Posted by: Dr Churchill | December 7, 2019

A secret message of Courage for keeping our Republic as the “Best Hope of the World” coming from the words of our 14th President — the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln.

This month was the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s second annual address to the US Congress, and I am only re-engaging with this story because of its significance, its vibrant optimism, and its being a message for the ages, and that is why I bring it back here again, because we need to hear it now as we are traversing a new period of internal divisions, instigated hate and the tearing apart of our national fabric in the push for a new Civil War.

1860s, 1877, 1972, and 2016-Now, is the time line of our Ongoing Low-Grade Civil War, because the all round firing squad is active in all of the political rhetoric, political actions, and in the disruptive impeachment efforts of this era that is heralded as the Trump Impeachment era where the arguments are so personal and overheated, same as if this was the kind of hate between those engaged in a vicious knife fight for life — so it’s hard to know where hyperbole ends and where truth begins.

This includes recent incidents of a new civil war talk from our President (if he gets impeached) and from his opponents as well (who seek to impeach him on flimsy evidence of impeachable offenses) with both sides claiming that a new Civil War will be their ultimate vindicator and magisterial judge to deliver justice for they cause and for their people.

What a delusion…

As a matter of fact, the discussion about Civil War 2.0 has become so commonplace as to show up in the most mundane speeches of the various politicians, politicos and pundits on national TV news shows, because we truly are on the verge of a revamp of the bayonet battles between the “Blue and the Gray” on the killing fields of Antietam and Gettysburg — only this time the war will be fought with theater nuclear weapons attacking our major cities, and it will soon involve all of humanity in this looming conflagration…

And if you think that I am exaggerating — please consider that as a matter of fact, there have been several overt versions of civil war in this country’s history, that we typically fail to understand as such, and that is why today’s combatants, the Republican Trumpists and the Pelosian Democrats are both equally stupid in their quest for blood and gore, hoping that through torn sinew, excreted guts and spilled blood, they can get our Republic straight upright again… they see it in their night time sleep fantasies.

And that is the greatest illusion of our Times in America today.

Because even if as an example of past difficulties, we take and study the period of “Reconstruction” and the 1960s as being the timelines that represented deep divisions, deepest disputes and grave differences, over those times’ “civil war” efforts, the necessity for it, the efforts & the potential outcomes of it, & how to define the nation and who belonged in it — we managed to come across that bridge fairly well unmolested…

Obviously both periods were book-ended with the assassinations of popular Presidents, with the reactionaries taking over the leadership & management of the State in order to reinstate the inherent inequality, as it existed in every system of governance before the Great Emancipator or JFK had come along and with the end of illusions by the popular masses of benign American folks.

That is why today, it is incumbent upon us to hear, understand and comprehend, those distant echoes and the images we conjure from the bloody times of the 1860s Civil War and of the national hubris, humiliation and trials, in order to be able to comprehend the current momentum pushing for a new Civil War 2.0 and for the destruction of everything that we hold sacred, in our nation.

And for those in the “know” you would agree that as a matter of fact, we have been living in a low grade civil war since Newt Gingrich took Congress for the Republicans in 1994, because his Republican party was not merely partisan, but demanded that its version of the nation be protected at all costs, even if this meant defying the popular will or shutting down the government.

For this reason Republicans have refused to treat Democratic presidents as legitimate. In the 1990s Rush Limbaugh claimed America was “held hostage,” an attitude culminating in Clinton’s impeachment.

At the start of Obama’s presidency Limbaugh gave a speech at CPAC calling for resistance at all costs, a call that we heeded without wavering for eight years. Glenn Beck and his chalkboard spoke of doomsday scenarios, practically telegraphing a civil war to come.

Elected Republicans complied with this narrative, filibustering at every opportunity and shutting down the government as a hostage-taking maneuver multiple times. They took the unprecedented step of blocking Obama from placing a justice on the Supreme Court when almost a year of his term was left. People talk of a “constitutional crisis” these days as if we haven’t been in one for years.

It’s not just at the federal level. In Wisconsin and North Carolina Republican legislatures have stripped the governor of power once the office was occupied by a Democrat. These same legislatures were elected by a minority of Republican voters given majority power through highly partisan gerrymandering. The root cause is the same at all levels: conservatives believe that they are the “real Americans” and thus must do everything in their power, including limiting democracy, to keep back the progressive tide they think will destroy their nation. Hence the Tea Party rallying cry of “take our country back.”

That subtext was recently made text by Attorney General Bill Barr’s speech at the Federalist Society, claiming that progressives represent an existential threat to the nation due to their disrespect for the rule of law. Another recent speech of his at Notre Dame claimed that these progressives hellbent on a secular takeover of the country. Never mind that the people of this country have become less churched and less interested in making the conservative Christian agenda law in the form of things like bans on gay marriage. That doesn’t matter because Barr and his compatriots feel that this is supposed to be a Christian nation, whether the majority want it to be or not.

