Thursday, December 29, 2011

Militarists, Drug Warriors, and Heresy-Hunters: The Anti-Ron Paul Axis of "Decency"

Toxic smugness: Google the term "Backpfeifengesicht."
Newt Gingrich, lapsed adulterer, impenitent warmonger, and self-appointed “teacher of civilization,” has excommunicated Ron Paul and his supporters from the ranks of human decency. A similar anathema has been pronounced by left-wing heresy hunter David Neiwert -- a former sidekick to the degenerate fraud named Morris Dees – and many other self-appointed political “watchdogs.” 

Those banishment decrees condemn Dr. Paul and his supporters for rejecting the fundamental tenet of statism – the belief that officially sanctioned lethal coercion is the key to social progress. 

"I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," insisted Gingrich in a CNN interview. Although Gingrich alluded to the manufactured controversy over decades-old newsletters published by Dr. Paul that contained supposedly offensive material dealing with matters of political correctness, Gingrich’s chief complaint – which he has reiterated on many occasions – is that Dr. Paul seeks to end America’s interventionist foreign policy and the God-awful wars that policy entails. 

Gingrich has also dismissed Dr. Paul’s constituency as being limited to “people who want to legalize drugs.” Unlike Gingrich – who used government-proscribed canabinoids as a young adult – Ron Paul has never used such illicit substances nor condoned their non-medical use, while understanding that no government has the moral right to punish individuals who consume them as they see fit. In 1988 – at a time when, according to Gingrich and other detractors, Paul was peddling racist propaganda – Dr. Paul was denouncing the racist roots of the so-called War on Drugs. Gingrich, on the other hand, has endorsed the execution of first-time drug offenders who possess trivial amounts of narcotics. 

For Gingrich and the dominant militarist wing of the GOP, it is rank indecency to oppose the mass murder of foreigners through aggressive war overseas, and to leave individuals free to choose what mood-altering substances they consume, if any. For “Progressives” of Neiwert’s ilk, it is similarly uncivilized to treat Americans as adults capable of managing their own affairs, and choosing their own associations, free from the directives of bureaucrats and social engineers whose mandates are backed by the threat of deadly force.

Neiwert volubly disapproved of foreign war when George W. Bush was in power, but found other things to complain about once Obama ascended to the Imperial Purple. A deeper problem than such facile and predictable hypocrisy is the insistence – which Neiwert shares with many other figures on the academic Left -- that war and military occupation are morally superior to peaceful, market-centered action in dealing with institutionalized bigotry. 

“The hand-wringing about whether Paul is a racist or not really is beside the point,” declared Neiwert in a typically sanctimonious outpouring. “Labels really become inconsequential when the real issue is how their politics would play out on the ground if they achieved power.” He denounces a supposed “monstrous bind spot in libertarianism – namely, their apparent belief that the only element of American political life capable of depriving Americans of their rights is the government….”

Actually, the core libertarian tenet is the non-aggression axiom (an application of the Golden Rule), which recognizes that it is an unalloyed wrong for anybody to commit aggressive violence against the person or property of another human being. Libertarians do not exempt private actors from that principle. We refuse to exempt the government from it, as well – and this is what is deemed unacceptable by collectivists of Neiwert’s ilk, who believe that all good things in life begin with officially sanctioned coercion. 

Consider, for example, Neiwert’s claim that it was libertarian-leaning conservatives (or their philosophical ancestors) in the aftermath of the War Between the States, who “led the resistance to Reconstruction that overturned the verdict of the war….” 

Neiwert’s use of the term “verdict” in this fashion resonates with the view expressed by Thrasymachus, the notorious sophist depicted in Plato’s Republic – namely, that “in all states there is the same principle of justice, which is the interest of the government; and as the government must be supposed to have power, the only reasonable conclusion is, that everywhere there is one principle of justice, which is the interest of the stronger.”

In Neiwert’s moral universe, only incorrigibly hateful people question “verdicts” imposed through mass slaughter and property destruction.

