The Power of a Narrative
Too many smart and truth-seeking young people have a blind spot when it comes to the American Civil War. They will wax eloquently about the complexity and nuance of modern issues and not apply the same standard to the 19th century. They won’t accept Critical Race Theory as an established truth but think nothing of saying things like this:
“…in America we fought a Civil War over the issue of slavery. We were as divided as the country has ever been over any issue.”
It is as if the entire country has accepted this narrative as established fact. It is rarely questioned, even by people who make their livings questioning things. Coleman Hughes is a brilliant and hard-working young man. We should all be grateful for him and his work.
It is likely Coleman made the statement because the narrative is so well established, he feels comfortable saying it without having studied the question. The evidence for that is that he would not engage in discussion of Israel until he did his homework. Coleman, it’s time to study up on the 19th century and the War Between the States.
The problem with the narrative as presented by Hughes is that the uninitiated might see it as one side wanted to end slavery, and one side was fighting to keep it. Now we are in the realm of fantasy land relative to the historic record. This is why I doubt Mr. Hughes has thought much about the subject. If he had, his raw intelligence and training in philosophy would not allow him to present it in that way. The success of the current narrative is that it is so pervasive people don’t question it.
The consequence is that this narrative is often used to bash the South, even today, and portray the North as virtuous. It is also the basis for the call for the destruction of a monument in a cemetery.