In many respects, Donald Trump is the logical endpoint of what happened in the 2008 election. John McCain, for all his many faults, took people at his rallies to task for calling Barack Obama a secret Muslim. At the same time, however, his running mate Sarah Palin went “rogue” and talked of “real America” under threat from alien elements. This was the nationalist red meat the conservative base yearned to feast on. They would get a massive helping once that base was organized more coherently as the Tea Party.

A lot of movement conservatives believed that the country truly wanted their corporate-friendly agenda, but Mitt Romney’s losing campaign proved otherwise.

The media and others failed to understand that the Tea Party wasn’t about taxes — it was about taxes going to help “those people.” Trump saw this, and went straight for the “Herrenvolk nationalism” that Republicans like McCain had avoided, understanding that it was a vast untapped force, one deeply rooted in this country’s history. In fact, populist nationalism is the most powerful political force in the world today, from Brazil to Italy to India.

Beware that in this sad matter — these United States of America are not quite the enlightenment exception that we fancy ourselves to be.

And because Trump’s nationalism defines membership in the nation by blood and race; rather than by birthright, shared values, commonly held aspirations, and citizenship of the American dream — he fails to grasp or even basically understand the most intrinsic threads of the fabric that binds the country together.

Yet, he is not alone in that awfulness of spirit and means of heart, because the current so called “Trumpets nationalism” is an old misunderstanding of the American nation, that unfortunately, has been in the fringes of our founding, right there from the beginning. Take for example the 1790 Naturalization Act’s dictum that immigrants needed to be “free, white, and 21” in order to gain citizenship. The same lunacy, was there in Roger Taney’s decision in the 1857 Dred Scott case, which said that only white people could be citizens. And then came the great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln, the 14th President who fought along with Ulysses Grant and won the Civil War, and even though his second term was cut short, he still managed to sort this mess out.

But the Civil War was not the end of it, because although it ended slavery, it also redefined membership in the nation. The 14th Amendment granted all people born in America citizenship, a principle that even survived the weakening of that amendment by Jim Crow.

Yet, today and in our supposedly progressive lifetime, here comes the Trump administration that is trying to strip away even the birthright citizenship, which even the nativists of the 1920s failed to do.

Methinks this is a bridge too far.

And although Trump and those other fringe “nativists” are part of a longer tradition of “Herrenvolk nationalism” existent in American history, also used to be called “Lindberg nationalism and isolationism” in the 1930s and in the early 1940s — it has always been the case that “racial progress” in American life is inevitably met with “racist progress.”

So Trump and his minions like Stephen Miller et al, are just the recycled dregs of coffee that will give you a bit of brown water that tastes like slapdash ersatz brown rain; they still share the goal of the 1870s “Redeemers” to recreate some form of misguided “white” supremacy that looks like the rainbow coalition of dissatisfied and disgruntled Americans, who feel left behind by globalism and the forces of the bicoastal elites of the fake & corrupt Democrats and the ersatz Conservative Libertarians… out there seeking country redoubts where they will not ave to see people they do not like.

This is all true, because even if you are historically literate, you still know that the period of “Reconstruction” after the Civil War of the 1860’s ended with many forms of violence emanating from the Southern Democrats who had come back into the fold of the Union and had regained their seats in Congress and Senate. Huge repressions and reinstatement of the plantations, violent vote suppression, neglect of giving the “4 acres and a mule” to the newly liberated black ex-slaves, and everywhere one went — they saw the Southern Democrats reinstating their plantations and filing up their worker ranks with their old slaves, only this time their plantation political agendas of “slavery-uber-alles” and white supremacist terror — were all directed against the uppity blacks, against the blacks who wanted to vote, against all the pro-Reconstruction voters, and of course against all progressive politicians.

As a matter of fact, in most parts of the South, this looked more like violent military coups and bloody battles raging, than anything else. What followed was voter suppression, gerrymandering, and one party rule in the South (Democratic party), all activating vast amounts of money, energy & people, in order to maintain the illusion of white supremacy.

Let’s cheers thrice and have a mint julep, for that achievement of the Democratic party that still does the same things today, when trying to shoehorn people into its mental slavery plantation, and also forcefully “fit” all these round human folks, inside their square peg political agenda, playing a tough game of “whack-a-mole.”

Yet if you look in our collective past — in due time, the divisions softened and people became re-united again; but today, many of the same Southern states, are engaged in the same practices, because true democracy, only lasted less than fifty years there, from the Voting Rights Act in 1865, to the Shelby decisions’ guttingt, in order to become the law in 2013.

