Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Republican Leaders Are This Generation's Confederates

It is hard for a modern American to grasp the devotion to one's state that many of the founders held (the glorious Hamilton musical provides good reminders of this). This attitude persisted through the Civil War: Robert Lee famously was offered, and turned down, command of the Union Army, and although perhaps not eagerly, served in the same capacity in the Confederate Army.

Without indulging too much in 20/20 hindsight, I think it is fair to say that contemporary Americans are largely dumbfounded by this "my state over my country" attitude. It was the wrong side of history.

I think Republicans leaders who support Trump are a contemporary equivalent of the state-loving Virginians*, except with much less in the way of principles to mitigate their historically abhorrent position. Supporting Trump has been indefensible at least from the date of his outrageous defamation of Mexican illegal immigrants. But after nonstop Trump outrages since, numerous Republican leaders have baldly exposed their morally doomed position: "I wouldn't trust him with the nuclear codes...but I support my party"; "that is the textbook definition of racism...[but I have to support my party]".

*(Sorry, the "my state over my country" attitude wasn't exclusive to Virginians, but that is the most prominent example.)

1 comment:

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