Well, our Little Barry Hussein is actually very happy to have us debating the Confederate flag and the 150-year-old Civil War rather than arguing about his corrupt administration. It’s the old political sleight-of-hand. Quick, look over there!
But Spengler (the pen name of one of my favorite writers David P. Goldman) is down with that. Like Diana West, he sees Americans being stupid and comes up with a reason. She considers it a result of the moral relativism birthed in the 1960s, aided, not incidentally, by the body of lies our federal government had been telling since 1933. When, in fact, FDR’s administration was so thoroughly penetrated by Soviet agents as to make the New Deal a Communist front and the Greatest Generation perfect dupes. But very little of that was known until several years after secret government files were released in 1995.
Spengler prefers to see the reason for our stupidity in post-war Washington failing to utterly crush the old Confederacy. Well, they did put Jefferson Davis in a damp prison cell for two years. But Gen. Grant was altogether too nice about everything else, apparently. Spengler says the feds should have banned the flags, the monuments and every other manifestation of the slave-owning South. They’d already burned most of the mansions.
He also hates Gone With The Wind and thinks it should be banned. Although any careful reading of the book shows it does not glorify the Confederacy even if the movie does. Spengler admits to never having read the book and being unable to stand even a few minutes of the movie. He hated Scarlett returning to her mansion at the end. “I wanted Scarlett to pick cotton until her fingers fell off,” he writes.
Now that’s irritation. I rather prefer West’s reasoning but I can see Goldman’s point, too. And I say that as a descendant of Rebel soldiers. I admire the soldiers enormously but always have thought the Confederacy sucked. And banning things is always counterproductive. They just go underground and develop more power than before.
And something else I noticed growing up. So long as segregation was the law of the land, the Confederacy was a big topic of conversation in the South. It was a parlor trick among Southern males to know even the smallest details of the war.
When the topic was Gettysburg, for instance, and someone said “Okay, where was he?” you were supposed to know the speaker was referring to JEB Stuart and his missing cavalry. When segregation began to die after 1964, so did most of these conversations. As if the one had supported the other all along.