Professional fool Ted Nugent is in the news this week for remarking that things would have been better if the South had won the American Civil War.
Now this is not a new sentiment, of course. As pointed out here:
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever
he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on
that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the
rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled
flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his
long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in
the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word
and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even
begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it
not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made
more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet
it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too
much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy
to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all
this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of
Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the
desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago….
William Faulkner, “Intruder in the Dust”
Left unsaid by Faulknor, of course, is that it's for every white Southern boy fourteen years of age ...
And this, of course, is the rub. Like any great dispute, undoubtedly some folks would have been better off if the losing side had won, but it's hard to see how America as a nation, the liberal democratic world, black Americans, women, labor, and countless other identifiable groups would have been better off if the South had won. It takes an extremely narrow and blinkered view of liberty and what America mea ns to think that the country would have been better off sundered by civil war.
Can a 21st Century American truly subscribe to the idea that this would be a better philosophy?
government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations
are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro
is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the
superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new
government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this
great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the CSA, March 21, 1861
No, it's hard for me to disagree with Gen. U.S. Grant's sentiments as expressed in his Memoirs:
I felt like anything rather than
rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly,
and had suffered so much for
a cause, though that cause was, I
believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for
which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the
sincerity of the great mass of those
who were opposed to us.