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Politics and Religion

by Eric B. Ruark 12 months ago in history

a Personal Commentary

Not many people get my sense of humor. In fact, there are those who doubt that I have one, usually Liberals who can’t tell a joke themselves. Take, for instance, the woman who, in her profile listed she/her as the way she wanted to be addressed. She took offense when I responded to her that I preferred Sir as the way I wanted to be addressed.

Now, I am not a White Supremacist as she claimed. I AM white and I AM superior to most people (my I.Q. was 162 the last time it wat tested), but I tend to side with Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream when he said, “Lord, what fools these mortals be.” My answer comes from an old Bridget Bardot movie, in which the juvenile delinquents confront the hero and ask his name and the hero responds, “Monsieur, point avant, point derriere. Rien de plus”, which roughly translates as “Mister (Sir), period in front, period behind, nothing more.” I have always wanted to use that line, but until the Liberals added a whole slew of sexes to the two that God saddled us with, I wasn’t able to. Now, when I tell people to call me Sir, I am insulting them. Go figure.

Okay, all seriousness aside, I do get a kick out of poking fun at people who take themselves too seriously. Like the other day, I posted a comment: “Let’s reopen indoor dining and bars for those who have already had Covid. They can’t catch it and they can’t pass it on.” One of my Liberal friends posted: Unproven. This was from an intelligent man in his 70s who forgot that people who have had Covid also have the antibodies from that disease, which means that they can’t catch it again. That’s why the government is pushing the vaccines so hard. The vaccines do not cure the disease, they merely allow the body to manufacture the antibodies against it. The more people who have had the disease, the fewer people who need the vaccine and therefore the less money for the big pharmaceuticals.

I thought we knew things like that. That’s why we got the smallpox vaccine as children. It allowed our bodies to make the antibodies so we would not contact what was once one of the most virulent diseases on this planet. Polio, the same. Measles, the same. We have been so good at controlling diseases that the current generation has no concept of what the purpose of those vaccines were for. I’d call them fools, but they are foolish because of ignorance, ignorant because they haven’t been taught.

For example, there is a wave of posts on the internet about how the Democrats have been taken over by the Socialists/Communists and how we are headed towards a socialist government like Venezuela or Cuba. Nothing could be further from the truth. Oh, we may be heading towards a Cuba/Venezuela style of government, but it has nothing to do with socialism. To understand that, you have to go back to the beginning and learn things that the “Left” doesn’t want you to know, things that they no longer teach in school. So, settle back. I am about to unload on you.

The Democratic Party traces its inception to Thomas Jefferson and his agrarian policies. But its real beginning was in the 1830s with the presidency of Andrew Jackson. At that time, Jackson corralled the Jeffersonians from the various states and organized them into a viable political party with its various elements working together towards a common goal, namely getting him elected. Jackson was the perfect organizer. He was a general, known for having brought various elements together in his defense of New Orleans from the British in the War of 1812. He owned an enormous plantation, The Hermitage, (which is currently a museum outside of Nashville, Tennessee) encompassing some 1,120 acres which took some 150 slaves to run. And according to my History Professor at Rutgers, you had to be one hell of an organizer to run a plantation of this size in the early 1800s.

Jackson was hardly an egalitarian. The press at the time called him King Andrew because he ruled by what we would now call executive order. And he ruled with an iron fist. I say ruled, rather than governed. The United States had, at one time, a national bank, much like the Bank of England. The Jacksonian Democrats thought the bank was a tool of corporate interests. So, Jackson destroyed it. He refused to recertify the bank’s charter and the bank collapsed.

The Cherokee Indians were living on prime cotton land in Georgia. They had Americanized themselves. They were living in houses, had plantations, owned slaves. But they were Indians and certain southern planters coveted their land. So, Jackson ordered them removed to the newly created Indian territory on the other side of the Mississippi River. The Cherokees took him to court and the Supreme Court told the president that he didn’t have the authority to move the Cherokees. Jackson told the Supreme Court to go to Hell. He had the army and that’s all he needed. Hence, history has the Trail of Tears, an unlawful removal of an entire tribe during the harshest time of year.

Moderates were uneasy about Jackson’s imperial attitude, so they began grooming a well-known personality with a lot of charisma to go up against him, Tennessee Congressman David Crockett. Jackson threw the whole weight of his machine against Crockett and in what was probably rigged election, Crockett lost his Congressional seat and his chance to run for President of the United States. When asked what he thought about the election, Crockett made the famous statement, “You can go to Hell. I’m going to Texas.” Who knew that immortality awaited him at the Alamo.

Democratic historians like to claim that these early Democrats represented a wide range of views but shared a fundamental commitment to the Jeffersonian concept of an agrarian society. They viewed central government as the enemy of individual liberty. The Jacksonians feared the concentration of economic and political power in a centralized national government. They believed that a centralized national government would intervene in the economy that benefitted special interests and would create corporate monopolies that favored the rich. It was a political philosophy that became known as “States’ Rights”. (Not exactly the Democratic position today.)