In Alabama, where voting rights advocates paid for progress with their lives in the 1960s, voters in need of required IDs must now travel close to a hundred miles in some cases. What we are seeing today is not new, but rather the return of the constant. The illusion of moral arcs has bred complacency, and some strange folks, like the “Redeemers” Trump, McCain, Mitt Romney, McConnell, et al, along with a healthy dose of Democrats from the South — and some libertarians, have consciously decided that limiting democracy is an acceptable tactic in maintaining their idea of a white coalition harping and hoping for a “Real America” to re-emerge from the ashes of the looming open Civil War 2.0 in our timeline of the millennials and their brethren.

And it is not difficult to imagine the carnage if you look at another time this nation was sorely divided, over the Vietnam war in the 1960s — a difficult time of an era whose violent outbursts echo what we are now hearing, witnessing and bearing, just as much as the shocks of the end of the period of the after Civil War “Reconstruction” because in the 1960s, although there was no bloody-open civil war; the governmental authorities certainly acted like one was on and daily murders by the deep state and the police authorities and other governmental organizations, were the norm .

Because how else could you explain the many murders and assassinations such as those of Fred Hampton by the Chicago police, or the state-sponsored murders by the National Guard and our military powers, at Kent State, Jackson State, and Orangeburg?

Need to remind you that this was the same 1960s that the assassinations of the most beloved President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, ushered the age of hate and discord, when he was killed, simply because he wanted to end the Vietnam war, and LBJ and his criminal cronies saw it as an expedient way to keep the military industrial complex n the gravy train… And what about the murder of the true revolutionary and people’s choice Malcolm X, or the revered Reverent Martin Luther King who brought Civil Rights to where it is today and whose sermons of Peace and Love gave Hope to many millions of our countrymen? And what about the assassination of Robert Fitzerald Kennedy, who was shot dead in the ground from the dastardly assassins’ bullets, in order to open the way and thus get the evil and crooked Richard Nixon in the oval office inside the White House, so that he can continue and expand the Vietnam war to its logical conclusion — a distant & shameful loss for America and it’s righteous cause?

Yet, although the simmering low-boil Civil War was on, America did not descend into outright authoritarianism after the convulsions of the 1960s — only because backlash politics had majority support.

Indeed as history tells it, Richard Nixon won his re-election in 1972 by a landslide. Calls for greater racial equality ended in the 1970s with mass incarceration and a “war on drugs” that John Ehrlichman later admitted was a war against black activists, the hippy-left, and the progressive whites — war by other means.

The yearning for individual freedom expressed in the sixties counter culture, mutated into the neoliberal individualism of the Reagan era, and the vast consumerism and business acumen culture of the youth today, whose best and brightest shun politics and the public arena for becoming StartUp billionaires straight out of Stanford University and MIT, or Harvard…

And when the election of Barack Obama threatened that Neoliberal new order — the Tea Party and then the “simpleton puppet” of Donald Trump as “Dennis the Menace” suddenly appeared on the scene. And it was right at that time that mainstream Republicans also decided to abandon democracy in order to maintain their seemingly inefficient “electoral minority” rule far longer than they had the energy to hold office due to the second law of Thermodynamics.

Because to them, this was the only way “Real America” could be preserved, and its preservation must be maintained at all costs. So, now this “low grade” civil war has now shifted into a higher gear, one where the lingering cultural divides of the era of Reconstruction and of the divisions of the 1960s and the boomer generation, are being fought over with the tactics of the admittedly successful militant tactics of the 1870s bloody Reconstruction after Lincoln’s assassination.

Yet, the problem is that so many liberals refuse to believe that this is happening.

This is in large part because Germany’s Weimar Republic before Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, is the only example they have in their minds when they think of authoritarian regimes destroying democracy. Everything is NAZI or Mother Teresa, but nothing exists in between for those ill-educated people. And of course in that narrative, if you cannot see the “brownshirts” with swastica armbands, marching down the streets, following the dictate of a screeching dictator outlawing opposition parties, calling for a “Kristallnacht” and executing all of his opponents after burning down the House of Congress — they feel quite complacent.

However, if they understood the subtleties of historical progress in their own lifetimes — they should have been thinking about America in 1877, when an understanding of national belonging based on citizenship, was violently smothered to death by one based on blood and race.

And even worse for all of us today, is that if one must look to other distant countries, or even look to our neighbors in the Central and South of this vast American continent, where reactionary militant nationalism and the rule of strong-men, has seized nations from Costa Rica, to Bolivia, to Brazil and all in between — you’ll get the necessary message.

