Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln

California Rebs

(California was a magic spot when I lived there a spell in the early 1960s. But no more. Today’s post is written by Victor Davis Hanson, a historian with the Hoover Institution.)

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9942878-confederate-flag-rendered-with-fabric-texture1MORE THAN 60 percent of California voters went for Hillary Clinton — a margin of more than 4 million votes over Donald Trump.

Since Mrs. Clinton’s defeat, the state seems to have become unhinged over President Trump’s unexpected election.

“Calexit” supporters brag that they will have enough signatures to qualify for a ballot measure calling for California’s secession from the United States.

Some California officials have talked of the state not remitting its legally obligated tax dollars to the federal government. They talk of expanding its sanctuary cities into an entire sanctuary state that would nullify federal immigration law.

Californians also now talk about the value of the old Confederate idea of “states’ rights.”

They whine that their state gives far too much revenue to Washington and gets too little back.

Residents boast about how their cool culture has little in common with the rest of the U.S. Some Californians claim the state could easily go it alone, divorced from the United States.

Sound a bit familiar?

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Today’s leftist

In December 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union in furor over the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln did not receive 50 percent of the popular vote. He espoused values the state insisted did not reflect its own.

In eerie irony, liberal California is now mirror-imaging the arguments of reactionary South Carolina and other Southern states that vowed to go it alone in 1860 and 1861.

Like California, South Carolina insisted it could nullify federal laws within its state borders.

Like California, South Carolina promised to withhold federal revenues.

Like California, South Carolina and other Confederate states bragged that their unique economies did not need the Union.

They boasted that “King Cotton” had created the wealthiest class in the United States. Silicon Valley now often assumes that Google, Facebook, Apple and others are near-trillion-dollar companies that are a world unto their own.

Slavery and the extravagant income from cotton warped the Southern economy and culture. A wealthy plantation elite, with its millions of exploited slaves, ensured that there would be virtually no middle-, working- or small-business class.

Huge estates were surrounded by the impoverished shacks of servants. Hardscrabble farmers or small businessmen often fled westward to escape the shackles of wealth disparity.

The export-dependent Southern elite demanded unfettered free trade. It offered bitter resistance to Northern protectionism.

South Carolina elites were opposed to federal infrastructure projects such as the building of roads, canals, bridges and reservoirs, and other such unwelcome “progress.”

Confederates boasted that their antebellum culture was more romantic, natural, pristine, healthy and moral than was the bustle, grime and hyper-capitalism of Northern industrialism.

Southern aristocrats believed that they were culturally superior — in terms of music, art and literature — to other Americans.

Of course, this is 2017, not 1860, and California is superliberal, not an antebellum slave-owning society.

Nonetheless, what is driving California’s current efforts to nullify federal law and the state’s vows to secede from the United States are some deeper — and creepy — similarities to the arrogant and blinkered Old South.

California is likewise becoming a winner-take-all society. It hosts the largest numbers of impoverished and the greatest number of rich people of any state in the country.

Eager for cheap service labor, California has welcomed in nearly a quarter of the nation’s undocumented immigrants.*

California has more residents living in poverty than any other state. It is home to one-third of all the nation’s welfare recipients.

The income of California’s wealthy seems to make them immune from the effects of the highest basket of sales, income and gas taxes in the nation. The poor look to subsidies and social services to get by. Over the last 30 years, California’s middle classes have increasingly fled the state.

“Gone With the Wind”-like wealth disparity in California is shocking to the naked eye.

Mostly poor Redwood City looks like it’s on a different planet from tony nearby Atherton or Woodside.

The California elite, wishing to keep the natural environment unchanged, opposes internal improvements and sues to stop pipelines, aqueducts, reservoirs, freeways and affordable housing for the coastal poor.

California’s crumbling roads and bridges sometimes resemble those of the old rural South. The state’s public schools remain among the nation’s poorest. Private academies are booming for the offspring of the coastal privileged, just as they did among the plantation class of the South.

California, for all its braggadocio, cannot leave the U.S. or continue its states’-rights violations of federal law. It will eventually see that the new president is not its sickness, nor are secession and nullification its cures.

Instead, California is becoming a reactionary two-tier state of masters and serfs whose culture is as peculiar and out of step with the rest of the country as was the antebellum South’s.

No wonder the state lashes out at the rest of the nation with threatened updated versions of the Old Confederacy’s secession and nullification.

But such reactionary Confederate obstructionism is still quite an irony given California’s self-righteous liberal preening.

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* Old Felipe prefers “illegal aliens.” He also continues what appears to be a one-man war against the use of “liberal” and “progressive” when referring to leftists.

Guest lecturer

BEFORE WE introduce today’s guest lecturer, the Unseen Moon’s first, let me preface with a few words.

