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"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

 

 

lincoln first inaugural

 

 The words are those Abraham Lincoln used to wrap up his First Inaugural Address, delivered on March 4, 1861

 

Just a little over a month later on April 12, the first shot from a traitorous battery, fired on the United States federal installation at Fort Sumter. That was how it was received and responded to by those that Lincoln said "were not enemies".

 

Rebels fire on Fort Sumter

 

 

Our nation subsequently spent five long years and the highest cost in blood ever paid by this Republic to keep those who would dismantle the country, from doing so. This is what the outstretched hand to slavers, received in turn...

 

Lincoln was the kind of man who took his political opponents, the very men who had just campaigned against him, and made them his Cabinet Secretaries.

 

Lincoln was also the kind of man that, once they made themselves plain, understood clearly who and what the enemy was. He was relentless in his desire to crush the rebellion. He fired one general after another because he thought them not aggressive enough. He was willing to spend $6,190,000,000 (in 1865 money) and hundreds of thousands (1,094,453 total for both sides, including accidents, suicides, sicknesses, murders, and executions*) of lives to save the Union. So he was no hippie-peacenik as this phrase out of context might lead some to believe.

 

He knew that the bridges he had to build would be with people of many backgrounds, with many differing beliefs, to create a coalition that had at its core the continuation of The Union. That meant the one thing all of these diverse people had in common, was a clear picture of who they were uniting against, i.e. those who were attempting to destroy the Union. Let it never be forgotten or obfuscated that the reason the secessionists decided to take up arms against Old Glory was so that they could maintain fellow human beings in bondage.

 

Today we have once again amongst us the spiritual if not biological descendants of those responsible for the carnage we call the Civil War. People who irresponsibly make statements that encourage secession, that threaten violence if their narrow minded and bigoted ways do not carry the day democratically. People who clamor to create the "christian nation" they are convinced the Founders meant, rather than the secular state they actually created. People who believe women should be kept second class with not even the right to choose when to have children or be paid their worth for their labor. People who cherry pick scripture to justify hatred toward all those they perceive as different, from LGBT, African-Americans, Muslims, Jews, Hispanics and a long list of others...

 

 

Yokels waiving Battle flag

 

Yes, the Klu Klux Klan is resurgent, as is the John Birch Society. Skinheads and neo-Nazis and all manner of so-called "fringe" groups swell in numbers, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. These people have infiltrated legitimate political parties and organizations, funded by billionaires who know that dividing public opinion is the best way to get their horrible plutocratic agendas moved forward. Supported by non-think-tank lie-machines that pump out misinformation and deceive the electorate in to voting against its own interests. By mega-church millionaire pastors who use their pulpit to sew bigotry and prejudice. Filled with fear by the constant flow of conspiracy theories and ongoing made up crises. They harass, bully and threaten all who do not give way. And yes, they have even murdered.

 

This is not about Democrats vs. Republicans, left vs. right, or liberal vs. conservative, but simply, about right vs. wrong.

 

Americans are a diverse populace. We are of many races, cultures, heritages, religions and lack thereof. We speak many languages, eat different food and listen to a wide variety of music. We find entertainment in every type of sport, theater, film. We agree on almost nothing, and for the most part this is as it should be. The thing that makes us identify as Americans is our willingness to agree to disagree, to separate church from state, to recognize that those of a differing opinion still have a right to voice it. We must also recognize that not everyone who lives in America, fits this definition of being American. And some of them would not only disagree, but work to destroy this definition.

 

We need to construct alliances that will ensure those who would destroy everything good about this nation can never, ever, gain power in this country. That we, like Lincoln, will band together despite our differences and defeat the forces of darkness.

 

So, let us find common ground as Americans. Americans who believe and are willing to work, and yes, if need be, fight, for liberty, freedom and justice for ALL.

 

 

Lincoln in coffin

 

As a post-script; a reminder that the very last act of the same traitorous rebels that Lincoln tried to reach out to as a last ditch avoidance of bloodshed, was the spilling of his brains all over Ford's Theater. Even in defeat, they could not accept their evil way of life was gone.

 

We must always keep that in mind...

 

 

Posted as a FB NOTE

 

 

 

OTE

Jose Rosa

Jose Rosa

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  • The original version of this was posted to a group that had as it goal the idea that we should be building bridges to the other side.

    I helped draft the guidelines for that group, was an admin and gave my most sincere effort in participation for a long time, I finally resigned with the realization that a bridge cannot be built from one side only.

  • I have had the good fortune to explore the hallowed places Lincoln traveled............... He was an admirable man.

    "We need to construct alliances that will ensure those who would destroy everything good about this nation can never, ever, gain power in this country. That we, like Lincoln, will band together despite our differences and defeat the forces of darkness."