confederacy to object to the North’s prosecution of the war.

Stated differently, a morally consistent libertarian view of the war should strive to dissociate itself from the political actors that waged it, while also seeking to recognize its consequences, both positive and negative.

This much may be seen in the faults of the two views described above. Libertarians who embrace the Confederacy are more often than not reasonably aware of both the evils of slavery and the distinction between the abolitionist cause and the Union.

But they neglect the second rule; because of their distaste for the Union’s wartime policies, they stake their claim to a Confederate cause that, whether they admit it or not, thoroughly attached itself to the moral abomination of slavery.

And libertarians who embrace the Union are also usually aware of the objections one might lodge against its indulgences in unrestricted warfare, suspension of civil liberties, centralization of power, or any of the other charges often made against the Union’s wartime cause or its outcome.

But they thoroughly subordinate these objections to the greater moral purpose of emancipation — a focus that obscures all but the most simplistic reading of the war’s other political and constitutional consequences.

In each argument, the problem is not its primary emphasis, but the complexities it obscures or leaves out.

In place of both views, and in recognition of their deficiencies, libertarians might develop a better appreciation for the Civil War’s complexity by turning their analysis to the nature of the ruinous agency of the conflict itself.

War, whether waged to hold human beings in bondage or subjugate a political rebellion, is a consciously coercive action of the political state in its most expansive and direct form. And armed warfare, as both the Union and Confederacy came to discover across four destructive years, is horrifically messy, unpredictable, and destructive of human life and human liberty.

Military goals and political motives also matter, as they define the objectives of the armies and prioritize their execution. Thus, a military maneuver to capture an opposing political capital will take a very different form from one that eschews political objectives and seeks to maximize the liberation of slaves or the protection of civilians.

There may also be small glimpses of just action amongst individual participants in a far more ambiguous conflict. When the abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson raised the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, an all-black unit composed of escaped slaves, there is little doubt that they were fighting for emancipation, even as larger Union war goals moved far more slowly on this objective.

There is similarly little doubt about the motive of some Southerners who fought for their homes and families as hostile armies marched through their states; even a handful of Confederates — Patrick Cleburne, Duncan Kenner — pressed their government (in vain) to consider emancipation as a means of securing independence.

These graces on the periphery tell us more about the conflict’s moral complexity than anything that may be found in its political objectives. History is not a Manichean struggle between pure good and evil; we are not served by filtering its conflicts through a dualistic moral lens.

Instead of looking for a “side” to champion, we are better served by recognizing that even amid the unbridled horrors of slavery and the devastation of war, there may still be a few who are fighting for something better than their country’s cause.

Phillip Magness

Phil Magness is a policy historian and academic program director at the Institute for Humane Studies.

Tear Down That Confederate Flag — Or Else!

There are those, a few, who believe this is a racist nation. They point to the fact that Americans fly the Confederate Battle Flag. They claim we honor the racist Generals and Politicians from the Old South. They further claim that in order to stamp out racism that we need to bring down that Confederate Battle Flag. They say we need to ban its use all over the nation by just about everyone. Then they claim we need to dig up every Civil War General’s remains and move them to places not often seen or visited by people. They say we should remove the monuments that have been erected in those Generals honor.

In short, these people wish to try and bleach our history and wipe it clean of what they don’t like. They want to rewrite the pages so that it would appear that those they claim are responsible for slavery are not glorified in any way and are reduced to villains like any other historical villain.

These people, often leftist, and now even some from the middle and the right of the political aisle, have fallen victim to this nonsense.

This lack of true discourse on race relations, acting totally on emotions being whipped up by a fringe few who cannot stand that fact that we are moving away from racism, is driving this destructive paradigm. Its as if we are in a bad zombie movie and everywhere you turn there is another mindless, anti-history nut running around tearing down a Confederate Battle Flag or defacing an historical monument.

These nuts are even going so far as to say that maybe we, as a nation, should tear down the National Monuments of Presidents Jefferson and Lincoln. Why? Because Jefferson owned slaves and Lincoln didn’t really save slaves because he did not make them fully equal when he had the chance to do so. Both ideologies could not be more wrong when you look into these men and what they did over their lifetime.