The “Reconstruction,” it must be remembered, was an undisguised military occupation of the conquered South, in which “wholesale corruption, intimidation of new voters by the thousands and tens of thousands, political assassinations, riots, [and] revolutions … were the order of the day,” as Dr. Paul Leland Haworth wrote in his 1912 study Reconstruction and Union, 1865-1912

The objective that inspired Reconstruction was not a vision of civic equality, but rather a desire to destroy the troublesome Southern aristocracy, which was seen as an impediment to the designs of the Northern corporatist elite. 

“I was satisfied, and have been all the time, that the problem of war consists in the awful fact that the present class of men who rule the South must be killed outright rather than in the conquest of territory,” wrote General Sherman to his wife (in a letter quoted in Victor Davis Hanson’s book The Soul of Battle). In what Hanson approvingly called Sherman’s war of “terror” against the South, the General warned that those who refused to display a properly submissive posture would be “crushed like flies on a wheel.” 

"Good Indians," by Sherman's definition, at Wounded Knee.
Sherman, and his fellow state terrorist Philip Sheridan, would follow the same approach in dealing with the Plains Indians, who also had the temerity to claim a measure of independence from the supposed authority of the Central Government. Neiwert, interestingly, addresses that horrifying historican episode in his recent book The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right.

In a chapter dealing with "Eliminationism in America,” Neiwert describes some of the atrocities committed against the Plains Indians by U.S. military forces commanded by  Sheridan and Sherman. He then devotes the rest of the book to ritual execration of "neo-Confederates." That category must include anybody who understands that war to reclaim and “reconstruct” the South was a bloody prelude to the slaughter of the Plains Indians, the imperial war of conquest in the Philippines, and contemporary campaigns of humanitarian bloodshed that have blessed the lives of “people of color” in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Neiwert, who is consistently oblivious to the implications of his own research, also points out that the Ku Klux Klan’s early-20th Century revival began when it was embraced by local governments (including some in the Midwest) as "an auxiliary police outfit" to enforce laws against bootlegging. The Klan, of course, is the marquee hate group that has served as such a profitable foil for Neiwert’s mentor, Morris Dees – and it’s quite possible that group would have disappeared permanently had it not become a government sub-contractor in the first War on Drugs. 

This brings up a very important point: If Morris Dees and his comrades at the SPLC are genuinely agitated over institutionalized discrimination, why have they never publicly uttered a syllable of condemnation for the patently racist “War on Drugs”? 

One possibility is suggested by the fact that the contemporary SPLC, like the Ku Klux Klan of roughly a century ago, is a quasi-private adjunct to law enforcement agencies that profit extravagantly from Prohibition. Dees is too canny and cynical to disturb that lucrative arrangement by protesting about the costs inflicted by Prohibition in terms of the lives and liberties of black and Hispanic Americans. After all, complaints of that kind are the sort of thing one hears from indecent, irresponsible extremists like Ron Paul. 

David Neiwert and other self-anointed custodians of social justice insist that Ron Paul and his supporters have somehow inherited the sins of bigoted people who died long before they were born, and prospectively share the guilt of those who might do horrible things if federal power were curtailed. Meanwhile, the president supported by Neiwert and his ideological kin is massacring innocent “people of color” in at least three countries, and escalating a domestic Drug War that is rife with racial profiling and racial disparities in sentencing guidelines.  

 The mass slaughter of brown people abroad, and mass incarceration of brown people at home, are a price Neiwert and his ilk are willing to pay to preserve a system that can regiment societal arrangements to their liking. In that system, as Neiwert candidly admits, social “verdicts” are imposed and upheld through state-licensed murder, rather than achieved through peaceful cooperation. 

Professor George P. Fletcher of Columbia Law School provides an incisive description of the ideological foundation of that system in his valuable book The Secret Constitution

Fletcher, an unabashed Marxist, is difficult to dismiss as a “neo-Confederate,” yet he agrees with the revisionist view that the war waged by the North was not an effort to "preserve the Union," to emancipate the slaves, or (as Lincoln absurdly claimed) a crusade to restore the pre-war constitutional order. Instead, that war was intended to consolidate a confederation of states into a unitary regime governed by what Fletcher calls a "New Constitutional Order." The founding premise of that New Order is that "the federal government, victorious in warfare, must continue its aggressive intervention in the lives of its citizens." (Emphasis added.) That "aggressive intervention" inescapably involves the threat -- and, increasingly, the exercise -- of deadly force.

