History teaches us that before the Civil War, the nation was “these” United States and after the Civil War, the nation was “the” United States. More blood than in any other of our wars was shed to secure that union. Jefferson Davis warned us that “the South shall rise again.” Every day since Abraham Lincoln died, people more loyal to “their state” than to “our nation” have done what they could to undermine federal authority, policy, and enforcement. Now, dividing lines by state laws without respect to national unity are deeper than they have been since 1964, regarding racial segregation. We were fortunate at that time to have a Supreme Court capable of judgements in the public and not political interests; we had a quartet of presidents – Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson – who placed the nation’s fundamental principles ahead of politics. That good fortune and the movement of many moral heroes permitted us to take another step away from our racist past. Nothing is given to us; the great principle of equality is under attack again. As Lincoln said, “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” If states succeed in carving out whatever unequal treatment before the law that they wish, it will be only a matter of time before our union will be meaningless. And it seems, that outcome would suit many conservatives just fine.

Spread the love
Categories: Miscellany