But when you have folks bent on changing the narrative to fit their own political goals and ambitions, you cannot speak to reason. They will not hear you until they become the victim of their own hate and ignorance. For example, many on the left were happy to jump on the anti-Confederate Battle Flag band wagon until the history Nazi’s decided to hit a favorite pastime. That pastime would be television. Specifically the television program called the Dukes of Hazard. When word spread that a network was pulling the reruns of this popular hour long program, many on the left cried foul.

They forgot for a second that the reason the program was being pulled was because of their own ignorance. The reality is, when the left decided to hit the old flag and paint it as racist, they didn’t think of all the culture that has been built up around that flag. They forgot that they, the left, first raised that flag, first promoted that flag, first glorified that flag, first embedded that flag in our nation’s culture and lexicon. Then they were reminded. And they hated it. But the train of historical hate had already left the yard and there was no way of calling it back into the barn. Now we see business after business and even government at all levels demonizing this flag and what they say it represents.

The truth is, this flag does not represent slavery and racism for most folks. But what the left has done is to successfully, and over a very short period of time, destroy the very foundation that is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. We no longer have the ability to openly believe as we want to believe. If we say or do or believe something that has not been approved, we will be demonized and chased out of Dodge. They will shout that there needs to be a law that prevents you or me from believing what we want to believe.

Some people say that it’s the flag and the representation of racism is their target. I say, they are lying because they know that their target is anything and anyone who is not politically correct.

Their target is freedom itself. Their target is you and me and anyone who still believes in freedom and the notion of live and let live even if you disagree with what the other person believes.

Oh, no. If you do not believe as the left would have you believe, they will fight you, enact laws that affect you and prevent you from being able to discuss why you believe what you believe.

This attack from the left, who built up this flag and the institution of racism in this country is not that simple flag or even what that flag represents.

Their target is plain to see.

Their target is your freedom.

The Un-American Divider in Chief

The president of the United States of America was once known as the commander in chief.  The old saying about a house divided against itself may certainly be applied to our republic today.  Not since the civil war has our beloved nation been so separated ideologically.  The most noted era of division historically is the time surrounding the big war between the north and the south.  There were sharp disagreements over states’ rights as well as the argument over whether individuals should be allowed to hold others in the bondage of slavery.

As horrific as the states’ rights and slavery issues were considering the toll they took on the country, at least they were situations that mattered and worth the time and effort to resolve them.  Take for example, the ongoing mission of the divider and chief, Barack Obama and his embittered wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.  Just recently, Mrs. Obama gave a commencement address at the historic Tuskegee University in Alabama.  Instead of encouraging the hopeful graduates to go seek opportunities and to be the best they can be, she chose to focus upon the wasteful topic of the limitations of racism.

Here we are in a nation facing a major crossroad in her history and Mrs. Obama complained about the “daily slights” that she and her husband have experienced.  This is from a woman who’s own husband won’t even associate with you on any level if you are not a fellow progressive.  She talked about overcoming that “heavy burden” by channeling their frustration into “organizing and banding together.”  Mrs. Obama also stated that the frustrations that are playing out in “communities like Baltimore and Ferguson.”

She took a grand opportunity to embolden younger Americans who happen to be black (technically brown) in their goals of successful achievement and allowing their God given gifts and talents to make room for them and turned it into a pedestrian pity party for having been “black in America.”

Such worthless and insane topics to be repeated over and over within the ranks of Americans who happen to be black, only serves to insure failure, bitterness and misery for those who should be looking forward to climbing the ladder of success.  The horrendous economic policies of President Obama has done much more to thwart opportunities for all Americans, than the racists Mrs. Obama refers to could dream of.  In fact, as usual under most democrat administrations especially the current one, economic opportunities are much fewer today than during the time of the previous Bush administration.

