150 years ago, the Union was falling apart, and our nation stood upon the brink of war within itself.
150 years ago today, Senator Alfred Iverson of Georgia stood up in the Senate chambers to say goodbye to his colleagues of the Senate, and goodbye to the United States of America. Georgia had seceded from the Union, and the War Between The States was at hand.
Throwing down the gauntlet, Iverson challenged the Senate with these words -
You may acquiesce in the revolution, and acknowledge the independence of the new confederacy, or you may make war on the seceding States, and attempt to force them back into a Union with you. If you acknowledge our independence, and treat us as one of the nations of the earth, you can have friendly intercourse with us; you can have an equitable division of the public property and of the existing public debt of the United States. If you make war upon us, we will seize and hold all the public property within our borders or within our reach.
Jefferson Davis, who would soon be the first President of the Confederate States of America, was then a Senator from Mississippi. In departing, Jeff Davis chose these words -
It has been a conviction of pressing necessity — it has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us — which has brought Mississippi to her present decision.
The issues then were very different from the issues today in one sense; no rational person today would defend the institution of slavery, or deny that all men and women are created equal.
And yet in many senses the situations then and now are directly comparable. Once again, free men and women are denied the rights bequeathed to them by their forefathers. Once again, a hopelessly corrupt government in Washington DC is completely out of touch with the real situation faced by the average inhabitant of this nation. Once again, a shamelessly arrogant government in Washington DC has chosen to pursue the agenda of the rich and powerful at the expense of the working man and woman.
Once again, those who have worked all their lives face economic ruination at the hands of the political elite.
And our oh-so-beloved President, Barack Hussein Obama, has compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, flattering himself outrageously. Lincoln may have been an evil dictator, but at least he had a working pair of testicles.
This blog is in response to an Op Ed on this subject at the NYT here
Original copy of the Senate record from Jan 28 1861 here