Patriotism, in my eyes, has always been about the strength of seeing those rough spots, of considering your home at its worse, and still loving it. That is how we love our daughters, our husbands, our mothers. That is how we make family.
The overall critique of the Paul-ites relating to the Civil War, Lincoln, etc is usually troubling. It is proper to question why over half a million lives had to be ended through a terrible series of battles and privations within our country's own borders. It is not proper to pose this question as though it was merely a war of choice fought by Unionists or abolitionists. It was a real shooting war started by secessionists, and fought diligently for years with but one overriding principle (that Lincoln hated slavery and thus the South and that his election was a slap to the honor and privileges that the Southern white population enjoyed in the US government, namely that their "peculiar institution" was protected by Constitutional safeguards). However noble the premises of a decentralised government may be as expressed in the quaint political notion of "state's rights", in the particulars, there were no more important or more expressed or more struggled over issues of those rights than the rights given by some states to some peoples among them to own and possess other human beings. An appropriate critique of the "lost cause" of the Confederacy, or of the causes of the Civil War, or over its innate necessity in history vis a vis conflicts of any kind, demands that one would have to honor not merely the bravest and noblest examples of our humanity, through the dignity or courage of soldiers at arms for example, but also to contend with our most vile and disgusting, through the firebrand speeches spreading groundless fears (as we have today still in many forums debating the nature of ordinary Muslims) and expounding on the supposed virtuous nature of the role of the slave holder to the slave himself.
Comfort is easily achieved by believing our heroes to be always marble and heroic, and to sweep over the ugly warts and unpleasant truths in search of a more favoured fiction about their nobility, and there to dwell in perfect security over our nostalgic demands. Reality is not comfortable however.
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