“The Art of the Deal” (NOT)—Demagogue Donald Could Have Prevented “Fascinating” Civil War January 14, 2024
What’s with the Republican 2024 presidential candidates and their inability to understand the Civil War? First, there was Nikki Haley. At a New Hampshire town hall, this South Carolina native, who hails from the first state to secede and the state to start that war by firing on Fort Sumter in April, 1861, failed to mention African American slavery as the key cause of that horrible conflict (seeusatoday.com, Kochi, S. & Jackson, D., 1/07/24). Never mind that S. Carolina and the other 10 seceding states put preserving slavery front and center in their Confederate “Constitution” and in their general secession arguments. And then, “historian” (NO WAY) Demagogue Donald had to put in his useless Confederate “two cents” to describe how he would have dealt with this national trauma that tore our nation apart and continues to affect us. Trump, who still thinks that he is “Mr. Art of the Deal,” although he could barely pass a tax cut with a GOP Congress and was repeatedly steamrolled by then Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats, had these absurd comments to make about the 1861-1865 conflagration. On the third anniversary of the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill fatal riot which he incited, Donald’s stupidity and narcissism hit new depths. On that date in Newton, Iowa, Trump called the Civil War “fascinating.” He then declared, “So many mistakes were made. See, there was something I think could have been negotiated, to be honest with you. I think you could have negotiated that. All the people died. So many people died.” And what did Trump have to say about Abraham Lincoln, considered by many Americans to be our greatest or one of our greatest Presidents? In Donald’s ridiculous words, “Abraham Lincoln, of course, if he negotiated it, you probably wouldn’t even know who Abraham Lincoln was (usatoday.com, Kochi & Jackson).” Translation: Lincoln didn’t mind having this awful war rather than successfully concluding a peaceful negotiation because having this war made him way more famous than he normally would have been! Huh? Trump’s comments are beyond false. Trump, the worst President in modern U.S. history and one of the worst ever, must totally trash one of our nation’s best leaders to keep bolstering his ego. IMHO, these “negotiate the Civil War” comments alone should disqualify Demagogue Donald from trying to reclaim the Oval Office. He knows absolutely nothing about one of the most major periods in American History, and is, therefore, unfit for this job.
And how could Demagogue Donald even use the word “fascinating” to describe the Civil War? Yes, he used the word “horrible” right after using the term “fascinating” but, obviously, “fascinating” was the more important word to him in describing this conflict because he used it first. It was the first word that came into his “mind,” not the term “horrible.” Donald NEVER should have used “fascinating” in describing the Civil War to begin with. Trump’s “fascinating” American Civil War killed an estimated 620,000 men, roughly 2% of the U.S. population. Only increased immigration to the U.S. after the Civil War ended made up for our population losses from this war. Taken as a percentage of today’s population, the death toll from the Civil War would have risen as high as 6 million people (battlefields.org). On September 17, 1862, during the “fascinating” Civil War Battle of Antietam, Maryland, over 23,000 men were killed or wounded, the bloodiest single day of that war (Yanak & Cornelison, “The Great American History Fact -Finder,” 1993). The Civil War’s death toll has not been equaled since by any other American conflict. In WWII, with far more deadlier weapons, the U.S. lost 405,229 soldiers 214,000 less than in the Civil War. More American soldiers became casualties at the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg than in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 combined (battlefields.org). In the Civil War, about 25% of the soldiers involved never returned home. One in thirteen surviving Civil War soldiers returned home missing one or more limbs (battlefields.org).
And now we get to the even more pathetically false claim that Donald made in his Civil War statement—that President Lincoln could have “negotiated” away this war and Trump himself could have avoided this war by negotiation. Negotiation over the slavery issue had been tried from our nation’s very beginning. When the Constitution was written in 1787, Southern delegates to the Philadelphia Convention threatened to walk out and destroy any Union then unless their non-voting Black “property” slaves were counted in determining their state’s total population. Hence, the infamous “Three-Fifths Compromise” which gave a disproportionate representation to slave states in determining their population. The Electoral College which recently defeated Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, despite their winning the popular vote, was also negotiated in 1787, according to many constitutional scholars, as a way to grant more influence to Southern states (See dailykos.com, Vyan Walton, F., 1/07/24). In the original Constitution, the Framers also negotiated not to prohibit the slave trade until 1808 (Article I, Section 9). Another constitutional negotiation with Southern delegates appears in the original Article 4, Section 2. It basically states that fugitive slaves can not be freed and must be turned over to the party to whom their labor is due.