Newt Gingrich and David Neiwert -- and the ideological cliques they represent -- disagree about a great deal, but they agree that “decency” in political affairs is measured by one’s willingness to support State-sanctioned murder as the central organizing principle of society.

 Once again, thank you!

My family and I wish to express our continued gratitude for the generous support so many of you have offered to Pro Libertate. This means more to us that we can adequately express. God bless you all. 

On another matter: I have been curating the news blog for Republic magazine; please pay that site a visit, and -- if it meets with your approval -- spread the word. 

Be sure to check out Republic magazine

Dum spiro, pugno!


Doc Ellis 124 said...

no need to post

Greetings Will,


Thank you for writing this essay

Gingrich's comment about 'decent Americans' reminded me of this

Doc Ellis 124

no need to post

Anonymous said...

If a pig shits in the forest, does one immediately think of Newt?

Brock Townsend said...

Well said and posted.

Anonymous said...

The Klan of the 1870s was vastly different than the Klan of the 1920s (which at one time controlled the government in the northern state of Indiana). Both are very different from the Klan today which exists solely to provide a home to burned out methheads, Federal/ADL/SPLC informants and other assorted losers.

aferrismoon said...

Its almost as if Ron Paul is being allowed to run so the The MainStream can spend the next few months making US citizens feel very uncomfortable about thinking and acting 'decently'.

The idea that Newt et al wish upon the US people, continual violent intervention, is of course - expensive, cruel and indecent.

But when they begin to make that the 'normal' mainstream idea people feel unsure of themselves and their own decency creating a numbed and easily coerced people.

And then there is total commitment, necessary for media backing and thus electoral success, for Israel, another nation that strikes first and doesn't ask questions later.


Bob Robertson said...

Beautifully written, copiously documented, and scathing. Everything I look for in articles condemning the murderous State.

One typo, "Gingrich ann other detractors", should be "and".

Peace, may your aim never waver.

Anonymous said...

"I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," - Gingrich

That this immoral troglodyte vomits this sort of bilge comes as no surprise. He and his lackeys are the ones out of touch. Especially as his so-called "rise" in the polls is pointing ever downwards. Paul on the other hand isn't on the hunt for the next Mrs. Paul nor fantasizes about bombing the hell out of anyone who questions American imperialism. That the mundanes are becoming cognizant of their daily rape by the archons the poodle press demonizes anyone who raises that awareness above the soul crushing ache labeled "decency".

4RonPualinIowa said...

"I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," - Gingrich

Obviously Neutered-Newt does not know Iowans very well...Name calling me an indecent American is not going to win him any favors with me.

Neutered-Newt is the poster child for what is wrong with Washington. He has become terribly irrelevant.

Mickey said...

Ron Paul may be the last hope America has! I know he gets my vote no matter what anyone says. Ron Paul is right while all the rest are more of the same and I can't stomach any more of it. We have to make a dramatic change in this country before its too late.

Anonymous said...

Very excellent article - thank you!

Gingrich, Romney, (and many others) acting on behalf of foreign powers? If so, they must be considered as a traitor(s) and can legally, and must be removed from office and held for trial by the real government of the USofA.

"Sheldon Adelson: The Deep Pockets Behind Newt Gingrich", By Eli Clifton

" ... CEO Sheldon Adelson is based in Las Vegas but has business and political interests in Macau, China and Israel. In Israel, Adelson’s importance stems from his close friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ownership of Israel HaYom, a free daily newspaper which supports Netanyahu’s Likud party. ...