Alright so let me get this straight according to the Obama’s, racism is today’s biggest impediment preventing blacks from succeeding.  Yet there are fewer opportunities today than when the president assumed office in this so-called racist nation.  So does that make the Obamas racists?  I already know they are rabidly anti United States bigots.

The president has allowed the influx of millions of illegal immigrants who are being offered just about anything they want, including the chance to displace Americans who happen to be black at the dwindling workplace.  Again, does that make President Obama and the First Lady racist?  If Mrs. Obama is so concerned about blacks being held back, she might review her husband’s economic policies and also take a look in the mirror.  Under the Obama administration, America’s highest corporate tax rate on the planet is just one of the many factors of this regime that has the economy basically stagnating at best.  Thus the real reason for fewer opportunities, not racism.

In addition, purposely dividing the republic over racial foolishness and class envy only keeps people focused on real or imagined divisions rather than authentic solutions to the stymied economy.  So now we are putting up with a divided and less prosperous republic turned mob rule democracy.  Mrs. Obama has unfortunately has proven to be nothing more than a middle aged progressive activist using race as a means to divide and weaken our country.  She along with her husband has scoffed at every viable free market economic solution to the current malaise.

Are there racists in America?  Yes there are, many of whom are black.  But there are many more non racists who are optimistic hard working Americans who simply want to see the nation restored not only economically, but in every facet of society as well.  I believe that many of my fellow Americans who happen to be white like myself, do not like the destructive policies of the Obama regime doesn’t make them racists.  But also like myself desire to witness a resurgence of the good values and principles that made the United States of America the envy of the world.

The freedoms, rights, privileges and responsibilities enumerated in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution can only be maintained if “We the People” are united as Americans. The progressive hyphenated Americans divided by race, class envy and increasingly immoral behavior only serves the purpose of those seeking to divide and conquer America.  America’s strength is in the good morality of her people.  The founding fathers recognized that in order for America to be and remain free is for her sovereign citizens to be more dependent upon God, their own good sense and opportunities than an intrusive overbearing and oppressive government.

The choice is yours my fellow Americans.  You can either be divided and conquered or United and free to live in liberty as God intended.   God Bless America and May America Bless God.

‘Risking Life and Limb for Liberty’ Real Heroes: Harriet Tubman

When the day arrives that a woman’s image adorns Federal Reserve currency for the first time, it might well be that of Harriet Tubman. She’s reportedly on the short list. It may, however, be a dubious honor to appear on something that declines so regularly in value. Without a doubt, this woman would impart more esteem to the bill than the bill would to her. Her value is far more solid and enduring.

Slavery was once ubiquitous in the world — and even intellectually respectable. That began to change in the late 18th century, first in Britain, which ended its slave trade in 1807 and liberated the enslaved throughout its jurisdiction in 1834. Before the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in America in 1865, American blacks risked everything attempting to escape from their masters, who sometimes pursued them all the way to the Canadian border. Tubman, herself a fugitive slave, became the most renowned “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, a network of trails for escapees from the antebellum South to the North. As many as 100,000 slaves risked life and limb traveling its routes. It was the most dangerous “railroad” in the world.

Born Araminta Harriet Ross in 1820 in Maryland, Tubman survived the brutalities of bondage for 29 years. Three of her sisters had been sold to distant plantation owners. She herself carried scars for her entire life from frequent whippings. Once, when she refused to restrain a runaway slave, she was bashed in the head with a two-pound weight, causing lifelong pain, migraines, and “buzzing” in her ears. She bolted for freedom in 1849, making her way to the neighboring free state of Pennsylvania and its city of brotherly love, Philadelphia.

“I had crossed the line of which I had so long been dreaming,” she later wrote.

I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land, and my home after all was down in the old cabin quarter, with the old folks and my brothers and sisters. But to this solemn resolution I came: I was free, and they should be free also; I would make a home for them in the North, and the Lord helping me, I would bring them all there. Oh, how I prayed then, lying all alone on the cold damp ground! ‘Oh, dear Lord’, I said. I haven’t got no friend but you. Come to my help Lord, for I’m in trouble! Oh, Lord! You’ve been with me in six troubles, don’t desert me in the seventh!