As indeed Bill Barr’s “Opus Dei” inspired rants would’ve been perfectly at home in the “dirty war” carried out by Argentina’s Videla military regime in the 1970s and 1980s, when the “desaparesidos” were dropped half dead from airplanes in the Pacific ocean far from shores to become fish food… only because the people believed in remedial justice and wanted a healthy dose of Liberation Theology that inspired their strong Christian beliefs. And we know this now, because the majority of the “desaparesidos” were strong Argentinian Christians who believed in a sane God of love and Hope for all… just like our current Pope Francis was in his truculent years living and preaching in Argentina during those evil times of wrath and retribution. Strange times of terror shape men like iron is forged in the cauldrons of fire and extreme heat. A time that surely prepared Francis, for his high pontifical posting and for his message of Christian virtue, Love and Hope for all Peoples, and for all the people of this Earth — the true lambs of God.

But I digress, and I must say now that we can only start to “fight” for peace, and fight against the Civil War in America, only have once we acknowledged and we have understood that we have been embroiled in a low-grade civil war and constitutional crisis already.

Because this battle will not be won without major costs in terror, in blood, and lives lost. It seems that the mass murders in Las Vegas, in El Paso, in Pittsburgh, and so many others such as Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, are proof enough that blood is already being spilled.

Yet, in our atomized, Instagram & Facebook 21st-century ego-times the violence isn’t coming directly from the state, but from seeming “lone wolves” who are mentally enslaved to introduce violence like the Saudi terrorists, who they can then be blamed for all that ails us. But these errant morons are not acting alone, because they are taught at the religious schools of Islamofascist hate or any other kind of hate, and are given constant encouragement by a sewer of online hate and tin some cases even by the Congress people and then even by the president of the United States himself, who called the Nazis at Charlottesville “some fine people” amongst many other influencers of Hate and Discord out there.

It is these forces that need to be seen clearly as the culprits of the Civil War 2.0 and it is those evil urges that we need to fight against, even if it means a leap into new danger of an open bloody conflagration coming sooner rather than later.

The contradiction in this statement is not lost on me, but sometimes it is best to prepare for the inevitable and to even proactively strike the first blow, if it mends to not shrink from this fight because it will be dangerous, deadly, or even downright shameful.

Some people say that there is no moral arc to the universe, but I don’t believe that, and I only see that history does not move in a straight line, so people often confuse these turns and bends as an immoral act of God, but for anyone observant of strong faith — it is understood as being exactly the opposite.

And of course the only way the Arc of the Universe bends towards Justice, is by everyone of us righteous Americans, and Righteous people of the World out there — getting out and pushing the wheel of progress forward.

And as it seems now — the times we live through demand that we push more and more strongly on the wheel of progress, as we pray stoutly for Deliverance and Grace on this time of trials for America, our beloved nation that still is the best hope for all the World.

And since the current era carries the echoes of the times after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln left the nation bereft and saddened and also left the Great Emancipator’s task unfinished — let us turn to his ideas and aspirations for accomplishing the vision for America that he harbored in the many folds of his rather large heart…

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And it is here where Lincoln and his exciting words come handy, because he can stir not only our actins but also out imagination.

Remember that Lincoln was an accomplished orator and that is why he came to the executive office, and on his Second Address to Congress he spoke of the Civil War brewing in his hands…

In this rousing address he stated humbly, with a tepid report on initiatives taken by his administration in the previous year.

Yet, at the end of that rather long disquisition, he launched into an eloquent coda – reminiscent, of the Saint Crispin Day speech of Henry the 5th in Shakespeare’s play Henry V that has gone down in history as the most salient war chieftain’s speech ever recorded.

And it is this strength of speechifying and secret messaging in plain view that makes this speech’s ending so powerful, especially when placed in that perilous context of the Civil War’s losing phase — that bears reading and re-reading this secret code from Abraham Lincoln for ourselves and for our progeny, so that we might become strong in Spirit and resilient in Nature, in order to fight on, so that we can keep this Democratic Republic of the United States, going for the next few generations ahead as the “Best Hope of the World.”

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Lincoln spoke thus, and he entered History forever, only after he had dispensed with the enumeration of business items through his reporting to the assembled Congress of all of his administrative doings, his initiatives, and also after he spoke about his visionary agenda items that he had established during the past year … and now wanted to drive home his point of Courage.

Here is the Great Emancipator in his own words:

“Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.

No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union.

The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free–honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.

We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail.

The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just–a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.”

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Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

Indeed here and at this momentous times — the 14th President, Abraham Lincoln was speaking of emancipation, but also he was speaking of a larger topic.

He was spiritually speaking of the ultimate survival of democracy.

With his “last best hope” Lincoln improved upon Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural phrase in which he called America “the world’s best hope.”

Lincoln was making the passionate plea to God and Man and beseeching the Spirit that

“America, for all her problems, is still worth fighting for.”

–President Abraham Lincoln

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