" ... Fred Zeidman, an Adelson friend and major player in the American Jewish community who is backing Mitt Romney told The Daily Beast’s Aram Roston. “He stuck with him when he stumbled. Newt, I think, is very reflective of Sheldon’s mindset. Particularly with Israel.”"

read more here:

It's time to review all of history promoted by 20th USofA, including the US "Civil War". There is good amount of evidence that the usual meddling, by the same group of suspects, namely, international bankers, who were the main funders of the "Southern side" of the war. Likewise, same banker crime syndicate profited enormously from the slavery system, extant in then US of A, as well as in the Caribbeans, Central and South America. There was no excuse for what Lincoln did to the South during the war, or for what followed, but Lincoln was an avowed enemy of the international bankers - demonstrated by his refusal to borrow their money for the war and the creation of the "green back" system. Translation: the international banker crime syndicate (the same one still running the show behind the scenes - globally) suffered to enormous losses: their slavery based economy and the ability to suck the life-blood out of the USofA by more direct means -control of its money.
Likewise - consider the parallels between the international banker crime gangs' other global machinations - to destroy all competition and reap unimaginable profits of real wealth at the same time: the "Russian/"communist"/"bloshevik" revolution - resulting in near total destruction of a the Russian people as well as Poles, Ukrainians, Central Asians, Balkan nations, etc.; the "North-South wars" of Vietnam, Korea - again - destruction of viable competitive forces while re-arranging wealth into the hands of the very small criminal banker syndicate.

- Why is there never any discussion of the jewish role in the "KKK" - both direct and indirect support - by the likes of Dees and his fellow spin masters?
Not to excuse the role of all other "ethnic" groups involved, but evidence aplenty exists on the jewish connection (along with, by the way, existence of evidence of their role in the international slave economy of the 18th century - right up to present times...). Will a Hollywood movie ever depict these crimes ...?

kirk said...

Since I was addressed by Gingrich as a "non decent American" because I support R. Paul, I will indulge in an ad hominem on Gingrich in return, as follows:

I thought a 'newt' was a small reptile, befitting the one carrying the namesake in politics. Since learning that the meaning of the word 'newt' has been changed to mean a disgusting, corpulent hog, I approve of the change wholeheartedly.

Both of the definitions above, ie, a small reptile or a corpulent pig, fit this grotesque, lying insider to a tee.

Anonymous said...

"Since I was addressed by Gingrich as a "non decent American"..."

No sh..., as Flo used to say, he can kiss my grits.

That anyone of integrity can support him after what he did with his wives and still expect him to follow through on his word, amazes me.

Same goes for the flip-flopper Romney.

It's as if a track record means nothing.

Anonymous said...

"I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," ......
With Ron Paul getting more donations from military persons, is Newton calling them indecent Americans? Does he really want to go down that road?


whitebuffalo said...

As a former hit man for the banksters who has renounced all violence except for self-defense, I must confess that the Newt makes me want to just smack him in his fat hypocritical face! Almost as much as that equally hypocritical and despicable state/special interest sponsored chickenhawk John Bolton!

Newt - give ME draft deferments during my generation's stupid undeclared war in a foreign land - asks that he be given the power to send other draft dodgers' grandchildren to their deaths in other stupid undeclared wars in other foreign lands (lands which do not have the capability to destroy our liberties yet understandably have reasons to hate the US of A)...

Brock Townsend said...


Excellent and posted.

David A. McElroy said...

Newt is a lower lifeform like his namesake, an amphibian metamorph often mistaken for a reptile. Newt Gingrich is the NeoCon match for the Democrat LBJ, a slimy unprincipled wheeler-dealer with boundary issues.
Like LBJ, he would let Israel shoot and kill Americans with his aid, just as LBJ did with the U.S.S. Liberty. I will vote Ron Paul for liberty, peace, and prosperity!

Tom Mullen said...

As always, Will hits 10 bullseyes through one hole, right in the center of the target.

Anonymous said...

So the Newt drops like a lead balloon and another career "spend until you drop" statist, i.e. Santorum, comes out of nowhere ( yeah! right. ) to land in second place? It's almost to absurd to believe.

Yossarian said...

Anon, 9:49 PM, I think we should add two words to “GOYISHE KUP.” How about “AMERICAN GOVT GOYISHE KUP?” Of course, if we add those two words, that would include a great many Jews, wouldn’t it? The rest of us are only ignorant after the twelve years we spend in prison, or government schools. (Is it twelve years? The day I turned 16, I “dropped out” of prison, so I don’t know the actual sentence.)