Tubman bravely ventured 13 times back into slave states to personally escort at least 70 escapees to Northern states and to Canada. “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years,” she famously recounted, “and I can say what most conductors can’t say: I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” Those passengers included her aging parents, her three brothers, their wives, and many of their children.

Working for the Union Army as a cook and nurse during the Civil War, Tubman morphed quickly into an armed scout and spy. She became the war’s first woman to lead an armed expedition when she guided the Combahee River Raid, an expedition that liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina.

For her service to the government — tending to newly freed slaves, scouting into enemy territory, and nursing wounded soldiers — she was treated shamefully and shabbily. She was denied compensation and didn’t receive a pension for her war duties until 1899. She took in boarders and worked long hours at odd jobs to make ends meet.

In an August 1868 letter to Tubman, famous abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass paid tribute to her heroism:

Most that I have done and suffered in the service of our cause has been in public, and I have received much encouragement at every step of the way. You, on the other hand, have labored in a private way. I have wrought in the day — you in the night. I have had the applause of the crowd and the satisfaction that comes of being approved by the multitude, while the most that you have done has been witnessed by a few trembling, scarred, and foot-sore bondmen and women, whom you have led out of the house of bondage, and whose heartfelt “God bless you” has been your only reward. The midnight sky and the silent stars have been the witnesses of your devotion to freedom and of your heroism.

Tubman spent her last decades caring for others, especially the sick and aged. She often spoke publicly on behalf of women’s right to vote. For relief from that head injury mentioned earlier, she endured brain surgery in Boston in the late 1890s. She refused anesthesia, preferring instead simply to bite down on a bullet. In her words, the surgeon “sawed open my skull, and raised it up, and now it feels more comfortable.” She died in 1913 at the age of 91 — a real hero to the very end.

In 2014, an asteroid was named for Tubman. In my book, that beats a Federal Reserve note hands down.

For additional information, see:

Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s.

EDITORS NOTE: Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.

Back in Iraq? Foreign policy déja vù all over again by Doug Bandow

Little more than a decade ago, the United States invaded Iraq. The promised cakewalk turned out far different than expected. Today its government and entire state, created by Washington, are in crisis. Yet the same voices again are being raised calling for military intervention, with the promise that this time everything will turn out well.

Social engineers never seem to learn. It is hard enough to redesign and remake individuals, families, and communities in the United States. It is far harder to do so overseas.

Nation-building requires surmounting often vast differences in tradition, culture, history, religion, ethnicity, ideology, geography, and more. Doing so also requires suppressing people’s natural desire to govern themselves.

It doesn’t matter if Americans could do it better. With positions reversed they would insist that the foreigners, however well-meaning, leave them alone. Imagine if the French offered to—nay, insisted on—sticking around at the end of the Revolutionary War to “help” the backward colonials make a new nation. Guns would again be pulled down from fireplace mantles across the land!

Yet these days Washington continues to try to fix the world’s problems. In recent years the United States has deployed forces to Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Occupying these lands was in no case a military necessity. Nation-building has not turned out particularly well.

However, until now Washington at least has limited itself to one bout of society-molding per country. Reentering Iraq would be an attempted redo barely a decade after the first go. Rarely has a victorious war proved to be so fruitless and counterproductive so quickly.

Remember the original promises surrounding the Iraq operation? A quick, bloodless war would destroy dangerous weapons of mass destruction and “drain the swamp,” eliminating terrorism.The United States would guarantee a friendly, compliant government by imposing as president an exile who hadn’t lived in the country for decades. The new Iraq would implement democracy,eschew sectarian division, protect women’s rights, and even recognize Israel, while providing America bases for use in attacking neighboring states, including Iran, which with its Shia majority shared manifold religious, cultural, and personal ties with Iraq.

It was a wonderful wish list. Alas, it turned out to be pure fantasy. The conflict killed thousands and wounded tens of thousands of Americans, while killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and displacing millions more. The ancient Christian community was destroyed. The ultimate financial cost to the United States, including the expense of caring for those who sustained debilitating wounds, will likely run $3 trillion or more. The invasion stained the United States’s reputation, empowered Iran, and gave training to a new generation of terrorists.

