(See also: VDARE.COM`s
series. It`s a pattern)
The New Year has kicked off with a Republican
official in California being disciplined for
pro-Confederate remarks he circulated four years ago,
with official U.S. government re-writing of Civil War
history at the nation`s battlefields and with further
demands by the politically ambitious for the total
extirpation of symbols of the Confederacy.
The California installment of racial right-think
emerged when Bill Back, current vice chairman of the
state GOP and a leading candidate for its chairmanship,
was forced to apologize for sending around as part of
his e-mail newsletter an article suggesting that the
South should have won the Civil War. Mr. Back sent the
article out in 1999. But only now has his
sin been discovered.
article, written by military historian and cultural
critic Bill Lind of Paul Weyrich`s
Free Congress Foundation, was a perfectly
respectable and indeed ingenious analysis of the
consequences of the Civil War as it actually happened.
"Given how bad things have gotten in the old USA,"
Lind wrote, "it`s not hard to believe that history
might have taken a better turn" if the South had
won. "The real damage to race relations in the South
came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which
would not have occurred if the South had won."
But intellectually stimulating articles about the
meaning of history are not on the Republican menu
anymore, if they ever were. Today, Mr. Back whines,
"I should have been more sensitive regarding issues
raised in this piece and not included it in the e-mail."
In an earlier period, Mr. Back might have had to sit
in the pillory for several days with a scarlet letter
branded on his forehead, but today the consequences for
political deviation are more serious. "I would
declare his candidacy [for state GOP chairman] to
be officially dead," one state
political observer told the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service under the Bush
administration has initiated a campaign to change the
presentation of Civil War history at battlefield parks
under its care to remove any vestiges of pro-Southern
attitudes and ideas and push the idea that the war was
in fact a revolution.
"For the past 100 years, we`ve been presenting
this battlefield as the high water mark of the
Confederacy and focusing on the personal valor of the
soldiers who fought here," Gettysburg Park
Superintendent John Latschar [send him
mail] told the press recently. Now, "we want
to change the perception so that
Gettysburg becomes known internationally as the
place of a `new rebirth of freedom.`" ["U.S.
Corrects `Southern Bias` at Civil War Sites,"
Reuters, December 22, 2002]
What is being done is the ideological reconstruction
of the battlefields and of the history they represent to
fit the egalitarian orthodoxies of the New Order. The
problem with the old battlefields is not so much that
"racism" (eek!) but that they smack of any deviation
from that orthodoxy at all—and indeed of armed
resistance to the long march of egalitarianism through
But not only Republicans are rewriting the history
they don`t like. In Missouri, two Confederate flags have
been removed from public sites where they were displayed
not because they supposedly tried to perpetuate the
Confederate heritage but because they were historically
Confederate Historic Site and the
Fort Davidson Historic Site. The flags were
ordered removed by an aide to the governor after she
read Democratic Rep. Dick Gephardt`s statement that
"My own personal feeling is the Confederate flag no
longer has a place flying any time, anywhere in our
Mr. Gephardt, a presidential candidate who must gain
his party`s black vote to win its
nomination, has moved the debate on the Confederate
such as it is, up a notch or so. Black and
anti-white groups have usually taken the position that
Confederate flag on private property is OK; it`s
just using it as a public symbol they find offensive.
That, like most of what such groups say, is a
lie, but now Mr. Gephardt has helped make the lie
The totalitarian crusade to rewrite American history
and pretend the Confederacy never existed or that it was
equivalent of Nazi Germany is not simply a war over
public or even private symbols.
It is a war for the mind itself – a war that seeks to
erase entirely from the American mind even the memory
once upon a time there was an America not dedicated
to the proposition of “universal equality” and that if
that America had prevailed, "history," as Mr.
Lind wrote, "might have taken a better turn."
Once the New Order can make certain that no American
harbors such thoughts, resistance to what it demands
will be impossible.
January 20, 2003