But let’s look at your student advisor’s words that all non–Jews are stupid. I must assume then, that all Jews are cruel, since all Jews are animal beaters. I would rather be stupid than beat cows.

Or maybe it’s true what Truman said in his private papers – something to the effect that when Jews go from the bottom to the top, they treat others on the bottom as they were treated. Can we say that? Or does that fall under the hundreds of exceptions to the First Amendment, a 39–page PDF file that contains 114 different Supreme Court “opinions?”

“The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that ‘Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.’ This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally.”

Maybe I should have finished my “Education,” or maybe I’m just a stupid goy, but I’m not sure about that last sentence: “restricts government more AND less? Is the First Amendment, (like the Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) to be read figuratively? “[T]he Supreme Court has ‘interpreted’ the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech.”

After Bush was re–elected, I remember the “F**k the South” fun the Yankees had. There were and still are, thousands of hate–filled pages on the Internet, and I must have read every one, but I thought this, too, will pass, but it didn't. The hatred grew to such intensity, I was scared it could only erupt in violence. One poster asked, “What should we do about the South?” One answer involved burning it to the ground, and cutting it out of the map. George Bush said that such language was akin to a “declaration of war,” as if he knew what that meant. Of course, he was talking to Ahmadinejad about his precious Israel, not his fellowmen, I mean Taxpayers.

But back to the execrable Newt Gingrich. Have you ever noticed that no matter what forum he uses, be it TV or a $500 a plate chicken dinner, he rarely changes the subject from drugs? “Let me say to all the ‘kingpins’ who bring drugs into this country – We Will Kill You. When you harm Our Children, let there be no mistake –WE WILL KILL YOU.” The preferred method, BTW, is “shooting in the back.”

Senator Richard Shelby’s son was caught bringing hashish into the country, which is a Serious Felony, subject to back shooting or spending decades in prison. Shelby is such a Big Drug Warrior that he gave his own son no quarter. The only concessions given were to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor, and charge him $500 in lieu of a lengthy prison sentence.

WHAT THINK YE, O NEWT, NEWT, YOU BIG FAT POOT? Should you not have become “Righteously” Indignant, you fat whoremonger? What about The Children from whom we buy our drugs, I mean whom you Care so much about, you fat cow beater?

Yossarian said...

I just re–read your article, and was interested in your commentary on the Native Americans, whose land we not only stole, but thought they themselves were not human and quite expendable. Even Mr. Equality Himself, the Superior Thomas Jefferson almost called them equal, “breathing an ardent love of liberty and independence,” which means they want only to be left alone, but alas; it was not to be, said Jefferson. They will NOT be left alone. They MUST be like us, else how could they be our equals? They were not Jefferson’s equals, but his superiors. They would have left him alone, given the chance. Grant is more shocking – be like us or be exterminated.


The aboriginal inhabitants of these countries I have regarded with the commiseration their history inspires. Endowed with the faculties and the rights of men, breathing an ardent love of liberty and independence, and occupying a country which left them no desire but to be undisturbed… humanity enjoins us to teach them agriculture and the domestic arts; to encourage them to that industry which alone can enable them to maintain their place in existence and to prepare them in time for that state of society which to bodily comforts adds the improvement of the mind and morals. We have therefore liberally furnished them with the implements of husbandry and household use; we have placed among them instructors in the arts of first necessity, and they are covered with the aegis of the law against aggressors from among ourselves.

But the endeavors to enlighten them on the fate which awaits their present course of life, to induce them to exercise their reason, follow its dictates, and change their pursuits with the change of circumstances have powerful obstacles to encounter; they are combated by the habits of their bodies, prejudices of their minds, ignorance, pride, and the influence of interested and crafty individuals among them who feel themselves something in the present order of things and fear to become nothing in any other. These persons inculcate a sanctimonious reverence for the customs of their ancestors; that whatsoever they did must be done through all time; that reason is a false guide, and to advance under its counsel in their physical, moral, or political condition is perilous innovation; that their duty is to remain as their Creator made them,ignorance being safety and knowledge full of danger; in short, my friends, among them also is seen the action and counteraction of good sense and of bigotry; they too have their antiphilosophists who find an interest in keeping things in their present state, who dread reformation, and exert all their faculties to maintain the ascendancy of habit over the DUTY OF IMPROVING OUR REASON AND OBEYING ITS MANDATES.