But what was that “Agrarian” society that the Democrats wanted to protect? Look up the word “Agrarian” and you’ll read that the word means “relating to the cultivation of land”. The current spin-meisters would like you to believe that the Jackson Democrats were all about the small farmer. But small farmers weren’t the movers and shakers. It was the big plantation owners, like Jackson, men with property and by property read slaves who ran the Democratic Party. That’s why whenever states were added to the Union, one had to be brought in as a “Free” state and the other as a “Slave” state.

By the late 1700s after the Revolution of 1776, Northern States were coming to the conclusion that slavery was not profitable. Northern states had to contend with something that the Deep South did not – Winter. In the north, farms had to close down for about five months. Anyone owning slaves, field hands dedicated to farming, had to have their slaves idle for most of the year. It simply was not profitable. What was profitable was setting up a mill on one of the many rivers that did not freeze over and set up some kind of manufacturing business. This led to another problem. During the winter, it was not only the slaves who were idle, their white owner/families were, too.

Competition arose between the whites and the blacks for jobs in the growing factories in the North and since most of the blacks were slaves, there was nothing simpler to get them out of the way than to “sell them South”. As the towns around the mills began to grow into cities, more and more white men and families moved off their farms in order to have a constant income. This gave rise to a new class of people, later identified by a European Radical Reformer named Karl Marx as “wage-slaves”. Marx differentiated “chattel-slaves” and “wage-slaves”. (But more on that later.) But in the South, the big plantations did not have to close down.

Although modern pundits would have you believe that the conflict between the North and the South was over slavery, it was not. Slavery was one element, but the conflict was entirely economic. The North looked upon the Southern economy as being based on “Free” labor. The big planters did not have to pay their slaves whereas, the Northern manufacturers had to pay their labor. How could the North compete with free labor? The Northerners had to pay their employees a living wage. The South did not. And so, the idea of the Abolition of Slavery began to creep into the politics of the era. Which brings us to the Republican Party.

The Republican Party emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed for popular sovereignty which meant that the people within the state had the right to decide whether or not a state would be free or slave. In Kansas, people from North and South flooded into the state to take part in the voting. They began fighting hence the rise of the Bleeding Kansas mantra.

In 1856, the fledgling Republican Party put up John C. Fremont for President of the United States. Fremont was a well-known explorer and a Senator from California. Despite his notoriety, he lost. Their next candidate was Abraham Lincoln. He won. He won because the Democratic Party was split along regional lines, the more radical Democrats from the Deep South put up one candidate, and the moderates from the mid states like Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia put up another. This three-way race allowed Lincoln to win.

When Lincoln won, the Deep South seceded, and we had the Civil War.

After the Civil War, the Democratic Party was shut out of politics on the national level for several decades. But that did not stop them on the local level. They created the Klu Klux Klan to terrorize people, namely the Blacks who had been given the right to vote along with their freedom. Several of their surviving generals, led by former General Early began to push the concept of “The Lost Cause”.

The Lost Cause was a revisionist history of what happened. The South’s seceding was a just act and heroic cause. They were defending States’ Rights. Slavery was just and moral because the former slaves were happy, even grateful. The Lost Cause permeated literature and as the century came to a close and a new century dawned, the Lost Cause entered the realm of Hollywood and the films. The first full length feature film was an adaptation of a bestselling novel extolling the Klan, The KLANSMAN. Hollywood changed its title to BIRTH OF A NATION. Later came the ultimate expression of the lost cause in GONE WITH THE WIND. The acceptance of the Lost Cause allowed the Democrats to work their way back into national politics.

As the Democrats regained power, Democratic politicians pushed through JIM CROW laws stripping Blacks of their civil and human rights. Racism became rampant across the country. 1919 was the year in which more blacks were lynched than at any other time in American History. The Democrats pushed for segregation. School boards set up an American Apartheid in separate but equal schools. Whites and blacks were not allowed to mix. In churches, whites sat in the main area and blacks were relegated to the balcony. Black were marginalized as to where they could live. Color lines were not to be broken. Interracial marriage was against the law. There was a separate movie industry. There was a separate baseball league. There were separate units in the Army. In the Navy, Blacks could only be servants, not sailors, nor officers.

To be perfectly honest, during this time, the Republicans were not doing much to resolve the racial issues. They were the party of big business, expansionism, and high tariffs. Up until the Civil War, the United States Government took money in from Tariffs. A tariff was a tax placed on good imported into the United States. During the Civil War, because imports were less, Lincoln inaugurated a personal income tax in order to pay for the war. He said that once the war debt was paid off, the income tax would stop. In 1862 a Republican congress passed a law taxing some incomes at 3% and others at 5%. In 1872, the income tax law was declared unconstitutional and repealed. It was later reinstated by Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat in 1913.

If you are thinking that this doesn’t look anything like the current Democratic Party, you are right. Something happened to change them.

(To be Continued)

history

Eric B. Ruark

I am an award-winning storyteller and photographer who has published several mystery stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. My sci-fi mystery novels are on Amazon and are available in both e-book and paperback formats.

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