Thursday, October 30, 2008

The End Of America's Longest War?

Hat tip: a JJP reader

From The Daily Dish

30 Oct 2008 12:40 pm
The End Of America's Longest War?

A reader writes:

Earlier this week, in your post “The Top Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Vote For Obama”, you wrote under Point 4: “A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.”

On the one hand I agree with you; on the other hand, you don't go nearly far enough. An Obama presidency means much more than a truce in the 60’s culture war. It means the end of a much older and more terrible war, in which the 60's was merely one battle: the American Civil War. That is what is at stake here.

The Civil War was fought from Sumter to Appomattox, from April 12, 1861, to April 9, 1865. But the roots of the war predated 1861, and the consequences lived on long after 1865. In reality the Civil War never ended, it just shifted from a military to a culture war - the same culture war that is still going on today.

What you call the “boomer warfare” of the 1960’s was part of that larger war, marking the struggle to end Jim Crow, the century-long regime of American apartheid (Vietnam was, in my opinion, related but secondary). The end of apartheid was a second humiliating defeat for the forces of the conservative "South" at the hands of the liberal "North", and it subsequently gave rise to those decades of distorted and irrational politics you so deplore, as the reactionary and fundamentalist forces regrouped and mounted yet another rearguard insurrection against their liberal "oppressors", culminating in their partial ascension to power under Bush. (And we can only hope it ends there, instead of with Palin and the Christian Nationalists in 2012).

I realize this may sound harsh; I do not think Bush is a racist, for instance (quite the contrary), and I am very aware of the progress made in this country since I was young, including in the South; nevertheless, this election is clearly about race, about who and what we are as a nation, as a people, as a family (I would throw California's Prop 8 squarely into this battle too).

So let's be clear - it is not "boomer warfare" which has distorted our politics, or made rational politics so elusive since the 60's: it is something far deeper, something far older, something which has been with us from the beginning in this country, and which we in turn brought with us from the Old World; something which in fact traces back to the very origin of humanity - spiritually, psychologically, politically, evolutionarily. That depth is what gives the American story its pathos and its importance. That is why the world watches us: to see if we can work it out - to see if there is hope.
And that's why January 20, 2009, is so important: the day Barack Obama is sworn in as our 44th president will mark the third, and I believe the final defeat of the forces of repression and division in this country, and the actual end of the American Civil War.

How can I be so sure? Because when the American President is inaugurated, it is directly homologous to the crowning of the King in ancient days: the King is the groom, the Nation is the bride, the crowning is the hieros gamos, the sacred marriage. When Barack Obama is sworn in as our 44th president, a symbolic marriage will be enacted, binding us together forever, black and white. We will have chosen to become one. We will have chosen to become family. The War will be over. E pluribus unum.

The whole world will be watching this. You have stated over and over again that an Obama presidency would be “transformational”, even “indispensable”. You're right. And you're right that this is only the beginning. A new chapter is dawning.

Will the old guard resist? Of course. But their power is waning. Providence made sure the better man lost in 2000, and the eight years since have been just enough rope for the old, corrupt right to hang itself.

It's observations like this that make me love the internet. Just the possibility that I could come across something that would make me go ' Damn'.

1 comment:

Truthiz said...


"It's observations like this that make me love the internet. Just the possibility that I could come across something that would make me go ' Damn'."

I totally agree!

I've enjoyed visiting The Daily Dish for quite some time. Andrew Sullivan is one of my favorite bloggers_and some of the responses he recieves from readers (and then shares with the rest of us) are some of most thought-provoking and insightful comments one can read. "The End Of America's Longest War?" is a stellar example.

I read it yesterday and went_WoW!

Yes, indeed_I too am most grateful to be living during the age of the internet.