Monday, April 06, 2015

New Republic article asks to celebrate Appomattox and reject the Lost Cause UPDATE: Brian Beutler has follow up article

The New Republic article by Brian Beutler is online and available at this link:

It is a total rejection of the Lost Cause interpretation of the Civil War and the Confederacy and rejects totally accommodation with the Lost Cause.

Some quotes:
People of good faith can argue over whether these kinds of symbolic concessions (as opposed to the concrete ones, which consigned emancipated slaves to a century of sanctioned depredations) were wise or necessary means to the end of preserving the Union. Some of them weren't concessions at all, so much as insufficient commitment on the part of Northerners to the livelihood of blacks in the South. "[A]s Northern Republican Party became more conservative," historian Eric Foner wrote recently, "Reconstruction came to be seen as a misguided attempt to uplift the lower classes of society." But 150 years on, we know that subjugation is a moral obscenity, and that there's no valid modern argument for spitshining the Confederacy.
By contrast, the Union’s victory, and the abolition of slavery, both merit celebration as exemplars of American improvement and renewal, even if many Unionists weren’t moral heroes. These twin accomplishments are as worthy of a federal holiday as any holiday we already celebrate. So let's name April 9 New Birth of Freedom Day. And if that creates too much paid leave for government workers, we could swap out Columbus Day. We don't yet live in the America Obama described, but we should strive to.

In a better America, we’d all have Thursday off. And there would be fireworks.
Brian Beutler  is a Senior Editor of New Republic, it seems that the New Republic is taking a hardline against the Lost Cause.

UPDATE: This is a follow up article that Brian Beutler did in response to some of the res

ponse to his article.

Kevin Levin has a blog complaining about Brian Beutler also. I think when push comes to shove we find out who Levin really is.

As usual Levin doesn't address the points raised the article he doesn't like, but instead disparages the author and Levin is his usual condescending self.  Levin wants the reader to know that Beutler isn't likely to be a member of the League of Distinguished Civil War historians like himself.

I have always asserted that by pressing on this issue about celebrating the Confederacy you would be able to reveal who people really are as opposed to whom they think they are or might profess themselves to be.

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