overread

It’s a long article, but David Blight writes an interesting article about how 150 years later, America is still fighting a cultural war and grappling to learn the lessons of its own Civil War.  There are parts that I found difficult to follow, but the quote below is probably the best paragraph in the entire article.

American society seems to surge forward one moment, and then in the next sink back into polarization over race and ethnicity, over the advent of the nation’s first black president, over the rights of immigrants, over religious tolerance and birthright citizenship, over reproductive freedom, over the use of basic science to understand climate change, over the extent and protection of voting rights, over civil rights based on sexual preference, and over endless and incompatible claims of “liberty” about the possession and use of firearms, taxation, environmental protection, or the right to health insurance. Perhaps above all, America is a society riven by conflict over federalism, the never-ending debate over the proper relation of federal to state power, perhaps the most lasting a legacy of what many nineteenth century Americans called the “secession war” or simply “the rebellion.” In short, despite enormous changes of heart, head and law, Americans still struggle every day to discern and enact that society of equality that the Civil War at least made imaginable.

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About justgngr

the ramblings of a medical professional by day, judgmental ginger by night
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