My efforts in the future will be directed to the restoration of good feeling between the different sections of our common country; … and, by a humane course, to bring the aborigines of the country under the benign influences of education and civilization. It is either this or WAR OF EXTERMINATION: Wars of extermination, engaged in by people pursuing commerce and all industrial pursuits, are expensive even against the weakest people, and are demoralizing and wicked… The moral view of the question should be considered and the question asked, Can not the Indian be made a useful and productive member of society by proper teaching and treatment? If the effort is made in good faith, we will stand better before the civilized nations of the earth and in our own consciences for having made it.

Gog and Magog said...

The handlers have already selected the immaculate savior Barry Soetoro for a second term to complete the destruction of a once great republic. The repulicants field is a selection of corrupt crackpots, blowhards and losers worthy of scorn and ridicule. Republicants like to say anything but the obamessiah but this doesn't include Ron Paul. If voting changed anything it would be illegal by tomorrow morning and remember the Stalin quote, "It matters not who casts the vote but who counts them."

Yossarian said...

Will, I downloaded a free Google book titled “Charles Carroll of Carrollton” because I wanted to read about the very first Congress in 1789. After I had read quite a bit of it, I thought I had wasted my time on a parody. For instance, on May 9, 1789, the “Titles Committee” had reported that the title of the president should be “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of the Rights of the Same,” and
Washington asked twice if a treaty is legal by his declaration alone. These things are not only covered in the Constitution, but the Fed Papers as well.

But then I read this about Rhode Island:

Rhode Island had not as yet joined the new Union and it was now proposed to make her suffer for her delay. On April 28, 1790, a committee was formed to consider what was to be done about Rhode Island. This was considered by Maclay and his friends as “only to furnish a pretext to raise more troops…” According to Robert Morris, this is the gist of the bill: “to prevent bringing goods, wares and merchandise from the State of Rhode Island… into the United States, and to authorize a demand for money from the said State.” The bill passed on May 18, and Rhode Island Voluntarily joined the Voluntary Union.

I bring this up because it seemed to be a threat to starve them into “submission” since RI could not trade with another state and no state could trade with her. (However, she was still responsible for paying her Fair Share of Taxes.)

Could not Lincoln have done the same thing? I mean he did do the same thing, blockading Southern ports before the war even started, and ending trade with the Voluntary Union. So why the war? By the end of this four-year slaughter, only the dead were not starving.

BTW, has this threat to punish Rhode Island disappeared down the Memory Hole? I can hardly find any reference to it.

If anyone wants to read a great book about the first Congress held in 1789, please download Journal of William Maclay.

Brock Townsend said...

I had never heard about RI. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yossarian, my man, that bit of history you bring up is most appreciated. It seems that as I grow older I become less and less enamoured with this nations so-called "founding". What a despicable bunch of louses were so many of them.

Yossarian said...

Thank you MoT, but I am a woman, so you must have me confused with my sister–in–law, “Bossman.”

I know what you mean about this nation’s “founding.” Sometimes I try to remember what I learned in school about the “founding fathers:” “Christian” men, we were taught, founded this country as a “Christian Nation” (as if there is such a thing) and we came here for “religious freedom.” Why? Were there not enough graves in England to bury our heretics? Were there not enough trees in England to hang our witches? I must admit I’m bitter that not one teacher ignited my curiosity about history. If I recall correctly, the only thing we had to memorize (or even read) was the Gettysburg Address, over and over and over.

The only other thing I learned was the importance of monopolies: the gas and electric companies, etc.

Anonymous said...

How funny! I read once, long after having come out of the public education gulag, that the Gettysburg Address was nothing more than clever "poetry". And narcissistic poetry at that because it was being directed at those whom Saint Lincoln was not in charge of. In fact if he'd cared a damn, and we all know now that he didn't, he'd have set the slaves free in the North but that evidently never happened. Just more hypocritical "history" written by the victors.

Brock Townsend said...


9. "The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history...the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination -- that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves."

H. L. Mencken