And negotiations over keeping and limiting slavery continued long after the Constitution was ratified. In 1820, during President James Monroe’s “Era of Good Feelings,” Southern and Northern Congressmembers nearly came to blows over how Missouri could enter the Union. Slave and free states were then equally balanced at 11 in the Senate. Temporary “harmony” was resumed when Northern Maine applied for admission as a free state. MO came in as a slave state and Maine as a free one preserving the balance. Slavery was also prohibited north of the 36 degree 30’ latitude. In the Compromise of 1850, after the U.S. won much territory in the Mexican War, the slavery matter had to be negotiated again and, once more, raised emotional passions. CA came in as a free state, but a stronger Fugitive Slave law was enacted. The territories that became states from land taken from Mexico would have to decide on their own, the doctrine of popular sovereignty, if they were to be slave or free. When Illinois Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas started getting presidential ambitions, the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed. The MO Compromise of 1820 was repealed in the KS and NE areas and each state in this section would decide whether to be free or slave. This time, hostilities in the KS area between free and slave settlers led to a mini-civil war known as “Bleeding Kansas.” KS was admitted as a free state on January 29, 1861. An 1860 proposal, the Crittenden Compromise, tried to keep the South from seceding. It would have extended the Missouri Compromise line across the country through the Pacific Coast and allowed slavery south of that line. Cong. would not be allowed to abolish slavery. Incoming President Lincoln opposed this compromise. This proposal was defeated in committee on January 16, 1861 (Yanak & Cornelison, Evans, F., 7/11/23). During the first two years of the Civil War, President Lincoln repeatedly offered to compensate border state slave owners that remained in the Union after their slaves had been emancipated. These states completely rejected that as did Southerners. Lincoln also unsuccessfully negotiated to free Delaware’s slaves. The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation was another negotiation. Lincoln allowed any state or county to keep their slaves if they had surrendered to the North. That too failed, and Lincoln realized that only the guns and bayonets of the Union Army could free slaves when they captured Southern states (dailykos.com, Vyan Walton, Yanak & Cornelison). Negotiation, proposed from the time of the Constitution and under Senate giants like Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and, of course, Lincoln failed. Only the bloody Civil War finally ended the “peculiar institution” of slavery and saved the Union. And yet, according to Demagogue Donald, it was “all Lincoln’s fault,” not that of rebel white supremacist Southerners who even after the Civil War made Blacks nearly slaves again and second-class citizens under Jim Crow segregation laws for over 70 years. And of course, “stable genius” Donald would have negotiated a solution to this bedeviling slavery issue! Donald lives, frankly, in an alternative universe with his former adviser Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts.” As Donald said in his 2016 convention acceptance speech, only “I alone can fix it (everything).” Never believe anything that Demagogue Donald says on policy. Only believe that he wants to have revenge and to become a dictator should he win in 2024.
Trump’s nonsense on the Civil War was rightly condemned by historians and civil rights groups (usatoday.com, Kochi & Jackson, 1/07/24). Former GOP Congressmember Liz Cheney blasted Donald on social media. Cheney stated, “Which part of the Civil War ‘could have been negotiated? The slavery part? The secession part? Whether Lincoln should have preserved the Union?’” Cheney then wrote—“Question for members of the GOP—the party of Lincoln—who have endorsed Donald Trump: How can you possibly defend this (cnn.com, Krieg & Stracqualursi, 1/06/24)?” You can’t. Cheney, unlike Donald, knows all about the Civil War. Her great-great-grandfather Samuel Fletcher Cheney served for all four years of the Civil War in the Union’s 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He and his fellow infantry members were, according to the group’s regimental historian, “prepared to accept danger and death for the unity of our nation and the perpetuity of our institutions. They fought fierce battles at Chickamauga, Stones River, and the campaign to capture Atlanta (See “Oath And Honor,” Cheney, L., 2023).” In order to preserve our democracy, we must honor the memory of Cheney’s brave ancestor and his fellow Unionists by voting in droves to defeat Demagogue Donald in November, 2024.