I oppose the phenomenon of political correctness — a somewhat cute term for a cultural cancer — and everything connected to it. Its source is the political left, and its party in the United States is the Democratic. Barry’s people.

And Hillary’s and Bernie’s people too.

I don’t write about it much anymore because I view its opposition as an exercise in futility. Its damage is done. America and Europe are spiraling down. The crash into the mountainside is imminent. Brace yourself.

But I happened upon the following column that focuses on one element of the cancer, that of renaming things, which smells of Stalin’s having opponents airbrushed from photographs.

After he’s murdered them.

And I liked the column. I want to share.

Changing history is a longtime tool of tyrants. What’s going on now is not changing history so much as it’s altering how we should view it, nearly as bad. It is elevating ignorance.

With no further ado, let’s give a big Moon welcome to Bill O’Reilly who needs no introduction.

Know that armed guards wait in the lobby to show the exit door to any of you who try to shout him down.

This is not Yale or Mizzou.

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bill“As you may know, some students at Princeton University are requesting – demanding! – that Woodrow Wilson’s name be obliterated from campus buildings.

Not only did Wilson graduate from Princeton, he was president of the school, governor of New Jersey and an impeccably ‘progressive’ president of the United States. So what’s the beef?

Well, our 28th president was a dyed-in-the-wool racist who re-segregated the federal bureaucracy.

His retrograde racial views have long been known to anyone who has taken the time to read about Wilson, and this latest campus dustup raises a question:

Why stop with Woodrow Wilson?

The town of Princeton and the university itself are named after William III, Prince of Orange, whose family was deeply involved in the slave trade. Princeton has streets and buildings honoring native son Paul Robeson, the singer, athlete, actor, and unapologetic Stalinist.

Robeson, undeniably a remarkable and talented man, clung to his affection for communism and the USSR even after being told that the Soviets were persecuting Jews. Perhaps his name should be vanished, Soviet-style, from the town square.

To the north in Connecticut, Wesleyan University got its name from John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church.

A couple of centuries before San Bernardino, Paris, ISIS, and all the other Islamic-related mayhem, Wesley described Muslims as ‘destroyers of human kind.’ So shouldn’t the trustees consider re-naming their ultra-liberal university?

Not to be outdone, Winston Churchill, whose name adorns numerous American schools, wrote that ‘no stronger retrograde force exists in the world’ than Islam.

And let’s not overlook President John Quincy Adams, who warned that the Koran advises ‘perpetual war’ against infidels. Yes, JQA was an Islamophobe, but don’t mention it to the good folks of Quincy, Massachusetts.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a saint in the church of liberalism, had some serious issues with homosexuality. As secretary of the navy, FDR went on a crusade to find and weed out ‘sexual perversion’ in the Navy.

The Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln opined that the white race must always retain ‘the superior position.’

Think of all those ‘Lincoln Elementary Schools’ and “Roosevelt High Schools’ across the USA and the big payday in store for stone masons.

In West Virginia, pretty much everything not nailed down is named after long-serving Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, whose career included a stint as Exalted Cyclops in the local Ku Klux Klan chapter. If there are calls to have his name sandblasted from all those edifices, we have not heard them.

Most towns, probably yours included, have streets named after slaveholders Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. Yes, a stroll on Madison Avenue in New York City may require a ‘trigger warning’ for some of today’s more delicate college students.

The point of all this is not to say that everything should be renamed, but rather that nothing should be renamed. Unless, that is, some horrible new disclosure comes to light.

Anyone with a pulse and curiosity could have known that Woodrow Wilson was a stone-cold racist, that Honest Abe honestly felt blacks were lesser beings, and that Churchill loathed Islam.

These were men of their times expressing views that were common then, but which we now consider repugnant. They should be judged by the standards of the eras in which they lived, not by our notions of what is acceptable.

Demonizing FDR for his views of homosexuality makes as much sense as criticizing his fondness for cigarettes.

However, if we suddenly discover that Wilson was, say, a pedophile, or that Lincoln was a serial killer in his spare time, a re-examination will be in order.

Short of that, how about we just leave things the way they are? Sorry to all you bricklayers out there.

As an aside, back in 1964 Shirley Ellis had a runaway hit with ‘The Name Game.’ If you’re of a certain age, you can still recite her unique lyrics — ‘Lincoln, Lincoln, bo Bincoln, Bonanana fanna fo Fincoln.’ It was a light song infused with fun and joy.

But today’s Name Game is one of bitterness, usually played by left-wingers who revel in feeling ‘oppressed.’ And if they really want to start down the slippery slope of erasing past leaders from public streets and buildings, why not go all the way?

Out with Washington and Lincoln and Roosevelt, down with Churchill and Wilson and Madison. Let the re-naming begin!”