Finally, Baghdad’s sectarian misrule wrecked national institutions and fostered the rise of an ugly Islamic totalitarianism. While the ISIL “caliphate” is likely to find it harder to actually rule than to claim to rule, the movement now calling itself the “Islamic State” seems capable of creating more than its share of human hardship along the way.

That’s quite an impact from that one little invasion so long ago. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

The obvious—indeed, only—policy for Americans is to run, not walk, away from the mess.

Yet many of the architects of the original disaster are back, advocating a second shot. Never mind the past, they argue. No need to cast blame, they assert. Everything was going swell before the new administration took over.

The President is putting in Special Forces. Many others advocate drone and air strikes. A few forthrightly call for boots on the ground. William Kristol and Frederick Kagan, for instance, want Washington to take on everyone: Defeat ISIL, force Baghdad government to include Sunnis, and make Iran withdraw its military aid. A three-sided war this time! What could possibly go wrong?

There’s no doubt that ISIL is a malignant force. But the United States should make clear to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that Americans will not bail him out after his policies led to the ongoing catastrophe. Without political reform it is hard to see how Iraq can be saved.

Part of the political response must be to engage Sunni tribes and former Ba’athists who allied with ISIL to oust the national government from Sunni areas of Iraq. It is unlikely that they want to go back to the seventh century; in fact, they already are chafing under the group’s ruthless Islamic rule, as well as increased economic hardship after being “liberated” by a pretend nation state. Iraq’s Shia majority needs to propose reforms that offer Sunnis a better option than remaining in caliphate hell.

In any case, Washington should drop its insistence that Iraq stay together. Kurds are moving toward a vote for independence. Sunnis are deeply alienated. Baghdad’s Shiite leadership remains committed to narrow sectarian politics. Extensive federalism/partition may be the only way to prevent endless killing.

The United States also needs to stop supporting Syria’s opposition. Instead, the priority should be stopping ISIL, which gained its first victories, along with access to financial resources and military material, in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad is odious, but his dictatorship is not dedicated to destabilizing the entire region. If Washington further undermines Assad, it will inevitably help ISIL. Arming the moderate opposition, which so far has lost ground and weapons to the radicals, might do little more than end up further empowering ISIL.

Finally, American officials should invite allies, friends, and even adversaries to cooperate to contain ISIL. The group’s professed ambitions cover much of the Middle East. Numerous nations have good reason to isolate, sanction, and even strike ISIL. Turkey has a first-rate military. Jordan has a capable though fragile government, and a powerful incentive to act: It has been destabilized both by Arab Spring sentiments and by a refugee tsunami from Iraq and Syria, andit  is in ISIL’s gunsite.

Iran, though no friend, shares Washington’s antipathy toward ISIL and wants to preserve rule by its co-religionists in Iraq. Lebanon is even more vulnerable than Jordan. The Gulf states,including Kuwait, the emirates, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, though mostly Sunni, also are targeted for subversion. Israel does not want to see a radical Islamist state, especially one that wrecks Jordan next door. These nations have different capabilities and interests, but all could help contain and ultimately roll back ISIL’s gains.

The Iraq war should have demonstrated beyond doubt that military intervention has unintended and unforeseen consequences, just like economic intervention. People devoted to individual liberties and limited government should be particularly skeptical of proposals to expand the state—after all, war is the biggest Big Government program—for the purpose of social engineering around the world.

The revival of civil war and veritable collapse of Iraq’s central state are tragedies, but not ones affecting vital American interests. The lesson from 2003 is clear: War truly should be a last resort, never just another policy tool to be used when convenient. The Iraqi imbroglio beckons the usual policy suspects, but the right response is to say, no, the Americans aren’t coming.

dougbandow3540ABOUT DOUG BANDOW

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of a number of books on economics and politics. He writes regularly on military non-interventionism.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.